Can our children see the Banner of Love?

I heard the song Banner of Love by Luminate today.  I love this song and started singing to myself, but I am notorious for getting the words wrong when singing a song.

The actual lyrics are below

I hear You calling me
To raise a banner of love
Up high in the city streets
One hope for all the world to see

But I accidently changed them to

I hear You calling me
To raise a banner of love
Up high in the city streets
Down low for the kids to see

I am not trying to change this song.  I love it just as it is, but when I realized I was making such a big mistake with the words, I started wondering where my rewrite came from.  I am still not sure on that, but I do think we need to be a Banner of Love for all of the children in our lives.

Thinking about a Banner of Love for the children reminded me of Joel Osteen’s sermon, The Power of I Am.  In his sermon he tells us to build ourselves up, not to bring ourselves down through “I Am”.  Such as saying to ourselves I am smart, I am strong, I am beautiful instead of I am stupid, I am weak or I am ugly.

I completely agree that we should all do this, but why are we not doing this already?  We weren’t taught to do this at an early age.

I am going to raise a tiny banner of love down low for my girls to see!  I am going to teach them to praise themselves in the mirror after brushing their teeth at night.

I believe they are Awesome, Wonderful, and Amazing!
I believe they are Loved!
I believe they are Love!

I want them to believe it too!

It is Our Best Life!  If you already believe it, then let’s start trying to help everyone else see it!  Raise your Banner of Love!

Thank You!

I am so filled with gratitude and joy this morning… all I can do is cry out, thank You, thank You, thank You, thank You, thank You!

Thank you for reading, loving, dreaming, sharing, praying and so many other wonderful things full of good that you do!

Sending out prayers full of love and dreams of Our Best Life!

Do we really need to hate our family?

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

– Luke 14:26

I have been thinking about this passage for the last few weeks.  After I wrote the blog Was it really just about the apple?, someone emailed me with the above passage and a comment. Their comment was, “Does this say that if Adam disobeyed God to save Eve, he loved Eve more than God?”

Obviously I was just speculating a “What if… ” situation in my post and this isn’t what actually happened in the Bible, but if it had we still would not have known what was in Adam’s heart as he willingly or unwillingly took the fall with Eve.

  • What if Adam stood by as Eve fell and watched with relief that it was not him? Would God have been pleased to see this?
  • What if he stood by as Eve fell and watched with great sorrow, but could not bring himself to fall with her out of fear of being separated from God?  Would God have been pleased to see this?

Even with Luke 14:26 in mind, I still think God would have been most pleased with Adam if he willingly chose to take the fall with Eve, with great sorrow in his heart knowing he would be separated from God, but still took the fall as a declaration of love for Eve and an unwillingness to let her fall alone and an unwillingness to be separated from his partner, the bone of his bone, the flesh of his flesh.  Wouldn’t this have shown true faith in God’s goodness as well as courage to risk separation from God out of love and protection for another child of God?

I don’t think that Luke 14:26 is stating that Jesus wants us to hate our father, mother, wife/husband, children, brothers, sisters and even ourselves to be His disciple.

I think what is being stated here is that as our love for Jesus grows, our interests change and we begin to see the bigger picture.  We begin to be filled by Jesus alone and understand that being filled with Jesus allows us to love not only our family more, but allows us to love the entire world.  We begin to desire nothing more than constant contemplation of Jesus as a way to keep loving everyone through Jesus.

Who is it then that would interrupt this constant contemplation?  Our families, they are the ones that require the most attention from us and need the most time.  As imperfect humans we are always like demanding little children regardless of our ages and we still want what we want and dislike our peace and our thoughts being interrupted. Therefore I think these constant interruptions of peace and contemplation of Jesus are the frustrations that could bring about the hate Jesus talks about in Luke 14:26.

Jesus please help us see another way to constantly join in the worship and contemplation of You as well as meet the needs and demands of our families, the ones who You have blessed us with to love, serve and care for during our time here.

It is Our Best Life… the path is there even if we can’t see it!

A new friend!

I haven’t always been a runner, but I have started running lately since I really haven’t felt like joining a gym and I live in a place with beautiful weather.

I am not really an outgoing person and some of my favorite days and nights are just sitting home with my family playing, working on my projects, listening to some music, or watching a good movie.  However I do need people and I have noticed that when I run if someone waves at me or smiles I get a jolt for a few min and forget that I was tired or out of breath and run with renewed strength.

After noticing this I have started waving at everyone I run by (drivers, runners, walkers) and for the runners and walkers I take the extra step of taking off my headphones to say good morning as I run by.  This morning one of the walkers I said good morning to, waved back and said, “Good morning my friend!”.   He is living Our Best Life even if he doesn’t call it this and I was overjoyed to meet him if only for a moment!

Jesus thank you for my new friend!  Please help me be a friend to everyone I encounter just as you are a friend to all of us!

My friends, It is Our Best life… someday we will all be friends!

Our President has Not Shrugged!

Unlike Atlas, Mr. Barack Obama did not shrug!

Regardless of the growing weight of our country on his shoulders, regardless of our finger pointing, blaming, and judging without ever walking in his shoes, he ran again and he won!

Let’s unify, let’s remove our Republican or Democratic cloaks and remember that we are all Americans and this is our country.  Let’s try to take some of the weight off of his shoulders by coming together, because even Atlas eventually shrugged.

Let us not set ourselves up for failure, but instead support our president in prayer.

  • Let us pray that he finds the right path, the path that is pleasing to God.
  • Let us pray that someday when Mr. Barack Obama is standing before Our Creator, he will be able to look God in the face as God gently smiles at him and says, “Well done my son!”.

Please pray with me my sweet friends, it is always so much more powerful when we join together and when we pray for others.

I am sending my love to all of you and always praying for Our Best Life!

Who is wicked?

I was cleaning some raspberries this afternoon that I had left in the refrigerator 2 days too long.  As I was cleaning them I had to throw away parts of some that had gone bad, but in the end all of them had at least one bead of fruit that was still good.

While I was doing this I was thinking about a documentary I watched last night that discussed the wicked and quoted Daniel 12:10, “… None of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand”.

I started wondering who is wicked?

The definitions I found for wicked are below

  • Evil by nature and in practice
  • Evil or morally bad in principle or practice

If someone is considered to be wicked or evil, but this person does not know better due to abuse, neglect, a lack of education, a terrible upbringing can we still consider this person to be wicked or evil?  I think their acts can be considered evil and wicked, but are they really evil to the core?

What if I had experienced the same abuse, neglect, difficult upbringing and poor or lack of education? Maybe I would be doing even worse things than the person who did experience this childhood?  Maybe I wasn’t exposed to this because the potential I had for acts of evil was even greater than the person who was exposed to this in reality? Maybe I would have been lost forever?

I don’t believe that anyone is wicked or evil to the core.  I believe we all still have at least one bead of good still inside.  I think Jesus wants ALL of us, down to the very last good bead!

I think Jesus may be protecting those with a weakness for performing wicked and evil acts through ignorance.  This puts a very heavy burden on those who are given knowledge and understanding.

Jesus please help us to see the beads of good in everyone, and help us to use any knowledge and understanding that you have blessed us with ONLY for Your Glory and Your Good!

I Believe!

I just heard the song I Believe by Chris August!  This is the first time I have heard it and I love it and wanted to share it with you!

At one point in the song he sings…

If you had some heartache that made you cry a thousand tears
Then let me tell you now I know just how you feel

When I heard this I thought, I have never experienced this heartache and would not be able to tell someone that I know how they feel, but I then thought of a dear friend who has experienced this heartache.  I had this image for a moment of how treasured, loved and special she is and that we are so blessed that Jesus has been carrying her through these difficult times.

I believe and carry a hope in my heart that she is nearing the end of these trials.  Every now and then I think I see Jesus put her down for a day or two so that she can begin taking her baby steps while still holding His hand.

Thank you Jesus for loving my dear, sweet friend so much and carrying her through so many difficult times!

I believe it is Our Best Life!

Jesus is in everyone… have you seen Him today?

My youngest daughter now goes to school two days a week.  A few weeks ago as I was driving home from dropping everyone off at school I was listing all of the things I wanted to get done in my head and all of the sudden I decided to push everything back by 45 min and I started looking for a place to get a pedicure.  Just down the street from my house I drove by a place with it’s doors wide open.  I walked in and although they didn’t open until 9 am, the pedicurist said she would be happy to take me early.

The pedicure was awesome!  I have very dry and rough feet and I was so thankful to have someone else scrub them down.  As I was sitting there feeling blessed, I thought of Jesus washing our feet and what a blessing it was that this woman chose to wash my feet as her profession.  For the rest of the pedicure I thought about how much I loved this woman!  I am so thankful to have glimpsed Jesus in her that morning.

Thank you Jesus and Sydney for washing my feet!  Jesus please help me to open my eyes to see You in everyone and to see the opportunities You set before me everyday to serve You and wash Your feet.

It’s Our Best Life… Believe it, Live it and it will be!

Peace

I am reading The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.  Today I read chapter 3, The Man Who Loves Peace, and I want to share a bit of it with you and a few thoughts I had while reading.

Thomas a Kempis wrote
The good and peace-loving man turns everything into good.  The man who dwells in perfect peace suspects evil of no one.

The man of blind passion even turns good into evil and is quick to believe evil of others. The man who is discontented and disgruntled has a heart filled with suspicion.

I want peace!  How do we teach/learn peace?  Is it being taught?  I am honestly asking and would love your thoughts.

Does finding peace lead one to believe that everything is good?

Or

Are peace and believing everything is good equivalent, meaning that once you believe everything is good then you have also found peace and vice versa once you have found peace then you believe everything is good?

If the latter is correct, then seeing/finding the good in everything should lead us to peace. This seems like a great place to start if you are looking for peace!

I know I am not the first to say this, but I think

  • Believing the glass is half full could help lead us to PEACE
  • Finding the sliver lining in the clouds could help lead us to PEACE
  • Looking for the rainbow through the rain could help lead us to PEACE
  • Finally whoever came up with the slang expression, S’all good, hit the nail on the head and wanted to help lead us to PEACE

Jesus said in John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Let us reclaim the PEACE Jesus has left with us, the PEACE He has given to us.  Let us live with untroubled hearts and let us live fearlessly!

My friends, I wish you peace from the bottom of my heart!  Let us live Our Best Life in Peace!

What would you do?

Imagine that someone close to you (Jay) took the blame for something that a friend of his did (Evan).  Imagine that Jay got into big trouble at school and Evan took none of the blame.

If you were Jay’s parent or guardian would Evan be welcome in your house after this?

  • Would your answer change if you could see that Jay truly loved Evan regardless of how Evan felt?
  • Would your answer change if you could see that Jay truly loved Evan and you could see that Evan truly loved Jay?
  • Would your answer change if Evan apologized to both you and Jay for what he had done?
  • Would your answer change if Evan confessed his guilt at school and was give the same punishment that Jay already received?

How far must Evan go in order to be welcomed back into your house?

Thinking about this scenario really helps me put into perspective why I think we are only welcome in God the Father’s house through Jesus.  Jesus loves us, but God loves Jesus so much that he is willing to open His door only to those who truly love His Son.

Maybe our own personal answers to the above questions will help us see what God’s answer would be for us to enter His house?

Thank you Jesus for taking all of the blame and loving us so much!