Windows

We were away for Christmas this year and our rental house was full of beveled mirrors reflecting rainbows all over the house.  The girls had a blast finding rainbows throughout the house all week!

Every time I saw a rainbow reflected across the room, I smiled to myself and imagined that each one was a tiny window into Heaven!

Jesus thank you for blessing us with so many windows… please help us to see through them and find You!

Mirrors!

I think we all want others to see the good in us, or to let Jesus shine through as some of us would say!

How can you help everyone see Jesus within you without ruining the good intentions of an action and even running the risk of taking Jesus out of the action entirely by worrying that others see it, notice it, acknowledge it, pat you on the back for it?

I know I am not the first to say this and I am definitely not very good at doing this, but we will not help Him shine through by focusing on ourselves or our good deeds and actions.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Now imagine that you are a mirror.

  1. What is your sole purpose in life if you are a mirror?  To reflect what you see.
  2. Can you as a mirror be good or bad?  No.
  3. If you are a mirror and have a soul, does this change whether you can be good or bad? No.
  4. If you are a mirror and have a soul, would you have a preference regarding whether you reflect good or bad? Yes, I would prefer to reflect good.

Therefore as a mirror with a soul, I am still bound by the sole purpose of a mirror which is to reflect what I see, but if I desire to reflect only good then the only way this is possible is to see the good in everything!

I think the only way to truly help Jesus shine through ourselves is to focus on finding Him in others and then be their mirror!  The more light of Jesus you find in others, the more light of Jesus your mirror can then reflect back on everyone!

Can you see it?  A world full of mirrors constantly reflecting the light/love of Jesus!  It would be blinding, it would be beautiful, there would be rainbows everywhere!

It is Our Best Life… Jesus please help us to find the good in everything so that our mirrors will be full of Your light!

Arise, Shine!

For the last few months I have been waking up every morning about 10-15 min before my youngest daughter wakes up.  I usually check the time and then roll over and try to fall back asleep for a few min before I hear her calling for me.

For the last few weeks it has crossed my mind a few times during this early morning time check that maybe God wants me to wake up early and read the Bible before my daughter gets up.  I haven’t actually done this, but I have thought about it a few times.

A few days ago I started reading another blog.  The author of this blog wakes up every morning to read his Bible.

Well this morning, it happened again.  I woke up at 5:50 am, I checked the time on my phone, laid there for a min thinking about how tired I was, but then I leaned over to turn on the light.

I opened to Isaiah 60:1 and the first two words I saw were “Arise, shine”.  What a beautiful morning greeting from God!

Now I have to practice listening to His words, because unfortunately when I was done reading, I turned off the light and fell back asleep for 5 more min, and when I did wake up we had a very hectic morning.

Jesus, thank You for the beautiful wake up call this morning.  Please give me the strength to not hit the snooze button on You tomorrow morning if I am blessed with another wake up call from You!

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!

Warriors of Love!

I heard the song His Kind of Love by Group 1 Crew today on KSBJ in Houston (my favorite station)!  I am sure I have heard it many times, but I was planning to run today and the great beat struck me.  I drove home from dropping the girls off, bought it for my i-pod, put it on repeat, and ran out the door.

The song got me really pumped up for a run, and as I running I was really listening to the words and feeling His love, praying for understanding His love, and wanting to share His love.  I made it home and as I was stepping into the house I was listening to the line in the song, “Is reckless for us” and do you know who I thought of?  I thought of women in abusive relationships and marriages.

I thought to myself these women understand reckless love.  They stay with their partner or husband through the beatings, through the verbal abuse, through the humiliation.  They love their partners and they wait out the bad times and hope for the good times to return. They haven’t forgotten the glimmer of Jesus that they saw in their spouses eyes when they first met and they probably see Jesus again every morning after the storm in the apologies, hugs, kisses and promises that it will never happen again.  They lose friends and family who don’t understand why they won’t leave.  In the end others give up on them or even start to hate them for their weakness for staying… just as Jesus was despised by so many.  The bruises, scars, and pain are their battles wounds showing us that they know a lot about loving as Jesus loves.  They know about Reckless Love.

I am in no way suggesting these women stay in these relationships or continue to put up with abuse. I don’t want that for them or anyone!

However since realizing this, I will never again look upon these women with pity.  I will see them as Warriors of Love!  I will want to kiss their battle wounds and pray for a quick recovery.  I will want to ask how to help them and not take the assumption that I know how to help them.  I will want to thank them for showing me that it is possible in our world to love recklessly as Jesus loves us.  I will want to ask them how they do it (not as a put down or to embarrass them, but as a student would ask a teacher)  so that I can humbly try to spread the love that they are spreading through this one lost individual that they have been appointed to care for, teach and love!

Jesus please help us to love as these women love and help us to change our perspective and see these women as You want them to be seen, as Your Warriors of Love!

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!