Tag Archives: faith

Eat, drink and… be Mary!

This is the time of year when we are celebrating, we are throwing parties, we are attending parties and we are being “MERRY”!

A few years ago we threw a Christmas party and our invitation read, “Come, eat, drink and be merry!”  I was thinking about this today because we wanted to throw a party this year, but I didn’t get around to planning it.  When I thought about the invitation we sent a few years ago, I paused on the phrase “be merry”, in my head I changed it to, “be Mary”.

Did “be merry” originate from “be Mary”?

Rather than research the actual origins of this phrase, tonight I would rather come up with my own story!

Maybe years ago when friends were toasting and celebrating together during the Christmas season, they really did use the phrase, “Eat, drink and be Mary!”, with the intention and the prayer that they themselves as well as their friends would live as Mary did, full of faith in God and consumed with love for Jesus!

I pray during this Christmas season and the year to come, that we will all “be Mary”, living like Mary full of faith in God and consumed with love for Jesus!

Be Mary, my friends, be Mary!

Cheerleaders!

About 2 years ago there was an evening when I was working out with my music turned up!  At one point a song came on that really moved me, and for a moment I imagined that I had a cheering squad lined up on either side of my elliptical stretching back behind me to infinity.  The line began with my cousin, my mother-in-law, my grandmother and great-grandmothers, but continued stretching on and on with millions of women cheering for me, cheering me on and telling me that I could do it!  The image didn’t last long, but I was moved to tears in that moment.

I think, when I imagined them that I was actually calling for them and they came and have stayed to cheer for me and help me find the way Home.

They lead me to books, they lead me to teachers, and they have helped lead me to Jesus!

Call for them… they will come and cheer for you too!   Our imaginations are so powerful when we believe my sweet friends!

Look for the little flowers!

This morning I saw a man stop and offer help to an older woman who was pushing her own wheel chair across a parking lot.  It was a lovely scene, quiet and small and probably not noticed by many.  I love seeing these small and beautiful moments of kindness and goodness in the world.  They remind me that God’s tapestry is full of small and beautiful pictures that we can see even now.  I like to think of these small moments of goodness as the little flowers decorating the trim of His tapestry.

I think His tapestry is also full of large scenes of which we only have the ability to see small portions.  When we focus on the small parts of the large scenes, we might see what we perceive to be evil.  We might notice the drops of blood, a weapon, a betrayal, a death and if we don’t have faith to trust that these things are necessary parts leading up to the overall goodness of God’s scene, His plan, His beautiful tapestry, then we lose hope in the goodness of God and His ability to use any and every action of ours to finalize His beautiful and good plan.

I know it is very cliche to say, but I must repeat what so many others have said before me.

Jesus please help us to focus on the small things, help us to seek out the little nuggets of golden goodness You have sprinkled throughout everyday, and when something bad happens help us to remember that our faith is being tested, and that we must believe in You and have faith in You and Your ability to turn anything all around and upside down.

Thank You

Almost every time I pray I ask for my family and friends to be blessed and kept safe, but what does keeping them safe really entail?  What does blessing them really entail?

Do I mean for them to be healthy and kept out of accidents?
Do I mean for them to be comfortable and happy?

Will keeping them safe and blessing them bring them closer to God?  I don’t know.

In Jeremiah 14:11-12
The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people.  Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.

Was the Lord asking Jeremiah to refrain from praying for the welfare of these people because He knew that safety, comfort and blessings are not what would bring these people closer to Him?  Is He saying that that they will only cry out to Him, present offerings from their hearts, and truly come closer to Him in times of war, famine and pestilence?

I am not sure, but reading this made me take a step back and wonder.

1.  How often do I cry out to God in true joy and thanksgiving when I am safe, comfortable and blessed?  Do these blessings help bring me closer to Him?

2.  How often do I cry out to God in times of sorrow or conflict?  Do these difficulties and challenges bring me closer to Him?

God wants us to cry out to Him regardless of whether it is in joy or misery.   He wants to be there for us, He wants to be close to us and maybe sometimes we won’t let Him in until the difficult times arise.

God please help us to pray with humility knowing that we don’t know what is best, and help us to have faith that You do know what is best for all of us and will do everything in Your power to help us cry out to You.

Maybe my new prayer should be, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Let the floor fall…

There is something in my life that is really bugging me and it is not getting done.  I am trying to remain calm about it, but I am thinking about it a lot.

I have become very good at telling my family and friends to give their problems and concerns to God, He will handle them and take care of everything and in the end it will work our for the best.  Now is my small test and I can feel myself failing miserably the more I think about it, the more I worry, wonder, ponder about what to do and how to handle it.

I am so sorry for my lack of faith despite the myriad of times in my life when You have clearly taken all of my problems, concerns, issues into Your hands and woven something more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Jesus please help us to remember to let the floor fall right out from under us with full faith and trust that You will catch us!

It is Our Best Life!

Lead from behind, but don’t forget to follow from in front!

I was running today and as I was running I was thinking about St. Patrick’s prayer

Christ be with me
Christ be before me 
Christ be behind me
Christ be within me

As I was thinking this, I thought about the miniature Jesus I used to imagine living in my heart when I was little and laughed at myself.   Then I imagined Jesus running in front of me and running behind me and thought to myself, what a beautiful circle that makes and isn’t it amazing that when Jesus is running behind me He wants me to follow Him!

I hear the saying and use the saying,  Lead from behind, a lot, but I don’t think I have ever heard someone say, Follow from in front.

I don’t think following from in front is easy, but I think it is extremely important.

Take a look at Jesus’ Warriors of Love, women in abusive relationships.  They are not considered leaders according to our man-made criteria, but we should see them as leaders in how to love others recklessly, how to love others as Jesus and God love us despite our flaws and terrible actions and treatment of others and ourselves.

Take a look at the slaves world wide.  They are not considered leaders, but we should see them as leaders in resilience, strength and the faith as they go on living one more day with every dawn.

Take a look at the people of any third world country.  They are not considered leaders, but we should see them as leaders.  They lead us daily in gratitude as they give praise for clean water to drink, a simple meal placed before them and whatever shelter God has provided for them.

Finally, take a look at the sweet and generous widow in the bible.  She was not considered a leader at that time.  She was seen as a quiet and small follower, barely noticed by the powerful leaders at that time, but Jesus saw her, talked about her, placed her in a position to lead from behind, reminding us yet again to Follow from in Front.

Mark 12:44
They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.

I think when the leaders and followers get mixed up as a lot of us are now, leaders, leading from in front and followers, following from behind, we very easily get lost and it becomes very hard to find God.

Let’s get out of the desert, let’s end this aimless wandering, let’s begin following the real leaders of our world.  The poor, the oppressed, and the children.  They have big things to teach us if we are willing to listen!

So many of us have been trying to lead from in front.  Jesus please help us to have faith and trust in You and our fellow brothers and sisters so that we can complete your circle and remember to follow from in front.

Fearless

What scares you?  What scares me?

Can you verbalize it?  Do you even know what makes your heart start pounding, your blood run cold and your eyes glass over?

I don’t think I know for myself.  I am fearful of sitting down to think about and fully realize what scares me.  A few things sit on the edge of my mind that I am aware of, but I don’t want to verbalize them.  I don’t want to think about them for fear of them coming to be.

How do we attempt to live fearlessly with these fears lurking in the shadows of our minds?  I don’t think we can, allowing them to lurk gives them power over us.  I think we eventually need to realize these fears, accept them as our fears and then believe through faith that if these fears come to be, God will still lead us through the valley to an even higher mountain beyond.

Habakkuk 2:4 says it and Paul repeats it in Hebrews 10:38, “The just shall live by faith.” By faith is the way God planned for us to live out our lives, day in, day out, minute by minute.

I want to live fearlessly… I want to live by faith!

I have work to do, and if you are not already there, I hope you will join me, my friends!

When words aren’t enough…

I am not very good at defending what I believe or giving convincing reasons for my faith. A while ago I was in a discussion with someone and I became totally tongue-tied and could give no better reason for believing in Jesus than to just say, “Because… I do”.  For some reason I was thinking about this earlier today and for one moment thought, maybe I am crazy, but then I remembered sweet, consistent, reliable Puddleglum from The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis.

Puddleglum said to the witch:

“One word, Ma’am” he said coming back from the fire; limping because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

Even if I can’t explain why, I would rather spend the rest of my life following Jesus and trying to live like Him, real or not, than follow anyone else!

Jesus help us to remember that most of the time we don’t need any words;  when words fail us, we only need to believe in You, love You and follow You.  We need to have faith so You can shine through!

The only thing good in me is Jesus!

I heard the song, The Only Thing, by Ronnie Freeman for the first time tonight while listening to Pandora.

I loved hearing this song, and it was yet another reminder for the importance of humility. I know my heart and I know that I have proudly accepted many undeserved compliments (from others and from myself) throughout my life.  No matter what my life looks like to myself or others, I have to remember that I am still the least of thieves and yet Jesus still loves me and is in me. The more I superficially build myself up from these good deeds and compliments, the further I push Jesus away, but once I remember or realize that everything thing good in me is because of Jesus I pull closer to Him.

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, that no one should boast.”

Jesus please keep reminding me to be humble so that I can pass Your glory on to You!

It is Our Best Life… let’s pass it on!

The Little Way

I watched a movie about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux last night, Thérèse.  I loved it and loved learning about “The Little Way”.

Below is a definition I found online for “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse.

It is an image that tries to capture her understanding of being a disciple of Jesus Christ, of seeking holiness of life in the ordinary and the everyday.

I have been thinking about this a lot today and I think when you empathize with someone it can naturally guide you towards “The Little Way”.  In the movie Saint Thérèse was very considerate and aware of her family and then later of her fellow sisters.  She attempted to help others in ordinary and everyday moments without ever expecting anything (a thank you or even acknowledgement) in return.

I think when you empathize with someone, really attempt to see things from their perspective, it can help you to move beyond the expectation for a thank you or acknowledgement of what you then do for that person since you now can more fully appreciate the difficulties that brought about their current needs in this moment.  I think once you are released from this expectation you can then truly find joy in meeting their needs (serving them) in that moment without the weight of what you will receive (your expectations) on your mind.

I know I still have a lot to learn about “The Little Way” of Saint Thérèse, but these are are my initial thoughts.  I hope to learn more when I get a chance to read the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul.

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we could all truly let go of “me” and focus on “you”?  I think what we would find would be Our Best Life because even if I really let go of me, Jesus won’t let go of me… He wants us All!