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 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!
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!
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?
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!
I watched the PBS documentary, The Mystery of Love, this evening.
At one point the documentary was discussing loving the whole world and it was mentioned that the Buddhists all say that during their wedding ceremonies the bride and the groom should marry the whole world, through this one person, and that rabbis have a similar expression that the whole world is a huppa or the whole world is a wedding canopy.
On the morning of his wedding, Ketsu Norman Fisher, a Zen master wrote this poem.
Of all the women in all the world
Delicate in their various encasings of body, of mind;
This one, bent asleep before me, in the bed,
Is the one through whom all must be loved,
As I have promised.
I thought this was beautiful and I had this moment of truly feeling loved and honored by this man who I have never met, but knows that I am delicate. What a blessing!!!
In Our Best Life I know that I truly love all of you and since I want to live Our Best Life now, I am going to begin intentionally trying to love the whole world! I pray to be able to truly love everyone who is put in my path and I pray to send YOU my love by loving everyone who is put in my path.
Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. It is Our Best Life, let’s LIVE it!
My girls love rainbows! They talk about them a lot and love to color rainbows. I have always loved rainbows too, and have always loved to stop and look around for a rainbow at the end of a storm.
My girls love to look for rainbows too, but they don’t just look for them at the end of a storm. They are always looking for rainbows on sunny days, overcast days, rainy days, snowy days and the amazing thing is that they almost always find one regardless of the weather! They found the rainbow on the back of a CD/DVD, they found the rainbow on the blank TV screen caused by the sun reflecting off of it at a certain angle, and today we were on a boat and they found the rainbow caused by the sun reflecting through the water spray along the sides of the boat as it sped through the lake.
The more rainbows they have shown to me, the more I have begun to wonder if my girls really see what I see when we look at the world? At the park when I hold their hands and tell them to step over a log, do they see the brown log that I see or do they see something else? I am starting to think that we see things very differently and I want to see their world, I want to jump over a rainbow, see magic caterpillars, and see the Care Bears peeking down from the clouds.
I think children truly see with the eyes of love! I want to take off my dark and dingy glasses and see with the eyes of love too and I think listening to what my girls see rather than telling them what I see is a good place to start!
Look for a rainbow in an unexpected place and I bet you will find it because it is Our Best Life!!! My friend, I wish you true joy in your heart when you find your hidden rainbow today!
My husband went for a run the other day and when he came back he was literally dripping with sweat and he asked me if he smelled bad. I leaned in, took a big whiff and honestly I thought he smelled nice and I said “You smell good to me”. He smiled and said it didn’t count because I see him with the eyes of love.
I was thinking of this today and thinking that seeing someone through the eyes of love is more true and real than any other way to see someone. I think it should always count and be the only opinion that counts! Maybe I was the only person on earth at that moment that didn’t think my husband smelled, but maybe I was also the only person in the world who could really smell him.
Doesn’t God look at us with the eyes of love? Isn’t this how he is able to constantly forgive and forget everything we do to ourselves and each other? Does this make it okay to live life with our rose colored glasses on all of the time? Does this make it okay to try to see the good in everything?
Maybe there are no rose colored glasses. Maybe instead there are dark and dingy glasses that block us from seeing with the eyes of love if we refuse to take them off.
I feel like at times constant optimism can hurt the ones we love if they are suffering or going through a very difficult time, but maybe it isn’t constant optimism. Maybe the dark and dingy glasses are off and saying “It is going to be okay” or “You are going to be okay” is not a lie or a hollow consolation, but more real and true than our loved one can yet see.
Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
If we really are wearing dark and dingy glasses maybe a good way to start trying to remove them is by literally saying out loud “It is Our Best Life” everyday.
Let’s take off our glasses and start seeing everyone with the eyes of love!
A few months ago I posted “The one path, our path!”. While I was imagining this path, I was imagining walking down it with billions of friends one of which was my husband walking beside me. While I thought of us walking together in my mind I knew he was anxious to run ahead and climb the mountain to see his mom. I urged him to run ahead, but I chose to stay behind. Not because I didn’t want to be with him, but because I wanted to see him at the top of the mountain singing with his mom. In my daydream I could see him embrace his mom, hold her hand and then begin singing, but I had a really hard time imagining him singing (my husband does not sing very much) and imagining what song he would sing.
A few weeks later I heard I Could Sing of Your Love Forever by Sonicflood and decided that this was the song I would imagine him singing. Since picking the song, I have thought about this walk and watching him sing on the mountaintop a few times and this daydream always brings a smile to my face.
Last weekend we were sitting on the couch together. I was reading my book and he was working on his computer. My Pandora station was on in the background and I Could Sing of Your Love Forever by Sonicflood came on. Around the middle of the song my husband began singing the song to himself and carried it through to the end!
I smiled to myself and thought someday he will sing this song on the mountaintop with his mom. It truly is Our Best Life, thank you Jesus for loving us so much that the song really will go on forever!
We went to the park the other day to take a short hike with the girls. As we were all getting out of the car and unfolding the stroller a woman was walking by with two small dogs. I was just about to look up and say hello when she dropped her wallet and said in a very angry and exasperated voice to herself, “This has been the worst f*****g day, can anything else go wrong?” She picked up her wallet and stomped past us through the parking lot. It was only 10:30 am, and I thought to myself, unfortunately she still has most of the day left for things to continue spiraling out of control. Obviously I only saw one moment of her story and it appeared to be a very bad moment, but it made me think about perspective and if a perspective shift could have helped her through the rest of the day.
Perspective is defined as a mental view of or outlook on a situation. I think a perspective shift can change almost anything. When I don’t know someone else’s full story it is difficult to suggest a perspective shift, but hopefully a personal story will help make my point.
A few weeks ago I was out on a Sunday evening on my way to return a movie. I turned onto the highway feeder road a little too quickly and hit the curb with my rear tire. The tire immediately blew and luckily I was just about 200 yards from an open gas station. As I was pulling in to see if they could help me change my tire I was thinking, It serves me right because I made the turn too quickly, as if this was punishment for my poor driving. A really nice young man changed my tire and I was on my way. The next day I went to buy a new tire and the man at the store strongly suggested replacing the other three as well. I took a look at the tires and if you know about the penny test to check the treads then you will understand how necessary it was for me to get new tires when I tell you that there was nowhere to even put the penny. As I was pulling away with four new tires I could have been complaining about the hour I had just spent waiting for new tires or the money I had just spent that I had planned to use for something else, but instead I thought to myself, Thank you God for making me get new tires since I wasn’t going to find the time to do it without your help.
Despite some of the terrible things I see in the news, I try to keep my perspective shifted and continue to believe it is Our Best Life and I hope you do too? If we all believe it is our best life would the news change?
Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
I saw a movie on Saint John of the Cross the other night and at the end he said, “Love the suffering.” I have been thinking about this a lot since watching the movie.
Saint John of the Cross spent about 8 months held captive by his superiors, imprisoned in a tiny closet. This was his suffering, but he saw it as his joy to be given unlimited time to contemplate Jesus.
The disciples of Jesus left their families, their lives, to follow Jesus and many observers at that time thought they were crazy and that they would suffer or were suffering, but Jesus was their Joy!
Once you truly follow Jesus is it even possible to suffer? From someone else’s perspective it might appear that you are suffering, but from your own perspective are you really suffering?
I think the song, You Can Have Me by Sidewalk Prophets says it beautifully
If You’re all You claim to be
Then I’m not losing anything
So I will crawl upon my knees
Just to know the joy of suffering
Therefore if Jesus is our joy then I think it is already Our Best Life.
If He is not then can we say It is Our Best Life with the hope that this daily prayer will help us find the right path to our joy in Jesus?
I think the answer is YES, start saying it and see where it takes you. I think it will circle back around, but go ahead and try it for yourself.