When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wordless Wednesday - Exhausted!

A single photo 

– no words –
capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment
that brings a smile to my lips, 

and joy to my heart.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Why We Won't Move

I love this one.  I have often heard the one about whenever God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window, but I really love the fact that He knows when it is time to get us moving forward and onward toward His good gifts.  I sometimes feel like I am stuck.  Like life just keeps pushing me down and stopping me.  Perhaps, it is more about how I am looking at it and less about what my perception is.  Perhaps it is more about moving forward and less about looking longingly back.
I have had God close so many doors in my life, and except for the time I am actually going through the trial, I am able to look back and understand the blessings that He had in store for me.  I am someone who likes everything to stay the same.  I don't even move the furniture in my house.  I don't try new things well.  I don't like sleeping in unfamiliar places or being with people I don't know.  But how else and I going to get to know new friends and new places if I don't try.  
Our circumstances can totally be a stumbling block or a stepping stone.  It is up to us to look at them from a different perspective and be willing to change.   

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Secret

I sometimes wonder why it is so hard to be kind.  I wonder why we hurt each other, sometimes by accident, but especially when we do it on purpose.  I wonder why we are so quick to wound and so anxious to judge.  I wonder what it is about our society today that makes it so hard to be kind.
Then I stop and think, I look at the internet and social media.  Today we are surrounded by people who, since they can't see your face or your pain or your despair, say whatever pops into their minds.  Add that to the fact that the written word can be taken differently by different people, and you have a big mess just waiting to happen. 
A long time ago, if you offended someone, you could see it in their face.  You could see their eyes and their tears and their sadness.  Today, if you offend someone on social media, you just see their words, or the words of others.  It makes it so much easier to be unkind and so much harder to recognize it in the process. 
Still, I think we can all do a little better in this and take a little more responsibility for our own actions.  Are we always kind to others, or do we walk by and not notice?  Do we look for the ones who look sad or lonely?  Do we sit by the person who is alone?  Do we try to think about how we would feel if we were in that place?  Do we try and feel period!
I had jury duty last week, and it was an interesting experience.  Many hours on hard chairs in a hallway, while unbeknownst to us, the attorneys and clients met to try and reach a plea agreement.  No one told us anything.  We just got to sit there waiting.   After awhile two people in orange jump suits walked out in handcuffs with smirks on their faces and yelling, "Hey, you all waitin for us??  You all still waitin?"  All I could think is that some of these people might be your jury and you are going to act like that!
Thank goodness, the reason they did is because they had just accepted a plea deal. 
Thank goodness again, that I did not say something to them!! 
There are always, always, always opportunities to be more kind.  There are always people who need a smile or a laugh or a hug. 
Life is too short and too hurried to ruin it with a bad attitude and bitter, mean words.   
Ephesians 4:32 -  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sabbath Day Scribblings - Rejoice

We are studying the New Testament this year in church and also for our family time.  I am so excited to learn even more about our loving Savior.   Sometimes we just need to take the opportunities that He gives us to blossom and grow. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Be Still

I am in love with these words.  I have a very hard time letting go.  I never thought that he Hebrew translation was more than being quiet.  I think we have to be quiet to listen, and be quiet to learn.  But I love that the Hebrew of this means to Let Go. 
So many times, I cling to that which I think is mine to hold.  I feel like I have to hold it tight especially when it hurts and when I am failing miserably.  I feel like I will fail even more if I give it to anyone else to do.  Even if the person I am giving it to, is God.
How is it possible that in my mind, I can't hand all the grief, sorrow and pain over to Him?  How is it possible that there is even the smallest part of me that doesn't understand how much the Atonement of a loving Savior applies even to me. 
I know that He was sent, not only to forgive us and pay for our sins, but also to suffer our pains and heartache.  I know that He understands exactly what I am going through.  I know that He knows me.  He loves me in spite of my fears and my aching.  I know that He will take the burdens from me if I will just let Him in and let them go.   

Friday, January 11, 2019

Look Heavenward

It can be so hard for me to keep my eyes up.  I suffer from depression and anxiety.  I worry about everything and everyone.  My life, seems to be filled with constant half empty glasses.  I am trying to change that.  This year, I picked for my word of the year, PRESENT.  I know that worry is caused by focusing too much on the could happens of the future.  Worry is caused by trying to do every thing myself.  Worry is caused my holding tight to my own problems, needs, confusions, anger, resentment and fear. 
The opposite of worry is trust.  I think the only way for me to be truly present in the here and now is to trust God to take care of the future.  This is going to be a hard thing for me to accomplish.  I know it sounds easy, but it really isn't.  Life is not always fair or kind or beautiful.  Sometimes it is very, very hard.  Sometimes those hard things teach you that you can only depend on yourself and never others. 
This year, I want to be closer to Him.  I want to let go of the past and the future and more consciously live in the present.  This year, I want my yearning and searching and looking to be upward.
This year, I want to be PRESENT. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Standing upright

Such a good one to remember.  Especially for me!  For some awkward reason, what other people think of me matters.  Probably not as much as it used to.  My skin has gotten a little bit tougher over the years as people work so hard not to be nice.  But it still hurts.  I have often wondered why it is so easy for some people to be mean to others. 
I know that it is easy to believe that, as Christians, we are the only ones that really know better (yet we don't always live it in spite of ourselves).  As I was reading today, I found examples of the golden rule in several other world religions.  The list goes on and on, but these are ones most of you will recognize.   

The Universality of the Golden Rule in the World Religions

ChristianityAll things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
      Matthew 7:1
ConfucianismDo not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
      Analects 12:2
BuddhismHurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
      Udana-Varga 5,1
HinduismThis is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
      Mahabharata 5,1517
IslamNo one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
JudaismWhat is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
      Talmud, Shabbat 3id
TaoismRegard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
      Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
ZoroastrianismThat nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
      Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

Adapted from "The Christopher Newsletter"

As I have tried to change my life, and specifically the way I treat others around me, I have discovered good in many places that I have not looked to before.  I think, part of standing up in this world is being able to recognize and find the good ground that is around us.  It is not, and never has been, popular opinion that matters.  It is how we treat those around us.  How well we accept others opinions and beliefs.  How much we love. 
I am learning that the harder we try and see through God's eyes, the more good we will find in those who seem different from ourselves.