PSALM 9:1 ON 9/1

TL 9-1 PSALM 9-1 ON 9-1

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David. I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  – Psalm 9:1 

Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is live your life in spite of the broken dreams that lie strewn behind you.  No, I’m not suicidal – don’t worry…  but it’s been a challenge lately to grab ahold of real purpose for living.  I suppose part of the problem is that I keep seeing my friends on facebook…  some of them I’ve known since high school.  They have raised their children and are now spoiling their grandchildren.  It’s as it should be and I’m very happy for them!  I just question LORD…  why is that not the way my life turned out?

I wonder what I’ve done that was so awful to be overlooked.  I am not perfect by any stretch, but neither are those who have been blessed with people in their lives.  They have big people, little people, dysfunctional people, quiet people, loud people…  what a blessing!

Does anyone else think this verse holds a great deal of irony?  I mean, do the words and the tune really mesh up?  The tune is called “The Death of the Son” – but the wonderful, uplifting praiseworthy words are…  I WILL GIVE THANKS TO YOU, LORD, WITH ALL MY HEART, I WILL TELL OF ALL YOUR WONDERFUL DEEDS.

Wow…  epiphany!  Here’s the key to living a happy, good quality life!  Regardless of the cards you are dealt in life, you find the good parts and PRAISE GOD FOR HIS GOOD DEEDS.  Although there are shattered pieces of dreams behind me, I wake up every morning and praise GOD for HIS goodness, for HIS love, for HIS grace, for HIS mercy, for HIS provision in my life.  He is all-sovereign, all-strong, all-powerful.  He is all I need in this life.

There are situations and circumstances I’ll never understand…  but then I remember that regardless of my circumstances, the LORD has done wonderful deeds in my life.  That is when I can be thankful to the LORD for my life.  Maybe He’s not done with me yet.  I’m just being still and know that HE is GOD and HE holds my simple little life in the palm of HIS great big hand.I TRUST YOU, PAPA GOD

Today let’s take a cue from David…  no matter how far you think you’ve sunk – and no matter how many tiny pieces of broken dreams lie scattered on the path behind you, trust God for answers and for hope.  Yesterday is over.  Press on, knowing that God has a wonderful plan for your future!  🙂

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LUKE 6:27-28 ON 6/27 & 6/28

TL 6-27 & 6-28 LUKE 6-27&28

 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  – Luke 6:27-28

Do you have enemies?  Do some people hate you?  Does anyone curse you?  Have you ever been despitefully used?  What is the natural response to any of these situations?  Fighting, backbiting, back stabbing, blackballing, revenge – wrapped up in a lot of emotional baggage including anger, sadness, feelings of rejection and hurt – big time hurt.

Doesn’t the natural response to this sound…  well – draining?  It sounds like it would take a huge toll on you not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.  God wants us to love enemies, do good to the ones who hate us, bless the ones who curse us and pray for the ones who despitefully use us.  God’s way is the best way.  He wants us to give it all to HIM and let it go.  Put it in His capable hands because He is able to deal with a person’s heart and soul.  He can discern motives and speak to them without interjecting emotions into the mix.  The sooner we turn those individuals over to God and pour all sorts of good out on them (which, trust me, will confuse them – it’s funny to watch), the sooner we will be free on all levels – physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally.  Freedom is what our faith is all about – and forgiveness.  You can’t experience God’s freedom without forgiveness.  Once we make a practice of handing all of that stuff over to God, we’ll find true happiness in our journey! 

THE BAGGAGE CARRIERGod is so smart – He wants to help us through life by carrying our burdens for us.  I’d definitely call a person who hates me a burden, wouldn’t you?  God knows that not everyone in life is going to be a fan of ours – or His.  Sometimes we make enemies because of our faith in God through Christ.  Sometimes we are hated because of our way of life, morals and values.  Our beliefs are not popular, to say the least…  some people don’t understand where we’re coming from.  We really don’t want to make that misunderstanding even worse by reacting to them in a way that doesn’t please our Lord, do we?  It’s not easy, but we need to remember that through Christ, we can do anything!  We won’t get it right every time, but God really wants us to do our very best.  🙂

 

HAIKU DAY

TL 4-17 HAIKU DAYWhat’s the difference between a Haiku and other poetry?  Here’s the recipe for a Haiku:

The Haiku is a Japanese verse in three lines.  It does not have to rhyme, and in fact should not rhyme, but it is considered a mood poem, so the words you choose should be chosen very carefully, and invoke emotion in the reader – laughter, tears, a sense of compassion, a sense of fear, a sense of accomplishment or a sense of hope and encouragement.  It doesn’t use any metaphors or similes.  Usually when Haiku is taught, the students are told to restrict the number of lines and syllables.  Punctuation and capitalization rules are up to the poet, and need not follow rigid rules used in structuring sentences.

Basic guidelines for beginners (like me – holding my hand up really high!):

  1. Line one has 5 syllables
  2. Line two has 7 syllables
  3. Line three has 5 syllables

A Haiku makes me think of the Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment called feng shui.  It’s a popular tool used in all sorts of design and staging of new homes for public view.  It’s all about balance and literally translates as “wind-water” in English.

But back to Haiku…  Lucinda has written some thought-provoking poetry for this blog.  I love Haiku just like I love to hear a short sermon at church that is really good.  A good Haiku will speak to you with these few words, just as a nice short sermon can get to the point and leave a lasting impression on the listener.

SUNFLOWERS HAIKUSUMMERTIME SWING HAIKUDOG HAIKUBLUE HAIKUBABY HAIKUCLOUDS HAIKUDESSERT HAIKUA woman’s reward…  OH I like that!  😉

Lucinda reminded me that there is a SAD side to Haiku…

13022332_1748745145369948_747312919_nOh…  some of us know about chronic illness.  Jus’ sayin’.  :-/

NATIONAL PINK DAY

TL 6-23 NATIONAL PINK DAY

 

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.   – Harvey Fierstein

I’ve tried to put myself in the mindset of a bully. I’ve tried to understand where they are coming from. I will never understand, no matter how long I live, how one human being can esteem themselves somehow BETTER or more entitled to something than another human being! We are ALL God’s children!!!

Bullying stems from a poor sense of self. If a person’s own self-esteem is shaky, they will do anything they can to intimidate someone else (or try to) to stroke their own precious ego and raise their self-esteem. What they do not realize; however, is that the attempt to hurt another person is not going to change their own perception of themselves – not one bit!!!

The road to change is never an external journey – it ALWAYS begins within. Don’t look to other people and try to change them to feel better about yourself! Work on you and leave others alone. I will work on me. I will not try to be better in any way than anyone – except myself.

We are all on different paths. Once we realize it’s not a race, we will begin to coexist in harmony. When I’m tempted to blow another person’s candle out to make mine shine brighter, I think of a saying I heard one time. When you blow someone’s candle out, it does not make yours shine brighter. To be a bully is to be a coward. Bullies lack the necessary tools to negotiate in a mature and civilized manner. They have a limited vocabulary and weak social skills. Bullies are losers.

I hope you will join me – wear PINK today on NATIONAL PINK DAY!!!

“Pretending and ignoring are two different things.”  I was 15 when I heard this, checked in to a stress center after swallowing a potentially lethal dose of sleeping pills.  I’d told my best friend I was born HIV positive.  Classmates called me names and left mean notes on my locker.  I was told to ignore my bullies, which I’d done.  But as one of the center’s counselors explained, sometimes you think you’re ignoring hurtful behavior when you’re just pretending.  “Were you hurt, Paige?” the counselor asked.  Yes.  I’d been hurt again and again.  It was terrifying to admit; would acknowledging that mean my bullies had won?  No.  It allowed me to move on.  Admitting I was hurt was the only thing that freed me from the pain.  – Paige Rawl

Bullying does happen – more than we know. Often times the victim has been so emotionally beaten down they are afraid to either fight back or tell anyone about what they are going through.

If you knew that someone was being bullied, would you help? What would you do? Be attune to the signs of abuse. Not all signs are physical. There are certain behaviors that are telltale signs that abuse is taking place. The ones being bullied are usually:

Isolated– Often one of the first signs that a person is being abused is isolation. Obviously if the abuse is physical, the person will not want to go out in public and certainly will not want to have to explain injuries to their friends. It’s just easier to be isolated from the world.

Withdrawn– Similar to isolation, but when a person withdraws they cease to have opinions or engage in intelligent conversation. They are in survival mode and “small talk” seems unimportant and trivial to them.

Emotional– This is like manic depression. Emotions seem to be all over the map. Because with verbal abuse in particular, a person can be brought from a normal mood into a deep depression in seconds with what has been said to them. Words hurt as much as hits do, and the scars run deep. If they are told that they are stupid or ugly or worthless after so long, they begin to buy into it. These little things affect their self-perception eventually. Sometimes when they are taken away from the abuser, they can actually feel a type of “high” and be over the top emotionally and almost giddy.

For the sake of awareness, let’s wear pink and support the effort to STOP BULLYING!!!