To The Top for The Bottom

One of the most enjoyable things about blogging is the amazing photographers, professional and non-professional that share their photographs for all to enjoy. A lot of the photographs that are shared are due to various challenges as the one I will be sharing with you today,  well technically it’s night (2:30)but I couldn’t sleep so I am writing.

Irene from Heaven’s Sunshine was following the challenge for stairs from Pic And A Word  by Patrick Jennings. Her picture was so inspiring to me, I told her I was going to write about it, so I did. I hope you enjoy it and do stop by Irene’s blog for some wonderful pictures.

Steps to the Cross
Bailly Cemetery – Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

   THE CLIMB

I see and maintain it still is not fair,

I have nothing to lay at the top of the stair.

It’s not my fault, I did nothing wrong,

Well, maybe I did, it’s just been so long.

How long has it been since I climbed to the top,

I remember it’s relief, Why did I stop?

How can a symbol of such astounding grief,

Be given to us to bring so much relief?

With love so amazing, to the cross did He die,

To flood us with gratitude that still makes us cry.

The burdens we carry don’t always seem fair,

Always we can lay them at the top of the stair.

The first step looks brittle, can it carry my weight?

This burden is heavy and may seal my dire fate.

As I touch each step and climb ever higher,

Is this what I should do, is this really my desire?

As I clear the last step, the cross is before me,

I question my worth, did He also die for me?

As my knees get bent, I am smothered by His grace,

And I lay all my burdens at the accepting cross base.

                       – Anita Tillman Neal –

 

Always remember there is a burden carrier and it isn’t you. Scripture tells us repeatedly that He is there to carry our burden for us, we just have to be willing to give them to Him.

And as always I remind everyone the much loaded value of kindness. Carry it with you where ever you go and share as much as possible.

 

 

Gentle Words vs. Flaming Tongue

It’s that time of year where those who are not that fond of the holidays recognize the kindness push factor of the holidays. Even Charles Dickens wrote a story of flaming tongue vs gentle words with Ebeneezer Scrooge, with the moral of the story showing the value of kindness being much more valuable to the heart than the non-value of a flaming tongue.

James 3

The bible has only a few sections that warn of the wicked or meanness of the tongue yet the teachings of love and kindness filter all through the scriptures in some form. Galatians 5 is an example as it list the fruits of the spirit – love, joy kindness…etc. We have to be taught how to be kind. What?? Yes we all have a mean streak that has to be tamed.

Cecilia Bacon post today speaks very much on this along line with a “cause/effect” disclaimer of biblical teachings. A lot of us in my generation(baby-boomers) were taught a principle of common decency with scriptural truths called “The Golden Rule”. I remember it being printed on the school rulers we were given. The Golden Rules states – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Do you want people being mean to you? Then cause effect of that tells us we shouldn’t be mean or others will be mean to us!! It’s how it works. Have you watched  children play and how some can be selfish and down right mean. If this behavior is not checked, it grows. Seen kids in middle school as they try to learn who they are. Wow.

James chapter 3:1-12 speaks profoundly about the wickedness of the tongue. How it is like a horse unbridled running a muck or the tiny spark of fire from the tongue can burn down an entire forest.  3:10 says – Out of the same mouth come praises and curses. The tongue is a part of the body that must be tamed and we generally don’t understand it’s power or pain until we have been consumed by the fire of someone’s spark.

words

Words are powerful and the actions that can go along with these words only increase their value – either good or bad.

We must learn to be kind, gentle, good, peaceful…etc. Due to situations in our life those things may not be taught to us and we may have no clue how to use the gentle side of God. But if you will just scratch the surface if the scriptures – that is what they breathe with every word. Love…for God is Love.

The quickness way to diffuse someone who is being unkind to you is to be kind to them. They don’t know what to do with it. But I promise, they will be watching you. They want what you have, they just don’t know it or know what it is.

Jesus was constantly taunted by the teachers of the Law because they didn’t understand Him. Deep down I think they knew who He was but they feared He was going to take away their life style. And that was not acceptable. But people who were hungry for His gentle nature and followed Him, learned from Him and taught others His ways. His ways are love.

So I challenge you who may not really understand kindness, gentleness, basic love and compassion to look for it. Its strong this time of year. Get infected with it. Its a sickness that can spread with the softest touch and can lighten the darkest mood. Let the light of Jesus shine through you and He will lift you from the deepest pit.

Remember that Jesus said “whoever does these small kind things to the least of these are doing it to me.”  Let Jesus feel you hear you gentle words this season and feel the kindness only you can share.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

gods beauty
Lets God’s Light Shine Through You

As we approach the wonderful seasons associated with love and thanksgiving, I will try to increase the shared joy of what I find fascinatingly tied to all mankind, in hopes you feel it and enjoy it along with me. Songs are one ways we share these joyous time. Like one song in particular, The Little Drummer Boy, helps us focus on what we see, what we hear and how we can honor this king that was given to us as a gift. What a magnificent gift.

Yesterday’s post on the ABCs of God’s Love ties in with today’s thought of what do you hear or better yet, what do you listen to. And I am not referring necessarily to music but to everyday life. Do you hear the encouraging love of Christ or the demeaning ways of satan. So I added a list that has been floating around awhile but needs to have some serious thought applied to it, especially this time of year.

godsvoice1

Do you hear…..

  • Do you hear God’s voice as He stills your heart…..or satan’s rants as he rushes you along
  • Do you hear God’s voice as He leads you along the narrow path …..or satan’s nudge as he pushes you in the wrong direction
  • Do you hear God’s voice as He lovingly reassures you…. or satan’s screeching as he tries to frighten you
  • Do you hear God’s voice as He enlightens your thoughts….or saran’s twists as he confuses your direction
  • Do you hear God’s voice as He lavishes encouragement on you…..or satan’s demeaning discouragement
  • Do you hear God’s voice as He comforts you…or satan’s negative overtures to make you worry
  • Do you hear God’s voice as He calms you….or satan’s irrational thoughts of obsession
  • Do you hear God’s voice as He lovingly convicts you to turn from sin….or satan’s foreboding condemnation of lost hope

God is love and He would never speak to you without love in His voice even when he disciplines us. He is always there for us, His timing is always perfect and He wants you with Him forever.

Godslove1
Feel God’s love as he holds you tight

I always close my posts with a reminder to myself and others to always be kind. Let the smallest drop of kindness fall to create a ripple effect that can move across the oceans of life.

akind image

 

The ABC’s of Christ’s Love for Me

I ran across this the other day and it helped me understand and reflect on “My Identity in Christ” listing many of the ways we can see how we are a new creation of His making as  we go through the ABCs of His guidance for us. I did not write this but I am sharing it as I think it is so much worth the share. Hope you enjoy and realize how you too are blessed with the same love and guidance given by Him to you.

First day
His true love for us

I AM…

  • Accepted in His beloved grace
  • Blessed with all spiritual blessings
  • Chosen in Him before the world’s foundation
  • Delivered from the powers of darkness
  • Elevated to heavenly places
  • Forgiven from all my sin
  • God’s masterpiece
  • Healed by Jesus’ stripes
  • In Him…forever
  • Justified by faith
  • Kept by the power of God
  • Loved unconditionally
  • More than a conqueror
  • Not condemned
  • Overcoming the world through faith
  • Predestined to Sonship
  • Quickened together in Christ
  • Redeemed from the curses of the law
  • Sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise
  • To His praise
  • Unto His glory
  • Victorious through Him
  • Washed from my sin through His own blood
  • X “Crucified” with Christ
  • Yoked together with other believers
  • Zealous to do good works

 

And as I remind myself and anyone else, remember to be kind. Kindness is a gift to be shared and spread thick wherever you go.

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The Value of a Hug

When we chose to get married, we wear a ring to symbolize the love we share with another individual. We wear this ring on our left hand on our “ring” finger. Do you know why its called the ring finger? This finger has blood flow from a single vein that goes straight to the heart – where we say love  must come from. We can have love in various forms as the different love languages tells us but all forms of love come from a commitment of the heart. And I believe all forms of love are shown through some form of touch. A hug is the quintessential form in expressing whichever form of love you are expressing.

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Hugs from our spouse
hug2
Hugs between parents and children
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Group Hug

 All though the scriptures God tell us to love because He is loved us first.

First day

But we are not the only specie that understands the value of a hug. All of the animal kingdom understands the value of hugging to express love, tenderness, compassion, friendliness.

And even with inter-species there are various forms of hugging.

 

Hugging takes kindness and those who read me know I am a big fan of being kind. So in closing, I remind myself and anyone else to always be kind and if you get the chance, hug someone or a favorite animal today.

PS – I want to shout out to all photographers who have the ability to take marvelous photos and add them to the internet where those of us who do have have abilities or access to the many places you go. Thank you for sharing you love for all of us to enjoy.

Analyzing the Past #3, Final Chapter

Is there ever really a final chapter? Probably not but there is a moment of closure of old before going to new. And this is the hard one for me to post but the one I have been working towards for approximately…10 years give or take. But it has been the  last two years that I knew what I needed to do and have been trying to get it done but it has been very hard…Forgiveness.

All the way back into in Genesis 50:17, scripture tells us the importance of forgiving those who treat you badly. All through the bible forgiveness is talked about : Exodus, Numbers, Nehemiah, multiples in Psalms, Daniel and Micah and that’s just the old testament. Then there is Matthew 18:21-22 where Jesus tells us to forgive 70 times 7. That’s a lot of forgiving. But why??? Colossians 3:13 tells us why – Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

forgiveness 1
Forgiveness

If you have read my series on Analyzing the Past #1 & #2 you will probably understand where I am going with this. My mother had drinking issues and I did not learn the lessons from her on how to correctly chose a mate and I chose poorly. I choose someone who had just as much garbage in his closet as I did and due to his mother’s issues he was an abusive man. He didn’t mean to be and hours before his death we were able to resolve most of our issues. He was physically abusive to me but verbally abusive to the children. When he got sick, a combination of diabetes and heart disease, the children were also able to get resolution for his treatment of there past but the damage is still there.

So with the help of professional counseling, strong christian friends, prayer and the love of Jesus I was able to forgive my mother and my husband for bad treatment of me. So about 2 years ago, I realized I was still angry but could not figure our why. I was notorious for going back by the cross where I had laid things at Jesus feet that I could not handle and try to pick them up again. I don’t think I am alone there. A lot of us are fix it people and sometimes you just have to Let Go and Let God. For this issue I didn’t think I was picking up and throwing away the forgiveness I had bestowed on my mother and husband but there was still a deep resentment gnawing inside me an d I did not know where it was coming from.

Last year we got a new pastor and after several months he started a new study series on forgiveness. During that series it dawned on me that I still had someone I had not forgiven and I was not sure I ever could. Lots of hurt, lots of resentment still on the table. When someone does you wrong you can find ways to reconcile that and come to forgiveness. BUT, as a mother and having someone who through their caustic behaviors and down right selfishness caused pain for her children, the woman’s grandchildren  – that is hard to forgive. Even in  her will after she died, my husbands mother struck out against at my children. And now I find it hard not to scream HOW DARE YOU? And this woman was a pillar in her church. Wow.

So this is the last leg of my journey of forgiveness for my resentment of my past. I feel n o resentment issues and think I have her fully forgiven until I run across a person that reflects that same attitude and I have to guard myself, or my tongue as it were, so that I don’t make things worse. Then I have some deep prayer time to do to get me back on the even plane God needs me on. But its hard.

No one, no one, no one ever has the right to be mean to another person whether is  physically, verbally or emotionally. And when you face this type of situation you have to be strong, dig deep and Let go and Let God. He will take care of it, he is the final judge, not us. A hard pill to swallow sometimes.

So now you may understand why I am such an advocate of kindness. Did you know that it takes more muscles in your face to create a frown and it does to make a smile. I think that is God’s way  of telling us to smile more, its less work.

And as I always say, Be kind. Today’s kind thought may not save the world but it may save the world of that one person.

kind2
Kindness

Enjoy you weekend. Its going to be  a wet one for us. But we are smiling, no more 90 degree days for a while.