Beauty

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The amazing thing is…..these flowers would have blossomed  whether or not I snapped this photo.  The beauty that we see in nature is there, whether we are present to look at it or not.  It makes me wonder ‘why?’  There is no doubt that God gives us this loveliness for us to enjoy it.  Who is not lifted up by an amazing sunset or a blooming garden?

But there is much beauty in the world that exists whether or not we lay eyes on it.  Think about the wildflowers that bloom on the mountaintops, or the glorious blooms of the rainforest.  Perhaps they exist for God’s very own pleasure.  Perhaps they have such beauty inside that they can’t contain it.  They burst forth with the energy of love.

It makes me think about my actions and the motives behind them.  How often do I want to be acknowledged for the good I do, the beauty I share.  Did anyone notice?  Did you see? I did a really good thing here……

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light…. ” Luke 8:16

If I am living my ‘true self,’ then my light has to shine, whether people notice or not.  Just as the flower has to bloom because of the beauty within the bud, I have to love because of the Divine who dwells within me.

“…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, … ” Matt 6:3

My prayer is that I can let my light shine, even when no one is around to see it.  

Just another gentle teaching from nature….

 

Humble Words

Unbelief

 

For several days now, I seem to be stuck on the story about the Possessed Boy in Mark’s Gospel (Mark 9: 14 – 29).  Each time I open my Bible to read on, I am drawn to rereading this story, and like always, with each read I gain new wisdom and insights.

The father asks, “If out of the kindness of your heart you can do anything to help us, please do!”

Jesus replies, “If you can?…….”

The father says, “I do believe!  Help my lack of trust!”

How many times have I spoke about, taught about, discussed and thought about my faith.  Of course I have faith!  At the end of the day, I know that I am loved and that God has a wonderful plan for me.

But, it is only with true humility that I can pray the words, ‘I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief,’ because I have such a long way to go.

I still doubt.

I still hold on to anger.

I still question.

I still want it ‘my way.’

I still desire control.

And so, I pray…..’If you can….’ and Jesus replies, “If I can????”

And I humbly ask for a greater faith…..after all, I have mountains yet to move!

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Truth

It must be Children’s Book week because after watching the news,
another great 
quote from “The Little Prince” comes to mind:

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

We are so often blinded by labels…..human-created labels.  Our hearts do have eyes and they are able to see far more than the eyes on our faces can. Our heart’s eyes do not see race or religion.  Our heart’s eyes are blind to differences that exist between us.  They only see what unites us…..one body.

They see shared suffering, compassion….love. It’s time to begin to see with these eyes, the eyes that are not able to see differences.  

Helen Keller, deaf and blind perhaps saw better than any of us, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

Everybody has to be one…..

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The Lorax took a stand!

There were some trees to be saved and The Lorax saved them!

(If you don’t remember the book, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, I recommend reading it….
actually there are a lot of children’s books that should be read by adults,
but that is a post for another day…)

We all need to be The Lorax.  We need to feel so passionately about something, a cause, that we are willing to go up against the establishment and fight.

It’s time: speak for those who don’t have a voice, listen to those who have no one to talk to, fight for the weak, the poor, the sick.

The Lorax was small, outnumbered, pushed around and ignored, but he wasn’t a quitter.  The Lorax was a fictional character…..or was he????

Think about it, there are many Loraxes around – join the club!

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Ever Been There?

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It has been said that a thin place is a place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. It’s a place where we can sense the divine more readily.

I was fascinated by this definition when I first heard of it, because you see, I have experienced these ‘thin places.’  I think we all have. I can think of sacred places where I have been where I knew that there was much more there than can be seen with the eyes.

They don’t necessarily have to be churches, and if we were all truly aware and in the present moment, everywhere would be a thin place because all is sacred.

It doesn’t even have to be a place, it can be a moment, a glance, a quiet inner voice.

But there have been times and places that have taken my breath away because of the presence of the Divine.

Thin Places – God is always reaching towards us, always creating thin places where we can meet him, touch him, feel him and inhale him……we only have to stop and allow God to occupy his dwelling place within.

Storms

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Can you imagine what it must have been like to see someone walking toward you on the water?

Here you are, struggling because you have no control over this boat that is being tossed around by the winds and the waves.

You glance outward, and see the shape of a man who seems to have total control over the elements that are rendering you helpless.

It has to be some kind of a ghost, and a new fear begins to take hold.  And then you hear a familiar voice telling you not to be afraid.  How many times have you heard that phrase from the same man?

We battle with these storms everyday.  Some of them are small and last only a few moments, while others seem to take you under and leave you gasping for air.

We have a choice, we can stay focused on the waves and try to battle them ourselves, or we can look upward and see the Man who is always in front of us, ready to calm the seas and calm our hearts.

“Be not afraid.” Comforting words to hear……difficult words to live.