Archive | January 2013

Designed To Be Known

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the Heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me , your right hand will hold me fast… Psalm 139: 1-10

The City of Loneliness…It’s not a fun place to be. It can feel hopeless and desolate. It can feel like an echo crying out from your soul, only to hear your own hurting voice cry back to you. Its’ streets have no laughter or joy. There is no sunshine or gardens in bloom. The only sound we can hear is the sound of the wind that is so cold that it pierces us when we breathe in. We think that nobody knows our names in the City of Loneliness. We allow our heartbreak to take our thoughts down dark alley ways where we lay awake at night thinking about everything that has gone wrong in our lives and how we aren’t ever going to let anyone treat us this way or that way ever again. By doing this, we are closing the gates and locking ourselves in with heavy chains where nobody can get to us.

We feel like there is no way out and no hope of a better future because we keep looking over our shoulder at all the bad instead of looking ahead with even an ounce of positive thought. It’s so easy to stay in this mode of travel isn’t it? But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We hold the key to get out of this barren city. If the same God, who created us, knows us as the Psalm says, then why do we stay so negative in our minds? I can tell you why I presume this. Because we chose not to read what He says to us in scripture, or if we do, we don’t believe it whole heartedly. We are flawed creatures and we do not fully comprehend just how loved we are because we are so bound by the world around us. We were designed to be known. We were not designed to be living a life without the community of others and when we shrink away into our loneliness we close the door for others to love us because we think we are unworthy.

I think within all of us is a deep desire to be known, and whether we want to admit it or not, we like it when someone smiles at us or touches us. We like it when someone asks us how we are and is truly interested. Lord, break these chains and let us out of this City of Loneliness and allow us to know just how deeply you love us.

Love Remains

Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)

Is it possible for someone to love us so much that when they die, they come back to us in a real way, but in the form of their spirit?  Could they come to us after they pass away in the form of a dream, to comfort us?  Is it possible that they come back as angels to watch over us until we meet them again?

I just finished reading a great book called “To Heaven and Back” A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again by Mary C. Neal, MD.  I have always been fascinated of accounts from people after they experience a “near death experience.”  At times I was hesitant to believe fully, however every account I have read about small children are so similar it’s hard to disregard.

In Dr. Neal’s book she states that; “The human brain is quite good at remembering events, but not usually so adept at remembering the precise details.  If you ask most people to describe their wedding, a child’s birth, or other such important life events, the tiny details will have faded and the stories will likely have changed some over time.  Think about fisherman’s tales, which grow with each telling, or the old-time game of “telephone” in which a story is whispered from one person to the next. The last person in line tells the story out loud and, when compared to the original version, is usually full of notable differences.  Even vivid dreams rarely stay in our memories for more than a few minutes.”

She goes on to say: “I have observed one of the truly remarkable and consistent aspects of accounts of experiences that involve the presence or intervention of God is that the description of the experience remains constant no matter how much time has elapsed.  People who have been involved in a Godly experience remember with clarity and constancy the details of the incident and vividly recall their emotions as though they had just occurred.”

When I was young I was very close to my grandparents and when I was about twelve years old I had a dream that I was laying on my grandparents kitchen floor, looking up at my grandmothers face as tears streamed down her face as she looked down at me.  I awoke with the feeling that even though in my dream it was me that was looking up, I felt like it was my really my grandfather.  The thought of the dream stayed with me the next day as I was in school and I wondered why I had such an intense dream.  Towards the end of the day I was pulled out of class by my Aunt who took me back to her house, which was VERY out of the routine.  I knew something wasn’t right.  I asked her if something had happened to my grandpa, and if so, why wasn’t anyone telling me?

Of course, she assured me that everything was fine, but later, I was told that my grandpa had died the night before of a heart attack, on his kitchen floor.  So many times over the years, I have thought about that dream, and I wonder if he loved me so much, that at the moment his soul left his body, he came to me in my dream to let me know just how much he cared for me.

I still remember the dream so vividly after all these years later and I know in my heart, I remember it so well,  because it was a gift of love that is timeless and, like the verse in 1 Corinthians says,  love  remains!

This entry was posted on January 15, 2013. 1 Comment

Do It Anyway

I wanted to share the following verses that were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for Children in Calcutta, India and are widely attributed to her.  They are so useful even in our own lives where we are surrounded by material wealth and luxury way more than others are around the world.

 

  1. People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
  2. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
  3. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
  4. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
  5. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
  6. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
  7. The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good  anyway.
  8. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

**In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was NEVER between you and them anyway.

Aren’t we created to live this way?  Why do we spend our days so angry and disappointed with our lives when we could be doing good things with it?  Be forgiving, love with everything we have inside of us.  Give when we have the opportunity and even when we have little to give.  Sometimes when we sacrifice it actually means more.

When our friends are sick, bring them some soup. When they are discouraged offer a hug…a big hug, not some puny one with a little tap-tap on the shoulder.

Life is meant to live to the fullest and you never know when it will be taken from us.  So live it well,  live it with love and joy and contentment for the people you have around you and every blessing that God has given, no matter how small and insignificant you may think those things are.  Even when we don’t feel like it, sometimes we just have to do it anyway!