Tag Archives: hope

Pray

“…Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside…” Lin-Manuel Miranda

I want to imagine a world free of haters and ignorance. Today it’s very hard. But it will happen.

Neither Erin nor I heard the terrifying news, but we felt something horrible had happened. We continued to feel the oppression as we drove through the amazing Colorado Monument – even that majesty couldn’t shake our uneasiness.

This morning we felt it even deeper, even before hearing the news. Now we understand why. Humankind suffers horrifically again. Neither my feeble words nor my faith will undo the damage done. And yet I live in the hope all our cries to God help someone, somewhere somehow.

There’s no way to express my compassion for the families and friends of those lost and those suffering from this Sunday in Orlando, Florida. But I try.

Regardless how feeble we may feel in the aftermath today, love overcomes evil.

With deepest, heartfelt sympathies to all those who feel each loss, for the communities, friends and families and all of those suffering now.

Roo

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.” Ephesians 3:15, 16 (NLT)

Image courtesy #PrayForOrlando, The Church at Oak Level@TCAOL

 

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Catching Phrases

alphabet cubes

I’ve been reflecting upon pop language, or catch phrases.

Common catch phrases today:

  • Baby daddy/baby mommy (single parents)
  • Bae (before anyone else/anything else)
  • FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • Troll (the updated, viral version of the essential stalker)
  • #hashtag (anyone not familiar… never mind)
  • Lit (very intoxicated – so, not that much has changed)

This led me to examine what’s changed over the years. I have changed distinctly since I was that young. For example, I grew up with such phrases as:

  • “Easy come, easy go” (not necessarily good),
  • “Do as I say, not as I do”
  • “Trust and obey”

no time fussing fighting

And a little later on:

  • Make love not war
  • Flower Power
  • God is dead
  • Busted (You got some ‘splaining to do*)
  • Up in Smoke (original plan diverted)
  • “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds”** (something to be kept secret)
  • “Book’em, Dan-O” *** (coolest phrase ever – to be interjected whenever possible)

white smokeLater still, I adopted a new favorite that translates the point clearly today:

  • Blowing smoke… (into a body orifice or loose clothing – implies a degree of deception)

Fortunately, I survived my youth, so thanks to God, I continued to grow in body, mind and spirit.

Along with three new generations of humans I learned that the world has more dimension than our perspectives of our early years.

As a more seasoned adult, I discovered what I had once considered absolute truth was not necessarily fact. New interests in history, global current events and especially politics expanded and gradually overshadowed my passion for Natural Science – and later shifted back again.

By my early 30’s I began to recognize the collation between God and Natural Science. I began to find peace, at least in the world of my mind. That trend became my normal.

From my present perspective, aside from the draft and cyber space, not that much has actually changed. People continue to be misled, confused and angry. Decades later the scars veterans bear from warfare are ever present; PTSD among other wounded warrior’s statistics steadily rise.

But now, having come around to seeing the beginning of my life’s circle, my newest favorite expression (from Bob Goff) struck a chord in me:

“…And how could God think of me as His beloved? But then I remember Jesus said to one of the guys with Him that he was a rock even though He knew this same guy would deny ever knowing Him. I don’t think Jesus was blowing sunshine at Peter when He did that. Instead, I think He was calling something out from inside Peter.” ~

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    • Blowing sunshine. I love that!

One truth I now hold dear is that God has proven to be very alive, present and quite visible to those who still seek Him. And at the moments I need Him most, He reminds me of His promises with each new sunrise.

However eloquently worded, I simply don’t have time anymore for anyone blowing smoke anywhere. Especially during the current presidential campaign, with politicians and other contenders blowing the same egocentric banalities as always.

I’m glad there’s genuine hope for tomorrow. I want to focus upon truth and blow vibrant, altruistic sunshine.

Sure the world seems to be in a horrible mess. I can look at the mess or I can walk in sunshine and trust that actually, it’s all good.

 

Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!” Joshua 23:14 (NLT)

 

Terms courtesy The Odyssey Online.com  If they don’t fit, talk to Odyssey

~ Taken from Love Does by Bob Goff, Wow, What A Hit!: Copyright © 2012 by Bob Goff. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.

*I Love Lucy  Television Series 1951 – 1957, “Ricky” Desi Arnaz to “Lucy” Lucille Ball
**Originally from Mission: Impossible, Television Series circa 1966
*** Hawaii Five-0 Television Series from 1968 – Updated version in 2010 (advanced photography, but not quite as cool)

Images courtesy ABSFreePic.com

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Girlz Move Party!

paper-in-box-4608x3456_85917 Days away from loading my worldly goods into a storage cube, leaving my household, my church and home for the past 24 months, I’m profoundly reflective.

I get weepy often lately, but it’s all good. The last tears are almost always sweet with happy memories and gratitude. What’s more, the grit in the experience polished me, so I shine like never before. All glory to God, images actually reflect more clearly today.

I especially appreciate how My Girlz, my friends in the blogosphere carried me these past weeks. I love that about women. Men and women may also connect, and I imagine men encourage other men, but I’m callin’ it; women instinctively do it better.

So here’s my morning line up, hopefully a reminder to every reader to never underestimate the power of the pack(forgive me):

What’s Next: A favorite Oldie But Goodie, Stomp, Kirk Franklin
Michelle at Two Are Better Than One, The Mallone Zone:  I Can Be a Little Punk Sometimes, Hollyn
Psychromatic Redemption: Ever ready Mesca consistently brings beauty, humor, new ideas and inspiration, like: Broken Arrows, Avicii

Simply Marquessa; Life is Just a Story. And I’ve Got a PenShackles, Mary, Mary

Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience – Beautiful stories and images; When the Word is Hurting…
Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales: Would You?
Diane at LadiesWhoLunchReviews, For a quick, hearty laugh
Lisa at Kids Crumbs and Crackers: Homestyle laughs with just the right amount of grit

 

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

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Nothing But Love

rustic angel heart
This week is all about love.

Sdale 1981 001

In my life I’ve experienced tremendous, extravagant love. Coming from a large, close family of origin and then raising four humans, least to mention the friends and fur kids that enhance our experiences, that’s easy for me to say.

Sdale 1981 001The flip side of that coin is I’ve also experienced innumerable disappointments, tragedies, more pain and heartache than most everyone I’ve known along my way. Whether measured, like on a Richter Scale, counting the scars on my body and my mind or by the number of incidents, the figures are staggering. Experts have told me more than once, “you’re a miracle, even if only by surviving.”

Unlike flipping a coin, in my life love wins every time.

For a long time, any form of love barely stood a chance with me. Out of fear and ignorance I couldn’t trust that goodness actually existed in the world. But God sent the right people at the perfect times to break through my fortress before I self-destructed.

Even now I can’t boast about my checking account balance, properties or an 800+ credit score. Writing about the unfortunate, cruel and some nefarious events I survived would shock most people, disgust many and enrage some. I suspect a new list of such things would cause many readers to miss the greatness I’ve experienced, the joys, the heroes in my life, and especially the love.

2014 Galveston

Much like scores of survivors, those before me and those to come, I’d be pretty arrogant to consider myself more than any other human. Some of the moments of my life that I wish I could do over all happened when I felt most alone and deprived. And who wants to relive that? While I did the best I could, that doesn’t make a great person. It makes us humble, and I’m real good with that.

the-woman-in-the-top-of-rock-mountain-7300x4863_44964

Of all creatures humans are an amazingly complicated species. We are profoundly affected by elements like weather and toxins, with variables from our gene pools, our histories, present experiences, pain, comfort, affluence and more. Combine all that with circumstances, each and every person is absolutely unpredictable from moment to moment.

I’m also convinced an unmistakable distinction in people is in their response to the presence of God’s Spirit.

Now, I am certainly no Joan D’Arc, Corrie Ten Boom or Mother Theresa. Nobody would mistake my work for that of Anne Graham Lotz, Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore – yet. Not your average, everyday Christian either, I’ve narrowed my bio to that of a loving, seasoned over-comer, a grandmother and a yet-obscure writer/blogger. But I’ve learned one thing above all else is most important. Just one:

Love is a choice.

Once we get Love firmly planted in our souls, nurturing it, feeding it more of God’s love from the Source, His Word, it takes over in the most marvelous ways; forgiveness flows, envy ebbs, offenses lose their grip on us and we stop taking ourselves too seriously. We learn to love God, so we can love ourselves and better love others. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I’m living proof love wins.

 

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)

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Beautiful Brother and the Beast – Assignment 13

Although I am not gifted with poetry, assignment thirteen was fun for me. More inclined toward prose, I practiced short subjects emailing my first son while he was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom with the Navy. Messages had to be 50 words or less. Today my bull’s eye is 100 words. I’m okay with hitting the outside of the spot.

 

2014-05-09 09.13.20

I was too young.
Too young to comprehend.

I took you into my heart,
my brother, my child.
The void never closed after you left,
And you overfilled it when you returned.

 

wolf woodsI was too old.
Had no place of my own.
I took you into my heart,
my brother, my friend.
Our time here passed so very fast.
Dear God, can we all be together again soon.

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What’s Going On – And Forward

Earlier this week I challenged the news media to report more random acts of kindness not knowing the previous night’s recording of CBS and NBC’s 10:00 broadcasts already had.

Right here in North Texas, Executives in Action actually acted upon an idea inspired by the increasing popularity of food trucks. The organization handed out free food to children that day. By pairing non-profit organizations with senior level business leaders together, they served glazed donuts and apples to children, happy to receive them, on their way to school. According to the report, Executives in Action plans to serve coffee at D.A.R.T. stations and to distribute care packages at homeless shelters. This sounds to me like the start of something big.

Later in the week both networks also reported that someone stole a water jug from a local convenience store that was collecting donations for an 8-year-old cancer patient’s family. Days later, the two young boys that took the jar and the money, seeing the report on television, were so stricken with the reality of the wrong they’d done they not only returned the jar and the money, wrote heartfelt personal letters of apology to the beneficiary, but the report stated the two boys are also personally collecting more money to donate to the sick boy.

And this just in: Runners will hit the path over the weekend to honor and commemorate the life of the late David Stevens, victim of the random act of senseless violence which inspired my initial post, What’s Going On.

The world is indeed a mess, but today I feel markedly hopeful for all of mankind. While simply doing the next good thing may be naively altruistic, evidently I’m not the only one believing it actually is the next best thing we can do. With that I look forward to the next new day.

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