Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Beautiful Representation...

I love putting up our Christmas tree at Christmas time!

It is decorated with gold and yellow lights along with gold, silver and a smattering of ruby colored ornaments.

Every time I walk in the room - no exception - and see it sparkling ...I think of the gifts that were given to Jesus in celebration of His birth. Yes, I know some of you want to "explain" to me that Jesus didn't actually "get" those gifts when we think He did.

For me, the beauty of the tree, once covered, is simply a representation of what I love in Christ. I think of what Christ did for us and continues to do. Even the aroma of the room is wonderful. I look around at everything I see. God provided all of it. The couches, the desk, the coffee table, the kitchen table and chairs...were all given to us from unexpected sources, none of whom knew the other.

We have never had much, materially, but God knows our hearts and needs. He knew that in my heart I loved beauty, but could not afford to "decorate". That was okay. It really was... but God stepped in and said "Let me help you out". And now...everything goes together amazingly! The only thing that our family actually "purchased" is a rug. Even that holds a fond memory for me when I remember the love that went into choosing it from among our whole family. We have never had much, materially, but at this time we were able to pool our resources and actually buy something, something we are rarely able to do!

When Christmas comes and I get to add that sparkling tree that reflects Christ's really completes a beautiful picture of what Christ has done. But He isn't finished. As wise believers and followers of Christ have said...He is with us equally throughout the year. He is with me, as well. He fills me with His love - but I am aware that His love is not limited to the compassionate, merciful love that everyone likes to talk about.

Yes, the compassion and mercy are there...but so is His wrath and righteous indignation. As beautiful as the Christmas season can be, it is also very true that He will judge this nation, starting with the House of God. That's a season that may not be so pleasant. It's a season that, actually, has been ongoing for some time all over the world - I just personally think it is going to get much worse.

In the meantime, I am so grateful for how you have chosen to spend your Christmas this year. Everybody is so different and God works in all of our lives in such unique ways that are so very important to each individual. Some things are "across the board"... a given. His birth, death and resurrection. The need for Christ as our Savior. But the details in each persons life may require, do require, different perspectives.

For example, I explained above, my love of Christmas time...and why. But people have different needs and/or are in different places. Those places are more likely than not, right where God wants them. I genuinely am not concerned about the "pagan" aspects of Christmas as they simply haven't taken root in my mind. But they may be very distressing to you as you think about all the horrible pagan practices that have taken place over history. If celebrating that aspect of Christmas, takes your minds to places you don't want to go ... God Bless You for abstaining from a holiday that accentuates those mind games Satan is trying to use to steer you off course. Stay your ground!

For me, at this time in life, the celebration in my home of the birth of Christ is a beautiful representation of Him and what He has well as what He will do in my heart in the future if I let Him.

Happy Birthday, Jesus...and

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Evicted From La-La Land...

Oh dear...I'm afraid I'm going to make some people mad. For any of you that know me from previous articles, you know that I have a hard time saying or doing anything that might offend someone.

I love people - but I love the truth more. So... hang with me, okay?

What is "La La Land", anyway?

L.A.??? As in Los Angeles? ( One dictionary actually gave that as a definition).

Perhaps the people in L.A.? ( Yes, it was literally another definition).

Last, by not least, came the meaning that most people think of when they think of La La Land:

The state of being out of touch with reality.

So far, so good. No hurt feelings, everyone is okay. Now for the clincher:

What is reality?

This is where people get addled.

We get in a lather, become agitated, bewildered, disturbed and even irritated when people don't see things our way, right?

There are three things to consider:

1) Reality
2) Pure Reality
3) Our different worlds.

By "reality" I'm simply referring to the laws and consequences of life in this world alone.

By "pure reality" I mean to speak to people who embrace a spirtual understanding and combine it with the reality of this world. I refer to that as the Spirit -vs- Flesh.

And lastly, everybody lives in their own world which obviously would be different for everyone. Every human being sees and experiences the world around them in light of their own personal and private experiences.

Get it? Got it. Great!

Let me give the defintion of "La La Land" again:

"The state of being out of touch with reality"

Whether you think of reality as the life and consequences of this world, or reality that acknowledges a battle between the flesh and the spirit...we all live in this world. We all deal with life and it's consequences.

Do you ever find yourself in this world, minding your own business, when...BAM! Something hits you between the eyes, figuratively speaking, and stars begin to circle your head? (Okay...maybe I used to watch a lot of cartoons).

Pain - usually emotional pain - enters our world. And I've got to tell you...pain is not always obvious. Ever experienced confusion, anxiety, hurt, fear, agitation? Do you know what it's like to be perplexed, distracted, embarrassed,flustered or perturbed? Ever felt disoriented or unsettled?

Then you have felt pain.

I'm going to take a wild guess here:

I bet you didn't like it.

Chances are, it was a reality that didn't set too well with you. What do we ususally do when we don't like something?

Most of us avoid it. Escape it. Ignore it. Call it what you want, but the bottomline is,at that point we are choosing to ignore reality.

We are entering "La La Land".

You probably didn't like what I said. If you are like me, you might have felt a bit insulted. Perhaps a little defensive. Okay - very defensive.

Honestly, when I mentioned this topic to people before I wrote this post, I was shocked at how defensive and angry they where about this whole subject. They felt it was offensive.

Apparently,nobody wants to acknowledge that "they" are in La La Land, afterall... only irresponsible people live there! To suggest that the average person resides at that location is downright insulting!

Now I'm going throw out something that seems to be in left field.

Life throws us unexpected curveballs, like:

* Being layed off of work
* Finding out you have a debilitating disease
* Having your loved one leave you
* Death
* Demotion at work
* Slander that ruins you
* Pregnancy that you aren't prepared for.

The list is endless.

Is it possible that those things that hurt us, reality:


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dancin On the Line...

I've got a question for you. Do you think, as we go through life, that people make various life choices in the course of their lives- that they are always happy with? More to the point, do you think the decisions that are made are generally good options or do we tend to make bad judgements from time to time? Then again, is it possible that the actions we take in our life are simply "okay" options?

Now that I think about it, we usually don't even think about whether our actions are good or bad - we just do them.

But, when we do decide to be proactive and start actively thinking about the choices we make . . . maybe we are asking ourselves the wrong question.

Instead of asking if our soon to be made decision is right, wrong or okay - maybe we should ask instead;

"Is it WISE"?

Puts things into a new perspective.

Think about it. Lots of things we do are okay.

There is nothing illegal about going out to lunch with a business partner of the opposite sex.

Certainly it is not wrong to dance with that same person at a holiday party? (So you're married...or he is).

What's the harm in being willing to give him a listening ear? (Too bad things are going so poorly with his insensitive wife). It's a good thing you are there for him.

Can you help it if you need him to give you a ride home? Hmmm...he is a lot better looking now that the lights are low and you know his heart. Surely it wouldn't hurt to stop by his house for a cup of coffee before you go home...but things get out of hand.

Days, weeks, months or even years are kicking yourself for your mistakes. 'If only you knew. If only you could go back in time and change things, everything would be different'.

Well, I've got news for you that really isn't news.

You will never be able to go back in time nor will you ever be able to look into the future.

The scenario above was just a scenario - but a very common one. There are thousands of others..but you get the picture.

None of those actions in and of themselves were neccesarily wrong - but they were unwise.

Are you one of the millions of people that has dealt with poor choices in the past or perhaps you are dealing with a circumstance right now that doesn't feel completely right - but you haven't done anything wrong. Not really.

Obviously, you can do whatever you want. Your decisions are yours to make. Many people don't want to say "no" simply because they are too concerned with image. "What will people think of me? They'll think I'm a prude. People will think I'm weird."

This is YOUR life. You have to live with yourself and the decision of your choices every day for the rest of your life. The people you are concerned about aren't going to be living your life for you. So...

If you find you are flirting with danger and skirting the issue, chances are you are:

Dancin On the Line.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It's really weird.  I mean, here we are living our various lives...all of us are very unique, very different.  Billions upon billions of individuals all around the globe.  We reside in different countries and cultures.  Our ethnicity varies from person to person.  Some people are rich, others poor, others in the middle somewhere. In spite of those many differences and more, we all have one thing in common.  One thing unites us.  One thing looms over absolutely every individual who is now alive or who will ever live. One thing is in your future that you will never be able to avoid, no matter how much you try.  Igoring it won't make it go away. We will soon deal with the same thing every one of our ancesters did.

How can I phrase this?  Perhaps the most tactful thing I can say is:  Our days are numbered. Or, for people who need me to be more blunt.  We are all going to die.  No. Seriously.  Don't hit the delete button as you tell yourself that you are not interested in this subject.  What I have to say is something you are going to want to hear.  You have an opportunity right now to push an emotional fast forward button on your life and see into your future.

We all live.  We all die.  Nobody wants to talk about it, but it is reality.  We can't stop death from eventually taking over...but we can make our days of life count.

You see, When you begin to live as if your days are numbered . . . you will gain a heart of wisdom.

It's true.  Think about it.  When you have a deadline to meet, you count your days...rearrange your schedule, prioritize your time in a way that you can accomplish what needs to be taken care of by a particular due date.

You have a due date that is more important, more significant, more compelling and powerful than any other juncture of your life.  Remember when I said earlier that you have an opportunity to do an emotional fast forward on your life?  You will push that fast forward button when you imagine yourself at the end of your life.  When only months or perhaps days, are left, you will look back on your life and why you did things the way you did...

Why did you work so much?  Was it really necessary to spend all those overtime hours so that your kids could live in a bigger house and have their own bedroom?  Did they have to wear only designer jeans?  Was making the money you needed to pay for all those "things" worth missing out on a relationship with your family?  Believe it or not, this is only the second thing that people who are nearing the end of their life, regret.

What is the first thing?  What is the regret that studies have found fill most peoples mind at the end of their lives?

"I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."

Regrets.  Life is full of them.  But you and I have the opportunity to learn from other peoples regrets.  Their remorse is so very sad.  It doesn't have to be that way for us.  Why?  Because it is ...