When Lemons Fly

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Just over a year ago my life was flipped on it’s head. As it turns out it was the best thing to happen to me in a long long time. Other people in my life would not agree. They like to point out, but this or that bad thing happened. Well, yes those things did happen. I chose to focus on the good things that happened and not the bad. There are at least as many good things as bad, maybe more. Besides, it’s my life not yours thank you very much. Maybe it is the whole if life hands you lemons thing or I should say, when lemons attack.

When life threw the first lemon in my direction, I ducked out of the way. I changed perspective. I did not think about what could happen in a week, a month, a year. I focused on the twenty four hours in front of me. I looked at each day as a brand new opportunity, a blank page. I got through that one and each morning I turned to the next page then the next and the next. Before long an entire year of pages had been written. Yes, there was a pretty big barrage of lemons at my feet. However, there was laughter, love, happiness and blessings written on the pages of my year. Pretty dang good year if you ask me.

It is up to you. You can live with the poor me, I had a terrible year attitude. You could focus on the all the bad things…Blah Blah Blah. Or you can do what I did, ignore the stupid lemons. Take a look back on the year and focus on the good stuff. Besides, you can always take those lemons and chunk them back. Take that life!

OK, enough with the cliches already. Go do the things and be happy.

Best Advice I can Give

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Tonight I gave a thirteen-year-old girl the best advice I had ever received in my life. I did not know at the time when I got the advice that I would one day pass it along to someone else, but I did. She needed to hear it. It was perfect timing for what is going on in her life at the exact moment that she needed it. Just as it was perfect advice that I received at the very moment that I needed it. It is the kind of advice that once you hear it is seems so simple you wonder why you didn’t think of it for yourself. Once you hear it you can’t unhear it and it seeps in to you mind just when it is needed from the first moment you hear it to the next and the next and the next moment. It is advice that will never spoil and never leave you. It is tried and tested. It has proven itself to be true and worthy of use repeatedly. It is a universal truth. I want to believe that it is a biblical truth and that it is from God. He sent this truth to someone and that someone sent it to me. Now I have passed it on like a mantel of truth to the next generation.

I will pass it on again and again as it is needed, because you see, it will be needed again. That is how this advice of truth works. Here is the catch. Just because someone hears this truth does not mean that they will receive it and will use it. It must be followed exactly for it to work. Like an exact recipe. If you deviate from the truth it will not turn out right and true. It will fall like a cake with not enough flour in the mix. This truth will fix a multitude of problems. It isn’t a miracle cure. It isn’t an easy process to follow. It is a necessary step in to finding your path and finding your way in life. It is not easy to do sometimes, often not. Often it is where the rubber meets the road and the difficult decisions must be made. It is the difference between moving forward and standing still in your pain. It is healing or not. It sometimes requires you to break before you can bend. If you follow this advice and trust yourself it will work out right. Right always wins over wrong. Lessons will be learned and life is lived. It is the cross roads of survival. It is where things happen, good or bad. What is the truth?

What is this advice that will be there when you need it? If I tell you will you promise to use it correctly and share it when the moment presents itself again?

 
If you said yes, if you agree keep reading if you said no, that you do not want that kind of responsibility, stop reading now.

 
Here it is, here is the advice.
“Listen to your heart. Trust your heart. Your mind will lie to you but your heart will away tell you the truth. It will always tell you what you need. Your heart is always right.”

 
Easy yet not. Simple yet complicated. Predictable however unfathomable.
Listen to your heart, then follow it.

Always.

Kirk Was Wrong

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Captain James Tiberius Kirk was wrong. Space is not the final frontier. Time is the final frontier to explore. It is impossible to explore time without investigating space, but that is not what I am talking about here. Let’s look at time as a measurement of our existence.  We humans view time from our meager tiny perspectives as a line of beginning, ending and continuing. Time, like God has always been, with no beginning and no ending. The difference is that time as we perceive it and use it is an illusion.

We wake up, travel through the day with the clock at the ready. Time appears to tick on and on. It seems to be a unit of measure. Time is nothing more than a fabrication of our need to know when we are in the existence of the world. There is no time. There is only existence and being. We live on this planet and we move through our lives in one constant motion of life. Generations are born and generations die but the human race continues. Life continues with or without our knowing what time, year or month it is on the calendar or clock.

In my experience my fellow Christians are closed minded to this concept that time is an illusion. Other religions embrace the theory. According to the Hindu theory of creation, time (Sanskrit ‘kal’) is a manifestation of God. Creation begins when God makes his energies active and ends when he withdraws all his energies into a state of inactivity. God is timeless, for time is relative and ceases to exist in the Absolute. The Absolute is the spiritual realm. The past, the present and the future coexist in him simultaneously.  God creates the cycle of time, called Kalachakra, in order to create divisions and movements of life and sustain the worlds in periodic time frames. God also uses time to create the illusions of life and death for us the living immortals.

There is Biblical proof that time is an illusion. The Bible tells us God is everywhere and all at once. There is a vail the blocks our human sight from the spiritual. There are several verses that talk about the spirt world being hidden. The most notable is in Mathew 17 where Jesus speaks to Moses and Elijah. To do so Jesus has to transform from the physical and  take on his true spiritual self. He moved from the limited physical world to the world of absolute.

What if we could see past time? Past our continuation on this plane of existence? What if we could see time as how God sees it in the spiritual realm? We would see our place in the big picture of creation. The boundaries of the physical would be so unimportant that we would live fully knowing that this is not the end. Time would not control us. All it would take is for us to accept the fact that we do not see the whole picture. By accepting our limited perception, we would be free to be our true selves, not the fabricated versions that society has created us to be. Our daily lives would still be dictated by the clock, it is how we function in society, but the stress of loss and regret would be irrelevant. We would see that this life is a temporary state of being and not our true state. We would know that our love and loved ones are still out there existing. That life continues past what we can see.

If we begin to live in the spiritual mindset outside of time, conscience of the spiritual,  we would take away the control of stress and worry. We would live as free spirits only visiting the physical. The small things that disrupt our peace would disappear. Life would be amazingly peaceful and light.

Power of Prayer

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Prayer is like an extension cord to God. I am not sure how it works but I know that praying with faith changes everything. I know that I feel closer to God when I pray. When I go through a time where I don’t pray regularly I feel disconnected from God.

Not that He went anywhere, I moved spiritually.  When I find it hard to focus on life or on what is important, I stop and pray. Right there, right where I stand. Stop, drop and Pray…OK I may not drop to my knees every time depending where I am standing but I pray.

I will trust Him and put those I love in His hands.Do I always get the answer I want? No. Often I do not get an answer at all. Sometimes all I get is the peace in knowing God has heard me and He is working on it, whatever it is.  For now, that will be enough.

1 Peter 4:7-8 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another. (NIV)

The Pain of Christmas

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We as Christians hold the crucifixion of Christ as paramount to our forgiveness by God, but what we miss is that the birth of Christ was just as tragic and painful. I am not talking about the obvious that He had to be born to die. Our Father God chose to impregnate a young girl to send His son here to suffer for us. The suffering began before he was born. We all know the warm fuzzy Nativity story with lowing cows, gifts and singing angels, but what about the other side of the story? The painful and terrified side?

Mary was probably 13 years old or so and unmarried. If she had not been protected by God she would have been stoned to death as other adulterous women had been stones in the village of Nazareth. She was engaged and in that culture that was the same as being married. Even without that for a young girl to be pregnant was a death sentence unless she had a husband to claim it. Which Joseph did not at first. Was Mary suffering for Christ even at that point of the story? Yes, she had to tell her mother, father and future husband that she was pregnant and God did it. No wonder the girl left town to visit her cousin Elizabeth. While she was gone, Joseph suffered agonizing ridicule and it kept him up at night. He tossed and turned at the fact his sweet young bride was knocked up. The angel Gabriel visited him in a dream and told him to relax Mary is telling the truth. Mary and Joseph were terrified at the prospect of Mary’s pregnacy and yet, they followed God’s will. Mary very well could have said No to God, but she didn’t. Joseph could have said no to Mary’s father. He could have told him to keep his daughter, but he didn’t. Then the suffering got worse.

The couple went from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about a hundred miles on a donkey…. on a donkey. Not only was Mary in physical pain and Joseph’s feet raw from the walking, there where other dangers on the road, bandits to steal what they had, men who took women as slaves and other untold bad things. Yet, God protected them from that, but not the suffering of the journey. It was long and hard. Mary pregnant and riding on a donkey. Her back must have hurt, her feet must have swelled and she must have been sleep deprived.

Jesus was born in a manger the story says…a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes was laying in the manger. A manger is a wood box for feeding animals. A smelly box with animal slobber and bugs. Where did Mary get the swaddling cloth? Mary probably ripped her own clothing, wrapped Him up and layed Him in the manger on the cleanest hay she could find. Itchy scratchy bug filled hay. No bassinet with a musical mobile spinning about his head. How many of us would ride on a donkey for a hundred miles, give birth in a barn and put our newborn in a hay box? That is suffering.

Did the suffering for our sin start at the arrest of Jesus? No it started the moment that God put the plan in motion. The Nativity story is a story of a miraculous birth and the suffering of our Savior. From the moment of conception the suffering started. However, to suffer is to be human. He suffered the experienced of human life.

So as you think about Christmas and all the fun things that go with it, remember that it is a Holy day not a holiday. Without Jesus it is just another day, with Him it is the remembrance of His coming into suffrage for us sinners.

Where is Home?

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perdido-key-beachOne predominant theme in my first novel, We Will Get There, is the idea of Home. The idea that home is not just a place but a sense of being safe and loved. How you see home depends on what connects you to happiness and peace.

If home is a place in your life then no other place will do. Home is home, and everywhere else is not-home. Home can be where you keep your stuff, where you sleep or where you grew up. For some people, as they travel  through life, they find their home multiple times in multiple places. For others, home is that place that you leave when you become an adult. It is as unchanging fixed place in time and space.

I want you to think about another place home can be, well not a place but a person. For children home is often the security of their parents. For some adults home is a significant other, spouse or partner. Home is where your heart is happiest, where you feel safe and where you can be your true self. Often that is not a fixed place but the person who makes you feel safe when you are with them.

For Krystal Sabine, home was tied to a place that reminded her of a person. No matter how far she got from that place, she was pulled back.

What is home for you? Is it that place where you sleep at night? Is it the place where you grew up? Or is home that person who knows your heart better than any other?

If you discover that your true home is not a place but the connection you have with the person you love most, you will not be homesick for a place. Where that person is will be home for you. It will bring joy to you when you are with them and longing when you are not.

As we make our way through this life, it is comforting to know that a cozy bed, warm meal, and  loving arms are waiting for us at home. Life is sweetest when you are home no matter if that home is a person or a place or for the lucky ones, both.

 

 

Accept Life As Is

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My life looks nothing like it did six months ago. Everything is different. I find myself looking at how things are and some things are wonderful. Other things are not bad just different. I am past grieving the things I lost. My normal is so very different from before and I am learning to adjust to it one day at the time.

I am working on just accepting life as it presents itself to me now. I deal with what life throws at me one preciouses day at a time.  I am not looking to far in to the future by making plans. It is not that I do not have dreams for the future. I have big dreams, strong desires and hope. It is just that I am doing my best to shield myself from hurt and disappointment. Safest way is not to get my hope set on things that may or may not happen. Dreams are sometimes unattainable. If the stars align perfectly and circumstances flow in the correct sequence some of my dreams just might come true. I can’t let myself hope to much or I will get hurt.

Life comes with no guarantee. I have to accept it as is and deal with things as the come at me. Not all things are bad or good, they just are and I have to accept them as they are. Some things I can change, some things I can not change at all. This is my daily struggle, my daily progress.

I long for the peace that comes from stability that is just right there on the edge of my life. I have peace, it isn’t that I am in chaos everyday. It is security that still eludes me. Maybe I wish for something that is just not meant to be. Maybe the security I long for is an illusion that was never mine and will never be mine again.

One thing I know for sure. I am not alone. I have God. I have prayer. I have strong arms to comfort me and a heart to love me. That my dear reader is what gets me through each day and that is enough for now.