28 May 2009
"Intuition does not come to an unprepared mind." Einstein
Kavya Shivashankar won this year's contest. It was her fourth time to the finals. This persistent young lady had her mind set on a goal and was willing to do the work to make it happen. She has lived this Einstein quote even if she has never heard it. She won because she could call upon the wealth of knowledge she worked hard to acquire.
This principle of preparation also works on a spiritual level. You cannot expect to be able to discern God's voice if you haven't put time in preparing to hear it. Prayer, study, worship, and fasting are the tools used to get your heart in shape to listen for the Holy Spirit. These past years have caused me to listen more carefully. It isn't some sort of compensation for the suffering, it is that the suffering has left me more time to prepare. My soul becomes more and more able as my body becomes less so. As odd as it seems, I am thankful for it all. I am uncertain I would have chosen to invest the time to get to this point.
So I will remember the good example Kavya has set and seek to follow her leadership.
21 May 2009
It may seem odd to think that God commands us to love. Doesn't love come naturally? How can we love if we don't feel loving?
These are good questions, but the answers we come to are more important. Consider now love, the way we love, and how we love as God's obedient children.
"You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another." John 15:16-17
I wish it was that easy. Love everyone? There certainly are some people who I know don’t love me! Am I really supposed to love them anyway? Will that really bear fruit? Will that fruit really last? Yes, it will, Jesus explains. All these commandments were chosen specifically for us by Jesus. His wisdom and love are exemplary. He certainly loved people who did not love him in the first place. He loved all sorts of people, and not just his band of disciples either. He loved mischievous priests. He loved possessed outsiders. He loved Samaritan women. He loved all of creation so much that he gave his life for everyone else. And then, to prove the timelessness of his love, he came back. The end of today's text really sums this up, doesn’t it? God gives us all of these commandments for the sole purpose of directing humanity to love one another. Kinda makes me want to follow them a bit more closely, don’t you think? Jacob Bolton
Yes, it will, Jesus explains. All these commandments were chosen specifically for us by Jesus. His wisdom and love are exemplary. He certainly loved people who did not love him in the first place. He loved all sorts of people, and not just his band of disciples either. He loved mischievous priests. He loved possessed outsiders. He loved Samaritan women. He loved all of creation so much that he gave his life for everyone else. And then, to prove the timelessness of his love, he came back.
The end of today's text really sums this up, doesn’t it? God gives us all of these commandments for the sole purpose of directing humanity to love one another. Kinda makes me want to follow them a bit more closely, don’t you think?
Lover of all creation, lead me in a direction so that I, too, will love on command.
You have instructed me to love others, and it is up to me to follow your lead.
For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14
18 May 2009
As I got to thinking about what I needed, I was struck by how often I would spend the spring drinking all the leftover water and eating the foodstuffs. Every year I make sure I am prepared for a disaster, and most years it never happens.
Ike demolished my hurricane supplies and made me realize just how important it is to be ready. Several of my neighbors hadn't been. Because I was, I was able to share with them. It was so gratifying to find myself able to help someone while we were caught in that season of difficulty.
I seem to be having my own personal season of difficulty right now. Just like I store storm supplies, I have stored up spiritual supplies as well. I nourish my soul with His word. I find comfort in His presence. I am encouraged by His unending love.
The fact I keep returning to is the fact there are so many around me who also find themselves in this season. I want to be just as open in sharing these supplies as well. In that I am so blessed. I have so many friends in various faith or lack of faith walks. I can share God's love with them.
I was talking with a friend earlier today and we compared how our lives are so enriched by having so many opportunities to spread God's love to those around us. On the way home tonight I felt such an overwhelming sadness for those who know of God's love but have no one to share it with. Those who only have friends of faith never learn what a gift it is to be used by God to dispense His grace.
It seems that all around me there are people who are hoarding God's love. They only interact on a personal level with those who are already on their faith journey. They may do mission trips or volunteer for a project, but never invest themselves daily in the life of someone who needs God's grace. How depressing! For as soul mending as experiencing God's love personally is, sharing it with others is soul healing!
So fourteen days from now when hurricane season officially begins I want to be ready for any season!
13 May 2009
This morning I asked God to give me the grace to face the day and an old hymn popped into my mind while I was showering.
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O light that foll’west all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
- George Matheson
I am grateful to know that nothing I can do or nothing that can happen to me will take me from His love. And keeping that in mind means I may be tired, I may be overwhelmed, and I may be in the dark, but He is here with me. Knowing that is what gets me up each day and helps me to sleep at night.
Resting my weary soul,
08 May 2009
04 May 2009
I had been unable to shave my legs while dealing with shingles. Now that I had finally recovered I went by the store to replace my razor. Standing in the personal care aisle at Target I recalled smooth weeks waxing used to bring. I had waxed all through my twenties and thirties. For reasons I cannot recall, I switched to shaving somewhere in my early forties. .
So with things going so well Saturday night, I decided it was time to return to the land of the hairless. Maybe my memory is fuzzy, or maybe biological changes came into play: but whatever the cause when I peeled the strip off I wanted to scream like a little girl! I don't remember it being that bad. I gave it a couple of more passes and decided to stop before I passed out! I have become a complete wimp!
I am firmly convinced that waxing should be added to the list of unacceptable practices covered in the Geneva Convention. If I had known any state secrets I would have spilled them.
So if in the future you hear of me waxing, it will definitely be of the philosophical variety.
Looking for a new razor,