Changing Inside Out

Moving On

Posted on: 12/27/2010

Okay Christmas is over…… looking ahead to spring… new life, new start,  new beginnings.  The transition from winter to spring is a spiritual parallel.   We were dead in our sin, but Jesus gave us new life, all brand new.

I am ready, the past is gone, the future lays dead ahead, lets meet it with enthusiasm.

Posted on: 12/27/2010

My  Christmas tree stood silently in the corner of my living room.  The star atop the light filled branches blinked its green and blue casting its colored shadows on the wall.

I could not help but think of mom and dad every time I looked at the ornaments as they sparkled with the reflection of the lights.  I was swept back to my childhood, laying beneath our tree and gazing with wonder up through its branches.  How beautiful  it looked sitting in the picture window, welcoming us home during the holidays.

I thought about dad and how careful he was with decorating, how he instructed me in placing the ornaments and the tinsel with care.

This was my first Christmas without them and I miss them so very much.  However, I smile at the memories mom and dad created, the love that they surrounded me with, the love that lives on.

Happy Holidays Mom and Dad

It was a thought cloaked in mist, the fall colors sprinkled on the ground, the cherry tree in full bloom and the way the air smelled that drew me.

The willow tree, its long vine like branches hanging almost to the ground, the sound of the wind moving through them as I l lay in its shade, I remember this.  I walk, eyes closed and arms outstretched, through the branches. A jungle, the thunder of elephants, the roar of a lion? A magical land of fairy wings and unicorns?

Who could have known that willow, that weeping, wispy, magical willow would be a place of adventure and peace.  It’s roots having  grown deep into the earth, perhaps intentionally, grasped the fertile soil of my young heart, where it’s magic and beauty remain forever green.

“I chose to teach the English language because it has power over me.”  That is a quote from a profile I had to get for the student newspaper.   It so inspired me.

When I was  growing up I was taught to keep my feeling to myself, so I learned to internalize.  Perhaps it was years of shoving my feelings down, that caused written expressions to surface.   Darwin said “What goes up, must come down,” maybe in this aspect, what goes down, must come up.

When I began to write poetry, I found my inner most feelings filled the page.  I would cry, be angry, laugh and feel love though the words I penned.   Then one day I began to share those writings and found that others were experiencing the same feelings from my words.

I discovered I can take you through a flower garden and cause you to smell the roses, or walk along a stream and get you to hear the tune of water spilling over rocks.   That is the power of words.

That is what I hope to give my future students, the ability to express, and in that expression move others to change and build hope and encouragement.    Come..walk with me on a snowy day, swim with me in a hidden lagoon or stand with me on a hill covered with wild flowers. Come, share what is in my heart.   Is that not what life is really about, heart to heart we can change the world.

Thank you Father in heaven, for the ability to write what you place in my heart.

Remembering those who died! Arizona Memorial

It was 7:35 am Dec. 7 , 1941.  American service men were at rest in port at Pearl Harbor when the sky filled with Japanese planes.  The attack did not last long but devastated the American fleet killing 2,335 military personnel and 68 civilians.

A memorial was built over the USS Arizona in honor of all the men that died that day and whose bodies were never recovered.   We honor those who died, those who fought so bravely and those who answered the call to war that day!

Take a moment today to remember, and pray for our service men and women and their families.  Gob bless them with strength, peace and safety.  Amen

Christmas is almost here, the decorations are going up everywhere. Ah the splendor of the season, the goodies, the gifts, family gathered round the tree.   Oh the headaches it brings for so many people.

Americans spend so much money at Christmas time.  They put their self in debt, stress out over what gift to buy, feel guilty if they cant get the biggest and the best or nothing at all.  When did it all get so complicated, and materialistic?

Paul taught in Corinthians that God loves a cheerful giver, he blesses your gift, no matter the amount.  What is given from the heart is the most precious gift anyone can receive. The cards and things my kids made at school and brought home to me were the best gifts I ever received, they were gifts of love.

I think that is the point in our society. We have become a nation of “things.” Keeping up with Jones’ has taken on a whole new life.  So many work to have, rather than to live.  We are more concerned with what people think of the gift we bought them, than what they know of the love we have for them.

“And the greatest of these is LOVE.  That is what Jesus told the disciples.  You can have all the money and treasures in this world, but if you don’t have love…. what good is it. Love is not an emotion that we have just around Christmas.

We send Christmas cards that speak of blessings and joy and warmth to people we don’t think about for the rest of the year. Some give gifts to boost our careers, or find favor with those we believe are a rung in the ladder to success.  Gift giving is sometimes more for “what will I get in return”  rather than being a blessing to someone.

How sad that we have 365 days in a year, countless opportunities to bless those around us, our family or friends or even a stranger.  What do we do, we shove it all to one day, make it about the biggest and best, spend money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like and call it Christmas. We would do better to give it to the beggar on the street.

Wow  how upsetting that must be for Jesus, that we have turned his birth into something that lacks the true spirit of love and giving.

Christ was a love gift from God.  He did not give us wealth in material things out of his love for us, he gave us what we desperately needed.  He gave a gift that last through eternity, Jesus doesn’t become outdated, or sold out.  He was he perfect gift at the perfect time…given from a heart of love  that wanted no more than to have us with him forever.

Isn’t that what Christmas needs to get back to?  Do we not need to take our eyes off the material wealth of the world and put them back on the prize?

Love, Love Love, Love, Love,Love…All Ya Need is Love!  Wonder if the Beetles understood the roots of the message they were sending with that song.

My Green Mile

Posted on: 12/02/2010

I  have felt very frustrated today about many things.  I  have questioned my decision to enter school at my age, and try to leave this life having accomplished a long desired goal.

I have been told many times to keep my eyes on the prize, never look back. However, if we never look back, how do we know how far we have actually traveled?  If we look back do we feel encouraged about the trials we have survived, or do we become fearful of all the mistakes we have made?

God says his mercy is  new every morning, that is because yesterday is gone.  He also says he tosses our sins into the sea of forgetfulness, as far as the east is from the west.  If this is true, and I believe it is, then our failures and mistakes are long forgotten by God.  Why then do we allow the past to be like a ball and chain behind us?

The road we travel from birth until we lay down in our final sleep can seem very long.  Our goals, desires and dreams can seem unattainable so often in our lives.  I am reminded of a song that best describes my journey, “to dream the impossible dream, to reach the unreachable star, to go where the brave dare not follow”  lyrics from “The Impossible Dream”

This is my green mile;  To go where I have only dreamed  of going, to do what others said was impossible, to be all that God has given me the ability to be.

If we but persist in our efforts, if we take a deep breath and forge up that hill one more time, if we but grasp the hand of God and allow him to lead us, we will see the summit.  How glorious the view will be, when we at last stand and look out over the valleys we have defeated.

In my weakness HE is made strong.

How well do we know US?  Do we have a firm grasp on what makes us tick, why we do what we do?  In pondering this deep and dangerous question I thought about Alice in Wonderland:

What a hoot to meet the chestier Cat, and how hilarious is the caterpillar smoking the bong (not that we should be smokin bongs now.)  He asks the all to important question WHO ARE YOU?  Do we really know who we are?  Did Alice  know who she was, or was her adventure really an exploration of herself?

She thought she know what she wanted, until she got it.  Every character in the story, from the cat, Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum, to the angry and vile Queen of Hearts shaped Alice’s way of thinking, and maybe opened her eyes to what is important in her life.

I love the flower garden scene.  They greeted her with warmth, joined her in song, and accepted her. UNTIL they figured out she was not a flower… she was  not like them, and they were afraid.

We are often rejected for what race, status, or mistakes we have made despite our talents and abilities.   Those rejections, others views DO NOT define who we are.

Am I like Alice, looking for something that might not be the best idea? Do I constantly want to be something or someone other than who I am?

If we are not happy with who we are, how can we expect others to be?  We should find our positive points, our strengths and build on those.  A negative vision, creates a negative result.

I have heard many times over the years:   “stay focused, don’t go following rabbit trails.”  Could Alice be a good example of what happens when we run a muck?  (if we know what a muck is?)LOL, kidding!

The point is….. Be adventurous in life, explore who you are, and what you want to be, but don’t go chasin rabbits down dark holes!  Self exploration is important, and can be fascinating…. but do it with temperance, wisdom and self restraint.  Not all things are good! Hang out with those who build you up, ignore those who tear you down.

King David (who wrote Psalms) said this about who he was and I love it:  Psalm 139:14

“I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works and my soul knows very well.

In the Hebrew language fearfully means: with great reverence and heart-felt interest.  Wonderfully translates to; unique, set apart, marvelous. In our exploration of who we are and what our purpose on this earth is, we need to remember who God says we are.

If we just go running helter skelter bad things happen, if you don’t believe me…..well….. Go Ask Alice!

Love Ya

What a day to have a stomach virus…”sigh”  It is the last of the semester, just today and next Monday and we are done, and I come down with something..really?   Somethings are hard to be happy about, but I am learning.

So I will curl up in a blanket, study algebra and history to the best of my ability and believe God will get me through my finals next week.

The Lord is teaching me to quit complaining, and just be happy.  We as humans can be annoying sometimes with our constant, mundane griping about this or that.  We just cant seem to be happy with our lives.

I am constantly reminded that there are others far worse off than I am.   I have a roof over my head, a car, food on my table and warm cloths to wear.  I am 56 and have been given the opportunity for an education.  (Gods promise to me fulfilled) Thank you Lord!

What really do I  need to  grumble  about?  Fancy jewelry,  expensive cars, million dollar homes?  Dust in the wind my friend, they will one day be dust in the wind.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matt 6:20

I want things that last like; love, peace, friendship, family and a relationship  with Jesus who loves me beyond measure.  I am thankful, even today when I am feeling less than good.  I am thankful for all that God has given me, for all that he is about to give me, and for his love and mercy even if he gives me nothing.

God is good. 

Hope, dreams, ambitions, desire, need,  all rungs to the ladder that leads us to the stars. No matter the height of the ladder, it involves one hand after another, never looking back eyes focused on the goal.

We can not allow fear and self doubt to hold us back, we must press  on.  “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself” a wise man said that years ago. Fear weakens, stagnates, poisoning our hopes. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of Power, Love and a Sound Mind.”

Let us move forward, for our dreams, for our vision, for Gods realm of possibilities.