You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to him: We can. Matthew 20:22 The sun rose with all the splendor of a sunset. Simultaneously, a full moon, huge, golden, sank behind the western mountains. The scene reminded me of A Letter From a Friend.
I am writing to say how much I care for you. I want you to know me better. When you awoke this morning, I exploded a brilliant sunrise through your window, hoping to get your attention. But you didn’t even notice. Later you were walking with friends; I bathed you in warm sunshine and perfumed the air with flowers. Still you did not notice me. So I shouted to you in a thunderstorm and painted a beautiful rainbow. You didn’t even look! Tonight I spilled moonlight on your face and sent a cool breeze to refresh you. As you slept, I watched over you and shared your thoughts, but you were unaware of my presence. I hope you will talk to me soon. When you are ready, I will be near. I love you very much. You’re …
Joy and happiness. Webster's dictionary states the two are synonyms, basically interchangeable. Scripture speaks of joy in a different light. It refers to joy as a sense of contentment regardless of our circumstances. In other words, the peace the world cannot give.
I've searched most of my life for a way to reach this rung in the spiritual ladder. I've tried many different methods: intense prayer, relaxation and mediation exercises, positive thinking and so much more.
They all helped to a degree. Yes, prayer can accomplish anything - if you are praying the right kind of prayer and with the right motivation. Merely begging God to change your circumstances will not leave you feeling joyful and filled with peace, unless you can give the circumstances to Him - completely - and then move on.
That's where I struggle, along with several other issues. Like an alcoholicat an AAA meeting, I must stand up and admit I am a worrier, I am a control freak, I am judgemental of ot…
for my series, Lions and Lambs, has taken me to some dark places. The
first book, And Then Came a Lion, took me into the horrific world of
pedophiles. I was shocked at how much goes on, especially the amount of human
trafficking. I discovered a wonderful organization working with local law
enforcement to find missing children. Posting photos of missing children has led to the rescue of thousands.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children My
second book, Lions Among the Lambs, deals with a serial killer, the
leader of a cult belonging to the amoral religion of Palo Mayombe. The crimes
and cult details were taken from a true story. It is hard to imagine people
capable of this kind of violence. Adolfo Constanzo Synopsis The
third book in the series, The Lion, the Lily, and the Lamb, explores the
world of psychopaths. These characters are as frightening as the pedophiles,
human traffickers, and cults. Portrait of a Psychopath Now,
the fourth book goes into another series of ho…
It seems I have yet to fully grasp ( or maybe fully embrace) the commandment to love my enemies. References to this directive abounded everywhere I looked this last week. They were in my devotionals, on the Internet, even in the historical novel I am reading, constant reminders to be patient, kind, and loving in return for insults, aggravations, and general rudeness. Well, I tried. I truly did. So what part am I still missing?
In my devotional, Good Morning, Lord, Joseph Sullivan pointed out that attitude is most important. I should be gracious and courteous when responding to unpleasant and uncertain moments. "Smile at the testy waiter, the high strung executive," and one of my personal daily challenges, "the impetuous, horn honking motorist."
I spend my morning commute writing bumper stickers. A few of my favorites:
If you want to reserve this road for your personal use, you must call 48 hours in advance.
My Aunt once said, "Money can't buy you happiness, but I'd sure like to try it." I laughed, but secretly concurred. This world is a struggle without money to buy the necessities, and who doesn't want some of the extras? And, not only a few extras, but insurance against all kinds of calamities as well.
We are a nation of insurance. By law we must carry vehicle insurance, and right now our country is in a huge emotional and political turmoil over health insurance. We seek all kinds of means to insure ourselves against disasters, often going to great lengths to protect ourselves, when in truth, we cannot insure our lives against trials and struggles. They will come regardless of how protected we think we are.
Don't get me wrong. There is prudence in planing for future events, however, as Jesus said, "Children, how difficult is it for a man who trusts in riches to gain heaven?" It is our trust in these plans - insurances- rather than our trust in God…