Archive for December, 2014

Remember When??

Posted: December 23, 2014 in World On The Edge

file0001286135514This will be my last post for the next few days. I have lots of family coming for Christmas and New Years, so quite a bit of preparation on my agenda.

As people do, I’m remembering other Christmases because Christmases have the ability to track time for me, and I’ll bet they do for you, too. A year in time can change our lives.

Who was there at a particular Christmas, who was not? What things went right, or what went wrong? What was funny? What was sad? Our Christmases are filled with emotional memories.

I go back to my own childhood, and a rusty red swing on Christmas Eve–no shoes, it wasn’t cold enough for shoes that year.

I swung high as I could, nearly upside down, attempting to toe a high branch on a huge live oak in the back yard of my aunt, uncle, and cousins house, across the street from mine—- dreaming of all the toys I’d find the next morning under the Christmas tree. So much excitement! Imagination and anticipation do that.

How many of you ever actually saw Santa Claus when he visited your house ? You smile? Well, I’m certain I did on one particular Christmas Eve coming home from Midnight Mass— a flash of red just behind the chimney, the jingle of sleigh bells on a roof covered, not with snow, but pine straw.

We all have Christmas memories, some warm and delightful— and maybe others that we’d like to forget. And we do have that power to forget, to overlook and move on from Christmases that did not produce feelings of joy.

Your worst Christmas? Mine was the impending surgery of my middle daughter, three days after Christmas for a malignant brain tumor. That Christmas began many years of worry, but it began something else, too—my real joy, my total appreciation of the family I was blessed with. Remember the old song lyric—“You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it?”

I think it’s good to Remember When— the good times and the bad, because we can learn from both.

This is a season that can fill us with strength, resolve, and a brand new lease on our lives.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

And to my husband, my five children, nine–soon to be ten!–grandchildren, sister, cousins, and their families, too. We’ve made it through the good times and the not so good. So let’s Remember When with all the love we’ve got!

Take a Load Off!

Posted: December 22, 2014 in World On The Edge

file9241261945645As wonderful a time of year as the Christmas season is, it can also be burdensome.

There are the decorations, the presents, the cooking, the cleaning, the extra school parties—not to mention the price tag for all these things!

Mothers with children and grandchildren are especially stressed at a time when we wish we could simply breathe and enjoy the Birthday of our Savior.

But preparation is necessary. In fact, Advent is the season of Preparation– and Waiting.

In all our busyness, we can keep in mind what we are trying to do—-create a celebration worthy of such a Birthday, but we are also preparing our children and family for the joy of receiving, not only wrapped gifts, but the joy of knowing that because of Our Savior, we have the promise of eternal life.

We will be the givers of many presents this Christmas, but let’s not forget that we are the receivers of the greatest gift of all. And when we get tired–and yes, cranky. When we want to spout off at whomever is in front of our face—let’s take a load off ourselves and give it to Him. That’s the gift God wants from us—our Trust that He will handle it all for us if we truly allow him the chance to do so.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

file9511239215189Unless you’ve been living under a rock, no one can disagree that today’s world is obsessed with things sexual. Sex not only drives us as individuals, but also our society as a whole. We’ve come to a saturation point of sex in advertising, movies, music, books, and even changes in our language; all to accommodate this beautiful God-given drive within us that is now, so misguided.

“Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God,” said G. K. Chesterton.

All of us are looking for intimacy. All of us are looking for love. And what is the true definition of God? God IS love. So it is God we are looking for–even when we sin, or maybe especially when we sin.

This is how Evil uses us. This is how Evil changes the image we see of ourselves in the mirror of our hearts, replacing it with a false image, and false desire.

Addictive sex is one of many counterfeits we accept in place of a fulfilling relationship with God. There is a very good article about this: http://www.pureintimacy.org/ The page is sponsored by Focus on the Family and surely worth a read.

Personally, I don’t know how much more we, as a people, can take of this saturation of sex and still remain ‘higher than the animals.’ Because the sex drive in a human being, meant to be loving and pro-creative, is being debased to the level of a garbage dump.

In the media, it’s all a matter of giving people what they want. And if this is what we want, we are surely getting it, to the great detriment of the goodness God put within us.

Are You Hard to Love???

Posted: December 18, 2014 in World On The Edge

angry-womanWe want to love others, but loving is hard. Sometimes we are devoid of any fluffy feeling.

It all comes down to a decision we must make: I will love this person. I will give him, or her, respect. I will see God’s spirit in him. I may not like this person. But I’m called to love them, regardless. Because of my attempt to love, I am following the Greatest Commandment, and I become better, too.

Now, what about those who are trying to love me? Am I hard to love?

Am I sarcastic, vindictive, or mean to someone? Do I cheat or lie to them? Do I ignore them, and put my own needs ahead of theirs? Does the person who’s trying to love me have to walk on eggshells so as not to upset my sensitive nature? How can I expect someone to love me if I have traits like these?

We can make it much easier for those who are trying to love us by taking a good, honest look at ourselves. If we don’t like what we see, we must change it.

And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him, “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.–Matthew 22:35-40

He’s Hungry for YOUR TOUCH

Posted: December 17, 2014 in World On The Edge

hands-touching-reaching-outIs there someone in your life who is so hungry for your touch that they would die for you?

Is there someone behind you every step of the way, someone who gently nudges you forward, someone who lifts you when you fall?

You say no? You say you wish there was? You say you’ve been searching for that kind of relationship?

But you don’t have to wish for it. You have it now. You have our God–yours and mine. And He is hungry for our touch. He is waiting for us to remember that He is here.

So what will we do? All it takes is our reach. His hand is already out, reaching for us.

He is hungry for our touch. He is waiting for us to hear His words: I’m madly in love with you! I’m who you are searching for. Turn to me.

Remember, love is a two-way street.

It’s our choice. Will we turn our back on His invitation?

Got Imagination?? Use It!

Posted: December 16, 2014 in World On The Edge

file9471266159150“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein

Well, that would have to be the imagination of our Creator. With a magnitude that is inconceivable to us, only God knows all and understands all.

The root word in “imagination” is image. God used his imagination to create us. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are made with memory, imagination, and will.

Free will.

For Human Beings, it is our memory that leads to imagination. And imagination causes us to freely act.

We use our memory to recall events of our life, and those events can stoke our imagination positively, such as the memory of our best Christmas or Thanksgiving so far, and that leads to next year, and then the action of how we’ll create an even better Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Memory can also stoke a negative imagination. Someone did me wrong last week, and then the action of how will I get back at him?

Our memories are entirely our own. If we choose to re-hash and re-hash past hurts, it is no one’s fault but ours that we are miserable. It’s no wonder that our lives seem dark and confusing.

We have an imagination that can alleviate that.

Our imagination can bring light back to our lives when we look at the bad situation with a different perspective. Then with our free will, we can choose to ‘act out’ in a positive way.

All this, through our imagination. But too often, we don’t, or won’t, use it.

It’s our imagination that allows us to move on and keep going, because it allows us to forgive. Our Creator never remembers our sins once we’ve repented them. If we are made in His image and likeness, and by His imagination, then shouldn’t we try to do the same?

What’s Your Cross?

Posted: December 15, 2014 in World On The Edge

crucifixion

Christmas is meant to be a time of joy and happiness, but for many people this isn’t the case. We may be facing difficulties that keep us from experiencing the full joy of Christmas–the loss of someone we love, financial problems, sickness, troubled relationships. Sometimes even buying gifts for our family seems overwhelming rather than enjoyable. All these crosses, and more, can alter our participation in this Holy Season. But have we considered that our crosses can also increase our closeness to Christ?

We talk freely about the Cross of Christ. In church, we talk about it as a gift. But have we really applied it to ourselves and our circumstances?

We all have our particular crosses to bear.

Why is this? If God truly loves us, shouldn’t He make it easy on us?

Why should we have to go through so much pain and sorrow?

Two words: Resurrection and Redemption.

Pope John Paul II told us–and showed us–what it means to have a part in the cross of Christ. He said that it means to experience, in the Holy Spirit, the love hidden within the cross of Christ. It means to recognize, in the light of this love, our own cross. It means to take up that cross once more and, strengthened by this love, to continue our journey.

Real LOVE means dying to self, and that means seeing our crosses in a different light, even though the hard times can put us in unfamiliar territory, not to mention uncomfortable and sometimes seemingly unbearable situations.

Taking up a cross and dying to self is not easy.  We can only do it if  we first recognize, and then are open to the grace that God is constantly offering us.  From that grace will come great strength, and the knowledge we are somehow changed and co-operating with our God, not only in our own Redemption, but possibly the Redemption of someone else. After all, we never know how God will use our personal suffering to teach others.

Are we able to turn our spiritual eyes upward, to see above our problems–to see ourselves in true union with Christ? Isn’t this the best Christmas gift we could give to ourselves and those around us?