Archive for August, 2015

Bad Boys???

Posted: August 31, 2015 in World On The Edge

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When you’ve lived a lot of life, you tend to see patterns in generations that follow yours. And of course, if you’re like me, you can’t keep from relaying it.

A danger for young girls today is the same danger their mothers and grandmothers once faced: an attraction to ‘bad boys.’ How that fascination comes to sit in a young mind, I honestly don’t know, but long ago, I remember feeling it myself.

You know a particular boy is bad, that he’s made terrible choices, yet you’re drawn to him. Worse, you think you can change him.

He may tell you he really wants to change, yet he never takes the first step. And then, he talks about the freedom to do whatever he wants, as if that sort of freedom is always good. He tries to make you see that you should want it, too. Sot of an Adam-Eve reversal.

But be aware. That kind of freedom is far from good. It’s in disguise. It isn’t really freedom. It’s just another case of addiction to drugs, sex, or cheating, just plain laziness, or maybe even fear of the world itself. In any case, stay away. Bad boys hold nothing but grief for you.

This doesn’t mean that they won’t eventually change–without you, by the way. Many honorable men, even many saints, were first horrible sinners. But often bad boys stay that way.

A young teenage girl who thinks she can change a bad boy and shape him into a prince is living a fairytale. And she may live it for a year or two until she matures enough to understand that the boy she needs, the prince for her, won’t be a bad boy at all.

file0002099842296There are times when I put things off–actually many times when I put things off–things I know I should do. But I talk my self out of doing it for some reason or another. One of the biggest things I put off is cleaning out drawers and closets. If I can squeeze one more item into a drawer, I see it as still ‘workable.’ Sometimes, I do that with my life, too.

But is ‘workable’ what I want? When is it time to turn ‘workable’ into ‘working like a charm?’ And who can do this, except me? And when is the time to do it, except now?

Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor 6:2b

Maybe you’ve put things off, too. And maybe those things have to do with your relationship with God.

Most of us want a loving relationship with God, yet we put a lot of “stuff” ahead of our personal attempt to have one.

But we can change that.

We can clean out the closets and drawers of our lives. Get rid of all that makes them ‘unworkable’ by tossing out our old and over-used excuses for keeping what is not genuinely beneficial to us. Even then, we may not have a perfect house (or self) but we will have a house that is ready.

When do we do this?

Well, since tomorrow is always ‘iffy’ for each one of us, Today must be the acceptable time.

Will we act? Or will we continue to make excuses?

Tempted??

Posted: August 27, 2015 in World On The Edge

Yikes!
What is temptation? The common definition is the desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health-related, economic, etc.

In the context of religion, temptation is the inclination to sin. We are all uniquely tempted depending on our personalities, genes, upbringing, environment.

Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing by a person, other than ourselves, into committing an act that we know is not good for us– the real danger is that this person makes it appear ‘good.’ Smart huh? After all, we wouldn’t choose it if we didn’t think it was good. But of course, this is how we’re misguided.

The best way to avoid temptation is to accept that we will be tempted. Then we have to know weaknesses and honestly admit them. Next, we put on the brakes whenever we’re in a situation that might cause us to fall into the wrong things—— or better yet we really, really try NOT to be in such a situation. If that means excusing ourselves from an event, or an enticing entanglement, then we must DO it.

Remember that what looks good to us after we’ve already made dubious decisions, or when we’re under some influence and not our true selves, may be exactly the wrong thing under normal circumstance.

Temptation is controllable, if we’re honest with ourselves about our weaknesses, and then courageous enough to stay away from people, places, and situations that are sure to take advantage of our flaws.

So……don’t back down.

Photo by JPPI, 2015, MorgueFile.com

Photo by JPPI, 2015, MorgueFile.com

We enter data into our computers, cell phones, and iPads by means of a keyboard with a universal set of letters and numbers. We can be certain that if we tap an ABC, we get an ABC. This is the reality of a keyboard.

If we enter wrong letters of figures, wrong letters or figures come out.

GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) is a concept common to computer science and mathematics: the quality of output is determined by the quality of the input.

What about the input and output of our lives?

Thinking of life as a keyboard. Again, we cannot tap the letters ABC and expect to get DEF. We cannot put into our mind ideas that we know are wrong, and expect the output of our actions to be good.

What we put into life is what we get out of it. This is also reality.

The best input for each life is a genuine, loving concern for others, as well as for ourselves. This has always been the case for humanity. It’s why the world has progressed.

Today, we live in a selfish society that asks first: What about ME?
So in our own lives, if we only input What about ME? then what do you think our output will be?

Can our world progress with that?

Taking The Long Way Home?

Posted: August 25, 2015 in World On The Edge

SONY DSC

Our childhood home is the place where our conscience was formed. A place where we felt safe and secure.

And why did we feel safe? Hopefully, because we trusted those who lived there.
We trusted them not only to provide for us, but to give us right answers, and to guide us by good example.

Most of us are fortunate that our parents did these things. But unfortunately, not all parents keep their children safe, or give them right answers, or guide by good example.

At one time or another, for one reason or another, all of us leave home. For a job, marriage, or some other venture that we think will bring us happiness.
But if our home was a good one, it’s a place we like to return to. We don’t even have to be there, we hold it in memory. It’s always in our heart.

What if our life away from home is not as we’d envisioned it?

Away from home, we may have made mistakes, wrapped ourselves in erroneous motives, or addictions, or meanness, or jealousy, or revenge, and on and on. At first, we may feel that we can’t come home, even that we wouldn’t be wanted there. Or maybe we like our new lifestyle better.

So we stay away.

Do we continue on the long road home, making more and more mistakes along the way?

Or do we clean ourselves up, and prepare to return?

There is one home each of us will return to, whether we want to or not. Our eternal home. And we do not chose when that return will take place. Shouldn’t we be preparing for that?

Photo by Jessica Cooper1231, MorgueFile.com

Is it Hard to Surrender??

Posted: August 24, 2015 in World On The Edge

The_Annunciation,_by_Francesco_AlbaniDay by day, even minute by minute, each of us are called to make decisions and to act on them. Some are trivial—-what will we eat for supper? What will the children wear to church, or a party?

But the decision to return God’s love affects our whole lifetime. It determines what kind of life we’ll have and even how it will end. How do we make that single decision to reach back? With one word: Yes.

The woman who made the greatest, single decision of all time is The Blessed Mother. Her decision was made with that one word: Yes. And then, throughout her life, she carried out one significant action: She let God lead her. She surrendered to His will.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, surrendered. If she hadn’t, there would be no Jesus Christ. If she hadn’t, there would be no Christianity. If she hadn’t, we’d never have heard the words, “eternal life.” In fact, we would have no idea how to attain it.Mary allowed God to use her; and certainly, she could have said no. She had free will just like the rest of us. Almighty God would never have forced her to bear His son.

For a moment, put yourself in her position. When Mary was asked to be that vessel by a messenger from God, what would she have thought–“Am I going crazy? Do I really see an angel? Am I dreaming?”
She was engaged to be married. How would Joseph react if she turned up pregnant? He had the right to have her stoned. But there was something in her, a grace given by God that allowed her to trust that the angel was His messenger. She didn’t ask for proof that she would become the mother of the Redeemer. Her only question was, “How?” Because she believed in God, and most importantly, she believed that He loved her, and she allowed Him to do so.

But how do we allow God to love us?

Well, Mary knew how. She made the decision to surrender her life to Him.

Surrender is the opening move for each one of us, but for most of us, it’s hard. No matter what our personality is, we each have an instilled desire to control our own life. Why is that? Why do we feel we have to be in complete charge of every aspect of our lives? Why are we so afraid to give up control and surrender ourselves and our problems totally to the will of God?

It may be that we don’t believe, as Mary did, that He loves us—-really and personally loves each one of us. And if we don’t first believe that He’s madly in love with us, then there’s no way we’ll surrender or trust Him.Stop a minute and think about it. The person I trust most in the world is the person who loves me, who wants only the best for me, and would lay down his life for me if he had to.
If I believe that Almighty God loves me—-and he does–then why shouldn’t I trust Him enough to surrender my fears and worries, all my heart breaks, my illnesses, my lack of self confidence–in fact, everything that bothers or upsets me?

When we give up control of our life in favor of God’s plan–done His way, not ours–then we enter onto the road called: Trust. And what does Trust in God prove? It proves His faithfulness. I can certainly say that I’ve seen His faithfulness in my own life. And if you look upon your circumstances, whatever they are, with spiritual eyes, I’m sure you can see it, too.Mary saw it and it caused her to make a decision. It caused her to say: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to thy will.”

Mary Surrendered.

Let’s take a few minutes to think about making that decision to surrender to God’s will. Are we able to let go and trust Our Lord and Savior?

DSCN8260There are times when we feel small. We think everyone, except us, seems to have things they’re really good at. We think we may be lacking in the talent department, or that we don’t have enough inner drive, or that our job skills are less than another’s. Maybe we even pray that God will give us those things.

And maybe we get a little miffed at Him, too, because he hasn’t. We may even say, ” Then what am I supposed to be doing here?”

Well, shouldn’t we remember it’s possible that only one small act of our sincere concern for a loved one or neighbor can be BIG. In fact, it can actually change their world. And it can change ours, too, when we reach outside of ourselves.

When we reach out to help in some way we become an image of God for others. We allow others to see Christ in us. We are, after all, His hands and feet on Earth.

So what are we supposed to do here? Here’s what Jesus told Peter:

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter. “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?””

He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

Then Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and said to Jesus, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus replied, “Feed my sheep..”

Asking God to answer our prayers is good, and we should do that. But also, let’s remember that here on Earth we can be the instrument of answering someone else’s prayers as well.