Posts Tagged ‘morguefile photo’

man looking morgueFile free photoSo, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.- Revelation 3:16

What are your convictions? The principles you live by?

If you were asked to list them, could you?

And if you can list them, would they be honestly YOURS?

Or would the list be only the opinions of someone else?

We need to have well-formed, personal convictions that we will stand up for, regardless of danger, embarrassment, or our own timidity .

How do we get that? Oftentimes, our convictions come from our family upbringing. We develop ideas from the ideas of our parents. Of course, many of us discard those convictions as we get older, believing them old-fashioned, or out-of-date in a fast, high-powered world.

Today, many of the principles we once lived by seem to have been thrown out the window and traded-in for popular opinion. We don’t want to appear different from others, so we look at media personalities and take on their personas rather than develop our own.

Why do we do this? Is it because creating convictions requires deep thought and we simply don’t have, or take, time to do that? We have little silence in our world. And the multitude of noises that daily assault us don’t allow for much critical thinking.

Well, we have to make time. Carve it out of our day; it’s that important. Because our thoughts always precede our actions. Our thoughts present us with a choice, and our choice is based on the convictions we hold.

Each of us as an individual is so very important to life itself. We may not think we are, but we are part of a plan in the mind of a God who loves us. He has given us a part to play in this world that He put us in. In this time, in whatever place we are, our convictions are important.

Indeed, the strong convictions of even one person can better the universe in ways we may never suspect or understand.

Let’s think about our convictions. Let’s not be without principles.

Let’s not be afraid to express them, and to act on them.

Let’s not be wishy-washy about what we believe.

People disagree. But God allows for heart-felt belief on every side of any issue. He expects that we will have thought about it though. In fact, I believe He demands us to come up with our own personal, and well-thought out, convictions of the heart.

I’ll Wait for YOU

Posted: April 30, 2015 in World On The Edge

file191306947831Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,
it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,

it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight
in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.

Love perseveres.

Because most of the time loving is difficult.

It may require a patient waiting.

How many times have you set out chairs for your wants and patiently waited for them to be filled?

If you’re like me–not many times, not patiently anyway.

Today’s world is one of instant gratification. We are like toddlers. We don’t want to wait. We want it and we want it NOW.

Sometimes we even become impatient with God when He doesn’t seem to ‘get it,’ and answer our prayers as we’d like Him to. There are some who get tired of waiting, and give up on God altogether–never mind that He might have an even better plan than our own.

But how long has God waited for us–to really grow up, to learn what’s truly important? How long has He waited for us to change our wayward lives?

Am I in a hurry to do that?

Not really. Yet God perseveres. He remains, always there for me, and for you, as if each of us is His favorite child, as if no one matters more to Him. God waits for us with infinite patience. He expects the same from us in our relationships with family and friends.

My five children know that each of them is my favorite. I think they know I’ll always be there for each of them. I hope my grandchildren know it, too.

Since she was an infant, I’ve been helping to raise one of my granddaughters.  To say that it requires perseverance and patient love is an understatement.  From infancy,  through toddler-hood, through three year old tyrant, she and I have been through some times! She is now five, and I haven’t always been as patient as I could have. However, I try to persevere.

I wouldn’t take anything for my experience thus far—not anything for my  sixth ( close-up) opportunity to watch a child develop and grow.

Oh yes,  sometimes it’s crazy. Sometimes it’s loud, Sometimes there are tears–on both sides. That’s just the way it is with children.

But then comes the warmth of arms, the kisses, the smiles, and most rewarding- –the irreplaceable words: “I love you, Grandmommy.”

…….followed immediately by: “Will you paint my fingernails again?”


Again. What a word!

Again? Yes again. And again. As long as it takes, for as long as I’m here. I will try to be patient and to persevere. I will be there to do what I need to do.

And God will be there, too, waiting for me to do it.

angel deathBoth in this life and in the next, all men and women are called to the same end: God himself.

But the human person needs to live in society. Society is a requirement of his nature. Still, we are only a breath away from leaving it. Only a breath away from our own death.

Death is something we all must face, but sometimes we live as if we’ll never face it. We take a journey on the road called, ME.

We intentionally hurt others. We lie when we should tell the truth. We cheat in school, in business, in marriage, when we should remain faithful. We use others to our own means. We stick needles in our arms. We swallow pills, the propaganda of sexual freedom, and the taking of innocent human lives. We pay no attention to what our conscience is telling us, and instead, go on to do what we know is wrong. Then we blame others for the grief that comes from our own lack of responsibility.

At the time of our death, do we want to be caught in situations such as those?

Not so long ago, people used to talk about ‘a good death,’ an honorable death, one preceded by repentance. That is all well and good if you have time to do it. But often death doesn’t give us that luxury. Our last breath can be sudden.

The truth is that knowing we will die ought to affect how we live. And for many, it does.

Am I one of them?

elephant foot Forgiveness is a spiritual work of mercy, but some people won’t do it. You can apologize to them for a wrong you may have done, you can bake them a cake, take them a meal, pay their bills, or keep their children. Oh yes, they’ll let you do all that. But they won’t forgive you. They don’t seem able to let go of the past.


Why is the past– especially one that’s not so rosy– important to them? What attracts them to the role of forever playing a victim? Like the elephant who never forgot an injury, they are tied to past grievances.

A man I once knew had come through many problems in his life. Finally, he had the opportunity to move forward. He didn’t though. Needless to say, he was very hard to be around. In fact, being around him was like walking on egg shells, I had to be very cautious of every word I spoke for fear he might take it in the wrong way. He was a ‘hard case,’ but occasionally, don’t we all resort to this kind of mind control over someone who’s hurt us?

I believe some people see their victimization as a way to manipulate others. They play the “poor me” role. They portray themselves as targets of someone else’s behavior in order to gain pity or sympathy. In this way, they get something they want from another. And since, most human beings are caring and conscientious, they don’t like to see anyone suffering. A manipulator plays on this. He plays the victim by finding something in his past to hold over another’s head. And he finds it rewarding because in this way he gets cooperation.

Children are great manipulators. As mothers, we see some of it in their whining. “Johnny needs to go to time out. He took my toy and he won’t give it back!” Fortunately, most children grow out of this behavior. But some don’t. All their lives, they carry a vendetta.

A man and his wife are sitting at the breakfast table. He’s reading the paper and paying no attention to her. Suddenly, she lifts her glass of orange juice and throws its content across the table.
“What was that for,” her surprised husband asks.
“What do you mean, what was that for! Have you already forgotten what you did to me twenty years ago?

There’s humor in that story, but great sadness, too. So much of life is lost by holding onto the past!

morguefile photo

morguefile photo

I have two close friends with whom I meet regularly for lunch. One is a fellow Catholic, and not a native Southerner. I’ll call her Beth. The other is a Protestant I’ve known most of my life. I’ll call her Bonnie. I love and trust them both. We have a lot in common; a love of books and art, children and grandchildren. We talk about all these, but sometimes our conversations center around a subject that so-called experts caution not to talk about in order to avoid disagreement: religion.

In this, we are open with each other. We dialogue, as they say. Beth, with her academic mind very apparent, and Bonnie, her blue eyes flashing all the wonderful traditions of the South. I think of myself as somewhat of a mediator in our conversations, a balance. (more…)


We don’t often think of our  leaders, or others who hold power,  as being humble—because, frankly, most of them are not.  Instead, we set them apart from us, even above us.

But when offered a ride in limo after becoming Pope, Associated Press reports that Pope Francis replied, “I’ll just go with the guys on the bus.”

That’s Humility. A big, big word–not easy to accomplish.

When we talk about being humble, many people picture sort of a slumped and wimpy individual with eyes and head down. But that isn’t humility.

Humility is a virtue, in contrast to narcissism, hubris and other forms of pride. And it is often the most disregarded teachings–indeed, commandments– of Jesus, because it’s so hard to let go of our love of self.

I remember a song from many years ago–a fun song my girl friends and I loved to parody. It began: “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way!”

Of course, we knew we weren’t perfect, but maybe that’s why we tried to act a if we were. Because of an immature pride, we wanted everyone to perceive us as more, as better, as greater than we were. We did not realize that real greatness is always found in the service of others.

C.S. Lewis writes, in Mere Christianity, that pride is the “anti-god” state, the position in which the ego and the self is directly opposed to God: “Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

In contrast, Lewis states that, in Christian moral teaching, the opposite of pride is humility and, in his famous phrase, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

How much more could we become in our short lives on Earth if we thought less of ourselves—less about how we look, about what others think of us, about how we can best a situation to our own advantage?  Just think of the serious stress that we could remove from our everyday worry about Me. Me. Me. And the serious joy we could receive through a genuine concern about You. You. You.

I think our own image when we look in the mirror would be greatly enhanced.

After all, we may look great in our skin-tight jeans, with our perfect hair, and money in our pocket—but I don’t think that’s the ticket to eternal life.  Do you?