Friday, December 30, 2011

Faults

Don't be afraid to look at your faults - Yoruba Proverb



Even though we know there is always room for improvement, we tend to shy away from criticism.   Our egos tell us we are being attacked and quite naturally we want to strike back.  In order to be whole, healthy beings, we need to know all there is to know about ourselves.   Sometimes that information must come from others.   This may mean admitting that we are not always right, and knowing it is okay to make a mistake.   A mistake, an error, a poor choice, or bad decision does not equal "there is something wrong with me."   It means you are on your way to being better.   We do not make mistakes on the basis of race or color.   We make them because we are human.   When we acknowledge our errors and face up to our shortcomings, no one can use them against us.  Let us not be afraid to admit when we are wrong.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Confidence


"The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel, which means God with us." Isaiah 7:14


Christmas means we should have confidence in God! This year, read the Christmas story out loud with your family, especially, children or grandchildren. The story is in the second chapter of Luke or the first and second chapters of Matthew.

The Christmas story gives us confidence that God did, and does, break into history and into human lives in transforming ways. Think about it: Mary was young. Elizabeth was old. Zechariah doubted. Joseph wanted to make the whole thing go away and get on with his life. King Herod hoped it wasn't true. But, in the midst of all of that human drama, God was determined to make Christmas with us. That's the first and best part of our confidence, God is determined to be with us! It should give you a smile to know that God is exerting God's self to be with you.

The truth is, we are nobody, really, that God should want to be with us. But, God does want to be with us! Jesus' birth tells the whole story. And because God wants to be with you, now you can be sure that you have real worth. Because of my worth in God, now I have real confidence, a confidence that endures through the changes of life; a worth that the world can neither give or take away. You can have Christmas every day of the year when you finally realize that.
 
(Originally posted December 2010)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our Situation & The Real Meaning of Peace

Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others ... for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.                 ~ Albert Einstein 





The Real Meaning Of Peace
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures. But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest - in perfect peace.

Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?

"Because," explained the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace."  ~ Author Unknown