One in 60 Praise

Since the image of Whoopi offering tips on what women really mean when we say things like, Wow, Whatever, Fine, on the original post didn’t make the leap from cellphone to cyberspace, I’m inviting readers instead to choose a minute, the same minute every hour, to send up a word of gratitude to Our Creator. Since I started making this a daily practice, the remaining 59 minutes of each hour have been more effective and filled with joy than ever before. Let me know how it goes.

To Get Better at Listening, Listen

According to Oswald Chambers, chastening is an invitation to listen.

Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you in the language you know best, not through your ears, but through your circumstances.

In small and ginormous ways I have interfered with God’s purpose in and for my life by doing some fuzzy ‘simultaneous translation’. It happens like this: I hear, “Follow Me”, and I immediately translate that into action – the phone call or comment or purchase I’ve been longing to make. Inevitably, disaster on one scale or another results. The impulse may have been benign but the end of the thing was bitter – not better, because I did not wait on God to reveal the exact context or precise steps He intended for my following.

What Next

Nine months from now will mark my 20th anniversary in teaching. It seems impossible. In fact, if I hadn’t lived every moment of these two decades of life on the island where yet there be dragons, I’d say you were lying because I know the woman of whom you speak. Her picture appears next to the word introvert in the dictionary.

Instead

Just when I think I’ve understood something about God He shows me just how wide of the mark I am. Today, for instance, I imagined God keeps forgiving us because He made too great an investment in The Creation to give up. Then, factor in Jesus’ obedience unto death – the cost of our redemption – and you get a price beyond measure. Trouble with such thinking, He was quick to point out, is it makes God manlike instead of man Godlike. Point taken. Now what? I’m just saying.

What will it take for humankind to admit, en masse, that such love exists? What will it take for the likes of you, me and the dodo next door to accept the fact that such grace was in fact intended for us, and receive it.

Our Role In Letting the Light Shine

We’ve got to find the door, enter the room, find the right wall, and flip the switch. Not exactly rocket science. But given the otherwise impressive forces arrayed against us, positioning ourselves to allow The Light to shine in our lives could take some effort. By effort is meant prayer – the prayer that comes of repentence and changes things, starting with us.

I say ‘otherwise impressive’ because if one did not know that ‘greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world’, the wiles of the Devil would be all but inescapable.
Find the door: It is written, I am the way, the truth, and the life. Any man…

Enter in: They that seek the Lord must know that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him and are called according to His promise.

Find the right wall: This would be the scriptures relevant to the circumstance casting a shadow on God’s child.

Flip the switch: Apply the scriptures to your situation. Confess with your mouth. Believe with your heart and with a mustard grain seed of faith you will move mountains.

As First Lady Dr. House says, ‘there’s no app for that.’

Words to Live By

‘No bail outs, no hand outs, no cop outs.’ What if we walked President Obama’s talk individually and as one nation under God? Hope you watched The State of The Union and have a considered opinion about the ideas and issues it contained. ‘All that matters is the mission.’

Note to Self

Take exquisite care of yourself. The Oxygen Mask motto is essentially the baseline for the Golden Rule: Please secure your own mask before attempting to assist other travelers. This might have been Armstrongs’s Step 0 in her 12 Steps to Living A Compassionate Life.