Monday, January 31, 2011

The End of Me

When I awoke this morning, I was lying in bed and for whatever reason, I was very conscious of my breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Regular and vital. My thoughts turned to the fact that someday those breaths will cease. There will also be an end to the syncopated beating of my heart. My brain will no longer strive to understand and learn. I will be no more.

It was like being seared with a branding iron. Although it’s not the first time I’ve meditated on my own physical demise, it was the most piercing. I could feel the adrenaline course as my thoughts became focused on this reality. I want to call it grim, but is it?

I began to think about the possibilities, and there were only three. What if ME is all there is? When the moment of my end is, what if there is no more? That’s a weird thought that just doesn’t seem right. There must be some other reality beyond this one.

Then there was the thought that what if I don’t REALLY have clean hands and a pure heart in God’s sight? What if I open my eyes and the reality is that I have, through my own faulty living, thinking and doing, consigned myself to the bowels of the earth?

Have you ever been in a horrible situation-say a car accident or a bad fall? There is a point where you know you have lost control, and you are instantly facing the reality of your circumstance, yet not knowing the extent of the outcome? Thoughts race at lightning speed—and even the worst scenario plays out in your mind…and whatever you are about to face, there is absolutely nothing you can do to reverse what is happening.

That’s what it felt like this morning. Hell. ME being sent. That moment of knowing it was over with no hope. There is only profound fear and dread. Oh God, please! Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me! Forgive me for all my short-comings and give me the strength to live right in your sight!!!

There was one more scenario. I was running. All was light and good, warmth and peace. I was scooped up in the most loving arms imaginable and swung around like a small child in the arms of her Daddy! Such joy! Such amazing joy!

I believe with all my heart that there are only these two possible realities on the other side of this life. Only one of these two scenarios will play out when I close my eyes upon this earth. Today’s impromptu meditation solidified that in my heart. I desperately desire to run into the arms of my Father, look into His eyes, and tell Him how much I love and adore Him!

I’m sure some who read this will scoff, but listen. The bottom line is that every single one of us faces the exact same end. There are no exceptions. I challenge you. The next time you are alone, and it’s quiet, meditate on the reality of your own end for 60 seconds. What will the outcome be? What will you find when you close your eyes on this side—because you will close your eyes for the final time. It may be today, it may be sixty years from today. But it will be.

Will you hear the loving laughter of a Father welcoming His child home, or feel the dread and hopelessness of knowing it is far too late and you neglected that same Father in the life He gave you?

I didn’t plan to write this. It simply is because you are reading it. It is because you need to make a decision on this side of eternity. Choose this day who you will serve. And then live like you mean it! This life is brief-like a flower that blooms and is no more.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Super Bowl's Dirty Little Secret

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The Super Bowl is an annual all-American tradition. However, it holds a dirty little secret. Each year, the Super Bowl is more than a magnet for sports fans. It is also a place where exploiters import thousands of American slaves from across the nation. Children as young as eleven years old who have been kidnapped, brutalized, and abused are brought to the sports event's site and commercially sexually exploited. Yeah, the pimps know that it's a gold mine opportunity for them. They stand to make thousands upon thousands of dollars from a world whirling with beer-filled men away from home.

It's easy to turn away from this travesty. To say, "Tsk, tsk, what a shame!" and do nothing. But there is something every one of us can do, and it takes seconds.

Just sign the petition to the Super Bowl Host Committee and ask this multi-million dollar organization to support the "I'm Not Buying It" campaign! It's the least we can do to protect our daughters, sons, nieces, granddaughters, and neighbors. The very least we can do...

On behalf of every little girl in America, thank you!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Clean Sweep

At about 3am this past New Year's Eve, we literally swept 2010 out the back door. A broken hose to our washing machine poured two inches of cold water into our family room, and Nicole and I opened the back door, and in rolled up pajama pants and bare feet, we swept the water out into the backyard while Luis tried to vacuum it up with a little wet/dry vac.

There was much to sweep away with all that water. The things that caused us undue stress/pain and major life changes must give way to the peace that passes understanding and joy unspeakable and full of glory.

But it's not a matter of time. It's a matter of changing our minds. How do we perceive the unavoidable circumstances that befall us? And do we react or respond to the each unpleasant situation or person we encounter? I'm of the mindset that we have a choice. Our perceptions and reactions may invade negatively, but it is up to us to take thoughts captive, isn't it? Anger, frustration, fear, stress, depression,(situational, not clinical)and an overall "emo" state of mind can give way to joy, light-heartedness, and peace depending on our choice to overcome the negativity.

Just an example...several years ago, my husband, two daughters and I were on a road trip to another state when we were in an accident in which our car flipped completely over and landed on the wheels in a wooded area off the road. Thankfully, we sustained no more than minor bumps and wounds. However, as life took its course, we had to get back into a car and drive soon after. Fear was gripping. Every time I took the wheel, I would battle the fear of another accident. However, I refused to give in to the fear. Within days after acquiring a new car, I was driving to work, church, or wherever else I had to travel. Each day was a fresh battle against fear, especially when there was any kind of precipitation. But fear would lose. I kept reminding myself that if God kept us the way He did, I knew His angels surrounded and kept me in all my ways, and I had nothing to fear. As months passed, fear attempted to keep its grip, but I would never allow it to win! Driving is no issue for me these days, and I spend many hours listening to worship music and having wonderful times with friends and family on the road!

Are there things we have forgotten to sweep out the back door? Have we chosen to carry things into 2011 that should have been left behind with the old year? Let's check our hearts for things like unforgiveness, fear, anxiety, frustration, stress, depression (situational, not clinical)focusing on the past instead of the present: anger, bitterness, offenses, resentments...

Let's resolve to leave all these behind and chose to do this one thing that will benefit us greatly in the upcoming year:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8

I hope for each of you that 2011 is the year for dreams to come to pass, and blessings abundant for you. Choose to go in joyful and full of vision!