Enter a New Day!

Musings

Musings

For most of my life which includes more than a couple of years, I’ve steered clear of regularly writing down what I’m thinking. Perhaps I feel most folks aren’t interested and I might very well prove that theory by starting this blog. But my goal is to share small and large items from my life on a semi regular basis.

When my children were younger, occasionally we’d have a moment where they’d anticipate what was on my mind. My response when that occurred was to say in a shocked tone of voice, “Stay out of my brain! It’s messy in there!” One of the other things I’d often tell them when I’d forget a name or an item was that the information we needed was in my brain! It was simply mis-filed! So that should explain to some degree the title of my blog site!

Hang on tight we may hit some bumps in the road, but my intent is that we enjoy the ride! Thanks for joining me on the journey!

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Sometimes It’s Dark, But I Can See The Light!

Super-moon Lights The Dark Sky

Super-moon Lights The Dark Sky

Life begins, fresh, uncomplicated, new.  Observe the sweetness of a newborn child.  I’ve often thought that gazing on the face of an infant is the closest we can come here on this earth to seeing the face of God.  Purity, precious and perfect.  Within a very short period of time darkness creeps in.  Demanding and uncompromising with complete focus on self and no comprehension of others or their needs.  Selfishness!  Look at a toddler playing!  Very quickly words like mine, no, and don’t are regular occurrences in their vocabulary.  The goal from this childish period in life forward is to “learn”, “grow” and “mature” back to a realization that me and my desires are not the center of the universe. Even though I know that I am as precious to God as a newborn infant, His desire for my life is that I mature and grow.  Re-focusing my attention on God and His gift of salvation.  Directing my abilities and love towards others, their needs and desires above my own.

Really?  How can that be?  Doesn’t current culture tell us that, “if it feels good, do it”?  “If it doesn’t make you happy, move on”?  “It doesn’t matter what anyone else wants, as long as it’s not illegal, or immoral or unethical it’s okay”?  When these pieces of advice and feed back are not what we hear, we decide that people are too judgmental or just plain hateful.  It’s really their problem, they don’t get it!  Rarely do we see advice heeded which makes us uncomfortable or the choices we’ve made viewed with alacrity.  More often than not suggestions for improvement of my actions or character are met with resentment and for many, with a decision to end a relationship, marriage or friendship.  The advice giver wasn’t being supportive!  Well if you can’t be happy for me when I’ve decided to do something for myself then you just aren’t the kind of relative, spouse or friend that I want or need!

My musings on this topic bring to mind the seasons of American Idol where Simon Cowell was so shockingly straightforward in his critiques.  Harsh some would say!  While audiences listened to Simon’s verbal bashing with horror, they found his ability to say what everyone else was thinking rather refreshing.  Personally, I felt his comments went further than someone who was helping others decide on their future goals and abilities and too often bordered on cruelty or shock value.  However, his candor created a maelstrom of copycat critics on other shows.  It appears that people enjoy watching someone speak the “cold, hard, truth” as long it’s directed at someone else!  (Watching a train wreck occur is a whole different topic though!)

My analysis of all of this is that we’re a society whose focus is so introverted at times that we choose to live in the darkness of our own selfish natures.  As long as only complimentary words are shared with me, everything is fine.  Please don’t share those things with me which could make me uncomfortable though or cause me to need to change my self!  There’s a beautiful, bright light right in front of us but, by choice, we cover our eyes to stay in the darkness.  Criticism instead of elevating us to new heights of achievement, are a reason to withdraw and protect ourselves or lash out and hurt the one who has had the audacity to criticize me!  Why are we so thin skinned?  Why do we have such a difficult time listening to someone else say we and our actions aren’t perfect?  I realize that often criticism is not always given in a loving manner but we cannot change anyone else, we can only change ourselves.  As Michael Jackson sang, ‘I’m Starting with the Man, (woman) in the Mirror’.  So, is the sensitivity we feel because we haven’t  directed our focus on the light?  I’ve found myself reflecting on this more often than I choose to admit lately in my own life.  Often when I’m criticized my first reaction is defensiveness, sometimes moving towards anger.  It takes a Herculean effort to refocus and choose to examine what has been shared.  I’d like to, no I NEED to change that in my life!

So my friends, here’s to future critiques!  Lord give me the strength to look toward the light!  Help me to allow the criticism to make me more of who you want me to be.  Remove the scales from my eyes and the self absorption from my heart.  Build a desire in me to serve and love!  My desire is to be so filled with you that there is no darkness within me!  Make me a reflection of your glory.

Chickadee

 

 

Chickadee

O precious little chickadee
Won’t you hang around with me?
I’ve left you food the seeds are free!
For such a pretty chickadee!

Don’t mind the squirrels up in the tree,
That steal the seeds I left for thee!

Return, partake of treats so sweet.
Bring your young and your mate.
For seeds or suet you can pick.
They’re all for you so come be quick!

O precious little chickadee,
Don’t leave, please stay and eat some more?
I’ll fill your bowl with seeds galore!

 

Teresa Dodd May 21, 2013

Abdication of Responsibility

I Can Be Free!

God’s Spirit Gives Me The Power To Be Free!

I’d like to talk about something that is wildly unpopular right now. It has to do with taking responsibility for myself. We live in a world where anything we do, or say or think, can be blamed on someone or something else and usually is. Politicians claim every issue and problem is a result of their opponents or predecessors mismanagement, poor judgement or just plain stupidity. Murderers refer juries to their formative years with bad or neglectful parents. Thieves blame the economy, lack of jobs, or bosses who simply won’t open doors to them causing them to need to steal to make a living. Athletes use drugs to enhance their bodies so they can win in their endeavors to be the best in their sports. But “obviously” the team owners, fans, other players or just the general pressures and expectations of those around them are to blame for the need for those drugs. Divorces are performed routinely and no one is to blame for not keeping the promises that were made when two became one and vowed to have and to hold through good times and bad. Babies are conceived and aborted because our courts made it a legal form of birth control. Religious leaders enter into illicit relations and claim that although they realize they sinned they really had no control to stop themselves. They are only human.

I want to ask a few questions: can’t we make a decision to do the right things? Isn’t sin a decision to do the opposite of what is right? I know that God forgives my sin, however, isn’t there also strength in having God in me? When I accept the Holy Spirit into my body won’t He also give me the ability to resist temptations?

1 Corinthians 6:19

New International Version (NIV)

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

1 Thessalonians 4

New International Version (NIV)

4 For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

I’m not talking about judging others, I’m really talking about judging myself. I have a responsibility to own up to my own thoughts and actions. There are many things which are totally and completely out of our control. There are many horrible, abusive parents, jobs can be very difficult to obtain, competitors seem to have super human abilities and we do want to be the best we can be, nobody understands how difficult being married to the person I’m with can be, surely I’m justified in . . . ! But we can decide to choose righteousness! It’s a decision to tough it out and stay married when things are difficult. It’s a decision not to turn to drugs when the competition is hard in athletics and we want to win. It’s a decision to choose working at a fast food restaurant to support your family in tough economic times rather than taking things that don’t belong to you. It’s also a decision to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in our hearts.

Paul was convicted of the gospel of Christ and he made a decision to follow Christ. Read what 2 Timothy says,

2 Timothy 4

New International Version (NIV)

4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

No excuses, no blame, no finger pointing. What I do, I do, because I choose to do it.

Romans 8:12-13

New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit I can say, I WILL NOT . . . whatever my current temptation is. Without this power I am only human. Weak and incapable of making such a bold statement, I will not, I will never! Thank you God for making it possible for me to be more than merely human! I am not without sin but I am striving for perfection through Christ Jesus and by God’s grace, mercy and the power of the Holy Spirit I can make emphatic statements!

(all scripture taken from BibleGateway.com New International Version (NIV)

My Quiver Is Full

North Shore

North Shore

Recently I was able to spend some time in the beautiful state of Hawaii. The weather was an incredible, consistent, 80-ish degrees. The flowers were in full bloom, (is there a time of year that they aren’t blooming in paradise?)

Hawaiian Yellow Flower

Hawaiian Yellow Flower

We managed to get there before the end of the humpback whale migration season, which was awe inspiring!

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

We watched sea turtles on the beach.  Quite a sight!

Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle

A little sunning time for Mr. Turtle!

A little sunning time for Mr. Turtle!

My dry Colorado skin drank up the air-laden moisture in large gulps. My eyes feasted on incredible beauty, as I breathed in the sweet Plumeria perfuming the air.  Wow!  A bit of perfection packed onto such a compact bit of soil and rock, floating in the ocean!

But the real reason for my visit didn’t  have much to do with the beauty surrounding me or the first time experiences.  I was there to see my granddaughters, daughter and son-in-law. I was there to play games, watch Sesame Street, tickle tummies, giggle, belly laugh, steal kisses and hugs and whisper as many times as possible into sweet little ears, I love you! We made memories together. We watched as our youngest granddaughter learned to walk. First with tentative steps and then with more confidence all the while checking over her shoulder with a grin to make sure everyone was observing her victory!

Sweet Sisters

Sweet Sisters

These are the wonderful, precious times that make life so joyful for me. I want to build blocks of relationship and love with all of my grandchildren. The two who are living in Hawaii and the two who I’ve had the pleasure of taking care of weekly in Colorado. There’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than little arms wrapped around my neck giving tight bear hugs! Or hearing a small voice saying “I love you Grandma!”

My hope is that you too have relationships that make your life full and rich.  These special bonds are gifts given by our heavenly Father.

Psalm 127:3-5

New International Version (NIV)

 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
 offspring a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

My relationship and love for God and his creation, (that includes people) is why I’m here on earth! Develop the links and ties you have with others.  Is it difficult?  Yes, sometimes extremely difficult!  Is it worth the effort?  Absolutely!

Matthew 22: 34-40a

The Greatest Commandment

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”