LOVE NOTES AND NEW AQUAINTENCES


Oh My Jesus – You are such a sweetheart!

This was on my mind first thing this morning. I love when I wake up thinking about the Lord! I have to be honest here. It doesn’t happen all that often but when it does, my day is so much better.

I love Him. I do. I want to love Him more. And big, I want to love Him big. I want my life to revolve around Him. I wish I could say it does, but sadly, not so much. You see, you have to make a conscious effort to do that and, well, I forget. I forget to say grace every time I eat. I forget to thank Him sometimes. I forget to pray without ceasing. I forget that His plan for me, especially the bad things that have happened, are for my own good. I forget to adore Him. So, I am going to write Him a love letter here and now. I know, I know. He probably doesn’t read blogs, but He knows what is in my heart. Here it is:

Sacred and Eternal Trinity,

How can I thank you for loving me, for this blessed life you have so freely given me? How can I thank you for the grace to live it? Lord, you are the best. I’ve been told that there is nothing I can do that will stop your love for me. It is never ending and I feel that. Why me? I’m not worthy! I find it odd that you think I am, considering all that I have done that is against your very nature. Your forgiveness is the greatest gift I could ever in a million years receive. My heart and soul thanks you.

Today we celebrate your birthday! Happy Birthday my God! You came into the world to bless it and you certainly have! We poor humans have become so complacent, such an instant gratification generation, that we haven’t made time to listen to you. You have a better way. If only everyone could see that! If only we all would seek it out, how much better the world would be!

I love you Lord and I love your way. Please let me learn that way. Please let me love you more. Please quicken my mind so that I won’t forget.

Oh My Jesus, you are such a sweetheart!

With love,  Nancy

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New Friend! Today my friend Diana introduced me to her friend Laura. She is a new addition to my Kindred Spirits club. That’s a club I have formed in my heart that contains many people I have met that I consider Kindred Spirits, meaning we share much the same thoughts on life, the Lord, love. It is a pleasure to welcome her in! She is, like Diana, such a beautiful soul. She is loving, confident, encouraging, sharing, faith filled, beautiful. She, again like Diana, has a heart for the Lord. I want to be like her (once again like Diana!).

Let me tell something that I shared with Laura and Diane today. In fact, you may consider it part of the series I promised to write about sin. (I am so self-righteous!) It is about forgiveness, something every one of us struggles with from time to time. Mostly self forgiveness. And confession, too, something not a lot of people do on a regular basis, myself included. I went to confession (I am Catholic) some time back and I confessed some sins that I committed long years ago. I admitted I had confessed those sins over and over but I had struggled with forgiving myself even though I believed God had forgiven me. My priest actually told me “I am so glad you are here! And that you have made such a good confession!” Then he went on explaining why. I felt lifted up, rejuvenated. He assured me of God’s love for me and desire to see me come into holiness by confessing my sins, all of them. At that point I told him that sometimes I woke up in the night and could feel nothing but sorrow for these sins. What he said then will stay with me the rest of my life. He said “God has already forgiven you. Now forgive yourself. And when you wake up with these sins on your mind, it means that you still haven’t learned everything you need to from the experiences you’ve had. So wake up and ask God what it is He wants you to learn from it now.” I’ve tried to do that ever since but, again, sometimes I forget. So I’m just going to say this:

Oh My Jesus, you are such a Sweetheart!

Please don’t forget to pray for peace – all kinds of peace. Peace for the world, peace in the government, peace in our hearts, peace in relationships, peace in forgiveness. The whole world – all of us – need your prayers.

Merry Christmas from Louisiana!!

 

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LESSONS I’M TRYING TO LEARN #1 in a series: IF WE HAVE A HEART FOR GOD


Nothing qualifies me to write this post other than the fact that I am a sinner. I do not have any theological education except for that gleaned from the pages of the bible, and various pulpits.  I realize I don’t know everything and am well aware that I lack understanding many, many things that concern the workings of the heart and soul of modern humanity with relation to God. This particular blog post is the first of a series I plan to write on lessons I’ve learned and is derived strictly from my own experiences and opinions. The subject is subjective.  So, proceed with caution. You may not agree with me. That’s your choice.  It’s ok.

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HIDDEN SIN AND THE NEED FOR CONFESSION

Nothing is more humbling than confession. I mean nothing. It borders on humiliation. I’m no expert but I know this to be true from personal experience. I am, however, an expert sinner. As I look back on my life, there are areas of sin in which I am truly ashamed. I won’t go into gory detail – that’s between God and me – but I’ve done things that would upset any mother if she heard such details about her child. The only redeeming part is that mothers are sinners too. We all are, of course. Unfortunately, escaping the desire to sin requires a strength that we, as mere humans, don’t possess. There is no human willpower greater than sin, only that given by the Divine. The catch is we have to ask for it. God gave us free will. He worked the desire to make choices into our DNA, so to speak. That part probably hurts Him but He has such innate love for us, His desire is to see us become whole in every sense of the word. And that includes our choices. It’s simple, really. One cannot consciously make horrible choices and expect to have a wonderful life. Can you identify? Geeez, I can. It’s a been there, done that, bought the t-shirt kind of thing.

Before I get into what I really want to talk about today, let me ask – why bother feeling bad about our actions? What is sin? And why is it so bad? I mean isn’t it simply normal to do the wrong thing sometimes? Well, yes. Yes it is. But when you weigh the difference between what hurts and what gives joy, it’s easy to understand. Do we want to always have a cloud of despair hanging over us, or do we want to enjoy breathing deeply of peace of mind and heart? If we have a heart for God and all things holy would we want to risk loosing them by following our own agenda for what we think brings happiness?  Could going against the word of God actually bring happiness?  That’s the definition of sin, that which goes against the law and teaching of God.  Sin clogs our proverbial arteries and keeps us from living life to the fullest. It’s like lung disease that keeps us from being able to breathe. Once it takes hold, we are forced to live with it but we can’t without coughing and spewing and gasping. It chokes the life right out of us. And that, my friends, is one reason why we bother worrying about our sins. We seek forgiveness of them because we can’t live a good life with them on board. God’s forgiveness is like a holy lavage washing away the obstructions and leaving behind clean, breathable airways. Holy forgiveness is like spiritually cleansing proverbial arteries and inserting stents to keep the life blood flowing.  Only it isn’t just a patch. It is healing.

Hidden sin. It’s a killer. It’s hard to see, hard to imagine, hard to find, hard to bear. It is just that, hidden. I’ll share a good example of that given to me not long ago. Let’s say a person decided to rob a store. He enlists the help of his good buddy to drive the getaway car. The poor buddy, suddenly excited about the worldly wealth coming his way, blindly follows the directions given him and the caper is pulled off. You know where this is going, right? Both are guilty, both have broken the commandment “Thou shall not steal”. Is one more sinful than the other? What if they both confess their sin and ask for forgiveness? Could there be hidden sin that needs confessing? There is in the fact that the first person enlisted the help of the second. He enticed his good buddy into sin. He essentially gave him a ticket on the train to ruin. Don’t think I don’t know that the second person did, in fact, accept the assignment. He did and that’s something he has to atone for. But what if the first person doesn’t confess the sin of dragging another down with him? The hidden sin becomes a thorn in his soul. It festers there and keeps him from complete healing. The first person needs to see what he has done in terms of leading another into sin. He gave the ‘ticket’ to his good buddy. It’s true the good buddy had it stamped, so to speak, and he is responsible for that, but the ticket (hidden sin) is what got him on the ride.
Now this is an extreme example, not one likely to be commonplace so lets think about something more relative. Let’s look at a scenario that is far too common – Let’s say a married man is attracted to a woman at work. She is vulnerable and desperately wants to be loved by someone, anyone. She says she draws the line at taking another woman’s husband but that doesn’t stop the man from pursuing her and trying to convince her that having an affair is a good idea. He comes onto her so strongly that finally she gives in and they have a full blown affair. They both come to regret it and seek forgiveness by confession. But let’s not forget this: her sin of adultery is strong enough to ruin lives. His sin of infidelity AND leading his co-worker into sin also has grave consequences. They both ‘bought the ticket’ but the hidden sin needs recognition and confession for a complete healing.

How many areas in our lives do we have hidden sin? Wow. Good question. And a good reason to seriously contemplate what we include in our confessions to God. Our desire, no, our need is for complete forgiveness and healing of our heart and soul.

Let me ask you this; have you seen a child learning to walk? Did you love to see him struggle to get to their feet and take their first steps only to fall to the floor and cry with a broken heart? Of course not. Well then, were you delighted when the child managed to get to his feet again and actually take those first steps with an ear-to-ear grin on his face, triumphantly clapping chubby hands and happily giggling? I like to think that this is how God feels when He sees His children get up off the floor and try again in terms of asking for healing and help to live a wonderful life in accordance with His will. The key to doing that is first carefully examining and then baring your soul to Him, hidden sins and all. Yes, I know He is all-knowing and already has seen what you are, much the same as you do with a child. But, oh how He loves when we learn to come to Him!

Think about it.

And by the way, please pray for peace.  Once again, let me say the world is depending on your prayers.  Please pray that mankind will wake up to the atrocities of war, famine, need.  It’s not too much to ask.  God surely has sent people with the skills and ability to do the right thing.  Please pray that people will wake up and finally do the right thing.

In light of current tragedies


tree 005This is a wire Tree of Life shadowbox sculpture I did back in 2012 entitled Bayou Religion.  I did 3 of them.

I believe it is pretty appropo for today.  I hope you see why.  May they rest in peace.

Please please pray for peace, an end to violence and hate, and renewed hearts.

Let’s talk about commercials for a minute….


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I can not be the only one who is appalled by the violent, sadistic, sexually exploitive commercials on TV these days. My hubs says they are all bad to him, but I concede there are some entertaining commercials, it’s just that the bad ones generally out weigh the good commercials.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be the one to say this but – what is this world coming to? Now, I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box but even I get embarrassed when an R rated commercial or movie trailer shows up between segments of my favorite TV shows. No warning, mind you, just appearing whether you want it or not. For heaven’s sake, my grandchildren could be watching, to say nothing about kids whose parents do not monitor what they watch. Nudity, sexuality, profanity, violence, killing. It’s all there for the open, fresh minds of our little ones.

Oh, and don’t forget access available to adults and children for those so-called Games. Anyone can get them, anyone can play them. The vast majority of which are predominately violent. Kill as many as you can. Be as gruesome as the controls allow. Let yourself become comfortable – no, jaded – by the blood-letting. Is there anything good about them except improving dexterity of the hands and fingers?

And they call it entertainment. Here’s a disclaimer for you: I don’t play games. I’m just not into it. Except xbox. I do play xbox when my baby grands come over. Usually bowling or racing. Nothing bloody, nobody dies. But since I don’t play the kind of games I’ve been talking about, not even on my beloved facebook, the opinion expressed here is my own. And I’m entitled to it so don’t be hating on me.

I do worry about the generations coming up. I know I sound like an old fogy but I feel like I have a valid point. Violence in the world is increased immeasurably. School shootings, mall shootings, kidnapping, rape, murder, home invasions. Oh. My. God. Could it have something to do with what is tattooed on our brains day in and day out by the media? Not only that, but look at the way we jam materialism down the throats of younger generations. We allow a message of ‘you aren’t any good unless you have the biggest house, the most clothes, the coolest whatever.‘ Every person has to have a phone. these days that is a given, and it is not a bad thing. But oh, not just a phone, the latest and best money can buy. Nobody looks you in the eye anymore. It’s the top of the head you’re looking at now. I’ve got a feeling future generations will have much longer thumbs.

And another thing…. We give our kids so much stuff. It seems they loose the value of things. They think they are having fun, but you know what I think? I think they become so distracted by all the toys, electronics, etc. at their beck and call, that they are just not able to focus on ONE thing at a time. Is that good or not so good? I don’t know. But I have seen some toddlers in a situation where there were so many toys and activities they ran from one to the other and couldn’t decide what to pick up next. (And everyone of those toys makes noise. LOTS of noise.) Concentration is affected.

I like electronics. I like progress and new things. I’m happy with how far mankind has come in terms of making our lives easier and more efficient. Really, I am. I am against the path society as a whole has taken in terms of what is acceptable in this day and age. I am against forcing negativity and violence on a vulnerable population. And I am against anything that will add to the currant explosion of ADHD and learning disabled kids, to say nothing of the message that killing, rape, etc is ok behavior.

Take a deep breath. This rant is over. Pray, people, pray.