Archive for October, 2010

Today’s Blog: Contentment

Monday, October 25th, 2010

     Is it possible to be content in the materialistic, fast-paced, highly sophisticated technological society that we live in today?  Most people would probably dismiss the possibility of finding contentment immediately, but, according to an informative article that I read recently in the November 1st Watchtower magazine, it is indeed possible if we apply certain important guidelines to our lives.

     Now, if contentment is that wonderful feeling of satisfaction with our lot in life, how can we find it if we don’t have enough money to purchase every gorgeous outfit, pair of designer shoes, technological gadget, and vacation package advertised in a catalogue, newspaper, magazine or, of course, online?  Is there any way to be content and yet not have everything we want and think we need?

     Even if we really want to be good and resist our urges to buy something, we are still constantly bombarded with advertisers.  How do we combat that urge to be better than the next person in sports, our studies, the workplace, etc.?  Often it’s hard not to be envious of the things other people have, especially friends and family.  It’s also difficult to feel content if others don’t appreciate what we do for them.  And, finally, if our questions about the fundamental questions of life remain unanswered, how can we truly feel content?  So many questions!  How can they be answered?

     One important way to find contentment in our lives is to love people rather than money and possessions.  This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work diligently to earn enough to support our families and ourselves, but rather it warns us not to slave for money and possessions.  Look at the following Scriptures that bring this out so well.

         “The love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.”  (1 Timothy 6:10)

     The following Scripture from Ecclesiastes 5:10 shows us that, if we love riches, we will never become content with our lives.

     “A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver, neither any lover of wealth with income,” wrote King Solomon.

     We also should learn not to compare ourselves with others.

     Galatians 6:5 tells us:  “Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of.  But don’t conquer yourself with others.”

     As soon as we realize that God judges us by what is in our hearts, we will not feel the need to compete with other people.  We will realize that we have to make time to meditate on the good things we are fortunate enough to enjoy.

     Another way to find contentment is to choose your friends wisely.  Did you know that the Bible teaches us in Proverbs 13:20 that “he that is walking with wise persons will become wise”?  Our friends should add to our contentment, not undermine it.

     A really special secret of contentment is to satisfy your spiritual need.  Matthew 5:3 tells us, “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”  By reading the Bible daily, we can gain accurate knowledge of God and meditate upon it.  If we study the Bible each day, we can discover answers to our own questions and reason for ourselves as we do research and continue to learn about God and about ourselves.

     No, it’s not easy to be content in this world with all the temptations around us to spend more money than we have;to do things that we know are not acceptable to God; to compete to attain superiority over others; and to wonder about universal questions without knowing how to find answers.  But nothing that is worthwhile is ever easy.  The fact is that we can be content if we really work at it.

Video updated

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I received a slightly revised book trailer video on my children’s book, “Sammy Squirrel and the Long, Hard Winter.”  I hope you like it.

Originally, the video did not have squirrels in it.  Dorrance, my publishing company, was nice enough to add a few, and I think it makes a big difference.  See what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6b5sZKBdVg

Have a great day!

Until the next blog,

                                              Cheryl

Today’s Blog: The Power of Prayer

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Hello and welcome to my website.  I hope that you enjoy today’s blog.

I want to thank all of you for visiting my website, and I truly hope that you will gain something from what you read today.  Again, I want to thank you for your webmail, which is a pleasure to receive and helpful in many ways.  I want to write what is most meaningful to you, and, of course, I can’t do that if I don’t receive any feedback.

To me, the most exciting and meaningful event of the last few days was the seemingly miraculous rescue of the Chilean miners.  Can you imagine how many millions of people must have prayed for their safe return to their families and homes?  I am sure it is a staggering number.  Did any of you ever wonder why and how prayer is so powerful? 

The Bible is the only reliable source when it comes to examining prayer in all its forms and ramifications.  The October 1, 2010 Watchtower magazine sheds amazing light on this subject.  I will highlight aspects of the article here. 

First, many of us wonder why we pray so often.  Although in many ways human beings are like other forms of life in that we live and die, and in between, need food, air, water, and a place to live,  only human beings need to pray.  We have a spiritual need, deep inside of us.  Jesus actually said this in Matthew 5:3.  “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.”

But we need to pray to someone wiser, stronger and more enduring than we are.  Therefore, we turn to God.  Among other reasons, we pray to God when we are in need of guidance, comfort, wisdom and answers to questions that other human beings cannot answer.  The  Bible is filled with examples of people who prayed for the above reasons.

For example, Psalm 23:3 says:  “My soul He refreshes. He leads me in the tracks of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

Psalm 71:21 says:  “May you enlarge my greatness, And may you surround (and) comfort me.”

Certainly, a vital key to prayer is knowing whom you are praying to.    The Bible instructs us to pray to God, the Father, Jehovah. 

In Exodus 20:5, you will see:  “I Jehovah your God am a God exacting  exclusive devotion.”  In Psalm 65:2, Jehovah God is called “the hearer of prayer.” 

The next question to ponder is how to pray.  Faithful servants of God prayed in many settings and postures.  For example they prayed silently or aloud; they prayed while looking up at the sky or with heads bowed in humility.  Mostly, they prayed from their own hearts in their own words. 

However, the prayers must be, according to God’s will.  1 John 5:14 saays: “This is the confidence that we have toward him, that, no matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us.”  Also, we must have faith that God hears us.  Matthew 21:22 says, “All the things you ask in prayer, having faith, you will receive.”  Finally, we must be aware of the fact that “No one comes to the Father except through me,” which is found in John 14:6.  Jesus is thus the way to approach the Father.  We prfay in the name of Jesus.

A fourth aspect of prayer is its content.  It is amazing that the Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6: 9-13, contains six themes that we can prahy about.  Many of us have memorized the Lord’s Prayer and repeat it from memory, not really even thinking about what we are saying.  But each aspect of it is really important.  Each provides a basis for prayer.

The Model Prayer starts with “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.”  God’s sacred name has been besmeared with all kinds of falsehood and even denial that He is our Creator.  The Bible shows us that God will bring an end to all these injustices, and His name will be sanctified.

The Model Prayer also says, “Let your kingdom come.”  In Isaiah 9:6 and 7, it was foretold that the Messiah, selected by God, would rule a Kingdom that would change the world.  It would bring an end to war, famine, illness, crime and even death itself. 

The third part is “Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”  This part of the Model Prayer helps us to see that God’s will, in its ultimate wisdom, undedrstanding and wisdom, is what matters most, not our own.  After all, Jesus said in Luke 22:42: “Let, not my will, but yours take place.”

The next part, “Give us today our bread,” shows us that it is all right to pray to God about our practical, daily needs.  Like a loving Father, he wants to fulfill our needs.  He, however, will not fulfill a request that would not be in our best interests or hurt someone else.

“Forgive us our debts” comes next.  Born in sin, human beings need God’s forgiveness.  Our only hope for a beautiful and lasting future is in God’s forgiveness.

“Deliver us from the wicked one” is the last aspect of the Model Prayer.  We live in a corrupt society, dominated by the wrong values.  Satan has corrupted this world, and without the protection of God, who is stronger than Satan, we cannot be truly safe.

There is much more to say on this topic, but I’m going to stop for today and continue the blog in a few days.  I hope you have enjoyed it and gained from the Bible’s wisdom and enlightenment.  After all,  the Bible is the finest, best-written and best-selling book of all time.

Until the next blog,

Cheryl.

Today’s Blog

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Welcome to my website.  I hope that you enjoy today’s blog.

First, I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to send me webmail.  I have enjoyed reading your comments, and they have greatly helped me in my understanding of what themes would be most beneficial to explore in future blogs. 

I received today notification that my second video trailer has been completed.  Being that I am not really computer-savvy, I was not sure what link I could give you to to find the video.   I also discovered that you could view the video by just searching for dorranceyoutubechannel and then searching for” Sammy Squirrel and the Long, Hard Winter” by Cheryl Lodico.  According to Dorrance, you can also follow the link  http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfMRS3ZDhrg.

Then, once you are on youtube, search for Sammy Squirrel and the Long, Hard Winter by Cheryl Lodico.  I hope that will work  for you.

I hope you can find some time to read my “Sammy Squirrel” books because I feel that the moral of the two books (“Sammy Squirrel and the Long, Hard Winter” and “Sammy Squirrel’s Summer Sojourn” is an important one for children (aged 9-12).   Bolth books bring out variations of the theme that we are all here to help one another.  Life is difficult for all of us, although some experience more painful challenges than others.  However, without our unselfish interacting with one another, life becomes increasingly more difficult.  Sammy discovers that fact in the first book of the series when he refuses to pitch in with the rest of the squirrel community in Whitestone to hunt for food  that will be badly needed during the “hard, cold winter”, which is predicted in the Squirrel Almanac.

Not only Sammy, but also his entire family must suffer for Sammy’s   selfishness.  Learning his lesson thus becomes very costly  for a number of squirrels in a variety of ways.

“Sammy Squirrel’s Summer Sojourn” carries over the theme of love for family and community with a deep trust in God.  This time, sammy has learned from his terrible mistakes, but he is caught in a predicament from which he doesn’t think he will ever recover.

I hope you enjoy these two children’s books, which are really appropriate for “children of all ages,” for we can all learn again the lesson of how important we are to one anolther.  Charles Dickens, one of my favorite writers, once wrote that we are all “fellow passengers to the grave.”  Although this may sound a bit morbid, it nevertheless expresses the important message that we should be there for each other because in this remarkable journey that we all share in common, we can be invaluable allies to one another.

I do hope that you find some personal message of inspiration in my  in my children’s books and find them appropriate for all members of your family, including you.  Until the next blog,

                                         Cheryl