Archive for May, 2012

How Love Can Be a Healing…

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

All of us need to give and receive love. That is a spiritual truth that we can find throughout the Bible. 1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love.” 1 Cor. 13: 4-13 shows us in exquisite, poetic metaphors what true love really is. 7 “It (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails…” (I Cor.13: 7,8)

Lev. 19: 18 tells us “…and you must love your fellow as yourself.” So first we must learn to love ourselves. Just to name one more example of so many biblical quotations about love, let’s look at Col. 3:14, “Love is a perfect bond of union.” Those who love bond together in peace and beauty.

However, as was said previously, before we can love others, first, we must love ourselves, and for many of us, that can be difficult. We all have faults, of course. The Bible tells us that we are all sinners and will be, to a great degree, until we receive salvation and live in Paradise.

Many of us are not even aware sometimes that we are committing a sin. That is because all of us emanate from Adam and Eve, who committed a grave sin and therefore made their progeny all imperfect.

Regardless of our state of imperfection, we can still love ourselves. We can do our best to be a better human being: to forgive ourselves for our mistakes as well as to forgive others for theirs. We can move on with our lives and try to become all that we are capable of being.

It is always possible to help others and give of ourselves emotionally and spiritually. On so many levels, we can make life easier for others, who are having a rough time in life. When we think about others and do all we can to makes their lives better, we are able to feel better about ourselves and our own situation in life, whatever that may be.

I know that I have barely touched upon the power of love in our lives, but I’m going to let you reflect upon what I have discussed so far. As you keep reading the above scriptures, you will see how meaningful they really are.

Love, more than even time, can heal so many wounds that life inflicts upon us. May you fill the rest of this day with thoughts of love and caring. Best wishes,

Cheryl

TODAY’S POSITIVE THOUGHTS…

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Let’s begin by getting positive about the weather. It is exceedingly hot and humid in the metropolitan area. No one could contest that. However, if we reflect upon the meteorologists’ reports that it will be cooler, less humid and sunny on Thursday and Friday, all of a sudden, the challenging weather of yesterday and today does not seem half so bad. (Of course, while we are reflecting upon all this, it is a good idea to relax in air conditioning.)

I want you now to think about the negative conditions under which we must live today: the high crime rate, the war in afghanistan (and other uprisings in different parts of the world), the natural disasters, various illnesses and health conditions that people experience today, poverty that exists in all parts of the world, even the western countries,etc. As bad as things appear at times, we are promised by the Supreme God of the universe, Jehovah, that there will be a “new heavens” and a “new earth” where God’s people will live an everlasting life in peace, perfect health and happiness. Let’s see where some of these prophecies may be found.

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more.” This does not mean that the sea, the earth or the heavens will be destroyed. It means that the structure and meaning of each will be quite different from how some may picture it today.

In the Bible “the sea” often refers to masses of people alienated from God. In the “new earth” no one will be alienated from God. All will be loving, loyal citizens of God’s Kingdom. And that brings us to the “new heavens,” which will be God’s Kingdom or government, which will rule the citizens of the earth. For example, there will be within God’s Kingdom the Supreme God, His son, Jesus Christ, the 144,000 co-rulers with Christ and the angels. (Revelation 7:4 says, “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.”)

Revelation 21: 3 and 4 cannot help but fill us with longing for Paradise, faith and a sense of peace. It says: 3 “With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: ‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

What inspires me so much about the above Scripture is that the Apostle John, who wrote it while exiled on the island of Patmos, used the past tense to testify to the fact that, even though it was to occur in the future, he was so sure of its coming to pass that he wrote it as though it had already happened.

If this is our future, (provided that we have faith in God, adhere to His principles, as outlined in the Bible, in our everyday life, and love God and our fellow men), then we have every reason to be happy, don’t we?

If you read the Bible each day, you can find reason after reason to think positively and turn your negative thoughts into positive ones. Tomorrow I’ll show you a few more.

Until then, have a happy, positive, busy, fruitful and blessed day!

Best wishes,

Cheryl

LET’S THINK POSITIVELY!

Monday, May 28th, 2012

For the sake of my readers and myself, I am embarking upon a spiritual experiment. Every day for at least three months I am going to post a blog on positive thinking from the Bible, from wise people, both past and present, and from experiences in my own life.

The purpose of my one hundred days of emphasizing only positive and upbuilding thoughts is to help all of us feel better at a very difficult and soul-searching time in our history. Well over two hundred years ago Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” The thought holds true for our era in history as well. Why?

Let’s take a look at 2 Timothy 3:1, which says: “But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.” From what we have seen all around us in the last one hundred years, from terrorism, countless wars, an increase in crime, diseases, pestilence, a breakdown of traditional family units, lack of communication among people, prejudice, stereotyping and natural disasters, (to name just a few examples), we can be sure that the above prophecy is being fulfilled.

The question is how can we live with these egregious examples of negativity around us and still find happiness and hope? Actually, there are many ways that we can do this. For example, in yesterday’s blog, the theme was our refusing to be defined by what others think of us. Many reasons were given yesterday, but I have one more to add today.

When other people view us, it is as though they are seeing a distorted mirror view as in the example of Plato’s cave. Those who presume to judge us (which is God’s job only) do not know the entire picture. They are viewing us from a dark cave, so to speak, allowing in only a few chinks of light. Often, they see what they want to see, but even if outsiders were to be as objective as humanly possible, they would still be missing most of who we really are because they do not know our past lives, our backgrounds, our motivations, conflicts, etc. What they see is what a journalist might see when writing a news report. They may be able to answer most of the “w’s” but not all. It takes even more than knowing another person for a lifetime to understand why he(she) acts in a certain way. It actually takes an ability to see through the heart of someone else, and only God can do that.

So, as I said in yesterday’s blog, we must not allow another person’s negative views of us to influence our self-image. Many of us do that sometimes, and it is emotionally damaging. Sensitive people are most guilty of this weakness. I myself fall into this trap at times, but I work very hard at pulling myself out. If you, too, sometimes allow your sensitive nature to bring you pain over someone else’s cruel words, hurtful actions or disparaging looks, it is time that you block out such totally unjustified negativity and substitute the negative with the positive. What’s the next step that we can implement for today?

Proverbs 12:18 tells us: “There exists the one speaking thoughtlessly as with the stabs of a sword, but the tongue of the wise ones is a healing.” Ignorant people presume to judge us. They may say things to our face or even behind our back that are not true but nevertheless cause us pain and suffering. If we cannot personally work out the problem such a person has with us, the best thing is to leave it in God’s hands and not to obsess about it.

It is very hard to do this, I know, but when the image or words of that person emerge in your brain, blot them out by forcing yourself to remember a person or an experience that was encouraging, loving, kind and upbuilding. Concentrate on the good, never the bad. In time, if you faithfully do this, you will experience a healing. Your physical health will be better because at that point you will be able to relax, and your spiritual health will soar!

I recommend that you read a section of the Bible each day. A chapter or even a page or two may be sufficient for you. In addition, include a reading of a couple of psalms and proverbs. As you read, reflect on each sentence and try to project positive images that accompany what you are reading. Take at least a moment to pray as well.

Each day I will make my greatest effort to supply you with a new way to face life in a more positive manner. I cannot think of a better way of helping all of you and me to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

Always remember Matthew 5:3, which says, “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.”

Have a peaceful, blessed and beautiful day!

Best wishes always,

Cheryl

I can’t Believe It’s been a Month Since I last wrote to You…

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Even though it is midnight now, the beginning of a new day (Memorial Day), I felt it necessary to write at least a short, but hopefully meaningful blog.

I don’t know where the time goes. I am retired, and yet I am always busy and actually behind in the schedule I make for myself. I ask myself how I survived when I worked those thirty years as a middle school teacher.

So now that I have apologized for waiting more than a month to blog, I want to write about my reasons for being remiss. It is more than a number of chores. (We all have chores of all kinds, don’t we?) It is more than being tired at night, so tired that I skip days even in writing the novel I am working on and want to much to pitch to mainstream publishing companies once I have finished writing it. It is even more than the simple fact that I want to spend more time with my grandchildren, who are (like yours), adorable, talented, smart and unusually good-looking.

I guess that I have allowed some negativity to slip into my routine. I have allowed situations, some people in my life and even past problems (unresolved in the present) to stifle a great deal of my self-confidence and make me feel a little sorry for myself, something that we should all try so hard not to do.

A good friend once told me many years ago, (and I am passing it on to you) that in this life it is our responsibility to be positive, confident, happy and proud of ourselves (without being arrogant or conceited) because God has blessed us in so many ways with His love. Who are we to act in any way disparaging to ourselves if He has chosen all of us upon whom to bestow the gifts of life, love, the opportunity to pursue so many different activities and succeed at all of them if we have the strength of mind to follow through and believe in ourselves? That person also mentioned that there are too many people out there ready to treat us unkindly that it is a real sin to treat ourselves that way for any amount of time and to any degree. That friend was so right.

So my message tonight is that no one should be given (by us, no less) the right to make us doubt ourselves, our abilities and our own self-worth. Regardless of what they have said to us in the past, regardless of their feelings towards us in the present, in spite of whatever their opinions about us are, we cannot let that affect our own inner peace and happiness.

My late husband, Nick, often said to me, “It was a billion to one shot that we were given the opportunity to be born on this planet, to live in a wonderful counrty like this, on a planet that may possibly be the only one that sustains human life.” With all these amazing miracles, how can we exchange negative thoughts for positive ones? How can be ever fill ourselves with sadness rather than elation? We are here, breathing the air that God allows us to breathe. Whatever our current situation, there is always hope. Through the Bible, we have God’s own promise of eternal life in Paradise if we follow His guiding principles and live our lives in accordance with His will. If we look at our lives in that light, whatever they may be at this moment, then we must realize that we have the responsibility to fight our doubts and fears, resist our urge to second-guess ourselves, and make the effort to pull ourselves away from the darkness below and up towards the light of God.

We are children of God and potential citizens of His Kingdom. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 we see that we are living in “critical times” in the biblical “last days.” This is a time to soul-search and to believe in ourselves because it is in our power to live the best life we can, even in the uncertainties of the period in which we are now living. With faith in God, we can gain faith in ourselves and ultimately love for ourselves, which will allow us to keep going, keep enduring until the biblical Armageddon arrives and brings in the Paradise that was promised to us two thousand years ago when Jesus delivered His Father’s message of a “New Heavens” and a “New Earth” in which those of us who believe, and act upon that faith, can live in everlasting peace and happiness.

Yes, this is my message for today. Love God. Love yourselves. Read the Bible each day, and don’t let others in any way denigrate the gift that God has put before us. It is a precious gift, for which we should be, not only thankful, but indebted, a gift of undeserved kindness from the Creator of the Universe.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you the lesson that I learned today. I hope it helps all of you the way that it helped me. Have a wonderful weekend, filled with love, peace and confidence in yourselves and who and what you are.

Best wishes,

Cheryl