Like An Onion

19 Jul

You have probably heard the saying don’t judge a book by it’s cover for it is what’s inside that counts. An onion is a lot like that, there is more to it than what you see on the surface.

If you have ever peeled an onion, once you get around the tears from the scent given off, you find layer after layer of perfectly formed flesh. It is like that until you finally reach the center.

Living life is kind of like an onion. We start as a seed then every incident, good and bad, as we grow, adds a layer. Sometimes the layer is for our protection, sometimes its for joy. Life is full of joy and tears and we all have experienced some of each. The older we get, the more layers we add, our education, our beliefs, the good and bad. They are all formed around the seed we started with. I find this interesting. Every person starts with the seed, then as they grow and learn they add layer after layer continually until they are finally picked to go home.

This brings me to my point, like an onion there is more to a person than what is showing on the surface. As you peel back the surface of your friendship, relationship or whatever you learn that the person you are talking to has many sides, feeling and experiences. It is these experiences that make us all unique is some way from each other and I encourage you to take the time to get to know the person you are talking to.

My grandfather had a saying: Every bird has a song to sing, we must make the time to listen to it.

Isn’t that what life is all about?

Have a blessed day!

Ed

Life Is Fragile

19 Jul

One day as I was exploring the Grand Canyon I came across a young bald eagle with a broken pinion on it’s left wing. He was scared and was flapping around making all kinds of noise. I carefully wrapped my shirt around him and carried him home where, with my grandfathers help, I was able to splint the broken pinion.

Grandfather instructed me on how to care for my young patient and I put him in a small coop. Everyday for about two months I gave him food and water. Then I talked to him and explained he would be just fine, that soon I would remove the bandage and send him on his way. After the first two weeks he actually looked for me to come and talk to him. I don’t know if he understood what I was saying, but we became close friends.

It was bittersweet when the time came to release him because I became so close to him, but when he flew up and around landing about six feet from me, he looked in my eye and we knew it was time. He flew off in the direction of the canyon happy as an eagle could be.

Grandfather said I saved his life. He said life is very fragile and everything we do to preserve one is an act of God, He told me God put that eagle in my path to see just what I would do. You had choice to leave him for the wolves or bring him home and help heal him. You made the right choice and God will bless you for your kindness.

Over the years I have taken many animals home for refuge and healing, maybe this why I love animals so much. But I never forgot what grandfather told me about just how fragile life is and how little it takes to make one better. I learned that it is not just the animals, but also human life we must care for.

Life is a gift from God and our job, as Christians, is to preserve life as much as we can and to do what we can to help others. Either through prayer or by random acts of kindness we should do what we can to make things better.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

One of my readers recently asked my thoughts of how to pray for the very sick who have illnesses that there is little reasonable hope of recovery. We pray for recovery, or that God’s will be done, knowing it is within God’s power to heal, but knowing that even among the most deserving Christians, recovery from the most dreaded diseases is seldom granted, perhaps because it’s time for them to go ‘home’.

I responded as follows: When I pray for the sick I ask for peace and comfort. I also ask that there be no pain. We don’t know God’s will or His time table, but we do know He’s doing what is best for the person who is sick. For this reason, though I don’t always agree with the answer, I learned not to question His wisdom in doing things. In the end there is always a blessing. I also pray for the family asking for patience and understanding along with peace knowing He will do what is best. Life is fragile, but we have strength through God’s blessing and understanding. Believe me He knows the pain we are going through watching a loved one work through the illness.

The truth is God is in control! He knows what we need, even if we don’t think we need it. He provides for our needs, He supplies our strength, and He gives us life. I learned at an early age not to question His wisdom, for He has led me through many problems and life altering situations. I know I can trust Him.

I often wonder why so many still question this. I hear thoughts like why did God allow this to happen or if God did this… God has His reasons and even if we don’t understand why, He will let us know in His time. Learn to trust Him and to involve Him in all your activities, then the answers won’t seem so far away.

The Sheep and the Goats
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Mathew 25: 31-46 NIV)

Life is fragile – Whatever you do for the least of these… We all are the least of these and should care for each other. We need to pick each other up when we fall and encourage each other in all things. Love others as God has loved you.

What are your thoughts on this? I would love to read them and will respond to all courteous comments. As always, if you don’t want your comment public, feel free to email them to me at: Efchristi2@yahoo.com

God bless you all.

Ed

Do We Complicate Christianity?

14 Jul

In my post “The Simple Life” I showed how prayer is a two-way street. That when God speaks to us we should be listening to what He has to tell us. We have learned to pray as Christians but have we learned to listen?

In my post “Two Ways To Live” I wrote how we have the choice to be positive or negative in our life and our choices determine who, what and why we are who we are.

I followed up with my post “The Silver Lining” where I tried to show our every thought, word and deed is tied to our relationship with God and how close He watches over us.

Now let me try to bring it all together. We as Christians believe Jesus died for our sins and that the Bible is God’s Word. We have faith that what God promises will happen and hope that God has made a room for us in His Kingdom.

We pray daily for His guidance and blessings. Many Christians I talk to feel that their prayers are not answered or not answered how they expected. Some, myself included, have running conversations with Him all day long. I have to say most feel prayer is a one way street and don’t feel that God talks to us, but does answer prayers in His own time. .

The truth is God does answer prayer, many times right away, but we don’t always listen to the answer because we don’t necessarily agree with it. Sometimes we have to wait for an answer, for our time and God’s time are on different time tables. During your daily walk in life you should invite God to walk with you and have a running conversation with Him. You will be surprised at the insight He has on your life. He is there to guide you around and over all the concerns in your life.

God has given us free choice so that we have a certain amount of control on how we live. Choice is very powerful and we need to be thoughtful on the choices we make as Christians. Our life as a Christian is under the microscope of everyone thinking of becoming one, as well as the Christians around us. We need to remember that we just might be the only bible someone ever reads. We may have the choice, but we also have the responsibility to live our life for the One who saved us. God loves to see us. happy and full of joy. Joy is His glory and His glory should be our joy.

Life is full of problems and obstacles, God never promised life would be easy. How we handle these problems shape our relationship with God and build our character. We shape our future by the decisions we make and build our character by how we handle obstacles. As Christians we have God to help us make our decisions and climb over the obstacles. All we have to do is ask and listen. Each problem and obstacle has silver thread in it that ties us back to our relationship with God

Jesus taught us how to love and to forgive and forget. Yet so many Christian’s have a problem over the forgetting part. They have no concern over the forgiving, but insist on keeping the burden and stress of the problem with them; they just can’t forget. As Christian’s we should, like God, wipe the slate clean, purge our minds of the problem and continue living a loving life.

When you realize the silver thread ties our every move, every word and every deed to God you then realize how close God is watching over us, how much He loves us and just how He takes care of us. So why do we try so hard to complicate it?

God is Love! We as His children are love and our job is to share that love to lead others to Christ. There is nothing complicated about it. We pray, God answers! We follow His guidance and live our life for His glory. It is simple – there is no secret, we just need to listen and love!

What do you think? I value your opinion and comments.

The Silver Lining

13 Jul

How many time have we heard “Every cloud has a silver lining” while we were growing up? I know I have heard it most of my life, especially after a loss or disappointment. I think it was one of my mothers favorite sayings.

Being a kind of science guy, at the age of ten, I quickly realized and smartly responded “Silver is a heavy metal so clouds, being primarily water vapor, there is no way silver could be lining the clouds.” Yes, I was a nerd and I guess I still am.

We all have had rough times in our life’s, a few hard bumps, a few disastrous incidents. How we managed to overcome them still makes us wonder, but we did overcome and grew up in spite of it all.

My mother always said there is a silver lining in that cloud and one day you will understand why things happen this way. My mother, very much my grandfathers daughter, was a wise person and taking much after my grandfather had a lesson hidden inside that message. For most of my life I took it to mean to be tough, don’t give in to it and continue down your path, one step at a time, to reach your goal. It was not always that way though. Sometimes I would feel like just giving up and go hide in a dark room somewhere, other times I would just turn around and walk off in disappointment.

After my little pity party and why me, which sometimes lasted for weeks, I finally woke up and started putting my act together working towards my goal one step at a time. I finally realized that these bumps in the road were challenges for me to overcome and these disappointments were opportunities for me to grow. I’m sure many others have had the same or similar experience.

Much to my surprise, as I continued to grow, I learned there is not a silver lining in these clouds of disappointment, but there is a silver thread. This silver thread is connected to every experience of our life and when we tighten our grasp, we are shaping our character. In other words we are who we are because of how we handled the good and bad times in our life’s. We shaped our life and built our character by how well we handled the bumps and pitfalls as we grew up.

As a Christian I learned God would never give us more than we could handle and we were never promised life would be an easy walk, but He would be there to guide us. I admit there were times when I really questioned the validity of that, but I have learned He is always there to help me over or around the obstacle in my path. That is the lesson hidden inside the statement “Every cloud has a silver lining.”

There may not be a silver lining in every cloud but there is a silver thread and how you face that disappointment in your life is shaping your future and your character. How do you handle disappointment and how has your disappointment shaped your life? I really would like to hear about it. You can comment here in the reply area or, if you don’t want my readers to know, you can e-mail me at efchristi2@yahoo.com. Either way please respond.

Thank you!

Two Ways To Live

29 Jun

Grandfather was one who had a very humorous side and a very serious side. One day he said to me: “Eddie, one of the most important things for you to do in life is to kiss each girl at least once, and kiss the pretty ones twice! That is the spice of life.” I asked him a couple months later how he determined which was the prettier girl, he responded: “Silly boy, they all are pretty!”

On the serious side he also had his opinion on how we live our life’s. He said there are two ways to live your life and I should be very careful on how I make my choices. If you believe that all the miracles happened in the days of Christ and that the days of miracles are over, you are going to be a pessimist. Your life will consist mainly of negativity and you will have a poor me attitude. It will appear that everything goes wrong, no matter how hard you try, because you have already decided you will fail. You will feel that your problems are obstacles that you just can’t get around. It will be a very unhappy life.

On the other hand, he said, if you believe miracles can happen everyday, look at your problems as challenges to grow and that there is something positive is every situation in life, than your life will be happy, full of promise and you will walk in confidence that you will succeed in every task.

Over the years I have found that to be true. Most unhappy people I know are very pessimistic and negative. They feel everything they do ends up in failure or not complete. They feel there are no miracles left in life and almost never smile. On the other hand, I have found those who are positive in life seem happier, smile all the time and live their life as though nothing can go wrong. There is no obstacle they can’t get around or over. Life, for them, is full of promise.

It is the choices we make in life that determine the quality of our future. As Grandfather said, make your choices carefully and live your life as though there are no boundaries. Be happy and look for the miracles that happen everyday all around us.

How do you live your life? I look forward to reading your comments.

By the way I agree with Grandfather about the girls, they are all pretty.

Living and Learning

13 Jun

Living and Learning

Sooner or later, a person, if he is wise, discovers that life is a mixture of good days and bad, victory and defeat, give and take. He learns that it does not pay to be a too-sensitive soul; that he should let some things go over his head, like water off a duck’s back. He learns that he who loses his temper usually loses out. He learns that all people have burnt toast for breakfast now and then, and that he shouldn’t take the other person’s grouch too seriously. He learns that carrying a chip on his shoulder is the easiest way to get into a fight. He learns that the quickest way to become unpopular is to carry tales and gossip about others.

He learns that buck-passing always turns out to be a boomerang, and that it never pays. He comes to realize that the business could run along perfectly well without him.

He learns that it doesn’t matter so much who gets the credit, as long as the business benefits. He learns that it does no harm to smile at the janitor and say “Good morning,” even if it’s raining. He learns that most of the other people are as ambitious as he is, that they have brains as good or better, and that hard work – not cleverness – is the secret of success.

He learns to sympathize with the youngster coming into the business, because he remembers how bewildered he was when he first started out. He learns not to worry when he loses an order, because experience has shown that if he always gives his best, his average will break pretty well. He learns that no person ever got to first base alone, and that it is only through cooperative effort that he moves on to better things.

He learns that bosses are not … trying to get the last ounce of work out of him for the least amount of pay, but that they are usually … people who have succeeded through hard work and who want to do the right things. He learns that people are not any harder to get along with in one place than another, and that getting along depends, about 98 percent, on his own behavior.

EFC 1981

I wrote this 33 years ago, but it still has a purpose today. I sincerely hope we all are living and learning – daily throughout our live’s.

Comments are appreciated.

I Have A Gift

13 Jun

I have a gift given to me by God. Many times in my life, I have been told that I have a calming touch. That I have a way of removing the stress and tension in a person or a room. I have been called many times to come and help smooth the anxiety in a friend or relative. I am the calm in the middle of the storm, or so I am told.

Why did God give me, a humble sinner, this powerful gift? Why this is, I am not sure, but I do have my opinion. The bible tells us that we are given gifts from God when we become Christians and that we must use these gifts for the Glory of God. I know I have been given gifts and I think one of my gifts is the ability to help bring calm to a troubled situation and remove anxiety, stress and fears from someone by laying ny hands on them.

As you know we do all things for the Glory of God and through God all things happen. I believe that the gifts God has given me are for me to use to help others see the Glory of His works. The calming touch, among others, has helped me reach out to others and bring peace to their minds and hopefully their souls.

There are people who don’t realize the gifts they have been given and some who know they are given gifts, but don’t know what they are. God doesn’t always make them obvious to us, but does lead us in the direction that reveals them. I discovered mine when God lead me to a person who was so distraught over a recent loss that she couldn’t control her movements. I went to comfort her and as I laid my hands on her to pray, she said she felt the burden being lifted from her.

The gift of calming nature, along with the other gifts we are given, are meant to be used and shared with others. How God decides who gets what gifts is unknown, but for sure, as we share them, His blessings spread. As I learn more about my gift of calm, I am sharing my gift with anyone who could use it. I can’t tell you how wonderful it makes me feel to be a help to someone in need.

I have found several gifts God has granted to me calm being one of them. I also have the gift of total recall and I have a gift of photographic memory. Not all these gifts, in my opinion, are good for it raises the standard for what people expect of you and when you can’t forget people use you as a ready reference. I remember one time my boss asked me to relate a discussion he was having with me and a coworker that happened two years before. I replayed the discussion much to the chagrin of my boss, who at the time forgot something he had promised. Not a good thing to make your boss look bad.

In the end though, we have been given these gifts to share for the glory of God and I want to encourage everyone to discover their gifts and share them with the world.

To God be the Glory and our job is to share that Glory with others for His Glory.

What gifts do you have? Are you willing to share them?

Ed

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 70 other followers