Whats Your Bottom Line?

One thing leads to another.  After I posted about hearing Maria Von Trapp speak, then I remembered hearing Corrie ten Boom speak.  Finally, I remembered briefly meeting Joni Eareckson Tada, so I decided to write about her on the 50th anniversary of her diving accident.

What came to my mind is how distinctly each of these wise women communicated a strong Biblical principle they chose as their personal bottom line.

Also amazing is how clearly I remember their bottom lines,  a lesson to me in my own communicating.  But, what is my bottom line, my take home message?  Several Biblical principles quickly come to mind, yet if I had to choose the most important, what would it be?

Then I remembered a poignant book I read as a young girl.  It was The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.  In fact, I read it several times.  Anne’s short but intense life was memorable because she wrote down her feelings as she described her difficult situation.   She had been given an autograph book with a small lock on her 15th birthday, shortly before her family went into hiding.  She used it as a diary which was discovered in the attic of the home where they had been hiding.  It was given to her father, Otto Frank.  His wife and two daughters died in Aushwitz concentration camp.

When Otto Frank read the diary his younger daughter kept and realized she wanted to be a journalist, he decided to get it published. Her writings have educated and inspired countless readers.  From Anne we learn it is good to put our thoughts and ideas in writing.  Anne kept her faith in God and believed most people were “good at heart.”

As I put in writing my strongest beliefs, I am centering on the love of God and the inner peace of trusting in His Son, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior.  To clearly define my own bottom line, since the name of my blog is “Heresyourhope,” it is essential to begin with “hope.”

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone.  My hope comes from Him.”  Psalm 62:5

 

 

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Not Just Hope So . . . Rather Believe So!

 In her post,  It’s Personal, seasoned blogger, Rebekah Beene, wrote, “The King has heard your petition.  You are not whispering ‘hope so’s’ into the atmosphere.  You have an audience with the only living God.”

Over and over in the written Word of God, believers are assured that God hears our prayers.  Yes, we have probably been reminded that His answer may be yes, no or not yet.  Many times in my life, friends have reminded me, ‘delay is not denial’.   Difficult as it is, trusting that the answer to our prayer may take many days, weeks, months or even years is not easy.  Yet, a certain peace often comforts us as we ‘keep the faith’.

There are even times when, as we wait, our mind changes and we realize the particular prayer request we so fervently repeated, is no longer what we really want.  In fact, we may be very glad that prayer was answered a definite “no.” We don’t always know what is right for us so oftentimes we may pray for things that would hinder not help, harm not heal. However there is a promise in scripture that can solve the problem of what is and is not the best for us. Psalm 37:4  says ” Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart”. Now that is an entirely different idea than us tossing prayers up and seeing how things turn out.

Notice it does not say ” I will give you the desires of your heart, then you can delight yourself in me” . No it actually means that when we draw close to the Lord, or delight ourselves in Him, He WILL give us the desires of our heart. Why though are we guaranteed the desires of our hearts if we ” delight” or draw close to Him? It is because when we walk closely with Him, the desires of our heart will line up with the desires of His. That is the secret. It is not about heaving endless prayers to see what hits and what does not. It is about staying so close to the Lord that we know what to pray and when we pray our prayers will be answered.

Watchman Nee put it something like this- we walk in close with fellowship with Him, the Spirit Impresses upon us those things we are to pray, or those people we are to pray for, and God answers those prayers. It is a matter of discipline to stay close to the Lord so we can hear His voice through the Spirit. It is a matter of obedience to then pray for those things we know to pray.

Save some time and energy and find out what He is thinking before you pray. You are likely to have more answered prayer, and that’s a promise!

DM

Art from the Heart

When my two sons were young, often while I was working on a writing assignment at home, I sat them down to do their own writing assignment.  (After they wrote their story, they could then creatively illustrate it.)  Thankfully, it kept them busy for quite some time.  Then we all had fun hearing them read their “masterpieces”.  I still chuckle, remembering how surprised my oldest son was when he realized that all moms are not writers.  Now days, of course, many more moms are writers on blogs.

Those years sped by too quickly, but did seem to have an impact on all of us. It helped them do well in reading and writing in school, though none of us excelled in  arithmetic.

After our television was struck by lightning, we survived over a year without a new one.  One project I will always remember was their drawing and secretly delivering valentine hearts to elderly neighbors.  Years later, I was at our corner drug store when a really old neighbor lady struck up a conversation with me.

“I still have that sweet Valentine heart your boys made for me,” she smiled as my mind was recapturing the incident.  I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to share her words with my now teenage sons.  They did remember that secret kind act.

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dm

 

 

A Case For Being “Pollyanna-ish”

Yes, it is in the dictionary; defined as being unreasonably or illogically optimistic. And, again yes, there are times when excessive optimism can be annoying and even inappropriate.  When someone has suffered a serious loss of a limb or a loved one, a comment that is extremely optimistic may be hurtful.

Books helped me survive a difficult childhood, especially when I was bedridden for many months without access to television.  It was at that time I was given a copy of the classic book by Eleanor H. Porter.  At a time when I felt ”hopeless,” the story of Pollyanna was a great inspiration.  Although I certainly never succeeded in following in her footsteps,  her glad game did motivate me to become optimistic rather than pessimistic.  For those who are not familiar with her character trait, just before Pollyanna’s dad died, he taught her the glad game.  He believed that no matter what happens, there is always something to be glad about.  (Years later, I learned how this notion is similar to those scriptures in the Bible where we are taught to praise God in every situation).

Although some consider a “Pollyanna” attitude to be unrealistic and foolish, many times adopting an attitude to see the good in most situations contributes to a much happier life than one who is determined to focus on the downside of things and assumes a more negative attitude.

One thing I know for sure:  whenever I have intentionally decided to look for the good in every situation, my life has been far more enjoyable than times when I allow myself to become hopelessly pessimistic.   Pollyanna gave me hope for a better life when I was a sick child and that hope has never abandoned me.

dm

 

When the Fireworks Are Out of Sight

It was evening on July 4th several years ago.  My delightful 90 year old friend, Dorothy, had invited me to come watch fireworks from her balcony overlooking the Halifax River.  I knew she wanted company but I was taking care of my young granddaughter and had promised to take her to watch our community fireworks display.

So I asked Emily, who was five years old, if she cared if we went to be with Miss Dorothy instead of going to the big park to watch the display.  Emily liked Miss Dorothy, so agreed to go to be with her.  We all enjoyed a strawberry ice cream bar, then went out to the 5th floor deck to get ready and comfortable to watch the fireworks.

Soon we heard the sounds of fireworks, and exclamations of delight from the crowd.  But we were unable to see a thing.  We were confused because Miss Dorothy kept saying,  “I don’t understand.  We used to see them perfectly.”

It turned out that she had not watched them for several years, since her husband died.  A new building had been put up since then, that robbed the people living in the center building of their once perfect view.

As I tried to decide if there was enough time to go downstairs and walk around the south building,  Miss Dorothy told us to go ahead but she wasn’t up to going.  Then sweet Emily said, “Oh, no!  We are not going without you.”  She ran over and hugged our elderly hostess.  I was so relieved and proud of young Emily.

So we went indoors and watched Macy’s fireworks on television.  And we enjoyed a second strawberry ice cream bar with a glass of apple juice.

The next year, Emily and her baby sister went with their mom and dad to the community display.  They arrived early to get a great view.  I went to spend the evening with Miss Dorothy.  We again watched the Macy’s fireworks display.  But that year we had vanilla ice cream bars (instead of strawberry) with our apple juice.

I was reminded how we all have times when things do not go as we planned.  But time often gives us a second chance.  As has been said in Israel, “Maybe next year.”

dm

 

The Deep, Emotional Pain of Being Misunderstood

It happens to most of us, from time to time.  The older we get, the quicker we recover, usually.   Yet, it kinda takes the wind out of us for a while, especially if we have no way of proving we meant well or did what we hoped was the right thing to do.

The secret of “getting over” such situations is to forgive ourselves for not being a mind reader and forgive our accuser for misunderstanding our good intentions.  No one said that would be easy.  It isn’t easy!  Yet, with the help of our Heavenly Father, it is possible!

If anyone suffered greatly because many misunderstood him, it was Jesus Christ.  There are no Scripture verses that discuss His hurt feelings or His being resentful. He spent much time in prayer and received power from His Father.  We are offered the same option.  It isn’t always a “quick fix,” but give it a little time and it works well.

 

Is it Ethical to Slant Truth in Journalism?

Years ago, most reporters sincerely attempted to “tell the truth” as they covered their assignments.  That was when I was young, very many years ago.  I studied various journalists and especially respected Adele Rogers St John. Her informative reports on various events and trials were interesting and educational.  I may have disagreed at times with her perspective but I never considered her to be presenting “fake news.”

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Discerning what is true and what is not, robs sincere searchers of their time and effort.  Now I “pick and choose” what I really “need to know” and manage to get along without knowing as much as I would prefer to know.  Truly a sad state of affairs when I can no longer be a “know it all. ”  LOL!          dm

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