Love is the Key

Door to life
A key to Everything
For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest of these gifts is love.
What if I could speak all languages of humans and even angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. What if I could prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains?I would be nothing, unless I loved others. What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others. Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick-tempered. It doesn’t keep record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails. Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten. We don’t know everything, and our prophecies are not complete. But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn’t perfect will disappear. When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways. Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us. For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
We use tape measures to see how to fit something somewhere , or when building how to make all parts meet together and create something we are dreaming of having in our homes. Without the measure , or guide, or standards it is impossible. I know I have tried to build a bookshelf without measuring things, it simply did not work for me. This howbeit long, but very important guideline about love has been what I have used to measure myself given multiple circumstances in my life to bring me back to standards that are right, acceptable and would ultimately make every difficult situation better. I wish I could say that I have always followed these standards to a “T”, but that would not be true, I am human. When I am in a quandary about what is right , or what is wrong, this is the scripture that is my go to. Love is a supernatural key to everything, love without conditions.

Justice

fair
“Words of wisdom come when good people speak for justice.” Psalms37:30

I want to begin today by using a quote from C.S.Lewis, then one from his friend J.R.R. Tolkien: C.S. Lewis: “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line- what was I comparing the universe with when I called it unjust?” J.R.R.Tolkien:” The birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus means that one day everything sad will come untrue.”

What is justice? As in the quote of C.S.Lewis, you need something fair and just to compare a thing too in order to make an accurate determination. The definition of justice says out of fairness to justice for both, or all. With due fairness, treatment, appreciation we may determine justice. Our background, or environment as we survive being reared, renders a great deal of information toward how you personally may define justice. Personal values, convictions, beliefs may also nurture a standard for each to base the word justice. As we have all witnessed with a world-wide pandemic things may change in the twinkling of an eye. What was once just , is no longer seen in the same light , in view of all the many other dynamics that we see unfold. In fairness , to keep myself safe, I wore a mask to try to be free of germs, or to minimize those germs. It was never necessary before , now it is. What is justice to a homeless person? That other homeless people respect their part of street they have found refuge on? Is it fair that they are homeless at all? Given a group of specific circumstances to their lives, there is a story that brought them to this point of safety and their own definition of justice.

Maybe that is an extreme example, but I believe that we are living in a privileged country. No, things may not be perfect, but our declared freedom and justice for all -gave us a right to speak our minds, in some countries people have had this freedom taken away long ago. God forbid this should ever happen here in America. I believe we need to embrace how very fortunate we are and my prayers are that our God will help us, because things are surely misrepresented, misunderstood, just broken. Psalms 65:5 “Our God , You save us, and Your fearsome deeds answer our prayers for justice.”Psalms 94:15 says,”Justice and fairness will go hand and hand and all who do right will follow along.”

C.S.Lewis said,” I have received no assurance that anything we can do will eradicate suffering. I think the best results are obtained by people who work quietly away at limited objectives, such as the abolition of slave trade, or prison reform, or factory acts, or T.B., not by those who think they can achieve universal justice or health or peace. I think the art of life consists of tackling each immediate evil as well as we can.” God’s word says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared to the Glory that shall be revealed through us.(Romans 8:18) I lived in abuse for many, many years of my life. I know what it is to have your freedom taken from you, to have your voice silenced, to have your thoughts taken , your opinions twisted and misunderstood. Life is way too short and uncertain to waste time trying to change a construct that may change in a twinkling of an eye, by political agenda, by popular needs or demands.

Martin Luther King:” … The past is prophetic in that it asserts loudly that wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”

I am trusting my God to see the end of this virus, and the end of this civil unrest.

Hard to Fathom

Only God
Men since creation, have procreated, designed ,developed , searched for answers as life has brought circumstances along that would challenge what has already been done. Science has evolved with so many new inventions around every turn to advance our people to a next level. We have advanced knowledge in history, mathematics, every other area added to this list- as the list grows and grows and grows. Who can fathom what will happen tomorrow? Especially in the light of this pandemic COVID-19 which has virtually closed the world down. Job 38:1-11 says, “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; For I demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who determined the measures thereof, if thou wilt knowest? Or who stretched the line upon it? Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the seas with doors, when it brake forth as if it had issued out of the womb; when I made the clouds the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling-band for it, and marked out for it my bound, and set bars and doors, and said , hitherto shalt thou come, but no further; and here shall thy proud waves be stayed. ” Boundaries is what God speaks of here in this passage, He was the creator of boundaries. Had God not set the walls around the ocean , would we even be here with all of our knowledge or understanding that has been like unto a gift of God to all of His people?We have a responsibility now , more than ever before to set boundaries around each of us to stay safe from what may await us as the country slowly reopens. We need not to be foolish , we need to care for ourselves and for our brother and sisters by keeping a healthy boundary and social distance from each other. People may smile and be loving in body language to each other, but stay the distance away for your family, for many other people you may interface with in the course of a day. It is hard to fathom how long it will be this way, but frankly there are many things in my own abilities to understand, how this could ever happen in the first place. Maybe you do not believe that God created the world, maybe you think this is just rhetoric. Whether you believe or not, we all as people have just as much ability to fathom what comes next as the other . Please keep a safe distance from each other so that this does not balloon and surprise us again. After God’s mercy perused the mess man was making of the world , He chose to send His son Jesus to lay down His life for all the things that we had messed up , He gave us another chance, to be redeemed. This would be the most important choice to make during these uncertain times, Jesus came so that we may have eternal life, by believing that He died for us, and rose again for our redemption. Our choice would be to accept Jesus and believe He will bring us through this time by His strength, accept His Holy Spirit which guides us as we live each and every day if you believe. Only God is able to Fathom what comes next.

Perfect in Love

1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
These are truly trying times that we are all going through. I do believe that God hears everyone of our cries, because He loves everyone of us! I know that not everyone out there may feel exactly this way , those who are broken, suffering , terrified about what is next. Maybe having faith in God is a new thing to you, maybe you have been hurt deeply by many people. Traumatic experiences tend to cause us to sense that we are alone, without a hope. I was there at one point in time. There was no hope for me, I was living in abuse, I blamed myself for making such a mindless choice when I entered into this relationship, and I had children to feed and take care of . I was failing miserably as a human being , then one day God reached out to me in my mindless state. He showed me that He was a real and a living savior!He showed me that I did not have to continue to live in that awful state. He was willing to pull me out of that deep pit that I was in , and He did! I gave my life to Him. I prayed Lord please, take away all that has separated me from you all these years, and He forgave me of all those sins and filled me with His power through the Holy Spirit- I thank God everyday that He did not choose to leave me where I was! Today , with all the fear in the world, please reach out to Him, He loves you and is more than willing to throw you a lifeline. He says in His word Jeremiah 33:3 “Call unto me and I will answer thee, and I will show thee great things, and difficult things, which thou knowest not.”
If you cry out to Him today , He will hear you!

Anxiety

No Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome, a strong desire or concern to do something or for some as surety of what is to happen. Anxiety is not always a bad thing, in fact it can motivate you and help you to stay focused under pressure -when worries and pain attack. A problem develops when these worries start to get in the way of your life, and life’s function, that anxiety becomes a disorder.

The number one problem that I deal with as a counselor is anxiety. For some it has fallen into a disorder, for others it’s a part of a normal response to circumstances of everyday life, for as a rule anxiety is quite normal. My favorite coping tool that I share with people is: do not worry and take on responsibility for what is past, what has already happened is not a part of you; you make a choice not to go back there in your thinking, in your mind. Some people act in a paranoid fashion based on a pain from the past that they are relating to a present situation, not healthy, what we are living is new, has nothing to do with anything in your past. (I realize that sometimes the past comes to haunt us, but as I said you choose not to go there.) Also , I encourage people to not try to jump too far into the future, you have no idea what tomorrow will bring, and furthermore , stressing about something that you have no control over is a waste of your time and it will not reduce your anxiety. Stay in the here and now- describe your every moment if it may help you to ground yourself more.

All of us worldwide, are currently facing circumstances of life that has the likelihood of pushing every one of our buttons, causing all of us to be concerned for the future. I have borrowed from some writings of Dr. Asim Shah from the Behavioral College of Medicine (bcm.edu) to assist people who may be having a problem balancing anxiety conditions, with anxiety during a global pandemic.

How do we cope with stress and anxiety during the corona virus pandemic?

There are 3 groups of people who are more vulnerable in a time like this:

  1. People with mental health and substance abuse issues.
  2. Children
  3. First responders, physicians and nurses, respiratory therapists etc).
  4. I am adding this to this particular virus , the elderly or those compromised physically.

People who suffer already from anxiety , should debrief and distance themselves -to relieve stress from constant news coverage. Hearing the information continually will cause more anxiety, so spend more time with family, those who have no one make a choice to busy yourself with something like a craft or an art, or writing. Those sensitive to the news coverage, should make sure that they are getting their news from trusted sources and limit watching the news once or twice a day.

Quarantine and social distancing

For those worried about social distancing and isolation, remember you can socialize online, on the phone. It’s important to talk to someone during these stressful times, you don ‘t have to be face to face , I am adding this, be careful that the friends you choose to speak with are not prone to anxiety and imbalance as a result of their own worries. This will increase the stress about what is going on . Dr. Shah said think about the worse case scenario and remind yourself you are in a better situation staying home in a safe place. Back to the “NOW” or grounding that I mentioned earlier, I am ok right now.

Talk to the Children

If parents are panicking, hoarding and stressing, children will panic as well. Parents are role models, so portray information in a calm manner so your kids will stay calm. Talk about the pandemic with your children and discuss based on their ages.

–ages 5 and under: teach them how to wash their hands effectively. make it fun activity and hopefully they will make it a habit. At that age the effort will surely be policed.

–ages 6-12 inform these children more about the severity of the disease, and that it may result in mortality (death) and emphasize the importance of constantly taking care of themselves. Tell them if they do not take care of themselves, by washing hands and avoid touching their faces, they too can be infected, which may cause hospitalization and the risk of spreading it to others.

–ages 12 and older Basically the same as the one above only this age may be informed more about the disease, how they would be at risk of mortality, and the importance of taking care of themselves as we described above.

Grocery Store Panic

Shah urges people not to make panic larger than the pandemic. People who are buying food in bulk are looking at part of the problem, but not the whole scenario, it’s a ripple effect. If we calm down on stockpiling, things will be better. Shah said. The stores should have a limit of what you can buy. Everyone needs some stuff, but if we stock up, it will increase the panic for others who can not purchase what they need.

Most importantly, take precautions, wash your hands, and stay home if you can. Remember to avoid negativity if you are sensitive to information related to this pandemic. This is the end of Dr. Asim Shah’s write up, I added a few things here and there and of course I started the blog entry til his information was introduced. Stay safe everyone, remember to also stay in the now and positive as you are alert to what is happening .

I am standing on my faith in God , and His mercy that this will end , and that the virus will stop in its tracks, in Jesus name!! (My words only)