When I look at an American Flag, I see so much more than stars and stripes. It is more than just a symbol. This is the AMERICAN flag which was built over time, with more and more states, being added. Each time our country has seemed on the verge of crisis, of being destroyed, of not making it this time, there have been brave, good men who have stepped up to lead our sometimes very tattered country. When I think of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and others, I think of those men that were raised up by God for such a time as this. They were not perfect men, they weren’t even great men until they had been proved in the refiner’s fire of God’s testing of our country and their own mortal hearts The song “Heal Our Land” is written for now, our own internal crisis and rending of our soul as a nation. How can we stand by and let all that this country has stood for over time, erode away? Will we allow our freedom of religion, to bear arms, and of free speech to fall by the wayside? Songs have been written and soldiers have marched for these freedoms in the past. Can we now sit by and just “watch it all go?”. I cannot. I will not. I will keep trying to push the symbols of our country and the flag and all the freedoms we have, in front of others as a reminder of WHO WE ARE AS A NATION. We are the UNITED States. We are a republic. We must stand firm in our freedoms and remind the upcoming generation of how precious those freedoms are. May God Bless America.
The pandemic is serious business and has impacted many people directly, and indirectly. Life as we knew it has changed. Wearing masks to go out and social distancing are necessary, but also have a cost. We are unsure if we should jump back in the water, or stay safer at home. We are fighting with each other, while others sit idle and ignore it. Can’t we just get along? We need to be unified as families and as society, and try to help each other. If we are slow and steady and do what we can for each other, then we will be through this in another, hop, skip, and a jump. We pray for unity, and for God to grant us solutions.
The symbol of a lighthouse can mean many different, inspiring principles. The main concept it represents is overcoming adversity and difficulties in life. All of us go through seasons in life where it feels like the adversity will never end. This music video represents the feeling of relief I feel when I realize I am going to get through the current trial and problems and I am feeling so grateful to Heavenly Father for the lessons learned.
The current lessons learned from my current adversities are as follows. Spread my net wide enough to “catch” new teachers to teach me the concepts to help me through the current storm. There are always people who have experienced much of the same trials that I am currently experiencing. They are often very open and willing to pass on to me coping strategies to make the situation bearable and a stepping stone to higher ground.
Another lesson is to keep up on my moral inventories of my day and my life so that I won’t fall back into the old patterns and coping mechanisms that are really ready to be discarded. I need to hold fast to new ways of functioning and most of all keep learning and growing.
A lighthouse usually spreads light over vast areas of darkness. If I am consistently learning and passing on the lessons to others, I can become a spiritual lighthouse to others who are struggling and holding on for one more day, week and onward for a lifetime on a similar journey that I have embarked on. Soon many lighthouses may dot an earlier dark horizon.
The Lord is our ultimate lighthouse keeper, the person who tends the lighthouse and keeps the lamp lit. I need only look to Him for solace, and guidance and the beacon of light that streams forth from Him, the healer of all wounds.
A guitar strumming, a piano playing, some double bass, some drums softly beating. These components make up a song. Each part is very unique and different. Each has it’s own sound and unique contribution. It takes a musical “family” to make up a unique song and message. This is also true of our own individual families. Each family member is unique, different, yet very important. Each child that is born in a family brings their own spirit, their own style and way of interacting with the world. When a child is appreciated and encouraged in their own authenticity, and is allowed to contribute to the family in their own way, that child grows up cherished and mentored in their talents. They maintain confidence in themselves and their own ideas and are motivated to contribute to the world. However if a child is not appreciated and is kept “small” then that child will not often have enough confidence in their own capabilities to flourish as they could have done.
I was sitting in a restaurant many years ago, and was eavesdropping on a family’s interactions where each child was listened to and was contributing to the conversation. They were all interacting in very confident tones and being listened to by everyone else. The sharing of ideas was fascinating as I felt the conversation sparkle from where I sat.
In the recording for this blog, Ed and I (he played the drums) have used the instrumentation to illustrate how each sound is important and unique. It hopefully shows, how a healthy family can interact and each family member has a very important “contribution” . The piano has it’s own unique characteristics, soon joined by an acoustic guitar and drums, coming in at the second verse , and also a double bass is added on the chorus. No instrumentation is more important than the rest. They all blend, hopefully, in a harmonic way.
God made everyone in the world to come and contribute and bring their own authentic soul to the harmony of the world. Each is a child of God. God loves everyone. There are no stars or v.i.p.’s in God’s world. How can I show love and appreciation for the unique music their hearts contribute to the orchestration of this incredible creation God has made? I can love my own family, for all the gifts they bring into my life. Jesus knows all of our hearts. Let’s sing for Him.
My inner child is just a component of me. She is, hopefully, the most creative, most buoyant and spontaneous part of me. I believe I arrived on earth as a fully intact spirit, open to growth opportunities. As each new experience happened, I changed, subtly and sometimes in ways that were negative. If one observes little children playing together, one notices they are free from worry and actually exuberant in their behavior. I suppose I was like that as well, being intuitively loving, so happy to have a body to run and jump and play and be who God created me to be.
Somewhere in childhood, I lost some of my joy and spontaneity and became ultimately pretty shut down. I think that was a result of various experiences that one might call “negative” and even traumatic. I became less an inner child intuitive and more a sad, depressed, adolescent.
One positive aspect of becoming an adult was that I realized I always have choices about how to respond to life. I can choose my own attitude and choose to use my problems as my teachers. I have the freedom to use all the negative experiences in life as a refiner and as a stepping stone to growth. There are ways to capitalize on my problems and learn the lessons from them that I probably couldn’t have learned in any other manner. More yet, I can use them as a way to change core patterns that I have developed all throughout my life. I can allow my weaknesses to become strengths.
Some of my favorite mentors have been those who have overcome problems in the same areas that I am struggling in. Jesus is my favorite mentor. He has experienced everything I have suffered and struggled with already. He knows how to best help me and who to send my way in dealing with specific problems. I have a good friend in Northern Carolina. She is an artist. She has so much experience in very specific areas that I have and continue to struggle with. How the Lord brought us together is a miraculous coincidence.
I have another friend in Pennsylania who is 88 years old. She is so positive about life and always lives in gratitude. I have learned so much from her. I am in awe of the Lord’s handiwork here on earth. There is so much love here, if I just focus on the good, and try and become better myself. I am grateful for all my friends and family who are so, so good. God has good creative talents. And He continues to bless………………all of us, with hard times, and good times, and in the end, they are all blessings!
There is a place where Jesus was crucified “outside a city wall”. As we head closer to the Easter season, I contemplate on how much Jesus really loved all of us to be willing to die for us. And how much did Heavenly Father love us to give His only Son to be crucified for us?
When I travel through airports and see most of us focusing on our phones, and such, I think about how sad that makes the Lord feel that we are not focusing on HIM.
In the New Testament, it talks about Jesus “bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha;” I don’t know how much Jesus suffered on Calvary. I don’t think I can fathom it. But I believe it was for us, “he hung and suffered there”.
So, apparently Jesus was the only one who was “good enough” , to pay the price of my sins. He was perfect. He didn’t need to repent. But I, being nothing better than human must repent every day of my sins, so I can stand before Him clean, or at least having done my part to repent and make amends to those I have harmed.
Part of my repentance process is to learn to “love my neighbor”. I had a neighbor who lived next door and we had words and bad feelings around dogs; my dog, her dog, it doesn’t matter. But she eventually moved across the green belt, I think to get away from me. When I started my “cleaning house” phase of my life, my experience with her was a “thorn in the flesh” memory that I knew I needed to make amends for. It was amazing how once I opened myself up to making amends to others, God provided the opportunities, sometimes miraculously.
One day, as I was walking along the street where she lived and she was, if I remember correctly, pulling out of her driveway in her car and God said, (in so many words) “now is the time, Lisa”. So I caught her attention and I apologized to her for how I had treated her and/or her dog. The weight of regret was lifted after my apology and I went on my walk much lighter and happier. She was most gracious and the amends only took a moment.
As I continue to review my life, the Lord brings more and more incidents to mind that I need to inventory and see my patterns of behavior and make restitution to others for. Most of my “sins” were born of long term patterns formed in my early childhood. However, it doesn’t matter when they were formed or why, I still am responsible for the harms caused from my actions.
To show reverence for the Lord’s ultimate sacrifice on Calvary, all I can do is make my own “demonstration” in repenting and living in service to others………..