Nothing Is Impossible

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Ever felt like blasting off from earth to find a new life in a new world?

Sci-fi like the picture is just for fun, but life can get tough here on earth.

Stuff happens: job stuff, people stuff, financial stuff, and we won’t even go anywhere near the media/political world. It can be crazy out there, and it’s the same ol’ game that’s been going on for millennium. 

Trust me, the Roman world in 33 AD,…wasn’t Utopia.

Roman soldiers weren’t cuddly bears. By Roman law they could snatch anyone off the streets and force them to carry their gear for a mile, and we can well guess they didn’t say, “Please.”

Brutality in the Roman world was so commonplace it wasn’t given a second thought. Or that is until Jesus suggested to his followers that we should, “Love our enemies.” “Turn the other cheek,” – “Go the extra mile.”

When we love someone going the ‘extra mile’ is super easy. It’s a joy to enrich our loved one’s lives. But to those who are cruel to us?

Hello? What was our LORD thinking?

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 43-45

Perhaps the LORD was offering us a glimpse of a new life on a new world. A world where we can love one another and be kind to one another.

Of course being mere mortals we can’t change the entire world, but we can effectuate ‘change’ in our world.

By ourselves?

Noooooooo,…that’s not humanly possible.

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

All?

Absolutely,…God spoke the world into being,…what could possibly be beyond our God’s ability? The Bible is filled with miracle upon miracle,…especially the miracle of redemption,…the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. To die for our sins is one thing, but to be raise to everlasting life that’s where the impossible is made possible, and that possibility is what changes lives even in the 21st century.

One of the nice things about the LORD is that punches are never pulled,…always the LORD gives it to us straight,…such that we were NEVER promised perfect lives.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

What do you think happened the first time one of Jesus’ followers willingly marched along with that Roman solider for the extra mile? Do you think the self sacrifice totally messed with that Roman dude’s mind? Or maybe it was a tiny seed planted in the man’s heart? And what about the follower? How was their world changed?

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:3-12

When you have an encounter with God,…your world view does change.

People are seen not as enemies,…but brother and sisters. Maybe they don’t know it, but that’s okay we’re not required to deal with another person’s hang ups,…only our own.

Also we can be grateful we’re not required to face life under our own strength,…because no mere mortal is strong enough to face the world. Instead we know that, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 – that includes going the extra mile for even ‘those’ people in our lives who are put in our lives to effectuate change – in their world and ours.

Hang in there,…it’s a comfort to know with God nothing is impossible!

 

 

 

What Autism Is Like – For Us

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Our youngest son was diagnosed with Autism six years ago,…and in the past six years we’ve learned that Autism is many things,…some of them WONDERFUL!!!

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The gift of Autism is that our little guy has no social hang ups. To him,…he’s “Isaac,” and he’s perfectly comfortable with himself,…and if you’re not comfortable,…that’s YOUR problem,…not his.

According to our son,…he has NO CHALLENGES.

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He’s perfectly happy living his life to the best of his ability. As for Apraxia, a speech disorder that basically means you can’t say what you want to say when you want to say it,…that’s not a problem to our son either. If there are communication disconnects,…then it’s not coming from his end,…and he’ll be very happy to work with you until you understand what he is trying to communicate,…in a very ‘there-there’ manner, I might add. Such self-confidence/self-acceptance is another gift of Autism.

The best part of Autism is not only does our son accept himself,…but he accepts others as they are. To him,…people are people, and it doesn’t matter what race, or creed, or ability, or non-ability. Everyone is a potential friend. Of course,…reality is that not everyone is friendly,…but again,…it doesn’t phase our little guy,…he’s only sad for them that they don’t have enough joy within their hearts to share with others. Life’s an adventure,…there is too much to see, and do, and learn, and too much fun to be had for our little guy to ever be bogged down with others perceptions of disabilities.

Make no mistake,…our little guy has challenges,…therapy is a reality for us,…but those challenges are mere speed bumps in the road of life. The challenges our little guy faces due to Autism only strengthen him,…they make him smarter,…kinder,…more accepting and loving toward others and the challenges they face,…and that’s not a bad thing.

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Life is to be lived,…our little guy is only nine years old and he’s got a handle on the most important facts: LOVE ONE ANOTHER,…BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER.

No one expects their child to have Autism,…we certainly didn’t,…but it is our reality,…and it’s not the end of the world,…instead it’s a portal,…to the greatest adventure we’ve ever experienced.

The ultimate gift of Autism is that it breaks down life into it’s most elemental features:

I love you,
you love me,
and what else is really important?

As people of faith we know God doesn’t make mistakes,…our son is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made,’ – and for that we are truly grateful!

 

Not On Vacay

Sorry there’s not been any post for a bit, but we’ve not been on vacation here as we are still getting over this polar vortex type flu that’s been hanging on for weeks.

Seriously this stuff has got to go! Hugs and encouragement for everyone dealing with this stuff for I know I am not alone. It seems everyone has been sick,…even my computer.

Back-up, back-up,…back-up,…and the last word back-up! Those external hard drives are not cheap, but what a relief to find ALL your work safe and sound in digital files. For any writer or artist hard copies are prudent as well.

New technology wasn’t planned for this year, but necessity is making it welcome. I barely recognize Word, it’s been nearly a decade since we installed it in our now old computer. What fun it will be to have new resources to work with,…although in regard to our old computer we have to be fair and say, “Well done,…good and faithful servant.”

Hmmm,…I can only hope for equal praise. My computer was tireless, hard working, kept on task, never complained, and was always willing to do what was asked of it. Then again,…the computer was NEVER asked to do something it wasn’t programmed to do.

Philippians 1:6

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Trusting in the Lord’s purpose for my life’s work,…today, tomorrow, and beyond!

Have You Read Today?

What a water logged week we are having in our area,…torrential rains for days. The perfect weather for curling up with a good book!

Writers are readers too! It’s our love of books that prompts us to join the world of literature.

Personally I can’t remember a day in my life,…I haven’t read,…especially since I am definitely a multi-tasking reader keeping several current readings going at once. New books, old books, re-reads of re-reads,…as we all have those favorite books that offer comfort or cheer,…and even a really good laugh. Of course thought provoking books and those hearty educational volumes that inform have their own place, and a very important place it is,…but on rainy days that follow rainy days,…one just wants to be transported to a different time, a different place by the miracle of what is literature. Thoughts from authors who lived hundreds and even thousands of years ago have the power to enrich our lives. What a noble purpose for a book to have!

Proverbs 16:24

”Gracious words are a honeycomb,sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Whatever is your favorite genre,…hope you get to curl up with a good book today!

Shall We Consider Sloths?

 

Have you given much thought to sloths lately?

Don’t feel bad,…except for the hilarious DMV caricatures in Zootopia I haven’t ever given sloths a second thought myself. But it’s funny the stuff you don’t know about your extended family. Looking to encourage someone,…needing encouragement I recently discovered they love sloths.

Can’t say I’ve ever sketched a sloth, or even ever thought to spend my precious (and carefully rationed) sketching time to sloths, but for the past six weeks I’ve had extra time on my hands. Shall we all say bedrest? Thankfully the long-lingering bronchitis is on the run,…whoo-hoo, or rather PRAISE THE LORD,…so grateful to feel better!!! But back to sloths.

What do sloths have to recommend themselves? They don’t scamper around like squirrels,…and they’re not exactly cute like kittens. Their very name is a term of denigration, and their excessively slow actions or lack of actions are openly mocked. Let’s get real, no one is going to name a sports car after the species. The poor arboreal mammals have weak eyesight, and their hearing isn’t much better. Aside from their camouflage of algae, they have utterly no defenses. Seemingly they don’t contribute much to their environment, yet,…they exist.

For whatever reason the LORD obviously felt the universe would be imperfect without these gentle creatures.

Sloths do have a few things going for them. With their curved claws they have the amazing ability to live their lives upside down,…and with their long arms they are unexpectedly strong swimmers.

Surprised?

I was,…the things you don’t know,…but sloths can actually hold their breath under water for 40 minutes thanks to their ultra slow metabolism, which probably comes in very useful if they are trying to avoid predators.

Sloths hunt,…nothing. They have no agenda, but to hang around,…nibbling leaves. It’s a tough job, but someone has to grow that algae, which makes up its own small ecosystem. It’s safe to say sloths are very comfortable,…being sloths. Totally trusting the LORD for protection and provision.

Notice the coloring on sloths features,…that mouth marking,…smiles. No matter upside down, or crawling tree limb to tree limb,…a sloth is calm,…peaceful,…accepting what each day brings,…with a gentle smile.

Jungles, like the 21st century,  can be a madhouse hive of activity,…chattering birds flitting here and there,…chirping frogs,…troops of monkeys,…jaguars,…and bugs galore! Yet, sloths aren’t about to be hurried out of their unique existence. They weren’t made to be fast, or productive, or even yet excessively social. They are what they are,…perfectly formed,…not a mistake,…not without their own gentle dignity.

In a world so obsessed with ‘self-worth’  there seems to be a real lesson to be found in sloths. For whatever reason the LORD obviously felt the universe would be imperfect without these gentle creatures. It begs to reason,…why are we here? Obvious the LORD felt the universe would be incomplete without us,…without me,…without YOU.

The world demands we justify our existence,…our worth, but to the LORD our existence is proof enough,…our worth is priceless.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,”
Psalm 139:14