What a Mere Smile Could Have Done

In my work now, helping people heal their “heart issues”, I hear some incredibly sad stories.

Stories of nearly unspeakable cruelty, doled out by people who themselves are damaged.

You and I walk among wounded people. Some people hide their scars pretty well. Some do not.

One man told of being at a church gathering. Because of health issues and a son with major difficulties, the man has been on disability, unable to work. At the gathering, the usual, “So, what do you do for a living?” question was asked. The man had no ready answer. As he stumbled through the truth, he noted how the other men looked away, not sure how to handle such honesty.

The man never wanted to go back to that group again. Acceptance? No. He felt judged and dismissed. Yet another incident to add to his pile of “I’m unworthy” belief.

I heard a story told about a young woman who ended her life by jumping off a bridge. When police went through her pockets, looking for a clue as to why she did it, they found a note.

“If only one person had smiled at me today,  I would not have jumped.”

A simple smile would have saved her life.

A simple smile and a “That must be a hard place to be right now” could have turned my client’s uncomfortable situation into an experience of acceptance.

Take the time to look into someone’s eyes today and smile. Take a moment to really listen to what a person says, and let your heart form words of acceptance, of life.

Realize that nobody has their act together. We are all walking wounded, to some extent. We all long for the same things: acceptance, significance, peace, love. Hope.

Just a smile can give a small measure of these things to someone else. Energy is exchanged. I believe that positive always wins. Light always drives away darkness, never the other way around.

Give the “abundant gift” of a simple smile. A few words of affirmation and acceptance. Turn the light on.

It just may save a life.

Good Friday Message (On Parenting)

One day in church–it was  Good Friday, actually– I was sitting in the back of the church and a dad was quietly explaining what was going on to his young son. I thought, “I never did that with my kids. No wonder they say they don’t believe in God now.” I felt guilty, and confessed my failure as a parent.

God’s reaction took me by surprise. Very distinctly in my spirit, I sensed him say, nonplussed, “Of course you failed.”

He added, “I don’t expect anything else. That’s why I died. And remember, I rose, and it’s all okay, because I’M the one who makes it okay.

“You are forgiven….”

So I know we’ll survive, and it’s my own perfectionism (and pride) that thinks I can be anything but a failure. It’s not that I’m beating myself up about it; quite the opposite.

I’m free to fail, as a parent or in any other way, because I am a sinner and Jesus is the one who took care of sin, once and for all. So now I’m forgiven and can stand in the truth that he can redeem anything.

If only I believe … but even then, if I don’t believe “enough,” that’s okay, because I can’t do that either, and Jesus believes for me.

Isn’t Jesus wonderful?

That was my personal Good Friday sermon.

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How (and Why) God Gave Us a Free Car

My family has always been rather fortunate with cars. We have never spent more than $10,000 out of our own pocket, and two of the cars were, essentially, free.  (My very first car was free; the story is in Abundant Gifts. )

Our latest car was not only free, but has an amazing story with it that shows something of God’s mercy and ability to make much out of little.

Perhaps one of the reasons we have been so fortunate with cars is, Continue reading “How (and Why) God Gave Us a Free Car”

A Birthday Gift from God

Since my birthday is on Christmas Day,  sometimes I decide to celebrate it later.  This past Christmas was so hectic and stressful, I’d decided to designate another day.

So it’s today. January 28.  I didn’t want it to be too far after the real date, or it wouldn’t happen. Made that mistake once. One year I never had a birthday. (Does this mean I’m a year younger?)

It’s just the morning, but God already has given me a sweet gift. Continue reading “A Birthday Gift from God”

Is the Smooth Way the Safest, Really?

It was the first snow of the season.

Beautiful.

And treacherous, as it turned out.

As I embarked on my morning walk with my Bishon, Millie, the snow was still coming down, muffling the world with quiet.

I passed my neighbors as they cleaned off their driveway. “Be careful,” warned Greg. “It’s slippery. The Big Guy already went down. Hard.”

“The Big Guy” was the man who walked, seemingly almost always at the same time I did, even when I changed the time. He was known as sort of a grump, but he often said hi to me because we seemed to share the same dedication to walking every single day, at the same time.

I picked my way carefully, but I did slip a couple of times. A few hundred yards  from my house, I passed “the Big Guy.” “Slippery,” I said. “I already went down,” he said. “Are you ok?” “Yes.”

So I walked on. I soon realized, after paying attention to where it was I slipped, that it was the smooth places that were most treacherous.

The rough places that were not cleared away were actually the safest.

It hit me: Continue reading “Is the Smooth Way the Safest, Really?”

Giving Thanks for the Tough Stuff

Giving thanks for obvious blessings is not difficult. Giving thanks for the tough stuff, the things that look like anything but blessings, takes real faith.

I’ve written on another Thanksgiving about giving thanks for what I call “disguised gifts” in Abundant Gifts. I wrote that when we give thanks for things that don’t seem on the surface like good things, our faith opens the way for God to turn it into a blessing.

Some things we experience are downright painful, and part of living in this broken world. Death,  for instance, is an enemy that Jesus himself cried over (then conquered and transformed).

There are other kinds of pain I think God allows into our lives because his ultimate goal is for  healing. Continue reading “Giving Thanks for the Tough Stuff”

Invitation to a Virtual Book Tour on Healing Heart Issues

I‘d like to invite you to listen to the replay of  the Virtual Book Tour on The Healing Code book, which took place on Thursday, October 28. I  interviewed Dr. Alex Loyd on his book, which has become a #1 bestseller at amazon.com in 9 categories shortly after its launch in June.

Dr. Loyd talked about a new paradigm mode for healing, called “The Healing Code.” Though it has had remarkable results in terms of all kinds of healing, Dr. Loyd stresses that the healing it addresses is the healing of “heart issues”–the same thing Solomon referred to when he said, “Guard your heart above all else, for from it flow all the issues of life.”

Find out what these “issues of the heart” are, why they’re at the source of just about any issue you can have, the scientific underpinnings of The Healing Code, and much more. (And if you’re interested in the spiritual foundation for this, you can go here to learn more about their philosophy. )

If you have a question of your own about The Healing Code, please ask it here.  This is also the link to register for the Virtual Book Tour, so even if you don’t have a question but want to register, sign up and say “none” in the question box. Dr. Loyd continues to answer questions in his weekly teleseminars, and I too will be answering questions on my own sites as a Healing Codes Coach/Practitioner.

You also get to download a 60+ page excerpt when you sign up and listen. You can start reading the book right away!

Though this new healing paradigm may seen new and even strange, I encourage you to at least give a listen. If you’re interested in the spiritual underpinnings of The Healing Code, I did another interview with Dr. Alex Loyd and his spiritual mentor, Larry Napier. You can access that at www.spiritualhealingcodes.com. We went into great detail about the scriptural basis of The Healing Code in that call.

What Does It Mean to “Fear the Lord”?

Every day, I read a section of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.

Three Old Testament passages per day.

One theme constantly emerges: how important it is to “fear the Lord.”

It’s the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7, Psalm 111:10) . It’s a life-giving fountain (Proverbs 14:27). It characterized the Messiah’s life (Isaiah 11:2). I could go on and on.

Since it’s stressed so much, I wanted to know what it really means.

My new Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (IVP) says that there are well over a hundred references to the fear of God, as distinct from the terror of him.

So what does it mean to “fear” God in the positive sense?

A light went on for me when I read that it means Continue reading “What Does It Mean to “Fear the Lord”?”

Lessons in Seeing

“I can’t find my boots! Where are my BOOTS?”

This was, of course, a crisis because we were dealing with a 15-year-old daughter who absolutely needed her boots RIGHT THEN because at the football game, they were supposed to dress as “cowboys or Indians.” And of course her ride was about to pick her up any minute.

I told her where the boots should be in the basement. She couldn’t find them, of course.

I looked where I thought they should be, on the shelf in the “boiler room” as we call it.

There was a small box there, which I passed over. Surely that couldn’t contain boots, since I knew mine were with hers. That much I remembered.

I ended up clearing out a lot of junk in the basement trying to find those boots. (God’s grace and sense of humor. I did need to clear out all that junk months ago. Guess God knew Continue reading “Lessons in Seeing”

The Center of the Bible

Do you know what the central verse in the Bible is?

I didn’t.

Now I do, and if you can extrapolate that perhaps the central verse of the whole Bible might be the one thing God wants us to “get,” then it’s worth knowing, even memorizing.

Enjoy!