Right Perspective

It’s all about perspective…

Saying goodbye to your love for a few days or saying goodbye to your husband for a three-year deployment…

Waiting an extra month for the house to be built or rebuilding after total storm devastation…

Trying to forget a petty wrong or trying to forgive decades of abuse and neglect…

Wrangling a passel of kids and feeling exhausted or working the night shift hoping to make it in to see your baby before she leaves for the day…

Worrying about your kiddos passing grade on the next exam or struggling to believe your teen will make it home safely from the inner city hood tonight…

Genuinely missing your best friend who flew over seas or walking the journey of grief for the very first time…

Having overwhelming leg pain that results in bed rest for a day or rolling a lifetime of hours with a wheelchair and cane….

Doctor reports that alter a lifestyle of living or walking the halls of the ICU hoping the life support brings restored vitals and vitality…

We all think it’s so easy, or we all think it’s too hard, until we walk a moment in their shoes…

It’s all about perspective.

*I do not own or possess either of these photos. They came from a simple Google search on perspective. Just thought they emphasized the point.*

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Looking for that Moment

I wouldn’t say I’m not a really bold person. Too often, I wish I were more bold, but my prayer lately has been for God to help me to see. “Open my eyes and let me see what and who You want me to see, and if you want me to speak, please, give me the courage, and I’ll speak. ” That’s been my prayer.

A few days ago, my husband and I walked onto a used car lot in town, met one of the salesmen, and he ended up sharing his story with us. He’s a retired South African pastor, living now in Georgia, and his wife is battling cancer for the second time. They’ve been married for 40 years, and he hopes and believes for 40 more; yet, when circumstances arise like this, it naturally brings doubts and fears. We stood right there in the parking lot and prayed for his wife’s healing.

Today, a lady showed up in our church foyer lost in her way to Florida. Mind you, our church is not just a step off the interstate; yet, her GPS had brought her down this street, and she stopped in for directions. She was on her way home to take care of her house before the possibility of Hurricane Irma sweeps in. I gave her directions and asked her if I could pray for her before she left. She said yes. We prayed; she cried, thanked me and went on her way. I have no idea if I’ll ever see her again, but I haven’t been able to get her off my mind all day. I pray she makes it home safely and that her home stays safe through the storm.

You never know who God will bring your way or why. The most important thing is to keep your eyes and hears open, ready and waiting for when He says, “Speak. Move. Tell them about Me.”

This is an older song, but it really puts “teeth” to what I’m trying to convey here. 😉 Hope you enjoy.

https://g.co/kgs/ubCQ8H

*This is a YouTube video. I do not have access to, nor do I own, this video.*

Storm Wisdom

Found this quote today, and I thought I'd share it. With the storms that have brewed and blown through in the states southwest of us, this just seemed appropriately placed. I hope you will be encouraged…

Knowing what to do when the storms of life blow in is essential to our survival. The storms are inevitable, and if you simply remain unprepared, believing they will never affect you, you will find yourself sadly disappointed and, possibly, even drowning in the floodwaters of the aftermath.

Lessons for the storm…
Sometimes, when the winds blow in and the rains threaten to overpower us, we have to simply adjust our sails and head a different way. Other times, heading straight into the storm will give us enough gust through the sails to carry us beyond the storm before it bellows in force. Sometimes, we may need to lower the sails, batten down the hatches and make a "bee line" for the shore. However, there are those few, rare occasions, we will even need to hold on tight and wait out the storm, because the safety of land is just too far to reach, and the storm has a lot of bravado but no real depth or harm. It blows in with a furry yet stops just short of any real threat.

If we are to survive through life's storms, we must develop the art of perseverance and a deep gratitude for the vessel in which we sail. When we have these two attributes as the foundation upon which we stand, we can face any storm that may come, because gratitude will always bring you to the wisdom of who you are and who you are not, and it will give you the ability to ask for help from the right people at the right time. Perseverance will give you the ability to withstand the battering of the winds and waves while still learning the skill it takes to get the boat to where it needs to be when it needs to get there.

Lastly, we need to know the Master of the winds and the waves. With Him by our side, we will not drown, no matter the depth of the sea, the force of the wind or the terror of the rains. He will guide us. He will comfort us, and He will protect us. He may not always remove us from the storm, but His hand will always be with us through the storm.

…I hope you might take some time to share with me your own perspective on this quote…

What Do You See?

Recently, I had lunch at the Swan Coach House in Buckhead, Georgia. If you want to see the Old  Southern Belle style of Old Atlanta, this is your place! It is rich in history and character. 

Behind this restaurant is the original Swan House (mansion) steeped  in even more history and character.  It was amazing to see the richness of decor, even to the detailed carvings above the door frames entering the library study. It seems this family spared no expense, lavishing the halls with beautiful furnishings of the time and even building out the master closet wth marble and huge vanities and closets. The gardens, lush and magnificent, capturing the attention of Hollywood with the filming of The Mocking Jay and various weddings of the area. It was simply breathtaking. 


Yet, as we traveled up the four flights of stairs to the very top floor of the house, we entered two rooms which were very plain and practical with no decorations or fanfare. It became apparent this was the former slave quarter and the ironing/folding/cleaning room. The slave’s room was said to be very close to what the actual room had been like. There was a bed with a simple quilt, a dresser with a few essentials, including a handwritten note on “How to prepare a perfect evening (bed) turndown,”  a little side table with a fan, and a rocking chair by the window. 


In comparison to the rest of the mansion, this room was so unattractive, it shouldn’t have made much, if any, impact. However, as I walked over to the gigantic, porthole-like window, I was struck in awe of the beautiful view. It looked out over the magnificent gardens below, and I began to imagine what it might be like to live as the slave within this home. 


The work would probably be unimaginably difficult, taking care of all the household chores, caring for the children (the children’s room was just down the hall), taking those four flights of stairs everyday to go to and from the various duties throughout the home. Oh, but that view kept drawing me in. It was simply breathtaking. 

I could imagine sitting by the window at night, gazing up at the full moon that might shine through. I thought of the early rising sun, chasing away the dark of night, the dew glistening in the gardens below. The work of the day ahead shadowed just a bit by the beauty which greets you in the morning light. 

In this life, we will have trials. We will have tough times, hard work and difficult obstacles which will threaten to overwhelm us. Yet, we must push through to survive. We must set our sights on the important things, and our perspective must be in the right place to not only survive but to thrive

What do you see before you? Do you see pain? Do you see difficulties and turmoil? Do you see brokenness and despair?

Or do you see an opening to life, a porthole of hope, a window of beauty that will sustain you through the storm?

Looking For A Sign

Read this Scripture today, and even though, I’ve read it before, it seemed to come alive to me once more. “Lord, You are my portion and my cup…” He not only is what fills me, but He is the vessel which holds the filling, the portion. He is truly all we need! 

Our pastor’s sermon this morning was titled, “Surrounded by Miracles While Still Asking for a Sign.” He talked about how everything around us is a miracle. We live on this little blue marble, which circles this great big ball of fire, while a sphere of rock illuminated by that ball of fire controls and maintains our ocean tides, all hurling through space, while all surrounded by rock and death and other masses of fire. This tiny blue marble has the perfect conditions for life and oxygen, wind and rain. All the while, we have this heart beating within our chest over which we have absolutely no control, and we still sit here demanding God for a sign. We keep saying, “God, I don’t see any miracles today. I don’t see Your hand moving as it once did. I can’t see any miraculous acts declaring Your glory and power.” 

How blind are we? How wicked is our wayward heart? There are miracles all around us, we just fail to see them. Our eyes are not given to us to see. Our eyes are given to us to look through. We must allow Him to give us the right perspective. We must allow Him to cause our eyes to see. 

2 Kings 6:17, shows us how the Lord does this. Elisha was surrounded by the army of Arameans who were commanded by the king to kill him. Elisha’s servant saw this army and was afraid while Elisha didn’t fear. He knew God was on his side and would win the battle. Elisha prayed this prayer for his servant, ““Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17) That’s a pretty big difference in just a moment of time. God gave him a new perspective. 

Sometimes, we must have a new perspective to see clearly. There are times in our lives when God isn’t going to answer the prayers we pray the way we believe they should be answered. There are going to be moments when things don’t make sense, and we wonder where God is and if He has forsaken us. There will be other days when we get into the mode of comparing our lives with someone else’s and wondering why God is blessing them so much, and we just seem to get the skimpy leftovers of life. 

That is when we need to remember this scripture in Psalm 16. This is when we must remember the story of Elisha and his servant. This are the very moments when we must ask God to give us the right perspective that we might see His miracle right here within our own chest.  

I pray He’d give you eyes that you might see. 💗

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A Grateful Heart

Happy (early) Thanksgiving! It’s that time of year when we start thinking of all those things for which we should be grateful…like turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans, pecan pie and sweet potato pie! … Are you hungry yet? I know I am!

Maybe your thoughts of thankfulness are turned toward your family, your spouse, your children or even your co-workers and employers. Maybe it’s for more material things like a roof over your head, money in the bank, or transportation to get you from place to place. Maybe it’s a good job, a good church or a good network of friends.

During this season, for me, I am thankful for my husband, our boys, my extended family and our home. I am thankful for my faithful God, our wonderful staff, our great church body and our freedom to worship. I am, also, so very thankful for our law enforcement, our military and all those who fight so hard for our freedom and our safety in these uncertain times.

There are really too many things I could list; so, I will pause here to say, Whatever it is for which your heart is grateful during this season, relish in it. Cherish it and share your gratitude, especially when it’s people; for, we have no guarantees, and no promises even for the next breath.

Yet, really, we should carry this heart of gratitude every day and not just during the holiday seasons. I was reminded of this so vividly this week as we received a call that you never wish to receive. A husband, father of five, and an incredible man who served our nation at the federal levels, was killed in the line of duty. It was an act of senseless violence and hate.  Honestly, it will take some time for all to process this level of grief. Yet, as we walk this journey, it is crucial to remember our gratitude for him, as well as, for all those who might have impact in our lives. 

Veteransinfosite.com

A heart of gratitude can change your attitude, your countenance and your perspective. A heart of gratitude will cause you to see farther, hear clearer and receive far more than when you are not. A heart of gratitude doesn’t always come easy, but it grows from a thought life of thankfulness. 

What do you think about? On what things do you allow your mind to dwell? Let’s make a point today to think on “whatever is TRUE, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE, [let’s] think on these things.” (Philippians 4:7-8)

When we focus our thoughts on these things, our hearts will follow, and when our hearts are full of gratitude, we will see both the big and small things in which to be grateful!

Three Things Thursday – Thankfulness

Found this cute little linkup at Ms. Emily’s Home for Full Grown Nerds; so, I thought I’d join and share.

Three things I’m thankful for right now…

My Pumpkin Spiced Latte candle is making my office smell yummy!

The cup of coffee I had this morning is about worn off by now, but it was so delicious!

I came into my office today to find the crockpot that I had forgotten and left over the weekend was completely cleaned and dried for me! (I’m writing this blog on Monday, not Thursday. 😉 How very sweet! … It was full of a breakfast – egg, sausage, cheese – casserole, too! Double sweetness!!

These are just little things, but they make my heart very thankful. ❤

Different Perspectives

“Two people can be looking at the exact same direction and yet see two completely different things. It’s all in each individual perspective.”  – P. Ortega-Santiago

A friend of mine quoted this the other day, and it started me thinking. This statement is so very true! You can have two people looking in the exact same direction, looking at the exact same thing, and they each may see something completely opposite. This is proven in every art gallery across the nation. It will be proven in every phychologist’s office every day, and it has been proven in every home, in every marriage, and in every family for centuries of time.

People are different, and they see things in different ways. They come from different backgrounds, different experiences, different surroundings, and each of them have been impacted in very different ways. If we fail to recognize this truth, especially those of us who are in leadership, we will find ourselves in a world of hurt and confusion!

We cannot expect another person to understand, accept or realize our point of view, simply, because we have stated a fact. We should not demand another to see it only our way, simply, because we wish it so; they may never “get it” like we believe they should. People are people, and they will always be people.

Now, some would use this philosophy to push a certain agenda, religion or method of thought and reason. Some would use this line of logic to insist you see things their way and meet their expectations. Others will insist this information is meant to allow for tolerance or even to empower intolerance to a certain group, sect or organization.

Yet, can I tell you? Once you begin to expect everyone you meet to agree with your given perspective, even when it comes to a claiming of tolerance, you begin to isolate yourself from the very “open-minded and impartial” group of beings with which you claim to associate. There will be people who disagree with you in this life, but that’s ok. There will be people who never see it your way; that’s ok, too!

You’ve got to decide for yourself what is right and true. What is absolute truth for you? What do you use to measure this truth? Whom do you follow? Are you the smartest person in the room? I hope not. If you are the smartest person you know, you can never learn more. You can never be challenges to grow and to change.

You must follow someone who is smarter than you, bigger than you, someone who is beyond your tiny world. This is why I choose to follow God, the Creator of the universe. He is so much wiser, so much bigger, so beyond my world and even my universe!

He spoke and there was light. He spoke again and the heavens came into being. He picked up dust and formed you and me. He sent His Son to save a dying world. He healed the sick, delivered the insane, raised the dead and still does. Why wouldn’t I want to follow Someone this great?

Yet, beyond all this majesty, He loved me before I was even born. He saved me, and He has given me a hope and a future! He knows the deepest, darkest parts of me; yet, He still loves me. He guides me, directs me and always leads me to a better place. He knows what is best for me and why I need certain things and not others. He gives me peace in the storm, strength through the pain and faith during times of doubt. He even left us a “manual” by which to know more about Him and His ways. Why would I not want to follow Someone like this?

His truth has been proven for centuries upon centuries. His love has been proven within my life, and everyday more people are turning to Him, even dying for His cause. He sent His Son, and it changed the course of time. He speaks and the mountains quake. He is all powerful, all knowing and all loving. Why would I want to ever follow someone or something else?

Why would you??

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 

Choose a Path…

I came across a new blog the other night, Shades of Today, and the blogger’s post prompted me to send a comment her way, and as I thought about it more, I thought it might be a good topic for me to share here as well…

Sometimes, it’s so hard to know the path in life to take, especially when it feels as if it may be a real “key” to unlocking your destiny. In my life, I have found four things that help the choosing to be a little easier: perspective, diligence, hope and faith.
My perspective can make or break my situation. If I’m all ‘doom and gloom,’ always believing “the grass is greener on the other side,” I’ll forever be searching for the fantasy I’ve created in my own mind. Sometimes, you can miss the very best opportunity sitting right beside you, because you’ve always got your head in the clouds and can’t see a blessing when it’s there. Those with wanderlust can get caught in this vicious cycle. Other times, you may miss the opportunity, because you’re too focused on the here and now, and you’re never dreaming of a bigger, brighter tomorrow. You can get stuck in a rut, because you’re never looking beyond today’s job and tomorrow’s paycheck. Anyone from a small town who now lives with the regrets of a missed college experience or job opportunities can give me an “Amen” on this one.

My diligence in the here and now can both boost my perspective of the current situation and boost the opportunities that may open up in the near future. If I am diligent in doing what I am involved with today, someone who has an opportunity may see my diligence and desire my assistance on their team, as well as, sometimes, diligence can help me to accomplish things which teach me to be ready for my “next step” in life.

It is imperative to hold onto hope in all things and in all circumstances. For, if I don’t have a dream, a hope for a better tomorrow, how can I ever set goals to get there? If I don’t have hope, how can I finish what I’ve started today, and if I don’t hold onto hope, where will my joy in the little things be found?

Finally, I have realized, for my life, I have to have faith in Someone who is bigger, better and so much smarter than me. Some will call my faith in God a mere crutch, and, yes, I have found, I can’t even walk without Him holding my hand. He guides me, helps me, comforts me and loves me. He is the Creator of the universe; yet, He loves me. He is the King of all Kings; yet, He knows my name. He is one with God Almighty; yet, He chose to die for me and be raised from the dead to give me hope and a future! The Word makes it clear to me that He has good plans for my life. Jeremiah 29:11, says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” That’s a pretty great promise to which to hold! So, to have faith in a God who not only loves me but One who also is looking out for me and planning a good life for me, is definitely a great thing to obtain. How can I possibly live without Him?!

I have found having these four elements active in my life help me every time I am faced with a new challenge, a new dream and/or a new path to choose in life. When they are in balance, and I’m not leaving one out or leaning solely on one while neglecting the others, it is so much easier to find the path and walk in it. I have, also, found these four elements join together to bring perfect harmony and balance to my heart and soul on a daily basis.

Maybe they can be of help to you… 😊

Fire Vision

What do you see when you see fire? 

Do you see this evil and all kinds of danger?


Do you see dancing and fun times?


Maybe you just see a whirlwind of emotion and thought…                          

Do you simply see a light to brighten your path along the way?

…or a spark to ignite your passion?

…or maybe a flash of hope in a darkened world?

 What do you see?