Weekly Photo Challenge: Miracles Instead of Magic

Magic is false.  Trickery like “smoke and mirrors.”  Miracles are unexplained occurences that are very real indeed to those blessed enough to experience them.  I believe that they happen more often than many think but most are not aware of it.

Even though I try not to be superstitious, I am the type that would see “Jesus” in a Jesus shape on my pancake.  There’s a lot of that going around and I did see a “king” in a rainbow print that I posted about previously.  I’m sure someone else would have just been upset because of the stain.

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I also know there are no coincidences or so they say.  I’ve lost a lot in my life. Enough to make lesser people completely give up and funny I recently was about to do just that when I came across a book written by someone I once knew many years ago, a well known pastor by the name of David Wilkerson who wrote “The Cross and the Switchblade” that was turned into a movie.  Some of you may be familiar with it.  I had never before seen the book that got my attention with a jolt, “Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately” just when I was thinking “I think I’m done here.”  He had passed away not that many years ago and I speak of him often and have sent some his books to others for inspiration as well.  I actually thought of this find as a sign not to give up as clear as if he would have come back to earth and spoken to me.  This is also the magic of being an author.  You never know when your words and ideas can actually become a blessing to others.  It’s why we are all here after all.  It’s not to have the most toys or be the winner or king, it’s to help one another in any way we can.

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Oddly enough I come to find out that this pastor, who I truly believe did God’s work while he was here, predicted over 40 years ago, how the church was going to become political and liberalized much as it is now.  We finally have our first liberal Pope and there ain’t no such animal.  Most are so weak in spirit that they do not recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing or in this case a liberal puppet in a robe.  He predicted they would use the name of Jesus freely but for their own ends not for the purpose of anything Godly.

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The Miracle of Mother Teresa?

Was Mother Teresa responsible for my transformation in finding Jesus?

In the summer of 1997 I applied for an accounting position in the bank that I had been employed with for the last eight years.  I had gone from part-time teller in a branch to lead teller and substitute administrative assistant as well as training all the new tellers in our area.  I had been trained in Management as well because the bank liked to cover their bases and save money as well.  By training some of us in other areas, we were able to cover for people in higher positions without the bank having to give us that title or the raise that was supposed to go with it.

As soon as I started in the accounting department I was hired in, I realized it was a BIG mistake.  My manager was a crazy person and she ran the department like a sweat shop.  I use this term because one of her bosses described it using those words on my final day and said he did not blame me for moving on, after being there for two years. I guarantee I would not have stayed there that long and gotten the experience needed for my next job if I had not received “the poem.”

I told my mother and sister what a nightmare the place was at the beginning.  There were a number of young women that collapsed at work from exhaustion as well as one woman in the next department, a little older than myself, that died of a heart attack on the job.  The next day there was a flower at her empty desk.  Some tribute to a life taken from pushing people past their endurance. It was just too disturbing for me.  There was absolutely no excuse to drive people at this pace to where they become physically ill.  There were a lot of call offs as well as people quitting.  This explains why there was always an opening there.

My sister called me one day to say that she was at our mothers when a magazine my grandmother used to subscribe to arrived at the house and they were discussing how strange that they would send a copy of this magazine to my grandmother since she had passed away many years before.  She called to say that she thought she was supposed to see it because she thought she was supposed to show me a poem in it called “Mother Teresa’s Prayer.”  She just said I think I’m supposed to give you this poem so she sent it to me in the mail and I put it up in my cubicle.  She was right, I was supposed to see it because it stopped me from getting upset or walking out many times.  It was a reminder of how even when things suck, you need to suck it up and “do it anyway.”

My sister and I lived with our great-aunt Ruth and grandmother when we were young.  My sister being two years younger does not remember as many things as I did from our Christian aunt’s influence.  Our parents are both unbelievers who scoff at the idea of there being a God.  They were immature, abusive and neglectful parents that should never have had children but did.  Both of them being brain-damaged did not help anything either.  They both “managed” and I’m sure our lives could have been worse, but we were always beaten down and laughed at about everything.  There was never any mercy or someone saying “oh, well, kids will be kids.”  The minute you made one mistake, they jumped on you with both feet and you always knew how much you were despised. Our other relatives were not like this.

Every one of my siblings were substance abusers and severe overeaters trying to fill the void of not being loved as a child.  I was the oldest and I do believe that my aunt’s love sustained me because someone loved me and I loved her, even though she went home to be with the Lord when I was seven.  I drank once in a while when I was younger and married but stopped after I was divorced and taking care of two children and working.  I imagine I was not prone to alcoholism that ran in my family or I just thought more of myself.  I always knew I was special and talented and didn’t care what people said about me.  Well maybe a little.  (felt I needed to lay down some background to my earlier life to make my point.)

After I left the sweat shop I took “Mother Teresa’s Prayer” with me to my next two jobs before early retirement was sort of forced on me.  Not being Catholic or even raised in a Christian home, I always knew who Jesus was but was curious about Mother Teresa so I bought a book I came across “Mother Teresa in my Own Words” and found it fascinating.  I realized I could never do what she did.  I know we are not all cut out for the same thing.  Mother Teresa struggled all the time doing the right thing.  She did not do it to “live her dream” but to live God’s.  This is the way we are all supposed to live and I know this now.

I was never into the Bible.  I went to church now and again and was once a regular member of a church with my husband and children for a number of years.  After I was divorced, I could never really make myself go back to them.  I didn’t even like reading the Bible, especially the Old Testament.  I am still not a religious person, but I do love Jesus and everything He did for anyone who believes.  I don’t understand those that refuse to see the reality in all that he told us and did for others.  It’s very simple and it should be quite natural to have a heart for God, even the laziest of us.  I believe it’s much harder to do the wrong thing, takes more energy than to just do what is right.

Maybe it’s just a “coincidence” that a magazine arrived addressed to my grandmother, who had lived with my mother, considering she had passed over 10 years earlier and that my sister said she was supposed to give that poem to me but after I read her book and let the words of this poem get down deep inside of me, I started reading the New testament and really started getting strong into the word.  It turned my life around completely in everything that I did.  When you are living a sloppy and undisciplined life and decide to change, watch who your friends still are.  Sometimes you will stop talking, sometimes it’s them who will not like the change in you.

I have done some backsliding  after my personal crisis involving a non-believing family member a number of years ago that still has not completely played out but that is another story too long to mention at this time.  I don’t worry, I still have my faith and know that God is not done with me yet!

For those of you not familiar with it, here is a copy of “Do It Anyway.”  I have also heard it called “Anyway” and “Mother Teresa’s Prayer.”  It is supposedly authored by Kent M Keith but she kept it on her wall and apparently added the last line.

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

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Daily Prompt: Finite Creatures All

I don’t remember how old I was when a conversation I was having with my mother led me to the understanding that everyone dies.  I had thought that it was just random other people.  Initially I was told that only old people die and not to worry about it until my neighbors baby drowned in the bathtub when I was about 11 and I realized death can happen at any age.

When my brother, who was almost murdered in 2012, found out as a child that everyone had to die, he said something very profound; “What a waste of people!”

The fact that we do all have to die shows just how precious life is.  It’s impossible to hang on to even if you try so why would anyone make it harder for someone to do just that?

Anyone that can lay life to waste, like the flushing of a toilet, shows the world how stupid, evil and useless they really are.  They don’t have the intellect or wisdom to think of life as the sacred miracle it is.  Those are truly the dangerous ones.  The one’s whose life, and not death, are the waste.

Many kill, but how many do you know that can actually heal?

This is why I love the stories of Christ when He lived.  What he did for others physically and spiritually.  We don’t really stand a chance and yet Jesus tells us to believe.  I reason that since I know other things that Christ taught were factual, then it would stand to reason everything He said was indeed the truth.

We may leave this world behind one day, but some of us have the chance to live eternally in the spirit with God.

John316

 

Back to School!

I remember so many things about starting a new school year. It meant I was finally going to get new shoes to replace the ones I long outgrew with the holes and sometimes cardboard placed in the soles. I would get a few pieces of clothing as needed and since I was the oldest, no hand-me-downs, even though my little sister was physically larger than myself.  Some of the clothing was hand-made by my mother or grandmother and did look homemade.  Sometimes my grandma had enough savings to take us to Federal’s Department store for a dress or two, my dad had more important things to spend his money on when he was working.  I can’t remember where we purchased our shoes.  I didn’t really care about the actual school supplies, it made me nauseated to look at them!

It meant I had to brace myself for another year of bullies and mini-aholes.  The “popular” kids with all the right clothes and all the right words.  The teachers that were supposed to be teaching me, but never saw me, or pretended not to.  I was the plain little mouse that looked out-of-place in the homemade clothes and one long braid down past my butt.  It was worse than being Amish, I was poor.  When I was very young, we were only allowed one bath a week, whether we needed it or not.  When we got to live with grandma, we were cleaner.  So dirty, poor, oddly dressed, you get the picture.

I could never concentrate on the menial subjects my teachers were always blabbing about.  You see, I found it much more compelling to wonder if there was going to be any dinner tonight.  If my ghost of a father would stumble home after we went to bed hungry and decide that we needed to be punished for being born.  My teacher would try to pry my brain away from my true life of poverty, abuse and neglect, to a world where 2 + 2 actually equalled 4.  Did I care at the time?  Hell, no!  After a good beating for no reason I would worry for days about what evils awaited me that evening.  I knew that I could be as good as gold and still not be safe.  I heard of spankings and punishments and knew, the older I got, that  bad kids were punished, not good ones.  That’s why it took me so long to believe.  To even be able to comprehend things such as a Holy Father, because mine was evil.  Forgiveness, because I had never known mercy and to give, because I had nothing to give anyone, not even myself.

I think of all the children starting their new school year without much of a chance, even with “No Child Left Behind.”  That sounds really purty and nice, but it’s bull.  It’s not realistic.  The only way you will stop children from being left behind is to educate parents properly to love and nurture and actually being able to change the human heart.  I don’t know of any way to change a person full of hate that wants to hurt or even kill their child, to an angel of mercy unless a miracle happens.  Only God can change a heart and it starts by knowing the teachings of Christ.  It starts for the parent when they stop beating themselves up for not being loved and the cognizance that they never deserved to be abused or neglected and that it didn’t feel good so why on earth would you knowingly put your own child through it?  The day you can look at yourself with the mercy an abusive parent never had, is the day you can start to change and give your own children a chance in a world that is demanding and cruel.  The day you can start to truly love yourself, you will stop trying to turn your own children against you.  Abuse and neglect is an ugly cycle that needs to be stopped and it can only be stopped by sober love.