Choose to live.

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For me, the best New Year quote was given in the movie Braveheart. He says, “All men die, but not all men truly live.” Many go through life chained to circumstances, living according to “the pattern” of expectation, quenching their dreams, sweet childhood racing hearts reduced to spiritual poverty, disabled by fear.

To truly live demands courage. One might meet an untimely death! At best we stand to fail sometimes, become a target for gossip, have our “friends” desert us. I’ve trod the path, I know.

The alternative to embracing life, is to live a humdrum existence, to “arrive safely at death” dreams stored away lest you fail. I did this at first, till at 17 I exploded, unable to contain it any longer. I hurt some people (especially the boyfriend I no longer wanted to marry). The truth can hurt, but I would have hurt them more in the long run…

I cracked the – 1960s council estate, London suburbia – mould, getting a job in downtown London, I pursued my talents, eventually earning a fine art degree and being ostracized by former friends and neighbours for my audacity. I questioned everything, began to travel, to teach, and best of all (after a great many adventures and going through hell for a while) discovered God was real. From that point on, though there have been battles to fight, I led an enchanted life of total FREEDOM!

During this time, I was continually told these things were impossible for me, a poor girl from a council estate where no one could dream of more than shop, office or factory work, scarcely knew other options existed. Even my school advised against my staying on to take GCSEs (I was dyslexic – a condition unrecognised then) so I left school and started work at 14 years old. I see in retrospect God always had a hand on my life.

Well, that’s my story and it has repeated itself in my children, each conquering “the impossible” in their own way. My advice to anyone with a burning fire? If you hate your life, be brave! Step out on the water like Peter. Sure, he sank when he looked at the waves and the wind, (as we often do) but Jesus lent a hand and together they walked on the water. Peter, a simple fisherman, is remembered while the richly endowed of his time are forgotten. Not for his intellect, talents or wealth but due to his courage to risk everything. So, step out, pursue those dreams, but, if you’d be wise, take God’s hand you may need it sometimes.

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“This is Eternal Life?”

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The first thought when hearing “eternal life” tends to be “life after death”, but either believers are right and all live eternally or atheists are correct and there is nothing after death (in which case also nothing to worry about since you will no longer be aware).

Examined logically “eternal life” (as expressed in Biblical texts etc.) denotes something more than survival because it is partaken by some and not others. It seems to be speaking rather of quality of life – living rather than existing. As Braveheart so aptly states, “All men die, but not all men truly live!” There’s a difference between eternal life and eternal survival. Eternal survival in an environment in which you felt trapped, fearful, or alone would be the worst kind of hell!

So what is meant by “eternal life”? John clarifies “This is eternal life, that they may know … the only true God, and Jesus Christ…” We are told Jesus came that we might “have life and have it more abundantly” an enriched life, beginning not at death but the moment we come to truly know him in a personal and intimate way, a life enriched by the power and joy of his spirit, possessed not at death but right now in our present life and that to come.

Let your soul catch up.

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A group of scientists had to carry out research in a faraway, almost inaccessible place. A group of Mexican carriers were transporting their equipment by hand. Along the way, all the carriers inexplicably stopped at once. The scientists were astonished, then became irritated, finally furious. Why did they not go on? They were wasting time. The Mexicans seemed to be waiting. Then all at once, they started moving again. One of them explained to the scientists what had happened: “Because we had been going so fast, we had left our souls behind. We stopped to wait for our souls.”

We too often leave our souls behind. Caught up in urgency, we forget what is truly important in life. Pushed on by the demon of haste, we forget our souls—our dreams, our warmth, our wonder. From this viewpoint, it is clear how patience is part of kindness, for how can we be kind if we do not respect the rhythm of others? We forget the soul—theirs and ours.
(copied from a friends face book page)

Silver lining?

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What has a kitchen timer got to do with silver linings you may ask?
It all began with my doctor’s suggestion that I get one to help me remember to take a few minutes walking break from sitting at my desk every twenty minutes to help an inflamed nerve heal.
First not so silver lining, (more a black storm cloud on my part lol!)it ticked so loud it was a constant distraction grrr. (should have bought a different one.)I did find after the initial frustration though that my world was expanding. I’d been tending to spend most of my “at home time” in my bedroom for convenience sake, generally on the laptop at my desk, or laying on my bed with a good book to “chill” (confessions lol!.) Doc said to walk during these breaks so I became re acquainted with the neglected parts of my apartment (the living-room for example!)
Thinking hmm… I have such a nice room but I hardly ever use it, I decided to move one laptop there (yes I had two in my bedroom – embarrassing!)Next step I figured why not move my work stuff with it and keep my bedroom for rest and devotional reading etc. You are probably laughing by now! (First de stress rule – bedrooms should not be work places – but its so convenient!lol!)
Well to cut my story short, the timer went down also. Having my life cut into 20 min. segments has been a life changer. I realised just how much time I can “accidentally” spend on social media, how I must have been sometimes 3 or more hours straight at the computer when a writing bug hit (no wonder my leg was complaining!)I became far more aware of how I used my time. Many of those little jobs on my to do list got done during my breaks and amazingly I’ve been more inspired to write rather than less (even with the pesky timer.)Today my daughter helped me rig my computer to my TV so I can watch net flix on the big screen (OK, OK, I was laying in bed watching on the laptop lol!) I feel like I opened a bunch of windows and my life is expanding instead of contracting.
So my message for today? Get a timer, it’s life changing!

I Hate TV! (Am I weird or is it just everyone else?)

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from October 2014

Song Bird Songs

tv
I stopped watching TV in my teens (I’m now retired). It wasn’t a moral decision, (though it could have been) nor a wish to revolt against modern technology and actually I enjoy watching good movies and the odd documentary.
Rather it was a repugnance for the inferior quality trash that was being served out (it’s even worse now). I’m honestly not a snob and avoid “intellectuals” like the plague, I just can’t understand what attraction people see in watching it.
My father was very much addicted to his nightly “TV fix” so I’d sneak out after dinner (always served on our laps so he could watch) to paint and draw in the other room. After a while my mother joined me and we enjoyed our chatty evenings over paint and macramé while my dad watched on missing all the fun.
There’s never been the slightest temptation to get into watching…

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