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Friday, November 20, 2015

“Mirror, Mirror…on the Wall...”

Many of us grew up reading and watching fairy tales in our youth.  A timeless one is “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” We remember one of its memorable phrases:

“Mirror, Mirror,
On the wall
Who is the fairest of them all?”

The fairy tale, as adapted in a movie, is:
The Magic Mirror contained an imprisoned spirit who is referred to as the Slave in the Magic Mirror. In his first appearance in the film, the Evil Queen would consult with the Magic Mirror who the fairest of them all was. The Magic Mirror always told the Evil Queen that she was the fairest of them all. When asked who the fairest of all is, the spirit replies that, while the Queen is beautiful, a fairer being exists. When the Queen angrily asks for the girl's name, the spirit describes her, making it obvious to the Queen that Snow White is the one being referred to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Mirror_(Snow_White)

However, when I ran across this version of the quote, it led me to reflect:

“Mirror, Mirror…
On the Wall...”
“Do you see Christ in me at all?”             

Many of us are so consumed as to how others view us. Sadly, we don’t seem to spend the same amount of time thinking about how God sees us.

The Bible says:
Psalm 139:14 (NKJV):  “…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;…”
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV):  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
James 1:23-24 (NKJV): 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
Song of Songs 2:10 (NIV): 10 My beloved spoke and said to me, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.

Memorable Quotes
 “When you follow Christ, it’s written all over your lifestyle.”
“Our Christian lifestyle speaks much louder than our Christian vocabulary.”
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think about you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“It’s not about the mirror; it’s about the one we are trying to mirror.”  Jimmy Pena
"Whatever you believe about yourself on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside."
“What other people think of you is none of your business.”
“Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Make peace with who God created you to be.”
“Live in such a way that if anyone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”
"What we SEE depends mainly on what we look for" - John Lubbock
“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” – Anais Nin
“The world sees only what you do. God sees why you did it.”

We may be wise to adjust our focus from how we see ourselves or how the world sees us to how God sees us…

Friday, November 13, 2015

“I’m a Very Private Person…”

In the past, I often described myself as this.

Private is defined as: “not known by the public or by other people;   not known or intended to be known publicly : secret; preferring to keep personal affairs to oneself : valuing privacy highly; unsuitable for public use or display”  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/private

The website Rervso explores this:
Your “Private Life” is that part of your life that is concerned with your personal relationships and activities, rather than with your work or business.  <I've always kept my private and professional life separate..>.    

Your “Private Thoughts or Feelings” are ones that you do not talk about to other people.  <We all felt as if we were intruding on his private grief. : Privately, she worries about whether she's really good enough... >   

If you describe someone as a “private person,” you mean that they are very quiet by nature and do not reveal their thoughts and feelings to other people.  <John was an intensely private individual.>    

If you do something “In Private,” you do it without other people being present, often because it is something that you want to keep secret.  <Some of what we're talking about might better be discussed in private.> http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-cobuild/private%20person

Several responses on the site Askville by Amazon are:
Missb524: I used to very open about things in my younger years, I didn't like keeping anything to myself, so I said a lot, sometimes I think too much! I guess it was because I came from a very private household, so I wanted to be different, I liked talking and sharing.  But because of this, I found myself in a lot of trouble.  And sometimes I was then bullied. Now that I am older, I've learnt from this.
Snow Leopard:  My years of legal experience have pretty well taught me to be private and to keep things to myself. If I establish a relationship of trust with someone, I tend to open up a lot with respect to myself, but those relationships are relatively rare for me. Of course, what I know about clients is always kept quiet. I used to be a much more open, but life has taught me to be guarded.
Bear-Lo: I definitely consider myself a private person.  I can and will share if I feel there's a need or a reason.  Most of the time, it's none of anyone else's business what's going on with me, my family or where I'm going, etc.    http://askville.amazon.com/private-person/AnswerViewer.do?requestId=15754677

A celebrity says:
“I am a very private person. No one ever knows anything about me as I don't think it is necessary. I tell people as much as I want them to know about me.” - Priyanka Chopra, actress in ABC’s  TV series “Quantico”

The Bible shares times when it is wise to be private:
Matthew 6:1-7 (NKJV):  “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
The Model Prayer
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly

The question is:
How can we be “private,” yet be obedient to God’s Will?

The Bible says:
Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV): 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Romans 12:13 (KJV):  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Matthew 10:16 (NKJV):  16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Memorable Quotes
 “Nothing good ever comes with too many people knowing your business. Being private and low-key is the best way to be.”
“Everything you do doesn’t need to be seen or heard.”
“Be the same person Privately, Publically  and Personally.” – Judah Smith
“Every person has two sides to them. One they let the world see and one they keep to themselves.”
“Revealing too much leaves you with nothing.”
“Keep your personal life personal.”
“Sometimes not telling people anything is a good thing.”
“Relationships last longer when nobody knows your business.”
"What you do in secret is on public display before God."

Wisdom must prevail. In the words of my mentor: “Don’t tell everything that you know.”

Instead of living our lives “out loud” either verbally or on Social Media, it may serve us well to be quiet and be still. God wants a “personal” relationship with you…and you alone. The more you commit to Him privately, the more He will bless you publicly…

Thursday, November 5, 2015

“While in the Storm…”

Life has its trouble, disappointments and “storms.”

They are often called the “vissitudes” of life: a favorable or unfavorable event or situation that occurs by chance.

We will all experience them throughout the course of our life. Don’t think so? In the words of a dear friend, “Just Keep Living.”

Oftentimes, it’s not the problem, but how we confront and handle the problem that matters.

Some ways to navigate through "storms" or life's challenges are to:
  • Smile
  • Pray
  • Don’t Worry
  • Determination
  • Be kind to others
  • Encourage others
  • Be calm and content
  • Realign your priorities
  • Understand that it’s YOUR journey to travel…not others
  • Have no expectations
  • “Buckle in and Enjoy the Ride”
  • Embrace it

One of the most popular phrases, often mistaken as a bible verse, is “This too shall pass.”

I am reminded of this when I have to drive through a heavy, torrential rain storm. As long as I remain vigilant, calm and prayerful, it will eventually end or I’ll reach my destination safely, in spite of it. Oftentimes, the rainbow will appear. J

The Bible says:
Romans 8:28 (NKJV):   And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV):  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…”
Matthew 5:45 (NKJV):  that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Memorable Quotes
"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet" - Bob Marley
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
 “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” – Haruki Murakami
“God sends the storm to show He is the only shelter.”
"Sometimes, you just have to bow your head, say a prayer, and weather the storm."
 “There are some things you can only learn in a storm.” – Joel Olsteen
 “Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell your storm how big God is.”
“Your greatest test is when you bless someone else while going through your own storm.”
"Don't let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace." ~ Kimberly Jones
“Without the rain, there would never be rainbows.”

We must learn to expect life to have its "storms." Prepare for them…Embrace them…Endure them. They will pass...