refiner's fire

Day 46: Fear Not, I Am With Thee

When we we’re walking through the refiner’s fire, we have the choice to be consumed or forged. If we look to Christ, our hardest trials can work together for our good and transform us into a better, purer, stronger person. Our thought today comes from Isaiah 43:2:

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2

Have you read the book that started the movement? Get your copy of Light the World: How Your Brilliance Can Shift the Planet.

law of sacrifice

Day 44: The Law of Sacrifice

Do you want more time? More money? More friends? To achieve your dreams? The answer is found in the law of sacrifice as explained by Jesus:

“Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” John 12:24-25.

Today I’m exploring the blessings that come through death — the new life, the new possibilities, the new power that comes as we sacrifice time, money and resources and as we release those we love to the grave.

There is something about grief in losing a loved one that opens us up to sweet miracles, divine tender mercies and joy. It is one of the most exquisite manifestations of the duality of our universe … that within every challenge there are equal blessings. The law of divine compensation is on overdrive at these times if we have eyes to see and acknowledge it.

My heart goes out to my dear friends Martina, Luanna and Marcia with the passing of your parents. They will be near you, watching over you. They are your angels with more power to run to you and assist you than they ever had in mortality.

As Obi Wan told Darth, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

prosper

Day 38 How to Prosper And Have Good Success

Have you been in a manna state where you’re just getting by day-by-day? Are you ready to enter your promised land? Are you ready to  have good success?   God tells us how in Joshua 1:5-9:

“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

 

Have you read the book that started the movement? Get your copy of Light the World: How Your Brilliance Can Shift the Planet.

individual healing

Day 37 Light the World: God Caters Healing to the Individual

As we read the Bible we see that Jesus rarely healed people in exactly the same way. Healing seems to be catered to the individual. One woman suffers 12 years and then touches the hem of Jesus’ garment and is instantly healed. Another man is healed without Jesus ever coming into contact with him. Another is healed by Jesus telling Him to arise, take up his bed, and walk.

The method is rarely the same, but there seems to be the common thread of faith. But, how much faith is enough? The woman who touched His garment may have had faith those twelve long years.  The man whose servant  was healed from afar may have had faith for his servant’s healing, but we don’t know if the servant himself actually had any faith at all.

Healing seems to come in God’s timing and way. It seems to be an individual process. This reminds me of a verse repeated in John, Acts and Matthew

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:15-16

Like conversion, healing seems to be an individual process that has to do with us listening, seeing and understanding with our hearts. Each of us comes to this place of being able to open our eyes to see or opening our hearts to understand. My friend LaurieKae Banks once told me, “broken is open.” Many times it takes brokenness to get to the point where we’re open enough to see the loving healing God is offering us.

I know in my own experience, losing my mother, husband and my family property simultaneously took me to that broken place where I looked up to God with new eyes and new ears. I asked him to create a new heart in me because the one I had was demolished. There was nothing left of it and the only solution was to ask God to create a new heart in me. This process facilitated miraculous emotional, spiritual and mental healing.

Yet, I am fully aware that my experience is mine. Your road to healing may take completely different twists and turns. All we clearly know is that faith is a requisite. So whatever it takes, whatever happens, look to God and choose faith.

Have you read the book that started the movement? Get your copy of Light the World: How Your Brilliance Can Shift the Planet.

healing

Day 17: Open Our Eyes That We Might See

One of the most powerful prayers I’ve prayed is, “Lord, please open my eyes that I may see the opportunities in everything around me.” So many times we are blind. We do not see what is right in front of our faces. While Jesus healed many people who were physically blind during his mortal ministry, I believe the greater miracle is often opening our spiritual eyes.

Today’s thought comes from Matthew 20:3-34:

“And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?

They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.”  Matthew 20:30-34

 

healing

Day 15: What Is the Path to Healing?

Many of us want healing in our lives — healing in our hearts, minds, bodies, emotions, and families. So many suffer from broken hearts, broken homes, lost confidence, sick bodies, and mental or emotional challenges. How can we find healing that gives hope and peace? Jesus gave this formula in Matthew 13:15:

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

 

Have you read the book that started the movement? Get your copy of Light the World: How Your Brilliance Can Shift the Planet.

The Power of Seeing Another Through Christ’s Eyes

There’s someone in my life I’ve struggled to forgive, wrestled with my own bouts of criticism, condemnation and frustration toward. It’s not a pretty thing to know you have unkind feelings toward someone. It’s not who I want to be. I want to be Christ-like, loving and forgiving. Gritting my teeth and forcing myself to be that way doesn’t quite seem like the same thing.

Jesus never seemed to be straining to forgive, never had to bite his lip and fight back a nasty comment. Those ugly dark things weren’t inside Him to begin with. It dawned on me that if I could see this other person through Christ’s eyes, perhaps I could have those natural feelings of unconditional love and compassion. Maybe the irritation would melt away and be replaced with God’s love.

Jesus Christ - Cristus statueThis morning I woke early and decided to use the time in those peaceful quiet hours to ask the Lord for the ability to see this person through His eyes. In my mind, He took me to a beautiful beach and had me take a seat on a log facing the crashing waves. He knelt in front of me, His hand on my shoulder, looking me in the eye. His were filled with infinite compassion and understanding.

He let me express the deepest desires of my heart — who I long to be, the type of person I want to be, free of these negative emotions, free to escape this cage I feel like I’m living in. It’s as if there’s this passionate ball of love and light that’s crying to break free and express herself but she keeps bumping up against negative limitations.

“If this person wasn’t in my life,” I heard myself telling Him, “I could be a good person.”

I could see the twinkle in His eye and knew immediately how foolish that statement was. It isn’t this person “making me have bad thoughts.” The propensity to be critical, condemning and judgmental is already there.

This person is in my life to give me a chance to overcome these feelings. They are a gift to help me eliminate the black blobs that are stuck to my glowing ball of light.

“How do I get rid of this negativity? Please take these thoughts and feelings away from me,” I pleaded. “Can I just give them to you? I would give away all my sins to know your thoughts, to be as loving as You are.”

Again I asked to see this person through Christ’s eyes. If there were some way to do that, perhaps all the resentment and bitterness would melt away.

At that moment, a situation from my past when I’d done something particularly bad came to mind. All the feelings of guilt and shame returned. It was a sin I’d already repented of, but the memory returned. After that event I’d felt despair and depression for quite some time. It was a dark time for me that I had no desire to revisit.

“That,” Christ explained, “Is how {this person} feels — all the time.”

“Oh my, really?” I remembered how immobilized I felt in that period of my life. I remembered feeling worthless, despondent and as if there was no use trying to do anything. It was a horrible, debilitating feeling.

“You experienced this for a short season until you received My forgiveness. Imagine it stretching on for years. What might you have become?”

I then understood how and why this person acts the way they do, why they’d become contracted and limited in their abilities. Why they responded to me the way they did for so many years, and much more. All in an instant, everything became clear.

And then Christ said, “Do you want to see how I see this person?”

“Yes, I do.”

He showed me a beautiful young person, long before the mistakes had draped them in a dark heavy cloud of guilt and shame. This shining valiant individual with a future so bright and promising stood before me. And I began to weep. This was the beauty beneath all the rubble.

Instantly I felt Christ’s love for this person flowing through me, and I felt such an overwhelming need to apologize for being so blind for so long. I had belittled, condemned, judged and criticized a fallen warrior, lying helpless, bleeding on the side of the road. I had not reached forth a loving hand. I had not dressed this person’s wounds. I had not given them a hug of comfort or kindness.

All I had seen was how their actions affected me. All I saw was how my life wasn’t as ideal and beautiful as I wanted it to be — even craved and needed it to be. I was too concerned with my rights, my needs, what “I deserved.”

And then Christ’s question came, “Will you help this person?”

“I will.”

“You may not see results right away.” He cautioned. “You may never see them at all.”

“I understand.”

“It’s not about them changing. It’s about you becoming.”

“Yes, I understand, Lord. Where do I begin?”

“Why don’t you just start with a hug.”

A Merry Christmas

Hugging my son Caleb on the evening of his return from Honduras

I am so grateful for the Lord’s tender mercies in returning our son who just spent 2 years serving a mission for Jesus Christ in Honduras. For me, it’s the best Christmas present I could ask for to have our son back home with us and to see the growth in him. To hold a vision of the man you know your son can become and then witness the fruition of that is a humbling experience.

What has impressed me most about Caleb is his powerful testimony of our Savior’s love for us and the transforming power of His infinite atonement. There is no greater gift given to mankind than what Jesus Christ has done for us and the eternal life He offers. The following video is a beautiful depiction of His life and ministry. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Merry Christmas, my friends. May God bless you today and forever.

How to Forgive

I’ve been pondering a lot lately about the principles of forgiveness and unconditional love. How does one unconditionally love someone you cannot trust? How does one forgive someone who very well may betray, deceive or hurt you again?

I had the privilege of previewing an excellent book before it went to print. Victoria Fielding’s “A Piece of Time” gave me a critical puzzle piece along my path to more fully understanding the principles of forgiveness and unconditional love.

At one point in the story, the main character summarizes,

“There were many dancers, many styles of dances, with innumerable dances being performed simultaneously on the stage of life. And who was to say that one dancer was any better than another? No longer did I think it was just my stage. It was everyone’s stage, and we were all just inexperienced dancers bumping up against each other, and—for the most part—trying to get our steps down, and trying to do our best. That was all. And that was enough.”

This morning as I was pondering on the subject further, it occurred to me that I’ve been taking things very personally. When someone makes a mistake, blows a fuse, or does something that makes my life difficult, I’ve been taking it personally. I’ve been acting as if I’m the main character on the stage, and it’s all about me and how other people treat me. I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been deceived. I’ve been used or treated like dirt.

How am I supposed to keep loving someone who may betray me again, may deceive me again, or may use me again? How am I supposed to unconditionally love those people?

But what if Victoria Fielding is right? What if we’re all dancers, performing simultaneously on the stage of life and all those things I perceive as “about me” aren’t personal at all! What if it’s other people bumping up against me as they try to play their roles in life? We’re all imperfect and human. Rarely is someone else’s mistake all about us.

I call a child for dinner and he yells at me rudely. I can take that personally. I could think, “How disrespectful! How rude! He doesn’t love me at all. How ungrateful!” Or I could realize this child was acting out of character and there must be more to the story. Sure enough, I later learn that he was mad about something else and my calling him three times for dinner was the last straw. It had nothing to do with me.

Someone once said, “No man knows my history.” We don’t know each other’s histories. We don’t know the string of incidents, choices, and beliefs that led someone to a particular act. Perhaps he was flailing his arms dancing on the stage of life and smacked you upside the head because you were the closest person around.

Have you ever noticed on crime dramas like “Criminal Minds” it’s rarely that the murderer simply despised the victim? There’s always this string of events, circumstances, choices and the perpetrator’s view of life that led to the crime. By the time the FBI team gets to the bottom of it, we see the perpetrator’s twisted view of reality caused by a myriad of factors that made the person snap.

Of all people who could take betrayal, deceit, and even murder personally, it would be Jesus Christ. But there’s one thing about Jesus — which I believe enables Him to love each of us unconditionally no matter what we do — and that is He doesn’t take our actions personally. Even though our actions caused Him pain, He still prayed on the cross, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” What if he wasn’t only talking about the soldiers driving the nails?

Jesus knew it wasn’t personal. And even if it felt very personal, He never took it personally. He knew that we all have a history, and we’re all imperfect dancers on a stage “for the most part—trying to get our steps down, and trying to do our best.”

That’s why if we’ll come to Him, and give Him not only our sins, but also all the times we’ve felt offended, betrayed, deceived, or injured, He can take those things and replace them with love — unconditional love that never ends. He will “bind up the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and open up the prison to those who are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1-2)

Will you join me in shifting perspectives? Can we stop taking other people’s actions personally? Can we choose to believe that, “we are all just inexperienced dancers bumping up against each other, and—for the most part—trying to get our steps down, and trying to do our best?”

(A Piece of Time by Victoria Fielding will be available online and in some Cosco’s in September. For more details visit www.VictoriaFielding.com )

Review: Trusting Spirit Now

One of my favorite things to do is attempt to see the world through another person’s eyes. It gives me rich perspective, insights and empathy that I would never discover on my own.

Life and truth are much like the parable of the blind man and the elephant — a composite of various perspectives. You know the story. Five blind men come upon an elephant for the first time. One takes hold of the trunk and says it’s like a snake. Another the leg and says it’s like a tree. Another feels the elephant’s side and says it is a wall. A fourth feels the ear and proclaims it is like a fan. Finally the fifth takes hold of the tail and insists it is a rope.

None of them is wrong. None is lying. But the truth is somewhere in the combination of them all. There is beauty and perfection to be found in each person’s perception. The truth is a combination of them all.

Judy Hansen is one of the few people I’ve ever met who approaches the elephant with eyes wide open — seeing matter, energy, spirit, truth and most importantly the Source of it all — Jesus  Christ — working in harmony.

Meeting her has changed my life. I already had a rich relationship with my Savior when I met her, but that relationship has deepened and become even more real and exquisite.

So when Judy told me she had written: “Trusting Spirit Now: Life Through the Eyes of an Energy Intuitive” — a book about how she sees the world and eternity, I couldn’t wait to read it. What a gift to be able to see the world through her eyes!

You may not agree with everything Judy has to say, but take the time to consider that what she says might be true.  Measure it against revealed truth in the Word of God, not against your own perception and interpretations of it. You will gain a richness in your relationship with the Savior and all His creations that you never had before.