PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS: HOPE HERE & NOW

Present Moment Awareness — being in the “here and now” — means that I am aware and mindful of that which is happening at this very moment. It means I am not distracted by thoughts of the past nor worries of the future, but I am focused on the here and now. Everything in life happens in the present moment, and psychology experts are saying that is the best place to be for brain health.

God is the God of the present moment. In fact, His name means I AM.

For decades we’ve had the following poem framed and hanging on a wall. I have shared it through the years, because it always had meaning and hope for me. I thought it was important to remember and to live with this in mind.

I AM by Helen Mallicott

“I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:

‘My name is I Am.’ He paused.
I waited. He continued,

‘When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets,
It is hard. I am not there,
My name is not I WAS.

When you live in the future with its problems and fears,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.

When you live in this moment, it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM.‘”

Now that I have learned about Present Moment Awareness I realize this is very much a Biblical concept. It seems to be healthy for me mentally as well as spiritually.

I believe the Creator of my brain and being understands what I need and is exactly able to meet my deepest need. I am thankful and hopeful knowing and being cared for by the One and only I AM.

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM….'” (Exodus 3:14)

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

“Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

RABBI LAPIN: HOPE IN A WARNING

Daniel Lapin, a Jewish rabbi, has voiced a warning to Americans. I think it is important to heed and important enough to post for readers of this blog. Because of its length I will post only his opening and closing paragraphs to spark your interest. I hope you will read it in its entirety.

PLEASE go to this site: https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/persecution/a-rabbi-s-warning-to-u-s-christians.html (for the complete message from Rabbi Lapin — a wise and discerning messenger in my humble yet strong opinion).

If his warning is heeded then I am hopeful for a better outcome than if it is ignored. Be open, read the complete warning, ponder the message, and determine its truth in light of world history and current circumstances.

(Opening paragraph:)

“During the 1930s, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the English people and their government to see that Hitler meant to end their way of life. The British ignored Churchill, which gave Hitler nearly 10 years to build up his military forces. It wasn’t until Hitler actually drew blood that the British realized they had a war on their hands. It turned out to be a far longer and more destructive war than it needed to be had Churchill’s early warning been heeded.” (Rabbi Daniel Lapin)

(Closing paragraphs:)

“Without a vibrant and vital Christianity, America is doomed, and without America, the West is doomed.

Which is why I, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, devoted to Jewish survival, the Torah and Israel am so terrified of American Christianity caving in.

Many of us Jews are ready to stand with you. But you must lead. You must replace your timidity with nerve and your diffidence with daring and determination. You are under attack. Now is the time to resist it.” (DL)

“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)

BIBLE READING: SUSPENDERS AND HOPE

I remember as a young child that if a cartoon on television showed a man’s pants falling down viewers witnessed polka dotted boxer shorts. It was embarrasing to the man and laughable to the audience.

Worse than the embarrassment of pants down, it could be downright dangerous for the man to attempt to walk with his pants around his ankles. He was sure to be unable to maneuver without falling, which only added to his funny situation and was certain to bring more laughs.

Perhaps the day could have been saved — as well as the man’s pride — if he had worn suspenders. Suspenders, while a useful invention, are not typically in one’s thoughts. In today’s blogpost they are the object of a spiritual illustration. Who would have thought?

Of course our faith has a foundation to keep us on our feet. If we fall spiritually it is not as funny as cartoon humor. Such falling is preventable, and prevention may be as simple as wearing suspenders!

What could possibly serve as spiritual suspenders? The Bible, God’s Word, keeps our Christian pants up so to speak. Today far too many are caught at times with their “pants down,” because they neglect God’s Word.

I think if we are careful to feast on God’s Word daily, then this serves as “suspenders” to hold up more than our pants. It holds us up to stand firm… to stand for that which is right and against that which is wrong. People who share our planet need to witness those who are able to stand spiritually. It is possible but not in our own strength.

How does the Bible support believers? It may be called God’s Word, the law, precepts, statutes, ordinances, or commandments, but it is not called suggestions or options. One reason to read… to study… to learn the Bible is because it is a command.

When we get serious about the Bible and fill our hearts, heads, and lives with it, then we’ll find that it has divine power to help us to stand. It is for us all to ponder, to meditate on, and to live by. If we have a daily feast on God’s Word, then we will be stronger spiritually. It is spiritual nourishment that can provide that which is needed for growth and strength of our spirits.

Where to begin? Proverbs offers a chapter for each day of our month. Psalms offers easy-to-relate-to chapters throughout this Old Testament book for our varied personal situations in life. Job is especially helpful in times of deep suffering. Read Genesis to understand the account of Creation.

The gospel of John is a good New Testament book to begin for those not used to reading it. On and on it goes; something for us all no matter where we find ourselves.

My point is we need to read it! We need to get to know the Word of God. It’s even more important to get to know the God of the Word. Let’s put on our spiritual “suspenders” daily. Doing so will help us to stand for Him and will increase our hope.

 

“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”  (Matthew 4:4)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; So that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  (2 Timothy 3: 16, 17)

“For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit of both joints and marrow and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4: 12)

“But know this first of all that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  (2 Peter 1: 20, 21)

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall observe it to the end.

Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart.

Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.

Establish Your word to Your servant, as that which produces reverence for You.”  (Psalm 119: 33 – 35, 38)

“I shall delight in Your commandments, which I love.

And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments, which I love; and I will meditate on Your statutes.

Remember the Word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope.

This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your Word has revived me.”  (Psalm 119: 47 – 50)

“I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me.

How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

I have sworn, and I will confirm it that I will keep Your righteous ordinances.

I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O Lord, according to Your Word.

O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me Your ordinances.”
(Psalm 119: 102 – 108)

“Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.

I hope for Your salvation, O Lord, and do Your commandments.

My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly.

I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies for all my ways are before You.

Let my cry come before You, O Lord; Give me understanding according to Your word.

Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your Word.

Let my lips utter praise for You teach me Your statutes.

Let my tongue sing of Your Word for all Your commandments are righteousness.

Let Your hand be ready to help me for I have chosen Your precepts.

I long for Your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight.

Let my soul live that it may praise You, and let Your ordinances help me.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant for I do not forget Your commandments.”  (Psalm 119: 165 – 176)

ROSE DAY: HOPE & ROSES

For 29 years pro-life supporters have sponsored and attended an annual Rose Day inside Oklahoma’s state capitol. They present red roses to the governor and other state leaders, meet their legislators, and show their support of pro-life legislation.

This event allows face-to-face communication by constituents to express their views directly to OK State Senators and Representatives for a cause that literally means life or death to many. The “many” happen to be pre-born babies who are at risk to be aborted and who have no voice.

Today is Rose Day 2020. I consider it as a day of hope for the unborn. There is hope that there will be an end to abortions, that innocent lives will be saved, and that life will be chosen over death.

Attendees always hear an excellent thought-provoking speaker during a Rose Day gathering. Speaking today will be Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood worker and now leading pro-life advocate. Her  personal experiences resulted in both a book and a movie, UNPLANNED.

At the 2012 Rose Day I heard Johnson speak  about operating a Texas abortion clinic for 8 years where abortions killed babies up to 25 weeks into a pregnancy. Then in 2009 she assisted in an ultrasound-guided abortion where she watched a 13-week baby in the womb struggle to fight for life.

Johnson shared, “What I saw on the ultrasound was a child who was frantic, struggling for his life. The place that was the safest became the least safe…. The boy did not stand a chance. Nobody stood up for him. This happens 4,000 times a day in America.”

Sadly, that baby’s life was taken, but the reality of his tragic end caused Johnson to resign and to take up the pro-life cause. Her changed life and change of her life’s work offers real hope that is impacting our world by saving precious lives of countless babies. I thank God for this powerful example of hope!

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139: 13, 14)

There is no ‘right’ to kill an innocent person.”  (Lila Rose, President of LIVE ACTION)