Faith and brick walls

September 1, 2013
Sometimes it may seem as if life's events have run us into a brick wall. We stop, wondering how to proceed from here. How do we get over, under, around, or even through this particular brick wall? We rap hard on the wall. Feels solid. Our knuckles are bruised. This is not going to be easy. But we muster up enough faith and grit daily to try and then try again.

Randy Pausch, in The Last Lecture, says, "The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."  --The brick walls are there to help us learn and stretch To push ourselves to find ways to move forward, despite how much we may feel like we'd like to just sit down and quit. Quitting will do us no good.  It won't propel us forward, and it won't help us feel better at the end of the day. Paush continues, "The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They're there to stop the other people."  Don't be one of the other people. Have the faith to keep trying.  Choose faith.
 

When our faith is tried

May 26, 2013
Most of us will have our faith tried at some point. Stuff happens. And it isn't always positive. Or perhaps it looks easier not to live a life of faith. Faith requires time, action, and commitment. It's also true that the flame of faith is fanned by righteous living. And perhaps we're not living that way. Or maybe doubt creeps in and wraps itself around our faith, chocking the life out of our beliefs. Having faith is not for the faint of heart.

And yet, it is faith that gives us comfort; fait...
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Healing Through Trust

May 5, 2013
For most of us, trusting God means relying on someone we can neither see nor touch, only feel. This act of trust in the divine may sometimes seem a bit frightening, because it requires a leap of faith. Similar in some ways to the movie "Star Wars," when Yoda instructs Luke to  trust the force, rather than relying on his own limited perceptions, we as believers also place our trust in something beyond ourselves. We depend on God to know and love us, and that gives us hope.

We cannot ask God to...
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Standing Strong

April 21, 2013
In the wake of a week of terror in the city of Boston comes the defiant cry, "We are Boston Strong." The Los Angles Times ran the headline, "Boston Strong: A proud city shines through its pain."   Certainly the Boston Marathon bombing was a horrible tragedy that touched each of our hearts. All of America mourns with the victims, as we struggle to understand the senseless nature of acts of terror. 

And yet in the rubble grow the flowers of strength and faith.  We grieve, we mourn, and then we g...
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Finding Our Way

March 24, 2013
In the children's classic Alice in Wonderland, Alice happens upon the Cheshire Cat. Thinking he might be of help to her, she asks: "I was just wondering if you could help me find my way?  Cat: "That depends on where you want to go."  Alice: "Oh, it doesn't really matter, as long as..."  Cat: "Then it doesn't really matter which way you go." 

Drawing a parallel, if we don't care about where either we or our families wind up spiritually, then, like Alice, it might not really matter which way we ...
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Optimism and Faith

March 3, 2013

While they are related, there is a difference between optimism and faith. People who are optimistic tend to expect the best. And they often get it. But optimism does not necessarily produce faith, in the classic sense of "The Word."

People who have faith find an assurance in things not seen. Their faith goes beyond the notion of optimism or expectation. ---Although faith, when it's exercised, usually produces optimism. This happens as we learn to rely on and trust in God's love for us. This do...


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A matter of Faith

February 12, 2013
Faith is hope; it's belief; it's a confidence in things not seen. Faith can provide a foundation for living life with meaning. 

As obvious as it sounds, faith is faith. It's not reason. We may read reasoned arguments about matters of faith or religion, both for or against. In the end, we each choose whether or not to believe.

Where we search for answers to questions of faith, and what we accept as credible sources, is important. At least it's important for honest seekers. Sometimes people make ...
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Faith to Keep Our Commitments

January 27, 2013
A friend of mine told me recently that not everyone can make and keep committments. I had to think about that one for awhile. Was she right?  Is making and keeping committments an ability that some have and others simply do not?

I understand that there are some things in life we can't change. No amount of wishing, for example, is likely to increase our height or perhaps even our IQ scores. And we can't control our basic genetic make up, at least for now.  But believing that making and and kee...
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A quiet cry for roots

January 14, 2013
The national debate rages on over ways to avoid tragedies like those that occurred at Sandy Hook elementary school. Some are proposing bans on assault weapons; others want security officers stationed permanently in their schools. There is talk of limiting the use of violent video games; elsewhere a discussion continues regarding the need  for a broader understanding of mental  health issues. All of these measures taken indivdually or severally would help. But the probem may run deeper than th...
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Faith and Good Will

December 30, 2012
We are closing yet another cherished season of good will toward all.  A time when tight wallets creak open just a little bit wider for the benefit of others ; a time when we make a conscious effort to be more generous, patient, and loving to both friend and foe alike. It seems essential that we have an annual holiday season that allows us to take stock of our lives and think about what's most important. And we find that this experience of stepping outside ourselves creates that warm, tingly f...
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Choose Faith


Susan N. Swann I left my faith behind for 15 years,.During that time, I believed only in reason and lost all faith. Three years ago, my perspective shifted, and I reverted to my faith. I began once again to believe not in the ultimate randomness of life's events, but to believe instead that belief in God gives our lives purpose. I chose faith over doubt. Choosing faith is the focus of this blog.

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