Darlene Osborne, Publisher
Your Place for Christian Articles
June Issue Vol. 17 No. 12 The Christian Online Magazine™
Welcome to our Magazine
Quotes and Short Teachings
Talk to God!
by Darlene Osborne
Have yoiu been talking to God? I hope so. That is the only way you are going to get answers to the problems you are facing. Reading God's Word...and praying...which is simply, talking to HIM. Maybe you are going through some tough things. Maybe you feel God is not even real. Well, He is. I may not have the answer to all your problems. I may not always have the answers to my own problems, but God does! He is real and He will help you. Just ask.
~Thought for the Month~
wait on me and I will renew your strength.
Joy Through the Storm
by L. Joy Douglas
There is a question I have been pondering on for a while now. What is the difference between hope and faith? Out of curiosity, I asked my husband what he thought. His answer was fairly basic, but also pretty much on target. “Hope is wishing for something, and faith is believing it can and will happen.”
Webster defines hope as “a feeling that what is wanted will happen; desire accompanied by expectation.” Faith is defined as “unquestioning belief, complete trust or confidence.”
The two very certainly work together, but they are different in and of themselves. Some say there can be hope without faith, but not true faith without hope. Hope works alongside faith even though it is not synonymous.
Leigh's Spiritual Garden
by Leigh Moran
So much has happened to me lately, it is truly amazing. God answered a prayer I have been praying for, for years now. Why at this time? I do not know, but I do knowGod does answer prayers in His timing, not ours.
Do you believe in Angels? I know when I taught in a Catholic School years ago, I was encouraged to believe in Guardian Angels. Being an Protestant, I was a bit, well, not quite sure.
Tell your mountain—
you're coming down
by Shelley Pierce
I recently sat on a swing with a friend at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. As we enjoyed some down time we listened to a Mockingbird sing. He perched on a tree and sang. Then he flew to the ground and sang.And he sat on a stump and, yes you’re correct, he sang.If we weren’t watching this one bird, we would have been sure we were listening to many different species.Each song so different.Each song so beautiful.I am home from the conference now but keep thinking about that bird.
by Brooke Cox
One of the first things I noticed when I met my future husband was the cologne he was wearing. He ran out of it years ago and didn’t remember what kind it was. To this day, I’m still trying to find it. When I go shopping, I sniff various colognes and have yet to come across it. Isn’t it amazing how we react to fragrances? Sometimes they can tingle our senses and at other times they can give us headaches and even make us nauseous. Since we Americans spend so much money on perfume, I’d say we enjoy the bombardment of our senses. In 2012 we spent around $4.2 billion dollars on perfume. (5) In 2014 we spent around $6.2 billion dollars. Around $29 billion was spent on perfume globally. (6)
SnapShots of Grace
I have been to too many funerals this year, three in the pass month, a classmate, a cousin, and an uncle. Rene is gone too soon. A twirler in high school she was friends with the all-state football player, straight-A student and the class clown. Unless you were a bully or tortured animals, she was your friend. My cousin Karen was a fighter and a straight-shooter. She helped me get my first job at Dairy Queen. She also taught me a lot about work place relations. Uncle Bubba raised by an alcoholic father, was determined his children would not be raised in that manner. To make things worse it’s been a little over a year since my mom passed away. The pastor smiles and says we here to celebrate a life, but it is a sad celebration. Yes they are in a better place, but we miss them. I told Bubba’s son this is a bad time, you just have to grind through it. Unless the Lord returns, death waits for us all.
Am I Paying Attention? Being Vigilant
by Craig D. Lounsbrough, M.Div., LPC
Am I paying attention? As this thing called life moves ‘round about me, and I move ‘round about within it, am I paying attention to it all? Am I paying attention, or have I unwittingly confused a host of other behaviors and habits as paying attention? Am I paying attention, or have I adopted certain views or biases as ready templates that I slap on life in order to explain it, instead of paying attention in order to understand it? Am I paying attention, or has my cadence been set by the stale monotony of habit or the demands of life that are so intrusive that I can’t pay attention? Am I paying attention?
We can certainly ‘exist’ without paying attention, despite the rather dangerous and somewhat spurious nature of such an existence. But that does not and cannot wave off the larger question that we too often avoid; can I actually ‘live’ without paying attention?
Paying Attention to Live Fully
It’s my sense that most of us want to move through life and actually ‘live’ life as we move through it. There appears to be a seemingly endless litany of people who look at life once it’s blown-by and ask what they’ve really gotten out of it as it blew by. Too many people look over their shoulders and see a whole lot of life behind them, without a whole lot of anything in their hands to show for everything that’s behind them. They then turn and they peer with longing eyes into the future. And in the peering, they don’t see enough life left ahead of them to ever make up for what got by them. As massive and robust as life is, it got by us and we didn’t even see it in the passing.
It seems that far too often we don’t really pay attention. We think we pay attention. We most certainly believe that we pay attention. We would look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we’re quite observant and fairly sharp. We feel that we’re astute and keen in discerning life as it’s coming at us. We watch a myriad of things unfold and applaud ourselves for figuring out that they were unfolding long before they showed up to unfold. We’ve come this far and we quite naturally assume that we must have paid some degree of attention in order to get this far. Most of us feel that we’re paying attention. But are we paying attention, or are we doing other things that mimic paying attention?
Habit Verses Paying Attention
But how often are we simply caught in worn-out patterns of behaviors that have nothing to do with paying attention and everything to do with habit? How often are we simply habitually reactionary, doing in this particular instance in what we’ve done in every other instance that came before it? We think that we’re paying attention when what we’re doing is paying homage to mindless repetition, slothfully assuming that since this response worked before it will work again. Habit makes the heart comatose because the heart doesn’t have to pay attention anymore.
Habit is a whole lot easier than paying attention. For those of us who prefer ease over advancement, habit will address the problem with a whole lot less energy and significantly less time than paying attention would demand of us. Habit is the soul on autopilot, where we have the richness of life fly right by us without a single inking that something is now fading in the rearview mirror that we never even saw out of the front window. Fundamentally, habit demands nothing of us other than we remember what the habit is so that we can repeat it. continue