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Where Did You Get That?

July 28th, 2013 by stephanie

It was an interesting evening of honest and thought provoking conversation. A room full of gals. Chatting. Coffee and really getting down to business. The topic? Where do we really get those beliefs we have? Whether we’re dealing with religion, politics, or culture, when you break it all down, where do we get those strong, die-on-a-hill-for feelings? You know, the ones you can truly “prove” and back up. The ones worth “giving your life” over.

Sometimes, it’s from our traditions. Because our grandparents or parents “said so.” Other times, it’s due to the strong ways of the community we associate with and how they encourage us to believe. We tend to lean toward what those around us say or believe. But at the end of the day, when you lay down to rest, why do you believe what you believe? Where are you actually getting “that?”

Is it from ancient wisdom, or a new law? Is it from your personal convictions or past history? Is it from a well-meaning advisor or friend? What exactly IS your plumbline? Do your strong beliefs come from a desire to please or to not offend? Or, do they really come from something tried and true? Something that you know, that you know, that you know, stands the test of time, holds water and bears complete “truth.” In other words, when all the facts are in, the answer is clear.

Maybe this will help…for people who follow the laws of the land, the Law is  the bottom line. If you are muslim, the Quran is the bottom line (outside influences are non-negotiable). If Jewish, the Old Testament and the sages are the key. If you are Christian, the bottom line is the Scriptures. Or, at least, it should be.

I am amazed today at the beliefs of people. And when I ask them, “Where did you get that?” at times, I must admit, they respond with a brief blank stare.  They can’t directly point to the exact information or proof that gives them the cold hard facts they need. And I am finding many times, facts to them, are irrelevant. What they want to (or choose to) believe trumps the facts at hand. More times than not, they live their lives on their personal desires, or emotions, or convictions or beliefs. No real tried and true, over-the-test-of-time doctrines per se.

All I know is this, what the culture you live in now believes, in your country, today, will most likely vary from others personal beliefs in another country, tomorrow, somewhere. And it will most likely vary from what others in this country believed decades ago or will believe tomorrow. We will always differ. Cultures will always shift. So, who’s right? Who’s wrong? It’s hard to say. It depends on where those inner laws and beliefs come from. If you don’t have one common denominator or bottom line, where does your heart go to for answers? Are you perhaps embracing a shifting truth? If so, that really isn’t “truth” at all. It’s merely a wavering opinion. It’s a personal issue. For you. For me. So, when it’s all said and done, where exactly, again, did you “get that”? Do you even know? 🙂

It’s something to think about.

S.

Butteryfly’s Are Free to Fly…Fly Away.

July 5th, 2013 by stephanie

It was a group of gals, just talking about Heaven and such, and the topic of Butterflys and the various personal sitings they had experienced. Afterward, I figured it was time to pull out the laptop and do some research.

As many of you may already know, the butterfly is quite symbolic to many peoples and cutltures. Apparently, the Mandarin Chinese say the insect symbolizes long life. 70 years, actually. They also feel it is telling of young men in love.

The Japanese see it as a sign for young maidens and marital bliss.
In Germany, butterflies having once hovered around the butter churn became known as “stealers of the cream”.

Greeks saw the butterfly as a symbol of the soul. They even considered white butterflies as the souls of those who had passed away and gone on to the great beyond.

In Western culture, the creature has become a symbol of Freedom.
According to a Blackfoot Indian, the butterfly brings us our dreams. A tribal member might say after the fire burns low and the people began to make up their beds about the lodge, ‘Well, let us go to bed and see what news the butterfly will bring?” Interestingly, The Native American Indians also use a cross, similar to a Maltese cross, as a sign for the butterfly.

Which brings us to the topic of the butterfly and its connection to the Resurrection in the Christian realm. I was surprised to learn that butterflies were actually engraved in the stones of many a Christian’s tomb centuries ago. A sign that the person who had, having died and entered the tomb, had now departed their earthly cocoon only to have experienced release into life eternal.

Regardless of your particular thoughts on butterflies, one thing we can all agree on is that they truly symbolize change. A massive transition. From an, earthbound groveling worm to a free-flying, creature of beauty.

In truth? I’d love to think something wonderful is heading my way. But for now, it’s enough to be reminded of the freedom I do cherish and enjoy. Both here on my native soil and the freedom that I will someday enjoy in heaven above.
Just my thoughts.

Yours?

Stephanie

Happy Birthday America!

July 3rd, 2013 by stephanie

I love birthdays. I recently had one, and I can tell you, the people around me made it a month long celebration….and I loved it! I like to joke that the celebration of my birthday should begin in January and end in September. I know, a little over the top, but let’s face it, who doesn’t want their birthday t be special?

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our nation (this coming July 4 weekend)  I have to admit, I never cease to be amazed at the miracle of America. It’s beyond the imagination that we, as 13 struggling colonies, ever made it to this fascinating experiment that became known as the United States.

Have you had the chance to read 1776 by David McCulough? If not, why not make it a goal of yours to accomplish that challenge by the end of summer. I listened to the book on CD during some of my commutes as well as a long road trip. I was riveted, story after story. I promise…it won’t put you to sleep. And you’ll learn things you have NEVER heard before…and details you won’t or didn’t  get in school.images

Here’s a small one:

Did you know…

  1. The vote for independence came from the 13 colonies.
  2. 12 voted “YES” with one colony abstaining.
  3. Do you know which state abstained?

Place your answer in the “comments” section! Let’s see who knows!

With that, here’s to faith, family and freedom.

And to you, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

A very HAPPY 4th to you.

S.

 

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