I worked on this piece a few years ago...thought it would be a nice edition to this website and we could all use a reminder of the message now and then. :-) The picture is now featured in the My Art gallery.
I'm a Christian and find that this video from Mormon.org serves as a beautiful reminder that no matter who we are, we can touch others with the Love and Mercy of Christ if we put our belief and faith in Him. Jesus works for and through all of us. Every second of every day. We are so very loved by One who is greater than any of us. Thank you, Jesus, for Your Unconditional Love, Sacrifice, Mercy, Comfort and Grace.
It’s Holy Week. A reminder of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He suffered and died on a cross so that we might have eternal life with Him. And because He loves us, He continues to be ever present in our lives. To love, shelter, guide, care for, shepherd, comfort us. Even though we’re stubborn. Even though we’re unappreciative. Even though we’re sinners. We are so blessed to have His unconditional love and grace…
Being reminded of the Ultimate Salvation…I'd like to segway into something that perhaps we all take for granted (in addition to the Perfect Gift mentioned beforehand). Did you know that Jesus protects and saves us every day, too? Can you think of a time when Jesus has saved you or the life of someone you know? Perhaps a miracle healing? Perhaps a near miss crossing a busy intersection? Perhaps being in the right place at the right time to avoid a child being hurt on the playground?
Jesus has saved me more times than I can count so I'd like to offer a testimony of one such example.
Incident Date: 30 March 2013.
That day, I woke later than planned. With one semi-conscious bat of my arm, I launched my blaring alarm clock across the room. It was 6am and nothing was going to pull me out of bed. In doing so, however, I failed to take my anti-convulsant medication (for Epilepsy). And as I went about my day, I failed to realize that fact.
After a shower, my plan was to slip on my favorite cute clothes and drive to Starbucks for something yummy, then return home to chillax. Not far from my home, a gentle voice spoke. He told me to turn around and go home because it wasn’t safe. Like a stubborn child, I tuned out the warning. I wish I had listened...now I believe in my heart for certain that was Jesus.
When I opened the door at Starbucks, something felt…off. Ever feel like that? I went through an inventory of things in my mind and then it hit me… I forgot to take my medicine. Just two simple pills. As I do not have frequent grand mal seizures (also classified as generalized tonic-clonic seizures), I thought that I could buy a bottle of water and some mixed nuts, then take my medicine and sit in my car until it took effect. I didn’t think to call a cab just in case. Actually, I’m not sure what I was thinking because I feel like I got one of those Men in Black alien brain wipes. The time between the parking lot and waking up in my car at an angle in a ditch is really hazy.
All I can gather is that my brain lit up like a Christmas tree, operated on auto pilot for I don’t know how long and erased my short-term memory—seizures do that, after all. Remembering the scene is like looking through a strange film reel. There was a flurry of activity…so many emergency vehicles. firemen, EMTs, police officers. I was pinned in place so all I could really do was look around. It was a nightmare. Everything around me was torn to pieces—except for the bottle of water in the cup holder, cap off and half full. The passenger side was a disaster having been blown to pieces and crushed. As an example, the passenger’s side FLOOR was gone. While observing all this, a police officer told me what happened since I was in obvious shock. I was on a four-lane highway. My speed was clocked at more than 55 mph. Eventually I crashed into a barrier wall and flipped around. No one knew if I'd had the seizure before or after impact. While I might’ve caused a little traffic delay, though, I didn’t hurt anyone. Also, I walked out of the hospital with a clean bill of health four hours later. Physically, a few lacerations and some dark bruising (let's just say I had one strong seat belt). Emotionally, I had trouble with the traumatic flashbacks. Still have a little PTSD, but have mostly healed. Miracle, miracle, miracle.
My Honda was totaled and taken away that day. I had to see it before it was dismantled for reusable parts distribution—and worse. So my dad took me to the impound lot. I took a lot of time. Circled the car. Looked in the car. Sat in the car. Took pictures… It was overwhelming. When I looked back through the pictures I’d taken, I was reminded that Jesus was in control that day. There was one picture in particular that sealed that belief for me. The sun was shining just enough to cast reflections on my car. There was a reflection of a cross above the driver’s side front headlight. A true sign of God’s love.
So tomorrow is a celebration of life and health. Eight years ago, Jesus saved me (and others) on that highway. Also, I had what I hope to be my last grand mal seizure...God willing.
Every day is a blessing. Even the bad ones.
Update: 30 March 2021
This afternoon, just after 1pm, I went on my annual "remembrance drive" to the neighborhood Starbucks. It's tradition.
For the first few years after the 30 March 2013 event, I've purposely driven to the original Starbucks as a way of remembrance and coping...PTSD is no joke.
Today, the sun is shining so very bright, the weather is as it was back in 2013 AND I feel fabulous.
After a few tears (flashbacks...), I put on a sassy outfit (those who know me well are very aware that ensemble includes a pair of knee-high black leather boots), loaded some great tunes and hopped into one of the family cars (which I have nicknamed "My Honda" even though it isn't a Honda...but it might as well be because it's awesome). I rolled down the windows like one of the local kids and blasted my music, not caring about the dirty looks from some neighborhood cranks. I didn't go to the original Starbucks. I went to the drive thru near home, ordered a drink (one that I ordered every day in the mid 2000's), then enjoyed a breezy drive through the neighborhood and past one of my old schools. I almost stopped at the bookhaus, but figured I should have a book to contribute...the take one (book), leave one (book) principle. :-)
When I pulled in the driveway, I just sat there. Happy. Wanting to cry. Happy tears, of course. I did it. No anxiety. No incidents. Just success, cheerful sights, pretty weather and a drink the cost of a small club martini. :-) Even updated my selfies. :-)
Thank you, Jesus, for keeping me safe, granting me a perfect day and, well, for waking me up to enjoy it all.
Have you ever wanted to do something but couldn't get it quite right and then finally it happens and it's better than you ever thought it would be? That's how I feel about my latest artistic creation (found in this post and the My Art/Pen & Pencil Drawings section). There are variations of the lion floating about in cyberspace--numerous, in fact--and all using a variety of approaches...pen, pencil, metal, wood, watercolor, acrylics, etc.
I wanted to give up because I kept failing, but this time... This time I think it works. :-) For as long as I can remember (and that would be childhood), I've associated Jesus with the Lion, so...this piece is of particular value to me. What does this mean to you?
That said, I'm dedicating this picture to everyone in need of Comfort, answers, Joy, rest, Peace, Love, kindness. Jesus loves us all unconditionally. He sees, feels and hears our every feeling, thought, dream, pain, happy times, tragedy. We are never ever alone. He is always there, always Loving each and every one of us.
When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We've braved the belly of the beast
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promised glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
Performed by LIBERA, from the 2019 album ‘Christmas Carols with Libera'
Conductor - Robert Prizeman
Music - M Leontovych
Arranged - Robert Prizeman
Filmed at St Augustine’s church, Kilburn
VIdeo director - Emyr Afan
Video editor - Scott Jaeger
We need more kindness, more love.
Not Death Threats.
None of that is good.
People in power, whether political or otherwise, should be especially careful because their support base listens, and some interpret it as gospel...and then go on the attack. See the violent protesting, bomb threats and even murderous suggestions? I have never seen such herd insanity and I am truly disappointed and saddened by our once great Nation.
Every generation it's gotten worse. When I was a young child, I didn't recognize it. That is the beauty of innocence. No child is born evil, they are made that way. With age, it didn't take long to see that the world wasn't all sunshine and daisies.
This election, these political times, have fueled more dangerous hate and division than ever. With regards to our election, sure, it is 100% fine to have a range of feelings. You can be ecstatic. Happy. Tearful. Angry. It's a process that we all for our emotional stability have to experience.
It isn't okay, however, to be violent and bring harm, whether physical or emotional (such as cyberbullying), to fellow brothers and sisters. It's especially shameful if done in God's name. The President is not the King.
We are a Nation in desperate need of healing.
We need each other now more than ever.
Before it's too late.
United we stand, divided we fall.
We need to be the people we want ourselves to be...the good people we see in the mirror.
Let us be the people we can be proud of.
Let us work together, help bring peace and calm to our Nation and to the World.
Let us be the people that generations to come can be grateful for.
I don't care who you voted for.
I care about your heart, your soul, who you were, are and may become.
When I say I love you, regardless of whether I know you or not, I am speaking with love and hope in my heart for unification and for a better Nation and World.
We are not here to hate, divide and live among chaos.