The Paradox in which we Live.

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Just a little side trip into love. . . a brief departure from the armor of God Time spent with good friends refreshes our souls, reminds us that there are good and right things in this world, like love. Three weeks ago, I was in Southern California to teach and conduct a women's retreat and was blessed to be with women I have been in community with more than two decades. Our retreat theme? She smiles at the future - Proverbs 31. 25. We studied God's Word, meditated on scriptures that remind us that walking in the strength of God's greatness and his goodness empowers us to smile at the future or 'laugh at the days to come' as another translation renders. We worshipped together, played games, prayed and laughed. I think we loved each other well. Beautiful, really. From there, I hopped an airplane to Oklahoma City to another community I have had the privilege of becoming a small part of. How I love my Edmond friends, several of whom traveled with me to Israel in 2019. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus with fellow believers bonds hearts, minds and souls together in a unique way; it certainly deepens and grows our faith and our intellectual knowledge of the truth of what we believe as Christians. We reminisced a little about time alone with the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane (pictured)--after all, it is hard to even imagine being able to pray in the same olive grove where the Lord prayed and agonized with the Father...the same place where he was arrested at the foot of the Mt. of Olives! Indeed, what a gift is the precious time spent with those we love, those who love the Lord and with whom we will spend eternity. To ask deeper questions of our friends, and learn how to pray for them . . . oh yes, it is sweet. So grounding, so life-giving. Hmmm. My friend, Ron--an Edmond guy--sent me something he found on TikTok and I had to slip it in here as a great reminder to all of us in our dailiness. It is called The Paradox of Our Time in History: “The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.” Bob Moorehead, Words Aptly Spoken Clever rendition to watch: https://www.tiktok.com/@marcellajeanhatton/video/7150038046044409134?is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=7150038046044409134

Go outside, look up and thank God for the gift of life~ This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118.24 Dear Father, Thank you for loving us into existence. Help us to be present this day - to walk in the gratitude of the gifts we possess--to thank you for what we have, rather than regret what we do not. Remind us to put our phones down and be present in the moment, for the moment is a gift from you. Prompt us to smile more, say please and thank you, offer a hand up and hug our loved ones real tight. O, you're a good, good Father. And remind us that "Love is the Reason"- Mac Powell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uvq7UCZpWs Amen. Thanks, Ron! With love, Christine

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