05 May 2011

What Direction are you Headed

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.”
- Dr. Seuss

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on a journal for something called The Fiction Project. The process has been a fun and challenging one. The basic idea is that each journal has a theme, and the artist writes stories and creates a sketchbook that becomes part of a traveling exhibit, with the final destination being The Brooklyn Art Library. The journals contain the artists’ biography, are given a barcode, and catalogued. During the traveling exhibits, visitors can check out the journals and browse through the pages. As an author, we are able to interact with our traveling books - we are notified as to their locations, the readers and the arrival at their final destination ... how exciting!

The reason I am sharing this project on my blog is because I have learned a great deal about myself and my spiritual journey while working on the project. During the creative process, I found peace about where I have been and where I am heading. You see, I’ve made my share of mistakes, have my long list of regrets, been hurt, and dealt with illness and disappointments in my life, but this fiction project has become a journal of my thoughts on Living My Life Facing Forward... moving beyond the past, realizing my blessings, and looking forward to the destiny that lies ahead! I chose the topic of “Facing Forward” because I wanted to encourage people to begin to live life one day at a time.... facing forward, pressing on.

Scripture tells us... “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Facing Forward means that our eyes are focused on Christ and what lies ahead. To be able to do this, we need clear vision, clean lens, a healthy perspective and sometimes even and adjustment... corrective lens. Here are some unhealthy symptoms to watch out for and a few suggested remedies...

• We need to see others through the eyes of Christ.... with love and compassion. If you are having difficulty, maybe you have dry eyes... read 1 Peter 4:8-9.

• If you are constantly crying, sad, depressed or discontent, maybe you have teary eyes. Change your outlook... read Philippians 4:11.

• Having problems focusing, can’t tell right from wrong.... things a little hazy? Maybe you have blurry eyes... read Psalm 119:105.

• Do things look confusing, not going the way you expected... maybe you have unclear eyes. Pray to see life in a brand new way.... read Philippians 4:6-7.

• Something in your eye, do you judge and criticize others? Maybe you have irritated eyes and need to focus on yourself... read Matthew 7:1-5.

Facing Forward is a journey and it begins when we take the first step. We have choices ... we can choose to turn around, take a different path, experience new things, change our ways, and face life with a different attitude.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle... action required... Children, just like adults need to be reminded that if we know Christ, we are forgiven for the messes we make in our lives and that each day is a new beginning. If a child did something wrong, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person... maybe they just made a bad choice. If they were hurt or disappointed, they need to learn to forgive, just as we have been forgiven. We can approach each day “facing forward” if we remember the words of Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!”

Dr. Seuss is a favorite children’s author and there is a book called, “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss” by James W. Kemp. Kemp was a United Methodist pastor for 15 years. He shared the following, “When I was a pastor, I found that I could find no better illustrations for biblical principles than I found in Dr. Seuss’ stories.” He went on to say, “I preached sermons based on Bible passages, and used Dr. Seuss to address themes such as faithfulness, fairness, friendship, greed, pride, hope, adventure and much much more.” His book contains many great parallels between Seuss stories and Bible stories, and is a great resource for story time with any of the youngsters in your life.

One Seuss character that always seems to be getting in to trouble and making BIG messes, is The Cat in the Hat. Kids can identify with the “messes.” Guess what, our world is a messy place. We have physical messes (like the cat’s ring in the bathtub), but we can also experience painful messes. The good news is that we don’t have to give up, the messes we have created or inherited can be cleaned up. After all we know that in “The Cat in the Hat Comes Back,” there is a happy ending... one small cat has the power to put the entire house in order. As Christians we have a big God that has the power to put our lives back in order… no mess is too big for Him. We can “face forward” and move on from our messes.

Many children’s stories contain wonderful morals and can be a great addition to the Bible stories we read to our children, grandchildren or neighbor kids. Just as I have chosen to share a story through The Fiction Project, why not share your story, a Bible story or a fun children’s book with someone. Don’t hide your light under a bushel... choose to shine your light brightly... aka “sparkle” today!

Enjoy your weekend.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform
you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn
to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
- Romans 12:2

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