In the midst of the ongoing “discussion” about the passage of President Obama's health care reform bill, much ado has been made abou who should determine the American public's well-being. Should it be the federal government working to ensure ALL peo
ple have access to basic health care at affordable costs? Or should it have remained in the hands of the greedy insurance companies whose only interests is in making a profit?
The REAL question boils down to who/what do we trust?
The answer varies from individual to individual and is based on a combination of factors (political ideologies, religion, education, economic class, ethnicity, etc.).
Well, as the pitchman for All State says, “You're in
good hands”. Regardless of what your beliefs may or may not be. Or your income, social status, geographic location, age, disability or any other consideration you may wish to mention.
We're in good hands because the One who controls ALL things is GOOD. And ALL things work for GOOD for those who trust in HIM.
I'm remembering the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Being born in 1969,
I belong to the very first generation of people for whom he's never been a living being — he's always been a larger than life legend, an icon of the rather quaint knowledge that we are all HUMAN first, and skin pigmentation much
later. In an age where we have an African-American president, an era when blacks had to drink from different water fountains seems like ancient history. By comparison, there's a generation of children coming up now who have no memory of September 11, 2001 — but whose lives have been shaped by it in ways they can't imagine.
The great speaker that Dr. King was, it is so tempting to boil him down into a few soundbytes. That's how he got stuck with the cliche of a moniker “The Dreamer.” I don't want to minimize the power of that dream, or the work he did in striving for racial justice. It's just that the more that I get to know Dr. King through his speeches and writings, the greater I revere him as a profound spiritual teacher — a man whom, like Jesus, I strive to
pattern my life after.
If you are struggling with some challenge, you owe it to yourself to read “Strength To Love” by Dr. King. I can't explain what that book has done for me during some of my darkest days. Anyway, as I was driving to visit my mother this weekend, I heard this excerpt from Dr. King's “Drum Major Instinct” speech. It brought me to tears because he describes how I want to live my life, how I want to be remembered.
Not just today, but for the rest of the year, take some time to dig into Dr. King's writings and lesser known speeches. Learn why he teaches us to have a “tough mind and a tender heart” and how he offers a modern perspective on the Jesus principle of loving your enemies.
Prince has a song dedicated to Dr. King on his latest album, LotusFlow3r. As he says in that song, “If it was just a dream . . . then call me a dreamer too . . .”
My mother plays piano. Quite well, in fact. Among the songs she loves to play and that I love to hear is called “If I Can Help Somebody.” Lyrics go like this:
“If I can help somebody, as I pass along . . . then my living shall not be in vain.”
It sums up a large part of my parents’ life philosophy — consequently, I cherish it as a part of the legacy they left me. And the reason I bring it up here is because of a posting I found on a bulletin board about “A Message From God.”
As much as I love this project and what it’s doing in the world, I actually don’t get a lot of feedback on it. So when I ran across these remars from “Taimour” on a bulletin board at Stresscenter.org . . . well, it meant a whole lot to me. Check it out:
Posted January 01, 2010 08:27 AM
this link that i’m posting is an e-book/online articles (you can read it online or ask them to email it to you)that really helped find my way again
i’ll try to describe my situation to you so before i read it so you know how that book
helped me and how it can help you
well i’m a muslim but i never really feel that i belonged in that religion, i don’t get it why i should be praying 5 times a day always be living in some kind of conservative way and be thinking of religion/good and everything else possible to feel spiritual…i really had problems praying…i felt like i was talking to myself…and especially in
islam..the routine…of reciting some pieces of the quran felt always like a one-sided thing for me…
to put it short.. i was in a relationship with god of me knowing that he exists, that he created the whole world and everything, i wanted and needed to “reconnect with god” and didn’t have a clue HOW
after i read this small book it helped me a lot
it’s very short and very entertaining
took me only an hour or so to read it
It touched me for a variety of reasons:
I’m always excited to find out that something that The Author brought through me is touching lives, period.
This reader is Muslim. This project was never intended to convert anyone to a specific religion and it respects all religious traditions. Instead, it’s meant to help its readers develop a relationship with The Author, regardless of their religious background. It seems to have done that in Taimour’s case, which is both awesome and humbling.
This reader is from Giza, Egypt. Although The Author told me this message would touch millions worldwide, watching it actually happen is pretty awesome!
Perhaps most importantly, it comes during a cold season in my personal life. My faith is fundamentally sound, but it’s also just plain tired. So, knowing that I have helped somebody as I pass along . . .
My living has not been in vain. Amen.
PS: If you’ve read “A Message From God” and would like to share your feedback, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gene Williams is a yoga instructor based in Memphis, TN.
For the last 4-5 years, I carve out some time to indulge in a bit of yoga practice.
Today, while in my yoga class, I was nearing the end of the strength building sequence that the instructor constructed for the class. Right in the midst of near muscle failure from repeated vinyasa flows from upward facing dog to downward facing dog to headstand preparation, the instructor informs us that we will be holding downfacing dog for 2 minutes. “2 MINUTES!!! Are you nuts?!!!” my mind AND body wailed.
“Now, release to child’s pose. Rest
Elated, I had to resist the urge just to plop down on my mat from exhaustion. As I rested in Child’s Pose, I really allowed myself to go limp, and truly relax, allowing oxygen to perform as a healing balm to rejuvenate my aching muscles. Within 5 breaths, the instructor instructed us to exhale and come to all fours, and come to downward facing dog, where we would be for 2 minutes.
Amazingly enough, the five breaths was more than enough time to endure holding downward facing dog for 2 minutes. At the end of the 2 minutes, I actually felt rejuvenated and like I could do another 2 minutes easily.
In life, sometimes we’re constantly bombarded by thoughts, people, and experiences that cause us to struggle through, often times, everyday activities. From the example I learned on my yoga mat, when life seems to
be constantly pressing down on you, take a mini-vacation from the person or situation, which could be a walk, a drive to clear your thoughts, or by simply taking the time to focus on breathing deeply and consciously.
When you come back to the situation, you will return with a clear head and a newly found resolve that will help you tackle any situation head on!
Certified Personal Trainer/Yoga Instructor/Owner of Nirvana Fitness(www.NirvanaFitnessMemphis.com)
By now I AM sure that you have experienced enough injustices in the world to know that life is not always fair. Virtually all of you at one time or another has been both a victim of other people’s unkindne
ss as well as someone who has intentionally been unkind to others. Unfortunately, such incidents are an unavoidable reality.
Still, I hope that you before you pull out the boxing gloves or build another wall of defense against possible future injury you will pause long enough to remember somethings I promised you in My Word long ago.
First, you WILL reap what you sow. Good or bad, right or wrong, whatever you do unto others is eventually going to come back to you multiplied many times over. That thought alone ought to make you think twice before you speak or act.
Second, I AM with you ALWAYS. I promised you that I would never leave nor forsake you, nor will I ever cast you out of MY presence. Knowing I AM with you will always make you strong enough to go through the worst times of your lives.
Third and finally, MY peace I give to you. In this world you will have
hard times, but I have overcome this world and as you keep your trust in ME, you will overcome it, too.
So, life IS what YOU make it. You decide. Will you merely survive life or will you LIVE it to its fullest each and every blessed moment you are here? Pain is inevitable, but misery is a choice. Decide for yourself, but be sure you are willing to live with the choices that you make.