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: email@example.com
2010. The beginning of the second decade of the 21st century.
moves on. God moves on.So must we.
“Forgetting those things that are behind me, and reaching forth to those things that are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
How exactly do we move on? First, we repent. This means we commit ourselves to changing our way of thinking. Once our way of thinking changes, our way of doing will also change accordingly. When our thoughts and actions align themselves with the revealed will of God, we will become new beings (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Second, we must release ourselves from whatever and whomever is holding us to our memories of the past. Good, bad, or indifferent, all experiences of the past are mere memories. It’s all right to reflect and learn from the past, but it is NEVER all right to linger in and live with regret over the past. As Jonathan Larson wrote in the hit Broadway musical “RENT,” “No day but Today.”
Third and last, we must reach for those things that are beyond our own limitations in the present moment. Whether it is material, physical, financial, emotional, intellectual, social or spiritual, we must strive to obtain what we have not achieved or received to the present.
As we repent, release and reach, we will MOVE On. With our lives. With time. With God.
Although this project has been in the making for almost three years, it only went live on the Web at around Christmas 2008. Since then, through personal challenges and changes, it's grown into a worldwide phenomenon — and I'm NOT exaggerating.
the message seems to be resonating with young people in The Philippines, Singapore and the surrounding areas. In fact, about 110 of those fans are from Southern Asia and the Pacific Islands. There are fans in India, Bahrain, Sudan and Pakistan. And if you're not a fan yet on Facebook, what are you waiting for?
I want to thank each of you reading this for participating in this project, and for sharing it with those you love. There have been times when I've hesitated about moving forward with this project, mostly out of fear. But through it all, I've been able to quiet the fearful noises and listen to the quiet voice of The Author, which has given me that legendary “blessed assurance.” The more I watch this project touch lives, the more grateful I am to be its messenger.
In the coming months, look for more features and additions to the site, including more bloggers from various belief systems, a recommended reading list, live chats and more video content. Stay tuned!
All that said, I'd love to hear your feedback! If you've read “A Message From God,” watched the video, or
read any of the blogs, speak up! The object of this was never to have a one way communication. Post a message on one of the blog posts to let me know what you think!
If it seems like the past seven days in the world have been more troubled than usual, it’s probably because it has been.
Just read, look at or listen to the news media. Nuclear weapons testing in Iran. Earthquakes in the Philippines and in Indonesia. A tsumami
in the American Samoan Islands. A steady increase in reported cases of both the seasonal and “swine” flu. Not to mention the “usuals”: assaults, robberies, murders, plant closings, etc.
Dwelling on such things can understandably make even a person of great faith feel overwhelmed by feelings of sorrow and despair.
But amidst all the negative realities, a ray of hope remains. God is still in control and He is handling everything great and small that is going on.
By “handling,” I mean that God is bringing something good from everything that feels and seems bad right now. I’ll be the first to admit that often we finite human beings can’t always grasp the “big picture”. Yet faith tells us that though life can be hard, God is good and God is faithful.
I was reminded of that precious truth this week while at work. A situation arose wherein my professional skills and competence were not-so-subtly being questioned and atatcked. Rather
than defend myself, I held my peace and trusted in the Lord as He instructs us in the Scriptures to do in times such as this. In no time at all, without any help from me, I was vindicated and affirmed by my fellow colleagues. In other words, God “handled” it.
Whatever trial or tribulation you are facing, no matter great or small, rest in the precious presence and promises of God. In His own distinct way, He’ll assure you that without a doubt the problem is being handled.
Being from small-town Mississippi, I have had many, many, MANY meals prepared in a cast iron skillet — the big black ones that fry everything — from catfish and fried chicken to pork chops and hot water cornbread.
Delicious. And what’s more, the cast iron skillet is respected in kitchens worldwide. Most importantly, it’s respected in mine.
But if you think you’re gonna just go into Wal-Mart and buy one . . . well, you can. They’re not that expensive. But if you think you’re going to come straight home and start to fry up some delicious fish, think again. Your skillet must be SEASONED. Not in a “put some salt and pepper on it” kind of way.
Seasoning a skillet involves oiling your skillet up and putting it into the oven at an extremely HIGH temperature for several hours. It goes into the oven a sort of grayish color and comes out much darker if not straight up black. There will be smoke. There will be fumes. And obviously, there will be heat. But once it’s done, the skillet will provide an optimal non-stick surface, that is known for its even distribution of heat, which facilitates great cooking.
As I write this, a long and extremely painful divorce process seems to be coming to an end. There has been no shortage of heartbreak, sleepless nights, loss of appetite, racing thoughts and anxiety. Part of the way I’ve dealt with the heat of this is by pouring my energy into this project — allowing God to transform my pain into something that serves the greater good.
And while this situation tests the boundaries of what I think I can take, through it all, I can say I feel that I have been “seasoned” — much like a cast iron skillet. I feel stronger. Tougher. To some degree, non-stick even. I feel like the time is coming when I will be removed from the oven and allowed to cool for a while. And when that happens, I’ll be primed for some great cooking from The Author (God).
You too, are dealing with some challenges — some situations you wonder if you will survive. You wonder: if you do survive, what will you be like on the other side? Well, The Author is seasoning you for great things. You are being prepared for the next phase of your life — and when you come out on the other side (operative word: WHEN), you will come out with a greater sense of calm. You will have seen tremendous storms, and they won’t scare you so much anymore. Your strength will become an anchor for those who witness the way you withstand the heat, and the way you allow yourself to be used for the greater good.
So in the midst of your seasoning, and hot and painful as it is, focus on these things:
First and foremost, remember what Jesus taught us: Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world. My translation: There’s NOTHING that The Christ Within you can’t bring you through. NOTHING.
Stay focused on doing the best you can with each day. Your best isn’t going to be the same every day, but if you can go to sleep knowing you gave your best, then you have earned a good night’s rest.
Be cheerful, even if it’s hard. Meet the day with a gentle smile.
Be grateful for what you have in the moment, even the small things. Thank God for that great cup of coffee. Savor it. Thank God for your time with your children, even when they misbehave a bit.
Surrender your situation to The Christ Within, and let it go. Your problem may be bigger than you, but God is bigger than it. God doesn’t work in a linear way, which means you won’t always be able to see how God’s going to bring you through. You just have to trust and have faith.
Help others. One of the simplest and easiest ways to get your mind off your own problems is to help someone else solve theirs. Don’t meddle, but if the Inner Voice of the Author guides you to help someone, do it. It’s good for your soul. And it allows you to sow seeds of healing — and remember, as you sow, so shall you reap.
In the midst
of your seasoning, there are many things you will not be able to control. But what you can control are your choices. YOU choose how you move through the process. YOU choose the attitude you have in the midst of it. YOU choose who you are being in relationship to it. Choose wisely. Choose from love. Eventually the heat will die down.
And then, my friend . . . THEN, it’s time to COOK!