“What Is” Series: Truth

References

“To those involved in a dying world, Satan will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused the truth which could have saved them. They see truth as a lie and the lie as truth. They accept the lies of the devil.”–Billy Graham

Jesus is the truth and sin keeps us from the truth. But what is truth?

According to the dictionary, truth is “conformity to reality or actuality; a true statement. That which is real in a deeper sense; spiritual or genuine reality; a true thing; a verified fact; a true statement or proposition. An established principle, fixed law or the like; as, the great truths of morals; righteousness; true religion; to assert as true; to declare.”–Princeton’s WordNet–Wiktionary–Webster’s Dictionary

But is truth “absolute/universal?” When someone defends their actions and when asked if they are “lying”, they normally say “that is the absolute truth” whether they are lying or not.

According to the definition of “absolute” truth, it is something that is true at all times and in all places. It is something that is always true no matter what the circumstances. It is a fact that cannot be changed.–Wikipedia

“Tolerance has become the one cardinal virtue of the postmodern society, the one absolute, and, therefore, intolerance is the only evil. Any belief in absolute truth is viewed as intolerance, the ultimate sin. Those who deny absolute truth will often say that is is alright to believe what you want, as long as you do not try to impose your beliefs on others. But this view itself is a belief about what is right and wrong, and those who hold this view most definitely do try to impose it on others. They set up a standard of behavior which they insist others follow, thereby violating the very thing they claim to uphold (another self-contradicting position). Those who hold such a belief simply do not want to be accountable for their actions. If there is absolute truth, then there are absolute standards of right and wrong, and we are accountable to those standards. This accountability is what people are really rejecting when they reject absolute truth.”–www.GodQuestions.net

“There are three evidences for the existence of absolute truth. First, there is the human conscience; second, science; and third, religion. Religion is really evidence that mankind is more than just a highly evolved animal. It is evidence of a higher purpose and of the existence of a personal and purposeful Creator who implanted in man the desire to know Him and if there is a Creator, then He becomes the standard for absolute truth, and it is His authority that establishes that truth.”–GotQuestions.net

“Society no longer cares about the truth. It doesn’t matter what one regards as “truth” just as long as they are sincere. Truth is subjective, society says, and it is up to each individual to decide for themselves what is right and wrong. We need to remember that anything other than the truth needs to be rejected. Our culture shuns authority and looks down upon biblical values.”–LivingWaters.com

This appears to be the mentality of our society today–a lack of conscience to do what is morally right. Doing and saying what you want without regard to whether it is absolute truth or not. A world without a conscience would be a dangerous place to live.

If that is the “truth”, then lets look at what the Word of God has to say about truth (NIV translation):

John 14:6: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 8:31-32: To the Jews who believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 16:13: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. he will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

John 4:23-24: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

I John 3:18; “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

II Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

Psalm 25:5: “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Psalm 86:11: “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth.”

From these scriptures, we absolutely determine that there is a Creator who will lead us into all truth which is Jesus Christ. Jesus never changes and the Word of God points us to the way, the truth and the life.

When I first thought of writing about “truth”, my first thought turned to the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Then I asked myself, what does “inalienable” mean. According to Vocabulary.com, it is “something that is yours forever, that can’t be taken away and given to your little brother. The word refers to a ‘natural’ right that cannot be revoked by an outside force.”

If that is the case, then Christianity (Salvation) is for all believers–that which is given to all and cannot be taken away by any outside force.

The Word of God is our compass in the world we live in today. It gives us the directions and information on how to live a life pleasing to God in every area of our lives.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

May we try to live in the truth as we follow Jesus’ teachings and apply them to our lives daily.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Friendspiration: Word of God on Friendship

The Word of God is filled with verses pertaining to friendship(s). These scripture verses are insights and wisdom of instruction regarding finding and keeping friendships as well as how to live our lives on a daily basis according to Christ’s teachings. I will not be covering every scripture but want to share just a few of them with you.

Proverbs 13:20 indicates that “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” This tells us that it is important to choose our friends wisely and to keep the right company. I Corinthians 15:33 further states that “Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.”

Other scriptures such as Proverbs 17:17 tells us that “a friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” No matter what is going on in our lives, a true friend will love us and help us through our adversity.

Encouragement, commitment, love, and support are the qualities of a true friend. Someone who encourages us in the faith and helps guide us along the way to make a strong commitment in that faith through their love and support is a friend worth seeking.

Galatians 5:13 says we are to “serve one another” and Ephesians 5:21 says that we are to “submit to one another.” Serving each other is a way of expressing God’s love and being helpful to another person’s spiritual, emotional or physical welfare.

Guidance from the scriptures help us understand how we are to interact with one another and are commandments for us to follow in our everyday lives. How to live with each other; how to treat each other; how to seek out wisdom and guidance for direction and purpose as we follow Christ’s teachings.

In conclusion, I Peter 4:8-10 says, “…love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever.” Now that is “true friendship” shown to others through the faith that we live out each day.

May the Lord help us to share our lives with others and live out our faith each and every day in the way that Jesus taught us through his promises.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Friendspiration: Inspiring Friendship Quotes

As I look around my music/writing room, I see a number of “creativity” quotes to help keep my mind focused on creating beautiful things . Friendship is the same. When we cultivate those friendships, we (as well as they) can blossom into beautiful and lasting friends who “stick closer than a brother.”

Various types of quotes are happy thoughts that we can look at throughout the day. They bring a smile to one’s face and help us remember the small, simplistic things in our lives.

So it is with friendship quotes. They help remind us to look at the “simple things” and to “cultivate” the friendships that God has sent our way–those blessings in disguise just when we need them the most.

There are a number of blogs that have posted inspiring, thought-provoking, beautiful and funny quotes about friendship. Following are just some of the numerous quotes I have gathered for you to ponder and perhaps apply to the friendships you now have (or have yet to find) and to renew friendships that have gone astray. Enjoy and happy reading.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”–Walter Winchell

“”Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'”–C.S. Lewis

“A single rose can be my garden…a single friend, my world.”–Leo Buscaglia

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”–Dale Carnegie

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”–Unknown

“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”–Confucius

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”–Albert Schweitzer

“A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad.”–Arnold H. Glasgow

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”–Audrey Hepburn

“Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.”–Leo F. Buscaglia

“Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.”–Charles Lamb

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”-Marcel Proust

“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”–Zig Ziglar

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”–Woodrow T. Wilson

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.”–Ed Cunningham

“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”–Bernard Meltzer

“A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.”–Donna Roberts

“It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.”–Epicurus

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”–Abraham Lincoln

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”–Carl W. Buechner

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”–Unknown

“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”–Albert Camus

“To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”–Brandi Snyder

A friend is hard to come by but the one who “holds all our tomorrows” will be the greatest friend of them all–Jesus!

Blessings,

Yvonne

Friendspiration: Friendship Quotes

While doing some research on friendship, I came across a number of quotes that described friendship and decided to share them at this time.

The following quotes are from a book entitled, “Thank Heaven for Coffee and other little pleasures.”

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand.” –Mother Teresa

“The best mirror is an old friend.” –George Herbert

“I count myself in nothing else so happy as in a soul rememb’ring my good friends.”–William Shakespeare

“He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the King for his friend.” –Proverbs 22:11 (NIV)

“Friendship with oneself is all-important because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” –Henry Ford

“Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother’s house when disaster strikes you–better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.” –Proverbs 27:10 (NIV)

“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.” –Walt Whitman

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never ties, and a touch that never hurts.” –Charles Dickens

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for in the dew of the little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” –James Allen

“The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?” –Henry David Thoreau

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I l earned from my Father I have made know to you.” –John 15:15 (NIV)

“A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they’re not so good and sympathizes with your problems when they’re not so bad.” –Arnold H. Glasgow

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” –Mother Teresa

From a friend who is “tried and true” to one who shows acts of kindness, herein lies the virtues of true friendship.

Dale Carnegie was quoted as saying, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

“A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” –Unknown

Let us all cultivate true friendship with others “for if we haven’t learned the true meaning of friendship, then you really haven’t learned anything.”–Muhammed Ali

Blessings,

Yvonne

Friendspiration: What Is A True Friend

The definition of True Friendship, according to The Free Dictionary, is as follows:

  • The quality or condition of being friends
  • A friendly relationship
  • Friendliness; good will

According to Proverbs 18:24, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Friendship doesn’t need an invite. They can show up at your door with a caring, loving attitude to help us through a situation/circumstance that is going on in our lives without them realizing there is a need. A true friend:

  • Doesn’t unfriend you even if things get messy.
  • Believes and wants the best for you.
  • Accepts you for you.
  • Doesn’t abandon you.
  • Continues the friendship regardless of distance.
  • True friendship is love.

Just recently my husband and I visited with friends that we knew for approximately 20 years but we had not seen each other for the past five years. Yet, when we stopped by unexpectedly while visiting in the area, it was as if we had never lost touch. We discovered that they had their house on the market and would be moving out of state just as soon as their house sold. We reconnected during our time with them and will keep in touch even when they move away.

So it is with God’s love. He sticks closer than a brother and will never abandon us no matter what. We are a child of the King. Let us walk in love and become true friends who show love towards others.

Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be humble and gentle in every way. Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other.” This is the basis of true friendship.

May the Lord bless you as you rekindle lost friendships and discover new friends along the way.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Friendspiration: True Friendship

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

The Book of Proverbs is filled with verses pertaining to friendship and how it impacts our happiness and enjoyment with those who are around us each and every day.

At our local church, we have made it a practice to go out for lunch with our “lunch bunch” group almost every Sunday after the service. We have selected three different restaurants that we currently rotate to throughout the month and we welcome any one who would like to join us for lunch to do so. Sometimes we only have a small group of 5 and sometimes we will have a higher number who join us. For my husband and I, it has been a very rewarding and meaningful time; and the fellowship and friendships we enjoy each week have been such a blessing to our lives.

We have been able to talk about various topics from A-Z and no matter what our differences, we have grown to love and respect each other’s opinions and insights.

At this time, I have decided to do a post or two–or three–on what it means to be a true friend and to see what the Bible teaches us about this particular topic. Scripture verses will be from both the Old and New Testaments, as well as friendship quotes from other sources (individuals from the past/present) . My hope is that you will gain some additional knowledge or insight into God’s word as well.

Friendships can be with our spouses, family members, co-workers and those we grew up with but who live a greater distance away and friendships can also be rekindled as God brings us together through various circumstances that happen in our lives (i.e. graduations, weddings, reunions, deaths).

Let us be open to being a friend not only to those people we know but to individuals we meet that we don’t know as well. God will bless your life immensely!

Blessings,

Yvonne

Nana’s Corner: Poem

Over the weekend as I lay in bed not being able to sleep, I wrote the following poem with my sweet grandkids on my mind and heart entitled, “Nana’s Love”:

My heart is filled with so much love,

That God has given me from above–

Three sweet little faces

Who look lovingly at me…

With wonder and trust

So that I can be

The best Nana

To these little ones

Whom God has entrusted in my care

To watch over and pray for them each day

No matter when or where.

His love is steadfast and true

And He keeps watch over them

Through the love of their mom and dad

As well as a Nana

Who is so glad

To care for and love them with all her heart.

Their Grammy just visited them this past weekend and they adore her when she is able to do so. They always tell me what fun they had with her and whenever they visit her at her house as well. Both Pap Pap and Pappy are their favorite people as well.

I am just so happy to be part of their lives and feel blessed by them in so many ways.

Hug your grandchildren–laugh and play hide and seek–and enjoy them as much as you can. I know I will.

Blessings,

Yvonne

2019 Word for the New Year

Just before the New Year began, I noticed on social media that several individuals had posted their “word” for change beginning in the new year–intentional, decisive, gratitude–to name a few.

In thinking about what word I would select, I had an almost immediate connection with the word “serenity”. The more I thought about this word, the more I decided to choose it because I definitely needed to be more serene-like in my life.

DEFINITION of SERENITY (Merriam-Webster Dictionary): calm, calmness, hush, peacefulness, quietness, restfulness, stillness, tranquility.

As I thought back over 2018, I can truthfully say that there had been times when I needed to be more serene-like in times of chaos. Now, as I reflect on the coming year, serenity is constantly in my thought process and whenever I find myself getting frustrated or anxious I begin to recite SERENE: CALM, PEACEFUL and I immediately begin to breathe deeper and try to remain more focused on my surroundings and circumstances.

Since I am musically inclined, I remind myself that:

“I need music to CALM my soul,

I need music to make me whole.”

Everybody has a story, and everybody has a song

So lift up your voice

And let it be heard.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Following the Rules By Using the Right Tools

Reference and How-To Tools

Recently, while watching an episode of “Mutt and Stuff” with my grandson, the segment talked about “following the rules” while you are on an airplane. Since this is a show about dogs, the dogs were actually passengers and were to sit in their seats. After a while–perhaps out of boredom–they got out of their seats and definitely were not following the rules. I turned to my grandson and said, “Look, the dogs are not following the rules.” He looked at me and said, “I don’t like to follow the rules.” I asked, “why not” and he plainly said, “because I don’t want to.” We talked–rather I talked–about the importance of following the rules in certain situations (i.e. preschool, safety). He just smiled and we left it at that for now.

Over the years, I am sure that I did not always follow the rules but eventually was taught the importance of following rules so that I could sit quietly in school, etc. We have books that teach us “how-to” do almost anything and everything IF we follow the instructions that we are given. There have been times when I have purchased a piece of furniture and thought I could put it together without looking at the instructions. Finally after struggling to put the item together, I realized I had to get out the instructions and read them step by step in order to finish the project that I started. Over the years, when I do buy something, I always check with the instructions first. Believe me, it saved a lot of undue frustration.

Sometimes we just don’t want to follow the rules and almost always–if we do not–there are usually consequences of some sort.

The Word of God teaches us to follow the Lord and His teachings in order to live a life that is good and to know right from wrong. We certainly need to teach our children this philosophy in order for them to survive in this world that is so big and vast and at times in turmoil. Knowing God and learning “more about Him” is learned by reading His Word and practicing what we have learned.

Scriptures clearly show us how to live and how to react even in the midst of trying circumstances. Living a life pleasing to Him should be important enough that others will see that in us. Scriptures that teach us about knowing God are as follows:

Colossians 1:10-12 (NIV): “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

John 17:3 (NIV): “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Ephesians 1:17 (NIV): “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

I John 2:3-4 (NIV): “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Even though my grandson is only 3-1/2, he too is still trying to understand and learn about following instructions and the rules everyday. More importantly as parents, grandparents, and teachers of children, it is up to all of us to show them how to live and follow the teachings, love, and grace of our Lord by being an example and role model. In this day and age, they need it more than ever.

Help us all to be teachers and doers of His Word and let His light shine in us every day. May the Lord bless you, and make His face to shine upon you.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Reading: “The Traveler’s Summit” by Andy Andrews (sequel to “The Traveler’s Gift”)

Soulspiration: Quotes About the Soul

In researching information regarding the soul, I came across a list of Soul Quotes which I thought were interesting, based on man’s own interpretation of what the soul means to them. I would like to share some of them with you as follows:

Neither height nor depth can measure the possibilities of the human soul–James Lendall Basford (1845-1915), “Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone”, 1882

(A) great soul, with a great purpose, can make a weak body strong and keep it so…Mark Twain, “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc”, 1895

When you say a man has guts, you say he has a soul–Martin H. Fischer (1879-1962)

The windows of my soul I throw Wide open to the sun–John Greenleaf Whittier, “My Psalm”

The soul has no secret that the behavior does not reveal–Lao Tzu

You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body–C. S. Lewis

If I should die tonight what have I to show for my life in the way of soul-winning?–Fredonia Ellsworth Holloway (1867-1920), c.1909

Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?–Horace

Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul–Marcus Aurelius, “Meditations”

Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul–Mark Twain

You are a beautiful soul hidden by the trench coat of the ego–Mike Dolan@HawaiianLife

If you hide things in your soul, don’t forget about them–Terri Guillemets

The defects of the soul are like wounds in the body–whatever care one takes to heal, the scar still appears, and they are every moment in danger of reopening–Francois VI de la Rochefoucault (1613-1680)

Most men have more scars on their souls than on their bodies–James Lendall Basford (1845-1915), “Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone”, 1882

When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action comes from another section, the feeling disappears–Rumi

With all your science–can you tell how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?–Henry David Thoreau

Is soul the stem and body the blossom–or body our stem, with soul its seasonal bloom?–Terri Guillemets

One thing in the world, of value, is the active soul–Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my soul, the music of the universe can be heard–Eric Honeycutt, August 2011 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter

What is soul? It’s like electricity–we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room–Ray Charles

Webs of strange patterns we weave (each owns), From colour and soul; and like unto these, Soul has its tones and semitones, Mind has its major and minor keys–Amy Levy, “In a Minor Key (An Echo from a Larger Lyre),” c.1884

The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on–Josiah Gilbert Holland

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire–Ferdinand Foch

You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out–Martha Graham

The above quotes can be found, along with others, on The Quote Garden (www.quotegarden.com) if you would like to look up additional quotes about the soul. I found it most interesting to see a number of quotes from the 1800’s. During that time period, many individuals wondered about the purpose of the soul as well.

From my earlier post (Scripture Quotes About the Soul), we learned that the Bible has many answers regarding the mysteries of the soul. We just need to continue to read God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our inmost being–our souls–for the answers to His will and purpose for our lives.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Book Reading Now: “Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah.