Images

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Images. Images. Images. The power of images. The might that they hold. The ease in which they can create thoughts in our brains. There are images that display power. There are images that display pain, joy, misery and the everyday miracle. There are images that are put before our eyes. There are images that cause our eyes to widen. There are images that force us to turn away. There are images that stare us back dead in the eye. There are people in images that we form blind opinions about. Truly evil people that perhaps validate these very opinions. There are people in images that tell us fascinating stories. Beautiful stories. There are people that make images. Film manufactures, posers, photographers. There are images that portray chaos when in actuality the situation is harmonious. There are images that show the iniquities that God created in us all. Images of free will. Images of kindness. Images of a nostalgic youth that we expedite when young and beg to have back once we grow old. There are images of ugliness. Killing. Dope dealing. Unfaithfulness. Poverty. Catastrophe. Famine. Disaster. Loneliness. Deceit. Greed. Power. And then there are images of a fine grade of beauty rarely seen in today’s world. Images of real joy not predicated on what is happening on the outside, but rather what exists on the inside. There are images of transition, growth and maturity. There are images that are worth a thousand elegant words. Priceless images of family, friends and acquaintances. Images of strangers extending a helping hand to other strangers. Images of an overwhelming faceless unity that makes us forget about the racial divide. There are images that show us the emergence of life, unfortunately but fortunately coalesced with the passing of a long and fruitful life. What is an image? Images are snippets of time that hold us accountable to the past, present and future. I believe if we saw our lives and every single decision we were slated to make, laid out before us in an antiquated album, some of us would regurgitate at our very own future behaviors. The mouths of others would begin to curve up; their eyes would begin to well up with warm tears, taken aback by the courageous and selfless decisions that they have yet to make. We are all from somewhere. And whether you believe it or not, we are all searching for the same exact thing. It just so happens that at some point in life we are no longer willing, or should I say, we become reluctant to break that candy bar in half and give from the heart to whomever truly needs to have a piece.

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Upside Down

Although we sometimes fall short, my mother and I try to take time out of our daily routine to read from the Daily Word. This is what we read today.

There are a lot of things that intrigue me about Jesus. One of the aspects of His ministry that has always produced jaw-dropping, head-scratching responses is His upside down teaching about life.

As we journey through life, we may get to the point where we think we’ve got it figured out and our thought patterns and responses for navigating through life are deeply engrained. Yet Jesus interrupts us in the midst of our routines and calls us to a new better way. But beware! This encounter with the ways of Jesus will be challenging.

Consider these paradoxical propositions: to live you must die (Mark 8:35); to gain you must give (Matt. 19:21); “blessed are those who mourn” (5:4); to rule you must serve (Luke 22:26); and suffering has purpose (5:10-11)

It is pronouncements like these that make people think Christ is strangely out of touch. But we are the ones out of touch. He is not upside down, we are! We’re like children who think they know better than their parents what is best. No wonder God has told us, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” (Isaiah 55:8). So, rather than relying on our mixed-ip instincts, let’s ask Him to help us reflect His ways. -Joel Stowell

At times it seems we have blinders on to what is really taking place.

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I wonder which hand is winning???