Humbly Observe

Beyond Human Understanding

So much is happening. Success, crisis, sickness, hate, growth, fatigue. Beyond human understanding. Part of a battle between good and evil. On the surface, it appears ideological, right verses left, red verses blue. But deeper than this, it is the battle of good verses evil.

I am not calling anyone person or group evil. Many might interpret it that way. But what is happening before our very eyes is from a war beyond our comprehension. Never could such a divide and hatred come from ideology alone. This is the super natural battle for souls. Battle for freedom. Battle for a way of life. Battle for our eternal salvation.

I stop today and step back. I evaluate what I can control, or think I can control. But in doing so, I am humbled by my mortality. By the fact that I am truly in control of nothing except for one thing. My faith. Because without faith, the world appears hopeless. Anxiety rules via sickness, insomnia, despair, depression.

God is in control. That is where my Hope lies. That is what I can control. My faith. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Pray today and everyday for strengthening of faith. Because in faith we are given Peace that surpasses all human understanding. With this Peace we are given the ability to see the pain of others and weather this storm which will pass. We, in faith, are a beacon to those who are lost in the darkness of today.

#orangeistruth

The Straw the Camel didn’t see coming

The old saying used when a final event or comment pushed someone over the edge was “The Straw that Broke the Camels Back”. Many times in our lives we we can see the straw coming, the person or event that will cause us to go over the edge. Many times in the end, we could have averted the back breaking outcome.

Then there are those times when the straw does a surprise attack on us. We didn’t see it coming. It was an error or mistake that was just a case of circumstances beyond our control. Not always even intended to cause conflict or harm. But it still happens. Those straws, while rare I believe, are a true test of our character, our maturity, our resolve. Some love to jump on those moments; ones that happen accidentally and use them to bolster their own ego, or feed into their fears. It is an opportunity for those who are small to belittle those who are victim of the surprise straw attack which they have no real context of their life or challenges.

In those moments, moments that can embarrass us, surprise us, challenge us, we have choices to make. They may remind us of past failures. They may inflame self doubt. They very easily can break our back or will to live. The danger of the surprise straw attack.

And then again, with a belief that there is no such thing as failure, only learning, we are given the opportunity to repeat a past lesson. A message that we have not fully received. An opportunity to rise like a phoenix from the ashes again. Fresh starts only truly happen when all the lessons are completed.

This is the true beauty of the the straw the camel didn’t see coming. A chance to complete the lesson and move on in our greatness and calling.

#orangeistruth

Current Times

Tension. That to me describes the current state of affairs. Our beautiful land is filled with anxiety, depression, fear, hate, and feelings of loss of control. Our lives are filled with uncertainty. People who we thought were are friends, some of our family, our leaders have shown what we believe is an ugly and unreal side. It could seem hopeless.

Perspective and pause give us a chance to put all into context. Fear drives all. Those who wish to control us, stir the fear. The only way to conquer fear is to confront it head on. Not by confrontation necessarily, but from an educated point of view. From historical comparison and by taking a look deep inside at ourselves and asking if what is being said truly matches our heart.

Observation is a powerful tool. Sympathy and empathy can assist us to work to understand another persons fears. Prayer for all including for discernment is critical.

I love our country, my life and all of my blessings God has bestowed on me. My life is far from perfect. I create my own conflict and trials. No one else does. I am responsible for my actions good and bad. Personal responsibility lies on us alone.

When others are acting out in ways we do not approve, the best way to foster change is not by debate, argument or direct confrontation, but by our actions. Actions seen and unseen. Actions of restraint. Actions of love and compassion.

It is not about winning the debate. It is about positive influence. When we are gone, people will remember the life we led quietly more that the victories won at any expense.

Today, more than ever, we need to live our influence. Live constructive not destructive. Live love not hate. We are given the gift to disagree, but no where is it written we have should live a life of hate.

#orangeistruth

We are all Americans

In the End

The End of the road

Today, tomorrow, someday. In the end, it is not where we have traveled, but who we have influenced that matters. Our journey is comprised of the routine; problems, solutions, victories and defeats. Through all of this, our actions, words or silence are observed my a nearly infinite number of eyes. Do we leave a lasting positive impression? Have we cause a pause in someone’s life that changes their course for the better? We will find out someday when the video is replayed at our heavenly home.

We are influencers. #orangeistruth

Hope from Lowly Times

nativity scene table decor

Here we are at the end of December.  The decade is over and the new year brings promise as well as a darkness of what at times feels like uncharted waters.  Life is fast.  Moving at speeds that we could never have conceived when we were young.  Technology, globalization, a society that seems to care less about each other than about fighting over differences.  A great country, lost in an identity crisis.  But, throughout history, one constant has existed.  The promise of salvation, God’s grace and divine guidance.  But the world has seemingly discarded this great gift.  We, like in the times of Christ’s birth, have become fragmented.   Government grows larger and more controlling, and we go through the motions of our lives without much hope of change.  Don’t say Merry Christmas because you might offend someone.  Assimilate to cultural pressures or be ostracized.   Life appears to be headed to the abyss.

But there is a glorious hope.  A spirit of strength.  A freely given gift from our Creator.  In a broken world, full of sin, hatred, jealousy and lust is the hope of forgiveness, unconditional love and eternal life.  This hope was born in a lowly community, in times of distress, government control and discord.   People were searching for the promised Messiah.  The One God had foretold of throughout the Old Testament.   We have the pure blessing of knowing that our Savior has been sent.  Forgiveness and love assured.

In these times of great upheaval, just like the time when Christ came into the world, we have the choice to turn from the hatred and head to the Light of the World.  The story, passed down for generations, prophesied in the Old Testament and came to pass some 2,000+ years ago is a simple and straight forward message.  All it takes is the faith the size of a mustard seed.  Seems easy.  I encourage you to find the faith to seek out the true meaning of this Christmas time of year.  Head into the next decade with peace.

Thanksgiving: A Pathway out of Insanity

Thanksgiving. An American tradition. Massive meals, prequel to ridiculous shopping, hectic travel and the darkness of isolation. What? Yes, isolation. Busyness, the true escape from reality. We surround ourselves with people, work feverishly to clean, cook, make small talk, shop, fight crowds and in the end can be exhausted physically and emotionally. Sound like insanity repeated year after year.

A different perspective? A pathway out. The name of the holiday is the definition of the way out of darkness and insanity. Thanksgiving, gratitude, giving, reflecting on the infinite blessings poured on us. I know if I reflect, I could write a gratitude list a mile long. A sample would be, the color orange, sunrise, sunset, clothing, food, shelter, faith, forgiveness, sobriety, the gym, kids, new friends and on and on.

Instead of living in the cycles that pull us into our darkness, focus daily on the blessings. Write them down. Savor the moment. Thank our Creator for your calling and gifts. It can be liberating.

#orangeistruth

It’s already there

As we live today the solution has been in place for our future problems. We only need to have unyielding faith that is done. We waste so much time and energy on what we cannot control. Instead if we focus on today, the problems of tomorrow will solve themselves. They have already been solved in the proper time and method. Worry changes nothing except the joy and gratitude we have for the now.

Whose your hero?

Mother’s Day! A day that really does not due justice for mom’s. It is a day laden with commercialism, obligation and at times remorse. It is the scapegoat for 364 days of the forgotten hero’s mom’s are. You see, while we hold up in the limelight the hero’s of history, and rightfully so, we forget about what true heroism is and how our mothers are truly hero’s everyday. Being a hero is all about courage and facing the onslaught of fear that grips us from the moment we get up in the morning, to the last blink before we fall asleep. And, even in our dreams fear can grip us.

So as far as the definition of a hero goes, my choice is a mom, my mom, Corice Jasper. Mom’s are the queens of worry. My mom has been mom to so many! Obviously to me and Amy Jasper. Even though we get irritated at her line of questioning, concern and worry, we are blessed to have such a pray warrior and hero in our corner.

Also, mom was mom to dad. Making sure he was fed, being a pillar of support both in life and in faith, taking care of him in good and in bad, in great health and in his last days. Setting aside her own fears to heroically be strong.

Mom is mom to her grandchildren, Taylor Jasper and Kylie Jasper. From their births, through colic, sickness, joys and heartache, mom set aside her own needs to mother these precious gifts. Mom is the listing ear, the gentle scolding and the unconditional love that her grandchildren need. A safe haven. She has had to set aside her fears about their futures to be support today. At a beckoned call.

Mom is mom to her brothers, Paul Kranz and Curt Kranz. Guiding and leading. Caring and offering tough love. But, no matter what, loyal to the end.

Mom was mom to her parents and dad’s parents. Giving sacrificially to their care and service. Driving hours monthly, nursing them in their twilight years with unsurpassed love. Sacrificing her own desires for the sake of their needs.

Mom has been mom to her nieces and nephews. Even when she has not had contact with them, she cares about their well being, their health, their joy and sorrow. Stephen Kranz Paula Broadwell MikeandLori Kranz Clark Kranz Chuck Kranz Scott Sternberg Stephen Beckström-Sternberg Lisa Mullin Annette Sternberg Benavides

Mom has been mom to many, many of her close friends. Giving them their shots, listening to their grief, sadness, joy and fears. She has been a regular visitor of those friends shut in, bring meals and loading her car trunk with their junk!

My mom is a fiercely independent woman. While none of us are saints, she, in her imperfect perfection, has lived a giving life for us all. Thank you mom.

#jayjasper

#orangeistruth