WELCOME! In the midst of each life's chaos exists a place of calm and sunshine. I call mine Contentment Cottage. It is the place where I write my stories and find the peace of God. I've posted my "Ice Pick" reviews and will continue to add some of what I call my "Ice Crystals": poems, articles, essays, fillers, and recipes.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sparks of God's Glory

I am currently reading a biography about a man who was sucked into Stalin's gulag. The man and his fellow prisoners suffered terribly in a camp far above the Arctic Circle. It is a depressing story with the only glimmers of light being hopes for release that were agonizingly dragged out, only to be dashed in the end. The only release for nearly all of the prisoners came through death. The man was an atheist, as were all of the others he knew. Religion of any kind, or any hope for salvation, is missing in this darkness.

By contrast, Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie, who were also prisoners at the same time, but victims of a Nazi death camp, were devout Christians who managed to spread hope in that horrible place. Corrie said, "You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have."

And it came to me that we are all in the same situation as these prisoners.

We spread joy or pain in our own worlds to our family, friends, neighbors, and strangers by our behavior, by what we say and how we say it, by our actions--how we drive; the things we laugh at or cry over; what we do at school, at work, or in our neighborhood, for others or against them; the kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and generosity we show, especially to animals, children, and the elderly.

We spread God's love or our own lack of faith wherever we are when we share our fears and worries, our hurts and anger, or our trust in God and our belief in His love, light, and peace. If we believe this world is all there is or that God has a better place for us after death will--or should--make a difference in how we live, speak, and act.

"Again Jesus said, 'God's kingdom is like what happens when a farmer scatters seed in a field. The farmer sleeps at night and is up and around during the day. Yet the seeds keep sprouting and growing, and he doesn't understand how. It is the ground that makes the seeds sprout and grow into plants that produce grain. Then when the harvest season comes and the grain is ripe, the farmer cuts it with a sickle.' " Mark 4:26-29 (CEV)

We don't know what will happen or who will ultimately be influenced by us when we put God's truth into practice daily in our lives. "You may be the only Gospel others ever read." We are all sparks of God's perfect glory.

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