SUCCESS is getting what you want…HAPPINESS is wanting what you get… ❤
“The things that makes your heart beat faster and your eyes glow when you do it or talk about it, no matter if it’s hiking, yoga, gardening, painting, meditation, love, photography, going for walks, helping others – do that. Do it as often as you can. Because that’s what life is about. Creating as many passionate, happy moments as possible. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing the things you love – not even yourself.”
highlight of my Easter season, when I was a child, was watching the nail-biting
TV movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” I remember my tears flowing as Dorothy handed
Toto over to Miss Gulch on the bike. But today, I look at this Academy Award
Nominated motion picture in a different light. From a Christian writer’s
perspective, the underlying message and morals in this movie are phenomenal!
Let me take you for a walk down my yellow brick road…
Dorothy was a character on a soul-searching mission. She was an orphan, adopted by her aunt and uncle in Kansas, yet she appeared to have a deep-rooted longing to find a true home. Insecurities plagued her because she didn’t fit in with the older relatives, and a mean Miss Gulch wanted to take her only friend, Toto, away from her. Auntie Em became frustrated with Dorothy’s antics and yelled, “Find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” Dorothy picked up Toto and said, “Is there such a place Toto? Not a place you can get to by boat or train.”
most of us looking to fill an empty spot inside our soul – a place where there
isn’t any sadness? Always seeking, we get mixed up in wrong relationships,
addictions, and false idols. When we finally accept Jesus Christ into our
hearts, we soon realize we have everything we need daily; and it’s not a place
you can get to by boat or train.
Dorothy, like so many people, run from their problems. A tornado swept her from
safety, and she entered another world. Her only path home was down the yellow
brick road. The Good Witch of the North, Glinda, warned her to never venture
off its path for darkness loomed in every corner. What a great metaphor! We must
walk through life on God’s golden road only for Satan will quickly invade if
our guard is down. Temptations of sin can fog a mind when difficulties become
overwhelming; prayers are the answer to tackle the troubles. Seek God first
before using your own solution.
theme of the movie centers on Dorothy’s quest to go to the Emerald City; she
sought the Wizard of Oz’s help to take her back to Kansas. Along the way, the
Wicked Witch of the West and her minions attack her and her friends. This is so
like Satan trying to intervene in our life! By the end of the film, Dorothy
discovered the Wizard was a phony, a false idol if you will. She is devastated
until Glinda (her guardian angel, perhaps?) magically came to her rescue. “Dorothy,” she said, “You’ve always had the power to go back to
Kansas.” What lesson did she learn from the whole experience? A heart’s
desire isn’t any further than your own backyard (or in my case, a bible). The
love and acceptance she wanted were always at her doorstep.
moral of Dorothy’s story is God’s power makes our life fantastic for He is
greater than any physical object or place we seek on our own. As we come to
know Jesus Christ, we understand He promises to guide us because the love for
His children is eternal. When we resist the enemy, we draw closer to Him, and He
becomes our home. The solution to our problems is right under our nose.
SCARECROW AND A BRAIN
first friend Dorothy met on the yellow brick road was the happy-go-lucky
scarecrow who wanted the Wizard to give him a brain. It’s quite funny, often throughout
the movie, he acted as though he had a brain and common sense. How frequently
do we take action as if we don’t have sense? We beat ourselves up for the
mistakes we make along the way and we lose forgiveness in the shuffle of
stupidity. God forgives us our sins so why hold on to regrets? Did you ask God
to clear your heart and mind of all the clutter which pulls your progress down?
Did you diligently pray for forgiveness?
the end of the show, it’s quite ironic the Wizard actually did not fulfill the
scarecrow’s wishes. He only gave him a diploma of higher thinking. This character
simply lacked self-confidence. The Scarecrow sought a higher power to confirm
he could be smart. Little did he know, confidence comes from a relationship
with Christ. Yes, we must be secure in God’s Word and not in our flesh. He
gives us hope in times of adversity.
THE TIN MAN AND A HEART
second character who befriended Dorothy was the rusted Tin Man. He wanted the Wizard
to give him a heart, hence emotions. The Wizard of Oz told him “a heart will never be practical until it is
made unbreakable.” The Tin Man
quickly learned what a broken heart was when he said goodbye to Dorothy.
hearts is a common thread among humanity. We have to trust God has a better plan
for our life, thus healing us from the inside out. He replaces the feelings of
rejection and abandonment with a sense of renewal. All we have to do is pick up
the Bible and allow His words to soothe our soul. Once we connect with Jesus,
everything changes and nothing or no one has the same power over us again. God
forms a shield to protect our innocence.
THE COWARDLY LION AND COURAGE
to Emerald City, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Dorothy trotted arm-in-arm.
Suddenly a large curly-haired lion jumped out from behind a tree and tried to
scare the trio. The ferocious lion growled and snapped at them until Dorothy
slapped him. “You should be ashamed
of yourself!” The lion quickly retreated behind his own tail and cried.
Throughout the movie, his fear reared its ugly head. Could the great Wizard
give him courage?
experience scary situations in life – perhaps bullying, roadblocks, and other
fear factors. Hard times are unavoidable, but we can count on God to pick us up,
dust us off, and help us through these failures. An important message from this
is Satan instigates fear. My favorite saying is, “Where there is fear, there is
no faith.” Let us rely on God for strength to conquer our personal battles for
He is always in control and will not abandon us. Be of good courage for the
Lord is with us every step of the way!
OUR CHRISTIAN WALK
The Wizard of Oz, though not written with religion in mind, can teach us about our Christian walk with God. We should examine our relationship with the Lord and strive, every day, to be more like Him. Draw on the intelligence of our brain; maintain a heart open and sincere and pray for the courage to stand up for our belief. If we stray along the way to the Emerald City, known as heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ will be there to lift us up. Just as Dorothy had to “learn it for herself,” our journey helps us grow to be the best Christians we can be for eternal salvation. Everything we need is in the power of God, not the ruby slippers.
The next time you watch this excellent motion picture, look for the hidden Christian parables – you will be amazed at how many you’ll witness!
approached the corner of a gorgeous, stately community. A large sign didn’t show
which direction to proceed, and its definition confused me. Marveled by the
message, I wondered if God was trying to tell me something. Dare I make a wrong
turn because some things seem so inviting yet sin lies just around the corner?
makes it abundantly clear we need to listen to His messages, but sometimes our
spirit disagrees with the subconscious mind. Second thoughts might lend
themselves to be valid than reality. God didn’t really place the sign but whoever
did, might be sent by Him. Sitting with my foot on the brake and profusely
sweating, how do I know for sure if it’s His warning sign?
is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that
you are not of God.”
instant, my car rumbled to a halt. Was it trying to tell me something? My mind went
in reverse as God made His presence known. I cried out for Him to save me
before I traveled further down the wrong road. I’m confident He saved me from a
you imagine the magnitude of our mistakes if we did not have a close
relationship with the Lord? We live in a world filled with signs, some good and
some bad. The sole way to distinguish the best ones is to have a heart committed
to understanding His words. This requires a heart fully surrendering to Him and
plenty of prayers. In our moment of silence, God will relay His guiding words.
the engine again and regained my composure. The car behind me honked his horn, so
I made a U-turn. I smiled at the driver and politely acknowledged I was in the
wrong with a hand signal. God also knew where I might be if I not heeded the
a safe bet to acknowledge God tries to save all His children who hang on the
brink of self-destruction. His voice speaks to us through the Bible, a friend, and
yes, even a sign now and then. But don’t be tempted to look for a quick answer
to the warning signs. God may not be finished revealing a situation to you. It
is all in His perfect timing.
important to understand the Bible has many stories of people doing exactly what
God wanted them to do, yet they still suffered hard times, persecution and even
death. After all, His idea of success will not be your own, and sometimes there
will be plenty of pain to endure along the road. Even in the darkest highways
of life, we still need to stick to His plans. This is obedience to His word!
sure of your directional heading? Then turn to God who needs to be your driver.
Follow the biblical legend, Jesus Christ, for the only way to get to heaven is
with an invitation from Him. I pray every day the heavens gleaming light will radiate
in your heart. The passion from heaven will transform you making life’s little
temptations so much easier for you to handle. Learn to read the warning signs. Christ
is here to help you if you let Him….. just don’t obey the warning signs of
your subconscious mind.
All our life we live like we’re playing in a scrimmage game – time is on our side to make things right. But, along the way we suffer multiple hurts and wounds. We stumble and fall because we never really learned to walk in forgiveness.
Please join us on Blogging 2 Believers! We are discussing “Learning to Walk” and forgiveness. Just click this link: https://youtu.be/NxTaCRiJez4
In my younger years, I believed, somehow, God and the
Bible would magically erase my aches. Yet the pain I suffered, and inflicted on
others, was crippling to my soul. The art of putting one foot in front of
another was difficult to grasp, especially with forgiveness.
The Bible is full of verses about our mental health.
Forgive others and yourself, and it stabilizes your disposition; for only the
strongest shall learn to walk in the presence of God’s holiness. It may not be
part of your daily curriculum, but it’s the healthiest antidote for your mind, body,
Forgiveness is a complex thought and requires many baby
steps, but God is absolutely clear about it:
when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so
that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins”~ Mark 11:25
“Bear with each other and forgive one another
if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
I was confused the first time I read the first verse. Why
should I forgive someone who terribly wronged me? How could I say to them, “I
forgive you?” To clarify this bible verse, forgiving others does not justify
the deed or the person; nor does it offer God’s forgiveness for their actions.
It also doesn’t mean coming face-to-face with someone to tell them you forgive their
behavior or action. Instead, we are to move forward from our past, silently asking
God to forgive them. Allow Him to handle their sins. Then you will release
the deep hurt and heal from the inside out, taking your first step in learning
to walk with the Lord. After all, we are all sinners and need God’s forgiveness.
A true testimony to forgiveness was a murder trial aired on TV and the internet last year. A mother’s son was brutally murdered, and she suffered for a year with anxiety, hurt, and anger. She sought professional help from her minister who explained to her the true meaning of forgiveness. As the convicted assassin took the stand for his death sentence, she spoke to the courtroom; she told the murderer she forgave him because that is what God desired for her heart. Then, she stood up and hugged him! She later told the media that as she spoke the words to her son’s killer, God at once filled her with peace. Ideally, the Lord does not wish for us to confront an abuser or sinner, but for this broken-hearted mother, it was the answer to her prayers. Here is her story: https://www.today.com/news/how-do-you-forgive-killer-mother-moves-past-tragedy-4B11203330
The flip side of forgiving others, and the most difficult, is forgiving ourselves. God promises to pardon us if we believe in Jesus Christ, and our sins are no more. (Jeremiah 31:34) Some sinners, though, never heal from their self-inflicted pains; they limp along in life carrying the guilt of their own misgivings. Yesteryears become part of their present life while anger, hatred, self-pity, and depression lurks just around the corner. It’s exhausting! The energy they give to negativity robs them of the good deeds they need to become the person God wants them to be. Look for a silver lining because “what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger.”
God sends the lessons we learn from our mistakes. The storms might be furious in nature, and some may be hurdles still left unfinished, but He placed them there to teach us a lesson. Learn from the shadowing experiences, pray for forgiveness, and move forward… never to repeat the errors.
Learning to walk in unison with our Father takes great maturity and courage, but necessary to heal the pain. Stop beating yourself up and accept God’s hand. Experience His peace for Peter exclaimed, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). You are free!