Sara's Musings

Home » 2011 » July » 30

Daily Archives: July 30, 2011


July 2011
    Aug »

Blogs I Follow

The Presidents Club

Click pic for 2015 post on "The Presidents Club"

The Surest Defense Against Evil

Click pic for "The Surest Defense Against Evil"

The Triumph of Grace

Click pic for "The Triumph of Grace"

Contemplating God’s Sovereignty

Click pic for "Contemplating God's Sovereignty"

How Should We Then Live?

Click pic for "How Should We Then Live?

Not a Timid Christianity

Click pic for "Not a Timid Christianity"

Finishing the Race

Click pic for "Finishing the Race"

Because the Time is Near

Click pic for "Because the Time is Near"

Revelation Song (YouTube)

Click pic for "Revelation Song" sung by Phillips, Craig & Dean

Where The Wind Blows

Click pic for "Where The Wind Blows"

Doing Great Things

Click pic for "Doing Great Things"

Recognizing a False Prophet

Click pic for "Recognizing a False Prophet"

The Power of Forgiveness

Click pic for "The Power of Forgiveness"

Created for Relationships

Click pic for "Created for Relationships"

The Only Way I Know

Click pic for "The Only Way I Know"

Faith: The Misunderstood Doctrine

Click pic for "Faith: The Misunderstood Doctrine"

Our True Home Address

Click pic for "Our True Home Address

‘Tis the Season . . . for L-O-V-E

Click pic for "'Tis the Season . . . for LOVE"

The Paris Terrorist Attack and the Problem of Evil

Click pic for "The Paris Terrorist Attack and the Problem of Evil"

Cherry Picking 101

Click pic for "Cherry Picking 101"

Love Sweet Love

Click pic for "Love Sweet Love"

So Goes The Culture

Click pic for "So Goes The Culture"

Idols of the Heart

Click pic for "Idols of the Heart"

Divisions Are Not Always Bad

Click pic for "Divisions Are Not Always Bad"

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Click pic for "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ"


A Matter of Clarity

The definition of clarity is “clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.” Clarity is something the folks in Congress and the Administration could use very large doses of right now. But clarity is something we all could use in large doses when our lives and circumstances are filled with anxiety or ambiguity. As Thomas Paine once said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Indeed, they are.

There is so much out there in today’s world that tells us that we should have a “positive mental attitude” no matter what happens to us. “Learned optimism” is another catch phrase that Wikipedia defines as the idea in positive psychology that a talent for joy, like any other, can be cultivated. It is contrasted with learned helplessness. Learning optimism is done by consciously challenging any negative self talk.” For the Christian, the problem with these “options” are that they leave God totally out of the equation. And any time we spend more time talking to ourselves to psych ourselves up instead of depending on God we are sliding down a slippery slope. Over the years I’ve tried enough positive mental attitude and self talk to know that without God factored into our lives and circumstances and our very existence, they fall pretty flat and are unsustainable over time especially when the bottom falls out of our lives. And I’m not talking about including God in a shallow way if we do include Him, either. For example, Kenneth Lay, CEO of Enron Corporation, was considered a poster boy for “positive mental attitude” in the face of an American horror story surrounding the demise of Enron Corporation in Houston. A brief synopsis of the trial written at the time of his funeral indicates that he left a mixed legacy at best.

In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are those who keep a positive mental attitude.”  No, He said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4). In fact, the entire Sermon on the Mount states to those who truly follow Christ exactly how they should be living and conducting their lives in three short chapters. But instead of reading the Sermon on the Mount, we run after authors who write about having a “positive mental attitude” or “learned optimism” or whatever the latest catch phrase is out there that tries to cover over the deep hurts and horrific circumstances that are a part of living in this world.

“Blessed are those who mourn….”  We don’t seem to allow that kind of attitude in America anymore. We listen to the world’s philosophies on how to live and think and add them into the way we live and think and still call ourselves Christians. However, Christ makes it clear that we can’t have it both ways in the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed are the ‘poor in spirit,’ ‘those who mourn,’ ‘the meek,’ ‘those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,’ ‘the merciful,’ ‘the pure in heart,’ ‘the peacemakers,’ and ‘those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.'” Doesn’t sound much like those attributes are a part of the American dream of most Christians. No, we want the good life. And when things are going good in our lives, we think it’s because we’ve captured the essence of keeping a positive mental attitude.

I’m not pointing a finger at anybody. If I was I’d have to point one back at myself. Life is hard and at times it is downright horrible, and as Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) said at the end of the movie “Wall Street:  Money Never Sleeps,” “Human beings, we gotta give them a break. We’re all just mixed bags.”

The opposite of clarity is confusion. When Christians add the world’s philosophies to Biblical principles, you get large doses of confusion. This is nothing new as it’s been going on since the times of the Israelites in the Old Testament. Why do you think there were so many prophets back then that warned them about turning from God to “other gods” in their lives? In today’s world “other gods” include “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life” (I John 2:16).  Pride gets all of us not to mention so does the love of money, love for power, love for recognition and a myriad of other “things” that push God out of our lives.

If you want clarity instead of confusion, read the Sermon on the Mount instead of the latest book to hit the best seller list. By the way, I do believe the Bible is still the best seller of all times. Too bad it goes unread by the majority of people who own a copy of it. My suggestion is to dust off the cover and start reading. Today would be a good time to start.

Photo credit here

The Godly Chic Diaries


Gregory C. Cochran

Pastors, Preaching, and Persecution

Meandering thru life

Reflections on the journey

Tolle Lege

Take up and read!

Minding the Workplace

The New Workplace Institute Blog, hosted by David Yamada

Run With It

So that a herald may run with it


On the Journey

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead

As I navigate through this life ...


Can Dietrich Bonhoeffer make a difference in twenty-first century preachers and preaching?

The Nerdy Lion

Lions can wear glasses too


Here I stand.

The Daniel Fast

Consecrate yourself unto the Lord through extended prayer and fasting.

Unshakable Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

It's a God thing...

Unpacking the baggage of life, love, and spirituality


Dystopian Fiction Writer | Doctor | Wife | Mom


incompletely reformed thoughts on God, ministry, and life


This site is the bee's knees

Messianic Sabbath

A daily break in your day to celebrate our salvation in Yeshua (Jesus) and our abundant life through the Torah

For Such A Time As This

"...who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14

Disciples of hope

Living the hope that comes from Christ

daily meditation

daily thoughts on scriptures

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

From the Wisdom of our Founders

Important Quotations to Instruct and Inspire

Growing Forward

a blog for those seeking personal change for God's glory

The Old Guys

Quotes & Resources From... The Old Guys

Prime Reality Ministries

God is the Real Reality!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Random thoughts and commentaries on God's Word

Sara's Musings

Living It Out. . . on

What's The Good Word?

Reflections on daily readings from the Scriptures


Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World

The Daily Way

A Daily Devotional from Dr. Michael Youssef

Jean Huang Photography - Los Angeles Custom Portraiture and Fine Art Photographer

"Transformational Beauty" "Maternity" "Newborn" "Children" "FineArt" Photography

Life in the Boomer Lane

Musings of a former hula hoop champion

Laura's Lens

Taking a look at the beauty around us


Photography. Life.



Thought For the Day

Bringing whatever stirs my heart

A Breath of Fresh Air

"Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God." Philippians 2:15

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Tracking events and trends in Israel, the U.S., Russia and throughout the Epicenter (the Middle East & North Africa)


Lectionary Musings within the Community of Christ

A Tenacious Joy

Letting joy triumph over trauma, loss, sorrow, and the messiness of life.


On your birthday: count your candles, count your years, count your blessings.

lilies, sparrows and grass

"That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalm 26:7

%d bloggers like this: