somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.


19 Comments

True Purpose

These words were given to me this morning.  Maybe they are meant for you…as they are  for me:

How much more time will you waste feeling inadequate, and waiting for the revelation of God’s real purpose for your life?  How long will you continue to pray for the Lord to reveal your true calling, as though He hasn’t already?

Have you ever considered that each person and sometimes ‘mundane’ circumstances in your daily life, are all intricate parts of His Divine Plan?  That maybe those people that you pass by or communicate with in such a nonchalant way, are an important part of your mission and purpose?  Sometimes, they are those that you push aside and away from you.  The ones who are so unlike you, or make you feel uncomfortable.

Have you ever wondered about the blessings you have been blocking in the lives of the ones you cast aside? Or the blessings blocked in your own life due to those decisions?

Maybe we only need to open our eyes to the opportunities God is placing right in front of our noses…the opportunities given to share His love with those in need.  When we take the step forward to live and love for Christ, we will notice more and more the people God entrusts to us, and we will realize it is through these acts of love that we grow as people. 

It is through these acts of unselfish love that we are brought closer to Jesus, and our true personality and spirit are revealed.

So as you go through your day today, pay special attention to those around you…and make the decision to love.  You may find that is your true purpose.


15 Comments

Straight to the Heart

 

Something has been on my heart for a while now, and I have learned in the past that when the Holy Spirit nudges me, I need to act.  So here I am, Lord.  I pray that these words touch the hearts that need to hear them.

One Saturday, as I was heading into my usual grocery store, my eyes fell upon a person that by the world’s standards, might not be considered physically attractive.  I have learned to get to know someone by what is in their heart, however, it is a fact that we are all different…some more attractive than others.  Many people were born with a disability or maybe a deformity of what we would consider “normal.”

I asked the Lord why some people were more beautiful or attractive, that it didn’t seem “fair” to me.  As quickly as I asked the question, I received his reply.

“I don’t see beauty the same way the world sees beauty.”

I realized that everything that we “see” with our human eyes is veiled.  We think we “know” and we think we “see”, however we do not see or know with the fullness that God does.  Although I should have already been aware of this, something in my spirit finally clicked.

God sees the beauty in each of the souls that he created; he knows the journey of each one of us, and he loves us for our uniqueness.  He knows the depths of our hearts, the source of our joy, and also the source of our sorrow, pain, and sin.

The Lord looks past the physical, and sees our hearts.

Wow.

Thinking about what the Lord communicated to me, it led me to think about another question I have harbored.

I used to wonder how “holy” people of God could be loving to those who are living in obvious sin; those that are rebellious and irreverent; those who refuse to open their hearts to the Lord.  Don’t get me wrong, I already knew that we all need to love everyone, including our enemies, however my question was how to act toward those we are in personal contact with who are “undesirable” or outwardly sinful in their behavior.  I did not understand how to be loving without seeming to condone their behavior.

In the past, those questions and the uncomfortable position those encounters would place me in, led me to avoid the encounters as much as I could. I would pray for the people I deemed to be living in rebellion and sin, and would generally just keep my distance from them.

Now I am learning to see through the eyes of the Holy Spirit.  No longer do I judge by the outward appearance of rebellion or by sinful acts.  I am learning to look past all that, to look deeper into the heart of the person.  I strive to look past everything, all the walls they are putting up, and look for the Jesus in them.

The most loving thing you can do is to let someone know that you see a spark of goodness in them; that you see Jesus in them.  No matter what they “look like” on the outside.

You may be the first or only person that ever conveys that piece of hope to them.

They might not accept the saving Truth of Jesus that you are sharing with them at that time, however, I can promise you, when you are a vessel of the merciful and saving love of Christ, that love will make an impact.

As Christians, let’s start looking past what we see in the physical, and start looking for Jesus in every heart and every situation that we encounter.

 

 

He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God hath done from the beginning even to the end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

But the LORD said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.  1 Samuel 16:7

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  1 Cor 3:16

 

 

 


5 Comments

The Time is Now

As I sit here looking out the window, I am watching some awesome clouds moving across the most beautiful blue sky. There are some basic puffy clouds seen on most normal days, and there are huge ominous dark clouds moving in. As I watch the view changing by the minute, it caused me to think of how our minutes, days, weeks, months and years are constantly moving and passing by. Our lives are constantly changing.

How are we using that time? How many good works and acts of faith are we putting off until the “perfect” time? How many lives are left in desolation, how many hearts are empty because of our selfishness, laziness or pride?

I propose that you take a few minutes to sit back, breathe in the Love of God, and think about some of those things that you harbor in your heart. Things you would like to do for someone or maybe something you need to say. Those things that pop up in your head every now and again, reminding you that the Lord is calling you through a gentle whisper or a powerful wind. Those thoughts that are sparked in your mind and heart that you are trying to ignore or are putting off until……

The time is now.

What are you holding back? Make the decision to do one thing today that you have been thinking about. One thing that will start a chain reaction of sharing the love of Jesus.

What will be that one extra act of love you will do today?

Maybe forgive that one person who is tearing you up inside and holding your spirit bound? Or ask forgiveness from someone you have hurt?

Listen patiently and lovingly to someone who needs a caring ear and heart?

Send a letter of gratitude to someone in your life that had a positive impact on you?

Or to simply send a note or card to let someone know they are loved?

Offer to help in some way…babysitting, providing a meal, visiting an elderly person in need of some socialization, volunteering?

Provide cash, food, necessities to someone that you know is in need? Maybe anonymously?

Smile at a perfect stranger or someone who is having a bad day and is not being very friendly?

Offer to take someone to Church with you?

Share the Good News of Jesus’ saving love and mercy with someone in darkness?

Today is the day. The Time is Now.

How will you honor the Lord with your time today?

 

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:30-31

 

 

 

 


4 Comments

A Simple Way to Share God’s Love

As many of you know, my 86 year old mother lives with my husband and me.  (If you would like to read about her and our life together, click here )   Finally, after a seemingly endless  succession of home health care aides, she has a wonderful caregiver named Esther.  It is a joy to come home after work and find my mom relaxed and happy, where before she was tense and anxious.

The difference is, Esther really cares.  It shows through her demeanor and loving spirit, and her ability to listen and connect with my mom.  She was the first caregiver that ever handed my mom a mirror, so she could actually see how she looked after her hair was done.

I know that is a small thing, however, it showed that she saw my mother as a WOMAN, as a person,  and that my mom’s happiness mattered to her.

Many times, I have watched prior caregivers interact with my mom.  Most of the time, there really wasn’t any real engagement, just tasks being done.  While watching one day, something really hit me hard.  The caregiver did not ever  look my mother in the eye.   Not once, even when talking to her.   Ooh…that hurt.  It made me so sad, and even worse,  made me realize that I did the same thing sometimes.

After that day, I really make an effort to fully connect with my mom, and anyone else I may be talking with, by making sure to make eye contact.

Let’ s take a few extra moments to more fully engage with those the Lord places in our path today.  Even if it means to just merely catch the eye of a stranger and say hello with a smile.  Each person in our lives, whether a casual acquaintance, friend, family member or stranger,  has a heart with a story to tell.

When you make sincere eye contact with them, you open a window between their heart and yours. Remember that, as you make your daily encounters!  You may be the one that is sent to help open their heart….be sure to let them know you care, and that they matter.

Maybe, just maybe, they will be reminded of how much God loves them, because they realize somebody loves them.

A very simple way to share God’s love.

 


16 Comments

Jesus is Everywhere

The other day I stumbled upon a quote that is stirring my heart and mind.

“You need to decide whose standards you will live by, God’s or the world’s.  You will never be satisfied with one foot in both worlds.”  Charles Norton

My heart is totally filled because of a “Jesus Moment.”  Although I find it uncomfortable to share about particular personal acts of charity and love, I truly believe God is calling me to share this encounter.  What I am sharing is for the Glory of God, for we are nothing without him!

The Holy Spirit was in our midst this morning, right in the middle of the morning rush at McDonalds.

There are a few different facets to what transpired this morning, and what it meant to all of us involved.  I will start by saying that my husband and I are troubled by the downward spiral of our country and culture.  It seems that the evil has a life of its own now, and no matter what our constitution says, and no matter what is right in the Lord, decisions are being made and “laws” are being passed to the detriment of society.  Why are so many eyes and hearts closed to the evils that are occurring right in front of our faces?

These thoughts were on our minds this morning, as my husband and I were driving to work.  On the way, as usual, we stopped for coffee at McDonald’s.

Before I go any further, I must tell you God has been tugging at our hearts, regarding a man we see every day at McDonalds. I have even shared about him in a past blog post.  This gentleman walks very slowly with a cane, and seems as though he is in financial need.  My husband noticed a few days ago that the tires on his car are bald, and not safe to be driving on.  There goes the tug…we really feel we should purchase a set of tires for him.  However, we don’t have the “extra” cash right now.  In fact, we need tires ourselves, which we have been postponing because of the expense.

This morning, as we were walking into the restaurant, we spotted him slowly getting out of his car.  We walked over to him and said hello.  He smiled, and said “Jesus is everywhere in America.”  After all the concern we have about what is happening in our country, this man looked right in our eyes and spoke the Truth.  He said again, “Jesus is everywhere in America.”  He went on to say that he is Muslim.  Twenty years ago he was in a car accident, and was terribly injured because he did not have his seatbelt on.  Since then, he has had  many health issues, and had lost his job.  He shared that a neighbor helped him with yard work, and started to take him to Church.  That is where this man (David) found Jesus.

He told us that Jesus is love and he is on every corner in America, in our Churches.

My husband and I were just about speechless.  Isn’t it amazing how the Lord uses all of us to help each other in faith?  These words that came out of David’s mouth, touched our hearts deeply, filling us with the love of the Spirit.

We asked David if we could get him some breakfast, and he went ahead to sit down.  We delivered his breakfast to him, and it seemed as though he looked into our souls when he spoke to us.  He invited us to sit down, however, we were running late for work, so we could not sit to visit with him.  We talked a little, and he kept saying “Jesus is everywhere…I will ask Jesus to be with you.”

When we turned around to leave, the whole event felt surreal.  I happened to catch the eye of a man who was seated nearby, and he had a smile on his face and looked emotional.  It crossed my mind how we are always being watched.  ALWAYS BEING WATCHED…in all situations.

As I was writing this post, I called my husband to make sure I was remembering the details correctly.  He was actually at the tire store, waiting with David for his tires to be mounted.  Praise be to God!  When the heart tugging didn’t get through, God made sure to get his message across loud and clear!  When the Lord  asks you to provide tires, you provide tires!

While David was sitting with my husband at the tire center, he shared that he attends Church every day and talks to Jesus and His Mother…

This morning, we met a brother with a beautiful, pure heart.  He touched us in a way I can’t explain.  Helping me to realize that even in this very sinful world, Jesus is everywhere.

Which leads me back to this quote: “You need to decide whose standards you will live by, God’s or the world’s.  You will never be satisfied with one foot in both worlds.”  Charles Norton

Please Lord, help us to place BOTH of our feet  in your world…in your word.

Help us to walk by faith and not by sight.

Help us to trust you, no matter what appears in the physical world.

We ask that you fill our hearts with love, help us to know your whispers and callings, and please strengthen our faith to carry out your will.   Amen.


9 Comments

Testimony

This morning, I sat down to read a Daily Bible Passage email that I received.  The featured “Final Thought” really caught and warmed my heart…”Make it your only expectation to magnify Christ wherever you are and whoever you are with.”

As Christians, every single moment of our lives should be a testimony to the Glory of God.

That is an overwhelming thought, isn’t it?  The problem is, we are human, and will fall short.  We must not lose heart, for those are the moments that Jesus uses in our lives to help us on our spiritual walk, for all things work toward good for those that love Him.  When we love the Lord, open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, and strive to align ourselves with Him, He will work for us and through us in all circumstances.

A beautiful moment of testimony was shown to my husband and me this morning.  We stopped on our way to work for our morning coffee, and witnessed a Jesus love moment.

An older man who was using a cane, and a little unsteady on his feet, slowly got out of his car and looked at the icy ground.  As he was assessing the situation, a young, strong, somewhat scraggly looking construction worker bee-lined over to him, and very slowly and patiently helped him into the restaurant.

That seemingly small act of kindness was a testimony of God’s love and glory.

Have you witnessed any of these moments lately?  When you do, treasure and ponder them in your heart, and don’t forget to share!  We all need to hear of the good things that are happening around us daily, for Jesus is in our midst every single day.

Praise to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for all the opportunities we are given every day…no matter how small they may seem…to love as Jesus loves, and to glorify our Father in Heaven!

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Philippians 4:8

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  1 John 4:7

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   John 3:16


Leave a comment

True Pleasure

Do you like to read?  I love reading…especially inspirational or spiritual books.  Right now, I am in the process of reading “Saintly Solutions” by Fr. Joseph Esper.  This book is very enlightening, because it offers solutions to life’s common problems – from anger, boredom, and temptation to gluttony, gossip and greed.  The most interesting facet for me is that for each of life’s common problems, this book reveals a saint who experienced the same weakness or struggle. There are also suggestions for things you might try to overcome each issue.

Today, as I was reading, one line especially caught my eye.

“Those who love God will find pleasure in everything; those who do not love God will never find true pleasure in anything.”  St. Alphonsus Liguori

As I journey on my spiritual path, I have found this to be true.

In the past, I found myself comparing myself to others, or focusing on my struggles and what I didn’t have.  I rarely found pleasure in my day to day life.  During those years, I actually felt like I had a black veil over my spirit, and I could not break free… always feeling like “why me.”

Now that I am getting to know Jesus in a personal way, and have opened my heart to the Holy Spirit’s light, it is so easy to find pleasure all around me.  My spirit has been set free!  Simple things are beautiful to me, and touch my heart.  Little things like waking up one more morning with my husband next to me, enjoying a beautiful sunrise or sunset, watching birds or squirrels in my backyard, listening to beautiful music, visiting with family or friends, praying and feeling the presence of God…these are some of the joys that fill my life.

When things are difficult, I ask God to open my eyes to what I should be learning from the circumstance.

No, my life is not perfect, and I have a lot of growing to do.  However, I can honestly say I feel more love, pleasure and joy in my life than I ever did before.  It is a feeling of inner contentment, and trust that God loves me and will always be there for me.  He will carry me through.

My prayer is that the Lord fills our hearts to overflow with his love and moves us to share that love and joy with those he places in our lives every day.

Because that person he is entrusting to you is hurting and in need of Jesus’ saving grace. 

You were uniquely chosen for specific moments to touch specific people.  What could bring more pleasure than serving our Lord and sharing him with a world in need…one heart at a time?

 

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.  Romans 12:4-5

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

 

 

 


2 Comments

Looking Outside of Ourselves

Recently, I was reading a convert’s testimony, and one of her thoughts flew out at me.

The idea is, that being human, we tend to compare ourselves and our lives to those that have more than us.  This tendency, coupled with the intense marketing of Hollywood and our culture, many times leads us to covet what we don’t have.  It’s such an “exciting” world out there, and we are missing out!  We start to focus and want (the catch phrase for this desire is “dream”) all the things that we feel we are missing out on.  Material possessions, status, beauty, glamor, lifestyle, education level, etc., start to dominate our thoughts.  We may even begin to wonder why God hasn’t blessed us with these things.  Why would He provide certain things for  others, and not for us?

When we allow our thoughts and heart to dwell on what we don’t have, we are stuck in the “me” position.  As much as we don’t want to face the truth, that is a very selfish place to be.

Instead of looking at all that WE don’t have, the better focus would be to open our eyes to the people around us that have much less than we do.  Not to feel “better” about ourselves in comparison, but to learn to be content and grateful for the gifts God has blessed us with, and look for ways to help our brothers and sisters.

In essence, we need to change our focus from looking toward ourselves, to looking outside of ourselves and seeing a world in need.

Lord, thank you for all the grace and blessings you have bestowed on me through your loving Spirit.

I ask that you open my eyes to the ways I can share your love and the blessings in my life, with all those who are in need.

Please enlighten me to become more aware of those who are hurting and lonely, and open my heart so I know how to be of help to them.

Reveal to me those who are hungry in order that I can share with them…not only food, but also love and friendship.

Open my heart and  fill it with compassion, for those who are traveling a dark path without You.  Help me to be there in love for them, instead of judging them.

Help me to always be grateful for the mercy  you have bestowed on me, and empower me to always search for a way to love those you place in my life each day. 

For it is through that love, that they will see your face when they look at me.

The Happy Prince   This is a beautiful story of selfless giving.  It has been my favorite since I was a child.  There are parts I literally can’t read out loud because they touch my heart so deeply.  Enjoy.


6 Comments

Tea and Fellowship

For a few years now, I have felt the call to lead a Tea and Fellowship Ministry for the women in our parishGetAttachment community.  What I have seen is that although the church is always filled for every Mass (we have an extremely large church) and there is always a big turnout for events, I noticed that there aren’t many true friendships.

Here is what I found.  When I meet someone new through church, I always ask how many people they know from our parish.  I am not talking casual friendship; I mean true friendship.  The kind that warms your heart and feels like family when you walk into church or a parish event.  The kind where you know you have support in your Christian walk, and there is always someone to call when in need.  The kind where you, yourself, are always open and available to your sisters in Christ.  The answer is usually the same.  They may know one or two people; not many close friendships at all.

When I was younger, and raising my boys, the women were the ones who developed the relationships in the communities.  It was much simpler back then, because most of us were stay at home moms, and relationships seemed to develop themselves.  As the women in the communities became closer, they would draw in their husbands, and family friendships were forged.

Now, with so many single moms, and two parent working families, it seems that there is no time for developing friendships.  It is extremely difficult to balance jobs, time with our spouses and children, homemaking, and all of the transportation and errands that are needed.  What suffers?  Usually time for ourselves and time to actually have relationships with our families in Christ.  Sometimes it seems as though our Church Community, which should be an inviting place of acceptance, love and fellowship, turns into once or twice a week worship, and maybe some more “events” to add to our schedules.  It is a vicious circle.

There has been a gentle tug of the Holy Spirit for me to start a Women’s Tea and Fellowship group at Church.  I outlined a plan, and presented it to our Pastor, and then to a few women who are very active in our Church.  For some reason, nothing ever came of it.

My idea to bring women together to form relationships and community remained in my heart.  I believe those relationships are the foundation that will ripple out, not only to our Catholic Church Community, but eventually into the surrounding communities.

Isn’t it funny how the Holy Spirit works and tugs at your heart until you finally see the light?  For me, it was the realization that I did not need to have a formal “ministry” in the Church to carry out the true ministry.  I can keep my eyes, ears and heart open to opportunities to be a blessing to the women and groups I encounter.  Either at Church, or anywhere at all!

A few months back, I was volunteering at the library, and talking with Sheila, who is the “Director of the Library”.  Not really sure of her true title, however, she is the one to talk to about any question regarding the library or the volunteers that help to run it.  I asked if I could host an Appreciation and Fellowship Tea for the volunteers.  Sheila’s face lit up, and she said that would be a wonderful idea.  My heart warmed up thinking about the tea and thinking of ways to pamper the ladies!

After lots of planning, baking, and decorating, the tea finally came to fruition this last Saturday.  It was a beautiful experience to meet and get to know some of the wonderful women from our parish.  We enjoyed each other’s company, and they were pampered with relaxing music, flowers, cookies, and tea sandwiches, which were served with china plates and tea cups.  Somehow it just feels different to drink your tea and eat your cookies from vintage china.  Before we knew it, we were having a great time, sharing stories, and laughing.  I look forward to getting to know them better in the future.  Another tea in the Spring is already on my agenda!

Now, my heart is open and I am listening for the Holy Spirit…to lead me to the Church Ministries, or particular women who could use a “Fellowship Tea”.  My plan is to offer friendship, heart to heart, and in doing that, sharing Christ’s love.  Through God’s grace and blessings, His perfect love will radiate out to many hearts in need.

We all have specific callings, gifts and talents.  It’s our daily lives and the “little things” that touch the most hearts.

Any suggestions of ways for us to share with others in the Community of Christ?  Please share any ideas you may have.

May God bless you!

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:12-15


20 Comments

New Traditions

Although traditions that have been in our family for years will always have a special place in my heart, I need to share a new tradition that my husband’s side of the family started this year.

Actually, our niece, Heather, suggested this idea.  It sounded interesting, however I didn’t realize how awesome it really was.

Each person, or family, received a name.  We were not to send a gift “for” that person, we were to send a box of items that depicted “who we are”.  You see, our family is a large one, and we are strewn all over the country.  We are losing touch with each other a little, and don’t know about each other’s daily lives or special interests or talents.

The first blessing of this tradition is actually choosing the items that will represent yourself, or your family. Our family box represented my husband, me, and my mother who lives with us.  After much thought, we made our selections.

My husband works hard marketing and screen printing  graphic tees for our business, so we included two tee designs.  He also loves to brew beer, so a bottle of his latest brew was lovingly wrapped  and added to the box.  Since I read so many inspirational and spiritual books, I chose to include “The Promise” by Jonathan Morris, a book that opened my eyes in so many ways.  My other contribution was homemade cookies that I love to bake each Christmas.  (as a side note, I am still baking more and will be baking until New Year’s Day probably!!!)  My mom parted with one of her beloved “Beanie Babies”…a bright red Cardinal.  She LOVES Beanie Babies, and does not part with them easily.  However, she made an exception for the “Family box.”  Not only is the Beanie Baby one of her treasures, but the Cardinal is Ohio’s State bird, which is our hometown…both my side and my husband’s side of the family.  She also included a Word Search book, because she spends hours a day finding words!  The last thing we threw in was a White House Ornament to represent the Northern Virginia/DC area where we make our home.  We sent our box, with love, to my sister in law and our niece.

It is more difficult than you may think, to decide on a few things that depict your life, or your family.

The second blessing comes with receiving the box that your “giver” family assembled for you.  Our box was from our niece, her husband and daughter.  As we were opening each package, we actually felt the spirit of their family.  It was a beautiful and fun experience.  There was a handmade bracelet and hand drawn notecards, created by my great niece, a bottle of  a favorite local beer, Ohio beer glasses crafted in their town, handmade birdseed ornaments which they handed out to neighbors as gifts this year, local Tony Packos relish and a Carruth Angel that was created by an amazing local artist.  They have many Carruth pieces displayed in their backyard, and now we have one more to lovingly display in ours.  My niece also added some PB2 (powdered peanut butter) which she loves in smoothies and ice cream.  I had never heard of “PB2” before, but it sounds interesting and we are looking forward to enjoying it!  She also creates beautiful handmade cards, and tucked one of the most beautiful cards I have ever seen in the box.  The card  listed all the items and what they meant to each of them.

The third blessing from this tradition, lies in all of us sharing about what was in the box we received. We have a group message going on, and it is exciting to see pictures and descriptions of each family’s box.  What a fun way to get to know each other in a deeper way!

Right now, my heart is completely full of the warmth, love, and appreciation of family.

Thank you Lord for the amazing gifts of love and family.  Help me to always look for ways to share those gifts with all the people you place in my daily life.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  James 1:17