|Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.
Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Mary Baker Eddy, Elisabeth Elliot, Book of Psalms, Max Lucado
I'm going to share something with you: I have Multiple Sclerosis. I've hesitated to write that sentence,
but after reading David L. Lander's book, "Fall Down Laughing," it came to me that perhaps I can bless
others, as David did me, by running that piece of information up the old Internet flagpole. Lander, who
perhaps is best known as "Squiggy" on "Laverne and Shirley," had to hide his MS for many years
in order to keep working as an actor. But when he finally publicly revealed his challenge,
he probably touched more people's lives than he might have achieved in several careers.
Since I don't need to hide it, I may as well share it and help others.
When I was diagnosed just over a year ago, I'd already been going from doctor to doctor for more
than three years, trying to figure out why my body was going haywire.
MS is an odd disease. I often
hear how "good" I look, as do most people with MS, yet my life has been radically changed. Since I
don't believe a description of physical symptoms serves much purpose, let me simply explain
how living with a chronic disease has changed me spiritually, because it's significant.
I don't think about what MS has done to me. I think about what it has done for me.
It allows me to hear
new rhythms in the Lord's music. Because my body talks louder, I choose to listen more carefully to
my heart. Because my body constantly changes its mind about what works and what doesn't, I cling
more tightly to the constancy of the Holy Spirit.
Because my physical strength is weakening, I am led
to swim more often in the abundant flow of God's strength. As I need to ask those around me for help,
I realize how much more I can do for others. I warm myself frequently in Love's sunlight.
My eyes see
the world differently. My sympathy for the disabled has changed to empathy; my compassion for them,
into stark admiration.
My goals in life are sharply evolving; crystallizing into shapes I couldn't have pre-
dicted just a few years ago. I am required to live my beliefs - forced from standing confidently on a
theoretical ledge, to bungee-jumping off a cliff with gleeful faith into the arms of the Lord.
Are these days I'd like to give back this "blessing"? Oh, yes. I cannot lie; at least not without giggling.
It's not bliss waking up each day wondering what I'm going to have to deal with. Yet, if the past few
years are indicative, I believe the day will come when I will honestly say that the path of physical
uncertainty has led me into the deepest realm of deep spiritual certainty. In the meantime, the
Lord uplifts me. He upholds my heart. He heals my soul and guides my feet heavenward.
We had breakfast with some friends on Friday and they asked how the MS was treating me.
"Hmm," Bruce said. "MS. Do you know what em-es (that's my phonetic rendering of the word)
means in Hebrew?" He smiled. "It means 'Truth.'" And that's what I really have. God's Truth.
I invite all of you, with whatever chronic challenge you face, to join me.
May we all catch em-es so that we can live in the upholding grip of Truth.
Photo by Lisa Bowman All rights reserved
Then His unveiled, sweet mercies show
Life's burdens light.
I kiss the cross, and wake to know
A world more bright.
And o'er earth's troubled, angry sea
I see Christ walk,
And come to me, and tenderly,
Thus Truth engrounds me on the rock,
Upon Life's shore,
'Gainst which the winds and waves can shock,
Mary Baker Eddy
Christ My Refuge,
Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved,
upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are.
Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that?
Elisabeth Elliot (1926- )
Christian author and speaker
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
and he delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen
the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
King James Version
Photo by Lisa Bowman All rights reserved
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
The Holy Bible
New International Version
The Last Word:
I come strong. I receive your Lordship.
You're protecting me. Anything happens,
it filters through you first and I receive your
love because I can never outlive your love.
Max Lucado (1955- )
Best-selling Christian author
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
Patience is the ornament of the brave.