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"The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, and her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing." Isaiah 53:3.

"Well, it's God's will that we live on top in every situation. I call it living on top of the world. Praise God. From your finances to relationships, you name it. God wants you winning in every area." Bill Winston, Preacher.

"In matters of faith, we are always consistently primitive." Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German theologian. He meant that however elaborate our ideas or practices may be, we must always come back to our starting point: a fundamental attitude of trust in God's mercy.

This may seem like an unlikely topic, but I believe it to be timely. In my humble opinion, I believe that we can all agree that some change is needed. Depending on where you live in the world, there exists the very opposite of Eden. (Of course, I am referring to the biblical paradise on earth described in Genesis 2-3 and Ezekiel 28 and 31). I note the peace and tranquility and God's presence in Eden before the fall. Okay, we may not be able to go that far back and achieve that level of placidity, but we can do better.

Recently, I happened upon an "Unsung" episode about the life of Donald Lawrence, American gospel music songwriter, record producer and artist. He makes amazing music; his choir is phenomenal. One song in particular touched my spirit. Let me stop to clarify that I am in the choir at my church, and we do sing some of the songs written by Donald Lawrence. I am moved by them all, but, "Back II Eden, Live on Top of the World," gave me an extra shout.

Back II Eden Lyrics:

When God made man, He made a spirit

It was His plan that we live blessed

The tempter came, we were distracted

The tempter came and we fell

We were deemed to live a life that's beautiful

A life that's full, a life that's rich and plentiful

It is my goal to remind you of this principle

We're redeemed, a newborn soul

Let's get back to Eden, live on top of the world.

Our families blessed, finances blessed

Our mind and spirit and our bodies blessed

We were tempted and we fell

Jesus came and, now all is well

Not only did I find hope in these lyrics, but I began to visualize and clearly see a way back to who and what we are meant to be. Without sounding all preachy, we are living beneath our privilege. Whether or not you profess to be a part or member of any particular spiritual group or religion, we can concur that our world and many of us individually need healing and a way back to love; to loving God and one another. We were created in love by love. "God is love." 1 John 4:16. How did we stray so far from love? We are on the verge of losing our humanity because of our refusal and/or inability to practice love.

Love is the one virtue that covers everything. It is the one thing that heals. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are broken and in pain, and love is the salve that we need. "And above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3:14. Reflecting back to the garden where all was perfect, we had the freedom to choose. All was well. That is until an offer was made by a tempter who had no love for those he set out to tempt.

I was telling my granddaughter Journey the creation story, and she said it was the tempter's fault that everything turned out bad and the inhabitants were put out of the garden. I explained to her that God told them (Adam and Eve) they could eat from every tree in the garden except one and that was the tree of good and evil. So when the tempter came and told them to eat from that tree, they should have refused. Genesis 3:1-7. They didn't obey God, and the consequences followed. I reminded her that if her friends tell her to do something thar her parents (or grandparent) tell her not to, then she must make the wise choice to listen to her parents and grandparent or "face the music." She got it. Regardless of excuses offered, disobedience brings consequences.

But God. God knew and loved His creation, He already had a redemption plan in place. Our Savior was in the wings. The Lord also metes out various judgements to those who brought sin into His perfect world. Adam, Eve, and the serpent all hear of the consequences of their rebellion. "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her seed. You will strike his heel and He shall (fatally) crush your head." Genesis 3:15. But the serpent's strike did not spell the end of the women's offspring. The woman's offspring is Jesus. Jesus was crucified, but He rose on the third day breaking the power of death and winning the ultimate victory. "The eternal Son of God had to become man, because it was the offspring of the woman who was to crush the serpent's head." Genesis 3. He was the only one who qualified to die for our sins and bring us back into a right relationship with God. The curse of God also falls upon Satan. Revelation 12:9. He is defeated.

We see God's mercy in His provision to give us a new start, another chance. Remember when the Lord decided to destroy the people of the earth because of sin? Noah (righteous in God's eyes) was instructed to build an ark and only his family and two of every kind of animal were allowed to enter the ark. After the flood, Noah was instructed to replenish the earth. This represented a new beginning; a chance to get it right. "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Seneca. We are under the same mandate to replenish the earth. Our task is to build our world God's way. We start by loving God, ourselves and one another.

So, here we are now; in a world that is just as or even more problematic (sinful) than in Noah's day. Are we in danger of facing consequences for our disobedience? Read God's word and you be the judge. All I know is we cannot live our best life without love. God is Love. "Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive." Dalai Lama. Mother Teresa said, "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."

How do we get back to living on top of the world? Obedience. The road map to the way back is clear. Are you willing to follow it? The path: The two greatest commandments: 1. Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. If we each committed to doing just this, our world would change for the better overnight. We will be on the road back to Eden. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Well????

  1. Check your love inventory. Who is worthy of love in your estimation? Well, everyone is according to our creator. Show and share love every chance you get; in tangible and intangible ways.

  2. Pray daily. Prayer is our communicating with God. He hears us. Pray for our world, our families and our friends and our enemies. God is our source of power and strength. Tap in. Pray for wisdom. We need it in order to see things from God's point of view. Our worldview is not always clear or effective. God's direction is always clear and right.

  3. Be grateful. Nothing in this world has to be. Be thankful for the blessings you have received whatever they are, and endeavor to bless someone else.

  4. Rejoice. We have so many reasons to rejoice. Find joy in the big things and the small things.

  5. Give and give back generously. This refers to time, talent and treasure. God loves a cheerful giver.

  6. Smile. Tell others why God has put love in your heart and a smile on your face.

God's plan is that we live an abundant life; a life filled with love, peace and joy. Can you look around and bear witness to such a status or state in our world? Read the papers, listen to the news and then answer. Don't despair. Jesus cleared the way for us. Living as He modeled and as He stated in His commandments, frees us to live on top of the world!! Start where you are. What are you waiting for?: LET'S GET BACK TO EDEN!!!

God bless you!

Yours, Yvette

Thank you for your continued support. I am truly appreciative. I remain grateful.

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