Monday, August 27, 2007

8/25/2007: The Purpose of Life...

Sign at a local office here in Kannapolis, "The purpose of life is a life of purpose."
That really hit me because it seemed when I read it the first time I drove past it I assumed I had driven past a's actually an office of some sort I noticed the last time I passed it.  It occurs to me though that it's a good lesson for Christians and has been a movement in some circles.  Truly though when we start to question, as seems to be our nature most often, "what is the purpose of our lives?" or "why are we here?" we need not look further than our Bibles to know that our life's purpose is a life of purpose and that purpose should be to follow God's will for our lives.  I know that is not always an easy thing or even maybe our first gut instinct, it is a conscious choice.  But it should be our choice to want to live a life of purpose for our Lord.  He has done and is doing great and awesome things in our lives!!  On some days it may feel those awesome things are small and few numbered but don't let the devil fool you into believing that!  I heard once if your worries are keeping you up at night instead of counting sheep try counting your blessings.  From personal experience I can tell you that when you lie on your pillow and begin to thank God for all of the blessings in your life you will fall asleep long before you come to the end of that list...because that list is endless!  When I have a bad arthritis night and the pain keeps me up it is most definitely a choice {not necessarily an easy one either!} to focus on praise and thanksgiving to our awesome and mighty Lord but I start small, sometimes it's as simple as thanking Him for air to breath but once you get those first few out, a bed to sleep in, a roof over our head, running water with indoor plumbing, then they start flowing like a 65-foot waterfall and soon you've drifted off into a restful sleep at peace with God, Who is due all the glory and more!  I know on a hard day that hearing someone say there's always something to be thankful for can make you want to roll your eyes like a hormonal teenager and say it's easy for others to say or think that way because they are not going thru what you are going thru but we have all been to the bottom of our barrels, we have all walked our valleys...what keeps us going is the purpose of God's will and the knowledge that He promises us in His precious Word to always be with us and that He has a plan to prosper us.  We have each other too, which is why I feel so strongly that we should always be giving each other the most precious gift we can...prayer.  I pray tonight that God may fill you with a life full of purpose, that He surround you with His peace and that you may find yourself falling asleep while thanking Him for the many blessings in your lives.  One of the top blessings in my life that I continually thank our heavenly Father for is each of you out there reading my weekly thoughts!  I thank God for you and I thank you for your continued interest in receiving these messages.  May you please daily remember our soldiers and their families in your prayers and also young Summer who has come a far way in the Lord but still has a long road of recovery ahead.  Have a blessed weekend and week ahead!
Love in Christ,

8/16/2007: History, Mystery and a Gift

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift."
Not only is this so true but I feel that we can really focus on what this means to our spiritual health besides our physical lives.  To me this has three parts really; history, mystery and a gift.  "Yesterday is history..." Although we can learn valuable lessons from the past, we should not dwell negatively on things we cannot change.  If we take God at His word and fully believe that, " all things God works for the good of those who love him" then there is good to be seen in all of our yesterdays.  We should find what the good was, we should learn the lessons to be learned but we should always keep in our mind that nothing that happened yesterday can be is history and so we really need to work hard to not fret over it.  I know personally this can be a challenge that we fight within ourselves to choose to move past however I fully trust that God will help me through and He'll help you as well...He's waiting to hear from you and always willing to listen!  "...tomorrow is a mystery..." Ok, at first when you take this part on it's own it can either be exciting or rather frightening, depends on how you choose to view it.  No matter what, even if the "not knowing" and "mystery" aspect is unnerving to us we can take true comfort in the knowledge that tomorrow may be a mystery to us but God knows all, and tomorrow is not a mystery to Him...tomorrow may just be when His plans for prospering us start to come into our views.  Tomorrow is "a gift" waiting to be unwrapped in a way!  "...and today is a gift."  I personally love this, God not only gave us the greatest gift ever, salvation in His Son, but He loves us so much that it wasn't enough!!  He continues to give us a gift every!  New beginnings!  I could truly list on and on for days the gift that today is and the gifts that come with each new day but I'm sure you have your very own ideas on that and I'd soon start sounding like a broken record!  The simple truth is that each day is a gift, a gift of history found in our yesterdays, a mystery awaiting us tomorrow and many, many gifts of life, love, (fill in the blank) ____________ today.  I pray that our loving God inspires you to view your histories, mysteries and gifts through His precious Word that you may find comfort in knowing it is all a part of His plan to mold you as you grow in His love.   I pray you are blessed and protected and surrounded by His love, joy and peace.  I ask that we please continue to keep Summer and her family in our prayers, along with continuing our prayers for our military and their families and always for each other as adopted Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  Have a blessed and awesome weekend and week ahead!!
Love in Christ,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How Awesome is our God!

Psalm 111:1a, 2 & 9b "Praise the LORD...Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them...holy and awesome is his name."
I think I may have mentioned this before but in case not I'll say again that I am very inspired by many types of music.  Songs and music have always been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember and I get so much from them...comfort, inspiration, strength,  and so much more.  I've read that a lot of the older hymns in the original hymnals were either based on Bible verses or actually were Bible verses set to music.  When I read Psalm 111 in its entirety the word awesome drew me to my husband's favorite Christian Rock song, "Awesome God."  It's one of the ones I like a lot too, but it is his all-time favorite for certain.  I think of how my cousins and I used to stand on my grandmother's fireplace and put on a "concert" for her and that song was always our favorite to belt out!  Truly our God is awesome and great are all of His works!  It is a wonderful thing to be able to not only read about and celebrate His works of the past in the Bible but also to celebrate His works in our everyday lives today, here and now.  Sure, it can be really hard to focus on the good works He is performing in our lives when we are crawling through the valleys and trying to survive our trials.  Still, they are there...every day, we have to choose to see them at times but I feel it is crucial to our spiritual, mental and emotional and maybe even physical health to find those works and spend time daily thanking our heavenly Father for all the awesome blessings He grants us.  It is important that we do this however what is truly important is that we do this because we want to praise God, we need to delight in Him and give Him all the glory, honor, praise and thanksgiving for His works...not for ourselves but for Him, to truly give Him praise is to do it not for what it can do for us but to do it, to give the praise because God is good and holy and awesome and deserves our humble praises and glory and honor.  I'm sorry I've been foggy all day from my allergies and I fear I'm not making great sense here but I pray God will impress it upon your hearts to read Psalm 111 for yourself and let it soak in and feel His awesome presence as you seek to praise His awesome and holy name.  I pray you are blessed and protected and surrounded by His love, joy and peace.  I ask that we please continue to keep Summer and her family in our prayers, along with continuing our prayers for our military and their families and always for each other as adopted Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  Have a blessed and awesome weekend and week ahead!!
Love in Christ,

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Laught it up!

Proverbs 17:22a "A cheerful heart is good medicine..." 
I recently read an article in which Rick Warren said, "if you learn to laugh at your troubles, you'll never run out of anything to laugh at!"  Is that not the plain, brutal truth or what?  I don't know about you but I think even an optimist would be able to count a week's worth of troubles on both hands...they'd choose to find the brighter side of those troubles and not dwell on them but they'd still be there.  I think maybe when we find that we're unable to find the humor in our troubles then we've fallen into the poor situation of taking ourselves too seriously.  I know I have been there...I've been in and out of there so many times they don't even card me at the door!  Humor and the ability to laugh and find humor is not just a choice, it is part of who we are...Psalm 2:4a says, "The One enthroned in heaven laughs" and if we believe that we are created in God's image than we have to know that laughter is a part of that!  What a wonderful gift!  A tool to get us thru the bad into the lighter side of things, a path to the silver lining!  I thank and praise God for laughter and the endless supply of situations that arise that can be laughed at.  Yes, I have to make a conscious choice at times in order to get to that point but the more I make that choice then the faster the situations turns around.  The evil one doesn't want us to laugh, or he wants us to laugh at the "wrong" types of things which is all the more reason we need to find humor in our troubles, because that's exactly what satan does not want.  If he can't get to us by our troubles then we are all that much more stronger in our Lord!  I pray we can find humor in our every day lives, that we stop and thank God for the gift of laughter that He created us with!  I pray we are all able to praise Him for the miracle of life which includes the tool of laughter! I ask that we continue to please pray for all who need healing and strength, especially Summer and her family, praising God for all He has already done in her healing process and asking for His amazing healing touch tocontinue to bring Summer along to a full recovery.  Please, in prayer, let us daily remember our troops as they fight to keep our country free.  I pray that each of you are surrounded by God's love, protection, favor and blessings today and always.
Love through Christ,