Category: FAITH

keep-calm-and-get-in-the-zone

alphabet of thanks, “Z

(I doubt there are too many of you reading blogs today. After all, it’s Black Friday and you’re either comatose from over-eating yesterday or you’re out shopping. After all, today is the official kick-off for the Holiday Season. I hope you’re having fun. But if you take a break I hope you finish up the alphabet today and read this final post.)

Yea, I did it!!!! I’m at “Z”. Just in time for wrapping up some Christmas shopping and finish my wrapping.

I am in the “ZONE”.

I am so grateful for the times I find myself here.

Many times “zoning out” is considering a negative but that is not true. We all need to find that special activity that puts us in the “zone”.

For my husband, it’s fly fishing. He loses all track of time when he’s fishing.

For me, it’s a number of activities, blogging, reading, painting, “putzing”. I’m always sad to meet someone who has never experienced being in this wonderful free-floating, relaxing, totally peaceful state of being.

keep-calm-and-get-in-the-zone

It’s great to lose track of time. It’s what rests our mind, our emotions, and our body. It’s exactly what Psalm 45:10 means:

Be still and know I am God.

Or Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul. 

(Is this not a picture of the “zone”, I don’t know what is.)

This Holiday Season is officially here. If ever there was a time to get into the “zone”, it’s during these next few weeks.

I hope you find yours.

God bless and have a wonderful day.

ps. I might take a break for a couple of days. Just so you know.

pss. Aren’t you wondering how this series didn’t last until the 26th of November considering there are 26 letters of the alphabet? It’s because, in the first week, I accidentally posted two letters in one day. I blame it on the kitten.

 

snow

alphabet of thanks, “W”

I’m thankful for the color WHITE today.

First of all, let’s go back to my post about the color red and why I’m thankful for it. I told you there was another reason I liked red which I would share today. It’s because it reminds me of the price that was paid for me, for all of us.

red

It reminds me that my sins, which the Bible describes as the color of “crimson” (red), is washed whiter than snow.

Every time, and I do mean every time,  we have our first big snowfall, I think of that verse. It gives me such a feeling of being covered with grace. It reminds me of the forgiveness that is mine. It reminds me of the mercy that covers my sin.

snow

 

I’ve always liked white paired with red.

It really never dawned on me until I wrote the post about red, that that is the reason I like the combination of red and white.

The red reminds me from what I’ve been rescued; the white reminds me I have been rescued.

It provides me with a visual journey of Jesus’s sacrifice and my redemption.

God bless and have a wonderful pre-Thanksgiving day today.

 

 

God is in your tomorrow

alphabet of thanks, “T”

Today I’m thankful for “TOMORROWS“.

Isn’t it great we have tomorrows to look forward to? When things are going bad, it’s great that we have a “tomorrow” that might be brighter.

I can remember times in my life when I went to bed at night, grateful for the sweet relief of sleep and the small hope that tomorrow might be better.

Sometimes “tomorrows” are all we have.

                               Tomorrows hold promise.

                               Tomorrows offer hope.

                               Tomorrows make today’s problems seem temporary.

But tomorrow is also a day not to “borrow” from.  According to scripture, each day has enough trouble on its own. I’ll admit I don’t always get that right.

Matthew 6:25-34New International Version (NIV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It’s hard to trust in the future because it is the future. Only God knows what our futures hold. And most of the time, he’s not telling us.  

I haven’t experienced a bad episode of anxiety for a long time.  But the other night I woke up and was frightened. I thought about the people I love and “What would I do if something happened to them”.

I know what triggered it. The husband of a dear friend of mine has prostate cancer. It was completely unexpected. His PSA from the year before had been normal. I projected that to my husband even though his results had just come back and his numbers were very low.

I immediately asked God to help me trust him.

I didn’t beat myself up for my doubt. When we lose a loved one (my mother, six months ago), and when people around us get sick, we can’t help but be reminded that life is not only fragile, it is fleeting.  That’s a good thing.

Do you realize we are the only living beings that know we are going to die, that we, are temporary. That’s pretty humbling, isn’t it? And yet, even with feeling that way at times, it doesn’t really change us all that much.

I find that curious.

So all we truly have is the reality of today and the hope of a tomorrow.

When I had my devotions that morning, I gave thanks to God praising Him that he’s already waiting for me in my future, no matter what it is. He has prepared the way for me and walks ahead of me clearing the path to Him.

God is in your tomorrow

He does that for all His children. He is in your future as well.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

 

shoess

It’s ok to feel good about looking good

Have you ever been to a function where you spent hours trying to find the right dress?

The right shoes?

It was for a late afternoon wedding so I wanted to dress appropriately.

So let’s start with the shoes. After five foot surgeries, shoe shopping is a nightmare for me. I haven’t worn high-heeled shoes in over fifteen years.

SeriousIy.

I did find a pair I could wear but albeit very painfully. Hmmm. Why not check online and see what I can find? Of course, who buys shoes online? Right. Well, apparently me. I ordered a pair and voila’, they fit perfectly.

So, one down.

shoess

Now the dress.

After buying three dresses, and taking two back, I thought I had found the exact right one. But having had such good luck with the shoes, why not check online? I didn’t want to spend too much and I wanted a dress I could wear again. So……..I ordered two of them. One was almost identical to the one I’d decided on but a little cheaper and I felt more comfortable in it.

black dress

So finally, the right dress and right shoes.

I’ll bet you’re thinking there’s is going to be a funny twist to this story. Like I’m going to tell you about a fashion mishap or something. Like a heel broke or someone spilled something on my dress. Or that I got sick and couldn’t go.

Nope.

I loved the whole ensemble. The shoes didn’t hurt. The dress looked terrific. I liked the reflection in the mirror.

And I think that’s perfectly OK.

The Proverbs thirty-one woman takes good care of herself. She works hard at looking good. She dresses beautifully. She’s not worried about feeling bad about looking good.  I’ll even bet she liked what she saw in the mirror, too.

Many times I come home from these events feeling as though I’ve dressed all wrong, that everyone else looked better.

Do you?

Not this time. This time it felt really good not to feel bad. 

Usually, I’m pretty confident with how I dress. I’ve always liked fashion and putting outfits together. But since my mom died I’ve kind of lost a little of that. Maybe that’s why the right ensemble was so important.

As Christians, I think that sometimes we feel guilty over frivolous things because they are frivolous. And so when we pay attention to them when there are such horrible things happening every day, we feel guilty.

And yet David danced and Jesus went to dinner parties. And there’s not a hint in scripture that they felt bad about it. And by the way, things were even worse then. 

Maybe the condition of the world is exactly why we need to take a break from all the seriousness.

What about you? Do you sometimes get conflicted between the seriousness of the world and the frivolous nature of other parts of your life?  Actually, I’m glad I am conflicted at times. It keeps me grounded.

We are meant to enjoy life while at the same time never forgetting those in our world who need our prayers and our help.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

expressing our Christian views

How to express our Christian views.

I’m ashamed to admit I got pulled into a less than kind exchange with someone on another blog some time ago.

I wasn’t unkind; they were. Wow, were they!

The author of the blog didn’t like the fact that I disagreed with him on some points. However, I also agreed with him on a number of points.

It was the agreement that prompted one of his commenters, not him,  to unleash his hate on me.

Apparently, because I wasn’t willing to condemn certain groups of our society straight to hell because of their behavior, I was the one in danger of going there myself. I guess I was too “liberal” in my Christian views.

I’m upset with myself for being drawn into a disagreement with someone whose only agenda was to argue and not seek to understand. His “words” were mean and hate-filled.

But can I say as a woman who has called God her “father” for years, I don’t understand hatred, no matter where it’s coming from and no matter to whom it is addressed. And I’m sad to say it often comes out of the mouths of those who claim to be followers of Jesus. In fact, can I further propose, it’s worse when it comes from Christians.

Christians who have experienced love and forgiveness from an almighty God should be the last people on this earth to condemn anyone for differing views.

I’m guessing that either:

  1. They’ve never understood the gift they have received,
  2. They don’t understand “forgiveness”,
  3. They’ve forgotten their own history,
  4. They are not really followers of Christ.

To make it clear, we don’t have to water-down our faith. We never have to pretend to agree with someone’s point of view if we really don’t.  We should feel free to voice our beliefs no matter what.

But there are ways to use our words that draw people to God not push them away. 

If we read just the story of Jesus and just his words, we see the balance between speaking truth and showing love. Somehow Jesus managed to do both. And yes, he did upset people. I’m not suggesting we won’t as well.

If we offend someone because of beliefs and we’ve expressed our views respectfully, then their offense is on them, not us. For that we don’t have to apologize or feel bad. We have spoken the truth.

But if we offend someone because we have directed hate towards them, we’re the ones who need forgiveness.

This week I’ve written about “words” and how our words make a difference. I offer a challenge this morning.

Read the Proverbs. You will find references to how we should communicate in every chapter. There is more good advice in that book than any other book in the Bible.

Wars have been fought, marriages have ended, friendships destroyed, and lives have ended because of words.

With every encounter, we use words. They are either tools or weapons.

God bless and have a good day.

 

 

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