Today's Blessing

I was at a wedding recently and heard the very-much-in-love couple repeat their vows. “For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others”. I thought to myself, 'everyone starts out like this and then later, so many call it quits'. I believe I have the answer, “selfishness”. One or both people decided to put themselves first.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged… (I Corinthians 13: 4-7, NLT)

hope beneath the earth

Need a little hope today?

A couple of years ago in the month of October, 33 Chilean miners were rescued after spending 69 days locked beneath the earth’s surface.

Months earlier a shaft had caved in where the miners were working trapping them deep within the mine. It took 17 days for rescuers to even think of how to reach them.

Knowing the hope of anyone surviving after 2-1/2 weeks was slim, however, the rescuers still decided to send a message through a small-bore hole near the shaft, “is anyone alive”? To their shock and amazement a message came back – “yes, yes, we are still alive, we didn’t give up hope”.

Imagine the optimism it took, when all seemed hopeless, to keep believing you may be found when you knew you were completely lost.

Another 2 months would pass, before a newly designed capsule would descend into the earth to rescue them.

What an ordeal for these men and their families. People say there are no atheists in foxholes – I suspect there were none to be found 2300 feet under the earth either.

God always knows where we are. Whether on earth or beneath the earth …

Don’t give up hope … God will rescue you.

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence … if I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me”. Psalm 139: 7-10

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear God, thank you for knowing where I am at all times. Just as you were there for the miners in the middle of the earth, I know you are always with me. Your Word says, if I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there”. It is a great comfort to know your presence. (Psalm 139: 8)

despair, waves too high

In Despair – Waves Too High

My son decided to enter a triathlon and once he signed up, he knew the swimming component would challenge him.

To better prepare for this part of the race and living far from a pool, he trained in a nearby pond for many months. Some days it was cold. Very cold. Every stroke was agonizing, but he continued on. After many months of training he felt he was ready.

However on race day at the end of August, the weather was overcast, the wind cold and the waves were too high on the lake. It was discouraging.

Battling the wind and three-foot swells – even for the best of swimmers, the conditions were rough.

However, in my son’s early years he learned never to quit at anything. That day, he simply did what he had done countless times before, he willed to finish. After his swim was the bike race and then the run. He finished strong.

From time to time it is good to do things out of our comfort zone. Yes, the familiar is easier, nevertheless we grow as a person when we embrace challenges unfamiliar to us … and run with them.

To stretch ourselves beyond what we think we can do, similar to my son and his triathlon swim.

When the wave’s get high … don’t get discouraged and quit. Keep swimming.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up”. Galatians 6:9

 “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”.  Philippians 4:13

Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, help me not to quit today but to keep going. Help me, help me, help me is all I can say. I will not be discouraged, but simply put one foot in front of the other and carry on”.

keeping life simple

Keep Life Simple

So many of us are wanting a simpler life style … and so many of us don’t know how to achieve simplicity.

While talking with an older friend one day, she said, “If I had my life to live again, I would have kept life simple”.

Curious as to what she meant, I asked “simple?”

“Yes”, she said slowly. “I would not have accumulated so many clothes, nor so much stuff, as I look back now I thought it was all so necessary, when really it wasn’t – it was all so unnecessary”.

My friend was 89 years old when we had this conversation. At her age, “reflections” occupy a lot of one’s time.

Actually, if you ask a wise older person their thoughts on almost any matter, they usually have plenty of wisdom to share. Ask them “what not to do” and “what to do” usually they know …

“Simple life” was her advice to me that day. “Live your life in a simple manner” she said, “you don’t need all the stuff you have”.

She’s gone to heaven now; however, I often think of her counsel.

I know she’s right.

Can you think of a few ways to simplify your life? I know I can. Surely we don’t need all the jeans that keep our drawers from shutting …

Words from a wise dear friend … live a simple life.

“ … I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”. Philippians 4:11

“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw”. Proverbs 24:32

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want …” Psalm 23:1

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I admit my life is not in balance. Show me where I can trim my “stuff” be more content with what I have and give of the overflow. I truly want to live simply so that others can simply live”.

 

teenagerRaising Teenagers

Often parents shudder when they think of their children becoming a “teenager”.

I’ve searched through the Bible and cannot even find the word teenager. There is mention of children and youth … but no “teenager”.

Interesting.

When my children were young, many well-meaning parents would say, “Oh, you just wait until they become teenagers”. They spoke as if they were going to come down with a dreaded disease of some sort.

Their words invoked fear … and fear is not from God.

I rejected their warning.

I never anticipated that any of my children would ever come down with the expected dreaded teenager disease. In fact, I anticipated the opposite – they would all make it through these years and “when they were old they would not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Meaning, they would still have a relationship with their Creator and Saviour, Jesus Christ, after the adolescence season was over.

At times my resolve was threatened and I went to prayer. “Lord, you love this child more than me, help me to love like You”. And He did.

We cannot make our children choose “Christ”. However, we can do everything in our power to model a “Christlikeness life-style” praying they will make this most important, life changing, eternal decision for themselves.

As parents, sadly, we make mistakes. However, when we mess up and get it wrong, apologize. Say you’re sorry … humble yourself.

Teenagers are not to be feared. If we allow the Lord to do His work during the process of adolescence … the fruits of the Spirit as found in Galatians 6, will ripen in us and surprising, through their struggles – we mature.

“ … The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control …”. Galatians 5:22,23

 “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”. Proverbs 22:6

 “Love never fails … ” 1 Corinthians 13:8

Today’s prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, I surrender myself and my children to you. I trust you are with me while I raise my kids. Give me wisdom for each child as I do my best to lead them to you. Help me not to be a hypocrite. Say one thing and do another. Teach me to live honestly before you – then I will before them – may I remember what your Word says, love never fails. Help me God, to love like you”.

 

athlete football

Football Fortitude

When a football team runs onto the field, prep time is done and competition is on.

I love watching this sport.

These players have trained and now they are ready to rumble.

If you are a football player – I so admire your determination and “never quit” attitude. I appreciate your strength as you run down the field, make a tackle and get right back up. It’s awesome when you score a touchdown, then right away huddle for another play … and for those of you who are followers of Christ as well, I bless you.

If you are a student reading this post, now is prep time; studying, memorizing and the daily grind of learning.

Even though it is hard and today, uninteresting, remain in school. My children’s uncle used to say, “pretend you like it, until you do”.

Keep trying your best and I assure you everything will work out.

Success comes slowly.

Sometimes you have to switch courses, switch minors, even major’s but keep at it … ask God for His daily direction, His input and you won’t go wrong.

Your Creator is with you and has a remarkable plan for your life.

Don’t miss it!

      “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13

          “ … the Lord watches over those who fear him …”. Psalm 33:18

     “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”. Ecclesiastes 9:10

Football fortitude is what we need.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, help me today to stay determined, keep focused and carry on”. 

Pearls and Pigs

Pearls and Pigs

There is a parable in the Bible referring to pearls and pigs. Its simple meaning is this, watch what you say.

Your words are “your pearl”.

We have all done this. You offer “your pearl” to someone, only to have your words misunderstood, misconstrued and the whole situation turns from bad to worse.

You are hurt. You offered your pearl to a friend, only to have it rejected.

Your motive was right, however the timing, the person, and everything else was wrong.

This happens.

Do Not Waste Your Words

Jesus gives us some great advice. He says, “do not waste your words on those who are argumentative and hostile”.

Generally, these people don’t listen to Him either. Although it is tempting to set the record straight and defend yourself or just share from your heart, “your pearl” however, sometimes the godliest thing we can do is just keep quiet.

I believe that is why the scripture refers to the allegory of “pearls and pigs”. They are opposites. One is priceless and one is not. Jesus says be careful. 

A few nuggets of truth.

“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you”. Matthew 7:6″

“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain”.  James 1:26

“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips”. Psalm 141:3

“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles”. Proverbs 21:23

Pearls and pigs, they just don’t mesh.

Today’s Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to be wise. Please ‘set a guard over my mouth’ and give me the wisdom when to speak and when not too”.

 

wisdom - lets be wise

Wisdom – Let’s Be Wise

Where does one get wisdom?

What is wisdom?

How can I make better decisions? Good choices?

The book of Proverbs is your answer. “Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance”. Proverbs 1:5

This book is full of instruction on how to live right, act right and speak right. You will learn how to keep honesty in your financial dealings to listening quietly to good counsel,  from staying away from wrong friends to keeping your cool in an argument. Yes, this is the book for you.

Did you know that there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, one chapter for each day?

You can read through the whole book in a month.

Everything you need to know about life, relationships, integrity and character traits, are written within those pages. Solomon was a very wise man. In fact, when God asked him what he wanted – he replied with one word “wisdom”. He could have asked for many other things but Solomon knew the value of obtaining wisdom and becoming wise.

Wisdom is what we all need. By applying truths from Proverbs to our life, we can obtain knowledge and understanding and in turn, start becoming wise.

Here are a few “gems” from Proverbs.

         “Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished …” Proverbs 13:14 

          “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction …” Proverbs 13:1

          “Wine is a mocker. Strong drink is a brawler and whoever is led astray by it is not             wise”. Proverbs 20:1

          “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” Proverbs 15:1

Let’s be wise …

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I could certainly use some wisdom. There is so much on my plate right now that my mind is scattered, but I know if I take the time to read your instructions, I will come out on top”.

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