“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16. NIV
I heard something very wise yesterday. Those who always see the glass half full don’t realize that the glass is refillable. This says so much. Each morning when we wake up we have a chance at a brand new start. This new day we can be who ever we choose to be. The past is just that, the past. We can’t change our past but we can go forward differently if we want. I deal with many people who have behavior problems and little or no memory, from moment to moment, and it gets frustrating. These people don’t know that anything could be different so they will be the same because they can’t help it. But if you have a working brain you can make it react how you want. There is a lot of things that my body just can’t do anymore. I have many physical limitations but I try hard to have a good attitude. Attitude is everything. Many people let each circumstance rule their day. If they don’t like breakfast then watch out. Their morning is set. Complaining really doesn’t get you far. If you let any and everything control your emotions then they probably be messed up. I have a glass full mentality. But each morning I do remind myself that God gave me a brand new day and I will enjoy it. I can get silly at times but I will enjoy my day. I take extra enjoyment in little things. If breakfast is so so well at least I enjoy my coffee and lunch is just four or so hours away. I won’t get too hungry. It is very important to enjoy little things. At any moment you should be able to think of one thing that will make you smile. I know the Lord and that’s enough for me. But that doesn’t mean my life can’t get better. I can read and learn more. Exercise the body parts I can because that can make me more relaxed and stress free. Watch educational shows. Stimulate your mind and you may use that someday. God is always waiting for you to come to him and change. Let go of that old person, ask for forgiveness and let him know that you want to be a better happier person. He is willing to help and always forgives when you ask. He will take that slate and wipe it clean. You just need help changing that attitude. Lean more on him to show you just what you need to move forward. But I know gratitude will get you farther.
What are you thankful for today?
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23 NIV
God is looking at the heart. What we truly are and think is deep inside of us. Where no one but God can see. We can come across one way on our outward positioning but what’s in the heart is the true person. God has called us to love all others better than ourselves. He has told us that whatever it takes, we should be at peace with all men. That’s tough! It takes a lot of patience to get along with even the best people. It doesn’t take much to get under our skin. To rub us the wrong way. There’s no way in and of ourselves. God has to open our eyes to the way he loves others. He loves with so much passion no matter what people look or act like. He looks deeper to the lonely scared child that wants to be accepted and loved. This person is his. He wants us to be there for others. Brothers and sisters there making it together. This is more important than offerings of things. Money, time, and devotion come in second place to people. That’s why he has called us to take care of widows and orphans, sick, hungry and those that can’t help themselves. We may be their only hope. God can do all things but he uses us. He has given us the privilege of being apart of his bigger plan. When he was on earth all manner of sick, both physical and mental, came to him, their only hope for help. They didn’t know if he could or would help but they had to try. And Jesus had compassion. He saw there very soul and every hurt they had and loved them so. That is why he doesn’t like sin. Because it hurts his beloved children. Those that he greatly cares about. Things like adultery, murder and stealing. All commands affect others well-being or loving God and honoring him. Love covers our every action. If we just love the way he calls us to love we will have it all down. We can not change the way others act, try as we may. Their behavior is between them and God. But if we just take a big breath and ask God for help we can be the best we can be. You never know how your actions will greatly affect those around you.
Will you see others through Gods eyes of love and compassion?
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 NIV
What is Jesus trying to tell us? We know that we need to grow. We can’t stay babies forever. But what Jesus is saying refers to the attitude of our hearts. Something that is very important to God but nonsense to man. Let’s look at a child. They completely trust their parents. To feed them whenever they are hungry, and change them whenever they are wet. Do whatever it takes to keep them safe and comfortable. They know their parents love them no matter what. They are quite comfortable saying just how they feel. There is nothing they can’t ask for. They may not get everything they want , but it won’t hurt to ask. They look up to their parents. They are everything in their eyes. They assume they can do anything. All power is theirs. My dad is better than your dad. They say it and mean it. These are things that God is. God wants us to feel that way about him. We need to get to know God so that we know what and who he is. Once we get to know him we see how capable he is. He is the master of perfect love. No one can love like God does. Everyone will let us down at one time or another. A parent may miss your big day because they have to work. But God is always there. He is always proud of you when you try. Because he loves unconditionally. A parent can get upset when you get bad grades or act up. God just wants to bless you. And he will bless you. He is working on your behalf every minute. He is not wanting you to be rich or famous. But to be the best you can be. To love others and to be loved by others. He is more interested with what you do with your money then how much you have. His power is enough. He can and will meet your needs. Nothing is impossible if you believe. He wants you to come to him confidently. He will honor this. He is a big deal, and he loves it when you see this. Look at all he has made for us. This is a diverse planet and has so much to see of his handiwork. Such cute and unique animals and plants. It does not matter what the weather is right now because it’s always changing. Seasons come and go, so it’s always a great day to love the Lord for all he is.
Won’t you praise him for his excellent greatness?
“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act.” Malachi 4:2 NIV
The word of God has so much for us and I am always seeing new truths in whatever I read. This is a picture of joy and abundance. I want to be right there. If you are a Christ follower then this is talking about you. It is good to know how God thinks about you. The sun does rise on us every day and we need to embrace that truth. It is going to be a great day. This is an attitude you should have every morning when you wake up. If you say, oh no another day. Well, the day probably won’t be great. Do you want to frolic like well-fed calves? Picture it, fat and sassy and romping around the pasture. Yah they are penned in and meant to do whatever is expected of them but they are living life fully. It is all in their attitude. You will trample on the wicked. Evil is all around us but it won’t harm us if we just believe. How many bad people have you wanted to stomp on? And crush under your foot. It’s a promise. We should not want evil for anyone because they don’t really know what they are doing. Christ even forgave the ones who murdered him. Saying, “they know not what they do.” The day the Lord acts is every day. He doesn’t procrastinate like we do. He is always working on behalf of his children. He loves us much and desires to give us much but you need to believe it and receive it. Imagine it all the time and it will prove true in your life. If you want anything bad enough, then focus doing all you can to get it. Tell God what you want and why. If it is good for you he probably wants it for you. Go for it. It may not be his timing yet but you have to try. I love to do all I do in a frolicking, joyful attitude. If it is worth doing it is worth doing the best and happiest you can. I just decided I need to exercise my arms. Exercising is not really fun so I listen to music or a book while I work out and the time zips by. I’m getting stronger and having a good time.
Do you want to live abundantly?
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 NIV
Do you realize how powerful every word that comes out of your mouth is? Every minute of the day we have the ability to bring life and good or death and destruction to our lives and to the lives around us. It is a very small muscle but like the rudder of a ship it may be strong but it controls a lot. After my stroke I could not speak and I never realized how important it was until I could not convey certain needs. Since I could not do much for myself and the people around me did not know me well, most people did not know what I needed. I started using a spelling board but I pointed too quickly for most people to keep up and it was very frustrating. I still have a hard time getting my words out but I am a lot clearer for most people. If it is someone new it takes some time to learn my special lingo. I try to use few and simple words as possible. I spend a lot more time listening and watching those around me. We can learn so much by listening, it also gives us time to think what we are going to say. If it is negative or does not help someone it’s probably better not said. I do however see the importance of not stuffing emotions, but always use tact when venting frustrations. This has helped me see the power other’s words really have. Negative and selfish words are destructive and can hurt. I don’t waste words complaining, arguing and whining. I used to be sarcastic and joking but there is no reason to anymore. People can be very negative and it just ruins their day. Speak words of life and positive words whenever you can. If you are feeling negative think of ten things you are grateful for. Focusing our thoughts on all we have good and not the negative around us helps. There is good all around us and I would rather talk about that. Always say nice things to others whenever you can. Like: I love your dress or hair, or just smile genuinely.
Do you think before you speak?
Earlier this year I was feeling like I needed to give money to my church above my tithes and offerings. So many people were in need because of the coronavirus. People were out of work, things were shutting down and so many needs. I know that when God tells me to give he knows what he is doing. I felt led to give the money I set aside for camp. Something told me I wouldn’t need it. I was a little concerned because camp is the highlight of my year. I have gone six times and this would be my seventh year. A week with my friends in the pines 24/7 and learning Gods ways. I did not know the plans God had for us but he did. They we’re canceling camps before ours but ours was in September it should be ok. There are several camps throughout the US. Well Florida decided to hold theirs online, virtually. Oh boy I had to watch. It was awesome. It just so happened that I had to be in another unit in isolation for two weeks and I was not real happy about it. God told me to think of it as a fun vacation and do the virtual camp. Attitude is everything! I actually enjoyed my two weeks and every morning I was up by 5:00am to be ready for morning chapel. I was excited and just couldn’t sleep. They did eventually cancel my camp but I was enjoying so much online stuff I didn’t really care. I went to three camps instead of one, each in a different state but online. I met some great new people and really got a lot out of them. The theme was Jeremiah 29:11 God’s got your next. Well he really did. God really does plan our futures perfectly. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to look like but I know he’s already there working it all out for my best. Divine appointments with people, getting my needs met and keeping me safe. I have nothing to fear cause he loves me and will never leave me. I am special to him. We all are. I started fretting after a few weeks locked in my room. God just said relax I got this. I have and do you know some great things have been happening while I trust him. I am so happy. Now after six months of being locked down in my room I’m enjoying myself. I kinda like just me and God. Thanks God!
Just trust, you’ll never know how freeing it can be.
“Am I now trying to win approval of human beings, or of God? If am I trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 NIV
Motives. Motive is very important to God. He does not look at outward appearances but only to our hearts. So is that not the most important. In this busy world we live in we are trying so hard to be happy, but we also want to make others happy with us. No one wants others not to like us. We do things to please different people. But what is truly important? What are we called to do? Let’s look at Jesus because he is our perfect example, and who we should strive to be like every day. When he was alive here on earth he helped us see physically what God was like. He told us the most important thing was to love God with our whole being. Also we should love others, All others better than ourselves. Two of the greatest commandments. Now Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer and telling us God’s ways. So we know prayer and reading the Bible are important for a good relationship with God. He did everything out of love and compassion for others, but not everyone accepted him and loved him back. The religious leaders did not like him. If Jesus, a perfect man, could not please everyone all the time then how can we? All we can try to do is to please God, first and foremost. And love everyone. Some people like friends and family are easy to love but not everyone. Maybe they are poor, homeless, or handicapped, of different nationalities or rich and famous. They are still part of the all people group and God will help us to love and respect them, because he loves them. They are important to him. We should not be people pleaser’s but God pleaser’s. If we please he then we will also be pleasing to others. We can’t please everyone so don’t try. I am performing for an audience of one, God. Doing that helps others and myself. Doing things for myself helps with my attitude. Getting plenty of rest, eating right and doing nice things for myself helps me to be all that I can be for God.
Who are you trying to please?
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them.” Psalms 139:17 NIV
We are never alone and we never have to do life alone. People who don’t know God don’t understand that. God just makes us do stuff. Be the boss. People assume. We may get very busy trying to do it all and get it just right. I just started to think of all the things I need to get done, and it can get overwhelming. Last night I laid awake thinking of things that I needed to do. At the time they all seemed important and pressing. I tossed and turned for about an hour. I finally dozed off. Today everything got done smoothly with no trouble and I still got to visit with friends. God had it all planned out and his plans prevail anyway so why should we worry. It is so good to just think about that. You know I don’t have to fret when trying to get things done and do my best. Because my best friend, Jesus, has it all planned out ahead of time for my best. In Psalms 139 David is talking about how God is always there and always has been. Before we were ever formed in the womb. God knew us. He designed us just as we would be. He saw just who we would be and just how we would fit into the masterpiece he is creating. How our lives would intertwine with others to have the greatest effect on those around us. Nobody is perfect and we all struggle. But even Moses, David, Noah, and Elijah were just average men. They all were imperfect men who had doubts and fears like us. They felt inadequate at times and unworthy to do what God had called them to do. They knew someone else could do it better. But they did do what God asked most of the time. They had bad days. There were times when they just couldn’t do it. They made mistakes. But do we remember them that way? No! We look at them and see great servants of God. He doesn’t want us doing things just because we have to. Keeping rules grudgingly. He tells us what to do because it works. It is easier his way and you do enjoy more his way. The more I depend on him and try to do things his way, the happier I am and the easier it is. Not one minute do I feel alone. Because I know he is just a word away. This morning I was thinking about the internet. I have a message program and anytime I need someone like my daughters , for example. I just send a little note. No matter how far away they are. (Miles) They respond right away. You can also find out anything you want to know right away on google. Well as children of God we also have 24 hr access. We don’t need a priest to come to him for us. We don’t even need to say it out loud. Just talk to God. He is right next to your heart. He hears the simplest cry of our hearts and he is always listening. He also has all the right answers.
Can you give Gods ways a try?
“Do you not know that in a race that all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” Revelations 22:12 NIV
Have you ever done something you were not proud of? I wish I could go back and change things. We all make mistakes. Maybe we said something that hurt someone. Done something that hurt others. When it’s done we feel bad. But God loves us even when we don’t love ourselves. If we come to him and ask forgiveness, he will forgive. That bad feeling will go and be replaced by peace. We don’t need to carry it anymore. His love can bring so much healing. What if you were gone tomorrow? You know tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We could have a massive heart attack, or a car accident. With the world spiraling out of our control, I see us as a big cage of rats going nuts. Is what we are doing really helping? What if Jesus came tonight to take his children home? We are in the end times and it could be any day. We never know what tomorrow will bring. Today may be our last day. If you knew it was your last day on earth, what would you do differently? When we stand before Jesus and he shows us everything we have ever done. Good and bad you should be ready. What will we say? That is when I don’t want regrets. At that point it’s to late to change our fate. I want to stand before him with a clean slate. He makes that possible. We can make sure he sees us in the light of his perfect son, in all his righteousness. Either we can be perfect, or we can live every day the best we can. Seeking God’s will in our lives first. Ask Gods help to good things of encouragement. Lord show me ways to help others. He has made me a good listener. I am very aware of the needs of others around me, and he lets me know what to do and say. If I can’t help I can find someone who can. He has given me the gift of writing. He gives me words to help others. He will show me just what they need to hear. It’s not me, it’s him helping me. The more I try to serve, the more he shows me to do. He will do the same for you. Every time we do something that we know is wrong, we need to come to him and ask for forgiveness. At the end of the day we need to look back over the day. What good did i do? What bad did I do? Keep the lines of communication open. Thank you Lord for this day. I am sorry for ….. You will sleep so much better with a clear heart. I have also seen a cage full of rats that were all snuggled up close to each other sound asleep. We all need to take care of each other. To love each other.
Will you be rewarded for your actions?
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Everyone is very special to God. We were all made in his image. That is why we can all live our lives to the fullest. He knew us before we were ever born. He sees the big picture. He is looking through a wide lens. Everything that can make us the best we can be is all mapped out. We have a very important purpose. God knows before anything happens just what will work best. It would work perfectly if we did everything right. Problem is that we are not perfect. We are all given free will to do what we want. Life is a learning process that lasts till our very last breath. The people we are around as we grow. The time we were born. Where we were born and grew up. Our choices that we make. All these things make us who we are. For every action God has a consequence for us. Good behaviors bring blessings. Bad behaviors bring more challenges and trials. God is not surprised by any of our choices. Good or bad he sees them coming and adjusts our life with love and care. Making our lives work out for our best. He is not just concerned about us, but everyone. Our choices do impact everyone around us. Take a family for example. I have one sister and two brothers. I was the first born to my parents. They were good Christians and my grandfather was a Baptist minister. All these things made me who I was and our relationships made a difference to all our lives. Slowly I was becoming who he made me to be. Trials come to teach us. Just as we go through school from kindergarten thru high school. These trials are meant to help us grow. They come with tests we need to pass to get us to the next level. Some move quickly and some take more time. Don’t think you are ever too far gone or your troubles are too much. God will always let us have a do-over. We just need to come to him and say I’m sorry. I really have screwed up. Help! He molds us and makes us just right. We can trust that God knows just what he’s doing. He’s been doing it for years and years. He can keep our life on track just like he keeps billions of lives going at once. We continue to be special because of each life we touch. It’s so easy to say “if this just happened,” or, “if I hadn’t done that.” We might see our lives as bad or good. God sees the whole picture though. He’s doing everything to make our life really count.
Are you a good example of Christ?