The Journey

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord'”Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven .” Matthew 7:21 NIV

We are all on a journey. Each and everyone of us who are alive are on this journey to discover first ourselves, then God, and the true meaning to this life we have been given. This life is but a snapshot of the long journey we are on. Our life here is approximately 80 years. Some more, some less. But it is very brief compared to forever. We all go somewhere after this life is over. That is determined by the small life we live here. To describe eternity is difficult. Throughout this life God is always calling us. Whether you were born into a Christian Family that went to church every Sunday, or were born to a Muslim family or a non-religious family who did not go to church. You are given life by God and he loves you. Everything around you tells of his glory the fact that there is a great creator is around us daily in all we do. You will know someone who knows Jesus. And will hear about him. But whether you accept or reject these feelings is up to you. You will make a decision to believe or not. If you don’t want to think about it you have already made your decision to reject Jesus. Back to eternity. Heaven will be a wonderful place. There will be no pain or trials anymore . Everyone will have perfect bodies and perfect minds able to know everyone by sight even people you have never met. Like Moses, King David, or the Apostle Paul. It will be a perfect joyous place. Where your happiest memory on earth is just multiplied and goes on and on forever. Or darkness and isolation , surrounded by flames of fire closing in on you all around. Fire that touches and smells overwhelming you but never consuming and never ending. There will be no parties in heaven and your friends may be there but you will never know because you are isolated. No one to hear your cries. How we live our lives and where our heart lies is so important. The only way to heaven is to let go of your past, your pride, your hurts, hate, anger and reach out to Jesus he is the only way. He is already reaching out to you. He knows you are lost and since all man has sinned we are separated from God. We need a savior to forgive us. He will with just a word. Then you can know what it is to really live. Blessed and loved. Forever.

Training

“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.” Proverbs 23:13+14 NIV

Children need discipline to teach them respect and good character. The world has tried to tell parents that discipline is bad and can break the spirit of a child. But I see a world where chaos is the norm and respect and good values are gone. With everyone doing what they want and not caring about others. It really doesn’t matter how old you are. Everyone needs guidelines and it takes everyone to be willing to help others grow in their character. We learn best by example. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I know at 45 when I had my stroke I had a difficult time adjusting to my new way of living. It has taken me fourteen years so far and I am still trying to improve my character. I like the chapter of Psalms 23 about the shepherd leading his sheep in the way they should go. Anyone who cares about people can be a shepherd. We need each other to care enough about each other to lead and encourage each other in good character. No matter how old we get there is always growing we can go through because God is not through with us till we take our last breath. When people work together they make each other better if they truly care. Children need more work, it takes a community to raise a child. They have mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents . Aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Teachers, coaches, ministers, and Sunday school teachers. As kids their greatest need is to be loved and accepted for who they are. They are wanting to be someone important. I guess that’s what we all really want. Older people get to a point where they don’t really need that validation anymore. At some point they accept who they are and why they are how they are. It’s very important to get to a place where you can love who you are and who you have become. Not needing to feel the acceptance of others to know that your life matters. Being there for others helps you get there. If a child is trained up and disciplined well by all those influencing their lives they won’t stray from it when they are older. Hopefully their character will be strong and they will help instill good character into others also. That is how this world should work.

Can you help to be a character builder in others?

The Temple of God

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple; God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV

We are made in the image of God. Therefore we have everything available to us to be holy. This is not something we can do on our own though. It takes God’s help, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us guiding and leading us. When we let the world lead us that is where we go wrong. The world cares more about meeting and fulfilling our sinful nature rather than God’s desires. We need to remember that God is watching and knows our every thought. Do we want him with us in everything we do. If you are a born again Christian he is. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. Before my stroke I was living a worldly life. Doing whatever I wanted. I look back on my life then and wince. God was right there with me. I ate whatever I wanted. I drank and partied whenever I wanted. I hung out with whomever I wanted. I know my behavior hurt God and was not good for me. Living for the moments gratification is not good. People eat too much, drink too much, and don’t generally take very good care of themselves. Our physical bodies pay, but our spiritual bodies pay even more. I was far from God. I thought I was living. I now know that it was a shallow life. It would satisfy for a few minutes, or help me to forget my problems temporarily, but they weren’t gone just hidden. People who get involved with many addictions can tell you they help for a time. But your life is still there and the addictions can spiral. They get stronger and you get weaker. You have less and less control over your life. I also worked a lot. I would feel the need to work even on the weekends and would miss church. You think you are doing the right thing. It’s my job right? I have responsibilities and bills. I worked with my husband so I felt I needed to be there for him. These were all deceptions of the enemy. I believe my stroke was a wake up call. I almost died and I was not where I should have been. I didn’t die though because God knew just where I was headed and he knew the best was yet to come. And he knew all I would do for him. He didn’t give up on me and he won’t give up on you.

Are you living a life worthy of all you have been given?

God Is Good

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.” Nahum 1;7-8 NIVp

God is good. He cares for his children and always hears when we cry out to him. He does not like to see his children hurting. Especially at the hand of wicked and evil people. That’s how he is , He always brings punishment on those who are evil, sinners. Eventually judgement will come. Nineveh was a very worldly and corrupt city. Their reputation preceded them. That is why God asked Jonah to prophesy the destruction he had for them. But Jonah said no way and ran the other way. God sent a big storm to follow him . God always knows what we are up to. You can not hide from God. When the people found out he was running away from God they had no choice but to get him out of their ship. They still cried out to God to forgive them for throwing him overboard. But the minute he was out of the ship the seas grew calm. God is powerful. They were stunned. Well we all know what happened next. After three days in the belly of a fish yelling at God he agreed to go to Nineveh . He had not wanted to go because he knew God to be very merciful and loving. He knew if he warned them then they would cry out to Him and he would stop from sending judgement . They were so wicked that he thought they should pay. Well the minute he agreed to go, poof, he was on dry land. He headed for Nineveh and poured his heart out to the people letting them know all God had told him. Well you know what happened? They cried out to God for forgiveness and turned from their evil. And he forgave them. Jonah knew it. He was so upset he went just outside the city and sat down to pout. “Just kill me, I knew you would do that. I would be better off dead.,” he said. Well God let him sit there and fume for a while, but God sent a plant to grow up over his head to shield him from the burning sun. The next day when he woke up a worm came munching on that plant and it died. Well now Jonah was real mad. But God asked him why he was so angry? You didn’t make that plant. It was just an old plant so why should you care. You see that city is full of thousands of people that I made. Some were good and some were bad but I loved them. That’s why I had to warn them. Even when we are evil sinners. God still cares about us. If you come to Him and ask him to forgive you for bad tings you have done, even if they are really bad. If you are sorry for those sins he will forgive you.

Don’t you want to be on God’s side?

Happy Fathers Day

Today is a very important day. We owe so much to the fathers in our lives. Mine has gone on to be with the Lord but I miss him dearly. But I have a father who is always there. Somebody I can count on for everything. Just thinking about him every morning always makes me smile.

This morning I was in church and they were honoring fathers for the most kids, newest kid, and the oldest dad, who was 90, and talking about being a good and important part of their child’s lives.

With only 40% of children today having an active father in their home growing up. There is so much missing. I was very lucky growing up I had a great dad. He was always there for me and both parents were strong Christian supporters. I thought my life was just normal but now that I am older I see that I was blessed.

Having the love of a good father is not the norm. Someone to play ball with, someone to make sure I keep all the rules and am always in church. He taught me so many valuable lessons. Even after I had married and moved out he had good advice to give me on marriage.

When I had my stroke he came to see me all the time and was always doing things for me. I was the oldest child and we had a special bond. I remember going out for burgers on Fridays when I was a kid and we always went together just the two of us to pick up the food. It made me feel so special.

Being a really good father can be hard for many fathers. The years I was growing up dads were always at work or busy. Too busy for their kids. So much to do so little time. Leave that for mom who tended to always be there. I heard that among my friends.

This morning I thought about my Heavenly Father as we sang the song “I am a child of God”, and all he has done for me. The perfect father. The words go : In my father’s house there’s a place for me, I’m a child of God, yes I am. That just touched me so much.

I am loved in my father’s house and there are always things for me there. I love going each week and seeing so many friends. He is never too busy for any of his kids. We can come to him for anything. When we have really messed up in life his arms are open wide. Alone, scared, sad. He’s there.

My father is perfect and he loves everyone perfectly. He wants to be your father too. He is always there and always helping me in so many ways each day. I could not enjoy life without him. He wakes me up every morning and is with me when I lay my head down at night. He tells me how much he loves me every day.

What makes him happy? Seeing each of his children happy a thriving. I know in this world there is so much pain and suffering and I know that saddens God but he sees the whole picture. He knew me before I was ever born and planned out my life whole life and knew about my rebellion, my stroke, all my mistakes, but also all the triumphs in my life.

He can see it all in one moment and he smiles over the big picture and that day in the future when I will come to live with him. It is so very good. He wants us to delight in him. And when we do he smiles because we will be at our happiest.

By reading God’s word you can learn what it means to live as a child of God. But he is always drawing us closer and to himself.

God’s Calling

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us in advance to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV

“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

We were all destined to be great. Do you want to be average when God wants you to be great. Before you were ever born God had your life planned out. You could say he had a book on just you that told all the great things you would do to further the kingdom and bring glory to him.

That’s the reason we were put here on this earth. We were not put here for us. We were put here for God. He wants us to have a great life, but to do that we need to focus on God and seek his desires. Now remember that the greatest commandment he gave you was to love God and your neighbor.

To truly love others you will want to fill others needs. So do all you do as unto God. Don’t do it for the money or prestige, but do it out of love to fill a need.

“But seek first his Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things, shall be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NIV

You don’t have to worry about the money for things you need because when you’re seeking his plan and his righteousness for your life the money will come. It we take faith also because we haven’t read his book. We don’t know how it turns out in the end.

Now don’t expect it to always come easy. You have to have scary complicated moments to grow. Trials bring on that growth that you need to get where God wants you. If you don’t want trials and want the easy life, you won’t get greatness either.

The pressure and breaking you go through brings about that greatness and the greater you want to be the scarier and harder it will be. It all starts with you. It doesn’t happen till you make the first move. God promises to help you but he can’t do it for you.

You have to be walking forward or stumbling or crawling, but unless you are moving forward it’s not happening. And it’s never too late, look at Moses who was in his eighties before God called him to lead his people out of Egypt. Many great people didn’t start being great til later in life.

Colonel Sanders didn’t start Kentucky Fried Chicken til he was in his sixties. And there are KFC,s around the world. There is timing involved but we don’t know what that is without trial and error. Be willing to take risks.

Look at your trials and errors as blessings because they will get you closer to your greatness. Remember the book is all ready written and it has a great ending if you follow God’s lead.

This is Love

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4:10. NIV

God loved us, each and everyone of us. At any given point in time that would be several billion people for several years. The God who created this wonderful planet and everything on it. Thought of each and everyone of us, before even time began, and he loved each of us with a perfect love. He is the great creator and He created love in the first place.

Propitiation means being reconciled with my God. I have been redeemed and nothing can separate me from the perfect love of my Father.

No one or nothing can ever love us with a perfect love. No one is perfect but God. We will all fail to love perfectly because we are not perfect. When men separate themselves from God, thinking that they are better or all they need, they are missing out on the greatest that this life has to offer. Saying, basically, I don’t need it!

The mercy and grace that my Father has for us, as well as the hope of eternal, forever perfect life, is not to be missed out on. I can wake every morning with a joy that is unbelievable but it is mine through his great love for me his daughter. I never ever want to lose that.

I have listened to so many people talk of their endeavors for that perfect life apart from God. There is such turmoil and striving after perfection. Happiness isn’t really an option. It’s just making sure you are better off than the next guy. That you have more than the next guy. Having more on your own is supposed to make you the winner. It doesn’t matter that it might never be enough to make you happy.

So many people go through life this way and it’s so sad. I don’t care if I have the most toys when I die. Not even if I have no toys. I can have nothing but the love of my Heavenly Father and a life with him forever. That’s all I want. I have learned over my time in this nursing home that our earthly bodies are failing. We can not know forsure that we will always be in the race for success.

But all I need to do is keep his commandments and love him all I can and love all others. That is simple to me because I have his help. In myself I can’t do that but with him I can do all things. This makes me happy! When someone asks me, ‘How’s your day going?’, I think of all I have and can’t help but smile.

I may be wrong, I don’t care, it works so great for me God’s way. I have a future and a hope that carries me through anything. When I face my final days on earth I have an eternal faith that God is waiting for me at the end with dessert. His glory.