The number of my days

Each year, as my birthday rolls around, I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have had another year of life. To celebrate my birthday is to celebrate the One who gives me life and each new day. Am I always joyful? Of course not! Each year has its trials, challenges, and joys. Each year is a journey to become more like Christ. Though I may wander off the path–more often than I’d like to admit–His grace is a beacon that leads me back.

My prayer for this year to is to make each moment count and to live for the Lord, regardless of my circumstances.

““ LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭39:4-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

http://bible.com/116/psa.39.4-6.nlt

Advertisements

Perfect Love for a Broken World

Easter is always a time to reflect upon love. For it was a perfect love that compelled one who lived a perfect life to be sacrificed for all of us to inherit eternal life.

This is a broken and cursed world and we are all sinners. Even so, Christ Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. He didn’t wait for us to come to Him or to get our act together. He takes us all as we are and, through His love, we are changed and renewed.

As I reflect upon everything that goes on in this broken world, I am thankful for the perfect love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Cross on Stage

Longing for Silence

I am deprived of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is. -Lamentations 3:17

Right now life is always busy. Keeping track of the families activities, appointments, and commitments leaves me running all the time. I long for moments of silence; moments where I’m free to think about random things, no things, or God things.

I latch onto the rare moments of silence like a hungry babe. My mind cherishes the silence as it sorts out all the flotsam contained in its darkest recesses. The silence is where my prayers find their way to the surface and flow freely towards God.

Let a person sit alone in silence, when the Lord is disciplining him. -Lamentations 3:28

It’s in the silence that I can begin to appreciate the noise of my life. The noise that reminds me I’m alive and I have people in my life whom I love and who love me (on most days).

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage. -John 14:27

It’s in the silence that my spirit is recharged and I feel some level of control over the noise. I can contemplate life’s events and discern if I’m following on the path God has set for me.

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.” -John 16:33

Though I will always have to live in the noise, I will always long for the silence.

Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen. -Romans 15:33

(All verses from the New English Translation)

The Power of Words

Words have this amazing power to build up or break down, to be a source of encouragement or discouragement, to express love or hate. My church had a sermon last month titled “Loving With Words” that really confirmed my thoughts on a side project I’m now working on.

I received a crazy gift for my last birthday, it was a pack of 50 blank note cards. My first thought was what to do with them, since I don’t generally have a need for blank note cards, and I contemplated just donating them. The more I looked at the package, the more I thought about using them to send out encouragement to friends and family or other people that I know who could use a kind word.

As this “project” began to form in my mind, I decided I would share each of the cards content on a separate blog, aptly called Fifty Notes. My hope is to spread the encouragement of each card beyond the person that receives it.

I thought I’d close out with some verses from Proverbs to remind us all of the power of our words. I pray that we all choose to “speak life” into others with our words.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21 NIV)

The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. (Proverbs 16:21 NIV)

An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. (Proverbs 24:26 NIV)

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (Proverbs 12:25 NIV)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 NIV)

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18 NIV)

Where’s the door?

So many Christians refer to “doors” that God opens or closes in their lives as a way to lead them to opportunities suited for their talents or lead them away from the things that are not His best for them.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I’m in a room where there are no doors or windows. I can’t see or move beyond the four walls around me.

Am I stuck because I can’t see the door placed before me or is it because there’s something I still need to address before I move on? Am I stuck because I’m too stubborn to follow, too busy to stop and listen, or just plain blind to what God is trying to show me?

Commit your future to the Lord ! Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf. -Psalms 37:5

I was reading today and came across this verse. Maybe I just need to slow down, be patient (easier said than done), and allow God to lead the way. If God could lead Abraham, Moses, and numerous others to the Promised Land, why do I doubt he can do the same for me?

20140120-192103.jpg
Lord, help me to stop doubting he plans you have for me and lead my way into the future that you planned for me long ago. Amen.

Craving Philippians 1:27

Our church is doing a Bible study, we’re calling Crave. One of the verses we’re studying this week is Philippians 1:27 and I just wanted to share my thoughts about this verse.

“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27

My translation of this verse: In all circumstances (good, bad, neutral), control my behavior in a way that’s appropriate to my citizenship of heaven and that will serve to spread the good news of my savior.

For me, this is one of those verses that reminds me of how much more our actions, than our words, can speak for us. If our behavior stays constant even through oppression or attack, it is a larger message about the gospel of our salvation and how we portray our “king” to others.

It can, definitely, be a convicting verse if – like me – you find yourself doing things contrary to what you know to be right (gossiping, for example). I can, so easily, fall prey to my circumstances and become bitter and angry or speak with a venomous tongue about something I don’t like, especially if I feel it’s some kind of injustice.

This is not to say that our actions do all our “preaching” for us. I think, though, when people see either the changes in us from the Holy Spirit or see us handle all circumstances with a strong faith and remain joyful, they will want to know our “secret.” This is one of the ways that doors can open for us to spread the gospel to those around us and to share where our hope and joy comes from. Even if they don’t choose God immediately, I believe our actions can have a lasting effect on people and that, in time, they may also choose to accept salvation.

We are not daughters and sons of a pauper, we are daughters and sons of a king and as we move through his kingdom, we should portray the love, grace, forgiveness, and compassion that our king extends to us. In so doing, we can be the light that we’re called to be.

Stained Glass CrossDear Lord,

I know I fall short, many times, and do not conduct myself in a manner worthy of Your gospel. Please help me to slow down and consider not only my actions, but my words, and how they can affect those around me, for good or bad. Let the words that fall from my mouth be as sweet as honey and no longer bitter as vinegar. Touch my heart each day, as I awake, to remind me that I’m a daughter of an almighty king, so that I may carry myself as such throughout the day and shine Your light into this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen!