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

Living in Chair 2

(This post is inspired by a sermon from my church, which was based off the book Experiencing Spiritual Breakthroughs by Bruce Wilkerson).

I’m a “Chair 2” Christian, though I don’t say that with any pride, but rather sober admission. As a “Chair 2” Christian, my life is full of compromise, inner turmoil, and constant failings.

Like the church in Revelations 3:15-16, I am “lukewarm” in my faith and don’t have the courage or conviction to stand up when I should; I remain seated in my chair. I depend more on my job than Jesus and go with the status quo in fear of not being able to help provide for my family. I feel that the compromises I have made leave me in turmoil almost constantly, as the inner battle plays out daily in my mind.

I am too busy, distracted, or just plain tired, so my prayer life is truly non-existent. There are the quick “help!” prayers and occasionally I do pray for others, but there is no true connection to God and though I’m sure he hears me, I only get silence in return.

My Chair 2 life is reflected back to me in my kid’s faith. They have both accepted Christ, but how will they fare during the college years and into adulthood? I don’t see them read their Bibles or pray, but then they don’t see that from me, so what should I expect? As with so many other parts of their upbringing, I just continue to feel like a failure and can only hope for the best as we stumble through the teenage years.

I wear so many layers of masks daily that the weight of them leaves me exhausted, but I put them on each day to protect myself and without them I couldn’t survive. Sometimes, like in this post, I’ll lift up a corner to give others a peek, but everything goes back into place just as quickly. There are times I’m not sure who the real me might be, so I just plod along a worn out path my “wheels” to stuck in the ruts they’ve made to do anything else.

I live in Chair 2 and the fears that keep me there will always remain.

Chair 2

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

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day, for me, is bittersweet. While my father is still alive, we have not spoken for years for reasons I won’t get into here. I’m joyful that my children have the benefit of a good and loving father to grow up with. I pray today for children whose fathers are absent, no matter what the reason, and that they have others in their lives to show them the love and care of a father. I also pray for the day that everyone will know their Heavenly Father and love he has for all his “children.”

Two of my favorite Father’s Day songs come from episodes of “Jem and the Holograms” and, for the fun of it, I’ve posted the lyrics below, courtesy of Jem Wiki.

A Father Should Be:
A father should be a good man
A father should be wise
A father should be tall and strong
With laughter in his eyes

A father should be behind you
A father should be there
A father should be someone
Who always treats you fair.

I know the kind of man
A father ought to be
A shining knight, who fights the good fight
And wins it just for me.

A father should be a hero
A father should come through
A father should be someone
Someone just like you.

 

You’re Always There in My Heart:
Seasons come, seasons go
But you’re always there in my heart
Raindrops fall, breezes blow
But you’re always there in my heart

Photos fade, youth has gone
But you’re always there in my heart
Time goes by, life goes on
But you’re always there in my heart

You’re a part of me, as I am of you
I can’t leave you behind
You’re a part of me, and whatever I do
You’re always on my mind

Through the years, joy and tears
You’re always there in my heart
Always near, ever dear
You’re always there in my heart

Always there in my heart.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there and may you be blessed as you continue to nurture and protect your children.

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?

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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.