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Enjoy your work…

24 Mar

I’ve been struggling lately.   I’ve been looking at things in a negative light and it makes it really hard for those closest to me to be around me.  I have been looking at homework, chores, and work as things that HAVE to be done and it becomes this huge pressure over me.  I thank God that this was brought to my attention.  There is no need for a bad attitude.  It will destroy everything that means something to you.  So, I am praying for God’s strength and a different mindset.  A mindset of gratitude and joy.  Why not sit down to do homework and enjoy it?! I tried it yesterday evening and guess what, I actually did enjoy it!  I pray for the Holy Spirit to help me to speak only positive words and to be still and listen.  I pray to think positive thoughts and to approach life with joy.  Here are the scriptures that really spoke to me this morning:

‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness,
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.’ Hosea 10:12

As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.
Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.
When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.
Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead. Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

Amen!

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Birthday Presents

18 Mar

So amazingly, I turn 30 today.  I say amazingly because I don’t feel like what I imagined 30 would feel like.  I think back to when I was fifteen and how I pictured myself at 30… “a grown-up.”  Now in my mind at fifteen “grown-up” meant someone with kids and a house and lots of responsibilities… someone very different from who I thought of myself then.  But now that 30 is here, I find it kind of funny that I still don’t feel like a “grown-up.”  I mean, yes, I am married and I have a lot of responsibilities, but I still feel the same. I didn’t wake up this morning and the whole world had changed.  I am happy and I feel blessed and grateful.

There is one huge difference in my life from when I was 15; I now know Jesus. So, I guess I am a different person, but not in the “grown-up” sense, in the sense that I have been given a new life and hope.  I was 25 when I gave my life to Christ, now 5 years later my relationship with Him just keeps getting better.  Of course, I have stumbled and taken some backward steps, but once I felt his love, I don’t want to live without it.

It got me thinking about gifts that we give to each other on special occasions and sometimes for no reason at all.  Why do we? Out of obligation or out of love?  The presents given out of love are always the best ones.  It could be something that has little monetary value or is kind of ugly, but you love it anyway because it reminds you of the love that someone has for you.  My best birthday present is God’s unfailing love. His open arms for me even though I screw up all the time.  Nothing can compare to the gift of eternal life and hope that he has given me.  He even gave me my second best birthday present, my husband.  He poured out his love on us and he gave me my husband’s love. He blesses us to overcome the obstacles that we face in our marriage; that every couple faces in their marriage.  That is why the vow says “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health,”  there are hard times in every marriage and I thank God that he helps us to get through them.

I thank God for all of my family and friends.  Those are the priceless birthday presents.  Of course it’s nice to get gifts, but they are never as valuable as the people who gave them.  It reminds me of the scripture that we had read at our wedding (and that lots of people have read at their weddings):

Love Is the Greatest
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

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. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

Amen!

Parable of the Lamp

7 Dec

The Word tells us that Jesus is the light of this world (John 8:12).

There are many references to light in the bible.  God uses light as a way to explain his ideas to us, such as in the parable of the lamp which was spoken by Jesus.

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house. For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.
“So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” Luke 8:16-18

Jesus is the light of the world, his light shines for all to see. His light shines as a beacon for all who are willing to come and receive salvation.  Everything will be brought into the light where nothing can be hidden.  So what is the significance of Jesus saying to “pay attention to how you hear”?  He explained it for us.

The True Family of Jesus
Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they couldn’t get to him because of the crowd. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to see you.”
Jesus replied, “My mother and my brothers are all those who hear God’s word and obey it.” Luke 8:19-21

All who listen to Jesus’ teachings and follow them become a part of the family of the God, a part of the body of Christ.

Stepping into the light takes you into the loving arms of God.

Peace and Quiet

29 Nov

Last week I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. The long Thanksgiving weekend couldn’t have come at a better time! I was able to relax with my husband and spend some time doing nothing, which was exactly what I needed. Time to not do homework, not do any work, just let my mind rest.  What was even better was how after my last blog post, where I shared how overwhelmed I was, several people prayed for me and I really felt God’s peace come over me. The next day, I was able to pray for someone else who was in need of prayer and I felt so grateful for God using us to help each other!

This morning, my friend shared a message with me from 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18 and I am going to share it with you.

Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.  Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-18

My last post: Lord Pick Me Up

Love is the Greatest

18 Nov

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

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. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

We had this scripture read at our wedding 4 years ago. This is how Jesus loves us and how we should strive to love one another.

I love this message. It is so true and so beautiful!

The Loss of a Surf Legend…Andy Irons

3 Nov

Andy Irons unexpectedly passed away yesterday at 32.  My prayers are with his wife Lyndie and the rest of their family.  Andy will be greatly missed by many people and he will always be remembered as an incredible surfer.  We never know what tomorrow holds.  Every day on this earth is a gift from God.  He gave us life and his Word offers us comfort when we are faced with grief and loss.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18

God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4

The Hope of Eternal Life
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

May God bless the Irons family.

Love Ever After

13 Oct

I watched the second movie in the Left Behind series last night that stars Kirk Cameron.  Overall I think it was a cool film and I really recommend watching the series of films.  It gives a perspective on what could happen during the time when Jesus comes back (the time of the Rapture and tribulation period). If you aren’t familiar with the term, Rapture, it is when many people who are right with God will be taken up to heaven and many people will be left behind here in the world during a time of tribulation. The bible tells us that many family members and friends will be taken to heaven at one moment and others will be left.  So the question then arises who will be left behind?  No one knows when this will happen, but we do know that if you don’t want to be left behind then you need to be living your life in a way that is right with God. The bible gives instructions on how to do this:

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is. 1 John 3:1-6

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. 1 John 3:16

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.
Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us. 1 John 3:18-24

Here is the trailer for the 1st movie in the Left Behind series: