Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Seeing the Light

It always amazes me to see how God works things together, how He speaks the same things to different people, how He works to get His message out. I had planned to write this yesterday, but I procrastinated only to wake up this morning and find that one of the leadership team for my Online Bible Study had already written it. 

In her post, she talks of all the dark articles regarding events happening in our world today. I agree with her that we need to be aware, but is this where I focus should lie? And what about that person on your news feed that uses Facebook as their rant forum? It's all so depressing if we don't balance it with hope.

Lately, I have been trying to get back into my walking routine and was dismayed several days ago to discover shortly into my walk that I left my ear buds at home. Whatever was a girl to do? How about talking to Jesus? 

It occurred to me that when God tells us to "Be still" in Psalm 46:10, He is not just telling us 'don't move your body'. He is telling us 'don't move your mouth'... quiet your mind... listen to Me. I felt He was telling me at that moment just to enjoy that time walking in His presence and observing the blessings around me. Profound spiritual truth? No. Practicing being with Him and seeing the world through Him. You bet.

So here are my not so mind blowing observations:
1. I am blessed with strong legs, heart and lungs (albeit a little out of shape) that get me through my walk everyday.
2. Cardinals and huge swallowtail butterflies live on my route. The creativeness of our God is astounding.
3. There is a hawk that sits on the edge of a rooftop and screeches at me as I pass. I am strongly suspicious she is protecting something up there. I am the only looming threat on her horizon. 
4. The osprey flying over the lake. So majestic!
5. The little lavender, yellow, and pink flowers that are tucked in along the path. What a sweet little detail He added. I always wish I could take pictures of them but that would interfere with my heart rate and my average walk time. Hmmm.... maybe I should consider pausing that workout next time.
6. The rain clouds that blew in to cool me off just as I was finishing up my walk yesterday and really needed a cool breeze. He cares for our needs no matter how small.

These are such small examples of the little blessings God has tucked into our world. My life includes many larger blessings and certainly this world is filled with many things to be hopeful about. We just have to open our eyes and see them. There is much darkness in the world - but we have to look at the light. It's all about our focus.

So what about you? Where are you looking today? What are you talking about? What are you posting on your news feed? What's your hashtag for today? Let's spread a little hope, shall we?

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have HOPE: Because of the Lord's great love WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, His compassions NEVER FAIL. The are new EVERY MORNING; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him'. The Lord is GOOD to those whose HOPE IS IN HIM, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord." Lamentations 3:21-26

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Grace Upon Grace

I hadn't realized how long it has been since I wrote a post. Tonight I was reading stories from the tornado and flood ravaged areas and my heart breaks for the things I am seeing: a mom who lost her two little boys, homes absolutely leveled, people separated from their pets, catastrophic injuries. It's all so tragic.

Then I picked up my Bible to do my reading for the day and my New Testament passage was John 1:1-28. I have decided to try and read through the gospel of John aloud and ask God to show me words or phrases that I need to dwell on. Tonight He gave me chapter 1, verse 16, "From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. (NIV)" The ESV says we have received "grace upon grace". 

As I looked around me and thought of those going through so much pain tonight, I felt He was telling me to remember what I have to be thankful for...letting me know I need to be more thankful. I remember reading a quote one time that said, "What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?" Ouch! 

So tonight I just wanted to take the time to be thankful for:

(Parents, Husband, Children, Grandchildren, Foster Children)
Two sons in the military that have returned home healthy after multiple deployments!
(Local and online - some of the best friends I ever had I have never met in person)
Our home
Our Bible preaching church
Paid off cars!!
Food on the table
Clothes on my back
My cats (don't laugh)
The birds that come to my feeder every day and the songs they sing.
More than anything...
I am thankful that Jesus loved me enough to die for me
And that God gave us His Word.

This only scratches the surface. We are so blessed and most of the time we don't even know it until we are faced with the tragedy of seeing what others have lost, or have experienced loss ourselves. 

When I read the ESV and see the blessings called 'graces', it reminds me that I don't deserve any of what I have. The definition of grace I was always taught is "God's unmerited favor". He gives us blessings we don't deserve, can never earn, and can't repay Him for. Oh, may we never take them for granted.

So tonight I am thankful.