Wednesday, April 28, 2010
We are all given gifts, talents, abilities unique to us. We were given them for a reason. We are to use them, to share them with others, and to make a difference in our part of the world. There are many gifts: listening to others; caring for those who need some help; musical talents; giving in so many ways; reaching out to the hurting; bringing others in your home and caring about them; speaking; gifts of the arts; teaching; showing love to others, no matter what their situation is; being available; being a mentor to someone, whether a kid or an adult; writing; cooking; sharing food with others who may not have as much. The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. What can you add to that list? What can you make a change in the world with, by using your unique gifts? You were made unique. You were given gifts unique to you. Share those gifts with those around you. Share them with those out of your circle of influence. Be a change the world can see by using your precious gifts.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I have not fallen off the blog world. Between being busy, nice weather, and a computer that is getting worse, I just haven't been on the computer. The last time I was on was Monday, and the computer started chugging and sputtering, and freezing up everything I was trying to work in, showing me error reports. Needless to say, I was sputtering as well. We have a tax return on it's way, but buying a new computer was not part of the plan! It may just need a new hard drive, but I think it has more issues than just something that simple. We will take it in to a shop here soon to get it checked and the damage assessed.
It seems that things are having a competition in our home, as our old washer is sputtering along as well, and sounding like it's getting close to it's last spin. My car seems to be having a few issues, as well. It's just not running like I know it should be. These are just three small, cheap things to repair/replace, you know, so don't know what I am worried about! But, through it all, we are ok and these are just things, which we definitely keep in perspective with all the hardships, tough times going on around us with friends, loved ones, and the world.
So, if I'm not on much, you can guess my computer is either in the shop, or just decided to give up. As for today, my mom is on her way down so I need to get ready to spend the day with her and enjoy our time together.
Monday, April 19, 2010
To realize that you are safe and happy standing at God's side, with His love encompassing you because you are forgiven; too happy to take offense any more; too much in love with life to want to be made miserable with an unforgiving heart, and knowing that now every conflict is a chance to learn more of the exceeding beauty of Love: that is worth living for, and surely worth dying to this misery-making self for. ~Florence Allshorn
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A friend shared this quote with me. Good things to think about as the day goes on.
In the midst of your battle, make Jesus the joy and hope of your life. Let him change your heart so that your conditions no longer thwart your spirit. God does his best work when changing us in such times. Then, whatever may come, you will remain above it all, seated with him in heavenly places. You are the object of His incredible love.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Yesterday I was driving in to meet some friends for dinner. I looked around at the many micro climates this little area has, and chuckled. To the east, the sky was streaked in sheets of white, as new snow fell to the ground, yet to the southeast, the sky had cleared, the sun was shining through the clouds, and the mountains popped through with fresh snow capping their tops. The sun had broken through to the Southwest, as the clouds finally moved aside to allow rays of gold to come to the ground. To the West, it was nearly black, and the dark clouds hung on to the top of the mountains, refusing to budge. To the south, the sky was very black , but a brilliant rainbow appeared. To me, it was a sign of hope. Hope that the weather will improve and go back to spring! I have some tulips that have popped their little heads through and are waiting to show their glory, but we have had rain, snow, and hail for several days now. I keep hoping those little tulips survive, and are able to open those fragile blossoms that sit upon the stem.
We have hope available to us in the storms as well. Life throws us a lot of storms, and we have many choices in how we can deal with those storms. We may be able to turn to someone close to us who can help us. However, the ultimate source of hope is Jesus. He gives us hope when we can't find it for ourselves. He wants to help us out, for us to lean on Him. He can give us hope, if we ask for it, and trust in Him.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.
Monday, April 5, 2010
You are a Letter from God
Have you ever wanted to write a letter to God? If you sat down right now to compose a message to the Creator of the universe, what would you say?
I think most would go with the whole series of "why?" questions...why me God? Why did my parents divorce? Why am I depressed a lot? Why did you make me this way? Why are things turning out like this?
Valid questions to be sure - and also ones that God is not threatened or angered by. Life is sometimes plain and simple awful, and it is human nature to point our finger at the sky and blame the One in charge - right?
That is certainly something Tyler Doherty could have done, and no one would have blamed him.
Who is Tyler Doherty? Well that's not his real name, but he is a real 8 year old boy who went from an easy going, soccer playing childhood to the darkest journey anyone could ever face when one simple word entered his world:
In the process of his battle with this deadly disease, Tyler had to quit his beloved sport, lose his hair and eyebrows, and face a daily battle with a reality that could crush the spirit of anyone on the planet.
But Tyler had an unshakable relationship with God...a childlike faith that turned his pain and discouragement into a community transformation. That's why the letters he writes to God are not about the "why," or even about him. Tyler writes to God about other people and their problems, and in turn becomes a living letter from God to everyone around him.
And now his story has the chance to transform - not hundreds - but literally millions of lives through the movie Letters to God.
I can't say if I would have the faith that Tyler had when facing a giant of that size, but one thing I have in common with him is that I, too, am a living letter from God to the people around me.
And if you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, this statement is true about you:
Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts (2 Corinthians 2:2-3).
This truth formed the foundation of Tyler 's outlook on life. He wrote pen and ink letters to God on behalf of others, and in turn God used him to be a beating heart letter from Jesus Christ. His deepest wish was that the sad, hurting, and broken people in his world would come to know God.
We've been granted an unbelievable opportunity - haven't we? Every day God is texting the world through our eyes, our words, our attitudes, and our actions. The ink from our hearts bleeds onto the paper of our world, painting a picture of Jesus Christ.
So what kind of living letter are you? The answer to this question can be found in another question-
What kind of letters are you writing to God?
Your prayers are your letters, so if they are generally composed of complaints, questions, and self-focused requests, then that is the kind of God the people around you will see.
How about we all start a new letter writing campaign? One that asks God to touch lives and heal the pain in our corner of the world. One that begs God for the salvation of our friends who don't know Him because they haven't trusted in Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation.
Let me start this campaign with a letter from God that changed me to the core of my being:
He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God's paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Remember, the ink that God is using to write His message to the world through you was paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Don't waste this precious gift with selfish and self-centered prayers and living, rather make each day a magnificent composition to your Savior, then watch Him write His message of unconditional love and salvation to everyone around you!
Ask your friends what they would put in a letter to God. Would they ask questions? Would they question His goodness? Or would they be more like Tyler and praise God for the life they've been given? Pray for an opportunity to talk about the Biblical description of Christians as "living letters"' from God, telling the world about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Matthew 5:15-17
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 2:14-16
Friday, April 2, 2010
This Resurrection Sunday is about Christ, the risen Savior. It's about an empty tomb to save the world. It's not about candy, bunnies, or food. Where's your focus? If you claim to follow Christ, the center needs to be Him. If you claim to follow Him, then those in your life should know the real reason for these precious days. Set aside the secular side of this holiday, no run from it, and embrace the love of a Savior. Be set apart from the world, be different, so that others will KNOW in whom you believe, in what is important! Celebrate a risen King!
My friend shares a special time that with her family and remembering our Lord, over at Aspire. If you need some focus, go share in the love of her heart.
How about some more focus? Go here. Or open your Bible and read Matthew, chapters 26-28; Mark, chapters 14-16; Luke, chapters 22-24; John, chapters 18-20.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
by Max Lucado
ROAD. DARK. STARS. SHADOWS. FOUR. SANDALS. Robes. Quiet. Suspense. Grove. Trees. Alone. Questions. Anguish. “Father!” Sweat. God. Man. God-Man. Prostrate. Blood. “NO!” “Yes.” Angels. Comfort.
Footsteps. Torches. Voices. Romans. Surprise. Swords. Kiss. Confusion. Betrayal. Fearful. Run! Bound. Wrists. Marching.
Courtyard. Priests. Lamps. Sanhedrin. Caiaphas. Sneer. Silk. Arrogance. Beard. Plotting. Barefoot. Rope. Calm. Shove. Kick. Annas. Indignant. Messiah? Trial. Nazarene. Confident. Question. Answer. Punch!
Peter. “Me?” Rooster. Thrice. Guilt.
Proceedings. Court. Rejection. Prosecute. Weary. Pale. Witnesses. Liars. Inconsistent. Silence. Stares. “Blasphemer!” Anger. Waiting. Bruised. Dirty. Fatigued. Guards. Spit. Blindfold. Mocking. Blows. Fire. Twilight.
Sunrise. Golden. Jerusalem. Temple. Passover. Lambs. Lamb. Worshipers. Priests. Messiah. Hearing. Fraud. Prisoner. Waiting. Standing. Shifting. Strategy. “Pilate!” Trap. Murmurs. Exit.
Stirring. Parade. Crowd. Swell. Romans. Pilate. Toga. Annoyed. Nervous. Officers. Tunics. Spears. Silence. “Charge?” “Blasphemy.” Indifference. Ignore. (Wife. Dream.) Worry. Interview. Lips. Pain. Determined. “King?” “Heaven.” “Truth.” “Truth?” Sarcasm. (Fear.) “Innocent!” Roar. Voices. “Galilean!” “Galilee?” “Herod!”
9:00 A.M. Marchers. Palace. Herod. Fox. Schemer. Paunchy. Crown. Cape. Scepter. Hall. Elegance. Silence. Manipulate. Useless. Vexed. Revile. Taunt. “King?” Robe. Theatrical. Cynical. Hateful. “Pilate!”
Marching. Uproar. Prisoner. Hushed. Pilate. “Innocent!” Bedlam. “Barabbas!” Riot. Despair. Christ. Bare. Rings. Wall. Back. Whip. Slash. Scourge. Tear. Bone. Moan. Flesh. Rhythm. Silence. Whip! Silence. Whip! Silence. Whip! Thorns. Stinging. Blind. Laughter. Jeering. Scepter. Slap. Governor. Distraught. (Almost.) Eyes. Jesus. Decision. Power. Freedom? Threats. Looks. Yelling. Weak. Basin. Water. Swayed. Compromise. Blood. Guilt.
Soldiers. Thieves. Crosspiece. Shoulder. Heavy. Beam. Heavy. Sun. Stagger. Incline. Houses. Shops. Faces. Mourners. Murmurs. Pilgrims. Women. Tumble. Cobblestone. Exhaustion. Gasping. Simon. Pathetic. Golgotha.
Skull. Calvary. Crosses. Execution. Death. Noon. Tears. Observers. Wails. Wine. Nude. Bruised. Swollen. Crossbeam. Sign. Ground. Nails. Pound. Pound. Pound. Pierced. Contorted. Thirst. Terrible. Grace. Writhing. Raised. Mounted. Hung. Suspended. Spasms. Heaving. Sarcasm. Sponge. Tears. Taunts. Forgiveness. Dice. Gambling. Darkness.
“Father!” Robbers. Paradise. Wailing. Weeping. Stunned. “Mother.” Compassion. Darkness. “My God!” Afraid. Scapegoat. Wilderness. Vinegar. “Father.” Silence. Sigh. Death. Relief.
Earthquake. Cemetery. Tombs. Bodies. Mystery. Curtain. Spear. Blood. Water. Spices. Linen. Tomb. Fear. Waiting. Despair. Stone. Mary. Running. Maybe? Peter. John. Belief. Enlightenment. Truth. Mankind. Alive. Alive. Alive!
From No Wonder They Call Him the Savior
Read Matthew chapters 26-28 for the full account of Jesus' brutal death and resurrection. If you don't have a Bible available, go to Bible Gateway and in the search button, just put Matthew 26 in and read from there. There are many different translations available there. They all say the same thing, just some are easier to understand than others.