Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Choose Wisely

Have you ever created a masterpiece? Maybe put together a mouthwatering dessert that is picture perfect.

Or painted a picture that would’ve made Van Gogh jealous.

That would be a doozie wouldn’t it?

Anyway point being, we all are part of creation, and whether we try or not, we end up creating something good, something in-between, or something bad. 

So, wondering if you have taken time to think what sort of atmosphere you are creating.

As soon as I enter a home, church, office, restaurant, or just about anywhere, I can immediately tell something about the atmosphere of the place.

Those present give off vibes. Some are good, some are in-between, some are…you know…and so without even realizing it, how we act sets the mood.

I’ll admit to my bad days. I may occasionally wake up on the wrong side of the bed, but even if I’m not feeling it, I try to curb my emotions. I will only give out nasty looks once a while, and only before I get my first cup of coffee consumed. (That way when I apologize I can blame it on the lack of caffeine, saying “I really, really needed coffee that morning!”)

Check out the air around you; is it pleasant, mild-mannered, enjoyable, and noticeably civil?

In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation; the old things have passed away, behold, new things have come.”

Whatever may be going on in your life, know that new things will come about, old things will fade away, and whoever lives with Christ, lives forever.

Choose to become a new creation.

Choose wisely.

Choose Christ.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

Have you ever given this any thought?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mad About You

Sometimes when it comes to love the unexpected happens.

It happened to me on a blind date.

That is how my husband and I met. I didn’t have any high hopes of our first date going anywhere, it was a blind date for Pete's sake, and anyways I thought he sounded too good to be true. I had it planned out that if we didn’t mesh I was going to bolt out the back door of our meeting place. 

But he caught me off guard. There was something in his deep blue eyes that held me captive, I felt a thundering movement going on inside my heart, and more than anything I’ve ever wanted, I didn’t want the night to end.

I’ve learned a lot through the years with this remarkable man I first met on a blind date.

As we mark our twenty-third anniversary I can easily rattle off a slew, (twenty-three to be exact) of things I’ve learned about being in love.

Smile. Love is a happy emotion. Bite your tongue. The last word isn’t always the best word. Never lie. Especially to your spouse. Love As Is. Real love does not live with conditions. Be faithful. Love can’t survive in-between secrets and conspiracies. Forgive. Love does this with no strings attached. Pray for each other. When two or more are gathered in prayer, great things happen. Love takes work and dedication. Don’t take your love for granted. Listen. Learn to use those two ears! Play fair. All things are equal in love. Trust. How else can you rely on each other? Be willing to sacrifice. Love requires a give and take approach. Respect each other. It is a way to show honor. Spend time together. Memories are forever. Share. This goes for your French Fries and any belongings you may possess. Be open to change. Without it your relationship can’t grow. Hug several times a day. You’ll be glad you did. Offer Support. Be a blessing, not a hindrance. Laugh. Remember the fun times together, your third date, yesterday’s burnt dinner. Hold hands. Doing so keeps you connected together. Talk. Love involves communication. Help. Be there for each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. Build a unity of togetherness. Create a relationship that kindles a love that has gone totally nuts, absolutely crazy, a Mad About You sort of love.

Sometimes when it comes to love the unexpected happens.

And when it swells into the real deal, it is a beautiful, breathtaking gift from God.

I love being in love!

(P.S. Happy Anniversary to the one who brings so much love into my life!)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Swap Shop

What a cool idea. Bring something you no longer have use for, and swap it for something you desperately want.

You’re helping others, others are helping you, and together we are giving life back to something collecting dust on our shelves.

Sounds like a win-win situation if I’ve ever heard of one.

Ever heard about swapping prayers? Not that I want your problems, or that you would in any way want any of my problems.

Just, I’ll pray for you, and you pray for me sort of thing.

Think of the categories available to choose from.

One could pray for the downhearted, the confused, the retired, the young and the restless, the baby boomers, those suffering from having cancer or some other disease, the alcoholics, those in the military, the spouses of those in the military, our world leaders, the dysfunctional, the worrywarts, the poor, the lonely, the rich and famous, the farmers, the white-collar workers, the lazy, the happy, and most needed, those who have no one to pray for them.

“The greatest answer to prayer is more prayer.” (Samuel Chadwick)

Prayer is a powerful weapon. It has done much for many.

People who pray have hope in hopeless situations. Not only does prayer offer hope, but prayer also brings us into the presence of God.

And, we all know that with God all things are possible.

“Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.” (St. Padre Pio)

By holding our hands together we uphold a very powerful weapon. 

I’ll pray for you, and you pray for me sort of thing.

What a cool idea!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

In Full Bloom

Those who flourish in spirit glow from within.

If you saw her, at first glance, you would have noticed that her hair was totally white. Then, if the two of you spoke, you probably would've been moved by her genuine love for God, and struck by her deep faith.

She had her share of wrinkles. And, in the eighty-seven years she lived, she witnessed all kinds of things, some good, some bad, but nothing could separate her from the love she had for our God.

It has been one year since the death of my mother, I have had three hundred and sixty-five days to reflect, mourn, and miss her.

During the year I came across this little tidbit written by Christian author Max Lucado. He writes: “We should all have someone in our lives on who we can look back and say, ‘I saw God’s love in that person.’

She is my person.

I think she was always ready to be called home to our Lord. She never had a to-do list of things she needed to get straightened out in order to make it up to heaven. Nor did she ever have a bunch of prayers lying dormant in the bottom of her heart that she hadn’t got around to sharing with our Lord.

She was spiritually prepared years before her time came.

How she ever got like this might have been the fact that by no means did she let anyone, or anything ever bring her faith down, not even a notch. It remained strong in the weakest of times.

She took her little seed of faith, planted it in her heart, cared for it, tended to it, watered it, protected it, and in turn it grew to be beautiful, and so strong that no force could ever pull it apart.

If struggles came her way she prayed all the more, thanking God she had the chance to offer up more prayer.

Ask yourself, “When someone looks at you, are they able to see God’s love?”

If the answer is yes, then you are much like my mom, in full bloom, spiritually prepared.

If the jury is still out, it’s not too late to bloom where you are planted. “Lift up your tired hands, then, and strengthen your trembling knees! Keep walking on straight paths, so that the lame foot may not be disabled, but instead be healed. Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it. Guard against turning back from the grace of God. Let no one become like a bitter plant that grows up and causes many troubles with its poison.” (Hebrews 12:12-15)

Become a resilient sign of God’s presence and love.

Like a flower my mom lived a life in full bloom.

I definitely saw God’s love in her!

R.I.P. Mom!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Meaning of Life

“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” – Grandma Moses

“Life is simple, it’s just not easy. – Author Unknown

“I have a simple philosophy:  Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches. – Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Everyone has his or her own philosophy on life.

When someone cares enough to share their ideas I’ll listen; one never knows when you’ll gain a new way of looking at things. If nothing else their remarks may bring a smile to your face.

I do have one Philosopher I follow to the tee. His name is Jesus.

 I try to incorporate some of His love and wisdom into my life everyday.

When I’m looking for something Jesus has said, I open my Bible to the book of Matthew.

Many times as I read, I begin to feel I’m sitting right there on the hill, listening to Him preach; that is how powerful His messages come across.

Let’s say you are wondering how your day is going to play out. You’re wondering if certain things will or will not happen. Can you get all your plans accomplished, or are you going to have to change tomorrow’s plans, and possibly have your whole week messed up?

Will you get to stop for your morning cup of joe without being late for work? And, you have that meeting next week hanging over your head.

Always that tomorrow to worry about.

You got things to do, places to go, right?

Well, what if you took a few minutes, picked up your Bible, went to the New Testament, turned to Matthew, opened up your heart, and read chapter six, verse thirty-three.

This is what you’d read: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all these things will be given to you. So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today.”

Everything changes.

Our plans for right now aren’t so much centered on what might or might not happen. If we can learn to put God first, things will fall into place. If we were to live a life of faith, there wouldn't be anything worth worrying about.

God will provide.

2 Corinthians 9:8 reads, “And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.”

Have faith and have a great day!

That’s my philosophy.