Friday, June 4, 2010

The Peace of God

We all go through dark times or valleys in our life. But, how we handle those low points says alot about how we are as people and the happiness or lack of happiness in our lives. How do you seek the peace of God?

The book of Ephesians, chapter 6, 10-17 clearly tell us that our struggles in this world are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities and powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Kinda sounds like Darth Vader, doesn't it? But I believe that is exactly what we are facing each day.

We can choose to live our lives in the darkness or in the light. We all stumble, we all fall and need help. When I am having a down day, maybe feeling sorry for myself, letting my sickness get the best of me, or letting the problems in my life overwhelm me, I try to stop and say a few prayers and ask God to help me re-focus. Then, I put on some Praise Music. That will always turn my thoughts away from me and my problems, and towards the God of the Universe, the one that can always give me peace and happiness.

Try it once. Take a moment to turn your thoughts away from the problem that is consuming you: maybe it's something at work, or problems at home with your spouse or kids, or with your finances, or anything that has you feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders ---- turn off the the TV, the internet, the things of this world, and totally focus your thoughts onto the things of God for a moment. Rejoice in Him. Thank Him for everything you have. Read a few verses in the Bible, put on some uplifting Praise music and take a moment to think of everything that is good in your life. I think you will be humbled and thankful once again.

It's so easy to complain about the situations in our life and so quick to miss God's many blessings that are right in front of our eyes. I choose to live in the light. I choose to look for God inside everything that happens in my life, good and bad, because I know He is there. There have been so many situations in my life that I can look back on now, and at the time I was thinking, "Where are you God?" but now. year later, I can see His Hand guiding me through all the thickets and forests that seemed to overwhelm me at the time.

If you are going through a rough patch, I suggest you look up to God instead of inside yourself. We are weak, but He is Strong! Your answers will become much clearer and your peace will grow, if you give over all your problems to the One that created you, the One that is longing for you to come home to Him. Have a blessed weekend everyone!

My verse today is from Phillippians 4:2-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord Jesus:

Help me to always seek Your light and look for the blessings in my life. Help me to seek Your Face in all things and in all ways. Thank you Lord for the many blessings in my life.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Monday, May 31, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude!

Today is Memorial Day, 2010 and I am feeling moved to write about how grateful I feel about all the blessings in my life. I have much to be thankful for because the Lord has bestowed tremendous blessings on me and my family.

The Bible tell us to give thanks in "everything." That is not always easy, and often seems almost impossible, but as followers of Jesus, we are commanded to do what the Word of God instructs us to do. That can seem like a pretty tall order on most days, especially with all the craziness of this world we live in.

I talked to my Dad yesterday and I can say happily that it is the best he has sounded since he got sick over 3 1/2 months ago. He was engaging in conversation, asking alot of questions and seemed to be interested in something other than how we was feeling for the first time since his sickness began in February. That is an answered prayer, no doubt in my mind about that! I thank my Mom and especially my Dad for instilling in me the deep love of Jesus I feel in my heart at a young age. I went through the usual rebellion of young adulthood, not thinking I needed the Lord, but as soon as we had children, I knew I wanted them to grow up with something to hold onto in life, other than themselves. My prayer is that my kids will recognize and acknowledge the Lord in their life earlier than I did, because I know how much it can help them get through the ups and downs they will inevivitably endure.

I am grateful to God that my parents are both with us. My Mom is now in a nursing home, but adjusting well. She will be even better when Dad returns to the same home after the hospital releases him, which should be today or tomorrow. They have been married 62 1/2 years and naturally feel lost without each other. What a blessing to still have my parents at this late age in life. I know alot of my friends who lost their folks many years ago, and I know that I am very fortunate to have them.

I am grateful for my brothers, who have always dilegently watched over my folks. They have both been so devoted to them, and I am so fortunate to have them so close by and being able to handle everything. I physically couldn't do it, so what a "God Thing" that they are right there where they are at this time in their lives. That you for my sister-in-laws and their devotion to my parents. Thank you for the blessing of having all my family living so close by my parents these past years.

I am especially thankful for my faithful and loving husband of 32 years, who has been by my side without falter for the duration. He was absolutely a gift from God, and I will never cease thanking God each day for him.

I am thankful for my sons. That they are both healthy and safe. As I have been watching the news tonight and seen the many grieving mothers and fathers going to the graves of their children at Arlington National Cemetary, I am especially thankful that my kids are both alive and well. Their young lives are now out of our hands and in the most capable Hands of the Almighty God. Thank you Jesus for my imperfect life and my imperfect, but lovable family, who you have given me to watch over, to encourage, to stand by and to love, whatever the case. Give me the strength to do Your Will each day.

I am thankful for my generous friends, who are always so loving and so giving to me. The Lord has really blessed me with alot of love from many sources, and I will be forever grateful.

I am very thankful that I live in this free country of ours, and I am so grateful for those who answer the call to serve, often sacrificing their all so that we can live and worship our Lord without persecution. That is not always the case in many places in this world, but Thank you Jesus, that is the case in this great nation of ours. Many have died to protect our freedoms and I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart.

As a nation, we have SO MUCH to be thankful for. Please take the time today to thank the Lord for the many blessings in your life. Everything we have comes by the Hand of God. He made us, and He in in charge of ALL. Thank you Lord, that we can come to you with every thankgiving, with every detail and every problem we have in life. Help us to be patient in waiting on you to answer our prayers. You know our needs, and you know everything about us, right down to every hair on our heads. Your Kingdom Come, Your will be Done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

My verse for today is from Ephesians 15:19

"Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

My prayer for today:

Thank you Jesus for my life and the for the lives that touch mine each day. Thank you for putting certain people in my path to lighten my load. Thank you for my right to worship You, freely each day without persecution. Watch over those who protect and serve this great country of ours. Keep them safe, bring them home to their families. Be with the Moms and Dads, wives and husbands who grieve the loss of their loved ones on this holiday. Let them find comfort in Your Loving arms.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Here I am, Lord

Do you know the wonderful hymn, Here I am, Lord? I cannot sing that song through without the Holy Spirit working in my heart.

Do you ever feel like God is talking directly to you? You may be listening to the radio and a song will come on that touches your heart, or you could be talking with someone and you feel God's prompting. Maybe you are sitting in church and the music and the sermon seem to hit a particular chord deep in your soul. Sometimes you feel like the pastor is talking directly to you and no one else in the church. How can that be?

However the Sovereign God of the Universe trys to gets our attention, I think He trys often because He loves us and wants us to have the best in life. But, do we stay still long enough to hear Him?

Friday night, Michelle and I attended a Christian gospel concert in Maggie Valley. It was a wonderful evening for us, and I think we both felt the Hand of God working through the groups that performed. The backup group's name was "Standing Still." I was thinking about that, and asking myself the question. "How often do I stand still before God, so I can listen to what He has to say to me?"

This morning we listened to Dr. Charles Stanley's message and it was a powerful one about serving God. He talked about each of us coming to the end of our lives and looking back on how we lived. Did we live for God? Did we serve the purpose that God had in mind for us, or did we just fill out lives with stuff...going here, going there, raising kids, paying bills, going to work each day, going on vacations, watching TV, going to events, etc., etc.

But, did we make an impact for the Kingdom of God during our short stay here on this earth? Did we tell someone about Jesus and his plan of salvation and about His forgiving and unending love for us? Did we open up the Kingdom of Heaven to one lost soul?

Dr. Stanley talked about how many college students can go through 4 years of college and have no idea what they want to do with their lives, but have they stopped to ask their Creator, through prayer, for His direction and His purpose for their lives? He made this Universe and each one of us. How often to we "Stand Still," slow down and listen to His Voice? We get busy with the details of life, that is a fact and we all know it, but what can we do about it?

I look at my life and realize that at this point, it's probably more than half over. I want to spend each day I have, each breath I take, honoring God. Not always easy, because I am a sinner, but it is definitely a goal I have. Today, I hear you loud and clear Lord. You've hit me over the head twice in one weekend. Sometimes I just need a swift kick in the pants so I can sit up and listen to my Creator. This time, I got two :)

So, today, on the Lord's day, I want to say to You... Here I am, Lord. Take each day I have for the remainder of my short life and use me for your good purposes. Help me to turn away from the things of this world, and back to you.

My verse for today is from Romans 8:28

"And we know that in all good things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to His purposes."

My Prayer for today:

Heavenly Father,

I love you Lord. Today I recommit myself to You. Use me Lord, for your good purposes. Equip me and enable me to spend my remaining days serving You. Help me to be your shining light in this dark world. Help me to live my life each day in a Godly Way, so that everyone around me, can see You through me. Thank you for my life. Thank you for my wonderful husband and children. Thank you for everyone you have put in my life and the new friends you put in my path. Help me to reach out to them each day in new ways in Your Holy Name.

In Jesus Name I pray,