TRUSTING FAITH

Have you ever thought about how much we end up “trusting” in our life? Throughout our entire life, there are so many people and things in this world that we trust our lives to.

When we entered this world, we were so innocent and helpless.  Our lives were dependent on our parents or guardians.  They took on the responsibility of supplying our many needs and nurturing us until we could care for ourselves.

Doctors are people we trust when we are ill and seek medical attention.  We probably don’t think that much about doctors, until we need one—that is when we trust in their skill and knowledge.  We put our very lives in their hands.

Many times each day we trust our lives to some form of transportation—whether it be cars, boats, trains or planes.  We just hop in the vehicle without thinking twice of the risk involved in the vehicle or the person in charge.  We trust that the vehicle will function properly and that the person operating it knows what he or she is doing.

Shouldn’t we trust our God even more than all these people and things?

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Trust God to……

…fill that “empty” space in your heart

…be your Lord and Savior

…fill your heart with peace

…lead you to do His will

…keep you safe in Him

…provide people in your life to encourage you

…provide people in your life to help you grow spiritually

…make it through each day living victoriously even if your circumstances are bad.

God created the entire earth and all that is in it—from the white, puffy clouds to the littlest insect and to you and me.  He has enabled humans to do so much and empowered us to use our brains to grow in knowledge.  Our God is all-powerful and awesome!  Trust in Him and have faith that He will guide your every step.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  –Proverbs 3:5-6

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

Do you ever feel like our society keeps demanding more and more of you, your kids, your family…all in the name of success in this world? Our country definitely seems to also have the “I deserve these things” and “I want more and more” attitude. My older teen daughter and I were talking about this topic recently.

Entitlement of anything and everything seems rampant in our society today. I am not sure that is necessarily a good thing. For me personally, I try to live a life where I don’t want to have the best of everything or need a lot of “things” to make me happy. I think that quality got passed down to my first two children; not so much to the third though.  I hope my life reflects a life where all these material “things” are not a priority. One day all the “things” will pass away.

We still only have the basic cable at our house so that we get some clear reception on the TV. It was a nice treat a few times through the years when we had more channels due to a “special” from the cable company. But, watching TV isn’t a big priority at our house. Quite surprising in our culture today, one child didn’t have a cell phone until just starting college this past year, and another will finally be getting one when entering high school.  And, you can probably guess, none of us have iPhones.

Along those lines, I think of the conversation with my daughter who was expressing that nowadays more and more is expected at an earlier age. Know your ABC’s by the time you’re two, start reading by the time you’re three, take as many college courses as you can in high school, keep climbing the corporate ladder, and the list goes on and on.

Are all these advances for the “right” reasons?
Are all those things necessarily what we should be focusing on?

Or are they pulling us away from time with God and reaching out to others?

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Yes, on one hand it is good to want to increase your knowledge but not to the extent of you missing out on the simple pleasures in life like when you think of the good ole days…

….leaving time for a leisurely walk to observe the beauty of nature around you
….talking face to face with someone rather than wondering what the tone of their text is
….sitting on the front porch saying hello to the neighbors as they walk by
….or taking time to talk with a friend who is trying to figure something out.

Aren’t those the really important things in life?  Seeing and experiencing God all along the way in the simple things in life.

Living simply can be a good thing. It can provide for more opportunities to look for those that need a hand and do something to help build the kingdom of God while in this world.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.  –Psalm 19:7

GOD’S MASTERPIECE

As an artist sees an image and makes it come to life through some artistic media……creating a masterpiece,

As a musician writes lyrics and hears a melody to create beautiful music…..creating a masterpiece,

As a writer uses words to express ideas through a book or simple writing….creating a masterpiece,

So, God envisioned and then created all of His creations as His Masterpieces.

The Masterpieces all have a purpose and work together to give Him praise and honor.

Think about all the wonderful Masterpieces God made…..

….the sun and the moon

….the earth and the heavens

….the sky and the ocean waters

….the plants and the trees

….the birds and the animals

….the mountains and the valleys.

And from those Masterpieces, we get to behold …..

….Beautiful sunrises and sunsets

….Full moons to light our way

….The bright stars illuminate the dark sky

….The wonder of the crashing waves on the beach

….The beautiful flowers in the meadow and the colorful leaves fall from the trees

….The birds soaring through the air and making music for our ears

….The majestic view of the mountains and the valleys.

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Photo credit by Rachel Kramer under Creative Common License (CC BY 2.0)

Isn’t God the ultimate artist creating such beauty for us where we can experience God’s love and power all around us?

If all those beautiful sights of creation weren’t enough, God then created His ultimate Masterpiece…..YOU and ME! “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.”  –Genesis 1:27

Have you ever stopped to think how awesome it is that YOU are God’s greatest Masterpiece?  Let the power of that sink in…

YOU are created in His image..You are truly a piece of our Master….that makes YOU a Masterpiece indeed!

Gods Special

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Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. –Job 10:9

RESPECTING OUR DIFFERENCES

Recently, I had an enlightening conversation with my older teen daughter that got me thinking that I think this world needs more people that respect each other and are open minded to the differences in others.
Every person is created by God with their own unique blueprint of qualities. The various life experiences we have all contribute to the way we look at things and even how we view the world around us. It is the same world, but every person sees it a little different…in a unique way. One person’s way is not the “right” and only way to see it.
Those of us who grew up in two parent families in a loving environment might well look at the world differently from those of us who were raised in a single parent home where making ends meet was always a struggle.
You might be very organized and want things a certain way, but to another person, that might not be important.  Maybe spending quality time with loved ones is what is important to you.
Maybe you are happy to be alone while your sibling always needs to be busy doing something.
Is going to an event important to you? Well, it might not be on someone else’s bucket list!
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Photo credit by Celestine Chua under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0)
Does the way you do something make you a better person than someone else?
Is the way you look at something the ONLY way to look at something?
Because you see something this way, does that give you a right to judge the way someone else looks at the same situation?
Should you be cutting down others when the way they see something doesn’t match your way?
I think the answer to all these questions should be NO!
The next time you disagree with something someone says, try to catch yourself and ask yourself if maybe, just maybe, it would be better to NOT jump in and complain, but instead respect the other person and their point of view. Sure, you could gently share your thoughts, but ultimately, realize there are many different ways to see something and that’s okay!
Doing that may even expand your horizon and help you see something differently. There can be great blessing in that too.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.  –Titus 3:1-2
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. –Ephesians 4:29

THE HUMANITY OF JESUS

One Easter season it occurred to me how Jesus Christ, while on this earth, experienced all the same basic human emotions and feelings as you and me! Yes, He is divine, being God’s Son, but He also came to this earth as a human.  Have you really let the power and specialness of that sink in?  To know that Jesus truly understands the different human emotions that we, too, experience?

The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) Jesus wept when He found out that His friend Lazarus died.  Some people say Jesus wept because He loved Lazarus so much; others say it was because Jesus knew that some of the people gathered around still would not believe He was the Messiah, even after Lazarus’ resurrection.  Either way, in our humanity, we weep when our loved one dies, when our loved one isn’t following Christ, or when someone dear to us makes choices that take them down a “wrong” path.

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Did you ever stop to think how Jesus, the  Messiah and King, was mocked and laughed at while on this earth?  Satan tempted and mocked Jesus in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. Jesus was always empowered to return Satan’s temptations with Scripture. Many people mocked and laughed at Jesus when he was hanging on the cross for you and me!  I think Jesus’ heart must have been very heavy and saddened listening to the people mock and laugh at Him.  Many of the people in Jesus’ hometown did not even believe what Jesus was preaching.  Sometimes, people mock us and laugh at us when we stand up for our beliefs or our faith, or when we step out to share God’s love.

Often times when trials come our way, we pray to God that they may pass us by—just like the prayer that Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemani before He was arrested.  Ultimately, Jesus knew He was sent to earth for that very moment to set us free. In our trials, hopefully, before long, we, too, can say, “God, let Your will be done.”

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Do you ever feel that God has forsaken you?  There was only one moment in Jesus’ life when He felt abandoned like that—that was the moment when Jesus, hanging from the cross, took on all the sins of the world.  God promises to always be there—it’s we and our sin that turn away from Him. Hanging on that cross, Jesus gave up His spirit peacefully because He knew He came to do God’s will. He knew He was called by God, led by God, and empowered by God to sacrifice Himself to set all of us free from our sin!

Jesus also left us with a great example of loving one another.  All along Jesus knew that Judas would be the one to betray Him, yet He had no bad feelings toward Judas.  Jesus still loved him—and, that is the love we are called to have for one another.

This Easter season may you take time to reflect on Jesus’ humanity and how He can relate to our emotions and feelings. He understands and wants us to know we can rely on God to help us on this journey. I pray you have a blessed Easter celebrating the Risen Christ and living out the empowerment we have in Him!

Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil. –Hebrews 2:14