Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Who Am I?


WHO AM II heard a sermon the other day and the preacher said something—honestly did not catch everything he said but what I did hear was about someone getting a new name. Then he said something like “some people do not know their name, God is going to give everyone a new name”. As he went on he was talking about not knowing who we are in Christ and if we really knew who we were we would act differently.

This jump-started my brain into trying to imagine myself as God sees me instead of how I see myself.

I know that God has a better perspective than I do. Maybe it is time to see myself the way He sees me.

Maybe God sees a victorious champion when all I see is the pain of each battle and defeats.

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Maybe God sees faith building when all I see is the obstacles I had to persevere through.

James 1:2-4 (NIV)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Maybe God sees my promising future when all I see is my past mistakes.

Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us

 Maybe God sees a child when I feel like a stranger.

Galatians 4:7 (NIV)

So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

I certainly don’t deserve what God has done for me, but that doesn’t mean that I will not accept it. If I believe in God then I have to be able to believe that He knows who I am and who I will become. I look forward to the reward of living this life with faith in God.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

I hope that you will join me this week and searching out scriptures that will help us understand who God believes we are. Enjoy your week.

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Exercising


img_2345I have been diligently working on getting into shape since my cardiologist encouraged me to start working out and come back to see him in 3 months. My follow up appointment is Wednesday and I hope that my progress is enough for him to release me from his care. I have been working out almost every day, except for those times when I got a little too ambitious and had to sit out for a week due to pain. I keep telling myself that it has taken me years to get into this shape and probably will take me years to get out of it.

I have been making progress, sometimes slowly but progress. When I started this adventure, I was unable to keep pace with Bob when we walked, so he would make me lead and then match my pace—no matter how slow it was. Now I can lead the walk and he can walk at his normal pace. This in itself is a great improvement.

For a few years due to hip and foot problems I was only able to walk short distances and then I would have to stop to rest and hope the pain would subside enough to continue. This is no longer the case. I know that my foot surgery helped a lot with this and then my new exercise program has really given me the extra strength that I need. Just this week I was able to complete a 20 minute video workout and then a 20 minute workout on our exercise bicycle.

Thanks to my daughter I have a fitbit that helps me track most of my exercise. I was a little surprised that it recorded some working chores as exercise. My favorite type of exercise is the kind that I can see results from i.e. mowing the lawn. To me it is a great aerobic exercise and the lawn looks good when I am finished. One day I was able to get over 70 minutes of exercise by cutting the bushes in front of the house—I had to carry all the branches that I cut around to the back of the house in order to put them on a pile. I got my steps in and a lot of good movement that day.

As a Christian I believe that exercising our faith should also show results. Pushing a lawnmower around your yard until all the grass is cut down to size provides exercise for our body it is also beneficial to the lawn and the look of your neighborhood. In somewhat the same way keeping yourself filled with God’s word and prayer provides exercise for your spirit and the benefits of the fruit of the Spirit for those around you.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Take a challenge this week with me to spend more time in prayer and God’s Word so we can watch the fruit of the Spirit bless the people around us. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.


life

In a moment of reflection and prayer I expressed my frustrations with the actions of others. As I poured out my heart I asked for a solution to the problem. “Lord, what can I do? How can I make this better?” In an instant I heard “Life is what you make it. You can get frustrated with people or you can navigate around their faults and not allow yourself to get frustrated. IT IS YOUR CHOICE.” I guess like many other people I just want things to go my way and if they don’t it becomes frustrating.

As I pondered this thought I realized that I am in control of my emotions and my frustrations. I choose to get upset or to let it go. I choose my moods. WOW, this is a great revelation, but I have a feeling that the decision to not get upset is going to be a difficult one to make. I am willing to try.

Over the course of my life I have found that things go much better when I choose not to allow things to bother me. It is an active choice that must be enforced minute by minute.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I find this scripture very helpful when I am struggling with my thoughts. I have to really remind myself that thoughts of frustration are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable or praiseworthy. And if I do this I can get control of my emotions and not allow frustration to take over. Believe me this is probably one of the most difficult things we are asked to do in the Word of God. But if we wish for our witness to the world to give glory to God then we must do our best with it. It helps to remember:

2 Corinthians 10

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Please consider taking the challenge and ask yourself this question about your thoughts: “Is this thought true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable or praiseworthy?” Maybe together we can make a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

 

The Neighbors


img_2334I am not sure how to describe the events of the past month. This is a month that I will not soon forget. Bob and I have been in a search for a place to create our dream home for the future. Something with acreage and no restrictions on the land. We have looked at several properties that  either just didn’t work for us or had contracts on them before we even got started. On Saturday June 2, 2018 Bob and I went to look at a property. We decided on the spot that we were going to make a bid on it.

On June 22nd we closed on the property. In today’s market I have been told that this is almost unheard of to close that quickly. One of the most amazing things has to be the neighbors. The first day we went to look at the house we met a couple who live across the street. They are friendly and outgoing, they were mowing when we drove up, but stopped what they were doing to take time to come and talk to us. Through the conversations we had with them we were able to find out about the house, the amount the bank wanted at the foreclosure sale and many details about the property and some of its history.

We made friends fast with them and they were pulling for us to purchase the property. We found that we had many things in common with them. When we came back for our second visit to the home they passed by and stopped on their way to a family gathering. They were genuinely excited that we were buying the property. After we closed on Friday we went to the property and immediately saw one of the neighbors sitting on her porch. She waved to us to come over. When we told her, we had closed on the home she was almost in tears with excitement. Then her husband drove up and we told him. He immediately exclaimed “Hallelujah”.

The afternoon was filled with many conversations and getting to know each other. Later on that day we met another neighbor across the street who was full of memories of living in the house and on the property we purchased. She was just as excited as the other neighbors that we had purchased the property.

On Saturday Bob and I went back to the house to find out some information that the electric company needed. Bob was doing a little weed eating to get to the utility pole when I heard a noise. There in the distance were our friends and neighbors on a tractor with a brush-hog coming our way. We were then told it would only take a few minutes to clear that area so we could get to the pole.  She loves to brush-hog and couldn’t resist an opportunity to help out.

The warm welcome and helpful neighbors made us feel at home and understand that this wasn’t just our idea of a good place to buy, but this was a God thing. Each neighbor had expressed that they had prayed for just the right people to purchase the property. We on the other hand we had been praying for just the right property to buy. Both requests had been answered. Both sides understood that God’s hands were in the middle of this purchase.

Now it is on to the tasks at hand of renovating or tearing down and rebuilding the house. This will be an ongoing process for a few years. But I am sure God will be in the middle of it all. It is my prayer that this testimony will serve to encourage anyone who is in the middle of a struggle to know that no matter how you feel God is still there working with you.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.


foundationThe property search has been ongoing for us for around 3 years. I think we finally found a property that we can afford and that has potential for the future use we have for it. It has been a long and sometimes frustrating road. We have not closed the deal completely yet but we are finally in that process.

Normally, you would be able to do inspections on the house and make some demands on the seller, but this is a bank owned foreclosed property so we really have to purchase it “as is” and hope that everything works out in our favor. I think it will be OK considering the price we are paying.

Two main concerns are the foundation and the floors. We know the roof and siding need replacing. The foundation is important because the stability of the whole house is based on the integrity and status of the foundation. If the foundation is bad the whole building will suffer consequences. The foundation effects every aspect of the house from the bottom to the rooftop.

And it is the same with our faith, the foundation of our belief system must be strong  in order for our integrity and status in God’s kingdom to be strong. We cannot boast about our faith with integrity if we do not have a foundation that will back up our claims. We must practice what we read and hear in the word of God, which is our foundation. Jesus tells us that anything else will fall apart.

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

So today I am praying and hoping for the best outcome with our house. I also pray that everyone who reads this blog will take a look at the foundation of their faith and make sure it is solid and built on the rock of Jesus. Storms will come and test our faith, lets make sure that our faith is built on solid ground.

Happy Father’s day to all those dads out there. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

New Technology


IMG_2327For Christmas Bob decided that I needed a new computer. So, my son in law helped me pick out a computer. I am usually excited about new technology and jump right in and figure it out. But this new computer has me stumped. I can’t seem to find anything on it because nothing is the same as what I am used to. There is no longer a “My computer” icon or a “control panel” icon and quite frankly I struggle to find anything through the search menu.

Because I spend all day long at work on the computer I no longer want to spend my nights trying to figure out this new computer. Maybe it is my age, or maybe it is just because it appears to be more inconvenient. Everything is on the cloud instead of on the computer which just seems to confuse me more. I am thankful and grateful for the thought and the care that went into the purchase of the computer and I hope someday I will become more familiar with how it works.

Do you ever feel like this? You have something wonderful that can help organize and simplify your life but you just can’t get used to it? When did life get so complicated? There comes a time in everyone’s life that you just feel you need to simplify and get back to basics. I think I have reached that point. To quote an old Willie Nelson song “Maybe its time to get back to the basics of life”.

For me the basics are my faith in God, my family and friends, a roof over my head, a job and enough food to keep me going. What more could a person need. Faith in God is what keeps all the other things together. Believing that Jesus saved me from a life of sin and gave me the opportunity to experience salvation and an eternal life with God is not complicated. It is a basic I can always look at and remember to keep my life in perspective.

When I get frustrated with not understanding new technology I can always remember that technology does not save me God does. I can step back and refocus my thoughts on something more important than being able to find something on my computer or not being able to get my scanner to work because it is not compatible with the new software on my computer.

It is all about perspective. So maybe this week we can all step back and remember who God is and what He has done for us, instead of getting frustrated. I hope you enjoy your week. I will be back next week with more.


IMG_2309Last week I finally made it out to the area we tilled earlier this year for a garden. Things have not gone as planned this year regarding gardening and we had nothing planted in the garden area. I decided it was time to weed out the grass that seems to grow without any effort in the garden–but refuses to grow anywhere else in my back yard.

As I pulled weeds I thought about all the wonderful vegetables we might get out of the garden after we planted and nurtured the seeds so they grow. Then sitting in that empty garden I realized that the garden is like our minds, if we are not planting the Word of God in it all we will get out of it is weeds. Just like the garden left on it’s own without tomato seedlings will never produce tomatoes, our minds without the Word of God will never become Godly.

So this week I ask you what are you planting in the garden of your mind?

Enjoy your week and think about what you have been planting in the garden of your mind. It is never too late to fill your mind with God’s Word so you can reap the harvest of Godliness in your life.

I will be back next week with more.

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