Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Father’s Day


IMG_2105Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there. The older you get the more these holidays change. When we were younger Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were about our parents and making sure we gave them small trinkets of appreciation.

Then as we grew older and had children of our own, the focus shifted to us and our children, never forgetting about our parents though. And as we have aged and parents have passed away, we found these holidays a little less meaningful because our children grew up and moved away. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just really became a time to connect with children, some we don’t hear from on a regular basis.

But then it changes even more when your children begin to have children. Now Mother’s Day and Father’s Day take on a new perspective because you are focusing on your children and their children. The perspective becomes one of more wisdom watching them make their way through parenting. Enjoying their triumphs and suffering through their missteps and mishaps. It all becomes more about trusting them to do their best.

As I think back to my parenting years, I realize that I did not know anything about raising children and pretty much muddled my way through their formative years. Bob and I tried to do our best and if our children are the fruit of our parenting skills then I guess we did OK. There are so many things I know now that I did not understand then that might have made life just a little easier. But I guess the best thing that I gave our children in those years was my time. I always tried to make time for them. I really enjoyed being around them, even when they were a bit on the challenging side.

So on this Father’s Day my advice to  parents everywhere is to make sure that you take time to spend with your children. They are only young for a short time and the memories you make in that short time will impact them for their whole lives. Make those moments count for encouragement and blessings. Don’t let the challenges with your children get in the way of loving them.

God our Heavenly Father doesn’t let our challenges get in the way of His eternal love for us.

Psalm 103:13 (NIV)

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Have a happy Father’s Day. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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Memorial Day


American flagThis is the day we remember those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. We live every single day in a free country because men and women were willing to risk their lives to fight for our freedom. I have not lost someone close to me in a war but I do have a son and son in law that serve in the military. When they are on active duty there is always that possibility that they will not come home the way they left. I had a father in law who spent time in Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped in WWII. I believe that was very difficult to live through.

Whether they joined voluntarily or were drafted those who serve in our military should be commended for their dedication to keeping us free and safe.  And those who gave their lives should be remembered with respect and admiration. Some day in heaven we might see them in person and thank them.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

It is an amazing love to lay down your life for a friend, but to lay down your life for a whole country of people, most of whom you do not know is tremendous. You have to think beyond yourself toward the greater good of a nation. It is a selfless task that has happened throughout history by groups of individuals who were not self-centered.

We should all take a lesson from these individuals and put down selfishness to do selfless acts of kindness.

John 13:34-35

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Following these words will help us to step out of selfishness and into selfless acts. I pray that you enjoy time of reflection this Memorial Day and I will be back next week with more.

 

Strength for Struggles


IMG_2152Many people struggle with a lack of confidence for many different reasons. I have some scriptures that Christians can daily meditate on in order to overcome these struggles.

Philippians 4:13

 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Christ should be our source of strength, not anything we can do on our own. We sometimes struggle with life because we fear the outcome of sharing our faith. But God gives us what we need to share His love with others.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

When we allow God to work through us we can accomplish many things. But we sometimes allow anxiety to take over our lives. We are supposed to be sheep and sheep were never used as burden baring animals, they are to fragile for that. That is why we need not take on all the cares of the world.

1 Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Casting our cares on God and allowing Him to take care of them is how we are to live our lives giving Him the glory for the results. I hope that these simple scriptures will help you through your week. Enjoy your week and I will try to be back next week with more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

im who gives me strength.


PASSWORDThis password society causes anxiety. I don’t know about you but having to remember a password for almost everything drives me nuts. So, this week Bob and I got new phones, thank you Jacquie and Joel. We have resisted upgrading for quite a while because our phones worked fine for what we were doing and we did not see a reason to upgrade. We come from a time before cell phones and smart phones. I remember when I was a child my mother had an old crank phone in her office, it didn’t work any longer but she kept it because it was old and unique. I remember that people used to have party lines—if you don’t know what that was it was a phone line that was shared by more than one household. So, you could pick up the phone and someone else could be talking on the line and you would have to wait until they hung up to call out.

We have come so far since then. Now everybody including small children have their own smart phone and other electronic gadgets. And each one has a password and every app has a password. Switching the phones became a bit of a challenge.

Struggling to sleep I gave up all efforts and got out of bed at 1:30am. I decided to search the internet to find out how to switch the phones over. I know that Joel had told me but I needed a refresher course. After getting up my courage and confidence level I began to work on my phone, only to find out I could not get the sim card out. I could not find the sim card removal tool that was supposed to be in the box so I tried the paperclip method. After that was unsuccessful, I had to wait until Bob was awake to help.

Eventually I went back to bed and when Bob got up, I asked for help. He, of course, immediately took care of the sim card issue and I transferred my phone over without incident. Bob’s phone however was a whole different issue between unknown passwords and two different accounts it took hours and a rather long phone call to Apple for assistance. I am not sure we have it all figured out yet but we can send and receive calls and have access to our emails so that is good.

Why is it that every app and every website have passwords? At work I have several passwords and at home I have two or three spreadsheets with passwords. Almost everyone in this modern society knows what it is like to enter a wrong password and not be able to do what you need or want to do. When I think about having to do something like switching phones over or changing a computer, I immediately feel anxious because I know that there could be just one little password that could stop the whole thing in its tracks.

Why can’t we just go where we want and do what we want without a password???? So, if you forget a password you can just tell it and it can send you an email, however if your recovery email no longer exists this could be, and was a problem. Then there was two step verification but we could never finish that because the other phone connected to his account no longer had the sim card and could not verify the new phone. It was a nightmare of a scenario.

I am so glad that God does not require us to use a password in order to request help.

Matthew 11:28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Maybe we need to step back from the ledge of passwords and just rest in God knowing that He does not require a password. He requires our love and respect. I think that is much easier to give than a random password that is easily forgotten.

Oh, and have a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Nature


Lots of rain and then some sunshine has caused tremendous growth in the plants. The flowers are blooming, the insects are awake and alive. Wildlife is on the move. There is a feeling of life and hope in the air. Springtime can bring some heavy rains, tornadoes and flooding, but it can also bring new life.

After spending a few hours out in the wild uncut area of our property I began to feel more alive and exhilarated about life. There is something wonderful that happens when you are able to get outside of the walls of a home and just experience nature. Something inside will begin to say this world is so amazing and wonderful I don’t want to ever go back inside again.

I have always been one who loved to be outside and around the trees. I have not always been really good at keeping plants alive under my watch but with the helpful eye and green thumb that my husband usually has we have benefited from having a garden. Now not every garden has grown what we have planted but we learn for each one.

This year we have peas in the garden. It has been wonderful to see the beautiful flowers that the peas have and then watch the pea pods grow and mature. They taste great when the peas themselves have not plumped out too much you can eat the whole thing. But as they mature the pod gets a little too tough and you can shell them and eat the wonderful peas themselves.

I believe that God looks on us with joy when He sees us enjoying the world that He created for us. There were many reasons that Jesus when He was on this earth physically spent most of His time in the outdoors. I believe that He enjoyed being close to the nature that His Father had created. Before He died on the cross He went to a garden to pray. Now I am sure this was not a vegetable garden or even a flower garden but it was an outdoor space where He felt close to God. He used to spend time on the mountains praying. Moses first encounter with God was through a burning bush on Mt. Horeb, the mountain of God (Exodus 3:1)

Sometimes I think we need to get outside of our homes and experience the earth to better understand what God has created. So would you join me in this coming week to try to spend some time looking around for signs of God in nature. He created it all so it should be an easy journey. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 


GOD S PRESENCE POWER PEACEFather draw us into Your presence, Your power and Your peace.

This prayer sounds simple but when you break it down it is actually a very deep request. God’s presence has an immediate effect on those around it. There is a conviction of sin. This can be strong, so much so that those who are comfortable in their sin will want to leave. And those who are broken and know they are sinners but need hope will stay and weep. I remember the first few times I ever experience a strong presence of God in a church service all I could do was cry. I did not understand why or what was happening.

Psalm 90:8 (NIV)

You have set our iniquities before you,
    our secret sins in the light of your presence.

In the presence of God, we can experience many things. Conviction of current unrepented sins is the strongest when God is near. The only thing that can be done to experience more of God’s presence is once sin is recognized take the opportunity to concede that it exists, admit ownership and confess it in order to be cleansed.

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

The feeling of exhilaration and freedom that follows a true confession is amazing. It is like being in a dark, stuffy, damp room and opening the door to a sunny warm day with a light breeze. It is inviting and welcoming to just enjoy.

Asking to be drawn into God’s power is not asking for God’s power. It is asking to be swept into the hand of God which can guide and direct each move with His Spirit. It is understanding that our physical power is nothing compared to the spiritual power that God has available for us to walk in. It is understanding that in our own strength we cannot but with His we can do all things.

1Peter 4:11 (NIV)

If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

God’s peace should be a driving force in our lives as Christians. If we have peace about what we are doing we will do it to our best ability and it will prosper. Sometimes we try to plow forward in life when God has not directed us where we are headed. This always ends up badly. But if we follow His peace no matter the trouble that stands in our way we will prosper and God will get the glory.

John 16:33 (NIV)

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I pray that as you read this today you will grow closer to God and what He has for your life. I pray God will draw you into His presence, His power and His peace and that you will come to know Him deeper with every passing day. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

New Life


IMG_2880Time has been flying by and it is already Easter. I love this time of the year. Grass is growing, flowers are blooming, wildlife is getting more active, gardens are taking shape and life is all around. Venturing outside you get the feel of freshness and new life. And at this time of new life we celebrate the new life that Jesus made the way for us to experience.

I am awestruck that God sent His only Son to this earth to give us the chance for salvation as a free gift. Without His sacrifice there is no hope, but with Jesus’ life, death on a cross and resurrection from the dead He gave us the option of a new life. All we have to do is accept what He did and submit to the will of God. Simple, right? Well simple in words but sometimes difficult in reality because not everyone believes and not everyone is accepting of a Christian faith. If everyone believed the same thing, we would help each other to live a life of purity and holiness. But we live in a fallen world and we therefore struggle to keep our faith in the midst of troubles.

After telling his disciples about the things that would happen to them after He leaves them, Jesus said in

John 16:33 (NIV)

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The disciples needed to know that it would not be an easy ride and they would have to keep their faith in Him and accept the help of the Holy Spirit in order to proclaim the Gospel to all the world. This is just as true today for Christians as it was back then. Without the Holy Spirit’s help, we cannot grow in our faith or spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to our lost and dying world.

With our own strength we can do very little but God has given us the strength and power through His Holy Spirit to thrive in spiritual accomplishments and store up treasures in heaven. Heaven is where I would love to spend eternity—what about you?

Romans 8:11 (NIV)

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Those who are born again have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and if He is powerful enough to conquer death, hell and the grave I believe He can help each of us to live lives pleasing to God no matter what troubles we go through.

If you are not born again but would like to start that relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit it is just a matter of accepting :

John 3:16-18 (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

You do not have to be in a church ceremony to be saved, you only have to truly believe and reach out to God with your heart and confess your belief to Him, He will hear you and you will experience the beginning of your salvation. Salvation from sin and death is a journey, not just one moment in time. So it will be up to you to continue the journey with Christian fellowship, bible reading and prayer.

I pray that you have a wonderful time this year celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And if you experience salvation this year please share your experience with someone. I will be back next week with more.

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