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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness


American flagWith all the tragic events happening in our world I began to think about what is important.  Our declaration of Independence states:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In my mind and heart if any of these rights or taken away then we no longer live in the nation our founding Fathers envisioned. The line that stands out to me as the most important is “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator”  

Life is given to us by God so we should respect all lives. Though if some people believe that taking human lives is their lot in life and act on that belief then because of their actions they should lose their right to life. 

Liberty is given to us by God in the form of a free will. We can do what we want. However if doing what we want takes away the life and liberty of others, then this liberty should be removed from those who committed such crimes. This does not mean that everyone’s liberty should be removed because of the actions of a few, but rather those who transgress lose their liberty.

True happiness does not come from things or people, it comes from God. If you are seeking true happiness from any other source you will never find it. 

Therefore, as I see it, our Declaration of Independence states very beautifully that we all have the right to live with the free will that God gave us and pursue God to find eternal happiness.

Trust in our Creator, seek His face and enjoy your week. I will be back next week with more.

 

 

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Daddy


daddyMy daddy loved to draw pictures and do wood burnings. This is a character of himself he made. It really depicts him in a comical way. He would spend hours in his room working on his drawings and sketches and wood burnings. And to relax he would do word searches. The funny thing is he would not circle the answers. He would just find them and then move on to the next one. He passed all those books down to me. I am not like him. I circle the answers.

Just to honor him today I am posting some of his pictures that I keep hanging on my walls. Enjoy them and have a great Father’s day. I will be back next week with more.

IMG_2843 IMG_2844 IMG_2845 IMG_2846 IMG_2847

Family Time


Sorry family obligations are keeping me busy this weekend and next. I will write again in two weeks.

Loving the Unlovely


loving the unlovelyWhen I think about the unlovely I think about Paul the apostle.  To Christians of his day he would have been the most unlovely around. Imagine becoming friends with someone who killed anyone who had your faith. I can’t imagine thinking this would be a good idea.

Paul’s conversion shows us that the Lord can save anyone. It shows us that even the ugliest sins can be forgiven. As I look around at my world I see people with all kinds of problems that they are trying to deal with on their own. I see struggles with health, relationships and finances that cause fear, anger and confusion. And I think to myself: “What is the answer?”

John 8:31-32 (NIV)

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The answer is the love of God and trusting in Him that he will guide us into all truth. Unwarranted fear usually comes from believing lies that seem to be true. Or it comes from fabricating situations that only exist in our minds. The truth that sets us free is knowing that Jesus, the Son of God came to this earth as a baby, lived a pure life of healing and teaching, suffered on the cross, died and was buried and on the third day showed proof of everlasting life by rising from the dead victoriously.

If we don’t share that truth with the unlovely and show them the unconditional love of the Father, how will they ever be saved from eternal damnation? If we who know the truth don’t step out of our comfort zone and share with those around us the love of God where will they see it?

To love the unlovely we must share the love of God with more than just words. We must time to listen to people and help them physically and emotionally. We must let them become a part of our lives so that our lives influence them without letting their ungodly behavior change us. Loving them is accepting them for who they are while they are on their way to becoming who God wants them to be.

Are you willing to be someone who loves the unlovely? I believe as Christians that is what our lives are all about. Take some time this week and show kindness to those who seem unlovely to you. Watch God begin to change them over time. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Wisdom and Understanding


proverbs 2 10 12 and 16 9These two scriptures have comforted and challenged me this week.

Daily I seek to put forth wise decisions and understanding. Making difficult decisions day in and day out can wear you out. When I read this scripture I understood that God is guiding my daily decisions with His wisdom. He guides me. It doesn’t matter to Him if I am at work or play, He guides me. I felt a release when I realized once again that God guides my every step and decision. I still have the choice to follow the guidance or go my way, but I know He guides me in the right way. Sometimes I ignore His quiet prodding and end up making a mistake. But on those times when I hear and follow I am amazed at the results.

Stop and think. Has anything happened to you lately where you could not explain how you knew what you knew? Sometimes you just know what you need to be ready for. It happens to me at work. I will be in a short period of waiting for the phone to ring. I will reach over and start reading some of the material for my job and as soon as I get on the phone I realize that it was exactly what I needed for the call. I thank God for guidance. He always gives it, even when we don’t specifically ask.

Looking back over the years of my life I see how God has directed my steps. I can see times when I resisted his gentle prodding and times when I quickly followed. I wish that I would follow each direction quickly and without resistance, but that does not happen. Sometimes I am so wrapped up in what I am doing to realize that this life is not just about me. This life is about spreading God’s love to a suffering world. This life is about spreading good news to those who are hurting. It is about helping those who are lost in situations and circumstances that they don’t understand and from which they cannot escape. Life is bigger than me and I need to keep that understanding in my mind so that I can act appropriately.

Maybe having true wisdom can be defined as knowing that life is not just about me. For if I truly believe that God directs my steps then I will acknowledge that my life is not my own but was given to me by One greater than me. I will have to acknowledge that I must always be aware of His presence in my life. This is the struggle of living a Christian life.

Join me in thinking on that and I will be back next week with more.

Search solution


salvation word search solution  Here is the solution to last weeks word search. I hope you enjoyed it.

My Life is a Cookie


jack thinkingI have thought a lot lately about the sad circumstances in my life and the happy ones. And then it came to me. My life is an Oreo cookie. When I was younger I used to only want to eat the middle of the cookie. I just wanted things that were super sweet.  The outer cookies were just there to make it easier to get the cream filling in my mouth. But as I have matured I have begun to realize the flavor and goodness that can be found in the cookie without the middle. And for a time I no longer wanted the double stuff cookies because there was too much sweet. Now on rare occasions I will eat a regular Oreo and savor the flavor of the cookie and the cream and how they work great together to excite my taste buds.

This is the way life is. And over the past few months I have seen bitter-sweet events, the passing of a niece and a sister-in-law. There was a bitter pain of realizing that they would not be around any longer, and the sweetness of knowing that they have passed on to the next life and are no longer suffering. Then right in the middle of these events there was a wonderful happening, the birth of our fifth grandchild. He is like the cream filling that makes the outer cookies easier to digest.

God is like that. When we begin to feel overwhelmed He will bring something into our life that will allow us to have some relief. I praise God for his mercy and for the cream filling in my life.

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

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