Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Memorial Day 2018


IMG_2300[1]Tomorrow is the day we celebrate those who gave their lives for our freedom. We owe them a debt that we cannot pay for we benefit from their courageous efforts and sacrifice to keep our nation free. I am grateful for those men and women. In John 15:13 Jesus says:

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

Laying down your life for your friends is one thing, but laying down your life for your whole country, that is amazing. Fighting for the greater good of those you love and those you do not know is greatness. It is important to remember those who have fallen because as we live our  lives in this country we tend to forget those who gave there life  so we can be free. I salute our men and women in uniform and honor them for their service. And I appreciate the sacrifices of those who lost their lives for us.

Take some time this week to thank a veteran for their service to our country and remember those who gave so much so we could be free. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

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Small World


small world

As I think back over my life I realize that I have met people from all over the world and have family and friends from many different places. That somehow makes the world seem a bit smaller to me. I wasn’t raised in a diverse place. But when I went away to college my eyes were opened to different cultures and ideals. Then I was thrust into a world of many cultures when we moved to Texas.

It is amazing to me that someone from a small town can encounter individuals from so many places. I may not have traveled all over the world but I feel like I have a bit of a view of some customs, beliefs and lifestyles that are very different from my own. My life is richer because of the influences of those people I have encountered.

On our only trip to Mexico we met Paul and Kathy from the U.S., who now serve as missionaries in Poland. They are world travelers with feet on the ground making a difference in the lives of others who want to become missionaries. They have embraced  people from many cultures and have adapted to every circumstance given to them in order to further the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. To me their life seems rich with experiences and I am happy to say they are my friends.

You know that you don’t have to travel the world to make a difference. But you do have to embrace the people of the world that are around you to share your life. Jesus did not travel far in His three years of ministry but He made an impact that is still changing lives today. Jesus embraced everyone, even though His message was to the Jews. There are people all over this small world that still need the hope of Jesus in their lives. I think we should share it as we can, what do you think?

Mark 16:15

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Let’s all take some time to figure out how to share the love of God with those around us. I will be back next week with more.


I am reminded of Charlie Brown at Halloween when all the children were telling what goodies they got in the their bag and Charlie Brown said he got a rock. I got a rock for mother’s day. Now if you know me you know that I collect rocks and so the fact that two of my grandson’s painted a rather large rock and gave it to me is really nice.

It is probably the heaviest present I have ever gotten for Mother’s day and I really like it. I just have to figure out the best place to display this piece of art. My daughter and son in law also gave me the beautiful plant sitting next to the rock. My garden shall be beautiful with these additions.

It is wonderful to have children and grandchildren who are thoughtful and give gifts that are unique and thoughtful. I hope that all of the Mother’s and Grandmothers out there are having a wonderful day today with family.

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

 

Vapor


james 4 14 vaporJames 4:14 (NASB)

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

There are two ways to take this verse. You can say “I am a vapor and I will be gone soon so what does it matter what I do?” Or you can take it as the challenge it is and realize that your life on this earth is short in the overall span of time and try to make the biggest impact on this world possible while you are here.

Jesus, in his ministry of just over 3 years made a lasting impact on our society. Now I know you will say that you are not Jesus, but why can’t you leave a lasting impression? I hope that I have lived my life in such a way that anyone who comes to know me has remembered our encounter. I admit that I am not “normal” in my words or actions. I am a unique person as all of us are, who has been shaped by those around me.

We are all influenced by those who surround us and we influence them. Our friends and relatives are influenced by our actions and words and their contributions to our lives help make us who we are. Others who are passing acquaintances can also influence us. Not everyone we know or encounter will make a large impact in this short life. So what will?

God’s Word is something more powerful and moving that can influence a destiny.  And if you are trying to make the most of this life then it makes sense that you will use the most powerful tool and resource you can. His Word can change your opinions and attitudes in an instant. It can bring insight and understanding without condemnation. As for me God’s Word has shaped my view of the world. I try to take everything that happens in this life and filter it through the Word of God to understand it.

The older I get the better my understanding becomes of how short this vapor of life that God has given us is. I want to make the most of this time. Will you join me in using God’s Word to impact the world? Enjoy your week and remember that life is just a vapor, so live it to the fullest. I will be back next week with more.


IMG_2257After a couple of weeks with foot pain I am getting back to a more normal state. There is really no such thing as normal. Following my doctors orders we went for a nature walk this morning. I chose a nature park around 20 minutes from the house that would present a bit of a challenge to walk. We have walked this trail once before and I knew that it would provide some hills.

We started by going the opposite direction from where we had been the last time. This took us through some beautiful trees and blooming bushes. Due to allergies we walked fairly quickly through that area where that beautiful sweet smell of honeysuckle was the strongest. Then we slowed down and I was amazed by the size of the trees that were nestled in this small forested area. Some of them must be very old.

IMG_2263As I looked up I was fascinated with the way the limbs seem to bend this way and that way to get where they are right now. I wonder in my mind how that happens. Why did the limb not just grow straight out? What got in the way of this limb growing in one direction? It is true that limbs will grow toward the sun and if something gets between them and the sun they will grow around the obstruction.

On a spiritual level we are to grow toward the “Son” but have you noticed that there are many things that get in our way? I wonder if we look like those trees in the spirit realm. Are our branches crooked here and there because we are working our way toward the “Son of God”? Do all the obstructions we go around change how we grow? Do some of us get stuck under a full canopy and spend a lot of time trying to reach the “Son” but only get a limb or two out far enough or tall enough to feel the warmth of His embrace once in a while?

We need Jesus to be able to grow in our walk with God the Father. We need to be rooted and grounded in God’s word. Our hunger and thirst for righteousness must be satisfied with His word. And very importantly we must walk in the light of His word.

John 1:1 (NIV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 6:35 (NIV)

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 8:12 (NIV)

 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 14:6 (NIV)

 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Most trees are steady, slow growing and strong. That is my desire to become steady in my beliefs, to slowly grow in the word of God and to become strong enough to give God all the glory due His magnificent name. Will you join me?

I will be back next week with more.


FAITH IS THE ETERNAL CONSTANTChange is constant. That sounds like an oxymoron but it is not. For me every day is different at work and at home. Now there are some physical things that do not change: I wake up, prepare myself to leave, go to work and come home each day. However my route to work and the vehicle I take might change. I might drive and I might ride. The jobs I do at work could and do easily change, either in the job itself or in the procedure for that job and sometimes I am given some temporary jobs. I have to adapt daily to all the changes.

The older I get the more I understand that if I cannot change I will not be able to thrive and prosper in this world. My parent’s generation used to say “the times they are a changin”. And they were right. Our society seems to be ever evolving and changing. Things that weren’t generally acceptable a couple of years ago are now perfectly fine to most people.

In this world physical things are changing daily but that should not change our spiritual beliefs. We live in “time” and God rules “eternity”. In eternity there is the constant presence of God that never changes.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

If eternity lives in our hearts because we truly believe in God and have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we will be honest and full of integrity, loving those around us and loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Faith is the eternal constant that can keep us strong in this ever changing world. 

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.

This world and society are a temporary place for us. There is eternal reward for spiritually prospering in this life and helping those around us to do the same. My challenge for this week is to remember daily why I am here on this earth and do my best to live up to my potential. Will you join me?

Treasures in the Briars


Have you ever gone into a place that was damp, full of briars and thorny plants? It doesn’t appear to be the best place to be. It is difficult to walk in and will cause scratches if you are not super careful and let some of the thorns stab you. Yes at one point I found myself with both legs tangled in thorn vines. Good thing Bob brought his clippers to cut me out.

The property we walked today was like that, very untouched by the hand of man. And when we got into some of the most tangled mess of briars we found a prize, morel mushrooms. I had to take a picture, because they seemed to glow in this place.

IMG_2241

As I think about walking through the briars and getting tangled up in them I am reminded of everyday life. It seems that we walk through briars everyday and some of us get so tangled up in them we can’t move. One thing leads to another and we find ourselves in the middle of the briar patch with no way to get out.

Jesus came to help us get out of the briar patches by sending the Holy Spirit to guide us. It is  like Bob did for me, he reaches down and cuts the briars away and helps us to move forward. And when we follow Him he will lead us to treasures, even though we still have briars to go through the treasures make the trip worth taking.

The treasure that Jesus gives us is much more valuable than morel mushrooms. It is eternal life with God. When your days look the darkest and sharp things are all around you know that the Holy Spirit is there to help you remove them and move forward toward the treasure. Treasures are always found in the places you least expect them and they lift your spirits when you find them.

Matthew 13:44
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Enjoy the treasures you find in the midst of your briars. I will be back next week with more.
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