Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

The Sun Came Out


The rain finally stopped falling from the sky. Wow I felt like I moved to Seattle without going anywhere. The rain was crazy and for the first time since I have lived in this house (20 years) when I walk into the back yard it squishes. Every step is met with mud or just grass squishing. Very unusual for an area that has been prone to draught for a while.

It seems that the darkness from the clouds and the threat of flooding causes people to be either depressed, anxious or listless. Getting motivated is difficult and going fast is almost unheard of unless you are running out of the rain. But as soon as the sun pops out in the sky things tend to begin to get more energetic and there is more motivation to move around.

Saturday morning when I was shopping I stepped out of the store to see the sun shining directly into my eyes. Then I realized for the first time in weeks I needed my sunglasses. Good think I keep them in my purse. It was a welcome sight, but by the time I got home less than 15 minutes away the clouds had again covered the sky and blocked out the sun again. Thankfully there was no rain just partly cloudy skies.

The dark clouds can bring much needed rain but they also symbolize when we are having a depressingly dark time in our lives. When bad things happen or things just don’t go the way I think they should it is like those clouds covering the sky and not allow me to see the sun. But when I reach out to God and continue to pray, in God’s timing, the sun pops out and I can carry on.

I think the world was full of dark clouds, spiritually, when God sent His only Son to this earth to show us the way to our eternal salvation. And when Jesus was born the star shined down on Him showing that He is the light of the world. Jesus is the Hope that brings the sun to shine on our lives.

I hope this week we might all reflect on the significance of the sacrifice that Jesus made that gives us the opportunity to share in an eternity with God and not an eternity of suffering in an unquenchable fire. I know that I am thankful for salvation, are you?

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

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Death and Salvation


IMG_2088The struggle is real. It is unsettling how many people die each day—some unexpectedly and others after a long illness, some at the hands of others and some in accidents. It seems the older I get the more emotion a death provokes in my soul. Sometimes I do not even know the person but I feel the sorrow for those who have lost a loved one and wonder if they had experienced salvation before their death.

I am encouraged by my faith that those who have accepted Christ will be in eternity with God, and saddened by those who refuse to accept the free gift of salvation through belief in Jesus Christ. I heard a man say the other day that he would rather believe in God and later find out that he was wrong than not believe and find out that God does exist. I totally agree with that sentiment. After all those who believe in God with all their hearts are subsequently changed into the very image of Christ.

I experience sad days when I encounter people who refuse to believe that there is a spiritual life. They have in essence rejected the whole idea of God and salvation. It appears that they believe physical is all there is to life. And unless their minds are opened they can never be saved.

It is not our calling to open closed minds that is the work of the Holy Spirit. We can however pray for anyone to have their eyes opened and their souls saved from eternal damnation.

John 3:16 (NIV)

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.

Will you join me in praying for the lost you meet in your daily life? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Tear Out


Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 (NIV)

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

My husband and I just spent seven days beginning the tear out of a house that is on the property that we purchased. Our hope is that we can rebuild and redeem the house and turn it into a beautiful home for our retirement years. So, we took a week of vacation from our jobs and began the initial tear out. We have to be sure that the bones of the house are good before we add our touches to it.

Tear out is my favorite part of construction. There is something very gratifying about taking down something that has seen better days so that it can be replaced with something fresh. But where do you start when tearing into a house? Well, Bob says that you take a house down in the opposite way that you put it up. So, since the trim goes on last it will come off first. Then when the trim is gone you move on to the wall coverings.

Now when you watch the home improvement shows you will see them using a sledge hammer to beat their way into the drywall and make an extreme mess. Well both Bob and I believed that there was a less messy and quicker way to do this. And as a result of that we managed to get most of the drywall down in full sheets at a time. After all, why make a mess when you don’t have to. The next most fun part was taking down paneling, which comes down pretty easy once you get it started.

When I think about tearing things out in the house it reminds me of when I first experienced salvation. There were a lot of things in my life that I had to tear out and throw away in order to rebuild on the Rock of my salvation. I remember that remodel job like it was yesterday. I understood from the start that my life was going to change. Some of the changes were immediate and dramatic and some took time. Just like the house I am still a work in progress.

James 1:2-4 (NKJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

We know that working on this house will take us years and we must be patient. God also knows that working on us takes years to mold us into His desired vessel. So, we must endure and try to enjoy the process.

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

I Remember 9-11-2001


American flag

This week we all remember September 11, 2001. I will never forget where I was and how unexpected and intense the next few days became. I was the only supervisor of a small A.C.E. school. On that day I believe there were six students. Ashley was a little late coming in and when she arrived she told us of a plane flying into the World Trade Center. I decided that we would complete our normal beginning to the day with the pledges and stuff and then we could turn the TV on.

Immediately after the pledges we turned on the TV and as we watched we saw the second plane fly into the building. Then there were reports of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania and one into the Pentagon. It was all a bit terrifying. When I noticed that our youngest students were struggling with everything I decided that we needed a break and we went outside to have some exercise.

I remember calling Bob and asking him if he knew what was going on. He said they had the TV on where he was working and as he could he was watching it. Somehow it gave me a little comfort to know that he was aware. Being the only adult at the school meant that I had to keep my composure and be strong. That was hard to do. Prayer was the only thing that that helped me through that day.

It was a horrible few days trying to figure out what would happen next. The world I lived in changed completely. I remember how the whole nation was in shock and how for the first time in a long time the politicians all stood together in unity. It was an amazing time to watch, but at the same time terrifying because of the unknown.

The only known thing was that God would hear our prayers and help us through this dark time. We enjoyed some time when no airplanes flew. It was weird to stand outside and see the completely blue skies—no airplane trails. Of course, that ended and the noise of society went rambling on.

When I think about that time I thank God that He was there to listen to our prayers and help us through. God does not say that we will never go through tough times. Tough times are when our faith is tested and proven. This was a definite test of faith in God over the atrocities of man.

John 16:33

“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.”

Jesus has overcome the world and if we believe in Him and trust Him, then we can make it through the trials and tribulations of this world. Be encouraged, enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Marriage


wedding rings

Many years ago, on September 8th a nervous young lady was about to marry a young man. They had committed their lives to each other at the very beginning of the year. Neither knew what the future held in store for them, but both were excited about the possibilities. She had been in college, but could not wrap her head around finishing that path because she was expecting a baby and knew this new family would take all her attention.

Funny how she had never dreamed about a big wedding day or having a family, unlike most girls she knew. She had never dated much and was quite frankly afraid of most men. But this young man she was about to marry was different. He put her at ease and made her feel special. He loved her and it would take her many years to better understand this.

The wedding day was the most special day she had experienced to this point in her life. She felt it was all for her and she was not afraid to celebrate herself and her decision to marry this man. It was amazing to see people come to her wedding and reception to celebrate this wonderful day. Weddings are but a vapor in the wind, the real test of a relationship is the years after the wedding.

She vowed to herself that she would avoid things she had seen in other marriages—and that meant that she would have to be willing to compromise her desires in order to build a strong relationship. She was not perfect at this and there were many rough spots, but through it all they both chose higher ground and decided that they wanted to be together more than they wanted their own way. This is the story of my marriage.

I have had some people asked how we have stayed together so long. Here are some of my ideas.

  • We love each other enough to give up some things in order to keep our relationship.
  • We also have learned over the years how to give each other time when needed.
  • There is also a need for good presentation skills. Demanding something gets you an argument but presenting an idea with the opportunity for your spouse to say no or take time to warm up to the idea makes all the difference in the world.
  • Being able to accept that no one is perfect and being willing to help each other grow goes a long way toward a happier life.

Yesterday Bob and I celebrated 39 years of marriage. As we went about our day we thought of our wedding day and wondered where all the years have gone. We wondered how time went by so fast. We celebrated each other.

It was a rainy day so we decided not to go out. Our desire was to just be together, to dream and share life. I reflected on the years with Bob and what I realized is that he has been strong when I was weak and I have been strong when he was weak. He has always taken care of me, in good times and in bad. I truly believe that God brought us together and has kept us together all these years.

Every day brings new opportunities to learn and grow. Would you join me in learning and growing with your spouse, family and friends? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

God’s Perspective


San Jose - Phoenix 14I have been reading the book of Job. Now I know that some people do not like the book of Job because it can seem a bit depressing. But I see it as inspiring. I look at all that Job went through and how he kept his integrity and faith in God. He partially understood who God is and had a humble outlook on life in general.

I especially get encouraged and humbled when I read the chapters with God’s response and questions to Job. Beginning with chapter 38 I see a tremendous amount of questions to Job that explain what God has done and who He is. Then in Chapter 42 we see Job’s reply.

1Then Job replied to the Lord:

“I know that you can do all things;
    no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.

“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
  and repent in dust and ashes.”

In verse 3 Job says “Surely I spoke of things I do no understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” It is such an honest humble statement. Job had been talking from a human perspective, but God is trying to get him to see His perspective. This humbled Job.

I always feel humbled when I read this portion and wonder how many things in my life  I try to explain but miserably fail because I use my perspective and do not understand the majesty of God. Someday when God takes me home to heaven I will understand completely but until then I must continue on with what I can understand and continue in His word to keep reminding myself that I do not know everything.

I hope that you will join me this week in getting a better understanding of God’s perspective of this life. Maybe even try reading some of Job. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

God made the Rich and the Poor


rich and poorAs I read my bible this morning I read this scripture:

Proverbs 22:2 (NIV)

Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.

As I thought about this I realized that I always focused on the “poor” portion of this message because poor people tend to be looked down on. But what about looking at our world through the eyes of God. If he made the rich and poor, why do I tend to ignore the spiritual needs of the rich? Don’t they at least deserve our prayers for their salvation?

I know that some who are well off don’t think they need God because they have all they want in this world. But they do not know about eternity.  A lot of the rich are in positions of power in society. Don’t they deserve our prayers for their salvation?

As I read and listen to the “news” all I see is petty fighting for positions politically with slanderous statements. These people need our prayers. Now maybe I can’t pray for each individual that I see on the news everyday, but I can pray for some. I believe that God will guide each of us who choose to make ourselves open to pray for people whom we can see have dropped into petty bickering and fighting instead of fulfilling their positions in society with honesty and integrity.

So my challenge for the week is to begin to pray for those in society who are caught up in these battles but need to step back and realize that the people they are fighting were also created by God and can be respectfully disagreed with without petty fighting. Will you join me?

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

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