Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are enjoying the season and allowing God’s presence to fill you with his love.
We have a series going on here at Access Church titled “The question that answers everything”. Pastor Kevin has been talking for the past 3 weeks about making wise decisions based on our past, our present circumstances and our future goals and dreams. Sometimes, actually most of the time, we base our decisions on emotions. How we feel dictates what we think and what we do. When someone we love dies we are often given the very wise advice not to make any major decisions for at least a year. Why? Because our emotions and our feelings are unstable under those circumstances. Chances are, we will feel differently as time goes by. Our God given emotions are very valuable, they make us who we are. But, making life choices based totally on how we feel is not always productive or in our best interest.
A great question to ask yourself is “what is the wise thing to do?” Where do we turn to get advice that we know is sound. Well……I can tell you what has been helpful to me. I wish I could say that the first place I turn is to God’s word! It should be. The bible is full of advice that will help us to live a life that is full and complete. But sometimes I get side tracked and I look to friends or coworkers for advice, instead of God. After we check things out with God, I would recommend a trusted Christian relative or friend, maybe someone who has been through the same type of struggle we are facing. Many of us might need professional counseling, another very helpful avenue to explore. A great place to start, when you turn to the bible as you are looking for advice is Proverbs. Most of this book is written by the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon. I would encourage you to check it out next time you are overwhelmed with life. I hope and pray that this New Year 2015, will be full of good choices, Godly advice and wise decisions as you navigate through this thing called life!
I am not quite sure why I put that exclamation point at the end of the title of this blog. It’s not at all how I am feeling. Let me fill you in. Exactly 5 days ago I woke up feeling a bit under the weather, by noon that day, I could barely move! (I know, I know, a bit dramatic!) I was struck with the Influenza A virus. This monster is no little 24 hour bug…it is full out war on your body. Fever, chills, cough, nausea, body aches, headache, extreme fatigue for the first 2 days I seriously thought I was dying, it seemed like an easy way out! By the third day, the fever broke and I felt so grateful to God for all of the blessings in my life. I had a fresh empathy for people who deal with chronic illness and pain. I thought to myself “how do they do it God, how do they keep a positive attitude?”
As I went to bed that evening I felt positive and uplifted, feeling better, only to awaken in the middle of the night with fever/chills and lots of coughing! Here we go again, I guess I will be finding out first hand how they do it!……..it’s easy to be positive when things are looking up. It takes a person of strength and character to maintain that disposition when things don’t go the way we want. To be completely honest with you, I could use a little more “strength and character”. The trials of life will come and go, God treasures our love as we stay close in the midst of illness, suffering, broken relationships, or whatever it might be. With a fever blister on my lip and ribs aching from a deep cough I choose to say “thank you God, for so many blessings, and I wait for the change that he will make in my heart!” Happy New Year!
Truth in Love…..such an amazing biblical concept! For some of us, it is a very difficult thing to do. We want to be honest and direct, but, how do we do it without hurting someone???
Truth is an amazing gift we can give to people we care about. Without it, the chance of growth and change is almost impossible, not only for our own lives, but for the people around us. Yes, it is true, it takes a mature person to listen and ponder what is said to them. I know for myself, there have been a few people that have been strong enough to be honest with me, giving me a chance to see an area of my life that I was blinded to. Thank goodness I did not “shoot the messenger”, but decided to listen without becoming defensive. (must have caught me on a good day!) Whatever the reason that I decided to listen and not react on impulse, it was life changing for me. What I believe I ended up feeling, was that this person thought I was valuable enough to share how my actions made him feel, allowing me to consider the possibility that he was right and I was wrong. That change needed to happen on my end. The interaction was not done in a condemning or condescending way, just open and honest.
It challenged me and helped me to grow, thus becoming more effective and happy, personally and professionally! God will never steer us wrong. When we put his principles into action, the outcome is always good.
Something that has been on my mind for a while is the phrase “live in the moment”. It seems as though I have wished so much of my life away wanting…….waiting……..hoping………instead of seizing the moment that is now. Whether that means working through the pain of a situation, instead of avoiding it. Accepting things the way they are and basing decisions and choices on reality, rather than a Cinderella dream of a perfect life, or simply trying our very best to “stay” in the moment and look for God there. We can so easily get caught up in negative thoughts that pretty soon we cannot see or feel beyond them.
As I have pondered this in my own life, I have come to the realization that I am incredibly blessed. I have so much to be thankful for. I have had much loss and pain in my life, but God many times through the help I have received from other people, has always been my strength.
We will have many opportunities in life to square our shoulders and tell ourselves “this too shall pass”. What is it that God wants me to know or do or learn from this moment? God never-ever wastes a hurt. Somehow, in some way he can make something beautiful out of it. With that in mind I want to encourage you to live in your moments, stay close to God, and pray for His will to come to pass in your life.
“After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10
I am always sad to say good by to summer. This past year my husband and I moved to the lake. It has always been our dream. So, with that being said, this years’ good by to warm weather was especially difficult.
As I watched the leaves changing color and feeling the briskness in the air, I began to make peace with the fact that indeed winter is coming. Once that happened, I started to get a little excited about the things that come along with this change in season. After all the most wonderful holiday of all is right around the corner, and then there are winter sports…..snowmobiling, cross country skiing. Not to mention Thanksgiving and Valentines day!!!
So it is with our lives. Change is hard and not always comfortable, but once we make peace with the change and adapt to a positive way of thinking, great blessings are in store.
Be open to those opportunities that God may bring. Look for the Silverlining in each situation. Sometimes we don’t see it until it is behind us.
The God of the universe knows every challenge we will face and the outcome. He ALWAYS has our back. As we do our part, He meets us and helps us through each difficulty we face.
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4