When I am confused, I fix my thoughts on you...you: noble, true, good, honest, worthy of praise.
When I am in tired, I infuse my aching, sagging frame and dragging frame of mind with your words...of eagles and flight.
When I am joyless, I force a quiet refrain to rise out of my thick throat, then I sing a little louder and then LOUDER STILL until my very being is FLOODED WITH echoes of YOUR JOY.
When I am lonely and lost in the darkness, I schooch over beside you and snuggle up against you and KNOW I am not, cannot be, will never be alone. I reach for your hand; I find it; I find you; I find LIGHT.
In the midst of those days, hard, cold, dark days, I will forever praise you. No matter what. I choose to praise you, for from those praises come clarity, determination, joy and comfort.
"In this world you will have troubles but I have overcome the world..." John 16:33
I picked the cart with the wobbly wheel. The lady gliding along in front of me at Aldi's, our local discount grocery store, turned around smiling knowingly, "I put that one back." I smiled back, pushing the cart with one elbow down now, willing the stubborn wheel to work me towards the eggs. Well, it was my cart now. So I decided to make the best of it. Did I tell you I also have a cast on my left wrist? Yes. The picture gets a bit more laborious. But, to modify the poet Frost...many groceries to get before I go, and many miles before I go...
For some reason, this grocery trip became joyful suddenly. Despite cajoling a strong-willed cart full of heavy groceries with one arm through the store, I started thinking of what was on the other side...Home. There was purpose in this trip, and it became calmly joyful.
As I went through the checkout line, I saw the cashier start rapidly placing my goods in a different shopping cart beside her, one without a stubborn wheel. My smile broadened. Aha! Yes, that is the way it works at Aldi's; your groceries go out of the store on the empty cart of the person in line ahead of you. A fresh cart.
Feeling lighter, I seamlessly pushed the new cart like butter in a hot pan.
When I strolled out into the parking lot, you guessed it, the sun was shining and pleasantly warm. My heart was thankful. Soon there would be no cart at all, stubborn or not. All that would remain would be me, and I would be Home.
My brief and potentially painful and frustrating trip through Aldi's, bearing the cart with a lazy wheel and a broken hand to push it with, was short. My life on earth is short compared to my eternal life in Heaven, my true Home, as a believer in Christ.
The moment the new cart was pushed outside, I felt the promise of the sunshine, and then realized I wouldn't have a cart at all anymore after this life, It reminded me that although many troubles will come in this life, not may...will, my hope is fixed on Heaven and the promises of my Lord and Savior.
He doesn't say we will not have trials. And many believers have tremendous trials in this life on earth. What He did promise is that He will be with us through all of them. And for those who believe that Jesus died to save them from the penalty of their sins (death) new life on earth and eternal life in Heaven are theirs. God has the power not only to change your perspective about our stubborn wheels and our broken places, but He also has the power to transform our earthly life and give us a Heavenly life that will far surpass our imaginations.
Sisters in Christ, I am praying for you, whatever your stubborn wheels of this life may be and whatever trials you may be walking through. I am praying for God to wrap His arms around you, encouraging your heart with His promises and His steady love that will not fail, Sister, He sees you.
He loves you.
May you gain beautiful glimpses of joy in the midst of struggle and of purpose in the midst of pain. He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. He has overcome the world.
For those of you, precious ladies, who do not know God yet as your savior and redeemer, He loves you. He loves you better and more completely than any human has or ever could.
His love Saves.
It saves from focusing too much on the tremendous struggles of this world and gives hope and a future of heaven. His love looses captives from chains of generational sins and habitual harmful habits.
His love frees and transforms the mind and the heart. It doesn't just "get you into heaven"; it transforms your life and your purpose here on earth.
And one more thing...He can use anything, and I mean anything and everything from your life, past and present. Everything can be used to bring Him glory and to draw you and others closer towards your true, heavenly Father.
1. Every person does actions that are wrong. These are called sins. They separate us from God.
2. God is a Holy God. He hates sin and cannot look upon it. But He loves us.
3. There is a price for sin. The price for sin is death in an eternal way. Hell is eternal death. But sin also brings a form of death during earthly life, too. It destroys relationships, joy, peace...
4. The sin must be paid by a sacrifice. According to the Old Testament of the Bible, blood must be sacrificed from a pure and spotless source of life. You and I are not spotless. Jesus is. He paid the price by becoming the sacrifice on the cross. He died for our sins out obedience to His father's will and out of love for man.
5. If we accept that Jesus paid the price for our sins and call him Savior, we are claiming the free gift that He has given us. We no longer need to live a life filled with death and destruction on this earth and after our life go to hell, but now we live with hope, no matter the trials of life, we live being transformed by the renewing of our minds by the Bible. We live in new Victories each day and each year by the power of the Holy Spirit. The God of the universe (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) loves us and wants to have a transforming relationship with us. Finally, the free gift of spending life after death in heaven, a glorious place beyond our imaginations, is given to believers.
I was reading a book one time and it asked us to think about whether we were focusing on blessing people, or impressing them. At that point in my life, I remember this standing out to me so much. I put that little catch phrase, "Bless, don't impress" in my brain and have thought of it so often over the years.
I try to keep it in my when I have company over - am I scurrying around the house to clean it all up and make it look perfect in order to bless others, or impress them? I try to keep it in mind when I go out in public with my children - am I cleaning them up and trying to keep them quiet in order to bless others, or impress them? I try to keep it in mind when I'm in a conversation with a friend - am I telling stories and bringing up things in order to bless them, or impress them?
Where is my heart?
There is a portion of 1 Peter 3:9 that says, "Bless, for to this you were called." Just above that Peter tells us to have brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. This runs so contrary to the competitive and comparative world we live in, yet is exactly how Christ is calling us to live.
How can you bless someone today?
Maybe it's by leaving a bit of a mess around when someone comes over so that they feel like they aren't alone in their struggle to have everything together.
Maybe it's by sharing a story that might not make you look so good, but will allow others to see your humanity and feel connected enough to share their own struggles.
Maybe, just maybe, by putting aside our desire to impress others, we will actually BLESS them.
The world is longing for people who are brave enough to be real - are you willing to be one of them?
In this journey alongside you,
Are you looking to get connected this fall? Many opportunities are avaiable to you!
Small groups are beginning on Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings. You can check out more details by clicking on the Bible Study tab above or here.
Are you a mom of a child 5 and under? Then MOPS may be for you! Meeting once a month on the second Thursday of the month from 9-11 am. You are welcome to come check out one of our meetings! For more information click on the MOPS tab above or here. (Not a MOPS mom, but want to have some fun - be sure to check out the monthly MOPSHOP on the MOPS page.)
Do you have a passion for supporting missions? Check out the Great Commission Women here.
Other items are listed on the side bar under What's Happening.
This November 7 & 8 is the Women of Faith Simulcast right here at GCAC! More details will be coming this week so be sure to check back.
Enjoy the beauty of the day ladies, and see the wonder of God in it all.