It’s all About the Journey

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.  Psalm 37:25 (KJV)

From as far back as I can remember I was always on a journey to where and for what I wasn’t sure but bound and determined to get there.  I felt like one of those toys that are wound up and with feet flying sat back down on the ground.  I frantically scurried about stopping only briefly to change directions when encountering significant resistance.

I became a Christ follower as a teenager, and while that didn’t slow me down,  I had a better idea of where I was heading.  I had an insatiable need to know God’s word and studied diligently.  I learned to use various study tools including the Inductive Study Method.  Having a desire to ease the emotional suffering of others, I trained in Biblical Counseling.  I was always searching for my place of ministry.  The area where God had designed and equipped me to function already prepared and waiting for my arrival.  Young and full of energy, I grasped each opportunity encountered vowing to ‘make a difference’ in my world.   Unknowingly I set myself up for failure.

I was privileged to serve in several different areas and found each challenging and rewarding. Teaching, Writing, Drama, Counseling and even children’s ministry.  I worked hard focusing all my efforts on the perceived destination.  I was always sure it was where God had called me, however when met with resistance, I would refocus citing circumstances beyond my control for the change in direction.   I suffered from disappointment and discouragement which only grew over the years never able to enjoy the present for I always lived for the future.

Today a grandmother in her seventies I look back over the years and realize it was never about the destination, it was all about the journey.

 

Hidden Reality

The face in the mirror that’s so familiar to you and your acquaintnaces isn’t you.  It’s simply the tent you dwell in.  Your place of abode, the physical characteristics people relate to as you.  The real you is hidden away somewhere inside, a person only God truly knows.

The evaluation offered in this article can help you understand who you are and may also offer hints to your bent in life and the direction in which you are heading.  Take time to honestly answer a few questions – for a glimpse of the real you.

  1. What places do you voluntairly frequent?
  2. Who do you enjoy being around?
  3. Who do you pity?
  4. What brings you joy?
  5. What is the most prominent goal in your life?
  6. Who do you admire?
  7. What do you fear?
  8. What do you hate?
  9. After what do you consistently seek?
  10. How do you want others to see you?
  11. What are your secret desires?
  12. Who are your friends?
  13. Where do you spend your discretionary funds?
  14. What makes you uncomfortable?
  15. Would you want you as a close friend?  Why or why not.

As you think about your life experiences,  choices, talents, and  aspirations, perhaps you will begin to discover the unique individual  you are.  It may not be who others think you are, or even who you think you are, but the real you that only God can see.

If this blog has given you insight into strengths, talents or gifts that perhaps you did not know you had, share your findings with others.  Comments are encouraged.

 

 

The Normal Day

The  redundancey of daily tasks in our normal every day lives tend to lull us into a sense of complacency.    Lost in the demands of the moment and giving little thought to the possibility of change.  A few years ago I lost my husband of fifty-two years  and suddenly  what is written in the quote below became a glaring reality to me.  I went about my day doing familiar things,  then overnight my life fell apart.  No time to talk or adjust.  I just went to sleep and awoke in a different world.

During those first weeks I searched franticaly for something to anchor my life.   Gradually over the months that followed, I clawed my way through the maze and found solid footing.    I don’t know how many others might experience what I did.  I guess it would depend on a lot of variables, however, for those of you who might, I have included some material that struck a cord with me.

We all choose what we will entertain in our conscious mind.  The things we attach importance to while others are discarded with little thought.  Some of you who read this post may take it to heart making it a part of your daily life.  Others will toss it aside as not relating to them.  However, the chances are very high that one day in the future it will come back to haunt you when you like others before you scream silently into your pillow wishing for a chance to return to a normal day.

Quote taken from ‘Defeat & Despair’ blog.

“Wherever you are right now, stop and listen; look around you.  Whatever you see or hear — the voices of your loved ones, the bustle of your workplace, the quiet of your home after others have left, your well-tended garden and your beloved pets and handmade decorations — all the minutiae of your present surroundings will one day belong to a vanished past.  The magazines and books lying around now, if they survive at all, will soon seem passé, then eventually become quaint collector’s items.   The photographs on your walls will fade and appear dated, the hairstyles and clothes hinting of bygone eras.” ~ Unknown author

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

— Mary Jean Irion

What does  your normal day look like?  How might you redeem the time and live it to the fullest?  Share your ideas with other bloggers.

Secrets of Christmas

It’s that time of year again when most people take a detour from the daily grind and celebrate the season.  Not everyone does so in the same way.  Some travel, others may go on a wild shopping spree, while many take part in religious activities.  Some see Christmas as a time when Santa Claus delivers presents to children around the world.  Christians celebrate the birth of Christ.  Jews celebrate Hanukkah (feast of dedication) commemorating the rededication of the second Jewish temple around 167 BCE.

There are many pagan (nature-worshiping) traditions associated with the season of Christmas.  These include the Christmas tree, carols, Christmas cards, and stockings, giving gifts even Christmas cookies.  The use of greenery, mistletoe, and Santa Claus are also pagan traditions.  Other celebrations taking place during this same time of year were the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the beginning of the winter solstice.

Considering the abundance of anti-Christian activities taking place in December, one might wonder why it was chosen as a time to celebrate the birth of Christ.  Since there is nothing in scripture that gives the birth date of Christ, surely some other time would have been better suited.  Over the years as well as in our day, there are Christians who refuse to celebrate Christmas for this reason.

I love the Christmas season.  It is a time when most people turn their thoughts to making others happy by showing their love and appreciation.  Regardless of who chose them, the decorations are beautiful.  Probably the most common decoration is the use of lights. Judaism, the religion of Christianity’s roots, celebrates this time with a festival of lights.  The lights remind me that Christ is the light of the world.  Red and green splash across store windows, street lights, doorways, inside and outside homes just about everywhere you look.  Just the sight is exciting.  The red reminds me that Jesus shed His blood for the sins of the world and the green speaks to everlasting life promised for those who follow Him.

It is unfortunate the idea of giving gifts has become so commercialized for it commemorates the greatest gift ever given – our Savior.  Honestly, the value in the gift is found in the attitude of the heart, not the monetary value.  This genuinely beautiful idea can be distorted due to jealousy, envy, selfishness, and greed.  As a result, many dread the Christmas season.  Instead of coming together in love and celebrating the reason for the season, many families are divided allowing the lusts of the flesh to dominate their attitudes.

Another tradition that has morphed into something disdainful to many is the idea of a generous individual who travels the world to bring the joy of the season to children everywhere.  He has been called a lot of things over the centuries, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, to mention a few.  In America today he is most commonly known as Santa Claus.

Different cultures and various countries over the centuries have ascribed their ideas as to how this Christmas visitor looked and behaved.  Today he is pictured as plump and jolly, wearing a red suit trimmed with white fur and black boots.   On his head, a red hat decorated in white and his beard long and white also. Down through the ages others have worn long robes and hats with the appearance of greenery growing on top.

This mystical creature has been a source of controversy over the years, especially in the religious realm. However, most have continued to acknowledge this Christmas tradition.  There is much about the story of Santa that can be used in a negative sense. However, I believe it can also be used to teach children about the heart of the season.  Love, generosity, unselfishness, and how attitude and behavior can affect the experiences you have in life.  Everything God made is good; it is the work of  Satan that defames and distorts.

My fondest memory of childhood is sitting on my father’s lap in front of the fireplace on Christmas Eve.  Like all children, I wanted to stay up but was afraid if I did there would be nothing under the tree the next morning.  Everyone must respond to the dictates of their conscience in everything they embrace including Christmas.  However, it is sad to allow the manipulation of Satan to steal the joy, beauty and real reason for this season of celebration.

Interested in Prophecy

There is a lot of focus on the prophetic scriptures these days.  Movies, books, TV programs, pastors, and churches everywhere seem to want a piece of the action.  The problem is not what the scripture says – but how it is interpreted.  The basic definition of the word prophecy is a prediction of future events, not just end time events. The ultimate test of a prophet is if his prophecies come true.  However, if the prophetic information is to be useful, it is necessary to believe it before it comes true.

Over the centuries various doctrines concerning end-time events have been adopted by different religious groups.  Each scholar convinced his interpretation is correct. Many have spent their lifetime searching for clues as to when time will come to an end.  They worry it will take them by surprise and they will not be ready.           NewsFlash!  “The end of time will come  in your lifetime!”

No matter who you are, what century you live in or what you believe when the breath leaves your body ready or not your time has ended.

 

Who are you following?

Who are you following?  Who are you listening to? Who do you go to for answers to spiritual questions?  Who are you trying to please? If you answer truthfully you will know who you are following.

I don’t want to offend anyone but Jesus Christ (Yeshua) is no longer on earth, and if you are taking directions from man you may wind up in the swamp. Christ was perfect ,no sin was found in Him, He is our example.   Where did we get the idea that as believers we needed man to guide us?  God has provided all the instruction required to live a godly life.  His Word and His Spirit.  The Word is a lamp unto your feet, ( Psalms 119:5) and His spirit will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).

The WCE reports there are over 30,000 different Protestant Dominations today.  This number is disputed by many for various reasons. However, anything over one is too many.  The World Christian Encyclopedia by Barrett,  defines “denomination” as:

An organized aggregate of worship centers or congregations of similar ecclesiastical tradition within a specific country … whose component congregations and members are called by the same denominational name in different areas, regarding themselves as one autonomous Christian church distinct from other denominations, churches, and traditions.

Scripture bears out the fact there is one body, one spirit, one Lord, one faith and one God. (Eph 4:4-6) So why are there so many different denominations?  Could it be because each denomination has been formed by and is lead by man, embracing doctrines derived from their personal interpretation of scripture? This is not to say all Christian leaders are in error.  There are faithful people in all denominations. However, do you want to base your spiritual life on the understanding of natural man? God does not accept excuses for ignorance of His word.  You are responsible for your walk with God based on the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of scripture to you personally.

I’m not saying that membership in local fellowships are wrong they can and should be very encouraging and supportive of one another.  It is when the individual believer lays aside the Bible and follows the instructions of the groups’ leaders alone that problems ensue.  You are an individual; God deals with you as an individual, only God can lead you in the path He created for you.

This article is intended for believers only – especially new believers.  The only access the unbeliever has to the Holy Spirit is when the Spirit convicts him of sin and his need of salvation.  When an unbeliever accepts the witness of the Holy Spirit and accepts the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ on his behalf, the Spirit takes up residence in the body of that individual and will guide you into all truth. Who are you following?

Nothing goes unseen!

You may not realize it but you are writing a book, a book about your life. Every thought, word, or deed is recorded good or bad.  Your book is being read as you write it.  By your children, spouse, neighbors, friends, and everyone you come in contact with.  What are you saying?  At the end of the day are those who crossed your path stronger?  Do they look forward to your uplifting smile, attitude of thankfulness or the warmth of your presence?

We are born and we die.  That fact alone is hardly significant, it is what happens between those two dates that will change the world. That’s right everyone’s story will change their world for better or worse.

It’s not possible to re-write yesterday.  What messages did you send to the people around you?  You may not have a tomorrow – who knows the length of a lifetime?  Over today only do you have control – write well for life only moves in one direction.

James 4:14

Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.

The Dash by Linda Ellis

A poem by Linda Ellis called ‘The Dash’ speaks volumes concerning the book we are all writing.  Follow above link to read copyrighted poem.

Know What You Believe and Why You Believe it!