Don’t miss it!

Foliage masses

Foliage masses (Photo credit: satosphere)

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,

and the son of man that you care for him?

  Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings

and crowned him with glory and honor. – Ps 8:3–5

“Oh, the trees are so beautiful! I haven’t noticed the change in color.” My friend I was having lunch with was riding instead of driving and took notice of the splendor displayed in the rich colors of fall. She, like many of us, is so busy.

Lists of tasks when we are busy seem to take over our attention and we miss the fabulous gifts displayed right in front of us. God intentionally gives us special presentations of his glory to enrich our lives and let us know how much he loves us.

There is a world full of beauty for us to enjoy. If we look around, we may discover something we overlooked before … a sunset, a shoreline, or perhaps a couple of eyes that communicate great love for you.

Look around.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for the many gifts you have given me throughout my life. Forgive me when I have missed them because I allowed my yoke to get too heavy. Today I will be intentional to look for your hand in all things. Amen

Faith Tip: Be aware of the gifts God has for you today.

What God really wants

0501

0501 (Photo credit: kindagetmego)

… and find out what pleases the Lord. – Ephesians 5:10

A friend was planning her son’s birthday, and she wanted it to be fun for her son. She planned going to the mall, visiting the arcade, getting ice cream and anything else she thought her son would enjoy. At the end of the day, she asked her son if he enjoyed his birthday.

“It was fun. But we could have done anything and I would have liked it, because I just wanted to spend time with you. It seems we’re so busy that we don’t do that anymore.”

My friend could have asked her son what he would like to do for his birthday instead of assuming what he would like. We also could ask the Lord what would please him instead of assuming. We think that God would like us to do good works for him, which he does, but which ones? We can’t do them all, and he hasn’t called us to do them all.

It takes spending time with the person we love to know their heart and discover what it is that pleases them. We can’t assume it, or think if we enjoy it, then they certainly would, too. God desires that time with us … that pleases him.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you do desire time with me. That’s hard to believe when you have the whole universe to consider … you want to spend time with me? Wow! Amen

Faith Tip: Find out what pleases the Lord by spending time with him.

Reckless Faith

Delanie praying (Photo credit: fishin widow)

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them. – Isaiah 11:6

There really is something special about the spirituality of children. Their hearts and minds have the ability to believe “recklessly” and while that can be a concern in regards to safety, in the realm of God and his kingdom it is a beautiful thing. They have the capacity to believe that God loves them and will take care of them, just because he’s God. It comes out in their words as they pray as I heard yesterday. Before every drama presentation, we gather as a team and pray. There was an unoccupied spot in the nursery, or so I thought, when a few children came in. I explained to them that we were going to pray and they could join us if they wanted. They enthusiastically wanted to join us, and their heartfelt prayers refresh my soul. It reminds me of how to come to God in prayer.

We do not live in a perfect world where the wolf will live with the lamb, but we will. God has promised that all the tears will be wiped away, there will be no more pain, and it will be eternal. Believing that promise should be the filter our prayers go through … not our doubts or experiences. If we can pray “recklessly” like the children, believing what we pray makes a difference, and then we live out the promise that is to come.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your promises to me. I know that you will fulfill them all. I pray that I can believe and surrender like a small child when it comes to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Practice praying “recklessly” with heart and mind wide open.

 

Investing wisely

A Kids Hope mentor and student

A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Galatians 6:7-10

Today, I have the pleasure of meeting with my new student as a mentor through Kids Hope USA. I have been mentoring for 17 years now and love it. God has done amazing things through these mentoring relationships. I have had opportunity to reconnect with the first student I mentored, which was wonderful. And just last night as I was leaving the Wednesday night activities at church, I heard, “Hi!” I looked and it was the student I mentored this past year who just graduated from the program. He was riding his bike when he saw me. He got off his bike and gave me a big hug and told me all about his summer. As you can see, I am truly blessed by the experience and anything I offer to the students is paid back multiple times. God has blessed my offering in doing good.

There are choices we have to make every day as God’s people in how we are going to spend our time and energy. It may be tempting to sit in front of the TV and snack, but all that happens there is an unhealthy lifestyle. We reap what we sow and every moment counts. Don’t waste the opportunities that come to you from a God who wants to give you a harvest of blessings.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the opportunities to sow your love that you have given me.  I pray that I not neglect the call and miss the harvest. Amen

Faith Tip: Focus today on how you can sow seeds for the kingdom of God. It is an investment well made.

Wisdom may bring sorrow

English: Cute coffee.

English: Cute coffee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief. – Ecclesiastes 1:18

Ahhhh … the comforts of life. We all know what gives us peace and makes us happy. For me, and this will come as a big surprise to many of you, is a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. I love the smell, the warmth in my hands, the taste and the bit of alertness it gives me. It paints a wonderful picture of relaxing and enjoying life to me.

If I look closer, I see there is a lot more behind the coffee that brings me pleasure. There is someone who is picking it. Are they hired or a slave? I have no idea. To tell you the truth, if I find out that the pleasure I am enjoying came as the cost of someone being enslaved and perhaps abused, that brings me grief. In learning the possibility, I have a choice to make. Do I ignore the learning given or do I bring it to light and make a change to my comforts?

God grants wisdom if we ask for it. He wants us to be enlightened … to see what he sees … for our hearts to break when his does.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the pleasures you give us in life. I pray that what brings me pleasure does not come at a cost for someone else. May the grief of wisdom bring me closer to following you in doing the right thing. Amen

Faith Tip: Ignorance is not bliss. Seek wisdom from God who is so faithful.

Let us say “Enough!”

There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind. The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough” – Proverbs 30:14-15

I recently made a discovery in researching an article on the horror of human trafficking in West Michigan. It is a huge problem that I really knew nothing about. Now that I know it’s there, now what do I do? That’s always the hard part isn’t it … our response.

The term “leech” in the Scripture means a horse leech which was the belief of a vampire-type creature in biblical times. We all know what vampires do … suck the blood out of a person until they die. That’s exactly was human trafficking does … it sucks the life out of a person until they are no more. It is never satisfied and wants more and more.

The victims are men, women and children … what can we do to rescue, care for and prevent this evil from devouring people? It’s time to take the blinders off and put on the armor … if God is for us, who can be against us?

To read more on this, please go to my article at West Michigan Christian News.

Prayer: Lord God, I cannot fathom the depth of hurt victims of human trafficking experience. I pray that I can be a safe place for them to go … your sanctuary. Amen

Faith Tip: Do you know of someone suffering from abuse. How should you care for them? How would you care for a family member? Applying the same principles is a great start.

 

May I have this dance?

A frame from the famous "Beauty and the B...

A frame from the famous “Beauty and the Beast” ballroom dance sequence. Using Disney’s CAPS software, the traditionally animated characters of Belle and the Beast are combined with a rendered computer-generated background to give the illusion of a dollying film camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As water reflects the face,
so one’s life reflects the heart. – Proverbs 27:19

There’s a scene from Beauty and the Beast where Belle and the beast are dancing in the great hall. It’s amazing how the production specialists made the floor reflective … it’s a beautiful scene. Plus the looks on their faces as they dance show the love they have for one another … their hearts are bared.

As we dance through life, what is the reflection seen on our faces … what does it show of our hearts? Is there an expression of God’s love for those who waltz into our daily routine?

It’s important to me to do what God wants me to do. I figure that the people he puts in my life and the situations are all for a purpose … most likely to change my heart to reflect his. It’s like being asked to dance by Jesus. If I accept, he will lead me across the dance floor securely in his arms with great love being shown on his face.

Prayer: You are the Lord of the Dance of life and I thank you for the invitation to join you on the dance floor. I pray my steps will be pleasing to you and not an obstacle to people who need you. Amen

Faith Tip: Are you ready to dance? Accept God’s invitation and have the time of your life.