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.

Grace, love and fellowship

"Writing", 22 November 2008

“Writing”, 22 November 2008 (Photo credit: ed_needs_a_bicycle)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:14

Where does the time go? The weeks seem to go faster and faster and I wonder what I got accomplished. Each day comes with a list of “to do’s” that I check off as I finish them. Most of the things I need to get done on the list are connected to some kind of interaction with somebody. Many think that being a writer means being alone in work, but not true. I have connections daily with many people through email, phone calls, meetings, coffee and more. I truly enjoy this although I also like the quiet times when I can write. It’s all good.

As we journey through life, none of us is really alone. There are people everywhere that we can have a relationship with at different levels. What makes some relationships more precious to us is the bond we have in Christ. There is an understanding, or there should be, of whose we are and how we are related to others in Christ. This includes a knowledge about grace, love and fellowship that we share. It is a powerful circle to be a part of and I am thankful.

Prayer: Lord, you are at the center of my circle and I thank you for that truth. I pray that I display your grace and love in the fellowship of those who call you Lord. May the same be true with those who do not know you. May they sense something different in me that draws them to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Be intentional in showing grace and love as you fellowship.

Who is the offender?

order up

order up (Photo credit: circulating)

A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11

My husband and I were dining with another couple at a nice restaurant. When our food was brought out, my entrée was cold and the meat somewhat raw. I called the server over and explained the problem, but was polite and understanding. The couple with us was amazed that I didn’t get all upset and demand satisfaction. I wish I could say that I was always this understanding, but the truth is … sometimes my impatience shows through.

Allowing God’s Spirit to guide us in words and actions will be noticed. It is almost considered normal to demand our rights in this country with no consideration for anyone else. Revenge is on our hearts when we have been offended. We forget for that time span how we have been offensive. The grace of God shown through us says that we know who died for our sin and who put him on the cross. While yet offensive, Christ died for us.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times that I forget what you have done for me. There is no offense against me that measures up to the offense I had against you. You have taken the sting of death away by your grace and mercy. Amen

Faith Tip: If you have been offended or are offended today, look upon the offender as Christ looked at us from the cross.

Just like Jesus

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

 

There’s nothing like bringing the community together to practice the attributes of Jesus. Actually, it gives us opportunity to be Jesus to each other. My church had a community festival that went on for two days. There were representations from many cultures (love salsa music) and sharing of talents. Tae Kwon Do, dance, break dancing, cotton candy, hot dogs, large inflatable slides to play on, farm critters were on display and more. I think everyone had a great time and enjoyed the celebratory spirit of the event.

 

Any time that we are in contact with others is another opportunity to show the difference Jesus makes in our life. We could say it in words, but it wouldn’t make the impact as someone experiencing it when they connect with us. Jesus brings us to a whole new level of the spiritual gifts than we could do for ourselves. We are empowered to be like Christ … if we choose to be.

 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the great plans you have for me today … more than likely it will include relating to someone. I pray for your eyes to see that I can be like your son, Jesus, in all I say and do. Amen

 

Faith Tip: Choose now before you go out how you will relate with others … like Christ or not.

 

Protection against rejection

"Scripts from Crypt" writers group

“Scripts from Crypt” writers group (Photo credit: St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral – Memphis)

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place… – Ephesians 6:14

Last night at my writer’s group, we talked about getting rejected in writing. There were various expressions of emotions shared with the fear of getting rejected. Rejection of a writing piece can be for many reasons ranging from the submission needs more work to the editor was having a bad day. To think all of our submissions are going to be loved by all who read them is just not reality. Knowing and living the truth of who we are as writers is most important in the submission process, not the acceptance or rejection. This protects our hearts and minds in continuing to fight the spiritual battles that surround us.

We must choose to put on God’s armor to be protected from the attacks of the enemy. If we go out in battle unprotected (no time to read God’s word or pray), then we run the risk of being injured. However, if we are fully prepared then we will experience the victory of Christ.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the time spent with you this morning that readies me for any battle I may face today. I pray that I don’t lose sight of who you are and what you can do. Amen

Faith Tip: Take time now to become ready to face the day fearlessly. The armor of God is ready for you to put on.

The sure thing

Christmas lights (1)

Christmas lights (1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. – Romans 14:23

My husband loves to decorate the deck for Christmas with lights and other decorations that we purchased from Bronner’s in Frankenmuth. One year, I wanted to try to cut down on the electric costs so I invested in solar lights. I thought they would work just as well and we would pay a lot less in utilities. Wrong … the lights hardly ever came on since it was cloudy most of the time. When they did come on, it was only for a few minutes and then they would fade out again. Needless to say, we should have gone with economical plug-in lights. It would have been a sure thing.

When we live our Christian life, we come across situations that we need to choose what we should do. It’s not always clear what choice we should make. Sometimes the sure thing isn’t very appetizing and we steer towards the temptation that will probably work. This is not using our faith, but our human desires in making a choice, so we have already made a wrong decision.

Following Christ is the sure way to live. Any other direction leads to our downfall.

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for being my guide. I pray that I can stay on track in following you through today. Amen

Faith Tip: The next decision you make today, choose what is sure.

 

The refining of fire

 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire… – 1 Peter 1:6–7

Tonight I will be sharing with a group of people about my cancer journey. As I think back on what I went through, I can see how the experience has sharpened my faith. My dependence and trust in God have increased, my priorities realigned, and thankfulness enlarged. Each day I am given the opportunity to share what God can do and has done in hopes that it may encourage another.

We dread going through hard times in our life, but if we can keep in mind that God has a purpose in all things. It isn’t that he causes challenges in life, but may allow them to help us grow more like Jesus. When his face shines through our tragedies, hope is given to a hurting world.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the challenges you have brought me through in life. I pray that others will see you in my faith walk and be given new hope. Amen

Faith Tip: Struggling today? Seek God for understand and how he is making you stronger and better.