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.

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.

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.

 

Recharging

Bunny Face

Bunny Face (Photo credit: sweet mustache)

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you. – Isaiah 46:4

A friend once told me that I had a triple-charged battery that kept going … kind of like the Eveready bunny. However, this was 20 years ago when they said that. Today, the battery feels like it needs a jumpstart. So where do I go for the recharge? My list looks like it will need more energy than the sparks spitting out just to keep the eyes open.

Perhaps you have felt this way before. You’re tired yet you have a lot to do. Even the espresso isn’t kicking in. How would it feel to be carried? God promises that in Isaiah. For our whole life, he is caring for us even as we get older, slower, and grayer, his living water is splashing around in us to keep us refreshed. Think of it as floating on a inner tube down a lazy river … we are being carried and brought to new areas.

If God calls us to do something, he will give us what we need to accomplish it. The energy and resources will be there to complete it. But sometimes, God just calls us to rest in him. Ahhhh!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the promise of sustaining me. I pray I draw from you well of refreshment when needed. Amen

Faith Tip: Have a lot to do today? Thank God for the busyness laid out before you and pray for direction as you maneuver through it.

A whole new world

College Students Spending Time Outside

College Students Spending Time Outside (Photo credit: York College of PA)

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13

As I think about those going off to college, for many it’s a totally different environment than what they have experienced. More world views are expressed and many of those views most likely will not have a Christian worldview. I pray that the students can stand firm in their faith as the world tries to knock them off balance. It takes courage to stand strong.

It’s the same for all of us as we go out into the world. We are told what is acceptable in our culture and expected to align with it. However, many times the culture contradicts our faith and we may begin to feel wobbly in our steadfast stance. That’s when we clutch to the sword of truth and go into battle. We must remember though that it is a spiritual battle that we fight. We do not fight the people. We love them and pray for them for they are victims of the lies they have believed.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the opportunities when I care share your truth with someone who doesn’t know it. I pray that I can stand strong and not be pushed over by the world. Amen

Faith Tip: Make the choice now of how you will react when faced with something that comes against truth.

The drama of praise

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord. – Psalm 150

I just feel like praising God this morning. Last night, we had the first drama team meeting after a four or five year hiatus. It was wonderful seeing the new faces, but to have the “experienced” faces come back really filled my heart. There were hugs and laughter. I asked the question of when we started drama, and I was surprised to learn it was 17 years ago … really? Wow! I know God really has a mission for this team, and I’m excited to see it all unfold. I know it will be awesome.

Praising God just feels so good. It’s the best “medicine” on the days that are hard. Although it’s easy to praise when things are going great, our faith shows brighter to praise God when we struggle. This isn’t only for the benefit of others, but it is for us. It doesn’t show what we’re made of, but what God is made of.

Prayer: Lord, I praise you this morning from the depths of my heart for your goodness to me. I pray I find moments to praise you today. Amen

Faith Tip: Read aloud the psalms of praise like Psalm 150.