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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

NO NEED FOR PRACTICE

Recently I woke up in the early hours of the pre-dawn (I seem to have forgotten how to sleep all night in my old age) thinking "Practice the Presence of God".  NOW when the first thought that pops in my head, without any previous coaxing or thought, is unexpected, I usually pay attention to it.  


During the day that played out before me, I kept thinking of how with practice we could become conscious of the presence of God continuously throughout the day.  By keeping my eyes open and my ears tuned, I can become more acutely aware of God being by my side.



Later the same day, our small group gathered to continue to discuss chapter one of Ephesians.  Our group discussion leader reminded us of something which set off the bells and whistles~we are repeatedly told we are "In Christ" in the first chapter of Paul's book.  

Look over in Paul's letter to Corinthians~

Therefore, if anyone is IN CHRIST,
he is a new creation, the old has gone,
the new has come.
II Corinthians 5:17

We are reminded over and over that we are IN CHRIST.  One of the group members beautifully explained it by comparing it to being in the womb.  You are warm, provided for, protected, and always present with the mother.  So it is when we proclaim Christ as our Lord, we are In Him.  If Christ is part of the Trinity Godhead, it stands to reason, we are constantly in His presence by being In Christ.  

OH~What a beautiful and reassuring thought.  We are constantly in God's presence by being in Christ.  No need to practice~just remember who you are.


And you were also included in Christ
when you heard the Word of truth.
Having believed,
you were marked in Him with a seal,
the promised Holy Spirit
Ephesians 1:12

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

SINNERS AND SAINTS

Most of you know I saw "Hamilton" this past weekend.

I bit of advice before proceeding with the blog subject---read the book Hamilton or have a good friend read it and give you the history of Hamilton before seeing the play.  If you attend cold turkey, you will miss much of the message behind the play.  Our friend Margarita not only acquired tickets for us, but also gave us the history lesson~THANKFULLY!  I must admit I thought I was doing enough to listen to the music before attending--NOT enough!

There is one of the songs, "Wait For It" which was sung by the actor playing Aaron Burr.  When I read history, I usually stop at the facts and never consider the people behind the facts. {SIDE NOTE~ I have been inspired to leave behind the genre of "Historical Fiction" and begin a reading plan of "Biographies".  What made those who made history tick?  What were the personalities behind the faces in the history books. } "Hamilton" does an excellent job of giving a small glimpse behind some of those who were instrumental in forming our great country.  One small tidbit to whet your appetite~Hamilton's widow helped form the first orphanage in New York that was instrumental in raising many orphans BECAUSE her husband was an orphan. 

Back to the song "Wait for It", the chorus is this~

Death don't discriminate
Between the sinners and the saints
It takes and it takes and it takes
Yeah, we keep living anyway
We rise and we fall and we break
And we make our mistakes
And if there's a reason I'm still alive
When everyone who loves me has died
I'm willing to wait for it
Then I'm willing to wait for it, wait for it, wait for it

WOW~did this every immediately hit me as profound!  The message---YES, death is coming, but don't sit around waiting for death, but instead, continue living until it arrives.  We make mistakes, but we also only succeed when we continue to try.  Another day I will write about shrinking worlds, but for now, the word is keep on living.  Don't get stuck in the past, don't fret over tomorrow, but look at today and live your best.  There is a reason we are alive, there is a path to walk down, grasp every opportunity and live out today.  The words love and life are substituted for death in the first line in the refrain of this song.  The message---live to the fullest while you still have the gift of life.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


Sunday, July 14, 2019

ENDLESS MERCIES

AFTER AN EXHAUSTIVE STUDY

OF PSALM 23

THIS FEEDS MY SOUL



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

THE VEIL OVER TOMORROW


NO, this is not a book report.  I recently finished this book and it was a great book, but the blog is not a blow by blow retelling of this World War II historical fiction story.  Instead one small fraction of this tale inspired this post.  It is a mystery why one isolated incident will cause the wheels to start spinning.  I am thankful for the lessons I am shown in almost every aspect of life.


This story revolved around a circus in Germany during the War.  The two main characters are a trapeze artist who was divorced by her Nazi officer husband because she was Jewish and a young aspiring trapeze artist who ended up with the circus after a series of life changing events.  An amazing accident of fate that they become teacher and student in the art of flying.


Another side car of the story was the Gypsy fortune teller who traveled with the circus.  She gave a glimpse of the future to one of the main characters.   The future began to unfold exactly as she predicted and it was not a pretty prophecy.  The next time the fortune teller tried to give her another glimpse she walked away with a NO, thank you.

How many times have I wondered, "If I had only known what the future held."  When I began to think about the possibility of having the means to know what the future held, it occurred to me we are better off not knowing.  Had I known some of the things that were to come, would I have spent all my time trying to prevent the inevitable?  Would I have lived in dread instead of hope?

God in His infinite wisdom, wants us to live in hope.  He assures us He will be with us, sustain us, and hold us in the darkest of times.  If we knew what the tomorrows held, we would begin to think we were the masters of our future.  God uses each and every thing in our lives for our good and His glory.  If we looked in the magic glass and knew what the future held, would we run for the exit or work feverishly to change what is coming around the bend?  Our unawareness of even the next moment, encourages our dependence on God.  Our hope is built on nothing less than His perfect plan for our time here on this terrestrial ball.  "Don't be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.'


Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
 You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
James 4:14

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

WHAT WILL THEY SAY?

I attended a funeral this weekend celebrating the life of a great woman. How often do we attend a celebration of life and come away inspired?  As person after person testified how this wonderful woman had impacted their relationship with God, I was amazed.  Her son told us she wore the trappings of this world loosely.  She was the epitome of living in the Heavenly realms while still on this earth.  She shared that with a wide variety of people and prodded and encouraged them to seek a deeper relationship with Christ.  She described her deep relationship with these words, "I am His favorite."  


I have heard several stories over the years of a favorite grandmother telling each grandchild, "You are my favorite."  They do not realize until she is gone, she told each one that.  So it is with Christ, we can all believe we are His favorite because He loves us so deeply that no one of this earth will ever compare.  We can become convinced we must be His favorite because of the deep love we experience as we seek to know Him better.


As I left that funeral, I wondered, "What will they say about me someday when my life is celebrated?"  Will anyone report their relationship with The Father was deepened because of my urging?  What a sweet legacy to leave!  I must say I am very doubtful I am living up to this challenge.  As I discussed this with a friend, she told me to not be stressed with trying to be that person, but instead be content with who I am.  As I thought this over, I realized she is right.  What we all should strive to be is the best at what God has called us to be.



We are all not called to be an encourager.  God has a unique calling for each of us.  We are His splendid and varied creations with gifts showered upon us with an individual formula for each and every one of us. We should be striving to live the best life possible based upon our uniqueness.  Also we are charged to interact differently with different people.  Our relationships with others is based upon unique personalities and needs.  While we might be an encourager with one friend, we might be called to only be a listener with another.

So hopefully when the day comes, the reports will be varied when others speak of our relationships.  I am praying, based upon the leading of the Spirit, I fulfill a variety of roles with each unique individual.  At the end of the day, I pray others see me as a gift from The Father.  If He gifted me with life upon this earth, I should reflect who He intended me to be.   I am striving to be who God wants me to be in each and every situation He places me.  

What will they say?  Most importantly, they will say, she loved The Lord and He loved her.  I was His favorite.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10  

Sunday, July 7, 2019

CRY OUT

THERE IS HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS

AND REST FOR THE WEARY

HE WILL MEET YOU,

WHERE EVER YOU ARE



BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS