Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pre-determined Responses

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 28. Here is what I learned.

Unto You do I cry, O Lord my Rock, be not deaf and silent to me, lest, if You be silent to me, I become like those going down to the pit [the grave]. Psalm 28:1 (AMP)

Don’t turn a deaf ear when I call you, God. If all I get from you is deafening silence, I’d be better off in the Black Hole. Psalm 28:1 (MSG)

When I pray do I turn off my ears? Think about it. How often do we ask God for something, but we have a pre-determined response which we want. And if we don’t get the specific response, we figure that God didn’t hear us. So we repeat the request over and over.... waiting for our pre-determined response. 

Yet, God hasn’t turned a deaf ear to us.... rather we have “turned off our ears” to hearing and receiving the response that God has chosen as the best. 
“The whole meaning of prayer is that we may know God.” Oswald Chambers
When I change my prayers from “all about me” to “all about God”, then my pre-determined responses are discarded and I’m open to receiving God’s amazing blessings that will accomplish His will and purpose. 

“I want to tell you a growing conviction with me, and that is that as we obey the leadings of the Spirit of God, we enable God to answer the prayers of other people. I mean that our lives, my life, is the answer to someone’s prayer, prayed perhaps centuries ago.
It is more and more impossible to me to have programmes and plans because God alone has the plan, and our plans are only apt to hinder Him, and make it necessary for Him to break them up. I have the unspeakable knowledge that my life is the answer to prayers, and that God is blessing me and making me a blessing entirely of His sovereign grace and nothing to do with my merits, saving as I am bold enough to trust His leading and not the dictates of my own wisdom and common sense.” Oswald Chambers

To create a positive day, I need to discard my pre-determined responses and listen to God as He responds to my prayers... and changes me and my heart to accomplish His will. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Out of the Pits and Back on Track

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 27. Here is what I learned.

That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic. Psalm 27:3 (MSG)

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. Psalm 27:3 (NIV)

There’s a old commercial.. “Calgon. Take me away!” The concept was a Mom who is overwhelmed by caring for her family, escapes all the chaos, by taking a bath with calgon soap. 

There are times when I’m overwhelmed, by what’s happening in our Nation, my pain, or just life in general—paying bills, taking care of the home, car, etc. I feel that chaos has taken control and I just want to escape. 

The best place to not just escape, but get a new perspective and be refreshed, is in the house, or presence of God. God first provides peace and calmness. Then once my spirit is calm and at peace, I can then make sense out of the chaos that had so overwhelmed me. 

I think of my 2 different experiences at Chicagoland Speedway, 2012 and 2013. My perspective in 2012 was from the pits. I saw only a small portion of the track, and my main focus was on just one team. Where as in 2013, I perspective was from a higher view point, and I was able to see the entire track and know what was happening, as a whole. Both perspectives offered a good time, and both were exciting. 

In life, so often I get focused on just one problem or one difficulty, I don’t see the bigger picture. I lose sight of what God is doing. I get so focused on the problem, that literally become “stuck in the pits” unable to get moving again. But, if I take the time to enter God presence and spend time with Him, He reminds me that there is still a long race ahead, and that if I just trust Him, He’ll make sense out of the chaos. He will get me out of the “pits and back racing again”. 

To create a positive day, I need to change my perspective and allow God to get me out of the pits and back on track.... moving forward to finish the race! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Good Description?

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 15. Here is what I learned.

Who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts  and does not change their mind. Psalm 15:4 (NIV)

In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he who honors those who fear the Lord (who revere and worship Him); who swears to his own hurt and does not change. Psalm 15:4 (AMP)

On April 19, 2013, I wrote about “Lionize” Lionize.
Lionization: to treat a person as a celebrity; to pursue celebrities or seek their company; to visit or exhibit the objects of interest of.I like that word, lionize. I’m to lionize those that fear God.

As I read Psalm 15 today, I started wondering could the description, “those who fear the Lord” apply to me? 

Do I fear God in private? Do I fear God in public? Do I fear God when I’m with friends? 

What does it mean to “fear God”? Revere and worship Him. Respect Who God is and be in awe of Him. 

If I’m fearing God, holding Him in high esteem and respecting Him, than it should be evident in my words, actions, attitude. Fearing God should have an impact in my life. 

To create a positive day, I must ask myself the question, “One who fears God—is that a good description of me?”

Each One

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 1. Here is what I learned.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. Psalm 1:1 (AMP

God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn: when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes, When you avoid sin’s highway, when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse. Psalm 1:1 (VOICE)

God’s blessings. The sign on my front door says, “God blesses us every day,  It’s up to us to notice.” Some of God’s blessings are hard to miss... like the wonderful blessings God gave me while at Chicagoland Speedway

Some of God’s blessings are more subtle. It could be something that makes me smile, like Max flying to my shoulder and saying “happy”. Or a phone call, letter, email from a friend. Or a verse that reminds me that God loves me. 

Not all blessings are showy and create a fan-fair. Often it’s the every day and often “ordinary” blessings that I overlook, yet those are the very blessings that remind me that God loves and is caring for me. 

To create a positive day, I need to take notice of each one of the blessings God gives me every day. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chicagoland Speedway 2013 Blessings!

Wow... where do I begin?  (If you click on a photo, it will open larger in a new window.)

On Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, I won tickets to Chicagoland Speedway for the weekend. I was so thankful to be able to spend some time at the track again this year. 
Just being at the track and enjoying the atmosphere, people, races was enough of a blessing for me—but God added some extra blessings each day. Here are a few highlights of my weekend at the Track. 

Friday, Sept 13, 2013
Arrived at the track and was able to get "my parking spot". This is the perfect spot as I can walk back to the car, or catch a ride in one the golf carts. That allows me to rest and ice my back throughout the day. 

Throughout the day, I enjoyed meeting people and watching the practices and qualifying. Since is was Friday, I had on my RED Remember Everyone Deployed Fridays shirt. And that drew the attention of some of our GREAT Heroes. Was an honor to meet them. 

I headed home early, since I knew that the next 2 days would be long. Arrived home and was able to go through my pain treatment routine several times before bed, all while smiling as I thought about the great day I enjoyed. 

Saturday, Sept 14, 2013
Once again arrived at the Track and was able to get ... well the parking spot next to "mine". lol Still a great spot to enable to be return to the car to lie down and ice my back throughout the day. 

On Saturday, I once again enjoyed the atmosphere, people and practices throughout the day. I was able to meet up with a "Twitter Friend" who works at the Air Force booth. Was great to meet Sharon, and also several of our Air Force Heroes. 
When I returned later in the day to say "hi" to Sharon again, she and the Air Force offered me an Infield Pass for Sunday! How awesome!! And I didn't think that my weekend could get any better. 
Sharon was even able to join me to watch the Nationwide Race Saturday afternoon. 

I arrived home, tired in pain... but smiling ear to ear as I thought about the great day I enjoyed.

Sunday, Sept 15, 2013
Woke up very sore and moving very slowly. So took a extra time for a few extra of my pain treatment routines, before leaving for the Track. 
Arrived at the Track and was now two spots from "my parking spot", but still in the front row and close enough to return to the car as needed throughout the day. 

Enjoyed the atmosphere and people again as I waited for the Infield festivities to begin. Including meeting Michael McDowell at the K-Love booth. 

Late morning it was now time to head to the Infield. On my way, I stopped the Air Force and 43 Air Force Show Car for RPDE  booth to say "Hi". (They are the ones who gave me an Infield pass for Sunday.) 

When I arrived at the Booth, a Recruit was there who needed to go to the infield but didn't know how to get there, so invited Josh to follow me. 
I was able to get Josh to the steps leading to the Infield, and directed him to go on, and I'd have them call for a golf cart, and take me the long way around. (I try to avoid steps whenever I can.)
Well, I finally made it to the Infield, and as I neared the track area, there was Josh with the other recruits and all the Air Force Officials. Josh thanked me for getting him the area on time, and told his Recruiting Officer that I helped him. That's when the Officer said, "Then join us!" So I was able to stay in the Infield—are you ready for this—DIRECTLY AT THE BOTTOM of the STAGE—waiting for their Swearing In Ceremony. 

But, due to the rain, they changed the order of events and Introduced the DRIVERS first! So, yes, I was AT THE STAGE, as the drivers walked across—I know WOW!
Then I was there for the MOST amazing Swearing In Ceremony of new Air Force HEROES! It was a GREAT honor to be there and hear the Oath and watch them as they took this step. WOW!!
After it was over, I was "stuck" as the infield was now closed, and I didn't have a Pit Pass. But not to fear—a HERO was there! I had my own private escort of an Air Force Master Sergeant through the Pits. What an honor to talk with him as we walked. 

Since the Race was under rain delay. I was able to return to my car, eat and ice my back for a while before the Race started. That was a much needed break. 
I went up the my "seat", which really I never sat in, as I was able to find perfect places to stand each day. Another blessing that God took care of well in advance. 

Enjoyed 101 laps of NASCAR racing before the rain delayed the race again. I waited for the rain to stop, for while, even got some pictures and video of the Jet Dryers! lol But I decided that when the delay was going be at least 2 hours, (turned out it was over 5!) it was best to head on home. 

I have to say, that although my pain level remains high, the weekend was amazing. Each day God added another blessing to an already amazing weekend.

God blesses us everyday, it's up to us to notice. I have to say that God SHOWERED His blessings upon me this weekend. Creating a positive day was so easy, as I simply enjoyed God goodness. 


This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 13. Here is what I learned.

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:6 (NIV) 

I sing to the Lord because he has ·taken care of [been good to] me. Psalm 13:6 (EXB)

Been Good: A primitive root; to treat a person (well), i.e. Benefit; by implication (of toil), to ripen, i.e. (specifically) to wean -- bestow on, deal bountifully, do (good), recompense, requite, reward, ripen, + serve, mean, yield. 

I find that sometimes, my definition of “good” might not be the same as God’s definition. When I think of “good”, I think if joy, happy, exciting, ease, excellent, super... etc. I like it when all things go as I plan and are filled with fun! 

However, God in His wisdom, knows that sometimes “good” requires some hard, unpleasant things at least from my perspective. 

If life were always “good” by my definition, I’d always be having fun! I wouldn’t want to work to grow and learn. Remember your elementary days? Recess was the highlight of the day! Running around, swinging, playing kickball, etc. Who wanted to go back inside and study History, or English, or Math? Yet, those times of study were “good” in that it was needed to grow in knowledge and wisdom. 

To create a positive day, I need to make sure that I’m seeing defining “good” as God does, and not just expecting “fun-good” all the time.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Not Succumb to the Lower Standards

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 11. Here is what I learned.

When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3 (NIV)

When the foundations [a stable society] collapse, what can ·good [righteous] people do?” Psalm 11:3 (EXB)

If the foundations be destroyed - These are still to be regarded as the words of the psalmist's advisers; or as an argument why he should make his escape. The word "foundations," here, refers to those things on which society rests, or by which social order is sustained - the great principles of truth and righteousness that uphold society, as the foundations on which an edifice rests uphold the building. The reference is to a destruction of those things in a community, when truth is no longer respected; when justice is no longer practiced; when fraud and violence have taken the place of honesty and honor; when error prevails; when a character for integrity and virtue affords no longer any security. This is supposed to be the case in the circumstances referred to in the psalm, when there was no respect paid to truth and justice, and when the righteous, therefore, could find no security. It is under these circumstances the advice is given Psalm 11:1, that the righteous should seek safety in flight. Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The other day I was watching football on TV. I enjoy watching the games, however, I do not enjoy the commercials for the TV shows and movies. Why don’t I like seeing the ads for new shows? Because each new show and movie is simply violence, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. Hollywood seems to think that the further from morals, such as truth, integrity, respect, the shows become the more we like them. There is some truth in that, for those lack morals, do enjoy watching those shows. 

The more we watch shows missing the principles of truth, honesty, respect the more we become desensitized to the violence, gore and lack of morals. The more death we watch on TV or in movies, it desensitized us to what death really is. 

As society as a whole moves farther away from God and His standards, the more the righteous need to get closer to God. Just because “everyone” is doing it (ignoring God and His standards) does not make it right or acceptable. 

To create a positive day, I need to focus my attention on God’s standards and not succumb to the lower standards the World tries to promote as good. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Even if He Sends Rain

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 8. Here is what I learned.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place. Psalm 8:3 (NIV)

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Psalm 8:3 (MSG)

Woke up this morning to rain. Not the best weather for enjoying a Race. But as I read Psalm 8, I was reminded that I can’t control the weather—only God can do that! So, I figured God can still create an enjoyable day for me.... even in the rain.  Little did I realize what an awesome gift God was giving me.... BECAUSE of the rain! 

I arrived at Chicagoland Speedway, and it was raining. No thunder or lightening, just rain. I relaxed in the car until the rain let up then went to explore. I was able to talk with an old friend, who was working at the track as a volunteer!  That was really nice. 

Was able to enjoy some of the Chapel Service and get an autograph from Michael McDowell at the K-Love booth.  The rain continued off and on, mostly just a few drops now and then. Nothing heavy. 

I was given an Infield Pass, and was able to join the Air Force at the Infield Stage for the Swearing in Ceremony. As we waited for the Ceremony... the rain started again. And that rain, made the NASCAR people to change the order of events. They decided to introduce the Drivers, BEFORE the Swearing In Ceremony. So, I was able to enjoy the Driver Introductions, from the bottom of the Stage! I couldn’t get any closer! That was a great treat.... and all possible, because of a little rain. 

Today, I was reminded again, that God does things with specific purposes. Today, He used rain to add to my blessings. And I have to say that getting wet, was worth it. 

To create a positive day, I must remember that God is ultimately in control, and even if He sends rain, He has a very good reason! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Should be Automatic

This year, I'm sharing my "Treasures" of my study of my "Ponder the Morsels" book. I've picked 31 Psalms to study throughout 2013. Today I studied Psalm 150. Here is what I learned.

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 (NIV)

This is my weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. As during any great time, it’s easy to praise the Lord. When there’s excitement, joy, fun, etc. praise is almost automatic. 

Right now, you might say that I’m on the mountain top. I’m enjoying spending time at the Track and all the extra blessings that God continues to provide each day. Oh, yes, my pain level is high, but I’m enjoying the experience of meeting people and seeing the cars on the track. 

The foundation of praising God, however, is not to be based on if I’m having a good time, or enjoying the situation I find myself. For when the excitement of this race experience fads, and the pain continues, God is still worthy of praise. I’m not to praise God only in exchange for “good times” or “gifts”. Rather, I’m to praise God because of Who He is. 
It’s very easy to praise God when I’m having fun. But it’s more important to praise God no matter my situation or circumstance. Praising God should be automatic each and every day. 

To create a positive day, it must include praise to God, simply because of Who He is, and that praise should be automatic out of a heart of thankfulness and awe.