Friday, December 30, 2016

Praise

Thanks Living! 

I was reading Psalm 150 this morning. "Praise the Lord." 
The word "praise" means to celebrate joyously, exuberantly, "foolishly". In other words, "over the top" celebration!  

Sadly, many times my praise is often quiet and subdued. But if I truly think about who  God is, and all that He has done, I should be SHOUTING praise! 

I shout at sporting events... I even shout at the TV when my team scores a touchdown. But I can't shout praise to God Almighty? Perhaps, it's because I haven't taken the same interest in God as my sports teams. 

Praise. If I want to focus on Thanks Living through this coming year, it begins with praise to God Almighty. Praise for who He is, and then praise for what He's done. For only when I have a heart filled with praise, can I truly have a gracious and thankful heart- and mind- set. 

Thanks Living! "Praise the Lord! Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness!" Psalm 150:1a, 2. 

Thanks Living! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 — 2017 Thanks Living!

2016. 


This past year, I focused on "Thanks Living!" and I have to say that it was awesome! I wish I could say that I had a "thankful attitude" 24/7, 366 days, but I did not. (366 - Leap Year). 

However, when I did look for things for which to be thankful—I always found them and I found them in abundance! 

I read this quote the other day, "Attitude determines action and action determines accomplishment." Looking back over the past year, I can say that when I had the attitude of "Thanks Living!" I was more wiling to act in a godly way and that allowed me to accomplish many things.

For 2017, I was thinking of what I'd want to use for my theme, and I was having a hard time deciding what my focus should be. Then I realized, I don't have to change the theme!

So, for 2017, I'm going to once again focus on "Thanks Living!" I want to embrace all that God has to teach me, enjoy all God's blessings, and encourage those around me to focus on "Thanks Living!"

"Attitude determines action and action determines accomplishment." Just think of all that can be accomplished, when the attitude is one of "Thanks Living!"

Looking forward to a "Thanks Living!" filled 2017. 

I hope you will join me!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thoughts on Christmas

As I think about Christmas, I wonder the emotions in Heaven on that first Christmas day. 
The angels rejoiced on Earth as they shared the great news that a Savior had been born. 

But how did God feel, knowing that He was sending His Son with the sole purpose of a sacrifice for our sin. God knew that His full wrath would be poured upon His only Son, so that we could be forgiven. God knew the entire plan from the manger to the cross. 


Was God rejoicing on that first Christmas day because of His amazing love for us? Was God saddened by what awaited His Son? 

“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16 (AMP) 
Take time this Christmas to appreciate the ultimate gift — the gift of God's dear Son.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 9, 2016

Impossible Requests

Have you ever thought of the impossible requests God made of individuals?
I was thinking this morning of some of the "Impossible" requests, the responses to those requests by the individuals, and the reactions by others, the relationship between God and the person, and the amazing things God accomplished when people acted in faith to obediently fulfill His requests.

Examples:
Noah. He was told to build a enormous boat - that took "forever" to build because God would flood the earth.
Joseph. Not sure he fully understood all that God requested of him, but he remained faithful through all the struggles. And God put him in the exact place and gave him the authority necessary to help his family.
Moses. He was told to lead the Children of Israel from Egypt to the Promise Land. Not only did he have to face Pharaoh many times, he had to deal with all the complaining and hardships along the way.
Joshua and Caleb. They were excited to conquer the giants, but others were not. Then Joshua took over the leading of the people. And I love that Caleb, even in his old age, claimed the mountain that God had promised him.
Daniel. So much was requested of him and he remained faithful.

Those are just a few examples. As I was thinking about the requests, the obedience and all that God accomplished through individuals — I wonder..... how would my account, of obedience to what God has requested me to do, read?

Something to think about, and pray about..........

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. Psalm 75:1

God's surpassing or extraordinary works demand a recount that reminds us that God is ever-present. For who God is, and all that He does — we give thanks! 

Happy Thanksgiving! 



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Psalm 119:18 My Prayer

Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.Psalm 119:18 NKJV
Open: denude, uncover
See: look intently at, to regard with pleasure, have respect
Wondrous: to be surpassing, extraordinary
Law: Torah, precept or statute

How often do I read Scripture, with my eyes covered? Covered by my ideas of what Scripture should mean. Covered by my limited understanding of a holy God. Covered by my selective memory and opinion. Covered by my circumstances. Covered by my sin.

How often do I read Scripture with a prayer that my eyes would be "denude" so that I can see God's Truth? How often do I read scripture looking intently with respect at what God says?

How often do I see God's extraordinary, surpassing anything I could image..... truth in Scripture?

How often, when I do see the extraordinary truth, do I let it impact my life?
My prayer...... Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. Psalm 119:18

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blessings Celebration - 16 years.

As I was reflecting on the past 16 years..... Wow. There were disappointments, frustrations, discouragements, and pain (lots of that), BUT..... there were also amazing experiences, overwhelming blessings, great encouragement, and still pain. 

However, as bad as the pain gets, the joy never diminishes. The joy is always there supplied by God! 

As I read through the Psalms, I love how David tells God how bad things are.... then David changes his focus to how good God is and who God is, and the characteristics of God. 

In reality bad things happen, and we can acknowledge them when they do happen. But we can't stop there. We need to remember to turn our focus back to God and in doing so, will open our hearts to God's amazing joy! 


16 years. Looking forward to all that God has planned for this next year and what wonderful blessings I'll celebrate on October 25, 2017. 

Thanks Living! Making sure that I don't lose focus of who God is and all that He is doing in my life.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Blessings Celebration Day!



This morning, I was thinking back over the past 16 years, and one thing that I LOVE is remembering the creativity of God in suppling each and every need and the fun surprises along the way. 

The details that God orchestrated to make sure everything was in place at just the exact moment it was needed. From places to stay, to Drs, to paying for medications, to the much needed fun adventures — including a ride in the Goodyear Blimp! (Yes, that REALLY happened!), to friends who came along side to support, encourage, and one very special friend who drove me to appointments whether in state or out of state. Just when I thought that God couldn't surprise me ..... He would! 

Only God could take a "grand stand" ticket and make it into a HOT PASS at a NASCAR race. (That was just awesome!) Only God could make a pharmacy pay for my medication. (YEP! And it was an EXPENSIVE one too.) Only God ......... 
so many cool and amazing gifts, adventures, and wonderful ways God each and every need.

I love taking time each year to reflect on God's amazing goodness. Each year, I continue to be overwhelmed the blessings that God has given me. I am a Princess of the King of kings, and I am blessed abundantly!

Thanks Living. Taking time to remember all that God has done. 
Thanks Living. Taking time to praise God for His goodness and blessings.

Today is the 16 Anniversary of my back injury. Today is not a day to focus on the pain, rather a day to focus on all the amazing and wonderful blessings God has given me over the past 16 years.

Please join me in my Blessings Celebration! Let's count our blessings... name them one by one!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Blessing Celebration 2016!

Blessings Celebration! 
Thanks Living! 

October 25, 2000. 
A day that changed my life in more ways than I can count. A day that began a journey filled with twists and turns. A day that  started me on a journey that God designed to accomplish His purpose in and through me. 

October 25, 2000 I coughed and felt a searing hot pain in my lower back. A pain so intense it literally put me on the floor. 

Now it's October 2016—12 surgeries and too many injections, treatments, and other medical procedures to count later — the pain remains. 

BUT—during these past 16 years God has showered me with the most amazing blessings! I stand in awe of His goodness to me. 

Each year, in October I enjoy a BLESSING CELEBRATION! It's a time to reflect, not on the pain, but rather what God is doing because of the pain. It's a time to reflect on God's outpouring of blessings! 

Psalm 21:1-3 sums it up! (Replace "king" with "princess", for I am a child of the King of kings! I am God's princess—who is wonderfully blessed!) 

Psalm 21:1-3 (VOICE)
The king {princess} is glad because You, O Eternal, are strong. In light of Your salvation, he is singing Your name. You have given him {the princess} all he {she} could wish for. After hearing his {her} prayer, You withheld nothing. [pause] True blessings You lavished upon the king {princess}; a crown of precious gold You placed upon his {her} head.

Thanks Living! Noticing God's blessings.
Thanks Living! Praising and giving thanks for who God is, and all He is doing in my life. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Brighten Up!

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. Psalm 5:11 
Rejoice: to brighten up, cheer up
Put their trust: to flee for protection, refuge
Shout for joy: to give a ringing cry
Defend: to entwine as a screen, hedge in
Love: friend, have affection for
Joyful: to jump for joy, triumph

Trust = cause to brighten up, rejoice
Defend (protection) = reason to shoutout for joy
Love = jump for joy

No matter the circumstances. No matter the politics. No matter the chaos that surrounds you. No matter..... 

Trust in God. God provides a safe place of protection. God is worthy and deserving of our love. 
And in return, we have many reasons to brighten up, and shout for joy, and literally jump for joy! 

I like that meaning, "to brighten up". We all know people who when they walk into a room, bring a feeling of dread. When they walk in, the life is sucked out of the place. 

Just think, if each of us instead, brighten upped the room! When we walk into a place, we bring the joy of the Lord with us. We make others want to jump for joy because of God's goodness! 

There are some people who it's fun to be around. They are encouraging, uplifting and well, joyful. After you have been with those people, and leave, you have a spring in your step. The joy they had spilled over and spread to you! 

To Brighten Up!
Be joyful. Share joy. Brighten up! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Joy.

Thinking about JOY today. 

Notice the source of joy: Jesus Christ.
Notice the shift of joy: God's joy becomes my joy (My - your)
Notice the supply of joy: enough to fill and overflow; fullest possible; totally complete

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full."  John 15:11 (NKJV)

"I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made full and complete and overflowing." John 15:11 (AMP)

"I have told you these things so that ·you can have the same joy I have [ my joy may be in you] and so that your joy ·will be the fullest possible joy [ might be complete]. John 15:11 (EXP)

I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow! John 15:11 (TLB)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Who God Is

Reading 1 Chronicles this morning and Chapter 29 made me pause.

Take a moment to read 1 Chronicles 29, especially verses 10-20. 


Look at the descriptive words used to talk about the Lord and all He does. Then re-read it and notice how many times, the idea that all we have comes from God. 
This may be a passage I take time to study deeper. But for now, I'll focus on the greatness of who God is.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Thinking Affects Everything: Praiseworthy

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 

I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "praiseworthy".
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things —if there is anything praiseworthy.

Praiseworthy: approbation, commendation, praise, a commendable thing

Synonyms: 
admirable
creditable
deserving
estimable
excellent
exemplary
laudable
meritable
meritorious
praisable
thank worthy
worthy

Approbation: official approval or sanction

Once again the standard on which to basis if something is praiseworthy—is God. He gives the "official approval or sanction". 

Praiseworthy. Credible. Deserving. 
I stopped at that word "deserving". Do the things that occupy my mind deserve my time and attention? 

We are each given 24 hours a day. No more, no less. During those 24 hours, am I thinking of things which are worthy and deserve my time and attention? If not, then I need to make some changes! 

Think on these things—praiseworthy based on the official approval of God, and that are deserving of my time and attention. 

If I am thinking about things that are praiseworthy, then my speech will also be praiseworthy. Remembering that thinking affects everything! 

Think on these things...... what are you thinking about today? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Words Spoken

The news lately has been about a recording made several years ago. The talk was not God-honoring in anyway.

It made me stop and think...... 

First of all, if all I said throughout my lifetime was recorded and played back, would I regret any of my words? 
Secondly, I will have to stand before God and give an account of my words, actions, and thoughts as to whether or not they were pure or trash.

Words can come back to haunt you. That is why God gives us advice—Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23). A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45) NKJV

I know that over the years, I have said things that I now regret. Some were said in anger. Some were said with the wrong motive. Some were said to impress. Some were said — no matter the reason—they were not the right words.

I'm thankful for a merciful God, so graciously forgives me of my sin and continues to teach me. I must daily surrender my life - all of it - to God and in doing so, remember Philippians 4:8.

WORDS do have an impact. And so do ACTIONS. Is one worse than the other? By God's standards even our thoughts are heard by Him. So BOTH words and actions matter.

I'm thankful that all the words I have said in the past were not recorded to be played for each of you to hear. And I'm even more thankful for a forgiving God.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Blessing Celebration 16 years!

Thanks Living. 
Each year in October I take time to reflect and focus on all the blessings that God has given me. This October 25 will be the 16th anniversary of my back injury. Sixteen years. 

I remember Oct 25, 2000 very clearly. Although at times it would have been nice to know the future God had planned for me, God in His wisdom, knew it was best I didn't know. I needed to trust Him daily and rely on Him. 

As I was thinking back this morning and studying Psalm 30:5 "joy comes in the morning." I remember so clearly those dark painful times—and thinking, "would morning ever come again?" Where is the joy? Will I ever know joy again? Or has the all-consuming-pain robbed me of joy forever? 

I realized I had a choice to make. The pain wasn't going away. But I could escape the dark, lonely, despair of the night! How? By making a choice — by choosing to remember the facts I know about God Almighty. By understanding who God is and that He really is in control and He has a plan and purpose for me—I could begin to see the dawning of the morning. The plan and purpose of my life—to glorify Him in all I do, say, think, and how I live my life—would allow the morning to dawn and bring with it God's joy. 

Thanks Living. Taking time in the midst of the dark times of pain and despair to remember who God Almighty is and His plan of my life. 
Thanks Living. That even in the midst of pain, God really does give joy and peace. 
Thanks Living. Taking the time to celebrate God and His amazing goodness toward me. 
Thanks Living. Celebrate God's blessings in my life and give Him the praise and honor for who He is and all He does. 
Psalm 30:5 (VOICE): His wrath, you see, is fleeting, but His grace lasts a lifetime. The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.
Psalm 30:5 (GW): His anger lasts only a moment. His favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may last for the night, but there is a song of joy in the morning.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Thinking Affects Everything: Virtue

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 

I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "virtue".
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things —if there is any virtue.

If there is any virtue.


Virtue: Used of the human mind and in an ethical sense, it denotes: any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity.


As I read this definition, I had to stop and think of what our nation, our society considers moral excellence, modest, and pure to actually mean. If I based my level of virtue on societies definitions.......there is a very real and vast difference between societies definitions and Gods. 

Just looking back over the past few years at TV ad and movies, you can see a continual progression away from God and the acceptance of sin and fulfilling desires, no matter the consequences. 

If there is any virtue. 
Moral excellence. Modesty. Purity. All based on God's standard. 

Virtue, God's virtue, is the filter which I need to evaluate each and everything that I allow to enter my mind. TV, radio, internet, books, and even conversations with others....... if that is any virtue—think on these things. 

Thinking affects everything. If I am feeding my mind with immodesty, and immoral ideals, than my actions will reflect that. And the same is true for the opposite. The more things of virtue I focus on—the more God-like my attitude, actions, thoughts and words will be. 

Virtue. Do the things which I am pondering and thinking about pass the "virtue test"? If not, am I wiling to change the things I watch, read, listen to? 

I wonder, if each of us would begin pondering and thinking about things that are of virtue, would we turn off the TV more? Would we turn off the radio more?

Think on these things.....
what are you thinking about? 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bond-servant vs Slave

2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:1
bond-servant:
• one who gives himself up wholly to another's will, 
• is used with the highest dignity in the NT, namely, of believers who willingly live under Christ's authority as His devoted followers
• are those whose agency God employs in executing his purposes: 
• properly, someone who belongs to another; a bond-slave, without any ownership rights of their own

Bond-servant vs Slave

Is there a difference between a bond-servant and a slave? 
I think the major difference is attitude. A bond-servant is one who WILLINGLY wants to serve another. It's a choice of actions and attitude to want to be under the authority and submission of another. 

When you think about it, we all are under the authority of someone. "Not me! I answer to NO ONE!" 
Well, you may think that, but that's not true. For each action and word spoken portrays exactly who you are serving. Your loyalty may be to a group, or individual, or a ideology. The point is that your actions, words, and attitude reflect who has influence over you. 

The difference between a bond-servant and a slave is attitude. A bond-servant wants to do exactly what is asked and required of him. The bond-servant is willing to give up his desires to do the will of another out of respect and love. 

What does God require? 
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), and to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]? Micah 6:8 (AMP)
Bond-slave. 
gives himself up wholly to another's will, who willingly live under Christ's authority as His devoted followers. 

Willingly live under God's authority. 

Am I willing? 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thinking Effects Everything: Of Good Report

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 

I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "of good report".
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—of Good Report

Whatever things are of good report.

Good Report: sounding well; uttering words of good omen, speaking auspiciously: things spoken in a kindly spirit, with good-will to others; praiseworthy, commendable

Praiseworthy. Commendable. Spoken in a kindly spirit. 

First and foremost, does my speech reflect a "good report"? Do I promote praiseworthy and commendable and good-will to others in my speech? Or I am prone to slander, back-biting, gossip, and/or hateful words? 

Words are a reflection of the heart. What you are thinking about is what resonates from you. So, if I want my speech to be "of good report", than I must be thinking about things that are! 

Praiseworthy. Commendable. Spoken in a kindly spirit. 

Think. Ponder. Meditate on..... things of a good report. 
And for that to be true, I must also work on making sure that I'm not only thinking on, but my speech is promoting it so that others hear things that are —of good report! 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thinking Affects Everything: Lovely

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 


I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "lovely". 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—Lovely.


Whatever things are lovely.

Lovely: properly, worthy of personal affection; hence, dearly prized, i.e. worth the effort to have and embrace (used only in Phil 4:8).

Worth the effort to have. 

Effort: exertion of physical or mental power: something done by exertion or hard work. 

How badly do I want it? Am I wiling to work for it? If it's dearly prized, than yes! 

I was reminded of a great opportunity I had in September 2012 of being on the Pit Box during a NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway. Living with chronic pain, it took ALL the effort I had to attend and enjoy the day. The pain was extreme, but it was an amazing day. The experience of enjoying the NASCAR race from the Pits was worth the effort to embrace that day. 

If something is lovely, then we will go beyond our normal efforts to achieve it or get it. Think, ponder on things that are lovely. How many times to I settle and allow things that are easy to fill my heart, mind, and life. How many times do I choose the easy road, and ignore the things that are lovely—simply because it will take more work an effort? 

Think, ponder, allow to fill my thoughts—on things that are lovely. Only things that are worth the effort to have and to embrace. 

What is of worth to me? What am I wiling to work for? What is lovely? What do I  consider a prize worth having? 

Worth the effort to have—lovely. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thinking Affects everything - truth!

Thinking Affects everything. 


I've been studying that fact the past few weeks. Yesterday, I had a good reminder that "Thinking affects everything." is a true statement. 

If I begin the day, with a positive outlook, the day goes much better. I am better equipped to handle situations that arise. 

If I begin the day, with a negative outlook, the day continues to be overwhelming, nothing goes right, and when situations arise, I handle them the wrong way, and the day ends up with a pity party with me feeling miserable. 


Thinking affects everything. 


There are some things that are out of my control. However, I can control my thoughts—and those control my attitude. 

So, what kind of day do I want to have:

1. A positive and enjoyable day.
2. One filled with resentment, frustration, and overall misery. 


I can't control the circumstances, but I can control my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. And if I find myself in the need of an attitude adjustment—the quickest way it to refocus on God's Word and truth, either by reading the Bible, or listening to music (filled with truth). 

Thinking affects everything. 

I will choose to think on......

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Remember 9/11

September 11, 2001

Remember.

I remember exactly where I was. I remember calling my sister, and my parents. I remember not knowing if my brother was able to get out of DC ok. I remember the helpless feeling. I remember the unbelief of what I saw on TV. I remember..........

Today, September 11, 2016, we once again pause to remember, reflect, and pay respect to those we lost and all the heroes of 9/11.

Remember.

As I was thinking about what took place 15 years ago, and look at our Nation today, I realized that many have forgotten, and many never knew for they hadn't been born. Sadly, the unity and patriotism that was so evident on that 9/11, fifteen years ago, has diminished.

Remember.

As I was reflecting on 9/11 and the need to remember, I realized that throughout Scripture, God tells us to remember.

I thought of the impact the crucifixion had on those who where there. The sights, the sounds, the smells of the days leading up to the crucifixion and the days following. Their fears. Their questions. The uncertainty of it all.
We hold communion "in remembrance of Me (Christ)". Christ doesn't want us to forget what happened and why.

I was not at the crucifixion, but it had a profound impact on my life. For without the death of Christ, I would be lost in my sin and forever separated from God. No, I was not present on that day, but I never want to forget what God and His Son, Jesus did for me.

Remember.

As I take time to remember 9/11/01 and 9/11/12 (Benghazi), I need to also take time to remember that God is still God. He is the One in whom I place my trust. I do not know what my future holds here on earth, but I do know where I'll spend eternity. God provided the only sacrifice that would pay for my sin and I have placed my faith and trust in God, and God alone.

Remember.

Remembering is to have significance. Remembering is to have an impact in my life. Remembering—what am I remembering today?

9/11........remembering those we lost and all the heroes who stepped forward to make a difference.
Each day..... remembering the One who gave His life, so that I can have eternal life.

Remembering. What are you remembering? 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Thinking Affects Everything: Pure

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 

I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "pure". 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—Pure.

Whatever things are pure.

Pure: pure from every fault, immaculate. From the word meaning, "likeness of nature with the Lord because different from the world.

Likeness because different. 
Whatever things are pure. The test for pureness is not what I think to be ok, or without fault. Rather, the test is what God says is ok. 
Just because the world accepts something does not make it right, let alone pure. There are standards and a nature-order that God created. Just because someone has decided to change that, because of how they 'feel', does not make it right.

Likeness because different. 
Pure things are those things with are in accordance with God, His character, and His standards and laws. Think on things that are pure—pure from every fault. 

That makes me think of TV shows I watch. I can rationalize why I watch a show. It has a good story line, it makes me laugh, it's something to do. But is it pure from every fault? It it in the likeness of nature of the Lord? If not, then why am I spending my time watch and thinking about it? Good question. 

Whatever things are pure. 
Thinking effects everything. If I want to live a life that is pleasing to God, then I have a responsibility to think on things that are pure. 
If that means, turning off the TV, then I need to do it. If that means changing the radio station, then I need to do it. If that means.......... the key is to make sure that I'm allowing into my mind are things that I want to think about later. 

"You are being too harsh. You need to have fun. You need to lighten up, it's just a TV show." 
Exactly. 
Those are statements which we say to ourselves and others, to justify why we do something which we know is not always the best. 

Whatever things are pure. 
Thinking affects everything. And if I want to be thinking godly and acting in accordance with God and His Word, then I must work on making sure what I allow in my mind, to be God-pure. 
Thinking affects everything—and it begins with what I allow into my mind. 

Whatever things are pure. God-pure! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Thinking Affects Everything: Just 2

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 


I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "just". 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—Just.

Whatever things are just. 

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

Require: ask for, demand, to follow for pursuit 

But to do justly. 
Accomplish the attribute of justice, right, rectitude. 

To love mercy. 
 Mercy: kindness (especially as extended to the lowly, needy and miserable)

To walk humbly with your God. 
Walk: associate, be familiar with
With: of the relation in which one stands with

The Lord God demands that I pursue and accomplish the attribute of being right, just (in the eyes of God), I am to be kind, and have a relationship with God (that means that I want to spend time with Him and get to know Him and in doing so, that will impact my life). 

Thinking affects everything. Whatever things ......... what am I thinking about? 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thinking Affects Everything: Just 1

Continuing my study on Philippians 4:8. 
I wonder if I focus on just one aspect of Philippians 4:8 until it becomes habit, how would it effect my life? And what impact would it have if I focused on the entire list? But one at a time for right now. Here are some thoughts on, "just". 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Meditate. Think on. Ponder.
Take an Inventory. 
Whatever things are—Just.

Whatever things are just. 

Just: upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God; that which regard for duty demands, what is right; observing divine and human laws; one who is such as he ought to be

Just. Right. And this is not what I think is right, or what you think is right. This is based upon what God calls right. 

I really like the phrase, "one who is such as he ought to be". 


Who lived "as they ought to be"? Who did God call "just"? 

How awesome it would be is God could call me "just"?! Sadly, I fall very short, and am so grateful for God's grace and mercy. But what an awesome goal to have—"one who is such as he ought to be".


I'm looking forward to studying "things that are just" and examining the lives of the individuals God called "just". 


Meditating today on how I can be "one who is such as he ought to be".

Sunday, August 21, 2016

How do you spell relief? Part 2

Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)
Casting:  to throw away, throw off
Anxiety: to be drawn in different directions, disquietude, encumbrance
Cares: to be of interest to

One thing I like about this verse, is that God knows that we will be anxious, we do have worries. God understands that. But going beyond that God wants us to know that He can handle all those worries and distractions. 

In my kitchen is a container we use for trash/garbage. The garbage container is emptied often and the bag is loaded into the larger container in the garage. On Thursday, it's placed out at the curb, and the truck comes and empties the container. I do not want the garbage in my home for various reasons. One—it's garbage. It's useless. The other, it smells bad if left too long.  I have NO problem THROWING AWAY the garbage. I don't go into the garage and dig through it to being it back inside. I don't run after the truck to get my garbage back. 

Anxiety is like garbage to the soul. It causes confusion. It disrupts peace. And if left too long, it creates a stench as it festers and robs us of joy. 

There is no need to store anxiety. There is no need to let it fester. There is no need. Yet, too often we have a storage room full of it. 

How do we really throw away the anxiety? How do we empty the storage room of worry? 

Look again at the definition of anxiety. "To be drawn in different directions." The first way to throw away anxiety is refocus your heart and mind on God. Don't allow Satan to distract you with the "What ifs", or the "Why me?" or "What will I do?" or any other distraction Satan tries. Refocus!

How do you really refocus? A good place to start is: 
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 
One truth that fits all those categories is.... "He cares about you!"
You are of great interest to God! Think about that for a moment. The God who created the entire UNIVERSE—is interested in YOU! He knows all about you. He knows your past, your present, and your future. He knows what makes you tick — He should, He created you! 

Anxiety—the chaos of being pulled in all directions. A place of unrest. A place of confusion. A place of worry. A place of darkness and despair. 

Peace— a stillness that God provides. It wells up in the heart and mind, as you focus on God and the truth that HE loves YOU! It's a deep intense peace that calms and comforts, no matter the circumstances around you. 

How do you spell relief? 
Relief: a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
True relief—

Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.
1 Peter 5:7 (VOICE)

Relief
R: Refocus
E: Empty the Garbage! 
L: Leave the garbage at the curb - don't allow it back in
I:  Individualize—God cares about ME! 
E: Embrace God's love 
F: Focus on and enjoy God's peace