Friday, July 22, 2016

Thanks Living. Is it harder somedays?

Thanks Living.
Is it really harder to give thanks some days than others? Or do we just find it harder because we are focused on the 'bad'. 
This morning, a headache woke me up. That doesn't happen very often, for usually it's the back/leg pain that awakens me. However, on occasion, the headache screams louder than the back pain. That was the case this morning. 

As I got up, it was not a hard choice to reach for the headache medicine instead of the pain medicine. As I think about my agenda today, I did not include this level of headache pain. I know.... that's lack of planning on my part. 
But as I was thinking about Thanks Living, I almost started to write, "somedays it's much harder to be thankful." But then I stopped. Is it really? There are many things that have been constant which I give thanks for on a daily basis. Yet, why would I allow a headache to change my focus to unthankfulness? 
Thanks Living. There are some days where gratitude and thankfulness are not my focus. And that is NOT because of lack of things for which to be thankful. Rather, it's because I CHOOSE not to be thankful. WOW. That's just sad. 
Thanks Living. I need to remember that "in all things give thanks". I need to remember that Thanks Living is not based upon how I feel, or the circumstances I find myself. Thanks Living is a mindset.... no make that a heartset. Thanks Living is based on the fact that God loves me and each day His mercies are new. Thanks Living is based on the fact that God cares for me and is concerned about all the details in my life. Thanks Living is a CHOICE! 
So, it doesn't matter that my headache level is at screaming mode. It doesn't matter. The only thing that really matters, is that God is still in control and His love for me is unconditional. The only thing that matters is that I choose to be thankful. 
Today, I'm making a choice—I will enjoy a day filled with "Thanks Living!" Will you join me?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chronological: Rebranding 1


Over the years, Companies have been known to change their logos, and "rebrand" themselves. Sometimes with good results, sometimes it has an opposite effect. 

As I've been studying about Name Changes, (another rabbit trail from my Chronological Bible Study), I realized that often it was a "rebranding" of an individual. Sometimes for positive reasons, and sometimes for a negative reason. 

Names are important to us. We like to be addressed by our name. It's our identity. What happens when God gives you a new name? What are the effects of rebranding? What impact does the rebranding have on the individual and those around them? 

Rebranding: Who?
Let's first take a look at WHO is doing the rebranding. In the rebranding of Abram and Sarai, it was God doing the rebranding. 
The Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God." Genesis 17:1
It's important to know Who is rebranding, as He has the authority to carry out the rebranding. 

Rebranding: Why? 
Abram. God changed his name to Abraham.

God changed Abram's name because of the promise God gave to Abram.
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. Genesis 17:5
“No longer shall your name be Abram (exalted father), but your name shall be Abraham (father of a multitude); for I will make you the father of many nations. Genesis 17:5 (AMP)
God rebranded Abraham based on a promise — that God would fulfill in the future. Each time Abraham heard his name it would be a reminder of what God promised He would do. 

God changed Sarai's name because of the promise made to Abraham. She would be the princess of many nations. 
Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai (my princess), but her name will be Sarah (Princess). Genesis 17:15 (AMP)
The rebranding of the Abraham's and Sarah's names were to signify what God planned to do through them. He created a covenant with them and their rebranding was to signify their role in that convent to future generations. 

Rebranding: Owning it
Even though God rebranded Abram and Sarai, to remind them of the covenant, Abraham and Sarah, did not fully own the meaning behind the rebranding. They were still in the mindset of Abram and Sarai. 
For when God told them what and how He would fulfill His promise to make them the Father and Princess of a great Nation, there was laughter and disbelief. They did not grasp the full implications of their names, nor the One who rebranded them. Both Abraham and Sarah's attitude and reactions, showed their disbelief in what God could and would do. They were looking at the rebranding from their point of view, rather than Almighty God's view. 

Rebranding: New Identity
As we continue reading throughout Genesis, we learn that God did indeed keep His promise to Abraham and Sarah. Their new identities matched what God did through them. 

Rebranding only works when it is done by one who has the Authority. And the rebranding does has an effect on each individual and those around him/her.

If God would change my name—would my actions and attitude accept and be worthy of that new brand?