God’s Family-God’s Glory

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with some people with “know how”. You know what I mean, the people that know the questions that should be asked and give you the answer before you know that’s the question you need to ask. These people are so much more knowledgeable than I when it comes to technical computer things. I sat in amazement as they did what was quite easy for them but a very challenging task for me.

Later a friend and I were having lunch and talking about the class we had just been a part of and the things that, especially I, had learned.

It became very apparent to once again that what we had experienced was the work of the body of Christ together. It truly was a beautiful thing.

When we each take what God has given us, whether you want to call it gifts or abilities or talents or strengths, or whatever, and use them to help and build up others in the body of Christ, then, we, as His body are operating in the exact way He designed us to operate.

That brings Him glory.

This dear sister who was helping everyone in the class was not having difficulty with the task at all. She was using her strengths and gifts to do what God gave her to do. That’s the body of Christ. That’s the blessing of being part of God’s family.

“Dear Father, Today may each of your children operate in the gifts and abilities You’ve given. May we each seek to build each other up as You intended.”

How about you? How have you been blessed by someone in God’s family using their gifts to help you or build you up?

I have to Do WHAT????

footprints
I am taking a class which will, in the long run, be very helpful in learning to develop and hone what I’m now doing. In this class, there is a lot of reading, which I don’t mind at all. There are assignments that I have to incorporate and put into use in what I’ve learned from reading. And then there is the greatest challenging assignment for me…

I have to set G-O-A-L-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I am the type of person who doesn’t mind setting little, attainable goals. I’m fine with seeing a task that needs to be done and figuring out what I need to do in steps to accomplish that task. I LIKE lists…yes, I said it. I like lists. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment to make a list, work on the item, complete it and then check it off.

But, GOALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They scare me to death.

I know the big picture “thing” way at the end of the road that I’m headed for.
I can see the end result if goals are met.

But, I get lost in the tiny details. I get frustrated in the “what are the ‘exact’ steps that I need to take to get there”. There is always this fear of missing an important step in the process and having to go back. What if I don’t know the step to take? I mean, it has been said, how do you know what question to ask if you don’t know what you don’t know.

Funny thing…
I was praying this morning about setting goals and about this fear that I have. Once again, God showed up.

He gave me the EXACT devotional thoughts that I needed. Don’t you love it when He does that!

He reminded me again what is in Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”

So, maybe goals are not such a bad thing with that verse in mind. Someone once said that each path begins with the first step.

“Dear Lord, Today please help me to keep my focus on You so that no matter which way I’m about to turn I will listen for Your voice of direction as I set goals.

How about you? What do you do to set goals and to keep going in the right direction to accomplish them?

picture used by Office Microsoft Images

A Tribute to My Father

I was talking to a friend recently about people and relationships and life in general.

We talked about how so many people are focused on showing others how much they are loved.  There seems to be a great deal of attention paid to making sure others feel accepted and cared for and, yes, loved.

The thing is, our love is not going to save them.  Our love may make them feel good.  Our love may help their self-esteem.  Our love may encourage them.  Our love will not save them.

Only God’s love can do that.  He may use us to show them love, but it’s got to be His love.

I’ve been thinking a great deal about my father lately, after all, Father’s Day is nearing.  I realized that this theme was steadfast in my father’s life.

As a young man he and my mother were called to serve God in a full time capacity with a life changing commitment to follow Him.  They picked up and moved to a “foreign” country (Canada) to the great frozen wasteland…at least that is where it was thought they were going…though it wasn’t quite so frozen or so much of a wasteland…just different.  But, especially at that time, it was a drastic move.

As I think back to memories of growing up and “picture-memories” of my father, there are several consistencies but one thing stands out in my heart and mind.  It is his constant dedication to speak the truth of God.  He pointed people to God through his life.  He guided people in their walk with Christ through his words.  He directed people by discipleship in many one-on-one relationships and in teaching others how to disciple.  He discipled before it was the “thing” to do.

I’ve heard people talk about how great my father is.  I’ve heard comments numerous times about the effect he had on their lives.  I’ve heard remarks about the strength of his preaching.  All of those things are true.  But, I know that my father would do and has done what he has always done, point those same people back to God.

I think that’s what truly being a father is.  It is pointing one’s children, birth children and spiritual children, back to the One who knows us best and loves us most.  It is pointing others to God, our heavenly Father and His great love, not our own.  Today, I thank my earthly father for his life of dedication to his heavenly Father.  Thanks, Dad.

“Dear heavenly Father, Please bless my father today.  Remind him once again of Your great love for him and envelope him in the memories of a life well lived for You.  Thank-You for the kind of father who loved You first and taught those coming behind him to do the same.  May all of his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren follow that love to You.”

My Life’s Dichotomies

I am…

a big sister and a little sister,…though at this age, it doesn’t matter so much anymore.

a daughter and a mother

an aunt and a niece

a student and a teacher

a rule follower and an undisciplined individual

a person of strength and a person of weakness

a deep friend and an acquaintance

one who enjoys the ocean and the mountains

a reader and a writer

and the list goes on.

But, most of all, I am a child of the Most High God.

There is no dichotomy there.  I may have many different roles to play out in life on this earth.  I may have many different interests and things that yearn for my attention.

But the place where I am at my most complete, the place where I find the most fulfillment and enjoyment, and the place where I am whole is in the center of my Father’s will.  When I am focused, purposeful, and deliberate concerning my relationship with God there is no dichotomy.  I am who He created me to be.  I will do what He created me to do.  I am His child and will purpose to live my life for His glory.

“Father God, Thank-You for seeing all aspects of me as complete.  May my life be lived in such a way as to bring glory and honor to Your name every day of the life You have given me.  Be the Lord of this day as I walk in You.”

 

God’s Promises

Do you have any idea how many promises of God there are in the Bible? I don’t, but I always mark in my Bible when I find another one. I have a lot of those markings throughout my Bible. I’ve been thinking on a couple of His promises.

We know that God is steadfast and faithful. That’s what Deuteronomy 7:9 says. I Corinthians 1:9 says that God is faithful and II Timothy 2:15 says, “if we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”
Because we know He is faithful, we can stand on the promises He gives us. He cannot lie so He cannot break His promises which are His solid word.

I find a great deal of comfort in that when my world takes an unexpected turn.

When we look at it with Romans 8:35, we see it says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” It goes on to say in verse 37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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I really believe when my health takes a nose dive again, when money runs short, when frustrations mount, when someone disappoints me, when the world has another catastrophe or the economy plummets again, He is there. He is with me. I don’t have to go through anything alone. Nothing can separate me from Him.

Either God is bigger than my problems and I go to Him with them or the problems are bigger than the God whom I serve and I crumble under the weight of them. I must stand on what He says is true. He is my rock and foundation. I need to remember that always. He promised He would be. He is as He said.

“Dear Lord God, Thank-You that You are more than enough and big enough to take care of any problem I have today. Thank-You that You are faithful to Your word and Your promises stand true.”

So, what do you do to keep yourself centered on the promises of God? What is your favorite of His promises?

Photo from Microsoft Word Office