Friday, May 30, 2008

Joy to the World

This morning in my walk I listened to Avalon's version of Joy to the World. It's one of my fav Christmas songs. When the 25th of the month would fall on a Sunday, a former pastor never lost the opportunity to tell our congregation how long it was until Christmas! So since today is the 30th----it's less than 7 months until Christmas! Can we find the joy in May just as easily as we see it in December?

A friend of mine's daughter is expecting her first child - and the due date is December 13. When I am around her, she is so excited, anticipating each coming moment, enjoying the current moments of planning, doctor's visits, and changes in her own body. As the body of Christ, we should be feeling that same anticipation and joy be it December or May. God comes to us everyday not just on Christmas. We can celebrate, look for, plan for, anticipate all those changes that come to us as we experience His presence. Yes, we have our trials. If you read St. Paul you will see the theme of joy in the midst of trials because he knew the Holy Spirit was with him -- Emmanuel --- God WITH us! That's worth celebrating every day!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do ya think?

With summer fast approaching and time for reading at the beach, on the porch, etc., when an ad comes by me with books, I take time to peruse the selection. Well, I saw one today that just got me cranked up. It's called "Becoming Your Best - A Self-Help Guide for Thinking People." So now tell me, are you a "thinking person" or not? What is that supposed to mean? Only smart, intelligent people should read this book? Now, don't get me wrong - I have no idea what the book is about, and as they say, "You can't tell a book by its cover." It may be absolutely WONDERFUL, but the title just turned me off. It seems to be screaming "unworthy" for us common folk. No thank you. I think I'll just stick to my "mindless" books.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heavy Hearts

Today was such a sad day with the news of the loss of Maria Chapman, youngest daughter of Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman. The circumstances surrounding that loss make the situation so much tougher. Prayers go out for the whole family... What else is there to say?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun

That's what Bible study was tonight - fun---fun---fun! We had "Bad Hair Day" munchies, lots of talking and fellowship and God's Word. We talked about what to do when we have a bad hair day, when someone gives us a bad day, and when we are everybody else's bad hair day! :>) We all decided we needed a touch of Philippians - the book about J O Y even as Paul was being held a prisoner in Rome.

We all need a little about that joy. We need to learn to be content in all situations (Phil. 4:11-13); to rejoice (Phil. 4:4); not to be anxious but in all things pray with thanksgiving(Phil. 4:6); to do EVERYTHING without complaining (Phil. 2:14-16); to do NOTHING out of selfish humility. And of course the ONLY way we can do this is through God who works in us to will and act according to His good purpose (Phil. 2:13).

Yes, God was speaking to us tonight. We need humility, thankfulness, peace, contentment, grace. That will turn our Bad Hair Days into a Philippians Kind of Day! Praise Him!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Giving God the Glory

I know, I know, I just posted, but I HAVE to give God some Glory! I am working on the outline for a Bible study, and I NEEDED a Bible verse to be in Philippians. And guess what? The LORD put it there! I am so EXCITED I can hardly stand it! :) You know I'm being funny, but I'm one that can remember parts of verses but can never remember their specific address. And as this Bible study began to unfold, I really wanted a particular verse to be in Philippians, it will be a key part to this study. And praise God, it is right there! You may think I'm silly, but I just LOVE IT when God works things out that way!

Silly and excited!


Wisdom, Insight, Understanding

I'm reading through Kings in my morning devotions now. This morning focused on the wisdom given to Solomon. I wish I could have just a thimblefull of that wisdom. Chapter 4, verse 29 of 1 Kings says, "God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore." I wonder what that felt like - to not only be smart, but to have the insight and understanding to know how to use that wisdom? We've all heard of people who are "book smart" but don't have much common sense. Then there are those who might not be very book smart, but they're "street smart." I've known some of those people. They know how to put the pieces together, learn from others, and they have the ability to go far in life.

Wisdom is wonderful, but if we don't have insight and understanding as to how to use it, it may not help us very much. I love the King James Version which has the words "wisdom...understanding exceeding much...and largeness of heart." I think we need all three in the body of Christ. Along with knowledge we need to understand (or at least try to) one another and see the situation. But where would we be with all of this and no largeness of heart? It always comes down to the heart doesn't it? Are we law...or grace filled? Are we full of our own knowledge or do we try to see things from others point of view with a loving heart?

I thought about the opposites of those words - ignorance, blindness and narrow-mindedness. I think the last one scares me the most. It's human nature to only see things from our own point of view - but when we refuse to expand that view, we lose the love. We become law-filled instead of grace-filled.

Jesus blew that notion out of the water! He had the wisdom - He was fully-God for goodness sake. But He used that wisdom in love. He reached out to the unreachable, He touched the untouchable, He loved the unloveable. And it made those with tunnel-vision very angry.

My prayer for all of us is for God to bless us with just a little bit of the wisdom He gave Solomon. But more than the wisdom, I pray for "understanding exceeding much" and "largeness of heart."