Be Thou My Vision

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With age come certain realities that affect how one should view life.

Whatever you might be worrying about today, won’t be remembered tomorrow. Work hard at worrying less and realize that God provides. Walking through the trials of life with confidence is part of the plan. Sadness is inevitable but succumbing to fear, anger, hatred and despair are not.

We are all heading “home” and it is unavoidable. This isn’t maudlin when there is no fear of the future. As believers, our future is certain and reflected in a wonderful old hymn:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.

Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;

Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;

Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;

Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:

Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,

Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,

High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,

May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Don’t put value in things, put your heart and soul into people. It pays off. Family and friends are irreplaceable and add a depth of joy that is indescribably wonderful.

Worship is not about the church. Anyone who depends on a pastor, teacher or religious institution will surely be disappointed. A personal relationship with God is meaningful, rewarding and fulfilling. Open your Bible, talk to God, worship with friends…but worship God. There is a difference.

God provides daily blessings – don’t be too busy and miss them.

I promise this to be true.

Don’t be so touchy!

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Everyone is so touchy and I mean that in a sad, ironic and bewildered way.

We live in a social media and communication savvy world where every word, every comment, every thought is digested and repeated and dissected until the pundits can pounce on a person’s thought process.

To be fair, not all comments are created equal. Not all people are smart enough to keep their mouths shut. We are all guilty of saying stupid things. But, and this is important…we have a right to do so.

The church is often stuck in the middle of this quagmire of judgmental commenting and can be quite touchy upon subjects in which they do not agree. Be careful, this is dangerous territory for those who love the Lord.

As for me, I choose to love. I may not agree but I don’t berate, belittle or hate people for their words. To do so is to place yourself in a position from which only God can stand in judgment. I am not going to spew hatred. That is totally contrary to the message of Christ.

I think back to the story of the woman who was an “untouchable” and was an outcast in society. As Jesus moves through the crowds a woman appears that is known as being untouchable and cursed. But this woman takes a leap of faith and makes a desperate grasp for the hem of Jesus garment in order to touch Him. She touches the Messiah and in an instant she is healed. The part of this story that really resonates with me though is that Jesus turns and asks “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Mark 5:30-34

I believe in my heart that Jesus knew who touched Him but He wanted the crowd to know. He wanted to make a bold and powerful statement. One person deemed totally untouchable was now recognized by the King of Kings and was healed. His touch saved her. It saves people today. What a powerful testimony, What a powerful savior.

As my Pastor once said “No one you lock eyes with is beyond the love and reach of God”. We all need His touch. Be a witness to that truth.

He touched me, Oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know,
He touched me and made me whole.
Song by: Bill Gaither

Greater Love

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“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”. John 15:12

The Gospel of John is a virtual love letter to Christians. It’s full of love, love and more love.

Jason Mraz sings:

Your Love, is bigger than a rain cloud
It covered up my whole skies
It’s filling up my heart,
My heart with
Love, Love, Love, Love, Love
More than I ever need
giving me
Love, Love, Love

When the new year began, there were many who encouraged me to come up with a word for the year. A word to live by this 2015. I really didn’t put much thought into this request. But, I have now.

After studying John, I’m taking on love. I’m going to love, love, love everyone. I figure the worst that can happen is they’ll throw some love back to me. How can loving others not result in loving thoughts, feelings and good things? And if it doesn’t, I still love.

Jesus commanded it…I’m going to do it.

With Love,
Linda

You can have it all!

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Daily I am bombarded with emails that assure me that if I only do a certain number of steps, I can live a life of perfection.

Typically, with the one easy and affordable payment, all of my dreams will come true. Money back guaranteed.

I will work only at a job I love, have perfect relationships, effectively get my day organized so that everything is done quickly and efficiently, love and be loved…and more.

Seriously?

These are empty promises my friends. Life can not be perfect in seven easy steps. It doesn’t work that way although it doesn’t mean you can’t try. But, keep your expectations realistic.

For the manual that will clarify your dreams and goals, you only have to look at the Bible. It clearly shows a plan of action to ensure a life well lived. There are no promises for 100% daily perfection but it does promise perfect love from a Father who will never abandon you.

There is peace of mind in that simple and true fact…and I just shared it with you at no cost.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

 

 

Pass it on…

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I think my husband is taking my writing seriously.

Not that he hasn’t been supportive…he is always supportive. But today, I returned from a brief work trip to find a 27 inch Mac computer on my desk. This thing is AMAZING and about the size of my dog.

What does a computer have to do with Jesus? Not really much except that I can type the speed of sound and share my love for God with the latest in technology.

I find it incredible that Christianity spread throughout the world basically by word of mouth, letters and eventually the written Bible. Starting with a group of loyal believers who embraced the faith and shared the transforming story of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is astounding.

Now we come to the present where the world needs to know the peace of Christ more than ever. I truly believe we still have a responsibility to spread the good news. The fact that advanced technology aids in our journey as we try to reach others for Him makes it even better.

To God be the glory.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

You’ve Got Mail

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My email is often filled with “blessing” messages from friends that come with a caveat – pass them on to ten friends or I’ll suffer some dire fate. I have five minutes to do so or misfortune “may” arrive at my doorstep.

While I love blessings and some do arrive on particularly difficult days…I also know that email doesn’t trigger blessings from God. I enjoy the reminder of these sometimes beautifully written posts, but I know that I can find real blessings without threats if I simply open my Bible.

I believe each day is a blessing and God wants to shower blessings upon us. When it doesn’t happen as expected, it is often because we aren’t following Him  or the timing is just not perfect. When I look back on my life, I can see the blessings and it astounds me. In the moment, I am sometimes not so appreciative.

I love my friends, I love to be blessed, but I’m not going to be blackmailed into blessing others. I believe that the God I love carries me daily through life’s troubles and turmoil. That’s something I want to share.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow…

Pass that on!

The lost art of Letter Writing

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My friend and artist, Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson has sent out a plea for people to write her a personal letter. Directions can be found on her blog at http://paperpaintings.growingbolder.com/snail-mail-me/.

Elizabeth uses handwritten letters in her paintings. It is special and poetic and so lovely to see how Elizabeth creates masterpieces from scraps of paper.

I try to write letters as often as possible. There are few things more thoughtful than receiving a hand-written letter from someone. The time it took to write and to think through the writing process is what makes a letter so intimate. It is a dying art form and I wish more people would spend the time writing something to someone once a day. I truly consider it art. So does Elizabeth.

I think back to Paul sitting in prison writing letters to the early Christian churches. Not only did Paul’s letters cheer weary souls but it also showed how much he cared for them even during the worst of circumstances. Paul’s letters live on today in the New Testament with wisdom we still use to enrich our lives.

I doubt Paul realized his letters would travel so far but I’m glad he wrote them. Paul’s writings glorify Christ in a unique and special way.

Send Elizabeth a letter. Better yet, send someone you love a letter.

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1:3