What Me Worry?

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It is easy, in these times, to worry about the future. Wars, fires, floods, and politics are just a few of the things that can weigh on the mind. I worry about my children’s futures, about our country…about too much.

It is important to remember that God is STILL on His throne and that He will lead us through tough times. I’m not saying things will be easy. I’m just saying, the One we Worship, will be by with us and some day…He will set the world to rights.

I stand on that promise.

The Christian Life

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I was discussing with a friend about living the Christian life. My friend believes that we should avoid all things and all people who are not of like mind. But I disagree.

How can we witness if we isolate ourselves from others? It is truly the WWJD moment. My father used to say that we live by example and others should see Christ through us. I agree with that thinking.

Dad was on to something!

 

Bad News

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“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” – Unknown

I have never met a person who has not experienced pain, heartache, disappointment or grief upon receiving bad news. A multitude of emotions will overwhelm and can even sink the character of the most optimistic soul.

Some things are hard to overcome. It takes perseverance, will, and faith. A lot of faith.

I don’t believe you can wish away bad news or ignore it altogether. You can try but bad news has a way of wreaking havoc unless you confront it and deal with it. What life lesson have you learned if you simply want to forget the bad things of life.

Life happens.

Peter denies Jesus three times yet turns his life around. As for Judas…his ending after making a terrible decision is not stellar as he elects suicide to solve his problems.

Jesus is the only person who knew bad news firsthand. Jesus knew the end at the beginning. I wonder if His earthly walk through life was lonely but then I remember He had a Father guiding his steps.

I don’t want to forget all the bad news. I want to walk through the trials and tribulations of this life until I hear “well done” from our Father in heaven which signals the end of bad news for all time. What a day of rejoicing that will be.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

Sweets for the Soul

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How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

When I was young, my Dad travelled extensively throughout Florida. At his homecoming, Dad surprised us with peppermints collected in restaurants during his travels. Dad’s return was all the sweeter because he brought mints with him. What a delicious memory.

When I think of Jesus, I borrow the words from the wonderful hymn “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” In days of uncertainty with all of life’s trials and tribulations, it is worth remembering that we have a Savior who sweetens the pot and makes our life better. Not perfect but better.

I’m grateful for my earthly Father who was sweeter than words can express but I’m tremendously grateful for Jesus Christ who will never leave me and who promises so much more.

Sweet…

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

It’s all a test…

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Every now and then the television set will blurt an obnoxious alarm followed by the words “This is a test” of the emergency broadcasting system. This loathsome warning results in increased heart rates followed by concern over the possible end of the world.

That test is unnerving.

Life is a test. One big, long, we didn’t prepare for, didn’t study enough and are hoping for the best – kind of test. It’s scary and all the preparation in the world may not be enough to pass. In order to survive, we cram as much knowledge into our feeble brains just to get through another day.

Here’s the deal: Life is a test of our strength, training, courage, and determination. Some days we lose and some days we win; but to pass any test, we have to accept that failure may occur before victory is achieved. It is important to remember that getting through the test pleases God.

Tom Bodett says it best: “In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; Psalm 26:2

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.

The C-side of life.

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45-rpm records always had an A-side and a B-side. The A side featured a recording that the artist felt was the best and most likely to receive “air play” on a radio station. In other words, it was the song most likely to become a hit with the public. Everyone wanted to hear the A-side and revel in greatness.

The B-side was a gamble and an additional “bonus” track that had potential although it retained a secondary ranking. No guarantees on the B-side.

This was the sort of musical record so many of us grew up playing. I remember placing the needle at the edge of the 45 disk and then flipping the record over later to check out the B-side. But most days, I wanted to play the A-side repeatedly. I wanted greatness.

If life were only that simple. If all our days were A-days and we could keep repeating them over and over. But some days are B-days and some days are worse. Some days are C-days. C-days are the hardest where there are few hits to be found.

We are not always promised A-days and in fact, C-days will happen more than we would like. But a person of faith knows that you power through knowing that the A-side of life will return.

And it will.

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates?

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For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Life is not like a box of chocolates.

Life is hard, tough, challenging, hate-filled, disappointing, chaotic, mind-blowing, surprising, and unpredictable.

Life is also, fun, crazy, fast, joyous, rewarding, loving, amazing, glorious, stupendous, surprising, and unpredictable.

Given the options though, I love the unpredictable nature of this mad, mad world and the glorious journey we are all walking together.

Life may not be like a box of chocolates but it is more than dog food or champagne, oatmeal or caviar. Life is better than mere words or movie taglines can possibly describe.

I can’t wait to start another day, pass the Godiva.