Our Amazing God

pink flower plants

 

Each new morning marks the beginning of the rest of our life. What we make of it is our choice. We can either live it according to: (1.) our own goals and plans, or (2.) in the will of God for us. The first choice causes many frustrating and sometimes devastating issues to arise during our day.

 

The second choice gives us God’s peace and joy to help us rise above any circumstance that occurs. We plug into the resources that God always supplies for us, we advance beyond any normal human endeavors, and we enter into the supernatural realm.

 

Our life adopts a significance that only comes from the Trinity of God within us, because He gives us eternal life. Eternal life on this earth is knowing God personally, enjoying the power of Christ working in and through us, and living by the guidance and comfort of His Holy Spirit (John 17:3).

 

Living in this eternal flow through each moment of our life changes the process and the outcome of everything that we experience – those issues that we can change, and those over which we have no control. We perceive a shift in our paradigm, world view, and thought processes.

 

The issues of this life are no longer any concern for us. Yes, part of our soul and body may experience discomfort, fear, panic attacks, nausea, stress, trauma, etc. over the circumstances, because we are human; however, we can quickly change our focus by repeating the words, “Father, I believe, so help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

 

Changing our focus about our troubles will enable us to impact the difficulties that we can influence, and to put the rest in the heart of God to care for in His perfect timing and way. Godly serenity saturates our thoughts and emotions, and we live a productive life for God’s Kingdom.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for constantly intervening in our life to work out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:2), and for Your presence that is always working in and through us. Remind us that when we trust You with our life, people see a difference in us, when they compare us to those who depend on human wisdom and resources for their success. “God things” occur in our life, which have no natural explanation.

 

We want to please You by abiding in Your presence and living by faith in You. We depend on Your manifestation and power in our life for our very existence. Thank you for redirecting our focus, thoughts, and emotions toward the essence of what really matters in this life, so that we do not get side-tracked or bogged down in the mire of this earthly realm. We will look for the seeds for a miracle, which You plant within every trial.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we believe that God exists, and that He always rewards us when we seek Him for His plans for each moment of our day, we encounter miracles that cannot be explained in human terms; we find comfort in prayer – communicating our honest feelings to God, knowing that He really does care about us.

– Hebrews 11:6; Psalm 62:8; 1 Peter 5:7

Unfurling in the Son

 

green leafed plant

 

I love to watch new fern fronds uncurling in the nurturing sun and swaying in the breezes sweeping past them. They are so delicate, lacey, whimsical and hardy. They remind me of a new Believer, who unfurls under the steady gaze of God’s Son, and sways in the constant mighty wind of God’s Spirit rushing through our life (Acts 2:2).

 

I was there at one time – 50 years ago in 1969, and I am still there as I relish my continual time spent with the Trinity of God within me. There are a few essentials that enable us to mature spiritually, and to prosper over the years of our relationship with the Trinity.

 

Spending time each day alone with God is very nourishing to our spirit, body and soul – emotions, thoughts, and choices. We get away from the distractions of family, job, friends, activities, etc. – even if it is only for a few minutes – and we listen to God as He shares His wisdom, and His plans for our day.

 

Prayer is not formal, and there is no right or wrong way to pray. We are simply talking to God as we would to a friend. If we are not sure how to pray, we begin by thanking God for who he is, and for all the good things that He provides for us, then pray for others, and finally pray for our own needs.

 

This brings us J-O-Y … when we put:

J-esus first

O-thers next; but never neglecting or abusing

Y-ourself.

 

It is very important to also spend some quality time sitting quietly with our notebook (journal), waiting on the Lord to speak to our heart. We can write down our concerns, as well as what He tells us, and have it as a ready reference for the future.

 

We can also learn to pray “without ceasing” throughout the day: while driving in the car, waiting in line at a retail store, sitting in the doctor’s office, or while doing some task which requires no real concentration (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We ask God to lead us and to help us with each mission He calls us to accomplish.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we love You so much, and we appreciate even the little things You do for us each day. Even the air we breathe is a gift from You, because without it we would cease to exist. Teach us to make a list each night in our journal of five things that we praise You for from our day – we grow from positive and negative events in our life (John 16:33).

 

Remind us to count our blessings at the end of the day, starting with the letter “A” and going to the letter “Z”, even though we usually fall asleep at some point in the middle. I always start by thanking You for aardvarks, because this member of Your creation always makes me smile. You care about every big and little activity that occurs in our life; so as good things happen during the day, remind us to take time to praise and to thank You for them.

 

Thought for the Day:

Satan is not happy that we are no longer his slaves to sin, and he will try everything in his power to discourage us or confuse us, so that we will quit walking with God; therefore, fellowshipping with other Christians helps to prevent this from happening, because we can discuss our questions and fears and frustrations with someone we trust, and who can help shed light on what we are experiencing.

 

 

 

Inevitable Arguments

landscape photography of lake

 

Some people hate confrontation, and will go to great lengths to avoid it. Others love a good skirmish and will actually pick a fight to instigate an argument. Regardless of our leaning between these two extremes, arguments are inevitable.

 

If we are honest, we will admit that we even argue with our self – our “me”, “myself” and “I” have differences of opinion. Then, we also argue with God’s will for some unfathomable reason – except that we often believe that we know better than God does about what is best for our life.

 

There are several ways to “argue.”

  1. We have an all-out, heated war and both insist that we are right.
  2. We cave in to the other person’s aggressiveness in order to “keep the peace”.
  3. We fear rejection, so we act amenably in order to “buy” their love.
  4. We pray together, and find a third alternative that is agreeable with both of us.

 

The first option is destructive. We are tempted to use words that wound, we get side-tracked from the original issue and chase after lesser important matters. We also erect walls between us and our loved one that affect our intimacy, fulfillment, etc.

 

The second option causes us to abandon our self, as we fabricate our thoughts until the other person’s desires take on more of an importance to us than our own. We forget that we are a person too, and our needs are as vitally important as theirs are.

 

The third option also puts us in a position to disregard our own needs. Resentment, frustration, and disappointment flood our soul and detrimentally influences future disagreements, because it compounds our feelings of neglect and abuse.

 

Of course, the fourth option is the optimal way to deal with disagreements. It takes more work, patience, compassion, and is often viewed as an inconvenience that compounds the original concerns. However, this option avoids the negative consequences inherent in the other three choices.

 

This fourth way also allows us to walk in the Spirit together, and to keep our unity under the covering of God’s will for our relationship. Finding that third option is challenging, but it is also more satisfying. We nurture our love for one another, both of us find fulfillment in the final decision, and we increase our intimate union with one another.

 

Random Quote:

“We cannot change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails to take advantage of the wind to take us to where we really want to be.”

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that it is foolish to count our worth according to our fame, fortune, number of people that we please, or our success in this life. These are fleeting and transitory and can change in an instant. Teach us that as followers of Christ, it is anti-climactic to pursue aspects pertaining to this earthly realm. You provide us with both the desire and the power to bring You pleasure, which insures our ultimate success (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

When we compare our thoughts with Your Word, it helps us to judge them according to Your precepts. Help us to live like a thermostat to regulate the temperature in the world around us, instead of as a thermometer, which just registers the status quo. Help us to focus our mind, affections and goals on Your purposes for us (Colossians 3:2). We are never more fulfilled than we are while walking closest to You through Christ in us. We worship and adore You all of the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Differences of opinion, needs, goals, worldview, etc. are inevitable; however, they are not predictable disruptions in the unity of our relationships with friends, relatives, associates and neighbors, because there is always a third option where both sides are content with the ultimate decision.

Friends with God

brown and orange butterfly perched on yellow lantana flowers

 

Jews and Gentiles are all capable of claiming friendship with God through the power of Jesus Christ abiding within us. We are fellow heirs of God’s Kingdom, members of the same Body of Christ, and partakers together of the promise of Christ in us by believing the Gospel (Ephesians 3:4-6).

 

All Believers are His children, heirs of His glory, and adopted into His family. We are also subject to share in His suffering, which He endured throughout His lifetime (Romans 8:17). God calls us to willingly submit as bondservants to Jesus, and slaves to His righteousness.

 

We are not merely His servants, He considers us as His family. We are adopted into God’s family and co-equal heirs with Jesus to inherit everything that our Father owns (Romans 8:17). We are also regenerated disciples of Christ, ever-learning from His truth and walking in His Spirit.

 

Yet, the most amazing position we share is that of living as friends of God (John 15:13). This thought warms my soul and fills me with joy, peace and abundant love for both our Heavenly Father and our brother, Jesus.

 

Jesus is both the Lion of Judah and the sacrificial Lamb. He took on the sins of the world and is also the righteous Judge. He is the consuming Fire and the Light of the world, the Root of Jesse and the King of the Jews, as well as the future King of the whole world.

 

Jesus no longer calls us servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, He calls us His friends, because everything that Jesus learned from our Father He has made known to us.

 

Jesus is ultimately our Emanuel – God with us, and He dwells in our spirit and changes us from the inside out. Jesus is our loving Friend who is always here for us. As His friends, we always do what His Spirit leads us to do (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and that the fullness of the godhead is in us as well (Colossians 1:19; 2:9). We rejoice at the sanctifying work of Your Spirit within us. We like who You make us, much better than living as a product of our genes and upbringing.

 

Although we did not choose You, You chose us and appointed us to go forth into the world, in order to bear fruit for Your Kingdom (John 15:13-16). Jesus is our very best friend, and we thank You for His finished work on Calvary’s Cross. This allows us to walk in His love, as well as in His acceptance as members of Your family, and as Your friend.

 

Thought for the Day:

We do not have to earn God’s love or acceptance by good deeds or righteous acts; we simply surrender our will to His, and walk in obedience to His calling for our life; then, He gives us His Holy Spirit as our comforter and guide, and He promises never to leave us or forsake us.

– Deuteronomy 31:8; John 15:26; Hebrews 13:5

 

 

 

A Good Marriage – Cherish is the Word

calm body of water

 

 

In 1966, a song was written by Terry Kirkman and recorded by The Association. “Cherish” remained as number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. That means the words resonated in people’s hearts.

 

I never knew how it felt to be cherished until I married my husband, Kevin. Like the song says, his love for me is deep within his heart, and this makes him delight in spending time with me, holding me, and enjoying the fact that I relish spending time with him as well.

 

We are also best friends, and we love our shared adventures; but most of all, we cherish one another and our life together. As a couple, we share our love for the Lord, and we work together in His Kingdom, which is the foundation of our relationship.

 

Many marriages have all the elements of survival: serving and sacrificing for one another, feeling empathetic toward each other’s illnesses and victories and defeats, cheering each other along toward our successes, and enjoying an intimate affection that fulfills the soul and spirit, as well as the body.

 

We also delight in one another, enjoy each other, and make plans to spend regular time together every day – even if it is only for a few moments, we make it memorable quality time. Making an ongoing commitment to cherish one another adds to the intimacy of this time together.

 

Even if business, illnesses, family issues, etc. get in the way of romance or “doing life as usual”, we never lose the glow of the cherishing intimacy that we built together during several decades of loving and serving one another.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that loving someone can switch to hating that same person simply by tossing the coin of circumstances. However, when our love is based on cherishing our mate, we are more invested in one another. We look beyond disappointments, broken promises, signs of aging, debilitating illness, mental imbalance, emotional issues, etc., and we continue to love and cherish our mate.

 

Teach us to base our affections on serving, rather than on being served; on preferring one another, rather than on expecting our mate to make us happy; on enjoying our maturing relationship, rather than expecting the sparks that initially drew us together to continue. Make our relationship an example for younger couples to emulate; so they can build strong marriages for future generations as well.

 

Thought for the Day:

Marriage is full of many choices, and they can come from our heart and increase our intimacy, or they can develop into a downward spiral that detracts from our feelings of love and cherishing one another; when our mate is our greatest treasure in life, the most intimate days of our marriage are always ahead of us.

 

Healing Lingering Grief

cloudy sky over mountain

When we lose a parent, mate, friend or child – either mentally, emotionally or physically; through estrangement, death or divorce – we are filled with several layers of grief, some of which is never mentioned publically or given the attention it needs so that we can recover from this residual grief.

 

I am referring to the consequential losses caused by our principal loss. For instance, besides the physical loss of this loved one, we may also lose our best friend, financial security, emotional support, the fulfillment of our future plans, our home and/or earthly treasures, and maybe even our feelings of safety, self-confidence, personal identity, and faith and trust in God.

 

We often experience regret over time lost with this person, words left unspoken, hasty heedless words we did not really mean when we said them, etc. We feel unprepared to move into this new chapter of our life without them, because of this compounded loss.

 

We are forced to change, and to start a new path on which we are unprepared to embark. Many people bury their grief in their subconscious mind in hopes of ridding themselves of the pain and distraction caused by these untimely and often ill-fated occurrences in our life. They are still there, however, haunting us from within.

 

Some of us experience grief over the loss of our innocence due to sexual abuse, fear because we experienced deprivation of our needs being met, feelings of not being ”good enough” due to neglect that was either intentional or a by-product of our circumstances.

 

God’s original plan for humanity did not include death. Paradise was and still is His intention for us. It was due to their pride and rebellion that Adam and Eve lost this place of Utopia, and brought the curse of sin on the whole creation, as well as to everyone on the earth from that time forward.

 

Jesus paid the price to restore creation and all who are humble and brave enough to receive His sacrifice as their own (John 3:16-18). He is our ever-present Savior, Brother, Counselor, Provider and Friend, as we trust Him to lead us in the way that we should go.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your Word shows us that the key principle for surviving grief is to recognize that we are never alone when we experience it. Our friends may lose interest, but Your Trinity eternally abides within us (John 14:15-20; Hebrews 13:5). This terrible time in our life is absolutely within Your sphere of control; and as we trust in You alone, the outcome is guaranteed to turn out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Teach us to trust that You are our loving Father and that You hear us in our distress (Psalm 13,22,42,73, and 34:15).

 

Remind us that Jesus is well-acquainted with what we are experiencing, because He too had sorrow in His existence on this earth (Isaiah 53:3; Hebrews 5:7-9). He is our soon and coming King, and He will defeat death, sorrow, and suffering once and for all of us (Revelation 21:1-4). Help us to change our focus from negative feelings and attitudes to positive ones, and to support others who are grieving too (Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). We thank You for Your love, care and provision for us all the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we experience any type of loss, we can write in our journal to document each secondary issue that we feel that we lost in addition to our primary bereavement; then we can grieve each area until we feel our self-care and nurture coming from within us, as well as the compassion and hope given to us by Almighty God.

God’s Goals for Us

assorted-color succulent plant lot

Worldly wisdom advises us to make goals for our life: a one-year, five-year and ten-year plan that will direct our decisions and influence our activities. The problem with this concept is two-fold:

 

  1. Life never, ever goes according to our plans for it.
  2. Setting goals does not take into account that God already set up the perfect plan for our life before we were ever born, and He designed it in order to protect and prosper us (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 29:11).

 

Therefore, rather than reaping needless frustration and spinning our wheels with our own goals, we can seek God’s face, enter His rest, and walk in His Spirit each moment of every day. As we follow His will for us, we grow spiritually, and come into a more intimate union with God with every step we take.

 

Not by human wisdom, but by the grace of God, we live in this world with sincerity, confidence, a clear conscience, and pure motives (2 Corinthians 1:12). We reap an abundant and fulfilled life, content in our ever-growing, deeper and affectionate relationship with God (John 17:3).

 

When we hear and obey the precepts of the Lord, we receive great rewards in this life and throughout eternity (Luke 11:28). We live each day in delightful wonder that the Creator of the details of the entire universe also has a detailed plan for our life.

 

Even when satanic forces attempt to defeat us (Psalm 32, 51), God restores our soul as we spend time in fellowship with Him (Psalm 23:3). We pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), and break into spontaneous times of prayer as we face life’s issues, or praise for His continual blessings through them all.

 

Prayer:

Father God, King David’s psalms mirror the state of our soul on any given day or time or circumstance. He eloquently expressed exactly the way we feel much of the time – from plunging into the depths of despair to finding restoration, renewal, renovation, and recovery. You convert, revive, mend and transform our soul from a fleshly, carnal entity to a spirit-filled state of existence. Thank You for refreshing us in spirit, body and soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices.

 

You desire to lead us into a plentiful lifestyle of green pastures, quiet waters, paths of righteousness, anointing, mercy, goodness, comfort from Your rod and staff, and a table full of plenty (Psalm 23). Your refreshing sprinkles us like the mist of a waterfall on a hot summer’s day, or like wading in a brook, or walking into an air conditioned room, or drinking a cold glass of refreshing tea or lemonade. Thank You for bringing us back to the age of innocence that Adam and Eve experienced before their fall.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we submit our soul to the unction of the Holy Spirit, we accomplish all that God ordains for us to do each day, because His Spirit illuminates His Word to bring healing to our soul: uncovering and healing childhood wounds, ridding our soul of any turbulent thoughts fueled by negative emotions, and restoring our thoughts to equanimity and order as we follow His goals for our life.