Thursday, June 28, 2018

" giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20 NKJV

One of the many things I love about the Apostle Paul is his gratitude to His Heavenly Father. Giving thanks for all things can be difficult. I don't think he means we have to be grateful for all things right away.

 It can be easier to thank God for the good we see come out of a bad situation. Not everything can be seen as good at the time. A car accident where someone dies isn't something we can thank God for initially. We might be able to see fruit come from the attitudes of those who grieve the loss of the loved one. 

Someone who has suffered such a great tragedy may not ever see one thing to thank God for. God is fine with it. He loves you right where you are. In the middle of the pain He wants to meet you.

God knows serious, hurtful things take place every day in our lives.Our friend Paul is speaking about worship in the verse before this. In the context of the chapter we see in giving thanks to God it comes from our sincere hearts.

Worship has to be sincere. Our giving of thanks is not right if it comes begrudgingly. No way does God want this! Truth is what God stands for. He knows our hearts and how to bring wholeness.

If you are walking through an emotional trauma don't despair. All of us have been in your shoes at one time or another. Life comes in cycles. The Spirit of God works in us to cause us to overcome. Usually we are in a trial, coming out of a trial, or healed from a trial.

It is how God makes us more like Him. If we don't allow Jesus into our stuff, we won't change. It is painful, but it brings health strength and life in the end. As much as I fuss about change I know I need it. No one likes the pain of change. help us Lord Jesus to see you in the trial. Amen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

" speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord," Ephesians 5:19 NKJV

This is a happy picture. Matt is rough housing with our golden retriever Buddy. These two love one another. When it is rainy out at night Buds wants to be with Matthew in his room. All anxiety leaves the dog as he rests with his friend.

No other time is it alright for a dog to be in a bedroom. If buddy is in the laundry room and it is blustery outside he will scratch at the door until little pieces are all over the floor. I am not my happiest when I come down to a mess like this first thing in the morning.

There are other messes in the dog/laundry room I dislike more first thing in the morning. I will spare you the details. I don't yell or scream but I dislike messes just the same.

Our verse today is how I like to spend my time. A friend asked me once why I didn't play christian music when I was home. I said,"I like to be able to sing whenever I want."

  This doesn't mean I couldn't play music as well.  Singing with music is legitimate too. Most times I like to be free to let out a melody when I think of one. We each have our own way of worshiping throughout the day.

"Making melody in my heart unto the King of Kings" is one of my favorite occupations throughout the day. How do you keep yourself occupied? This of course is when you are alone.

Music has been a vital part of who I am from the very beginning. My Dad liked music and he played classical music at night when he was home. This developed in me a love for instrumental music.

Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Korsakov were some of his favorites composers. Worship music has its own special place in my heart. Don't get my wrong, some of those special classics are very worshipful and were written for the Lord. I love this about those beautiful, masterfully crafted pieces. 

Getting lost in worship to the Lord is about the best thing to do any  ordinary day. You are whisked out of this dull existence and delivered into the presence of God. How's that for an otherwise standard Wednesday?

Friday, June 22, 2018

"See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise," Ephesians 5:15 NKJV

Today is the first day of summer! We can officially say it is summertime. Do you have plans to enjoy it? These plans can be as simple as going to the beach one day or sitting in your own backyard.

Enjoy the days you have. None of us know how many days we will be here on  the earth. We can live each day as if it is the one day that is better than the one before it. Wisdom says to count your days and don't count the ones you might not have.

Treat others as if you might not see them again. Honesty and respect could run rampant if we all thought this way. A foolish person may be bored with others and take them for granted. 

This is another area where I fall short.

My Brother-in- law Bob went to work one day; went home for lunch and never returned. He had a brain aneurysm rupture and went to be with the Lord. This was sudden, without any previous notice. He was having bad headaches but no one detected any problems.

Each day God has a purpose and a plan for us to notice what He is saying to us. It can take a while for me to realize what it is, and at times I miss His whisper entirely. Show us Lord what you want to say today.

Nature has a way of speaking to me "the best is yet to come." I especially get this message from God through His creation when I am weeding. God never intended for weeds to be in our garden or our lives. The weeds of sickness, emotional distress, and need pester us in this world.

God tells us in His Word a greater day is coming. All of the pestering lies, disease and torments will be gone because He never intended for them in the first place. Jesus came to redeem us from sin and from the fall. Nature will declare at His coming; All is well!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret."  Ephesians 5:12 NKJV

It is time to lounge! I can go for this at any time.  No, this is not true because when it's time to walk I don't want to lounge. When I am in walking mode I can't stop until I really need to. If I don't push myself a little farther than I think I can go, I won't gain new  ground.

It can be true of most things. If we want to learn a new sport or language, we have to put in the time and effort to make it happen. Growing in our relationship with the Lord requires effort.  Everything in our natural woman would rather do something other than pray and read His Word.

We strengthen our muscle of prayer by doing it and thereby our relationship with the Almighty is closer and better. The more time in His presence the less time we want to spend doing things that are counterproductive. Does television call you to sit for longer than you like?

The reason I ask this is because it happens to me. I am a HGTV only person when it comes to TV.  Even too much of an ok thing can be wrong if it takes you away from something better. Of course a balance is in order here.

My point is the worst things imaginable can be seen on TV or in the movies today. The standards of the past have been eliminated for the most part. Thank God we have seen some incredibly good movies come out in the past few years.

Even when I watch HGTV it bothers me if the couple looking for a house are not married. I don't know them, but I wish for them to have Godly morals and respect His order of things. Prayer while watching is a valid way of doing things, as long as it's not your only time of prayer for the day.

Prayer during the news is especially important. In our world today prayer for everything is valid and needful. Prayer for President Trump as he does the things considered impossible by other administrations. Watch the local news and pray for people in your community. Change comes only through prayer.

If you would like some encouragement to pray, google: Curse Breaker Prayer by Jekalyn Carr

You can find on twitter, Pinterest or Instagram now!  Tell your friends and church buddies.

Monday, June 11, 2018

{For the fruit of the light consists in all  goodness, righteousness and truth.} Ephesians 5:9 NIV

Have you ever in your life felt like a wallflower? Have you wondered what it is exactly? This picture describes it pretty well. I have felt like this most of my life. Sometimes I wanted to feel this way. Other times I was thinking I was treated like this.

Fading into the shadows isn't something I want anymore. We could call it maturity but mature people can still feel invisible. I like to call it God's amazing grace. Grace is similar to imagining your greatest dreams have come true.

Grace is feeling free and alive like you never experienced before. I am in Michigan today visiting my brother and sister-in- law after the wedding of their daughter, Karrah. I went outside a little while ago and it was one of those best days of the year in my opinion.

The wind was lightly blowing, and the neighbor's laundry was swaying in the breeze.

 It was about 75 degrees and there wasn't a cloud to be seen. I could stand in the sunshine and not sweat or retreat to the shade because of the heat. Most of the time Michigan will have our weather a day in advance.  Tomorrow I will get to have this day all over again, or the weather at least.

I don't want to live the same day over. I want to have new days and new experiences and adventures each day. I want to live for God to the best of my ability and beyond, today and tomorrow.

I want to shine the light of the Lord over all those who need it, and boy, do they need it! Goodness, righteousness and truth can be buried if we don't allow it to shine. Definitions of such things can be twisted to mean things God never intended.

As I have been sharing about God's goodness, I hope you have realized good, in its truest sense is who God is. It's not a mediocre term but the best of the best. It is the highest sense of the word. 
If God's goodness were a balloon, it would sail on forever. It would have no end, just like His Kingdom! 

Friday, June 1, 2018

"Let there be no filthiness nor foolish and sinful talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming: but instead voice thankfulness to God." Ephesians 5:4 AMP

How are you today? I hope you are blessed and able to give God the praise. I wonder what this Mom is telling her two little boys? Is it a pirate story about the monsters in the briny deep sea? Is she making up a story as she goes along? I don't know but she has their attention!

Keeping anyone's attention seems to be a great challenge these days. What has your attention? Are you overcome by facebook posts or what Donald Trump will post on Twitter? Are you waiting to see what challenge will come up in the daily news? At least daily we read about someone saying something outrageous and the next day apologizing for it. 

Words are so cheap and if what comes out of our mouths will sell papers or up our ratings we can say it and say we are sorry the next day. Really? Where is our integrity if we can just say some words to get us out of our mess but no really mean it.

Why has journalism fallen to such a dangerous level? Is it all about the money or notoriety? What about the truth? Does this matter at all? Not if you don't believe in absolute truth. If there isn't anything real or absolute than why does it matter? I guess it doesn't and that's what I'm getting at.

If you know Jesus is Lord and what you say matters to the One and Only your words take on a whole new meaning. What if your purpose on this earth is to make Him known, and His love for this lost, demeaning generation? Your words matter immensely. 

Is your purpose is to love others regardless of how they treat you? Don't be ridiculous Ann, no one can do that! This is where grace comes in. We can't do anything pleasing to God on our own. We need Him to mold and shape our lives so He shines and not us.

No one needs what we have. Everyone needs the unsurpassed grace, mercy, compassion and strength of Our God. Can we humble ourselves so He can shine? Absolutely! Be what Jesus wants you to be today, and don't scold yourself if you don't. Tomorrow is a new day to shine for Him!