Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Philippians:4-7 (NIV) 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As Thanksgiving approaches this week, take a few moments to reflect on life. Many times I am getting so bogged down in details that I forget to be thankful for the experience and paying attention to what God wants me to learn. I am trying to do better at learning the first time so I do not need to keep being reminded that I'm doing "it" again....or still.

It seems that there is so much negativity (maybe it's because on the news that....like sex....is what sells....or gets watchers) on TV, etc. I've watched people who are becoming "famous"....just because of who they have been with while people that are doing really worthwhile things are overlooked. I try to limit my exposure to the news, and TV in general, because it is really easy for me to get dragged down. I am surprised at the new levels that some TV shows have sunk to.

SO, how to combat that? There is much talk about developing an "attitude of gratitude" which basically means finding things to be thankful for. I'm going to refer to it as ThanksLIVING. More than just giving thanks, I want to live a life of thanks. I want to rejoice!

There is a story in Luke 17 about 10 lepers. Jesus heals them. Only 1 comes back to give him thanks. Sometimes it is inconvenient to show thanks. I say the word "thanks" a lot. I want to get to a point of realizing there is more to it than just stating it. It is living like it makes a difference to me and others. Many times especially lately, I have come to realize that it is OK to be thankful for things that are NOT happening to us also. I can focus on the problem(s) or the Problem Solver.

In the verses above, I am reminded again to be anxious less and pray more.

I looked back at last year's post and I was thankful that my mom was coming home after a month in the hospital, etc. after her heart attack. Other than a few bumps, she is doing well!

Thank you to my family and friends who make life worth living!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Life Before the Dash -

I was looking at the copyright information in a book I was reading. I'm sure I've noticed before, but this time I looked at it more closely. When the authors name is listed, it states the year of their birth, then a -, then their year of death if they have passed on. This particular author is still here, so behind the dash was empty.

I have noticed this on headstones as well. This is true especially if the headstone is for a married couple. When one spouse dies, their life information is completed - the year is filled in after the dash. The other spouse may have the beginning date, but not the end date while they complete their life.

Sadly, sometimes the year before and after is the same. I have seen a baby's life touch many other lives even if he or she was here for a few days, months, or died the same day of birth. The time here does not make that life any less valuable.

Genesis 2:7 (NIV) the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

In Genesis, I have noticed that during creation, many times it states "God said....". However, for man, God formed and breathed into him. Humans are made in God's image.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

At funerals, we look back at a person's life and state their accomplishments. Living life is in and of itself an accomplishment! Making it from one day to the next is an accomplishment!

We touch many lives during that time of the dash. Too many times I look forward to the next thing, forgetting to live in the moment. Life before the dash is made up of millions of moments. Knowing that we are made in God's image should help us make it through each moment, good or bad.

Let's make our lives before the dash the best we can so that when the end does come, we have no regrets.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pray....don't worry

Philippians 4:6-7 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (NLT)

I have been thinking about how much time I spend worrying....usually about things that don't/won't happen OR not the way I imagine anyway. SO why am I wasting my time? I usually try everything I can think of....and when that doesn't work, I pray. The verses above remind me to not worry about anything, but pray about everything.

Switching it around a little.... Pray about everything and don't worry about anything.

Now to put it into practice. The next time the worry monster shows up, I'm scaring it away by praying. How many days does it take to start a new habit? Worrying is a bad habit that can be broken.

I will pray instead of worry today. Say it with me.....

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Journey.....and a recommendation

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV) 7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Back in 1998 (I know because I got it as a gift for me), I bought a Bible called The Journey Bible. It said it was for spiritual seekers. I did not know it at the time, but I was and remain a seeker. I do not believe it matters if you have read through the whole Bible, bits and pieces, or not at all, God designed us to seek after Him and His Word.

I have had a few Bibles before and after, but The Journey is my favorite. I am amazed that I can open it and find answers to questions I had not even gotten around to asking yet. There is an introduction prior to each book with a time line that relates it to history. My copy is paperback and getting a little worn and lots of notes in the sidebars. I'll still keep it even when it falls apart.

I don't read the Bible as often as I'd like. I very often have found time to read novels, magazine articles, etc. I'm trying to do better with the Bible.

I never thought about it until tonight that I could pass along the info and that copies are available (relatively cheaply) through Amazon, etc. http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Spiritual-Seekers-International-Version/dp/031092023X is the address if you'd like to check it out. I do not know if it is available in bookstores anymore. www.half.com would be a good place to look too if you decide it's worth a closer look!