Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Every Morning...

We are on the threshold of another new year. Do you see 2017 as a new beginning... true it can be a new beginning, but changing the calendar is no guarantee that life/circumstances will change. Let’s not put too many expectations on the new year being the "fix" for our happiness or lack thereof!

The bad news… going from 2016 to 2017 is not a magic pill! Happiness, per say, in any form is fleeting! Living a life dependent on feelings is a setup for disappointment!

Okay, now for the good news... Tomorrow morning, January 1, 2017 is a new beginning, but so is every morning that your eyes open and you have air in your lungs! Lamentations 3:23says that God's mercy & compassion are new every morning. I will take a new beginning every chance I can! In fact, some days my "new beginning" happens in the middle of my day! I see a new beginning as any moment when I recognize my actions or attitude are not in line with the way I know to be right.

Being happy is a good thing, but happiness is a feeling that fluctuates with circumstances. True joy comes from within... I know for myself, my joy comes from the Lord! Psalms 30:5 talks of crying through the night, but that joy comes in the morning (new beginning). And in Psalms 90:14 it says, God's mercy satisfies us each morning that we will have joy the rest of our lives.

So do you agree we put too much importance on the "new year thing?" New year... New you? Why wait? Make this very moment your new beginning! Don't expect flipping the calendar is really gonna fix anything!

I challenge you to go into this new year with an expectancy that your life will be different! Don't make the same choices as you always have... the definition of insanity - making the same choices & expecting a different result. Yep... been there, done that… still do at times! Are my circumstances perfect right now? Nope! Far from it! But you know what? I would not give up one ounce of my joy for it to be any different! Can you say the same? If not... I pray that over this next year you make the right decisions for you so you can say the same at the end of next year!

Here is the place I start... Fixing my eyes on Jesus, the writer and finisher of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross for my sin, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2)

Happy "New Year!"
Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gift of His Presence...

In preparation of Christmas I got out the boxes and boxes and boxes of decorations.  Some bring back precious memories, while others are just a passing fad.  I love adding just a little something new every year to keep things fresh though.  Did you ever notice that after the ornaments have been hanging on the tree for a few weeks they get kind of dusty?  Or is that just at my house?  I have an ongoing battle with dust… I hate to dust and I think dust purposely antagonizes me!!!

As I was checking my gift list and what we still need to get… my mind was drawn to Christ, Father’s Gift to us all.  The most precious gift ever! In so many ways, it has been a rough year for so many that I care about.  But my eyes keep turning back to that original Gift… no matter the circumstances of life the only thing that matters is our relationship with God... that started on that first Christmas morning.  Jesus Christ was born in a dusty stable, but from that very moment He started to change the world… He takes all the “dust” and grime of our lives and sweeps it all away never to be seen again, if we just turn to Him.

There have been many questions of why God lets things happen… some feeling like the bad circumstances are a punishment from God.  If you look in the Bible there are so many instances when bad things were happening to people and it was not as a punishment!  Look at Job for instance… what would we do if all our possessions were taken… we lost our job… our kids were killed???  I know for myself, I probably would ask God why He would allow such things… if He loves me so much how could He let me go through all this pain???

We like to understand things… we like to try and fix things… we think we know more of what we need than God does… admit it, we have all been there.  I will admit it… I am impatient… I like to figure things out on my own… I want to live in comfort not pain!  But if everything was “peachy keen” all the time how would I ever grow?  And truthfully, what would I need God for?  God may not bring on any of the distress in our lives but He will allow it… ultimately to be used for His glory!

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

In Job 38 and 39, God and Job are having a “conversation.”  If you take the time to read it you will see that God was letting Job know that no matter what his circumstances were God was still in control!  God created all things… He should know how to keep things going and in order! Hmm… not so easy to remember sometimes.

Getting back to the gift part… if our Heavenly Father was willing to give up His only Son to restore His relationship with us… why would He ever do anything to cause us harm?  He sent Jesus to earth as a precious little baby but He wants us to let Him be so much bigger than we can ever imagine in our lives!  So I guess the question is… If Father was willing to give me and you such a precious Gift are we willing to trust Him no matter our circumstances?

“Blessed are the people who know how to praise you. They walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They find joy in your name all day long. They are joyful in your righteousness because you are the glory of their strength. By your favor you give us victory.  Our shield belongs to the Lord.  Our king belongs to the Holy One of Israel.” Psalms 89:15-18 (GW)

Father, I thank You for Your goodness and the precious Gift of Your Son! I praise You for Your presence… that You will never leave us alone!  Lord, You are so faithful! All praise to You!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Monday, December 5, 2016

My Weakness, His Strength...

I have often heard people say during times of stress or problems, “I must be strong for them.”  Well, if you are dealing with pain, stress, sickness… here is something God spoke to my heart. He reminded me that I need to be weak in these times. I know that may sound ridiculous to you, but it is definitely what He showed me & here is why... 

God showed me… It is when I let myself be weak that my pride gets out of the way.

But when Jesus heard it, He replied, “Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick.” ~ Matthew 9:12

It is when I am weak, I cry out to my Heavenly Father for help.

Pay attention to my cry for help because I am very weak. Rescue me from those who pursue me because they are too strong for me. ~ Psalms 142:6

It is when I am weak, I have no illusion that I am in control.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. ~ James 4:10

It is when I am weak, I will experience the blessings and benefits of being God’s child.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, ~ Ephesians 1:3

It is when I am weak, His strength becomes mine. 

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

It is when I am weak, my vulnerability brings His presence even stronger in my life.  

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ~ Psalms 91:1

It is when I am weak, life detours will not distract me but will allow His will to shine through.  

Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. ~ Hebrews 12:12-13

It is when I am weak, He gets all the glory!

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, ~ Romans 4:20

Let me be weak, Lord, living in Your strength!

So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

Rejoicing in Truth!

PS: This verse was laid on my heart today for someone… maybe it is you! When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” ~ John 11:4