Tag: time

All God’s Children

We are all God’s children. Period.

He loves us and desires to have a relationship with us. To show us how much He loves us. To teach us. Encourage us. Protect us. To enjoy time with us just the way He created us. All the same reasons we desire to spend time with our children.

Ianunder1When they’re young there’s more protecting and teaching. But as they mature and get older the time we spend together is simply to enjoy their company. To do things together. To laugh together. Still to support them, encourage them, help them over tough times, even cry with them.

How sad to be a parent whose child only comes to them when they’re in desperate need. When they’ve gotten themselves in some kind of trouble and need to be bailed out. Not much of a relationship is it?

But how often are we like that with God? When things are going well, we keep our distance.

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Children go through stages.  Some are more demanding than others. I loved teaching them how to walk, speak, dress themselves, how to play games. And I loved teaching them algebra, how to get along with people, and how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch

Each one of our sons has left the nest and come back for a time.  It has been such a joy to get to know them as adults. When they left for college, they had gotten to such an enjoyable stage! They were pretty independent and so much fun to be around.  We missed them terribly. I felt like we sent them off to go brighten up someone else’s life.

When was the last time you spent any quality time with your heavenly Father?

wood-bench-986347_640Spend Time with God. Get to know Him as an adult. Let Him continue to teach you, to build into your life, to speak to you, and encourage you as an adult.

We are not meant to face the world alone. And He is there. As close as a prayer.

Even more than I desire to spend time with my sons, He desires to spend time with you.

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Make some time this week.  He remembers you. You’re the apple of His eye. He still has your picture on His refrigerator!

No matter your age – You are His child.

God’s Sabbath is Our Sabbath

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Thank You Lord for Your Sabbath to rest in.

Whether you celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, here’s some food for thought:

God created the world in six days and on the seventh He rested.

This is something we may have been taught as little children. Or maybe read it in the book of Genesis later in life. For some families and individuals, it’s a very different day from the rest of the week. For some, not so much.

I went to my first Virtual Seminar this Spring, and a wonderful teacher – Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith spoke about her book Sacred Rest.  She has identified 7 areas where we can be lacking in rest.  More than just feeling tired, a lack of rest can impact your health, your relationships, make your thinking fuzzy, cause moodiness, and more.

So we need rest. After talking about the 7 different kinds of rest we need, which you can read about in her book or on her website, she said something that struck me.

God created the world in six days, and on the seventh day, He rested. That I knew.

But He created us, man and woman on the 6th day. So His 7th day, was actually our 1st day after being created.

God made the Sabbath our first full day.  We didn’t have to work for it.  We didn’t work 6 days like He did to earn our Sabbath.  It was His gift to us.

It’s a small distinction, but it’s had a great impact on me.  God created everything out of nothing!  And then he rested. He must have known we would not be able to work for 6 days before we needed a rest, so, in His wisdom, He gave us our Sabbath at the beginning.

It’s the same now. I don’t have to work 6 days to earn my Sabbath. It’s not something I even deserve from working hard. It’s His free gift to me, that one day a week I can come and spend time with Him to be filled, encouraged, and empowered for the coming week.  He will give me what I need so that I am not pouring out from an empty cup.

It’s a small tweak in my understanding, but it’s changed the way I feel about the Sabbath. His gift to me is to prepare me for the week.  And since He knows what my week will holdHis preparation is perfect – if I will just take time to connect with Him.

calendar-660670_640On your next Sabbath, I hope you will set aside time to rest in the Lord: to listen for His voice, to accept His instruction, to revel in His presence.

And to thank Him for your Sabbath.

For more information on the 7 types of rest, take the Rest Quiz

A CHRISTMAS Prayer for you

C – Christ

It is my prayer that Christ would be the focus of your Christmas. May you not be waylaid by all the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, baking, doing; but have moments of simply acknowledging the sacrifice of the King and Creator of the Universe, who came to earth in the fragile, vulnerable package of a tiny baby to live on earth and make the supreme sacrifice for us to have the option to spend our eternity with Him.

He is The Christ – The Messiah, The Savior, The Deliverer, The Wonderful Counselor, The Prince of Peace. May He be these things for you all year.

When all the presents have been unwrapped, the food is all eaten, the relatives have all returned home, may you take the generous gift of Christ’s love with you into the new year. May you be mindful of how very much He loves you each day of this next year. May your eyes be opened to the tangible ways He shows you that love every day. May you praise God each day, from whom all blessings flow; keeping Christ in every day of your year.

 

H – Hearing

It is my prayer that you would hear God; that your ears would be opened and attuned to God’s voice speaking to you. Perhaps not in a real-world audible kind of way – but that you would, nevertheless, have the experience of knowing what He is saying to you. God speaks in many ways: some are through His Word, the Bible, through the Holy Spirit in prayer, through the circumstances in your life and through godly people.

May you hear His voice clearly, without the distractions of the world around you or the flesh within you. These voices speak so loudly we often allow them to drown out the spiritual guidance Jesus would give, if we would but listen. I pray that when you hear, you will listen with an open mind and heart. I ask that God would give you clarity and understanding of all He shares with you. May our Lord remove whatever “cotton” has been stuffed into your spiritual ears.

It is hard to love a God you do not know. And it is hard to know Him when there is no communication. May this be a year of growing to know Him more deeply by hearing His voice as He teaches You, leads you, guides and directs you, encourages you, and rejoices over you with singing!

 

R – Revelation

May you receive from God a revelation of how to use your gifts and talents this year. May He tell you and show you how to spend your energy and time this year in ways that will satisfy you immensely and bring honor and glory to Him.  God made you unique and special – He puts it “fearfully and wonderfully.” You have very specific gifts and talents wrapped up with a personality and passions, and having had personal experiences that create a one-of-a-kind You! May our Lord reveal to you how to unwrap that gift that is uniquely you. And show you how to share the gift that you are with the world.  And may that Revelation inspire and direct your path.

He has placed something in you that is meant to be shared! Tell Him that you are ready to listen, and ask Him to reveal to you how to do it step by step.

 

I – Invigoration

I pray God will invigorate you in following the Revelation you Hear from Him. That means placing “vigor” in you! Vigor is robustness, potency, strength! May He fill you with the energy and power you need to follow through everywhere He leads you. May God give you the invigoration and inspiration to excel in all the opportunities He brings your way this year.

May He also give you the “vigor” to meet any challenge He allows into your life this year. Some days will flow easily, almost effortlessly, and you may not be aware that He is the One empowering you to be able to accomplish all you do. Other days, you may have to audibly call on Him to muster the energy and strength you need. May He always answer your call with strength equal to the task. May you rest in the knowledge that God has prepared you for whatever happens. Nothing ever takes Him by surprise! May He help you and guide you through whatever comes along.

May He invigorate you: body, mind and spirit.

 

S – Someone

May God bring Someone alongside you who will be a godly presence. One who will be like iron sharpening iron in your life. One who will help you keep Christ the focus of your life. One who will remind you to listen to God’s voice, hold you accountable to be obedient to Him, and joyfully give thanks to Him with you. It may be someone you already know, or it may not. It may be someone you expect, or it may not. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. May you be open to His choice of a helper for you, for this time and for His purpose.

 

T – Time

May God show you, teach you, how to take authority over your time. Ask Him where to set limits, what to make priorities, and how to stay disciplined in those areas. May God show you how you are currently spending your time, and where you need to make changes. Ask Him what to let go of so you can make room for what He is showing you is important. May you not be a slave to the “tyranny of the urgent,” but make time to do what is important, not just what seems “urgent” at that moment.

May He help you appreciate His perspective of time, understanding that He often works behind the scenes in ways that are invisible to us. When you need to be patient, may God show you how to wait patiently, prayerfully. May you let God help you find the right balance in resting and doing, knowing both are important.

 

M – Mirth

May God give you times of laughter, merriment – complete and utter joy – that override your circumstances or attitude. May joy come, renewed, every morning. And may there be laughter in each day that brings strength to your bones and healing to your body! May our Lord God, give you the focus you need to be able to enjoy everyday moments, and see life from His perspective so you can appreciate every blessing He abundantly showers on you.

And may He give you the ability to laugh, even in the face of trouble, as you rely on Him, the Author of your faith, to carry you through anything that comes along; knowing that God will never ever leave you or forsake you.

As laughter is good medicine, may you be well medicated all throughout the year!

 

A – Attitude of Gratitude

I pray that you would see all the things in your life that are blessings from God. May He open your eyes to understand that even things you take for granted, are gifts. May you be thankful for every morning you wake up and the sun is shining, for every step you take in your own strength and power, for every breath you draw in and exhale.

May you appreciate being able to think clearly, and speak audibly, and move freely. May you thank God for the times you live in – not cave man days, or covered wagon days, but right now, when we enjoy so many modern day miracles and life-saving medical advancements and transportation and communication technological wonders. May you appreciate the fact that you live in a country where we are still free to become whatever we want, and purchase what we need for life and comfort, and worship God as we please.

May you voice your gratitude for your friends and loved-ones who pour into your life, and allow you to pour into theirs. May you fully acknowledge God’s hand in the seven wonders of the world: to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to think, to laugh, and to love.

May you thank God daily for the beauty you see around you, the blue of the sky, the brightness of the sun, the sparkle of the stars, the glow of the moon, the colors of the sunset (or of the sunrise if you happen to wake before it), the mountains or trees or flowers, the wrinkles of laughter, the smiles of friends, the furry pets who love unconditionally.

May your attitude of gratitude overcome even the difficult days. And when it would be easier to complain, may you be able to rejoice in giving thanks.

 

S – Safety

May you enjoy safety and security in your home, in your travel, at work, at rest, and at play. May God safeguard your health; not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.

To use words from Psalm 121: May your help come from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. May our God not let your foot slip – He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed He will neither slumber nor sleep. Our Lord watches over you and will be your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; He will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Amen.

Live in the Light

Spring is coming!

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This is my favorite time of the year.  Maybe because the First day of Spring is my birthday!

But also because it brings me out of the cold and dark time of year and into the warmth and light.

Especially this year, I am ready to be delivered out of the darkness of this last year and into the light of new promise.

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Last year saw much illness: the diagnosis of an auto-immune disease that came with unkind medications and breast cancer, and my father’s last battle with lung disease and then his death.  It saw diminishing energy, fatigue, and discouragement over many losses.

God was good to give me some bright spots. Two sons’ weddings and a trip to Hawaii were very joyful.

But I am ready for life in the full sun.  Just as teachers and kids everywhere are enthusiastically counting the weeks till school is out, I am ready and eager for being done with cancer, and medication’s side effects.

2 Peter 1:4 tells me “I have given you very great and precious promises.” So, I am ready to draw my strength from God and those promises.

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The first thing that gives me strength is my identity in Christ.

 

Contrary to that little voice I sometimes hear reminding me how stupid I’ve been and how worthless I am, I know that in truth, I am a daughter of the King of the universe!

Among other things, Scripture tells me:

I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved.  Colossians 3:12

I am a daughter/son of light and not darkness.  I Thessalonians 5:5

I have been made righteous.  2 Corinthians 5:21

I am free forever from condemnation.  Romans 8:1

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Next I need to know His promises.

 

Some promises are for all Believers, so I can draw strength from knowing that:

I may approach God with boldness, freedom and confidence.   Ephesians 3:12

I have been given the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do the work, which He has prepared in advance for me.  Ephesians 2:10

To know His personal promises to me, I need to be in His Word so I can hear Him speak them.  Sometimes a new meaning becomes evident in a scripture I haven’t noticed or understood before. Or maybe a familiar passage suddenly has a unique application to something in my life.  Sometimes I feel a conviction telling me to pay attention, that this is for me.

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And finally, I need to live and act as if I believe those promises.

So since I believe I am a daughter of the King, I need to think and behave that way.  Because I believe I have been given a spirit of power and love then I will act in love and be empowered when I come up against a challenge.

Knowing that I am God’s handiwork gives me confidence to step boldly into the light this Spring.  And like Paul, be ready to “take hold of that for which God has taken hold of me.”  Philippians 3:12

I pray that you too will be energized and empowered by the light that Spring brings.  And will live and walk in the light of your true identity from God and in His promises.

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Googling God

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The perfect answer to all your questions

The answer to your search for direction, peace, power, purpose

A perfect “wireless” connection that is never out of service, out of range, broken, interrupted by weather conditions, satellite position, or earthly circumstances

If you are seeking directions for how to fix something or the answer to a trivia question, if you’re like my kids, you automatically go to Google.

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We might be watching a movie and my husband says – “Isn’t she the same actress that was in…”  And I say “No honey, that was another person.”  My son immediately, in the middle of the movie, pushes pause, and picks up his phone to “google” the answer.  Issue solved.

No more discussion.  No argument.  The facts are confirmed in a few seconds.

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Don’t you wish you had access to answers for the important questions in your life? As easily as that?

Can you imagine saying “Google, who should I marry? Google, what should I be? Google, where should I live? Google, why am I here?”

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Truth is, we already have a connection to the God of the Universe – who created the earth, the stars, the cosmos and everything in it.  He also created us: you and me.  And He has wisdom about you and me that He is willing to share, if we just ask.

 

James 1:5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

To get Google’s answer, you have to have an internet connection and a way to receive that signal.

I believe God is speaking to us, or sending out His signal, all the time, through His Word, His Son, His Creation, and our circumstances, among other ways.  His is a constant, uninterruptible, full-strength signal.  But we need to be receiving it to hear.

God has given us, built into us, a receiver to hear Him.  It’s our spirit.  We are all made up of body, mind and spirit.  As a believer, we have the Holy Spirit within us who helps hear Him even better.  And the Holy Spirit helps us understand what we hear.

  • hurry-2119711_640Try setting aside some time daily or weekly to get alone, to just be still and listen to what God might have to say to you.

Start the conversation with a thank you or a question and then quiet yourself.  For some people it helps to be outdoors without the distractions of the house or apartment.  For others, a quiet room works.

Don’t expect to hear a physical voice, although it can happen.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you sense what God is saying.

  • Observe what is around you.  If outside, are there birds, trees, flowers, clouds, mountains, water, some piece of God’s creation that might have a message for you?  What do you see that shows you something about yourself, or about God?  If inside look at the art, the colors, the items and check any memories or feelings they evoke.

Do you need a fresh look at an area of your life or help dealing with emotions that may have surfaced?  Do you see something outside yourself that reflects some inner truth?

  • hand-453220_640Read your Bible.  Start reading and read until you hear something that resonates with something you are going through – a message of instruction, or encouragement, or a revelation about yourself or God.  A verse may stand out with a new significance or understanding than it has had before.  Or it may shine a light that gives you a new perspective.

Ask what this means.  And what it means to you.  Is there something you need to do, or stop doing with this new understanding?

  • Talk to God.  You can say anything to Him.  Whisper your fears, yell your frustrations, rage against your circumstances.  He can take it all.  Pour out your heart about what you are facing.  Ask for His perspective.  Or for clarification on an issue.

Then pause to hear His answer.  Do you need a change of attitude?  A course correction? Do you hear a word of encouragement?  Direction?  Or feel a sense of comfort?

Nature, the Bible and prayer are some of the ways God speaks.  It might also be through a church sermon, or a book, movie or podcast.  It could be through a trusted friend, a stranger or situation.  And the answer may not be immediate.  Keep listening.

What works best for you?  Is there a place?  A time of day or night?  It doesn’t always have to be the same.  God is broadcasting.  And I believe He has a message just for you.  Will you “tune in”?

Next time we’ll talk about how hearing works with our physical and spiritual ears.