For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hope All Day Long

Psalm 25:4-5
Show me your ways, LORD, 
   teach me your paths. 
Guide me in your truth and teach me, 
   for you are God my Savior, 
   and my hope is in you all day long.

On Monday, spring sashayed through southern Ohio. In her path she left golden forsythia bushes, bright yellow daffodils and green budding lilacs. My willow tree, covered with baby buds, swayed in the light breeze. Right behind spring’s grand entrance, winter lurked. By Thursday snowflakes floated in the air.

When life flows along a trail littered with goodness and joy, hope walks beside me. But, then Satan noses in and wants to create havoc and make my days unpleasant by planting seeds of doubt and anger. When that happens, I cling to my hope that comes from God, a promise that he will not leave me. He is my hope all day long.  Much like spring, the hope I know in Jesus, carries me through those unexpected winter days. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Box

Hebrews 13:20-21
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Do I “think outside the box”, someone might ask me. Sometimes, I do. I like to problem solve and find creative solutions for situations that might not be typical. Thinking in imaginative ways works sometimes, but not without God's wisdom and guidance. 

I like to think that my “box” is a place of safety, where I can go to regroup using the equipment that God set up for me. I imagine my box filled with my Bible, prayer time, worship songs, the sweet smell of fresh rain that washes away the dirt of life, grace, mercy, love and Jesus with open arms. I may move about outside the box and think outside of it, but I don’t want to move away from it without those treasures that restore my soul. Cherish the box God gives you and use his offerings to refresh your heart as you go out and do good things.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shine Like Stars

Philippians 2:14-16
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. -Paul

As I sit here in my recliner, I hear the steady rain on our roof and think how thankful I am that I have a roof and warm home. I am off work with a virus and none too happy about it. But this will pass and I will wake up in a few days feeling fine. Again I am fortunate.  I hear the hum of the electricity running through my house like a river flowing through a valley. I am blessed. The food in the refrigerator will feed us for several days, my clothes are clean, and I have hot water and tea bags.  Yet before the day is over, I will complain about something. More out of habit that ungratefulness.

I often return to one of my favorite verses to remind myself not to complain or grumble. When I am disgruntled, my dissatisfaction begins to sound like the nails on a chalkboard and no one enjoys that noise; especially God, who has blessed me with all that I have. All things come from him and I need to make a conscious effort to be grateful and to share my wealth on this earth. I may not be wealthy by American standards but I am more than blessed by heavenly standards and for that I am thankful.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sharing Treasures

Acts 2:42-45
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

This week, for the first time, I attended a writing group at the college where I work. I was meeting with people who wanted to listen to the words I penned, my anxiety rose a bit.  To my delight, I enjoyed the time and the sharing. We chatted about our writing experience and laughed about life. The fellowship with other writers renewed my writing energy.

Spending time with other writers, reminded me of how people flock together in groups to share the treasures of life. I love going to church to fellowship with people who worship God. Meeting together with people who praise God and love Jesus reminds me of sitting around the kitchen table at my mom’s house and feeling the love of friends and family. God calls us to meet together with other believers so that we might be refreshed in him. I praise God for the church.