Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Beginnings

It's Saturday.
 A new week is coming. Resurrection week means new life and new beginnings.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breakfast with God

Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

Do everything in love. 
1 Corinthians 16:14

Just a thought
Have you ever been struck by the small miracle it is that Christ makes you strong enough to be humble? Love well.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Endurance or Perseverance?

Discovering Simple Joy: Concerning Our Days 
A Continuation of How we view the life around us.

Do you find yourself "enduring" you day? If I could just get through this day, this work week. Or in my case, If I could just stay awake one more hour I won't be embarrassed about going to sleep at 9:00 o'clock.
Enduring, not enjoying.
Most of our time on this earth is made up of a series of daily mundane experiences. So how do we go from day to day existing to pushing on for the cause? How do we complete the task the Lord has given us (Acts 20:24) for His glory and His purpose? Can you and I find contentment in the daily faithfulness to the One who put this task before us?
Enduring or persevering, it's a choice every day we face when our feet hit the floor in the morning.
This is the day the Lord has made and I'm going to rejoice in it! [My version of Psalm 118:24]

Simple joy #5 - I will choose to persevere with joy today; 
while folding socks,
while sitting in a cubicle,
while standing in line...

... let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us
Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Discovering Simple Joy: Concering Our Stuff

A Continuation of How we react to the Life Around Us.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 
Matthew 6:19

As I get older, I don't long for "stuff" like I used to. It can be suffocating as you can see to the extreme in reality shows on hoarders. When I'm considering buying something, I can sometimes visualize it sitting in my next garage sale in three years because it will be considered junk. Or I may look at it and think "it's just one more thing I have to dust."
In reducing the stuff in my life, my ultimate goal is to reflect the image of Christ. In the pursuit to possess more, it can actually block my view of Christ and dull my witness.

Simple joy #3 - Letting go of the desire for more things. They're really just dust collectors anyway.
Simple joy #4 - Look around your home for things that you don't need or want anymore and give them away. Find joy in thinking of the person who finds your junk in a resale shop and considers it a treasure. Remember that singing fish plaque you once thought was hilarious and now it's just annoying? Pitch it!

You have shown me the way of life, and you will give me wonderful joy in your presence. Acts 2:28

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Discovering Simple Joy

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
John 15:11

When the alarm doesn't go off; you wake in a panic, you hear the dog heaving and you race to the back door to let him out only it's too late and he hurls all over the floor; you're late for work and forgot to make coffee last night so you turn it on and reach for the Cheerios, you pour your cereal only to find  there's no milk in the refrigerator; suddenly the coffee maker smells like it's burning because you forgot to put water in it; the dog who threw up is now hungry so he discovers the litter box you forgot to clean out; the phone rings, you know it's your mother but you don't have time to talk, but you don't have time to feel guilty about thinking of an excuse not to answer the phone; you glance at your devotional book on quiet time and decide you don't have time for that, again.

We long for simplicity in our lives, maybe that's why I love to watch The Waltons. But we are so far removed from simple joy on a daily basis. The Lord said he came to bring abundant joy so why are we inclined to save joy for the big occasions in our lives? Why do we not have joy in the little moments?

Join me as I go through a personal journey of discovering simple joy in the life around us and the life within us.


The "to-do" list
I confess to having no organizational skills, so I look around my home and see what I haven't done, not what I have completed. Then my head starts to spin with where to begin first. Should I clean the tipped over jar of dried up molasses out of the refrigerator or fold the three baskets of clothes lying on the floor? I still need to exercise but I haven't gone to Walmart yet for groceries. I look on the floor and see dust/hair balls from my dog that likes the litter box and I think I should vacuum first.
But I'm not sure...

My sister, Cindy, who inherited the organizational gene says with aggravation in her voice, "It's so simple, Deb, take fifteen minutes and do ONE thing."

Simple joy #1 Take fifteen minutes and organize one thing.
                  #2 Instead of making a "to- do" list, make a "did-it" list. Wow, look at all I have              accomplished!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Breakfast with God

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind... Luke 4:18-19

If Jesus really came to set you free, how are you honoring Him by choosing to be held captive to something in your past?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Prayer Retreat

I've been out of commission for a while.
It's good to be writing in my blog again. I spent much of December and January preparing for a retreat I led on prayer. These intelligent and amazing women are viewed above.

My favorite part of the retreat is when we get alone with God and have personal quiet time.

When you feel the need to pray, do you recognize that it is not you seeking God but God Himself seeking you through your prayer life?

I love to pray the scriptures. Here are some of my favorite. When praying God's Word back to Him you can make it personal with I, me, mine, etc.

Try it!

Praise the Lord, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, I tell myself,
and never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's!
The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly. He revealed His character to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
He has not punishes for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For His unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the eight of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west.
Psalm 103:1-12

Praying scripture for those you love. Insert the name of someone you want to pray for in these scriptures.

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you might inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God
s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand for all God's people should how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of love and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.
Ephesians 3:14-20