Tuesday, July 31, 2012

For Today

Quite some time ago, I copied into my quote book a small sentence spoken by a woman I have respected and admired for years.  This morning, as I was reading, I discovered that the sentence is actually a part of a prayer written by her.  I had just read from Colossians 3:1-17 and picked up a book of devotional thoughts.  The prayer, contained in a writing titled "This Day", resonated and expressed beautifully what is on my heart this morning.  "Loving Lord and heavenly Father, I offer up today all that I am, all that I have, all that I do, and all that I suffer, to be Yours today and Yours forever. Give me grace, Lord, to do all that I know of Your holy will.  Purify my heart, sanctify my thinking, correct my desires. Teach me, in all of today's work and trouble and joy, to respond with honest praise, simple trust, and instant obedience, that my life may be in truth a living sacrifice, by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, my Master and my all.  Amen."

"Give me grace, Lord, to do all that I know of Your holy will."  ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Morning

There is so much for which to give thanks.  A good night's sleep, a new morning, family and friends with whom to share this new day, freedom to worship, a church that feels like family, activities to anticipate, a car to drive, a choice of food for breakfast, the sound of children waking, air to breathe, memories to cherish......and it is only 8 o'clock in the morning!  At the end of this new day, what other blessings will cause my heart to give thanks?  God is good....all the time.

"Being thankful causes the demons of lack to flee and praise to spring forth from the core of our being."  ~ T.D. Jakes

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bane and Blessing

There are days when just about everything seems to be going well.  Smooth sailing.  Upon deeper reflection, however, we will always find a bump.  The thought that there is always something wrong does not seem depressing to me, but simply realistic.  We can be sure that, in this life, we will consistently face troubles and difficulties.  The good news is that there will also be much happiness and blessing to savor.  The following quote, I think, gives very practical advice when it comes to finding balance in the ups and downs of life.

"Make the most of the best and the least of the worst."  ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Bit of Humor From Two "Saints"

I recently read a footnote in my Bible, commenting on Acts 2:46 and 16:34, which stated that "joy is to be the mood of the believer."  We understand that life will not always feel happy, but joy is another matter.  There is nothing much sadder to me than the Christian who appears to be joyless.  As God's own people, we have everything we need to not only survive in this broken world, but to live victoriously...with joy intact!

My son once told me a joke that absolutely cracked me up....it was about an alligator that walked into a bar and ordered a drink, causing the bartender to ask "Why the long face?"  The joke may not be quite as effective in written form, lacking my son's delivery, but you get the point. I do so hope that, wherever I walk, I give no cause for folks to wonder "why the long face?"!

"May God protect me from gloomy saints."  ~ St. Teresa of Avila

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What Matters

As I was reading this morning, I came across a statement that resonated deeply....."do not be uninformed about life's significance" (these words are Dr. Joseph Stowell's, contained in a daily online devotion I receive from a ministry called Griefshare).  Dr. Stowell's admonition got me to thinking about what really matters in life.  I had been planning on writing today and using the quote you will see below.  I guess this could be considered a double-quote post!

What really matters in life?  People.  I am thinking this morning of the ones I  love, share with, am inspired by, challenged and encouraged by....whose lives touch mine. I am thinking of family and friends...some I have not seen in years but who still impact my life through their influence.  Some have gone on to be with the Lord.  Some are with me daily, weekly....some only with careful planning for opportunities to be together.  There are some I have never, and most likely will never, meet....those whose writings and words have influenced my thinking and therefore my life. 

Time matters, too.  How I spend my time, what I do with the 24 hours I am given each day...it matters.  Last night, at a brilliant fireworks display, my little granddaughter, amazed at the beauty of those explosions, uttered "this is a memory I will never forget!" ( well, I guess this is a triple-quote post!)  My best "memories I will never forget" almost always include the people with whom I share them.  Of course there are moments of solitude that I remember, reflect upon and treasure.  Balance is important, and "alone time" is valuable and productive, but sharing life with others is what this post is all about.  The fireworks display that so impressed a little girl was made more memorable because she was sharing it with those who love her.  I am sure of that. 

Today, and every day of my life, I want to be aware of what matters!

"Life is too precious to squander on trivial things."   ~ John Piper