Monday, July 10, 2017

What blessings do you have lying dormant?

So Brian is a friend of ours and he sent me a text yesterday, in which I responded with fireworks and strobe lights that the latest iPhone update has as features.  He was quite impressed, in which I responded, "Don't be jealous that I have magical powers, envy is a sin."  He replied, "Call me a sinner.  I'm envious."  The funny thing is, his phone had the exact same capability as mine, they were just lying dormant.  Just because he was unaware.  All he needed to do was access it and unleash its ability.

The same can be with our spiritual life.  God has given us access to so many things like PEACE that surpasses all understanding when life gets crazy, JOY that you can have when the ship seems to be going down, LOVE for people that haven't necessarily been worthy of it.  All of those things could be lying dormant in your life simply because you were unaware.  Well -- now you know! 

Now all my friend needed to do was open up his settings and turn a few things off to enable the feature to work.  And spiritually, all we need to do is open up the Word -- our Owner's Manual, to be getting the most out of our life and taking advantage of every benefit it provides. 

Just like we can go to the Apple Bar to find out all the features our iPhone has, we can plug into good teaching that helps us access what's already ours!  But what good are all of these amazing features if we don't know how to access it?!

"I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don't be troubled or afraid."  John 14:27

"...no one will take away your joy."  John 16:22

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."  1 John 4:8

Sunday, July 2, 2017

God never designed us to know the future

We keep hearing the struggle of being 'present'. 
Well, it is actually that...a present.  A GIFT! 
To be opened and enjoyed today.  Yet too often we leave the present wrapped up sitting on a shelf while we get entangled in worrying and wondering about tomorrow.  The future.

The funny thing about the future is...God never designed us to know it!  So in fact, it's really not our business worrying about it.  A bit harsh?  I know, I know...we should be responsible citizens and plan for the future and not be clueless and have all our ducks in a row so we have our retirement all taken care of so it will one day take care of us. Heavy sigh.  (And yes the run on sentence was intended to empasize that whole blah, blah, blah notion.)   But is that where our faith should lie?  In our comfy little nest egg?  God is the ONE who will ultimately take care of us, not our bank account.  You'll never hear Bank of America say, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest!"  (They'll just send you an overdraft charge for your burden.)  Thanks B of A!

James 4:13-15 says this, "And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, 'Today -- at the latest tomorrow -- we're off to such and such city for the year.  We're going to start a business and make a lot of money.'  You don't know the first thing about tomorrow.  You're nothing but a wisp of fog catching a brief bit of sunshine before disappearing.  Instead, make it a habit to say, 'If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that.' "

You thought I was harsh.

Ultimately we are citizens of Heaven, and the investments He is most concerned about are people.  He wants us investing in the people around us.  Primarily our family who get a front row seat to watching us live out our crazy -- umm, I mean our faith ;)  It's a Mission Field not in a foreign country but often on foreign soil when it comes to all the changes our kids can go through.  We often need a translator.  KPC.  (Keeping Parents Clueless) LOL

We spend much of our days, and likely our late nights wringing our hands and tossing and turning about the future.  I think it's no accident.  If the enemy can distract us about the 'what if's' and get us devoting such mental energy to figuring it all out, then we miss what God is doing right now.  We didn't even see it.  We got too busy with our telescope that we looked past what was directly in front of us.  Then days turn into years and we look back and wonder where it went.

Uhhh, so confession...I'm kinda guilty of all of the above.  I mean, compared to who, right?!  I know a lot of people who flip out over the small things and have no peace in their life.  They'd say I was mellow in comparison and can withstand a lot and just have faith that things will work out.  But at the end of the day, that's not relevant.  It's not about on a scale of 1-10 how am I compared to others.  It's about His standard.  And if He says worry is a sin...that means even teensy tinsy worries.  Not just the BIG ones.  Dontcha just love how He gives us so many things we CAN worry about.  (eye roll)
He gives us lots of practice.  We get to take the test again.  He's the God of the do over.

So how are you mastering the art of staying present in your today's?  Any helpful tips you can pass on to a sister trying to raise the bar in that area?