Tag Archives: Family

Reality Break

18 Jun

End of year exams…graduation…buying teachers gifts…picnics….the list went on and on.  The end of the school year “to do” list.  Your feet hit the floor running first thing in the morning and you drop into bed exhausted at the end of the day.  There is so much to do and not enough time to do it.  Can you relate?

With four out of five of my children still in school, this was my reality and I NEEDED A BREAK!  A break from reality.  So the minute the school bell rang, I packed up my children, their “stuff” and we headed for our condo in Big Bear.  We are in the midst of a 6 day sabbatical and it is awesome.  We have laughed, played, relaxed, taken naps, gone on walks but with ABSOLUTELY no schedule.  We have refused to think about “what we are going to do next” and have lived in the moment.  The result?  Well, I’ve learned a few things that I would like to share with you:

1.  It doesn’t matter where you are.  STOP!  Take a moment and listen to your Creator speak to you.  God is always speaking and you can hear Him. You just need to learn to recognize His voice. He speaks in many different ways, including nature and natural events. When you look at the stars or a sunset or experience a storm, if you look, you can see the fingerprints of God.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

Take a moment now.  Look around you and ask God to speak to you right where you are!

2.  It’s NOT where you are going.  It’s NOT how fast you get there.  It’s not what you are going to do once you get there.  The MOST IMPORTANT THING is who you go with!  In life you are going to travel down many paths.  You will begin and start many journey’s.  You will need to make several u-turns and take several detours.  Along the pathways of life, whats important is who is willing to travel with you.  Look around you.  Take inventory.  Who is willing to travel with you.  Who has committed to not bail even when they feel car sick?!?  That is your blessing!

TOMORROW, we will look at who your travelling companions are and how they are blessings to you!  Until then…

We were not destroyed!

12 Mar

Over the last few months Pastor Paul has been walking us through Genesis.  The last two weeks were spent on the flood, the results and the new future that Noah and his family faced.  As I have reflected further and searched for information about the rainbow, I found some facts that I wanted to share with you.

A rainbow is caused by the rays of the sun reflecting from falling raindrops forming a beautiful arch formed for the human eye to see. Interestingly, while the rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colors, humans see the rainbow in seven distinct colors. Seven represents perfection, so the rainbow can portray God’s perfect plan. When all the colors of the rainbow are combined together, the result is white. White is the symbol of purity and the righteousness of Christ.

The seven colors can offer us spiritual significance as well:

Red is the color of blood and represents the shed blood of Jesus. It is the color that stands for the ransom paid. We are told that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.

Orange is a combination of yellow, symbolic of God’s divine nature, together with red, symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice. The resulting color of orange is symbolic of God’s perfect plan and purpose for mankind. Orange could show us God’s favor to mankind.

Yellow is the color of gold. It reminds us of the things pertaining to the divine and its nature.

Green is a combination of blue and yellow. It is the yellow of God’s power and the blue of Jesus’ faithfulness that will give everlasting life to all people of the earth. Therefore, green could stand for longevity, eternity, or earthly prosperity.

Blue could represent faithfulness. It reminds us of God’s faithfulness. As the blue color of the heavens does not change, so also with God: “I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6).

Indigo, the color between blue and violet, is rather a blue with a reddish cast to it. This could represent our Lord Jesus Christ as a propitiation for our sins; Jesus’ blood (red) through faith (blue) (1 John 2:1,2; Romans 3:25).

Violet, the color in the rainbow with the shortest wavelength, is considered a shade of purple.  Purple is the color of kings and symbolic of royalty, therefore Violet could also represent royalty.

All of the facts above refreshed my vision of God but the greatest thing that impacted me was the fact that God shared with Noah that the rainbow was His covenant (His promise) that mankind and the earth would not be destroyed.

In 2008 Don and I sought refuge in the island of Maui.  We had experienced a tragic loss in our family – we felt the possibility of being destroyed.  For 7 days Don and I saw multiple rainbows each day – each one different:  at different times, different locations, and after different events.  Everywhere we went, a rainbow was close by.

Now in 2011, after listening to the sermons on the rainbow and researching the above, I feel God has sharing with me another truth. Everyday that we were there – feeling broken and beaten, He was reassuring me.  He was saying to me, “You too will not be destroyed!”

We are on the other side of that event now – we’re healed and seeking God’s direction for our lives – the cool thing then, as now, is that regardless of where our paths lead us – we will not be destroyed.  We can trust God.  So can you!

 

Creative Ways to Enhance Your Prayer Life

8 Mar

Prayer is to be a constant part of our daily lives. This is the reason we speak of our “prayer life.” Think about the times that most us do pray – at church, during our quiet times, before meals, before bed, in times of crisis.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray continually (NIV), without ceasing (KJV and NAS), and at all times (Message).

We can compare Bible study to eating – which brings about nourishment and growth to our spirit.  We can also think about prayer as “breathing.”  Just as breathing is essential to our physical lives so our prayer life is essential to our spiritual lives.

Breathing consists of both inhaling and exhaling. Likewise, prayer is to be not only a process of talking to God, but also listening or receiving from God.

I have recently discovered two Creative Ways to Enhance Your Prayer Life:


The 5 Finger Prayer


1. Your thumb is nearest to you. So begin your prayers by praying for those closest to you—your parents, brothers, sisters, etc.. They are the easiest to remember.

2. The next finger is the pointing finger. It reminds you to pray for those who point you in the right direction – those who teach, instruct and heal. This includes teachers, doctors, and ministers. They need support and wisdom in pointing others in the right direction. Keep them in your prayers.

3. The next finger is the tallest finger. It reminds us of our leaders. Pray for the president, leaders in business and industry, and administrators. These people shape our nation and guide public opinion. They need God’s guidance.

4. The fourth finger is our ring finger. Surprising to many is the fact that this is our weakest finger.  It should remind us to pray for those who are weak, in trouble or in pain — the sick, the elderly in nursing homes, etc. They need your prayers day and night. You cannot pray too much for them.

5. And lastly comes our little finger; the smallest finger of all. Which is where we should place ourselves in relation to God and others. As the Bible says, “the least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinky should remind you to pray for yourself. By the time you have prayed for the other four groups, your own needs will be put into proper perspective and you will be able to pray for yourself more effectively.


Use your daily routine of life to reinforce your prayer life:


When you first wake up – Praise our Creator

When you shower or bathe – Ask for cleansing of your soul; confess, repent & receive forgiveness

When you eat – Give thanks not only for the food, but for your family, home, life, etc.

When you go to work or school – Pray for those with whom you come into contact


I hope you find theses creative options as a help to enhance your prayer life.  Ephesians 6:8 says: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

 

What Are You Investing In?

22 Feb

The sun began shining brightly in my eyes as I was driving through an area of town that I was unfamiliar with.  In order to maintain proper driving technique, I pulled down my visor to continue on my journey. When I did so, something fell into my lap.  In surprise, I looked down and realized that I had failed to mail some important letters the week before.  With eagerness I began searching to the left and right sides of the street looking for a mailbox.

As I continued through this unfamiliar area, numerous things caught my eye.  Finally, I found a blue Metal Box in the horizon.  I got SO excited!!!  At last I could mail the important documents.  I turned into the parking lot full of promise and excitement. A few moments later my spirit downtrodden, I looked at a blue – metal – trashcan.

As I sat there looking at the trashcan I realized several truths:

Both of the containers (the one I was seeking and the one in front of me) were made a metal

Both were blue

Both had openings for you to place things in

Both had four legs

Both had VERY different endings to the materials deposited in them!!  They may look alike but the end result is very different.

If  I put my letters in the trashcan, they would not go where I intended them to go to.  Instead, they would go to a place of ending – a very nasty, dirty place. A place of finality – of absolute ending – a place with no hope or future.  This is not what I needed. Instead, I needed the true blue metal container that would give me the results that I wanted.  Driving ahead I finally located a US Mail Box and deposited my mail to be picked up later that day.  I could breathe a sigh of relief!

As I thought about these things,  I had to ask myself:  what are you entrusting my other valuables in?  Are you putting the things that are important to you in “containers” that will give me the results I want?  Or am I throwing my treasures away – to places that are not good, possibly nasty and dirty and definitely not a place that will give me the results I want?

I sat and took inventory.  I evaluated the things that were important to me.  What was I investing them in?  Where should I be entrusting them?  I became aware of the many things and times that I didn’t get the result I wanted.  At that moment I realized it was because I entrusted them to the wrong thing.

How about you?  What results are you seeking? Where are you entrusting the things that are important to you?