All the leaves are brown…

Except for a few red leaves clinging to their chilly branches, most of the leaves are brown now, and most are on the ground.  This year, however, the fall seemed to last, and we were blessed with the sight of the brilliant leaves for longer than usual.  It made me think about how the leaves are most beautiful before they fall off the trees, at least to me.  I love the green of spring…it is my favorite season, but the fall colors are simply unrivaled.  Its the same with people.  The sweet babies are loved and adored…and miraculous, but the older person who has lived their life, shared their experiences, and is leaving a legacy is unrivaled in beauty.  Of course their are the people who don’t learn from life, and can be represented by the eaten away leaf on the tree.  But, for those that let God beautify them each day, through storms and sunny days, their life grows more beautiful until the end when they are swept up to Heaven with Him.

 

Albert Einstein said, ‘There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.’”

The Blame Game

  • I am assuming that all the people criticizing the parents (whose child was ripped away from them by an alligator they never saw coming, who they watched leave them never to come back as they fought desperately to hold on)…I am assuming these criticizers never took their children swimming (or wading) in the ocean where with or without signs we know there are sharks in great quantities.

 

  • Wondering why Christianity is such a big deal to those who don’t agree with it.  Why are you so desperate to throw Jesus out of everything, to get rid of God from a country built on His laws?  Fear is the only answer to that question.  What are you afraid of?

 

  •  Why is it that the president felt it so desperate to leave his family vacation to talk to the country (or scold us…tsk tsk) about “global warming” but wouldn’t leave a baseball game when terrorists attacked Brussels?

 

  • Why are most people still convinced that guns are the enemy instead of the people shooting them?  And why are they convinced that if we ban them the people who shouldn’t have them now, will suddenly not be able to get ahold of them when more laws are put in place…and the ones who are safe with them will be left defenseless?

 

I don’t know what these questions spark in you, but in me it seems like we all (yes I include myself, even if not on these specific issues) are desperate to find someone to blame for every tragedy, accident, or uncool thing that happens in our lives.  Let’s start to look at ourselves before looking at another.  Let’s have some personal responsibility for what we do or say.  Let’s start thinking before adding to drama or trauma.  Let’s put blame where it is due…because yes, if a mass shooting occurs we should blame the shooter, but if a lightning bolt strikes a man on a golf course 3 states away from where his parents live, we should not blame the parents for raising him to get hit by lightning.  And let’s turn to a God who loves us instead of running away from Him.  If that’s not your kind of thing, give it a shot, just for a day…take all your problems to God.  Let’s band together and really know what we are fighting for or against, and who is with us and who is against us.

 

 

 

God and the world

The world is a mess.  I don’t know of many people who deny that.  Morals have become distorted, God is forbidden in some places (apparently by those who think He can be told what to do), and people are more selfish than they have ever been it seems.  In the midst of the craziness our job is to TRUST HIM.

We trust Him in our lives, with our marriages, with our children, with our homes and our jobs.  We need to TRUST HIM.  That does not mean that our lives will go exactly as we want them to go.  He has warned us in His Word that we will have trouble in our lives.  It does mean that when everything falls apart we still trust that He is good all the time.

When families crumble, when people leave, when children die, when loved ones do not turn to Him, when commitments are broken, when our hearts our broken, we still hold onto His promises that …

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

and

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

In this world that is a crazy mess, He has already overcome.  Our job is to trust Him, to let His light shine and to take as many people as we can to Heaven with us…where the pain will stop…where we will be forever if we know Him and follow His ways.

COMMITMENT

There was a time when a person’s word meant everything.  It was trusted because it marked a person’s character.  If you could keep your word you were a good friend and a reliable employee.  Neighbors wanted to be with you and not with the person who snubbed them in the past.

There was a time when people craved commitment and having a purpose.  It was not long ago that while a great deal of people had begun not to care about those things anymore, a great presence of people still wanted to have meaning in their life.  In the past decade those numbers have dwindled at an alarming rate.

There was a time when people had values.  Some would argue that values have simply changed, but there is a harsh difference in a “changed value” and no value at all.

I have given the lives of my children to God.  I know He has a purpose for their lives.  I also am all too aware that my job is to raise them up in the way that they should go.  A job that I cannot do alone.  A job that is really God working through me and my husband.  I pray for their salvation constantly, and for them to not fall into the millions of options of temptation that are around every corner.

I am tired of people doing what they want just because they can.  I am tired of selfishness and looking out for number one.  I am sorry if life isn’t always perfect, but big news is that no one’s life is perfect.  Putting things and self first is not going to change that.  I am tired of the “cool” people (from age 5-95) being cool because of all the “stuff” they have or all the places they have gone or stunts they have pulled.

Why isn’t it “cool” to raise a family? To commit to serving others? To lead people to Christ and know that they will live for eternity in His presence?  Last I checked eternity is infinitely longer than are lives on earth…for real.

Moms and Dads may live the most exciting lives in all actuality.  Most parents have children that turn their hair gray from time to time…or 10 times a day.  We are always riding on the brink of disaster.  😉

I am not knocking fancy houses and cars, being promoted at your company or traveling the world.  All those are wonderful things.  I am challenging everyone everywhere to put people first.  Keep your word, keep your promises, stay with your families even if it means sacrificing, don’t let a little pain make you run from the things you once loved.

Most importantly, love God, follow Jesus, trust in the Holy Spirit to guide you.  Stand firm in your faith.  If you don’t know Jesus, find out about Him and ask Him to show you the way.  HAVE PURPOSE IN YOUR LIFE, don’t just follow the next “cool” guy or chase after the next best thing.  Make a life you can be proud to say you lived and proud for others’ to see.  Make a life that the next generation will want to live and pray for a revival in our nation.

1.5.14

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Blessings and Thanks

For me, people are the most important part of my life.  I love people, do not want to see anyone suffer.  My family and friends are the biggest blessings Christ has given me, after Himself of course.  Whether or not they cause me to be frustrated at times (justifiably or not) I love them.

So, for me, yesterday was pretty perfect.   Nothing big, nothing grand in terms of the world.  But, I was gathered in my grandma’s home with my husband and kiddos, my parents and grandparents, my aunt and uncle and my father in law…all whom I love dearly.  Each one, every one, has been an ENORMOUS blessing in my life.  I am indebted to all of them and I am thankful to God for each moment I get to spend with them.

Yeah, I know this may sound like a cheesy, mushy post, but it is right on.  God has given me an amazing family whom I treasure.  He has blessed us beyond imagination with each other and a safe place to lay our heads at night.

I hope everyone else was able to enjoy Thanksgiving yesterday and remember the true things to be thankful for.

Most of all, we need to remember to give thanks to God each day.  For without Him we are nothing, have nothing, can do nothing.

 

 

Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

11.23.13

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Romans 8:1 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 3:16-17 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

The other day I was with a group of people.   The group was a mix of Christians and non – Christians.  One of the Christians in the group is quite outspoken and opinionated.  This person likes to have attention and  isn’t too concerned if anyone is offended.  Another  person in the group quietly takes it all in, as in many other areas of life, but then is quick to make little snide comments about certain situations or people.  They are unheard by most and I am sure there are a number of thoughts for every comment that comes out.  Neither is better than the other.  They are both sinning, one quietly and one outspokenly.  And guess what?  So am I by judging them instead of looking at myself instead of them.

Christians sin.  We are no better than anyone else in the world.  But we love and believe in a Lord and Savior who forgives us; who died for us knowing every horrible thing we would do in our lives.

There are some Christians who come across as judgmental and hopefully their intentions are good.  If you are a Christian and believe in heaven and hell, the last thing you want is for anyone to live in hell for eternity.  So sometimes we try to “help” others come to Christ in a misguided way.  We aren’t perfect.  We love all people, whether or not they sin, because we know we are sinners.  We know we are lost without Christ.  We know we are saved and going to Heaven and just want as many people to come with us as possible.

5.28.13

“Know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:10-12