Who Are YOU? (part one)

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What do you think about when you’re alone and no one sees you? When nothing is forcing you to think about anything specific? Are your thoughts of God? Or are they on something else? Do you confess yourself with God about the things you physically have done or things you think about?

Your constant battle with who you are and who you want to be starts in your mind. What you think (mind) is how you will feel (heart) and ultimately how you will react (body). Pretending to be something you’re not takes more energy than just being who you are.  Accepting yourself is the first step in determining the outcome of your battle. Comparing yourself to others is the worst thing you could ever do. You will either never measure up or think yourself greater and in doing so, you will inevitably end up defeated.

God made you unique for a reason.  The task that has been entrusted to you no one else can carry it out but YOU! God’s plans will always start and finish, with or without you.  But wouldn’t it be better if you were involved in the solution?

One day we will all be before our Creator. When you do, what will His reaction be when you return what He has placed in your hands?

Must We always Learn Life’s Lessons the Hard Way?

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I was just reading the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32. It is an amazing recollection of how often we have to learn life’s lessons the hard way. We have people giving us advice, that we know to be good, but we want to go through life experiencing the hardships, sorrows, and pains that go with not listening to someone who has already been through a part of the journey we are about to embark. It is bewildering to me to look back at my past and see the trouble I had gotten myself into when all of it could have been avoided.

I think, like most, my pride gets the better of me in that instance and I know that what the person is telling me is correct but I want to know the experience of the pain.  I want to know what that sorrow feels like, I want to go through the hardship because, in my mind, I feel that will make me a better person.  As I read Proverbs 11:2,”Pride leads only to shame; it is wise to be humble.” I see that very same attitude in me.

What are your thoughts? Are there situations you know could have been avoided if you only had listened to the advice of an elder or friend? When you look deep in your heart, what forces you to behave or act the way you do?

Could you have Suffered as Christ did?

As we commemorated Jesus’ Last Super and the washing of the feet on Thursday, April 2nd in a special service, the only thing that came to my mind was,” how did Jesus feel and what was going through His mind as he was cutting the bread and giving the disciples the wine knowing that soon he would be betrayed and knowing the suffering He would have to endure?”

As I pondered this about Christ, I asked Him to let me feel just a very small amount of what He was feeling in that moment.  The answer I received was not what I was expecting.  I was expecting to feel fear, anxiety, uncontrollable urge to cry, helplessness, anger, restlessness and can you believe I felt non of those things.  Instead an overwhelming love and peace came over me.  Almost as if nothing was even going to happen. I was perplexed and dumbfounded. The question that came to my mind was,”How was this  possible?” Only Christ Himself can answer that question.

sufferingIsaiah 53:3-5 says,”He was hated and rejected by people. He had much pain and suffering. People would not even look at him. He was hated, and we didn’t even notice him. But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us. We saw his suffering and thought God was punishing him. But he was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds.

Would you have been able to go through with it?  Would you have been able to stay calm knowing what was going to happen? Would you even had gone through with it, even if all you had to do was the suffering and not the dieing?

Just something to think about in this moment of reflection.

Are YOU walking in your own shoes?

Hello all – kind of an odd question to ask, isn’t it.  Most will respond, of course I am walking in my own shoes. But really, are you?  I ask because I went with my wife to see Cinderella. And as most of have heard the fairy tale before, when she runs out of the castle because she is running out of time, she drops a glass shoe.  The king to be falls head over heels over this girl and so he launches a search that allows each maiden to try on the glass shoe. As the story goes, the maiden who foot fits the shoe will become his wife.  And so the search goes until they finally find Cinderella and they live happily ever after.

In real life someone would have had the same size foot as Cinderella.  Many share the same size shoe but the point to this is that not all wear the shoe the same. The shoe you wear was made specifically for you.  Your uniqueness molds the shoe a certain way that once worn, the shoe feels comfortable to only you.

God has made us unique. There is only one of you in this world even if someone attempts to look like you. There is a purpose for this. We are not a coincidental occurrence. As God puts it in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” Isaiah puts it a little closer to what I am trying to say,“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

There is only one YOU.  Are you walking in your shoes or in someone else’s?

Is Our Trust Truly in God?

A thought provoker, “if God is the Alpha and also Omega” – why then do we stress out so much over what’s in the middle? If you think about it, if God is the start and also the ending, then you know everything will turn out alright.

In Philippians 4:6-7 it says,”Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” This is probably one of the hardest verses to apply, especially when you’re in a a situation or problem. This is where questions like, “do I really trust God? how can I take my mind off of the situation I am currently in?” We have all asked these questions when faced with verses like these.

What do you think?  Can this be done?  Can we truly trust in a being we can’t see?  What are your thoughts?