Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Your Perfect Family

     Family. What a great word. This word family conjures up so many different pictures in my mind as I am sure it does for you. We all have family, and different kinds of families that we are part of. I tend to picture Norman Rockwell pictures in my mind when I hear the word family. No, my family is not a Norman Rockwell family.
      We have the family we are born into, the family that we have chosen to be our extended family, our work family and our church family. We may even have more than those listed depending on your activities and associations. Notice that only one of these families is a group of people that we did not make a choice to join, the family that you are born into. Some have a wonderful family and others not so good.   

      It is up to you who you associate with and who spend time with.
When we use the word “associate” as a verb the definition is:  "To connect someone or something in your mind with someone or something else" This definition shows us that we are making that choice to spend time with certain people and activities.
        No matter what kind of family you were born into, you are an adult now and make your own choices as to who you associate with. God even speaks about this subject to us through His word.
    We all have characters in our families. You know the ones, they show up late to everything, the ones that you can count on to bring the gathering to life and the ones that secretly in the back of your mind, you hope don’t show up. We are an interesting group of humans.

          Romans 12:16  - Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.
     Notice that we are commanded to associate with all people; however I don’t believe that God wants us to be harmful to ourselves and continually associate with people that are not good for us. We should always strive to be compassionate and loving to all; however, surrounding yourself with healthy loving people that are supportive is what creates a great family.
      Do you make good choices about who you associating with? How much time do you spend with the families that you have chosen to be in your life?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Holy - Holy - Holy

What a great word this is. I love the song too. Holy Holy Holy, Lord God almighty!

Can you ever be too holy? I know sometimes we say so and so has an attitude of being holier than thou. But do we really mean that, and exactly what does that mean to us?

If I was to say someone is holier than thou, I mean to say they are full of themselves or they think they are better than me.

According to Strong’s Concordance the word Holy means to be clean, purified or sanctified. Well this definition certainly is not the way I am using the word when I say someone is thinks they are holier than me. Once again the misuse of the English language.

Does going to church three times a week mean you are holy? Of course not. How you handle your life and all parts of it determine if you are holy or not. I am not sure we can ever be fully holy by the description above, but it is something we strive for on a daily basis.

My everyday life should show holiness in all my actions and deeds. Can I be acting holy all day long? Yes I can. As I do the dishes and let my mind wander I can be holy. My thoughts are holy and Christ like. I can dish up one of my flash prayers for one of my friends that I know is in need of an extra blessing. I can pray for the sick while I fold laundry. I can pray for my children while I mop the floor. I can thank God as I go through my daily chores around the house. Thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed upon me. Thank Him for the clothes to wash and fold and thank Him
for the house to clean.

Holy is a state of mind for us to work towards in our Christian walk in life.

I Thessalonians 4:3-8

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

In the verses above we are told that we can strive towards holiness. God did not call us to be impure and to take advantage of others, God called us to be pure and control ourselves.

Today I will control myself and my thoughts toward Godly things as I go throughout my day. How about you? Care to join me today in my walk towards holiness?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How Do I Pray?

The internet is a wonderful thing, but it is also daunting. What do you do when someone asks you to pray for them on Facebook?  It may be someone you know or someone you don’t know.

Prayer is powerful and we understand that God hears all prayers. I have always thought there is several different kinds of prayers. Remember this is my opinion.

  • Formal prayers are long thought out precisely worded. These may be in private or in a public setting.

  • Flash prayers are simple, just a few words. I mean God knows all so I don’t have to go into real detail for Him. These normally are the ones I use driving down the street or when you get a call asking for prayers for an individual or a situation.  

  • Heart felt prayers where you end up pouring your heart out to God and I normally end up in tears. These are gut wrenches for me, telling God all my problems, as if He didn’t know. Sometimes I use visualization with these prayers. No I do not know what God looks like and He does not speak to me except through His word, the Bible. But it helps me to see in my mind’s eye a man form of God that I can hand my problems to until His arms are filled and mine are empty. That is how I truly give things over to God.

  • General prayers, which are meaningful showing you care but more dutifully than heartfelt. This is normally for someone I do not really know, but I understand they are having troubles and need prayers on their behalf to let God know that we are thinking of this person.

  • Praise/Thankful prayers are normally incorporated into all my prayers in some manner. Thanking God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me and my family. Sometimes these are a quick thank you for good news on someone recovering from and illness or I just received good news. Always give the glory to God.

 There may be other words that could be used to describe these prayers and it may be different for each one of us. The bottom line is that I do stop and pray and whatever form it takes, my Heavenly Father hears me and I am confident that He will do His will with these prayers of mine.

How do you pray? I would love to know and learn more.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year

Yes it is that time of year again. Funny how it rolls around every 365 days or so J Time for a fresh beginning and setting new goals.
 Are you one of those people who set yourself goals in the beginning of the year?  I am. My husband normally does not enjoy setting goals, but he surprised me this year and had his already written down, mine were simply in my head. 
When I started listing them we realized that several of them were the same for each of us. Now we have our own personal goals and those that are “our” goals as a couple. What surprised me was that several of them were the same for the last couple of years. At first I thought, wow we didn’t reach our goals because they are still on the list. Then I took a second to think about it and came up with a different view. Maybe we did meet our goals and are taking them one step further. If my goal is to read my Bible more, did I do that this past year? The answer could be yes, but now I want to study it more. Or maybe I want to study a particular area or subject in the Bible more. Either way just because your goal shows up year after year does not mean you did not achieve it.

 Now in saying that, there are those silly nagging goals that you put on your list, like to lose weight. Well by the scale and my close I can tell that did not happen, if fact it went the other way. L However, I did live to survive another year so I still have a chance to accomplish that particular goal.
Even more than that I want to focus on how wonderful last year was for me and my family. Yes there were difficult times, financial difficulties, loved ones lost, plans that fell through because of this or that, but all in all God blessed us with another year of memories and time spent with family and friends. The love that surrounds me is phenomenal.

This year’s resolutions are the same as many of you eat healthier, exercise more and love more. This year I am adding one more to the list – appreciate the little things more.

What are some of your goals this year? I hope you will take a few moments and share them with me.

May God Bless!