Wednesday, December 30, 2015

And…. It's Over

It’s almost over, another year completed. I don’t like New Year’s Eve. I find it depressing and sad. Even as child I can remember going into the bathroom at the Moose Lodge and crying. Auld Lang Syne makes me cry every time I hear it.

The sadness that comes with the end of the year, as with the end of anything, is bitter sweet. Remembering the events of the past year can depressing, things that didn’t go as you may have hoped they would, dear ones that have passed away, time just flying by and not accomplishing those goals that were set in the beginning of the year when it was new and fresh. Then the sweet – remembering the fun times, the beautiful events of the year, weddings, births, a new job or keeping those goals that were set in the beginning of the year. Have you ever really listened to the words of the song Auld (Old) Lang Syne?

This one night holds so much emotion, I find it hard to face, so normally I don’t.

Lying on the couch watching anything that doesn’t remind me of New Years Eve is normally how I spend mine. I wait until the ball drops in Time Square, shed a tear for whatever needs to be cried over, then go to bed.

January 1st comes a long and I am a different person. It is a fresh new beginning to life. I wake up happy, get my new calendar out and start updating all the birthdays and anniversaries of my family and friends. Do whatever I would like to do that day because I can conquer the world with my new frame of mind.

How can one night of sleep change me so much? Attitude – it’s all in the attitude. I know that inside of me but I still have to go through my crazy sad ritual. It is what gets me through that time of year. Just one nights worth of sleep. Eight hours (maybe) of one day of my year can change everything.

You know what else can change quickly?

Eternity. The Bible tells us Jesus will come like a thief in the night (fast and unexpected):

I Thessalonians 5:2
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

Or like the twinkling of an eye:

I Corinthians 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

Imagine what that will be like. In a second life will be over as we know it. Will you spend eternity in Heaven or Hell. It’s your choice.

Have a great New Years Eve, be careful and I’ll see you next year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Giving Life.

It is that time of year that most people are in the giving mood. We are happily running around getting gifts for those we love. Baking tons of cookies and breads that will be given as gifts and consumed. Decorating our homes, offices and cars in holiday themes. Making everything merry and bright.

Along the way we may drop a few coins in the Red Kettles send a check to a local charity or buy a gift for a child in need. Everywhere we turn we are being asked to give, give some more, then dig deeper and give again.

If you are like me you enjoy giving and you want to help every cause you can, but you can’t. Those dollars only stretch so far.

Giving make us feel good. We enjoy making people happy and the act of presenting someone with gift and watching them open it brings us joy. Why is it better to give than receive? The Bible tells us so.

Acts 20:35
I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 

Jesus was a giver. He gave to the poor, He healed the sick, He raised some from their death but most of all, He gave His life for us. Yes, Jesus was a giver.

Being a giver is a matter of the heart.

2 Corinthians 9:6
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:

“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”

All this giving and doing for others sometimes leaves us exhausted, financially broke and emotionally tired, especially this time of year. We have so much to do and it all comes at once. No matter how much we prepare for it and do what we can ahead of time, when crunch time comes, it comes with a vengeance.

God gives us hope and encourages us not to grow weary.

Galatians 6:9-10
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. 

  Let’s talk about the one person that sometimes we don’t give to. . . ourselves. Now I’m not telling you to go buy yourself a gift, although that isn’t a bad idea sometimes. But how about giving yourself the gift of eternal life. After this worldly life is over, you can live a life of bliss with Jesus in Heaven.

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of Christ – it doesn’t cost a dime, just your obedience and commitment.

Read the plan of salvation that Jesus has for you.

May God bless you.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

What's your Purpose?

Have you found your purpose in life? Can a person have more than one purpose at a time? Can your purpose in life change with the different seasons of your life?

I’ve been a little lost the past few years; have had a hard time determining what my purpose in life is. Yes, I’m a Christian, a wife, a mother . . . but what’s my purpose? How do I define myself?

God has a purpose for His children. We are to live a Christ like life. Praise God and serve others. If we live by God’s word, then we have a purpose.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Knowing that I live my life in a Christ like manner gives me comfort, but I still find myself looking for a worldly purpose to define myself.

During my teen years and early 20’s it was all about me. Then I had my children and it was all about them. Making sure all their needs and desires were met and being the best I could as a single mom. I worked outside the home while I raised my daughters because I had to. My job defined who I was. As my career changed from job to job and I advanced in the working world, my position in the work placed defined who I was in my mind.

About 6 yrs ago we decided it was OK for me to stay home. I have less stress in my life and am able to enjoy my freedom now. However now that my daughters are grown and have blessed me with grand children and it is just my husband and I, how do I define myself now?

Sewing, cooking and crafting have been a pleasure for the last several years, and of course spending as much time as I can with my grand children. Although these are fun and great things to do, they didn’t give much definition or purpose. So I’ve felt a little lost for a title.

I was at my daughter’s house the other day and when I left my arms where full. A purple stuffed animal with a hole in the leg needed to be repaired, a karate Gi needed a patch sewn on it and one of the ties had come apart, and I had an order for a birthday cake decorated like a karate Gi. Not only were my arms full, but my heart was full. My purpose had been shown to me. I am my family’s support person.

Meme, grandma, mom, fixer, supporter and all around back up – that’s me and I like it. I’m happy with that title. There isn’t a group of people that report to me, the reports at the end of the month would show how my time was spent loving and caring for the ones I love, no yearly reviews and no amount of money in the world could give me this happiness.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

Find your purpose for this time in your life. Enjoy it. It doesn’t matter what phase you are in, find a way to serve the Lord and the people around you, appreciate all that the Lord has done for you.

Be blessed my friends.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

No Words

I tried very had this week to find the words for my blog, nothing came. As I sat in front of a blank screen, still nothing came. Then another blog that I subscribe to showed me what was happening and how to handle it. So today's blog comes from Proverbs 31.

T. Suzanne Eller  I Don’t Know What to Say to God
"… the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Romans 8:26 (NKJV)
We were sitting around the family table when my mom announced, "Suzie, you didn’t talk until you were four."
Um, what?
This was news to me. "So are you saying that I was quiet?"
"Nope, you didn’t talk at all. Not a word. In fact, if it hadn’t been for Vicci, we’d never have known what you needed."
My sister is four years older than I am. Evidently she became a student of her little sister who had no words. When I wanted a drink, she told Mom. When I was tired or hungry, she made certain to communicate my needs.
I eventually found my words, but may I be honest with you? There have been other times when I’ve lost my ability to know what to say, especially to God.
As a teenager, I didn’t know if things would ever change at home. I didn’t know how to ask God for help.
As a young mom, I held my precious baby in my arms who was born with a serious birth defect. I didn’t know what she needed or what impact this might have, or what to do with my feelings of fear.
When my husband was unhappy with his job and it changed his laid-back and fun personality to quiet sadness, I desperately wanted to help but I didn’t know where to begin or what to say.
For all of us, there are moments when words simply do not describe how we feel, what we need or what we so desperately desire from God.
Romans 8:26 reminds us there is someone who has studied us. The Holy Spirit knows us well. He is aware of our strengths, but He’s also keenly tuned in to our weaknesses. When we are unable to express in words what we hope for so desperately, the Spirit Himself steps in and clearly places our deepest needs before the Father.
I don’t know about you, but that removes pressure that would otherwise weigh this girl down.
We don’t have to have the right words. We don’t have to know the exact details of what is needed in a situation. We don’t have to try to explain how it makes us feel.
He already knows.
Today, if you have no words, be encouraged. When you step into that place of prayer, the Holy Spirit sees your heart. He understands what you want to say, even when it’s still a mystery to you. The moment you place your trust in God, your deepest needs are already being shared.
Perfectly. Succinctly. With all the right words.
Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I might have no words, or struggle to tell You what I need, but You already know. I’m so grateful the Holy Spirit knows my heart, and intercedes for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Ephesians 3:16, "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." (NIV)
Micah 7:7, "But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me." (NIV)
If you are in a hard place, Suzie Eller’s book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places offers hope and help.
Join Suzie on her blog where she shares 10 Scriptures To Pray When There Are No Words.
We often stay away from prayer because we feel that our words are not adequate. Yet it’s exactly where we find what we need.
Today, walk into that sacred place of prayer. Simply sit in God’s presence. Take the pressure off as you thank Him that He already knows what you need.
© 2015 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.