Friday, October 23, 2009

Always and Forever?

I can't remember a time in my life where I didn't have a worry or a care.... So often even the day to day droning of life's progress seems almost unpleasant. I was taken aback this week when I read (for the umpteenth million time) the book of Philippians. Specifically Chapter 4.

Philippians 4: 4-7 "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I was even more concerned when I had flipped over to 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and read "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ."

Always God? All circumstances? Really?

In the mid 1600's a Christian Pastor named Martin Rinkart lived in a small town called Eilenberg in Germany. He wrote the most beautiful song. I think we have all heard it... ~Now Thank We All Our God.~ This was a trying time for this tiny town. The city was facing problems of over crowding, hunger, plagues. . . But ponder on this verse:

"O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next"

Ever joyful hearts! Guide us when perplexed! I can get a little perplexed everyday. When I am sick, have problems with my finances (aka debt), people stressing me out, my car not wanting to run. . . But Martin Rinkart was perplexed for a different reason. He wrote this song at about 1637. That year alone he conducted around five thousand funerals... Including that of his beloved wife.

With an ever joyful heart? Blessed peace to cheer us? How can this man have blessed peace to cheer him? 5000 funerals in one year. That is about 14 a day. How? Because he knew the Lord was near. Again.... He knew the Lord was near (Phil 4:5). No one man (or woman) can face these trials alone.... "But I will never leave you or forsake you." "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For thou are with me." Thank God we are not alone!

I said I can't remember a time when I didn't have a worry or a care. . . until I met Jesus. I worry not! He is with me. This week I read to rejoice always; to give thanks in all circumstances. This week, I praised Him. For I know I am a city on hill (Matthew 5:14)... I praise Him knowing that all will see the storm He is bringing me through. They will see my God working in and through my life. Because I have this blessed peace to cheer me, I will have an ever joyful heart. A heart that gives Him praise...even when I am perplexed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

You Sure Smell Purdy!

I am not sure if it is proper. . .Maybe, maybe not; however, I am not afraid to walk up to someone and just ask them what fragrance they are wearing. In the 1980's, I remember a national newspaper columnist, Dear Abbey. People used to write to her (they may still, I don't know) and ask her opinion on so many random questions. Someone once asked her this question...."Is it proper to ask a lady what perfume she is wearing?" Her response? "Little things. Don't underestimate the power of the sense of smell." She went on to say that fragrance is important to attracting the opposite sex in all animals. Even human animals.

As a lady, I like to smell good. I have my preferences and I wear some sort of lovely fragrance everyday. I am not worried about attracting the opposite sex; I simply want to smell nice for all I come into contact with on a daily basis.

Why this random thought of mine? There is a method to my madness. . . :o)

God likes smells. Unlike us, He doesn't care about our bodies being fragrant in this fleshly realm. I doubt his nostrils have had the pleasure of entering bath and Body Works or Nordstroms fragrance counter... He cares about our spiritual aroma. How we smell in the spirit.

Throughout the Old Testament we see different instances of how a burnt offering was a pleasing fragrance to our almighty God. But don't kill the family pet just yet! In the Old Testament we were under a covenant of blood. It is different now. The ultimate sacrifice was made in Jesus! No longer are we required to torture and murder Innocent farm friends! The sacrifice of Christ has been made... through Him a new fragrance fills the air. . .

2 Corinthians 2:15 "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

How sweet it is. When we accept Christ, we become an aroma pleasing to God. How many of us know how quickly a lovely smell will get our attention and bring us running! Don't believe me? Watch me walk by a bakery... You will have to drag me away from the smell!!!

That being said, do you need God right now? What perfume are you wearing?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bright, Shiny Objects

I was at a wedding about a week ago and I sat with the most adorable, older couple. He was in his late sixties and she her early. As we spoke, I couldn't help but to notice how the glittering sequins seemed to dance across the black background of this beautiful lady's blouse. It was quite captivating.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9; "To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

Paul spoke of a thorn in His flesh. It tormented him. No matter how many times; or how desperately he pleaded, God refused to remove this thorn. I don't know what this thorn was. Could it be the lust of the flesh? Cancer? Depression? A chemical imbalance? It doesn't matter. What matters is it caused Paul to recognize the beauty of the Grace of God.

Kind of like the black background makes me notice these beautiful sequins. Without it, the full brilliance may be lost to my eye. But thanks to it, my hearts sees it as beautiful to behold.

Oh God that I will always notice Your grace!

Junk Food Junkie ~ Follow-up

Ok, day three.... PLEASE pray!

This is tough. I have given up the Spiritual Junk; however, I WANT CHOCOLATE! AND CAKE... and a CLOWN COOKIE!

I keep telling myself that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." And calling out to God, "Turn, O Lord, and deliver me (from this sugar addiction), save me because of Your unfailing love. ~Psalm 6:4"

WOW. It is not supposed to be this hard. Keep praying! I will post again later.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Junk Food Junkie!!!!!

I LOVE junk food! I really do! I work out at a gym in Concord nearly everyday and in the same building is the most wonderful little bakery called Chef's Choice. PERFECT placement for a bakery if you ask me :). Yes, I love junk food! But it does not love me!

See, I have a slight sugar allergy... slight. It makes my face break out and causes acid reflux. This is my body's way of telling me, "hello! Stop with the junk." My body was set up to run off certain types of fuel. Yes, food is fuel. My body needs it in order to sustain life and function properly.

The Spirit also requires fuel in order to sustain life.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 4, Jesus was hungry and being tempted by Satan. Satan suggested that He (Christ) use His power to turn a stone into bread. Jesus simply stated, "It is written: "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:3-5 . . .The man's spirit feeds on the Word of a Living God. In the book of John, Jesus goes on to say that He is the bread of life! Anyone who comes to Him shall not go hungry or thirsty (John 6:35).

Why am I bringing this up? Well... conviction mostly. See the Spirit has recently cautioned me about my negative eating habits. To feed my physical body, I am eating mostly junk food. Thus the twenty pound weight gain and constant breakouts. . .Not to mention I am tired all of the time!

I am also feeding my Spiritual body junk! Now, do not misunderstand, I am reading His Word daily. I am getting some nourishment. However, I am also on the Internet all of the time looking at YouTube and Facebook... I haven't watched television since January; however, I watch movies quite often and many have terrible language. So my spirit is being fed junk. . .

This is where you come in :). I need your prayers. For the next thirty days, God has called me to give up the junk. No more candy or late night ice cream runs... No more action movies packed with violence... Nope... I am giving it up! For the next thirty days the music I listen to, the songs I sing, the books I read, anything I look at on the Internet. . .It HAS to uplift Him. The foods I eat have to be healthy :(. PRAY FOR ME!!!! I started this yesterday and it is terribly difficult. So, lift me up! I will blog about this again soon to give you an update. Love you all!!!