Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Hope from a Thankful Heart

Anxiety is so common in our society. 
I don't have the answers as to why,
 but I do know when I spend time
thanking God, my anxiety eases. 

The more I thank Him, the less I have to be anxious about.
The apostle Paul must have known this too.
His advice to present our requests,
to God gives us hope and much to be thankful for.


 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Peaceful and Thankful

My daughter, Hannah and I visited a pumpkin farm in Kentucky, 
where they had the most beautiful chrysanthemums.
When I snapped photos of them, 
I knew I wanted to share their beauty on my blog.
What better time, than November-
the month we think about Thanksgiving.

In Colossians 3:15, the Apostle Paul reminded the church
to be at peace and to be thankful.

God still calls us to live a peaceful life, with Christ in our hearts, 
and to express our thankfulness for all of His amazing gifts.


 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

A Fountain Mist of Refreshment


Philemon 1:4-6
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

If I could paint the feeling of peace, I'd paint it the new color of my walls— 
Fountain Mist.

My daughter, Maggie, planned to paint our living room, dining area, and hallway last fall. Circumstances rearranged the timing. Seven months later, she edged, rolled, and feathered with a brush a beautiful shade of light aqua-blue on our walls. As I watched and played gopher, a gorgeous transformation took place. The dingy white/gray walls disappeared and a refreshing peacefulness covered our home. With Maggie's expertise, she revived the dreary rooms and created a space for inspiration and contentment.

I love the new color and Maggie's generous spirit. Both brought a feeling of gratitude.

Going through this difficult year of 2020, my spirit needs refreshment. Whether from new wall color, time in God's word, praying, writing, reading, or enjoying nature, I seek God's encouragement. With all the negative news and comments, I beg for peace and search for understanding.

The Apostle Paul writes the best greetings in his letters to the churches and his friends. Philemon, must have been a man who encouraged and loved his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was a servant who "refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people." In this time of fear and doubt I pray I can be a servant who refreshes and encourages. I pray for peace to fill all hearts.

How can you refresh the people around you?

How can I encourage you?

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Bucket List

Ephesians 6:19-20
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

The bucket list.

Do you have one? For years I didn't think I did. But then I reached an age of looking back. I had to consider whether I'd accomplished the things I'd set as goals (aka bucket list.) Yes, some of the ideas I conjured came to fruition.
  • I'd finally completed my bachelors degree at age 48.
  • We'd raised the kids to be adults who care about others and give back.
  • I gave myself the freedom to let my hair grow into its natural color.
  • I had a few of my writings published.  
  • Tim and I moved into a condo and see it as our home for the rest of our days.
  • At 60 I finally got to journey to Maine.
  • And I retired.

Yes, some of my bucket list is complete. But what about the opportunities Jesus offers me now. Or the nudges I receive from the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes when God calls me to check off or accomplish an item on His list, I react with fear. That's not new to me. I've been fearful of failure most of my life. My anxiety shoots up and leaves me frozen.

I completed my degree, but not without hesitation. We reared the kids, but not without doubts, then there's my writing. That draws out the fear like nothing else. Yet, each time God calls me and adds an item to my list, He fills me with his confidence and equips me to complete the work.

The apostle Paul requested prayer for his ministry. He asked his friends to pray that in spite of fear, he would accomplish his calling. You know what? God answered his prayer. The Holy Spirit worked through Paul and gave him courage to live for Jesus and to share the gospel with everyone. And he'll do that for us, too.
"Life is filled with bucket lists. When God nudges us, step out on faith and check off the bucket opportunities that God gives us." -Tim McGinnis

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Final Dash


2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Lined up in their own lanes, the runners leaned in to race. The starting gun popped. The students darted off in a flurry. As they pushed themselves around the track, some hustled ahead of the pack—others kept a steady pace. As they rounded the bend, a few of the middle runners fired into a sprint—to make the final dash to the finish line. The beauty of the race, every runner finished. No matter where they placed, they pushed through and completed what they set out to do.

Paul penned a letter to Timothy, the young evangelist, and let him know his race would soon end. Paul spent years teaching others about Jesus. He'd been in prison, traveled across water, and walked miles to speak the truth from his heart. Paul loved the Lord and cared about his young friend, Timothy. What I love about Paul's confession—he could say with confidence, he'd completed the journey God called him to. He ran the race, kept the pace, and sprinted to the end for the ultimate prize; life-after-death in heaven with his Father.
Paul understood what awaited him at the end of his race. He knew Jesus waited for him, as he dashed to the finish line.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Heartfelt Thanks

Colossians 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

In the past month, we've received six thank you notes. Two in our mailbox, three on my desk at work, and one via messenger. We've been blessed to be included in a wedding, graduations, the birth of a baby and a housewarming. One was for my years of service where I work. Each time I opened a card and read the heartfelt words, I felt good. My heart was happy at the simple, but kind, gesture of someone taking the time to say thank you. Years ago it was the custom to pen thank you notes and send them often. I'm a little sad that our society has gotten away from that.

From receiving the notes, I realized how I've failed to continue the custom of thanks. A custom that predates our society. The Bible speaks often of giving thanks. Paul told the folks who received his letters how thankful he was for them. The Old Testament is full of moments when people gave thank offerings to God. Daniel thanked God for his wisdom. 

We hear a lot lately about being a kinder society. I believe if we give thanks more often, the kindness will follow. Paul writes in Colossians that we should be "overflowing with thankfulness." Certainly, that thankfulness should be given to God. But let's not forget to thank our spouses, friends, children, co-workers, and family, too. Maybe even write a note of thanks. Try that this week and see what happens.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4

Friday, October 14, 2016

Three Choices

Ephesians 6:18-20
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

When someone I love is sick, when finances stress me out, when I've sinned, or when life just stinks— I have three choices.
1. Worry and fret. 2. Ignore the situation. 3. Pray.

Sad to say, I sometimes attack the problem using choices 1 and 2 before I get to number 3. I know better. But too often there is so much noise in the world, not necessarily verbal noise,  but so much going on that I push myself away from the one who can help. I don't stop to think about what I need or the person I should be praying for needs. Instead, I fall into the trap of doubt and fear.

Truth is, Jesus wants me to call on him instead of worry. He wants me to call on him instead of hiding. He wants me to call on him and trust him to answer.
This year I've made an effort, when someone requests prayer, to stop at that moment and send up thoughts to God. I've done better, but I still get distracted and forget. But that doesn't mean I'll stop trying. The apostle Paul asked the folks in the Ephesian church to pray for him. He needed their intercession. I want to throw out a challenge to anyone reading this. This week in everything you do, every person you hear of who needs prayer, every situation—pray first. I'll be doing it too. I believe prayer makes all the difference in our daily lives.


If you'd like me to pray for you. Please, let me know.