July 13th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Lamentations 3:40-41

Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!
Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.”

Heavenly Father,

Only you are Holy. We acknowledge we have sinned against You – as a people and individually. Guide us to truly examine ourselves and our ways and to repent, for ourselves and this nation. Be merciful to us and guide us back to a right relationship with You. We lift up our hearts and hands in praise and thanksgiving to You Lord, and we and thank You for Your blessings, guidance, and forgiveness.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

 

 

July 12 ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Proverbs 28:2

When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue.”

 

Father God,

We have sinned greatly as a nation and dishonored You in so many ways. We have listened to those who speak with evil tongues, and we have followed the wrong leaders. This had divided our nation. Forgive us and set us on the right path. Choose godly leaders for us and grant them Your wisdom. Help us honor You in everything we say and do, and guide us to create social order for the good of all our citizens. We pray for stability in our leaders, a prosperous economy, and protection for this nation. Help us to act honorably in every way and guide us live righteous lives so we may point the way to a relationship with You.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

July 5th ~ Prayer Challenge for America


pray for America

Jeremiah 29:7

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

Mighty God,

We lift up to You the community where You have placed us with your sovereign hand. We ask you to protect this city and all its citizens. We pray for the welfare of this city and a vibrant economy so that everyone may be provided for. Grant us wise leaders who will have a beneficial vision for this city, and nation, to benefit the population in a godly way. Keep this community safe. Let everyone here be blessed and come to know you.

Amen.

 

Image: Google Images

Scripture: English Standard Version

The Precious Gift of Sight


eyes

Psalm 146:8

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.

Saying, “The gift of sight is precious” sounds cliche, and it is an over-used phrase, but it is true. I recently learned how wonderful the gift of sight is and how much I have taken my vision for granted.

I woke up from a nap one lazy Sunday afternoon, to discover darkness over a part of my field of vision. Fortunately, my ophthalmologist had warned me I was susceptible to a detached retina and instructed me on the warning signs. My husband took me to the emergency room where, after numerous tests to confirm I was not having a stroke, I was sent to an eye specialist. That specialist sent me to a retina specialist where I had emergency retina surgery on a holiday weekend.

The recovery from surgery required that I not drive, read, text, type, or anything else that required the use of my eyes. My vision was also very blurry and my eye was swollen. Using one eye meant my depth perception was incorrect and I needed help to get around. I was dependent on someone else for a few days. It’s very hard to not be able to be rely on yourself for routine tasks.

Of the five senses, I believe sight is the most precious. The sense of smell, taste, hearing, and touch are very helpful and allow us to enjoy God’s creation. However, the ability to see allows us to be more independent, to read, and take in the beauty of landscapes, sunsets, and the faces of those we love. In fact, sight is responsible for four-fifths of the information our brain receives (Sightsavers.org). Sight is possible because of the complex way light enters your eyes, touches the retina, and sends enormous amounts of information to your brain, instantly. The ability to see should point us to God and remind us how fearfully and wonderfully we are made (Psalm 139:14).

how signt works

 

Please join me in praising and thanking God for the gift of sight, and how he made each of us with so many ways to enjoy Him and His Creation.

Blessings on your day!

“I Think, Therefore I Am” – René Descartes


i think....

I ran across this profound quote by René Descartes a few days ago. It made me stop and wonder about the various subjects I think about.  I began to reflect on the times I’ve been reactionary, or not thought good things. There we also times I remembered thinking about positive outcomes. We are all products of our thought life. So it stands to reason that what we think will become who we are. Frank Outlaw put it this way,

frank oulaw

I love how the King James Version puts it, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs 23:7a.

I made mental notes about what I have been thinking about and compared those notes with what I want to be thinking about. I know who I want to become, so I must watch my thoughts. They will eventually become my destiny.

Philippians 4:8 helps us understand the right way think,Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  There is so much beauty in this world; there is no reason to dwell on negative things.

Romans 12:2 also guides us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” I’m making up my mind to change my thought life and get it more in tune with what God wants me to think about. Those thoughts will guide my future.

What are you thinking about today?

 

Scripture: openbible.info

Images: Google images

What Does It Mean to be Truly Thankful?


Bible-thankfulness-gratitude

It’s November and bloggers are writing posts about being thankful. Many are wonderful blogs and well worth reading. It is good to be thankful. The Psalms and many other places in the Bible command us to be thankful. Colossians 3:15b (ESV) states, “And be thankful.” But what does it mean to be truly thankful?

A few years ago I posted 101 Things to be Thankful For (November 24, 2016). I’ve been questioning myself to determine if I am truly thankful or is it that things are going well for me so I have nothing to complain about.

I thought I would start by making sure I understand the word. Dictionary.com explains that being thankful is a feeling, or expression of gratitude and it is being appreciative. Merriam-Webster.com tells us that being thankful is being conscious of a benefit received, it is expressive, and it also means well pleased. I turned to a Bible Dictionary and learned that Thanksgiving is an act of worship.[i] So, thankfulness is a state of mind; a matter of the heart. I also think it means to have the proper perspective in life.

It’s easy to feel thankful when surrounded by friends, and food and things are generally going well in life. But are we thankful in the difficult circumstances of life? Some people are struggling with health issues, or the mourning the loss of a loved one. Others are finding it difficult to pay bills, especially at this expensive time of year. Perhaps there are difficult, even toxic, people in our life. There can be many circumstances in life that cause you to feel anxious instead of thankful.

So what can we do to be truly thankful? I think there are several steps.

  • First, deliberately thank God for sending Jesus Christ as your Savior. Thank him for the people in your life and your material blessings. Also thank God for the trials in your life and his protection in the midst of them. Those trials develop your character and mold you into the wonderful person you are.
  • Second, count your blessings. A gratitude journal is one way to do this. I kept a gratitude journal years ago during a difficult season of life. While my circumstances didn’t change, keeping that journal changed me. I was more at peace and accepting of what was happening in my life. And I felt God’s presence daily.
  • Third, accept where you are in life. It takes spiritual maturity to stop thinking about yourself, and be thankful for all the blessings God has given you. God has control of your situation. You are where you are because of his sovereignty. Thank God for his constant presence and protection.
  • Forth, be generous. There are so many people who are less fortunate that we are. Realizing this and sharing helps rise above our circumstances and gain a godly perspective.
  • Finally, recognize that being unthankful is a sin. Romans 1:21 states, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Instead, remember to worship the giver of all good things.

May your hearts be filled with Thanksgiving.

Blessings on your day.

 

Sources:

Scripture: OpenBible.info

Image: Google Images

[i] Holman Concise Bible Dictionary

“Good is the enemy of “Great”


good-is-the-enemy-of-great

“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” – Jim C. Collins

I was reminded of Jim Collins’ quote this week, “Good is the enemy of great.” I was reading the story of Mary and Martha, and was convicted.

Luke 10:38-42

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was busy. What she was doing was good. But Mary took advantage of the great thing, sitting at the feet of Jesus while he taught.  There are a lot of good things we need to do, our jobs, household chores, etc. But when we get “busy” and focus on these “good” things, sometimes the more important things suffer, like family time or our spiritual lives. The laundry can wait. People are more important.

I’m guilty of this. I’ve been very busy lately and have neglected family time and intense Bible study. My devotional time has been superficial, because I was distracted with all I was responsible for.

How can we prevent “good” from hindering the “great” in our daily lives? “What is important is seldom urgent,” Dwight D. Eisenhower often said, “and what is urgent is seldom important. The Eisenhower Matrix is one tool we can use to determine what is truly important, and what needs to be delegated or eliminated from our lives. The matrix is a business management tool, but can be used in all areas of our lives. Take a look at the matrix:

matrix

The Matrix is divided into four quadrants to help you determine what is truly important, what can wait, what can be delegated or what or not at all important or useful.

Quadrant 1: Put tasks that are both important and urgent in this box. I include family time and my spiritual growth here.

Quadrant 2: Put important tasks in this box that can wait a while, but don’t put them off too long.

Quadrant 3: Determine what is not important, but urgent, and put those tasks in this box. Often these tasks can be handled by others.

Quadrant 4: Determine what is not important, and not urgent, and put those activities in this box. Perhaps some of these things can be eliminated from your life giving you room for the more important things in your life.

If you are also convicted that what is “great” has been usurped by what is “good” in your life, consider looking at this time management tool.

May your life be filled with what is truly important!

Sources used:

https://www.developgoodhabits.com/eisenhower-matrix/

https://www.biblegateway.com (English Standard Version)

https://images.google.com/