Monday, March 21, 2011

Blessings and secret funds

Lately I've had a harder time counting my blessings. I know I shouldn't because I've certainly been able to look around me and find LOTS more people who have MANY more hardships than I've had. I wouldn't consider mine hardships actually, more like stepping stones. 

One of my first stepping stones was my camera getting stolen at my Father & Mother-In-Law's 50th wedding anniversary party. I was hurt, sad, mad....all the emotions you feel when something happens beyond your control. I actually needed to learn the lesson that God is in control of everything....even my camera.

This is the camera I had....

It was an extension of me...part of who I was, what I loved and something that helped me make money for my family. Very rarely did anyone see me out without it. :)

I knew that God would provide the means for me to replace it one day, I just wasn't sure when that one day would be. (I'm still not exactly sure, but am a lot closer!)

Brian's family has secretly been taking up a collection to help me replace my camera since this happened in January. Imagine my thrill when I realized that people have given to this "fund" to help me replace something that wasn't even their fault.

I am overwhelmingly BLESSED today! I can't thank them enough and hopefully soon I will have put enough money with it (or found a great deal) on a new camera. Until then, I'm satisfied to be excited about looking again!

God richly blesses us beyond what we are worth.....moreso than just this for me. I just sometimes need to be reminded to count the blessings I have.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (The Message)

"But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God.  They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I am can be too

 Okay, if you are friends with me on Facebook or Twitter you already know about my water leak. As I was driving off from my house this morning to go to work--and watching the workers get out of their van in my rearview mirror--this song came on K-Love "I Am New" by Jason Gray.  It made me equate the complete transformation my upstairs bathroom is going through to our lives in Christ.

We start out what was behind the walls in the boys' bathroom.

 "Now I won't deny
The worst you could say about me
But I'm not defined
By mistakes that I've made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was

I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new"

And if you see the red & blue lines, those are new pieces that repaired the lines that were broken. God brings things a little at a time to repair our broken lives.

"Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

I am not who I was

I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new"

Piece by piece, God gives us what we need to be made the boys' new shower. See the new wall that was built to hold the side of the shower? Sometimes God builds new things to replace things that we have to give up.

"Too long I have lived
In the shadows of shame
Believing that there
Was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn't see me the way that I do
He doesn't see me the way that I do

I am not who I was

I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I'm dearly loved
I am new

I am not who I was

I am being remade, I am new
Dead to the old man, I'm coming alive
I am new"

Here is where the picture of the bathroom will go when it is completed. Even once it's "done", it won't be completed. I will have to decorate and add finishing touches--just like Christ does to us. Just remember when you're going through hard times or the enemy is telling you that you ARE who you used to be--God is still putting the finishing touches on your life. He won't be done until you are with Him forever, so don't be discouraged when you think it's taking a long time. Construction takes time.....God's construction is even better than any here on the earth. 

"Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

This is who we are now..." 

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! "

John 3:16 "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The lion & the prey

So, last night we had our devotional time in Choir. I felt like it was especially for ME, but I wanted to share with YOU. Sometimes we tend to think that we are the only ones who are dealing with hard times. We don't take the time to look around and realize that there are so many other people who have issues as well. As someone repeated something I read on Facebook this week: "I'm fairly certain if you were in a room filled with other people's problems all piled in the middle, that you would be content to pick your own problems back up and leave the room with them." That's really true if we think about it!

I'm sure I'm not going to tell this as eloquently as Michael did, but here goes my retelling of the "devotion". I hope I don't mess it up too bad, but I'm probably going to give you more of what  I  got out of it. :)

The Lion--Beautiful isn't he?  
He looks so.....Majestic.....Peaceful.....Intimidating even!

 Here is a Gazelle. They run in packs---like friends. :) That's how we are. We run around in little packs. We have so many people (often times LOTS more than we realize) who will come alongside us and "graze" with us, help hold us up when things get tough, or just listen. 

It's peaceful here....we enjoy being here....but sometimes we wander away from the group. Things get tough, we get busy, we don't want to burden people with our problems. What happens when we get so far away is that we begin to feel ALONE?

Alone is NOT where you want to be when the lion starts prowling. 
The lion doesn't go after the entire pack hoping he can catch one....he goes after one knowing it's a sure thing!  When we have wandered off, been distracted and feel alone.....THAT'S when he's ready to pounce!

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

We were asked last night if any of us had felt alone this week. I raised my hand along with several others. I have actually had that sense of "aloneness" for a while now. Mainly because SO many things are distracting me from my true purpose and pulling me away from the pack.  
I am NOT alone--never have been, never will be. God tells me that in His Word and His Word is Truth!

 We have to stick together! Lift each other up! Pray for each other! Help each other!
 The devil isn't going after the whole pack hoping he can catch one--he's waiting on us to feel alone and go after the sure thing! Don't be his supper!


P.S.  I posted this yesterday, but it put it somewhere else, so re-posting just because. :)

How I wish I could write so eloquently as other bloggers. They seem to always say the right things, use beautiful fonts and choose just the right photos. Well, I may not do that, but I do love blogging (even though I don't so it near enough). There's something therapeutic about it....writing down your thoughts. So, if I'm not one of those blogs that you check every day or just can't wait to see what I've written next, that's ok. I'm really writing for myself. You may just happen upon a "good day" where you might get something out of it. ;) Happy Blogging friends!