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Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Year Beginnings

A new year is quickly approaching.  Most of us plan to make new beginnings or the appropriate term would be make new resolutions for the year ahead.  I’ve been thinking about beginnings lately.  I’ve been going reverse and forward in my head trying to reflect on my past and squint ahead at the future.  Each year we look at the beginning of January as a clean slate.  We make promises to change certain habits, get healthier, get closer to God, rebuild relationships, or redevelop our paths in our lives. I’ve promised myself that I need to get healthy again because I feel like I’m not moving enough and I know I’m eating whatever I want.  But even as I type this, I’m thinking about the Reese Cup that is staring at me across the table.  Our clean slates quickly get filled with erase marks and moved beginning dates. 

 Back to the beginning though, it’s a place to start.  It’s the point to learn something new.  At the end of every year, I reflect on what I’ve experienced, seen, lost, and learned.  So with every New Year, I think I should look at it as a time to begin to learn more about my journey.  I should embrace the beginning of each day with alert eyes, ears, hands, and heart to tackle whatever God has for me that day.  I pray that I will be aware of what I’m supposed to do and not miss an opportunity that God has scheduled me for.  I pray that I won’t ignore the whispers of the Holy Spirit just because I’m selfish, proud or afraid. 

When I think of the first beginning, my mind goes to creation.  Genesis is the origin, the coming into being, or the beginning.  In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. He made light and dark separate to distinguish night from day. He made vegetation to grow and bear seed. He made the creatures that roam the Earth, swim in the seas, and soar in the sky.  He finished His creation with humanity.  He made us in His likeness and wanted blessings for us.  He said these beginnings were good and He rested.  Then He placed man in the garden to tend it but requested that he not eat from the Tree of Knowledge.  He then made woman for man, because He knew that man needed a companion.

 Then if you’ve ever read Genesis, you know that we screw up.  We listen to the Devil and eat what God’s told us not too.  We think we know better than He does.  We think that we have to know everything.  We think we need to control our own lives.  We do as we want and then feel the shame afterwards.  But God is so good that He made a way to erase the slate of sins in our lives.  He loves His creation and if we would just stay in His newness every day we will reap the benefits of His goodness.  Yes, we will slip up and mess up, but find peace in the grace of God knowing that Jesus paid for those slip ups and mess ups and that he offers a renewing beginning each day.  The sun rises and a new day appears, let’s live it the way that He intends for us to.  Let’s tend to what He has given us for each day and we will see His blessings.  If we continue that thought pattern for each day then the days will turn into weeks that will turn into a year filled with God’s goodness. 

               

               

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Spiritual Reflections

 

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Decorated But Empty

emptybox

Through Christ we have a relationship with God.  At one time in my life I had a religion with God, it’s not the same.  You feel empty, you feel like you are never going to do enough or gain enough favor from him.  You mess up and you pray for forgiveness. You are afraid others will call you out on your sin and then hide it even more.  Then you slip and think if I do this or that, I’ll make my way into His Kingdom.  It’s tiring and unproductive.  Religion is cold, lonely and dark.

Christ’s love releases you from that worn out path of religion.  He knows you messed up, will mess up, and he doesn’t shame you in it, but instead he forgives you, constantly.  His love and forgiveness is never ending.   All you do is ask Him for it and it’s done.  With this type of forgiveness, you become victorious over anything that you need to overcome.  Because when you have a relationship with Christ, you come to Him raw.  You bear your heart to Him, because you trust Him.  You understand and somewhat grasp what all He has done for you.  Although, His love is unfathomable, you know deep down that it’s real and it’s there inside you.  He knows you better than you know yourself.    His love becomes greater than any sin that had power over you before.  He knows if you are having a bad day, if you feel awful, and yet He doesn’t close the door on you.  He’s there to listen, comfort you, and reassure you that He’s beside you.  A relationship is warm, comfortable, and light.

Anytime you have a close relationship with someone, you start to show little bits of their personality in your own.  I think it happens that way because you spend so much time with that person that they really do rub off on you.  That’s how it’s supposed to be with Christians, we should have such an awesome relationship with Him that we begin to show bits of who He is.  His light is in us and we should be shining it out of us.  His light is love.  He doesn’t love the world; He loves those who reside in the world.  He loves people, he doesn’t discriminate, he doesn’t choose particular types of people, instead He loves all people.   Christianity is made into something harder than it actually is.  Religion puts Christianity in a big pretty box, wraps it with expensive paper, puts a huge felt bow on it and tags it with, “Don’t touch unless approved by the Almighty.” 

Christ came and blended in with people that the religious folks didn’t expect him to be around.  This gift of Christ didn’t come wrapped in ribbons lying in a plush cradle.  This gift of Christ came swaddled in cloth lying in a manger.  This gift of Christ on this day whispered, “I love you and I’m here.” 

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2013 in Spiritual Reflections

 

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Danger in disguise

snake

Dreams always intrigue me.  Sometimes they are just nonsense, but other times I think they have hidden meanings.  For the most part, I don’t remember dreams, but occasionally a dream will stand out, wake me up and make me think about what it meant.  Early this morning I awoke from a dream.  It bothered me and I told my husband about it.  I didn’t understand the meaning of it, but while I was at church, I felt like God revealed to me what it meant. 

I was out walking with my son; the sun was shining and bright.  We started walking by a rocky hillside.  He started veering off the path and walked clumsily on the rocky bankI told him to come back on the path and stay off the hillside.  He ignored me and started going further up the bank.  I was getting aggravated with him and started to tell him to get back down when I noticed something camouflaged and moving.  I quickly asked him to come down the bank that there was something up there.  I suddenly noticed what it was and yelled, “It’s a snake, come back down slowly away from it.”  Instead he walked further up the bank and the snake slithered toward him.  I yelled back, “Get away now.”  Instead of running, he turned around picked up the snake by the head, like he was a pro.  The snakes’ mouth opened wide and he struggled holding the snake, it was long and stronger than he thought.  In the struggle, his hand loosened enough where the snake struck and bit him on the forehead.  He dropped the snake and it slithered away as I ran and grabbed him.  My son is twelve years old, once the snake bit him and I ran to him he transformed to about the age of six.  I picked him up and carried him to a bench; I cradled him in my arms and evaluated the bite.  I was starting to panic when someone came to me with a book.  It was a picture book of snakes.  They asked me to point out what the snake looked like.  I opened the book and immediately saw the snake I thought it was.  I pointed to it and said this one.  It was a non-venomous snake.   The person shook their head and said, “No, it wasn’t that.  It was a rattlesnake.  There are slight differences.”  Meanwhile, I look at my son and he’s very pale and shaking.  The person who showed me the book said, “I’m a doctor.  Keep him calm.  I’m going to go get the anti-venom.”  I drew my son close to my chest cried and told him that I loved him and not to worry the doctor was getting medicine for him.”  Then I woke up.

 

What God told me later about this dream is that sometimes when we are teaching someone and trying to keep them on the path that God wants them to be on they may stumble.  You try and encourage them to get back on the path and they decide not to take your advice.  Then you see them about to get hurt, while they don’t even notice that danger is at their heel.  You warn them but they decide to take matters into their own hands.  When this happens they get hurt.  How you react to it determines what will happen with them.  If they are hurt and have done something stupid, you can yell at them and tell them that it was dumb for them to do that or you can pick them up and dress their wounds.  When you start looking at the wounds, you can see how much damage is done.  The person that came in with the book and asked you to point out the snake was a doctor.  You thought you knew exactly which snake it was or what the cause is to their wound.  But, the doctor corrects you and shows you its more serious than you think.  He asks you to take care of him while he gets the medicine.  The doctor is God, the only true healer.  My job was to keep him calm and love on him while God got the antidote. 

In the dream, I was getting upset because my son wasn’t listening.  When he got hurt, I could’ve kept kicking him while he was down by hurling harsh words at him but instead because I loved him greatly, I pulled him away from the situation and loved him.  I am a youth leader, so this spoke to me a lot.  I can deal with kids two different ways when they mess up.  How I deal with them can determine whether I get them to the doctor in enough time to be healed.  The bottom line is to show grace and love, it’s the quickest way for them to see the great physician. 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in Spiritual Reflections

 

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