Who Knew?   Leave a comment


One of my favorite songs this time of year came to my mind today as I was thinking about what to share on Music Friday.  So I hope that you enjoy this!

Posted December 19, 2014 by thoughtfulbeliever in Belief, Christmas, Music, Music Video

Tagged with , , ,

Permeate   Leave a comment


Image provided by eatwell101.com

Image provided by eatwell101.com

Recently I was at one of my favorite coffee locations.  The person behind the counter was doing some prep work for an item they would be selling during the lunch time.  He was cutting up onions for whatever he was preparing.  In a relatively short time, the onion smell began to permeate the who place.  My eyes started to become irritated and all I could seem to smell was onion.  This experience led me to think this morning about what it means to permeate.

I think that we have the opportunity to permeate the lives around us.  The question is with what would we permeate those lives.  As a believer, I feel that one item I have to share is my belief.  Many times throughout a given day, I can share my belief with others.  There are many different ways to approach this but I think the best way is to do this sharing without words most of the time.  The way that I live my life and the manner in which I interact with others is at least a starting point for sharing my belief. When others view my life and interactions, it should lead them to see something different and then ask me about it.  Given that opportunity, words could then come into play.

I think that another way we can permeate the lives around us is in our attitude.  I have blogged before about the impact attitude can have.  A negative attitude can permeate a room and have the effect similar to the onion in the coffee shop.  It can cause irritation and be disruptive.  An attitude of joy, or a positive attitude, can feel the room in an uplifting manner.  This attitude can bring pleasure into the lives of others.

So today, I would challenge all my readers to think about permeating the world and people around you.  With what are you permeating your surroundings?

Keep the Nugget   Leave a comment


This time of year it is so very easy to become overwhelmed.  There seems to be so many tasks to get completed.  There is a long list of activities in which to engage.  There are traditions to uphold and a hunger for some new ones.  In all the hustle and bustle of the season, being overwhelmed can lead to a distaste for the season.  Instead of having the joy of the season which we had at childhood, adults can become more eager about the end of the season.

So here is my advice…..  Reclaim the nugget of joy from which the season came into existence.  Christmas was intended to be a time of great celebration.  That celebration, as a result of great joy, was due to the realization that a child had been born many years ago.  This child was no “ordinary” child.  This child was the incarnation of our God.  This child would grow to be a man who reached out to those who had been rejected, who had brought healing to bodies and spirits, who did not only speak about love but demonstrated it in the way he lived.  This man would give the ultimate demonstration of love by willingly dying so that any punishment for sin would be erased from anyone who believed in him.  This man would defeat death through the power of the Spirit and open the opportunity for all people to defeat death.  This is the nugget that must never be lost.

So whenever you are feeling overwhelmed in your preparation for Christmas, reclaim the nugget of joy which began all of this.  Then you will still be busy and have many tasks but the joy will carry you through them.

Reflections   1 comment


sea-and-sky-reflectionDuring my devotional time today, I was given the opportunity to think about the need to take time to reflect.  This is not something many of us do very often.  In a world that is always on the go and in our sense that we need to always be on the move, we do not create times that allow us to reflect on life and on our blessings.  We just celebrated Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and I would venture a guess that even on a day when we are to recall our blessings, many of us were so busy either preparing food, traveling, or engaged in family activities that we had no reflection time or limited at best.

There is great value in taking time to reflect on life.  As mentioned above, reflecting allows us to take inventory of all the great gifts and opportunities we have been given.  As a believer, I attribute these gifts and opportunities to the Lord.  However, in a world which has a growing sense of entitlement, we often take these gifts and opportunities for granted.  We seldom even take notice of what we have received.  We just keep hoping for more.

Reflection time can also help us to gain perspective in our lives.  If we have the opportunity to contemplate and review, we are able to realize where we have come from, where we are, and help shape where we may wish to go.  This can help us to prioritize.

Periods of reflection can also give us opportunity to hear voices that may be overpowered by the noise of a busy life.  I place a lot of importance on listening for the Lord and then following what the Lord shares with me.  However, I cannot listen and hear if I do not spend time in reflection.

I am not one to sit idle.  Some would tell you that I am not one that is silent very often.  However, today I am reminded of the importance of times of reflection.  I hope that you also receive that reminder.  Let us commit to making times for reflection in our lives.  Who knows what we may hear and/or discover.

Reconnecting   Leave a comment


Image provided by jansushibar.com

Image provided by jansushibar.com

One of the great aspects of this time of year is that we are given an opportunity to reconnect with people.  Through Christmas cards and the letters included in them, we are able to share about our lives and hear about the lives of others with whom we may not have regular contact.  It is always a great joy for me to go to the mailbox and see who has sent a card each day.  (By the way, mine is in process this week.)

Yesterday, as I worked on Christmas cards, I was thinking about the importance of reconnecting.  Not only is it important to reconnect with friends and family this time of year, but it is also important for us to take time to reconnect with the cause for celebration this time of year.  In the celebration of the incarnation of Christ, we remember that God truly became one of us.  We remember about Christ’s life and ministry.  Of course we remember the ultimate purpose of his arrival, the providing us a way back to God by the removing of the stain of our sins.  Christ brought the ultimate opportunity of re-connection.

The other significant celebration is the welcoming of a new year.  As a believer, I am reminded that just as the Lord was present in my life over the past year, the Lord will be present in this new year.  I have no idea what the new year will bring but the Lord does.  No matter what each day of the new year holds in store for me, the Lord is right there beside me.  I have this connection with the Lord that will not be severed on the Lord’s part.

So I encourage you to not only celebrate the joy of reconnecting with family and friends this time of year but to also reconnect with the significance of your relationship with the Lord.  Reconnect with the reality of what the Lord has done and is doing for you.

 

Hallelujah   Leave a comment


Recently this song was a major hit on Facebook.  Today, the word hallelujah just continued to run through my mind and heart so let me share this special version of a beautiful song….

Growth Challenges   Leave a comment


By looking at the title of today’s post, one might assume that I am going to write about either a growth hormone issue or the issues related to increasing the size of an organization.  However, my intent is neither of those sets of issues.  Instead I decided to title today’s post as I did because I want to put forth the idea that challenges in our lives present us with a great opportunity to grow personally.

Many people find the negative aspects of challenges in life.  They allow the challenges to discourage them, some even to the point of depression.  Challenges become something to avoid or minimize.  This can lead to not being willing to take risks or take on increase responsibility or involvement.  Honestly, everyone dreams of a challenge-free life (and as a believer, I know the reality of that is coming).  However, we all know that life as we experience now cannot be challenge-free.  We all will face challenges in our personal and professional lives.  This is the current nature of humanity and human interactions.

Today, I want to propose to you the idea of looking at life challenges as the doorway to growing as a person.  I began thinking about this after a recent conversation with my mentor and very close friend.  We were discussing a challenge in my life.  I was leaning toward a negative perspective of this challenge.

Image provided by notsalmon.com

Image provided by notsalmon.com

I was looking at the challenge as a win-lose scenario.  However, he presented the perspective of viewing this challenge as a gift; a gift that would allow growth in the situation.  After the discussion, I had a more positive view of the challenge.  For me, the key difference was seeing what potential growth could take place in my life and my relationships because of the challenge.

If we are able to look at challenges as an opportunity for us to grow, then I believe that challenges will not be something to avoid but something to embrace.

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