Archive for the ‘God’ Tag

Relationships   1 comment

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This week I watched a TED Talk by Robert Waldinger entitled, “What makes a good life?  Lessons from the longest study on happiness”.  He was sharing what has been learned from a study which began over 75 years ago by a researcher from Harvard University.  I encourage all of you to take the twelve minutes to watch this video yourselves.  SPOILER ALERT…..  What the study has determined is that relationships are the key to a happy life.

As I listened to Dr. Waldinger, I had a mixed response.  On one hand, the conclusions which he shared did not surprise me.  Yet, there was a part of me that was surprised the simplicity and truth of these results.  I have contended for much time, based on other’s research, that we were born to be in relationship.  As a believer, I know that God created me (and everyone else) because God desired to be in relationship.  I also know that God intended us to be in relationship with others.

The core of Scripture and all of Jesus’ teachings is relationship.  Specifically, relationship in the context of love.  God created us to live in love.  Love can only be expressed and experienced in relationship.  So we are creatures who crave relationship because we crave love.  This has also been expressed through a song made famous in the musical, Moulin Rouge.  In the song, Nature Boy, we hear the great line, “The greatest thing, you’ll ever learn, is to just to love, and be loved in return.”  Only in relationship can this be a reality.

So today, I encourage you all to consider the relationships in your life.


Being Remembered   2 comments

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Yesterday I heard a sermon which had as one of its points that each of us is remembered by name by God.  I was grateful to hear that message because it provided comfort for me.  That statement has resonated in my mind for the last twenty-four hours.  So as I sat down this morning to write my post, I decided to spend a little time thinking about why I was comforted by those words and why they are resonating with me right now.

When a politician is coming to the end of her or his elected time in an office, many of the political pundits begin to speak about his or her legacy.  What is it for which they will be remembered?  What type of legacy will be left behind?  We hear of individuals who want to secure their legacy through some sort of contribution(s).  When donors give to an institution they often have their names engraved on something or placed on a building or room within a building.  (Granted, the big the gift, the bigger the recognition)  All of this speaks to the human desire to be remembered.

I confess that I have such a desire.  As I think about my legacy, I definitely think about my two sons.  I am very proud of the young men who they are becoming.  I am pleased with the influence that I have, and continue to have, on their lives.  They are to me the greatest legacy that I can ever leave.  In addition to them, I desire leaving a legacy which encompasses having a positive impact on the lives of other people.  I want to be remembered as someone who helped another person grow and become who they are called to be.  I have always desired to assist people in growing in faith, growing in their skills and abilities, and growing in their perception of themselves.  I realize that in some situations I have lived into that desire and in some situations I have failed in that desire.

So today, I want to know for what you desire to be remembered.  I also want to remind you of the truth which I heard in the sermon yesterday, you are always remembered by name by our Lord.

Trusting God   Leave a comment

Sometimes the world seems filled with so many things which we just cannot understand.  This week we heard of more senseless shootings.  We look around and see people killing one another with bombs, guns, and all other fatal attacks.  We hear of situations that just do not seem to make sense.  So this morning I am reminded that there is someone we can trust to get us through these situations.  There is someone who always has our best interest at heart.  There is someone who can take a horrific, or even just a troublesome, situation and sort it all out.  I share this music video with you to remind you of where to place your trust even when everything may seem dark around you.

Listening   Leave a comment

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I think that one of the most difficult things for most of us is truly listening.  I am a person that moves through the day mainly in the order of a task list.  I frequently look at, revise, and add to my task list.  I prioritize those tasks and only feel a sense of accomplishment if I can end the day with all items checked off my task list.  Since my task list drives me, I have very little “down time” in my life.  What unassigned times I do encounter, I fill with usually mindless activity.  The problem with this is that it does not provide time for me to listen.

As a believer, I declare that I have chosen to let the Spirit of God guide my life.  In fact, during my prayer time and during my devotional time each day, I ask the Lord to guide me by the Spirit.  So I make this request at least two times every day.  However, I do not make room for the Spirit.  I do not take time outside those brief, assigned times to listen for the Spirit’s guidance.  I treat my prayer and devotional time as one more task on my list for the day and when I have completed those items, I move on.

However, the Lord tends to occasionally break into my day and cause me to listen even when I do not have time scheduled.  This happened to me this morning.  I was going along with my daily routine and all of a sudden, God showed up.  The Spirit spoke to me at a time when I did not expect it.  It was absolutely wonderful!  The message which the Lord had for me today was very timely and much-needed.

This breaking in on my day set me back on my heels.  It reminded me about what amazing things the Lord had to say to me if I just would listen. It reminded me of a commitment which I made in March of this year to do a better job of spending time to just listen to the Lord.  It reminded me of the great value found in listening.

So today, I recommit myself to that which I said in March….. I WILL take time to listen.  I WILL place listening for the Spirit on my list of items which I need to accomplish.

Will you make a similar commitment?  You may be surprised what you discover.

Reflecting Beliefs   Leave a comment

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If you work with people, you are well aware that there are times when a person says something but their actions is not congruent with their words.  I have encountered this with individuals at various times.  More importantly, I have noticed this can be a true statement about myself at times (I only notice this when I take time to reflect back.)  So one of the challenges that I have placed before myself recently is to strive to reflect what I believe through the way in which I live and act.  This has caused me to spend some days considering what I truly believe.  While this list is still in progress, here are some of the items which I have placed on my list:

  1. I believe that above anything else, God loves ALL people (even the ones who I strongly disagree with).
  2. I believe that the Lord loves me more than I can ever describe.
  3. I believe God’s grace is all-sufficient.  There is nothing which I can name that is not overcome by God’s forgiveness.
  4. I believe that I am an imperfect child of the Lord.
  5. I believe that the key to any relationship (human-human or human-the Lord) is communication.
  6. I believe that everyone deserves a chance to be understood and offered care.
  7. I believe everyone has value.
  8. I believe that the greatest challenge and greatest joy is living as the person the Lord has created you to be.
  9. I believe that there is hope even in the darkest of situations.
  10. I believe that there is no mistake which is so great that it cannot be overcome.
  11. I believe that I can always learn from someone if I will take the time to listen.
  12. I believe that I can always strive to improve but must also celebrate who I have become.

Now I have a few questions for my readers…..

Do your lives and actions truly reflect what you believe?

What would be your list of beliefs?

Do you need to work on aligning your beliefs and your life?

Faith   Leave a comment

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I was led to this quote attributed to St Augustine by my morning devotions today.  I think that many individuals struggle in believing in God, Jesus, or anything which they cannot personally detect with their senses.  I definitely can relate to those feelings since in many areas of my life, I am also one who struggles with not having something concrete upon which to base decisions and actions.  However, when it comes to my spiritual life, this is not the case.

My spiritual life is based on my belief in God.  I may not be able to experience God with my senses directly, however, I have found in my life I experience God in many different ways.  One of the chief ways that I experience God is through other people.  When I receive a phone call from someone which is completely unexpected but extremely beneficial to my particular situation at the time, I attribute that to God.  When I meet someone new who brings to my life an aspect that I have been missing, I attribute that to God.

I also experience God through situations and surroundings.  The beauty of creation around me is evidence of the presence of God to me.  Experiences which I have not planned but occur and give me a different perspective, a new direction, or an affirmation are evidence of the presence of God.  Some of these situations and my surroundings go unnoticed at the specific time but upon reflection I see God.

I know that I can never say that I have heard the audible voice of God in my life.  I know that I can never say that I have felt the physical hand of Jesus in mine leading me somewhere.  I know that I can never say my eyes have beheld the face of my Lord.  However, I believe that I have heard the voice, felt the hand, and beheld the Lord’s face through others and the world around me.

My faith is based not on what I can see, touch, hear or smell but what I experience.  I experience the Lord daily!

Reconnecting   Leave a comment

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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.