Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Take Pleasure in Today!

May 24, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15

V 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Have we ever thought that God has given us gifts, I mean apart from eternal life? Have we ever looked at our lives all the ups and downs, all the laughs and cries and realized that God specifically designed it for our good? Maybe not, I have a feeling that it’s hard to look at the big picture because we are concentrating so hard on what’s right in front of us. However, this verse is very clear…God has given the gift of taking pleasure in our lives to us. He desires us to find pleasure in our everyday lives. Yet, how sad it is that we don’t; we are either too focused on gaining more and more stuff, or we are too focused on the problems we are dealing with. Is it not interesting that God does not mention only get pleasure if you have everything you want exactly the way you want it. Nope, no mention of that; he simply says…”everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” Let’s take advantage of our gift more often…let’s take pleasure in our day today no matter what it brings!

Monday, May 23, 2011

For Everything There is a Season...

May 23, 2011

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

V1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

This is a poem in which “the Preacher” lists all sorts of possibilities that can occur in life. He points out that in our lives all these things are possible and that in effect we will all travel down some or all of the possibilities. Being born and dying, planting and harvesting, killing and healing, weeping and laughing, loving and hating; each of these can and probably will occur in our lives. I once told someone who was in the midst of a difficultly that you can rest in knowing that even though the choice wasn’t a great one it was the best one open to you, and that this was the road that God had planned for them to travel. This is true for us all whether the road is a hard rocky one or a smooth one. God has given to us all sorts of experiences and from each one we can become the person that He wants us to be; one who reflects the glory of His son. The hard part is focusing on this outcome and not the actual experience, especially if that experience is a hard one.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Living Lives that Read...

May 18, 2011

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

I’m sure if we were to ask ourselves the question, “Do we want to seek God with our whole heart?” Our answers would be “yes.” However, as I tell my children repeatedly it’s your actions that count. It is in our actions that we, if we are honest with ourselves, can see if we seek God with our whole heart. Or perhaps, we only do it when things are easy. When things go the way we want them to, the way we “prayed” for them to go. These verses sound great, and they make us feel good when we pray them. Yet, if we never live our lives to prove them correct we are just saying words. Unless our actions reflect them they are meaningless. That’s the hard part of living a Christ filled life isn’t it…the actual living out of what we read. The knowledge that our lives should read like the words printed in God’s Word is hard to fulfill. If the world never reads one psalm or one proverb or one word of wisdom form Paul, if it can look at our lives and see Jesus haven’t we obeyed? What a shame that our selfish desires make this so difficult to actually live out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Prayer for My Life..

May 17, 2011

When I opened my Bible this morning this is what I found…this is my prayer for my life. I should probably meditate on it daily to make sure that it is always at the forefront of my mind!

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statues! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. I will keep your statues; do not utterly forsake me!

Psalm 119:1-8

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Place of Abundance...

May 16, 2011

Psalm 66:12 …we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance

I’m not sure if I have ever been more excited, relieved, elated to end something as I was to see the end of our first year of Home School. Not because I felt like we were not doing what God had called us to do, and not because we were not going to continue on in our Home Schooling journey. Simply because last year was filled with one long roller coaster ride after another; it was one thing after another all the time, and I never seemed to get a handle on it. It was also a year filled with learning many things about myself; some good, many not so good. I have learned that although Home School is intended to teach my children, I will come out of it learning so much, and I don’t mean 4th grade math! I have learned that although I had always viewed myself as a giving, self-sacrificing Mom I really wasn’t. However, in order to Home School to the success that I desire I will have to become that mom. As excited as I was to end last year, I am equally excited to start next year. I want to put into practice all that God has revealed to me this year. However, for a couple of weeks prior to our summer semester starting I’m looking forward to basking in my place of abundance that God as lead me to!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Experience of Vanity...

May 7, 2011

I had an “…all is vanity” sort of experience recently. However, I’m positive that without this study of Ecclesiastes I would not look at it like that. Yet, for me it was an eye-opening sort of moment. I realized, way after the fact, unfortunately. How really vain our lives can be and how very much aware we must remain of this fact? I’m using vain in the way that Solomon intended, really more like temporary, and as such, we should be more careful how we view our lives. How we live each moment judging the important from the temporary. I’m not sure how other people handle it but past mistakes used to have devastating effects on me. I would dwell on them; I would continue to bring them to my mind. As I’ve grown older, and more importantly, closer to God, I realize that God gives us those moments to grow in. Although they are no less hurtful in their aftermaths, I try to not allow myself to bring them up constantly. Instead, I try very hard to not make the same mistakes again. As I stand looking back on my life, much like Solomon, I will have this very real and concrete example of the vanity of life to remind me. Yay me! (said with much sarcasm!)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Enjoying the Moments...

May 4, 2011

Ecclesiastes 2:15-26

V 24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil

As the author looks back on his life he sees all that he has worked for and he realizes one important fact; all of us die. The person who has lived a life of fruitful toil the one who actually tried to make a difference will pass away just like the one who lived his life squandering what he has been given. Since death is a certainty for everyone, it is important to enjoy what we do here. As Solomon is looking back on his life he realizes the importance of living in the now. To enjoy today; to live our lives so fully that if today were it we would have no regrets. Who does that, who puts 100% of who they are into each day? I know that I don’t, I know that at times I live as if I’m guaranteed tomorrow. Which I know we are not; yet, on some days this is what my life reflects. We are told to find enjoyment in our work, in our everyday lives. In the just average moments of our life, live those as if they were our last.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is the Important Worthless?

May 3, 2011

Psalm 12:8 …and what is worthless is exalted by the human race (HCSB)

I sometimes read Psalms in my prayer and today I was reading this and was stopped in my tracks by this verse. The ESV reads it like this “…as vileness is exalted among the children of man.” Whichever translation you prefer it is clear that we, as humans, tend to place importance on those things that do not deserve it. What we think of as important, as vital, to our survival is in fact worth little in God’s kingdom. I knew immediately what this verse was referring to in my life. I knew what God was speaking to in my heart. But had I really thought of this as worthless or vile. No, and neither would the vast majority of the world, even believers. Yet, I know that God would consider them as worthless. Paul tells us to examine ourselves, although he is speaking of our salvation; I think it is also beneficial to examine what we are placing our importance on in our lives. What we view as important, what we teach our children as important. If it is something God would consider vile or worthless; perhaps, we should change our priorities.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Heads Up...

May 2, 2011

Ecclesiastes 2:12-14

V 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them

How true it is that most of us encounter the same things in life just in many various forms. We all experience death of someone we love, we all experience arguments, we all experience money problems. They may manifest themselves in many ways but basically we all walk along similar paths. Yet, many of us handle them differently. I believe that the degree to which we are walking, or perhaps not walking, with God determines our reactions. Remember our outward reactions are not the ones that count. The reactions that count are the one’s of the heart that man will never see. Wisdom and I believe that this is godly wisdom, about who God is and what His statues are, will help determine our reactions to problems. Knowing who God is will help us to know how God would want us to react. The more we know God the more we know that this world and all it’s problems are temporary. I also think that God in His word has given us a heads up. He told us that we would have bad things happen to us. As believers we shouldn’t be surprised when we suffer, instead, we should be prepared.