I stumbled across this new way to spread the happy last week, but life was too hectic to take part. This week is really no less that way, but I cannot go another week without joining the others carving out a few moments to enumerate three things that they are thankful for.
Over the last few months I have seemed to tap into a different plane of my writing ability or rather ability to find subjects. Or maybe I should say a worthwhile blog invitational. Like the Kindness Challenge that will start on Monday. I don’t want to ever take on the persona of one that feels owed or entitled. Since my brother died at age 29 I have considered every day a gift and want to approach it that way.
So can I think of 3 things I am thankful for today? You bet your boots I can.
Tomorrow my son will don a cap and gown and collect the paper work that will declare he is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. This is an answer to many a prayer let me tell you. As I told my son completing a college degree is no small feat. It is something that will deliver benefits his entire professional career. I know I will not be the only proud parent there, my wife is just as proud, but I am certainly very thankful he had the opportunity.
Over the last five or so weeks I have been beating my brains out and my wife and I have worked endless hours trying to re-build our deck, which we discovered had some structural issues when I had to tear some of it off to access the septic tank we wanted to get pumped. Hours before work and hours after have drained our time from any other project. Add in the coincidence of the graduation party/birthday party we have on the docket for Sunday and the time constraint added some stress. But Wednesday night well after dark and by cell phone flashlight we finished. I am so grateful we could get this completed in time to enjoy as we celebrate these milestones.
My third thing is anticipating having both my kids home from school. Sure it will be an adjustment for all of us, but having the family together is always a good thing. Now that my son will be a graduate I know that the time is coming when he will exit our life to go on his own path and it is something I want for him but kind of dread too. Life changes so quick and trying to adjust on the fly can be tricky.
That is what I have for my first try at Three Things Thursday. I could list so many more and will over the coming weeks. Always remember to give thanks, because anything we have is a blessing from God.
Do you ever take time to immerse yourself in an activity? Sure you do. I certainly do. Reading, writing, working outside in the garden or with our flower beds, spending time with my wife and kids, the examples never end. When we immerse ourselves in any activity we set aside all other things to concentrate on a single pursuit.
To be sure the example I will share today is nothing like the experience or commitment of men and women around the world who take on the role of being a missionary that shares God’s love and truth of his Word around the world. No, my limited experience, a grand total of 23 days in a foreign country is only a small sample of the commitment of those I have so much admiration.
In 2012 the first opportunity to immerse in another country came to me as I joined another three individuals from my church along with nine others for a mission trip to the country of Belize. Now hold on, don’t get all judgmental on me thinking of the resorts and tourist traps of the beautiful country. Our time was centered around the capital, Belmopan, and the greatest experience for me was meeting a missionary that I have become very good friends with in the time since.
When I met Carol Heath on that day in December of 2012 I was just another American visiting the country she has adopted as her new home. What she did not know was that for weeks before I had asked God to show me some way I could affect good in the world. I asked him to lay a burden on my heart when he showed me this truth. When I stepped off our old white Bluebird bus to see Heart House, the place where Carol changes the world for the children of Maya Mopan, the village surrounding, I could feel God telling me to pay attention.
Beginning that December the immersion changed with knowledge about what could be done to assist in growing Heart House and the ministry involved. Heart House has changed remarkably, which I ascribe as a testament of following God’s direction in faith. My Christian experience has been enriched by extension. Knowing that my church through our efforts are helping share the burden for Carol and Heart House is some kind of wonderful way to further God’s kingdom.
Looking ahead it is my hope and prayer I can make my fourth journey to this place in December. My first try to immerse was exciting for a different reason. But this time it will be so familiar and anticipated I expect to have a great time.
Okay so let’s talk about this Daily Post topic, record. I suspect many people will choose to talk about the spinning disc that holds music. I hope so, I will be looking to see what songs people choose to write about. I am taking a different approach. What I have in mind is directly tied to the blog I chose to host this post, Living the J.O.Y. Principle. That’s right I will apply this to Christian faith.
One of the greatest questions I have ever heard from the pulpit goes similar to this: If you were accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? In other words what does you Record show? Can you be held accountable for what you do for Christ?
I suppose there is a dichotomy in how we answer that question. On the one hand we are to do things for Christ without looking for praise. But on another we need to know from others if what we do meets the requirements of service God puts before us. Perhaps one of the most basic things we can do to ensure we are building a valid record is to at least follow the Great Commission.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Go and tell. Pretty basic instructions that are easy enough for anyone to follow. In truth when all the dust settles this will be the piece of our record that will mean the most. Tell everyone you encounter about what God has done for you so they can have the opportunity to enjoy the same.
Do you worry? So much that it accumulates in making you nervous? Truthfully everyone worries about something I suppose, but we receive instruction in the beginning book of the New testament about how we can handle this all too human tendency.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34 KJV
With the overload of information these days we see way more bad in real time on our devices than ever before. Subsequently our minds are filled with the thoughts of all the potential things that could affect our life on a daily if not moment by moment basis. This is really just another tool of the Enemy, albeit a twenty-first century one.
Satan is a master at playing to our weaknesses. He will figure them out quickly and use them to undermine our best effort to serve him. So the above verse can serve us well as a reminder to not pull on extra burdens unnecessarily. Do what you can do the best you can within the guidelines of the god book and begin afresh when the sun rises again.
Tell us your thoughts about the word Marathon, because that is the Daily Post word of the day today.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 2 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)
I find myself more often considering the life led by those I know who have finished their course on the earth and moved on to their heavenly reward. Of course I mean those who have followed Christ in salvation and will reap their eternal reward of a life with Jesus forever.
This mortal life for those who choose to follow Christ can certainly become a marathon as we try to navigate the pitfalls that can complicate your Christian faith. In the verse above Paul is talking about just such a struggle. Sometimes it is more like a fight to get through without compromising your values or beliefs. But Christ encourages us remain strong, stay on the narrow path hold strong to our faith and finish the marathon.
In order to accomplish this we must invest ourselves in learning what our faith requires. Staying true is an everyday, even every minute task. Temptations will come in many forms to trip us up. But as I have written about recently God always provides an exit from temptation. Just as a runner must work and train for their marathon race we must put in the time to prepare our heart and mind. But the marathon victory reward is so sweet that you will be happy you did.
Today for the Daily Post we write about Uneven. Do you feel like your blessings are sparse? Like maybe you are being cheated when it comes to enjoying the good things of life. Maybe it reaches the point of feeling uneven, the good you see compared to others? Well maybe you need to alter the way you approach life. Try this on for size, it is a bible verse about blessing others. When you bless others the reward you get is so much more than you can ever fathom.
24The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6:24-26 (KJV)
This is one of my favorite bible verses because it has an outward focus when you quote it. As I continually say in my posts from this faith based blog I try to follow the idea of the J.O.Y. Principle, which is Jesus First, Others Second and Yourself Last. This verse is all about another which hits this principle head on.
God has blessed me my entire life and I am continually giving Him thanks for that. I believe that He is omnipotent and omnipresent, so he knows about everything around us. I also believe He can control anything he chooses. In this verse when you pray you pass on the blessing to another.
You ask God to bless this other person and to keep them safe. God is full capable of this just as he does to everyone he created on this planet. Then we come to the title of the post, shine. When God’s face shines upon you it is better than the strongest sunny day. You will feel a deep love that is almost impossible to describe and certainly to match.
But perhaps the biggest component of this three verse set is that the Lord will provide you peace. Everyone has earthly troubles or situations that thieve peace from our days. Having the kind of peace a life with God brings is something I wish everyone could understand and enjoy. God wants us to not only survive this mortal existence but thrive throughout it so we can share our blessings with others.
We are also taught to share Christ with others. That is another reason I created this blog, so I could get the word out on another platform to those who might not get the information the traditional way, inside a church building. When society changes the way it receives knowledge we must keep pace by altering the method of delivery. I hope you find this a comforting post and if you are still wanting more information leave a comment below.
via Daily Prompt: Echo The one word Daily Post prompt for today is Echo.
When you are a Christian you have a clear set of instructions about how to serve Christ. But just because you have these and know them well does not mean you will always live up to them. Too many times you find yourself missing the mark in one or more ways as you try to serve your Savior.
My echo is when I tell myself I must do better. I must give more love, I must treat others better, I must spend more time reading the bible, I must serve more. I should be more patient, more tireless in my service, more willing to mentor others, more willing to learn, you know as I do the list is endless.
Sometimes the echo is soft in my ears. But sometimes the echo can drive you nuts! Can any of you echo my feelings?