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.
Did you know if you are a Christian you cannot be rich? That is a perception among those without understanding of the teachings of the Holy Bible about submitting to the will of Christ. They wrongly believe if you accept Christ you surrender any chance of success and accumulation of worldly wealth.
I can tell you that is not true. God’s teaching asks us to cheerfully give 10% of what we earn. Cheerfully as in not just tossing a bill in the offering plate as it passes on Sunday morning because everyone is watching. Freely, because we want to honor God and support His ministries. Not to mention the real fact that all of it is His to begin with anyway. What exactly did you create that brings your income? Even if you conjured a new device out of thin air you used raw ingredients crafted with love by the Creator.
Moving on now, we have established it is okay to have some kind of fortune. But, the way you deal with hat fortune is just as important as how you obtain it. Here is a passage from the gospel of Luke that speaks about it.
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:10-11 NIV
God will bless those He knows will make good use of the blessing. That may not always be in tangible assets. Some of the richest people on earth don’t have a bank account of note. Instead they are using their talents, which also can be considered a fortune to the glory of God.
In my estimation our time on earth is a type of fortune. Each of us has a limited shelf life. From the moment we are born there is a countdown and not making the most of our time is squandering a vast fortune. We should be busy about God’s work, sharing with others about his teachings and salvation. That is why I created this blog. I invite you to click around and see what might catch your attention here.
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.
Who isn’t overworked in 2017? The race to achieve and keep up with everyone drives so many people to overextend. But I want to focus on a different aspect. I want to talk about being overworked trying to maintain your Christian witness in this busy, mortal world.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthey 11:28 KJV
Jesus already knew we would need someone to take on the burdens of our life, whether work, illness, family issues or whatever accumulates on your mind, heart and body. Let’s face it, sometimes going through a day of life can seem so much like work. Throw in a speed bump are too and we can feel overworked really quickly.
Nowhere in the Holy Bible does Jesus say directly or promise through his heavenly inspired book authors that the path would be easy when you become a Christian. What He promises is that you will not be alone, that He will guide you, under gird you and show you how to complete your life with Christian love and His strength. Will you still have the same situation? Maybe. But you will have the comfort of knowing you are not alone and He can do all things to assist as you navigate your troubles.
The rest he promises will be something you can bank on. A promise you will not get from any other person that means so much. Not to say all of us do not have friends we can count on, but God is there 24x7X365, which is usually when we need the assistance. His promises are more solid than we can comprehend.
Maintaining your Christian witness while you live in a world quickly pulling farther away from biblical values is challenging. But thankfully there are still men of God and churches delivering important instruction on how to keep your witness solid. We just have to be willing to submit to the instruction as we guard our hearts and minds.
I have been able to enjoy this promise for many years and can attest to the richness of Jesus’ promises. Won’t you trust Him with your concerns today?
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.
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?
How many have you blessed today? This week, this month, this year? If not, why not? Here is instructions from the book of Proverbs:
Proverbs 11:24-25 “24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”
God does not bless us so we can accumulate and collect in places where no one gains. I realized years ago that everything I have is on loan from God. I also decided long ago the sure way to continue to enjoy what I was blessed with was to share with others. It comes as part of the J.O.Y. Principle I try to make my overarching life mantra.
Jesus is always first. Others will be next and my time comes last. How do you do that? With devotion to do what Jesus says in the Holy Bible. Then be kind to your neighbor, or the person you encounter wherever you go. Don’t allow the stresses of life to influence how you treat others. They are just as important to God as you and just trying to do a job or live their life, the same as you.
I heard someone speaking recently about how they housed some missionaries that were on a short term break and needed a temporary resting place. The couple was basically patting themselves on the back fro blessing the missionaries with their hospitality, but in the end their blessing turned out to be so much greater. Truly you cannot out give God.
I am currently in partnership with a couple involved with a mission more than 1300 miles away and the ability to share God’s blessing on my life with them continues to become richer all the time. I have been fortunate to visit them in their ministry location three times and actually be a part of their growth. To see God working through them and with what help my church and I can pass along is a great model of being the “Body of Christ”.
Make a special effort to try to bless someone today!
This is my response to Banned, the Daily Post one word prompt for 10-26-16.