Monday, October 25, 2010

Little Surprises

I found rust-colored leaves in the rose bush today. Every fall when the air starts to turn cold, the rose bushes blossom pink. It's always a surprise to me, since I expect roses to bloom in the spring. So while we put out pumpkins to celebrate fall, these bushes show off their flowers to celebrate the colder weather. And make me smile.

God sends us little surprises at just the right moment. Something to encourage us, cheer us up, or just because. You'd think He'd ever send us flowers? At the first house I knew, the lady who lived there before us had planted flowers, so they bloomed all year long. We were never without color in the front yard.

Simple things or grand things are all around us, reminding us of God's hand over our lives. He paints the sunsets and causes the flowers to blossom. The leaves turn, and the autumn sun hits the trees just the right way. We see God's handiwork in nature, reminding us that He's there.

What simple things make you smile? Leave a few behind here, and never stop looking.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Victory Lives

Above my desk hangs an eagle picture. I got it in the perfect timing with the perfect verse. "There is none like the God of Jerusalem, He descends from the heavens in majestic splendor to help you." Deuteronomy 33:26 (The Children's Living Bible)

This verse has carried me through many challenging times. It is a promise of God's help. In Psalm 18:13, the LORD thunders from heaven. In Psalm 125:2, God surrounds His people like the mountains that surround a city.

Victory and help are alive and thriving, because God is at work. It takes our cooperating and crying out to Him to live out the victory He supplies. The eagle I see every day reminds me of the victory we can have in Christ. And the verse is a promise I depend on.

Here's a quote for the week. Wintson Churchill said it during one of the most challenging times for his country. May it inspire us to keep fighting the good fight. And may it inspire us to keep praying for our country and the ones we care about.

"Never give in - never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to the convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
- Winston Churchill, from a speech given at Harrows School (10-29-41)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Malfunction?

There's an interstate connection called "Malfunction Junction." I've been there many times. It is THE place to avoid at rush hour. A whir of traffic usually comes to a standstill for hours each day there. I don't see it as much anymore. But "malfunction" has found me anyway.

This week a few things have malfunctioned around me. A car. Then a dryer. Then a car again. But every time, when a surprise threatened the routine of life, things got fixed. Or at least, it's getting there. Every time something malfunctions, I'm grateful for the one who fixes it. Like the repairman who found a spare part that hardly exists anymore. And the neighbor who gave me a ride to church.

Malfunctions and surprises can catch us off guard. That's the best time to step back, breathe in, and pray some. Have any malfunctions found you recently? What'd you do? Do you have any advice for when those surprises come? I'm grateful that God can take the "mal" out of "malfunction," and set things right again. And sometimes, things turn out better than they once were.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Living "For Real"

Realness. I've found that people notice when we, as Christians, are "for real." When we're authentic.

The day that I accepted Christ, I asked my parents to share the gospel with me "for real." I had heard the truth again and again, and I wanted Jesus to come into my heart. I wanted a personal relationship with Him.

It wasn't until later that I understood just how real He was. My parents knew Him, and I did, too. But as I studied the Bible more, He became more real to me. I understood more about His love, the closeness of His presence, and the reality we can have in Christ. God conforms us to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). An image so beautiful and perfect, it will take heaven to become fully like Him in His character and love.

But for now, as we grow in our relationship with God, we can become more like Him. More real, genuine in our faith and fervent in our love. And better able to help those around us know Him more. The adventure of life with God will continue throughout eternity. There is a light to shine, a love to give, and a gospel to share. We get to be God's ambassadors "for real."

Who has been "real" in your life? How have they impacted you? From what they have told you, what would you pass on to others? I'm grateful for what's been passed down to me. If you get the chance, leave some notes here. And let's keep living "for real!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Moment

Here's a simple quote I found when I stamped a trading card at a Make 'n Take one day. If you ever get the chance to go to a scrapbook show or craft store, be sure to do the Make 'n Takes if they have any. They're just too much fun to pass up. Here's the quote, and have a great weekend! Or I should say, week beginning...

"Live in the moment and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering."