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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Looking at the Bright Side of Bird Poop

“Is that bird poop on your back?” I asked my husband who just came back from fishing.

Without hesitation, he replied, “How did that happen? I thought God had my back.”

Let me back up to that morning and explain.

My family and a couple of friends woke up in our beach house to a sunny clear blue sky and the birds were singing. I blurted out “They are worshiping God.” My heart leaped with the reminder from God’s Word, “Praise the Lord—the birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.”

“LOL, Mom! You are so funny,” my daughter responded.

This is a teachable moment. God gives these teachable moments. I am not crazy! I need to say what I’m thinking and not lose the moment.

I explained to everyone that day, that when I think of birds, I think of God saying “Elaine, I’ve got your back.” They began laughing at me at this point.

I continued explaining my point by quoting scripture. “Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

God is telling us not to worry for a second. So when I see a bird it reminds me not to worry, because God has my back.

My hope is that when you hear birds singing you will think about this and remember: “I do not have to worry. I just need to listen to the birds sing and enjoy life. God has my back and He is going with me!”

This lesson reassured my husband that God has his back and he is reminded of this each time he hears the birds sing. Perhaps being pooped on by these birds was simply God sending that message a little stronger and His way of saying “LOL!”

PRAYER: Lord thank You for having my back today. Thank You for Your love today. Each day I get up help me to remember this message and know that I am loved by the Creator of all things. Forgive me for worry and busyness and leaving You out of my day. I want You to be with me all the way.

“Praise the Lord, everything he has created, everything in all His kingdom. Let all that I am praise the Lord” (Psalm 103:22 NIV).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Impression

Dear Friend:

If I gave you some colored ink pads, stamps and some paper I would bet you could not help yourself to take them and make some impressions on the paper. You would get those creative juices going and make something for someone. I think just about any of us have those childhood memories of our chances to play with stamps.

As a child we pulled up our sleeves making an impression on paper with our stamps. Making a decision with our minds to create a masterpiece that would be permanent, usually designed for our moms. Peter was a teacher suggesting to his students to make an impression. Take the tools Jesus showed us to be holy. Don’t make a mess with your life as a child could make a mess with ink and get it all over others. Don’t be sloppy and rush to get the art project done. It will end up being just ok instead of blazingly good! If you rushed through a project your mom would say hesitantly “oh honey that’s nice.”

Making a lasting impression needs thought and consideration. Jesus wants to open His arms one day and say without hesitation “you had a life full of energy and blazing with holiness because you chose to make a permanent impression with your life.”

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that's coming when Jesus arrives. Don't lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn't know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, "I am holy; you be holy."(1 Peter 1:13-16 (The Message))

PRAYER: Lord help me to make a lasting impression with my life. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Stamping,
Elaine

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rubik's Cube

Rubik’s cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor Erno Rubik. Although it is widely reported that the Cube was built as a teaching tool to help his students understand 3D objects, his actual purpose was solving the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart.

As a professor of architecture, Erno Rubik invented the little toy for his purpose of teaching and it ended up going all over the world and has sold over 350 million.

In the scriptures David spoke to his son saying “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

Reading this verse what stuck out was the words “willing mind.” What does it take to have a willing mind and wholehearted devotion? It is a committed choice that our focus with our mind will be on the Father. I was trying to compare that to something and the thing that came to my mind is a Rubik’s cube and how in order to complete the puzzle and get all the colors in order one needs to focus. Think about it, when you do any sort of mind puzzle you focus 100% taking all the distractions of life out of your mind and put it on the puzzle.

David was commissioning Solomon to build the Lord’s temple. He was saying what God says to each of us that the work He has for each our lives will take a willing mind and then he asks us are you cooperating with Him?

If your mind is thinking negative thoughts about your day or circumstances, what do you choose to with those thoughts? Do you just continue to think them or do you choose to focus on God and invite him into the situation. By praying prayers of thanksgiving, rejoicing, praising and petitions you allow God to renew your mind and this is your spiritual act of worship. With this kind of intentional focus on God you will experience freedom from thoughts and eventually the right timing for solutions to circumstances.

Rubik’s cube can give you temporary relief from your thoughts but God can give you everlasting relief of peace to be able to renew your mind.

Let’s Pray: Today I praise you and thank you for….. and I need help with….. I choose to focus on you and give these thoughts to you. Thank you for peace, I wait on you. In Jesus name.

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)