Over the last few days I’ve heard two different perspectives on being the baby of the family. One perspective was from the side of the older siblings. They felt that the baby of the family was spoiled because they were able to get away with anything they wanted. The other perspective was from the side of the youngest child. They felt left out because there weren’t a lot of pictures of them and they didn’t get everything their older siblings got.
They all grew up in the same family with the same parents but they both had different experiences. Why? because of their perceptions.
One of the definitions of perception is “a way of regarding, understanding or interpreting something; a mental impression.” A mental impression. Those experiences you thought were not important. Those experience you shrugged off actually helped make you who you are.
It doesn’t matter when you were born or what challenges you were born with God can still use you. David was the baby of his family and he ended up being king. Moses stuttered and he was chosen to be God’s voice of freedom. Abraham and Sara were way past being able to have a child but God picked them to be parents to the child of promise.
Never underestimate how God can use the things that have been imprinted on you. Don’t let the perception of what you went through cloud God’s perception of who you were meant to be.
I was listening to a podcast recently where they were speaking about keeping God’s word close to you. The host mentioned that she has key scriptures referenced in her bible but her bible isn’t always with her. She said it never occurred to her to keep those key scriptures in the notes section on her phone.
Ok. Can I tell you that until she said that I didn’t think about that either? That statement was a mind-blowing statement for me. You know, the kinds of statements that are so simple but we make them difficult? How many other things have we seen or heard that on the face of them are ridiculously simple but we make them way to hard?
It’s like those V8 moments. Or when you finally get the joke that everyone else has gotten. Or when you’re dancing and you finally find the beat. Honestly how simple could it be. Our phones have become so much a part of who we are that it would only make sense for us to put those scriptures that have helped us in difficult times within reach.
So, my goal for today is to put at least one important scripture in the notes on my phone as a reference when I’m stressed, or angry, or feeling blah, or when I want to get close to the Lord.
There are many days when I don’t feel like praising God. Not because He’s not good but because I’m too focused on my problems. God’s word didn’t say we should praise Him only when we feel like it; His word says we should praise Him no matter what the circumstances or how we feel. When we praise Him even if we don’t feel like it our focus changes from our situation to our savior.
And inevitably we begin to feel like praising and then we can’t stop praising and then our lives become a testimony and then He is glorified. Praise His name in season and out of season. Praise Him when times are good. Praise Him when times are bad. Praise Him at all times and in the words of my Pastor “all means all”. Not sometimes. Not when I feel like it. But All!!!!
I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually by in my mouth. (Psalms 34:1 NKJV)
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in the heavens of His power! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness! [Deut. 3:24; Ps. 145:5-6] Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and [single or group] dance; Praise Him with stringed and wind instruments or flutes! Praise Him with resounding cymbals; Praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! [Hallelujah!] (Psalms 150 AMPC)
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If any serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11 NIV)
If you read my last post you saw I referenced that fact that we have become a society of people that love to binge watch. Well…I’m one of the society. I recently started watching a show about people who have changed the interiors of their homes to display their passion. Sometimes they are odd but they are all interesting because they show how far people will go for things that have become a part of their heart.
I’m sitting watching this show as I’m typing this and honestly I’m in awe of their dedication. The amount of money they spend. And their determination not to give up.
Wow. How much would I get accomplished in my life if I had the same determination not to give up? I probably wouldn’t be binge watching shows on Netflix for a start. But honestly as crazy as it sounds seeing other people achieving their dreams and doing what excites them gives me inspiration.
It allows me to see what can be done in life and how awesome it can be to share your passions with others.
So I will continue to binge watch shows that inspire me, shows that make me think and yes, shows that allow me to not think at all; but with all of that I will place it in perspective and use the inspiration as fuel for my life.
What if life was like a tv show? What if every problem was fixed in 30 or 60 minutes? What would you miss? Would you be the same person you are today?
Life is about the experiences. Imagine how bland our lives would be if we didn’t have the opportunity to experience things good or bad. I had an awesome experience living in San Francisco in my twenties because I decided to not live my life in 30 minute segments. I decided to live my life minute by minute allowing for the grace to enjoy where I was at the time.
This wasn’t easy for me to embrace but once I did embrace it I thoroughly enjoyed my time in San Francisco. Had I not been open I wouldn’t have found a job with a company that allowed me to transfer back home. Through that job doors continued to be open that have led to the position I’m in today.
Were things always neat and tidy? No and honestly I don’t think I would want things neat and tidy. That wasn’t the case, however, when I was in the situation. Mainly because I didn’t understand what God was doing. I didn’t understand when others were promoted or got better jobs when I had prayed for that. I didn’t understand when friends of mine were getting married and I wasn’t even (still isn’t) dating. But I look back now and I realize that my walk wasn’t and isn’t supposed to be the same as someone else’s walk.
I would have missed out on so much if I kept my eyes focused on what I didn’t have or wanting things to be neat and tidy instead of where God was trying to take me.
So even though we live in a microwave world. Even though patience isn’t the norm. Even though we binge watch because we can’t take time to leisurely enjoy a show, I hope I remember to allow slow down and embrace the life I’ve been given.
Midterm elections are coming up in November and campaign ads are already airing. Now I do participate in elections because I believe it’s important since many people have given their lives for the right to vote; however, I do not appreciate the ads.
In my opinion I don’t believe those ad’s say “vote for me”. The only thing I get out of those ad’s is how “I can make myself look better by making you look horrible”. Don’t get me wrong I know that not everyone is out to be cutthroat or cruel but it’s seems as if any type of election brings out the not so best in people.
Honestly, I miss being young enough not to know about politics or about how harsh people can be. But I’m not young enough. So how do I deal with this? I take the good with the bad. I try to focus on a person’s character. I try to remember that we are all human and we all have bad days. I try to remember that I was given grace and so I should extend grace as well.
But most importantly I continue to pray. I pray for patience. I pray for cooperation. I pray for honesty without cruelty. I pray for understanding. And I pray for direction.
My hope, no matter what, has to lie in God. Yes God uses people but if I begin to become more dependent on what people can do for me I am no longer focused on how God has, and is still, taking care of me.
At the end of the day what’s most important is not who is sitting in an elected position…it’s who is sitting in the ultimate position. Is that God or man?
Sometimes the only thing someone needs when they are grieving the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the loss of a relationship, the loss of possessions, the loss of memories is for their friends and family to sit and be with them. You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to try and fix it. You don’t have to be a superhero. You only have to just sit and be. Everyone processes grief in their own way but the one thing that remains constant is God’s grace & mercy during their time of grief. He is constantly the comforter and healer. He is patient and He understands.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Rev. 21:4 NKJV)
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psalms 34:18 NKJV)
My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:26 NJV)
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV)