Thursday, November 21, 2013

God notices the grateful Heart

I thought that since next week is Thanksgiving, I'd write a post about being grateful.
God notices the grateful heart. He took a praise-singing shepherd boy and made him a king.
There’s no hint of God getting out of sorts if we aren't thankful. But there is evidence that we are affected by our own ingratitude. What of the disastrous days?  The nights I can’t sleep and the hours I can’t rest?
Am I grateful then?  Jesus was.
The Bible records, “On the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it.”  (I Corinthians 11:23). It’s not often you see the words betrayed and thanks in the same sentence, much less in the same heart. In the midst of the darkest night of the human soul, Jesus found a way to give thanks. Anyone can thank God for the light. Jesus teaches us to thank God for the night. He says to us, “You’ll get through this!”  And we will.
Everyone knows what Black Friday is. It used to be that Black Friday would follow the day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was an entire day to spend with family/friends, giving thanks for all that God blessed us with, and now, it's being grateful and then rushing into stores because we want, "more!"
There is no giving Thanks anymore.
I went to help out one of the families at our church last week, and on their table, there was a glass jar, with twigs and sticks in it. On these twigs and sticks, there were leaves made out of paper. On the paper was written things that the family is Thankful for. I thought this was such a great idea, because so easily, we can become so ungrateful for the things we have. It's nice to have a reminder around us, for the small things that we should be grateful for! 
"Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.' ...So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."~Luke 12:15 & 21~
Our family will be coming home from Texas on Black Friday, but, I'd love to know what ya'll's thoughts are on the subject of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. What are your plans for Thanksgiving and Black Friday? I would encourage you to look at my friends blog:


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Loving the Least of these

On Sunday, our Pastor preached on Matthew 25:35-39.
"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’"

Our pastor went onto say who the "least of these were"... the one that stuck out to me the most was when he said the "elderly" are the least of these. 
When you see a man or woman in a wheel chair, white hair, drooling because of age, what do you think? Do you think, "They're old! I don't want to go near them!"? Or, do you think, "Even through that old age, they are so precious!"
This really hit me this last week. My parents and grandparents are getting older. It's in our families vision to take care of the elderly. When my parents get old, they'll stay with us kids, because then, it will be our turn to take care of them, and to comfort and provide for them.

But, it's not just the "elderly" that are the least of these. It's the widow, orphan, the lonely, the leaper, the one who has diseases. These, are the least of these.
So, go out of your way, and help someone out!
"Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."
~Hebrews 13:1-2~
I'd love to know your thoughts! Please, lease me a comment! :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Focusing on God

Sorry for not posting in a while ya'll! Life for me has been... busy! :)
Actually, that's kind of what I wanted to post about... have you ever had that moment in life when you finally...get to breath?! Life has been going super fast for me right now. I'm teaching Piano all day on Monday's, Wednesday's, and Thursday's right now. Tuesday's and Friday's are really the days that I can kind of lay back... not really, but hey! :) I cook all the dinner's in our house, which means that I have to prioritize my time wisely.
I usually only open my computer at night after my younger siblings have gone to bed. By then, I just want to relax, sit in bed with a good book, and sleep! My mom and I have been talking about how God didn't create us to go from one thing to the next. He created us to have rest... which is also why the Sabbath day is super important! A day to really focus on God. Put all things aside, and pray, think on the Lord, and worship Him in all His greatness! Now, that's not to say that we shouldn't focus on God the other days of the week, which brings me to my next point...
If we are so busy and pre-occupied the whole week... when do we make time for God?
For me, it used to be when my little brother would take a nap. Now that he doesn't take naps anymore, his rest times are... loud! What can I say... he's a boy! ;)
But, I try to focus on God during this time. Many times, I find myself not even doing my Bible Study because life throws me in loops. I'm sure you moms and sisters know what I'm talking about!...this baby needs a diaper change, this child needs to be fed, this child has to go to this place at this time, you have to meet your friend here and there... etc... the list goes on. So, when does it stop? When do we take a moment, and breath? When was the last time that you took an hour and completely focused on God, without all the distractions of life? I think I told many of you a couple months ago, that I told my mom that I'm going to leave for the day, take my Bible Study and Prayer Journal with me, and go to a quiet place by the lake to rest, think, ponder, and pray.
So, if you don't have a car, have someone you know (daughter/sister/husband/mother/father) take care of the kids for a little, while you go and focus on God; for my mom, focusing on God is easy when she goes for a walk. Now, I'm not saying that you can't focus on God in the midst of your own home, but when your life gets to be so busy that you can't even breath... it's time to prioritize your life.
So, how can we stop and breath? Easy!... learning to say "NO!" Now, that's easier said than done...right?! I'm still learning it, but if there's one thing my mom taught me, it's to say no to things. Yes, that means you might miss out on this party or that party, but, is it really worth the time you don't get to spend with God because your busy with other things? How important is your time with God? If it's not as important as it should be, then maybe you need to let some things go. Believe me, it's not easy!
 But in the end, it's so worth it!!!