Reconnected

As you have probably experienced; losing a password and jumping through a variety of hoops can be very frustrating.  This happened here, with WordPress!  I have missed writing and encouraging!

This scripture came to me inside a card from a friend today.  I thought it was incredibly powerful.  When we are down and out, we must never ever forget that our God, the Holy One of Israel, Lord and Savior – is ALWAYS here and is ALWAYS the same.  Circumstances in our lives change constantly…..what a blessing to know we remain intact in our faith and that our foundation never even quakes – as long as we are connected to our Heavenly Father.

Isaiah 43:2-3

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;…

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Pieces of Community

In the past two days I’ve spent a good amount of time with UU’ers (Unitarian Universalists).  I remain a “friend” of this community, as I had been an active participant for four years.

Some Christians would tell you “don’t converse with unsaved folks.” But that NEVER made sense to me.  How are you supposed to share the love of God and the reason for grace if you only ‘hang out’ with like-minded people?

I personally don’t believe the God I believe in put His “Good-Housekeeping” Seal of a Approval on a particular church or religion.

However, I digress, this post is about community, and the importance of belonging; finding your (various types of) people and how the bible encourages it.

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Acts 12:12 …..”gathered together praying…”

Deuteronomy 31:12 “Gather the people together, men, women, children, and your foreigner who is within your towns, so that they may hear and learn…..”

A core belief in the UU church is to “question everything.”  I am not a Lutheran because my parents raised me to be one, in fact – I no longer identify as a Lutheran at all.  I check the box for Christian for medical forms and leave it at that.

But community; is more than a group of people hanging out together, it’s being with people who respect, are concerned about and want you to live your best life (I’m channeling Oprah)!

Is your community healthy?  Are you inspired and encouraged by those in your circle?  Is God at the center?

what does your community look like?  what is it missing?

 

 

Pieces of Loss

There are many variations of loss.  Of life, love, a health diagnosis, home, job, and whatever it is, is the most important thing to you at the time.  No one could possibly understand, even if they can relate – it’s not the same.  Sometimes we don’t want empathy as much as we want someone to listen.  We want someone to put up with our bad days — the days when we feel deeply alone in our grief.

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In time of grief that is so incredibly overwhelming, where do you go for peace? 

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Jeremiah 31:3
The Lord has appeared to him from afar, saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
John 13:34
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
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Pieces of Broken Chain

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While doing my devotions this morning, I added music to my routine.  Blasted the volume on my laptop and plugged into YouTube and started with Selah, Wonderful Merciful Savior, then one of my favorites by Jesus Culture; “Break Every Chain.”

I was reminded of what keeps me in bondage; bad habits some might say, but I know they are more than that – they keep me separated from God.  Ironically (but not really, right???!!!), my devotion was on placing my trust in the Holy Spirit to guide and nudge me towards a Godly life, instead of living by feelings; which can change in a moment’s notice.

I have been overcome by the presence of God many times.  Music seems to be the vehicle, the lyrics speak to my heart and remind me through repetition (I listen to the same song fifty times, like I did when I was a teenager!) what my  heart longs for, to be closer to God, to live in His grace and to know that I am saved.

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Where Do You Find God?

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I find God on a quiet day, in nature, the sound of wind always reminds me of Jesus.  As if He is whispering to me.  Also in my daily devotions, or wanderings in the bible.

Today “faith” was a dominant word in my day; it came reading Hebrews; all of the people who chose (not just obey) to walk in faith.  Abraham offered up his son (how awful a decision to make), the only thing Sarah ever wanted was a child and Moses, a grown man; preferred to suffer hardships than live within the walls of great wealth.

WHY?

3 John 1:3
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.
Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

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On This Day

Facebook has a feature called “On This Day,” it’s a flashback to the past, a year ago, three years ago, 6 years ago.

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And, as only Facebook can do, it picks out the positive during that time frame.

Unfortunately, life can be ugly or hurtful.  And looking back a year, or three is not something most of us want to reflect on.  Why?   We have enough to get through in the day-to-day.  Human beings struggle.  So does a Christian.  We are not immune to heartache or bad memories.

Philippians 4:12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Hebrews 11: 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
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Less feelings, more Jesus.  Less worry, more prayer.  Less heartache, more healing. 

What we gain by giving up

During this Lenten season, some are giving up sugar or Facebook or something else that bogs down their time or life.  Some; instead of giving up, are giving.  They are volunteering or adding more bible study to their routine.  Whatever path you choose, make it prayerful, make it important.  You are in essence, to deny yourself, carry your cross and follow Jesus.

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For me, as a young child, Easter was about decorating hard boiled eggs, shopping for a pretty outfit with new shiny shoes, a basket filled with lots of candy and a plush rabbit, a very touching church service, complete with palms for waving and a big dinner at home after church.

Now, as a ‘grownup’ …. I find that being as mindful as possible about the significance of this time is all I need to draw closer to Jesus.

When it comes right down to it, we are sorrowful for the death of Jesus, celebratory for the resurrection and grateful for the life ever after.

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