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Praise God from…

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen

I sang this song at the end of every church service growing up but I never embraced the words.  I never thought about the impact of praise for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  How different would my day be if I opened my day with this praise constantly.  Would I focus on my difficulties or would I delight in the blessings?

As I go into the holiday season, I need to embrace these words when I struggle with anything.  May I long for the Father, praise the Savior and embrace the workings of the Holy Spirit all around me and I hope you do the same!

Aside

Praise God from…

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Amen

I sang this song at the end of every church service growing up but I never embraced the words.  I never thought about the impact of praise for the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.  How different would my day be if I opened my day with this praise constantly.  Would I focus on my difficulties or would I delight in the blessings?  

As I go into the holiday season, I need to embrace these words when I struggle with anything.  May I long for the Father, praise the Savior and embrace the workings of the Holy Spirit all around me and I hope you do the same!

The Whatever Challenge…Whatever Is Pure

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

I have an obsession with white t-shirts.  I LOVE them.  My husband tried to ban them but I think he realized he was not going to win.  There is nothing like a nice new white t-shirt.  But then the moment comes when I drop something on my shirt or my 2 year old wipes his hands on my shoulder and my white t-shirt is never the same.  I can bleach it but it starts to break down the shirt so it wears out faster.  I can take it off and soak it but I am not always at home when it happens so the stain has some time to set.   My t-shirt has lost its pureness.

There are items in our lives that seem pure at one time.  A new box of crayons, new clothes, crisp sheets can all be considered pure.  But when you dig deeper you see those “pure” things are pure in a superficial way; crayons get used, clothes get torn and crisp sheets get wrinkled.  The real pure things touch your heart and they touch your soul.  They cannot be trashed and replaced.

My whatever is pure is seen in the eyes of my boys.  My boys are five years apart so they are experiencing different things in life.  Carter started public school and for the first time realized not everyone goes to church and not everyone loves Jesus.  His concern for this was pure.  He is asking questions about taking his next steps in his relationship with Jesus.  Those questions and concerns are pure and should be handled in a way that they do not develop blemishes.  My 2 year old is beginning to experience independence, self expression and how to form friendships.  New adventures make his eyes light up.  His life experiences are pure and untouched by the world around him.

Items that are pure should be handled carefully because at some point some of those things can become blemished.  Reflecting on those pure things in your life will help you keep what is important in the forefront of your mind.  What is pure in your life at this moment in time?  Think about it and cherish everything that is.

The Whatever Challenge- Whatever is true…

” 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

What is true to me?
God’s loves me unconditionally
My boys need to know I love them unconditionally
My husband is fantastic (even when he drives me bananas)
My parents put everything out there for me
My weight may go up and down but it should not define me
Having money is nice but it is not everything
Nothing sounds better than my boys laughing
God loves everyone and I need to remember that the next time I look down or decide I don’t like someone
Trusting God to guide me is necessary yet very difficult for me
Today was rotten so I kept putting this post off but I knew that looking at what was true in my life it would make the stink a little less stinky.  By focusing on what is true in my life, what is constant, it enables me to look beyond the now and see what has God has done so far in my life and what those truths mean for the future.

The Whatever Challenge

A popular question asked in Christian circles is “What is your life verse?”  For a long time I panicked when this question was asked of me.  I did not have a “life verse”.  I had verses that I loved to go back to but I did not have THE verse.  As far as I was concerned I wanted to spend more time building my life around the whole Bible to my life and not just one verse.  But over time I have found myself gravitating to one verse through everything.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters,

whatever is true,

whatever is noble,

whatever is right,

whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely,

whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

Yes I have it memorized and yes I have used it in many situations but do I live it?  I tell people it means a lot to me but do I show them how much it really means?  Do I overwhelm my thoughts with worry or do I meditate on what God has set before me?   When I am really honest with myself the answers to those questions is not the way I want them to be.  So I am going to challenge myself and challenge you to take each piece of this verse and assign it to a day.  Tomorrow I will think  about whatever is true.  The next day I will think about whatever is noble.  I am going to put my thoughts on this blog.  You can feel free to post your thoughts in the comment section.  I would love to hear from you.  It is time for this verse to become more than accessory in my Christian walk.  It is time for it to become a cornerstone.

Don’t Give Up

Quitters irritate me. When I hear someone is throwing in the towel on something, whether it be a project or an organization, I just want to look at them and say ,” Really? That is all you’ve got? “. My first instinct is to get mad, stew about it, get madder and then try to move on. I don’t know why it bothers me so much but it does.

Tonight I went on a walk because I was dealing with some of these emotions with people throwing in the towel. I needed to turn up my music walk really fast and clear my head. My walk started at a rapid pace and my thoughts were churning, How could they just give up? Why doesn’t anyone want to try? Well there goes a lot of the respect I had for them. As the walk went on God crept into my thoughts. I heard Him say, ” those are some pretty strong words coming from someone who often gives up on herself.”.

And then I thught about just how many times I do give up. A business idea. A friendship. A quiet time. I give those things up sometimes without a second thought and I wonder what God thinks of me when I do.

Carter recently started karate. As I was watching the drills in one of the classes i heard this little voice start chanting, ” Don’t give up. Don’t give up.”. Then more and more voices joined in. As each child finished the drill they began to say,” Don’t give up” while the others finished. It didn’t matter how long it took for the others to cross the finish line, they just kept chanting. That is what I see God doing. We start something and when it gets tough we reach for that towel to throw it in the ring. Then He starts to say,” Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up.”. And He finds others to cheer us on. Friends, spouses, children, church members, coworkers all telling us to push through.

We have to push through. You have to have enough faith in yourself to know you can handle anything with God cheering you on. If it is time for you to change churches then God is cheering for you as you do it. If it is time for you to start a business then God is cheering for you as you do it. All He asks of you is to not give up and to finish what He has placed in your path.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. ” (2 4:7 HCSB)

Be still

I am not a quiet person.  I try to enjoy the quiet but I usually turn my music on.  I am not quiet by nature and so this last month has been difficult for me because God has made me be quiet.  I have wanted to write on here but he has silenced my thoughts because He had some things He wanted to say.

For someone who does not live a quiet existence this has been hard.  For years I have searched for my purpose.  I have voices several times what I felt I was led to do but life has taken me in other directions.  While staying at home with my kids the last two years I have had an incredible internal debate on what my next step was going to be.  I have a small business that I like but is it my purpose.  Is the dream I have in my head my purpose or is it an excuse to hold back.  I can always say,” Well I don’t think that is my dream.  I am still waiting for all those blocks to fall in place”  instead of being proactive where I am.

So instead of jabberinng,  instead of talking to God or writing to others about Him, He has silenced me.  Has the silence put me in a little bit of a funk?  Yes.  Has the silence also given me hope and joy?  In its way, yes.  Has God gotten my attention?  Yes but I know there is more to come.  God’s timing is perfect no matter if it is a time of silence or a time of dancing.  Either time is beautiful and I must enjoy the time I am in right now.