Good and Forgiving

 

 

 

 

I usually expect the best out of people.

Really.

Having a postive outlook toward others has not been detrimental.

Today, however, I was somewhat disappointed, at least at first.

A grocery store that I frequent quite a bit has a particular way of keeping up with their rolling shopping carts.

instead of paying someone to go out to the parking lot and corral them all in a few times a day, the customers put them away.

They are kept neatly along the outside of the front entrance.

Why would customers care enough to do this?

It’s simple.

They have invested in it.

A twenty-five cent investment.

Each cart has a small container that will accept one quarter.

When the quarter is inserted into the container, the shopping cart is released from a locking mechanism that holds all of them in place.

When the cart is empty and no longer needed, each customer returns their cart to the front of the building, pushes it into line and inserts a chain from the last cart into the container.

Out pops the quarter and all is well!

Today, when I finished shopping, the cashier placed my groceries into an empty cart and took the full one I had for the next customer in line.

I placed the items I had purchased into my car.

I took the shopping cart back to the front of the store.

Clicking the chain into the money container on my cart, I reached out to take a quarter.

After all, I had placed a quarter in the original cart I had taken in, so it was only prudent of me to take a quarter back.

When I clicked the chain, out popped….something different.

A coin from another country, perhaps?

I inspected it closely.

On one side, embossed letters read, "X Mark Token."

On the other side, a car wash company name was written—one that I had never heard of.

Somewhat miffed at the loss of my twenty-five cents, I quickly decided that I should not be.

Whoever had placed the token into the container may not have had a quarter to spare.

Their circumstances may have been such that they had very little money to buy food.

I needed to forgive that person, whoever they were, and not give it a second thought.

Psalm 86:5 reads, "You, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
    full of mercy toward everyone who calls out to You."

Chances are I will never know who placed a car wash token into my cart.

Harboring even the slightest amount of anger about it would only be harmful to me.

God is good and forgiving.

He wants us to be forgiving, too.

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

Shouldn’t I Feel Sorry…?

 

 

 

 

 

How do you feel about people who don’t know about God?

People who have never heard of Jesus or what He did for them?

There are untold numbers of those who I have been in contact with through the years who have not embraced faith in God, although they have heard of Him all their lives.

But what about those who really don’t know?

God sent Jonah to tell the people of ancient Ninevah that they would soon be destroyed.

Hearing God’s words from Jonah, the people of Ninevah repented.

Jonah 3:5 says, "The people of Nineveh believed God. They decided to fast, and everyone, from the most important to the least important, dressed in sackcloth."

God spared Ninevah because of their repentance.

As He spoke to Jonah He asked, "Shouldn’t I feel sorry for this important city, Nineveh? It has more than 120,000 people in it as well as many animals. These people couldn’t tell their right hand from their left.”

(verse 4:11)

If those who "couldn’t tell their right hand from their left" refers to children in the city, then the number of adults would have been many thousands more.

Whatever the population, they were not a people trusting in God or serving Him prior to Jonah’s visit.

Perhaps they just didn’t know.

Do you have a friend who simply doesn’t know about God?

If you tell them, they may believe.

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

My Soul Finds Rest

 

 

 

 

Is it okay to tell God that you’re tired, in need of rest?

Does admitting that cause feelings of guilt or inadequacy?

Actually, God already knows when we are tired.

He created us with a need for rest.

We must take time to rejuvenate or we will die.

No one can choose to give up sleep permanently.

Those of us who are bent on working as much as we can before we allow our bodies and minds to relax find that fatigue, accompanied by its many friends–stress, illness and anxiety–are likely to come our way.

Taking time to be quiet is so important.

Taking time to be still.

Taking time to listen for God’s voice.

Taking time to drift to sleep, lulled into rest with an indwelling knowlege of His presence in us.

It’s okay to tell God that you’re tired.

He already knows.

 

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.

–Psalm 62:1

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

All Your Needs

 

 

 

 

 

It suddenly became perfectly clear to me.

God was impressing a great truth onto my heart.

I was attending a weekend women’s retreat in a fairly remote, riverside setting a few hours from my home.

Packing what I thought was essential, I had neglected to bring one thing–hair spray.

Hair spray is not exactly an essential, especially in a rustic, country setting.

I really had not considered that I would need it.

Perhaps feeling more relaxed that usual, coupled with having a bit more time to devote to my hair, I decided to use a blow dryer and a curler instead of just letting it air dry.

When I was finished, the thought occurred to me that it would be nice to have some hair spray to help hold my hair away from my face.

I stood alone in the room in front of the mirror.

I decided to ask some of the other women if anyone had brought hair spray that I could borrow.

Almost immediately, I glanced down on the dresser in front of me to see a green can of hair spray belonging to the host family just sitting there, as it had been when I unpacked my things upon arrival at the retreat.

I had not really noticed it until that second.

All at once, a flood of revelation came to me as I realized that God works like this.

Before we even have the words on our tongues to voice a request to God, He is able to provide exactly what we need at precisely the right moment.

Realizing this truth once again, I was overwhelmed with the thought of God’s goodness.

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:19-20

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

The Rivers Clap

 

 

 

 

 

The reflection was perfect.

It was as if the water was glass, giving a mirror image of the trees and sky above it.

The area near the river was quietly alive.

Flitting birds and frolicking squirrels went about their usual activities as the water moved swiftly by just a short distance down the  grassy slope.

All of God’s creation testifies to His glory.

 

Let the rivers clap their hands,
    let the mountains sing together for joy;

—Psalm 98:8

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

As They Walked

 

What if Jesus came to visit you?

Can you imagine if He did?

What if He asked you to sit down and have a cup of tea and just talk?

Do you think He would ask you a lot of questions?

Would you be afraid that He would begin to list all of your faults and failures?

While He sat and listened, would you pour out your heart to Him and tell Him everything?

What would it be like?

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to two people walking along a road who were talking about Jesus’ death by crucifixion.

Here is part of the account:

 

 

 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.  As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;  but they were kept from recognizing him.

 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

 “What things?” he asked.

As they talked, their walk ended with Jesus coming into a home to stay with them.

When He sat down at a table, He broke the bread they were about to eat and gave it to them.

At this point, they recognized Him.

Through prayer, we can talk with Jesus right now.

We can talk to Him and He will listen.

He may ask us questions.

We may ask questions of Him, as well.

The risen Lord is there for each of us.

Right now.

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

Rest Upon Us

 

 

 

 

We wait.

We wait for many things.

We pray about many things.

We expectantly look and listen.

 

 

We hope.

We hope for many things.

We hope for what we cannot yet see.

 

 

We trust.

We trust in God.

We believe His word.

We understand that He is sovereign.

His love rests on us.

 

 

 

 

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    He is our help and our shield.
 In Him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in His holy name.
 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
    even as we put our hope in You.

–Psalm 33:20-22

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

In a Flash

 

 

 

 

When I was a child, I was afraid to watch it on television.

More accurately, I was afraid of Mr. Spock.

Somehow, the pointed ears disturbed me.

Much later in life, the television series STAR TREK no longer bothered me.

In fact, I have seen several of the episodes created over forty years ago.

If you have ever watched STAR TREK, the idea of "beaming" up to the ship or down to a planet’s surface is not a new one.

Advanced technology in the far future allowed the workers in the transporter room to "lock on" to someone’s coordinates, convert their very being into energy and then rematerialize them back on the ship.

Anyone wishing to travel from the transporter room to another location was just as easy.

Even in STAR TREK lore, the people who were being transported were not in charge of the process.

In fact, they were at the mercy of those whose hands were controlling the transporter device.

I don’t expect to ever see a machine capable of doing what it did, but I do expect to be changed.

Completely.

In the twinkling of an eye.

I will not be in control.

I will be at the mercy of the One who is changing me.

God, who shows great mercy to those who love Him, will one day call……. for me.

If you believe through faith that God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross, paying the price for all of your sin and you are trusting in Him for eternal life, He will one day call for you.

Are you ready?

 

 

 

 

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—  in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

—1 Corinthians 15:51-56

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

You Know the Way

 

 

 

Trains.

I grew up around them.

A train track was only about four houses away from my own.

Heavy and powerful, they seemed unstoppable.

With all their power, trains only run on the tracks they are on.

If they are to change course, it has to be planned out.

At just the right place they are routed from one track to another, altering their destination.

If there is no connecting track to guide the train onto the new one, it will remain on the original one indefinitely.

I long for—yearn for—people that I know to change tracks;

to forever leave behind the route that leads them away from God’s truth, choosing instead to travel on a new set of tracks—the one that leads to life eternal through Jesus.

I cannot force the decision on another person.

It must be their choice.

Just as one train cannot move another from its track, I cannot change the course of anyone’s life.

With a broken heart, I can pray for them to see the truth of God’s love..

Everyone traveling on the track of eternal life in Heaven was once traveling on a different one.

At some point, they made the change.

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”  John 14:1-4

In Jesus, we know the way.

Jesus is the way.

The only way.

 

Lord, please help me to share Your love with others so they may see that in You there is eternal life.

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Different Kinds

 

 

 

 

 

The fresh flowers were for sale.

As I stepped by them, they caught my eye.

Flowers normally didn’t look like these.

They were different.

They had been decorated with vibrant splashes of color, highlighting their natural white hue.

As though an artist had painted the colors, the strokes of yellow, pink, orange, blue, purple and green harmonized to bring together a truly stunning visual dance between each petal.

Aren’t we similar to these flowers?

As we grow, God gives us different gifts and talents to use for His glory.

We may discover in adolescence that we are gifted in music.

Upon retirement, we may find that we are capable of painting beautiful pieces of art.

When God places the opportunity before us, we may see that He is gifting us with the abilbity to teach.

A growing desire to gather people in our homes, showing hospitality, may surface.

Whatever the gifts may be, they all come from God.

Whatever the gifts may be, they all work together as we minister to others, showing God’s love.

Each gift is like a special color, highlighting who we are as His children.

Our gifts work in harmony as we use them in service to Him.

A beautiful array of blessing, don’t you think?

 

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit.

—1 Corinthians 12:4

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

Who Can Be Trusted

 

Do the people who really know me think that I am trustworthy?

What about promises?

Do I keep them?

What about confidences?

Do they remain hidden within my heart and theirs?

What about my integrity?

Do I actually do the things I say that I am going to?

Am I a friend who can be trusted?

Am I an employee who can be trusted?

Am I a parent who can be trusted?

Am I a spouse who can be trusted?

 

 

 To his master who sent him, a messenger who can be trusted is as refreshing as a drink of cold water on a hot summer day.

—Proverbs 25:13

 

 

A Man Who Strays

 

 

 

 

 

Walking out my front door, I suddenly noticed him.

Sitting stoically on a barren branch high in a tree, his red feathers announced his presence.

Looking one direction and then another, he remained at his post for quite a while.

Northern Cardinal males act in a territorial manner.

They also mate for life and stay with that mate throughout every season.

Proverbs 27:8 compares a man to a bird:

Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.

God wants us to be where we belong.

If you have strayed from your home today, isn’t it time to return?

 

 

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

True Peace to People

 

 

 

 

It’s very hard to do, but he must enjoy the challange.

My husband has always liked to put puzzles together.

When he was a child, putting puzzles together was sometimes a family endeavor.

This week, he purchased a puzzle and before long, it was put together on our table.

Today, he bought another one.

Because there are so very many to choose from, he tries to sort the various pieces by color before he begins the process of connecting them.

For me, just looking at the big pile of hundreds of tiny colored pieces seems almost hopeless.

Where could I begin?

Life is like that sometimes.

When everything you can think of looks like a strangely cut puzzle piece with no real recognizable appearance.

It can be so overwhelming.

In fact, you can spead an enormous amount of time trying to fit one piece to another with absolutely no success.

None.

Zero matching pieces.

When that happens, things can really seem hopeless.

What can be done when life is like that?

God can help us to begin the sorting process.

It may be on our own with only His spiritual guidance.

It may be with friends or a mentor that God has provided to help us put all the "blues" in one pile and the "yellows" in another.

When the entire box of pieces is sorted, things look a little different.

We can work on one area at a time and see progress sooner if we do it that way.

The Bible tells us that we can be at peace.

We can be at peace while we are staring at the puzzle before us.

Isaiah 26:3 says,

God, You give true peace
    to people who depend on You,
    to those who trust in You.

 

The puzzle of life is big.

REALLY big.

What’s on the box?

Ages 0 and up.

And don’t think it’s the 200 piece size.

It’s not even the 500 or the 1,000.

It goes beyond, far beyond, that.

Daunting?

Absolutely.

Impossible?

Not with God.

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise

 

 

 

 

It was getting colder.

The night air was chilling as the moon lit the effortlessly floating clouds above me.

Everywhere I looked in the night sky, I found beauty and calm.

Dark, yet light.

Void, but filled.

Vast, yet visible.

Praise to the LORD, the only Creator, who loves us with a love that will not end.

 

 

 

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.

 —Psalm 148:1-6

 

 

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

A Way That Seems Right

 

 

 

There it was, right in front of my face.

A life lesson, again.

A big one…..

I enjoy having a clean and neat home.

I do not always have what I enjoy.

Our home is not incredibly dirty, nor is it squeaky clean.

One thing that I do not do on a regular basis is take down light globes and clean them out.

This is usually done when a light bulb stops functioning and gets replaced.

The globe comes down, gets washed and goes back up with the new bulb.

If the bulb lasts a good long while, the globe will get pretty dirty.

Tonight, our son looked up and said, "Oh. The spider died."

"The spider??" I asked.

He directed my eyes to the light fixture above me.

In the clear, glass globe was a large, dead spider.

My son pointed out that he had made a web (over time) within it.

I stared at it.

 

I think he had known that a spider had been living in there for some time.

We discussed how he had probably gotten into the fixture when he was smaller.

There were probably enough tiny, little bugs that crept in to sustain him for a time and he grew.

Feeling sad about this, I told him so.

I said something like, "He made a decision when he was a youth and…"

My son finished my sentence for me by saying, "and he had to live with the consequences for the rest of his life."

Virtual, flashing lights were going off invisibly in my mind as I realized the brevity of our statements.

How many people in this world are drawn to what looks good (the light is right here and bugs are drawn to it—just think! An easy dinner every night!) but, in the end, have severely limited their possibilities?

Another thought about it all was equally disturbing.

The spider grew, certainly eating the tiny insects that crept in to get close to the light; in fact, he soon grew to the point of needing more and more food to sustain himself.

He needed more than he could get in an inclosed, glass globe.

The inevitable happened.

He died.

Does this not make you want to run to God in prayer, saying, "Please, Lord, don’t let me be lured into a comfortable confinement where I will end up with no choice other than to wither away alone!!"

Our "web" needs to be created out in the open.

Our homes need to be among others.

Our lives need to be free of self-confinement if we are going to live for God.

Otherwise, we may live with the consequences.

 

There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.

–Proverbs 14:12

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

The Waters of the Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can just see it in my mind right now.

The vast, endless ocean, churning with power as each wave travels its unrelenting course to the shore where I am standing.

Crashing onto the sand, the foaming water speeds toward me, swirling around my feet, brushing and combing the tiny grains of sand into an infinite pattern that will last until the next wave hits.

We cannot control the sea.

Only the incomprehensible power of God can draw it from its borders and back again for high and low tides.

Only He can move the Earth in orbit and at the same time, move the waters on its surface in perfect rhythm.

It’s easy to become distracted and forget the power of God.

If we stop for a moment to consider who God is, we come to a place where we realize who we are.

We might consider that we are small and insignificant, sinful and foul.

Yet through God’s provision we are redeemed, forgiven and precious.

Shouldn’t we praise Him?

Singing a "new song" to Him everyday?

The psalmist tells us that God "gathers the waters of the sea into jars."

Would He not be able to gather our tears, as well?

Would He not be able to hold our joys, along with our sorrows and know them completely?

 

 

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
 Praise the Lord with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
 Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully, and shout for joy.

 For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.
 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.

 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
    he puts the deep into storehouses.

–Psalm 33:1-7

 

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

He Will Quiet You

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you imagine the scene?

A small child running playfully down the sidewalk.

Suddenly, they trip and fall, skinning their knees.

In shocking disbelief, their face wrinkles in pain and loud crying begins.

Rushing up to them, a loving parent picks them up and carries them to the porch.

Sitting on the wooden steps, the parent holds the child tightly in their arms.

With soothing words of, "Everything will be all right," and "I will take care of you," the crying subsides and the pain begins to lessen.

With dampness from fallen tears still on the child’s collar, they look up to the parent’s assuring face.

Though the little one’s cheeks are flushed and red from emotion, a tiny smile emerges.

This child has been quieted by a parent’s love.

In Zephaniah 3, verse 17, we find these words about the future people of Jerusalem:

The Lord your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
    he will quiet you with his love,
    he will rejoice over you with singing.

As Christians, do we not know that He is with us and that He is mighty to save?

He delights in us.

When we are bearing much pain, He is able to "quiet" us.

He rejoices over us, His children.

Can you imagine the scene?

 

 

 

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

He In Us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

I noticed it.

My gaze was fixed on his face.

A few weeks ago, I was watching someone a short distance away from me as they were interacting with a group of people.

It seemed that the love of God was evident in his countenance.

If I tried to explain what I saw in practical terms, I could not.

He had the face of any normal man, yet, for these moments, I seemed aware of something different.

The smile, the look of genuine concern and compassion….I felt that I was seeing Christ in him, overflowing to those around.

The Spirit of God dwells within His children.

Though invisible, we see and know His presence in our hearts.

At times, people around us may see the love of God flowing from our actions, our words and our countenance.

As we love one another, the love of God and His presence in us is evident.

 

 

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

—1 John 4:9-15

Never Forget That

 

 

 

 

Have you ever been on an adventure?

If your dog has ever escaped from your home, running 90 miles an hour at midnight into one neighbor’s backyard into another, maybe you have—IF you followed him, running in your pajamas….

If you decided to go on a ten day hiking trip that included mountain climbing in an area you had never visited before, I’d say you’d been on an adventure.

There are certainly other types of adventures—

going to college for the first time,

walking into the office on your first day at work,

getting married,

learning to swim,

going on a mission trip,

driving on an unfamiliar road,

raising children.

All of life is an adventure.

Some of the experiences are joyful, while others are difficult and painful to bear.

Through it all, we are not alone.

God will not give up on us, even when we fail.

We may not know what’s up ahead, but we know that God will still be with us when we get there.

Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.

—1 Corinthians 1:7-9

 

 

 

 

 ***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

I, Wisdom

 

 

 

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence;
    I possess knowledge and discretion.
 To fear the Lord is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech.
 Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have understanding and power.
 By me kings reign
    and rulers make laws that are just;
 by me princes govern,
    and all nobles who rule on earth.
 I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me find me.
 With me are riches and honor,
    enduring wealth and prosperity."

—Proverbs 8:12-18

 

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

A Prudent Man

 

 

 

 

What does it mean to be prudent?

I often spend some time reading the Bible before I go to sleep at night.

Earlier this week, I was reading in the book of Proverbs.

My focus was drawn to one particular verse.

Pondering the words in my mind, I wondered about their personal application in my own life.

Since that evening, I have considered its meaning again.

 

 

A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.

—Proverbs 22:3

 

Someone who is prudent could be said to be cautious or careful.

Am I prudent when I see evil?

Do I hide myself?

Or do I keep on going and pay the price by getting hurt?

Applying these words to choices I have made in the past shed an exposing light on my memories.

How many times have I ignored the likely presence of evil and chosen not to hide myself in the guidance of God through His word, prayer and the wise council of close friends?

Will I learn from my experiences to follow God more closely as I encounter each new day?

He is ready to be my guide.

He is ready to be yours, too.

 

 

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

To Number Our Days

 

My great uncle was born in the 1800’s.

Many of his personal belongings were handed down in the family, with most of them coming to me.

His Bible, with copyright dates in the front of 1892 and 1896, is tattered and worn.

The front cover has separated from the binding.

On one of the first blank pages, he had written his name and the date—1910.

Farther up on the same page, he wrote two other dates–

The day that he was "converted" and the day he was baptised—both in 1955.

Converted?

Changed from one state of being to another.

In 1955, it seems that my great uncle was changed from a non-believer into a believer of Jesus Christ.

Although I was not alive then, I know the testimony of that moment by the written declaration of his own hand.

On the spine of the Bible are the words, S.S. Teachers Edition.

What would it have been like to sit with a small group of Christians over 120 years ago in a Sunday School class as the teacher opened a copy of a Bible such as this?

What would the conversation have been like?

Questions about God?

Salvation?

How to live a life pleasing to Him?

Talk may have included concerns of the day—political unrest, joblessness, economics.

Would it have been so very different, really?

Though our generations pass, God does not change.

He remains forever without end.

The Bible I now have is old and fragile, but God’s word within it is living and everlasting.

Because he made a decision to follow Jesus 57 years ago, my great uncle will spend eternity in Heaven.

He "numbered his days" and considered how he should live them–serving God, or not.

There is only one real question for all of us living today—have we been converted into a believer in Jesus Christ?

 

Teach us to number our days carefully
so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.

–Psalm 90:12

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:
                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

Lead Me

 

Imagine having lights flicker in your home.

You call a friend and tell them about it.

They come over and see it for themselves.

It seems clear to them that you are having some trouble with your electrical wiring.

You do nothing about it.

A few weeks later, the toaster in your kitchen overheats and quits working.

Bemoaning your loss to a neighbor, they tell you that they think you’re having an electrical problem.

Still, you do nothing about it.

The next month, the clothes dryer in the laundry room smells smoky and stops, throwing the breaker off.

This time, you call an electrician.

After his inspection, he tells you that your home needs to be rewired.

If you don’t, the existing wiring will only continue to be a fire hazard.

So, what do you do?

Tonight, I had a very distinct impression that God was speaking to me through the mouths of other people.

It had nothing to do with flickering lights, power surges or ruined appliances.

It had everything to do with me not listening and taking action as I should about some changes that I need to make in my life.

Suddenly, I thought about the various people who had spoken to me about similar things.

Could God be leading them to encourage me toward certain actions?

Could He be speaking truth to me through their words?

If so, am I ignoring them and, in effect, doing nothing about it?

What will happen if I choose not to respond?

I really do want to choose the paths that God would have me to travel.

I really do want to know His truths.

Through prayer, reading the Bible and listening for His leading, I believe I can make the right choices.

 

 

 

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all the day long.

—Psalm 25:4-5

 

 

***It would be a privilege to hear YOUR thoughts! If you would like to comment on what you’ve just read, please send an email to me at this address:

                         myrasthoughts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

All Reflect

 

 

Lunch was over and I was trying to think of everything that I was supposed to take care of for the afternoon at work.

Respond to this email, check on that event date, make additions to calendars……a regular list of tasks.

One item on my list was to deliver a cd to a coworker’s mailbox.

Being a work-related cd, it had no cover at all, with no markings of any kind.

As I was about to place it in a paper envelope, I noticed how the fluorescent light in my office was reflecting from it.

If I turned it one way, a dazzling array of colors and shapes would appear.

Turning it another way, a different pattern would emerge.

The plain, plastic disc was reflecting the light.

In a dark room, it would have no power to produce light of its own.

In the presence of light, the reflection was ever changing and brilliant.

Without God, we are in darkness.

There is nothing about us to bring forth "light."

When we have a relationship with God, His light is reflected in our lives.

Ever changing, we grow in love and faith, and He gives us light to reflect to others.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

–2 Corinthians 3:17-18

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live a Life of Love

 

 

 

Do you live a life of love?

Does your life flow with love to others around you?

We are greatly loved by God.

Jesus loved us, going to the cross for our sin.

Being loved, shouldn’t we show the love of God to others?

 

 

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

—Ephesians 5:1-2

 

The Fullness of His Grace

 

 

 

Sitting in my car in the parking lot, I was waiting for one church meeting to be over so I could go in to the next one.

Enjoying the quiet, alone time, I decided to listen to some music on my cell phone.

Amazing Grace played as I looked out the car windows at a flowering tree in front of me and a scampering squirrel to my left.

The squrrel seemed almost nervous, with jerking movements.

I began to give a lot of my attention and contemplation to him.

Big, dark eyes seemed to look right at me at times.

Eating what looked like a nut and then a red berry, he was quick with his task.

Another song came on about being amazed at how God loves us.

Getting out of the car, I went into the church.

One of the songs we sang was……….Amazing Grace.

I hadn’t planned on sitting quietly and alone before church.

Circumstances had worked out so that I could.

A few moments to listen to songs of praise, to enjoy the playful, lighthearted feeding of a squirrel on a Sunday morning—-I hadn’t planned on that, either.

God shows His love to us in infinite ways.

John 1:16 speaks of Jesus:

"From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another."

It was a blessing to me to have that special time this morning.

I recieve one blessing after another, even though I am not always aware.

God’s grace.

It is amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They Didn’t Ask Questions

 

 

 

Let’s go fishing!

Well, let’s see…..

We need a boat.

Check.

We need some bait.

Check.

We need some poles.

Check.

We need some buckets for the fish we’ll catch.

Check.

We need a lake, river or ocean.

Check.

Are we ready?

Let’s go!

Let’s go find people that need to know about Jesus.

Well, let’s see……

We need a way to get to them.

Check?

We need to be available to people who do not know about God’s plan.

Check?

We need to know Jesus as our own Savior so we can share about our relationship with Him.

Check?

We need to be ready to disciple and mentor new believers.

Check?

We need towns, cities and countries where people live.

Check!

 

Are we really ready to go?

 

Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.

Matthew 4:18-20  The Message