Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Closed Door...

...is something to be thankful for as much as an Open door.

Listening to Joel Osteen talk about closed doors - he said:
"Don't fight your closed doors."

It is so true  - when you think about it, you're not really trusting God if you want things to only happen your way... When you trust God, you'll know that He alone knows the plans He has for you and that His plans for you are for your own good.* The other part to that is sometimes we miss God's best for us by staring/staying at or even struggling with the closed door(s) and ignore or totally miss the open door. "When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open."**

I believe that is why God put these 2 verses in the Bible:
Isaiah 22:22 - I will give him the key to the house of David—the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them. (NLT)
Rev 3:7b - “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me. (NLT)

God needs us to realize that open and closed doors are part of His plan for us...all we need is to be able to distinguish between the doors He has opened or closed for us. God closes some doors so we are not distracted from going through open doors that lead us to our God-ordained destination. Another (related) verse that appears at least twice in the Bible is in Proverbs and it warns: "What you think is the right road may lead to death."***

I remember staring and almost struggling with a closing/closed door a few years ago. I couldn't imagine what it would be like stepping through an open door into the unknown. God in His mercy kept my eyes on Him and following Him step by step He lead me to a wonderful "new"  - one I could never have orchestrated myself. Like I tweeted earlier today: "Lord, thank You for the beginning of a new season in my life. I will seize every opportunity and thank You without ceasing in all seasons."

Reference:
*Jer 29:11 - 12 - I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. (Common English Bible)
**Alexander Graham Bell
***Prov 14:12 and Prov 16:25

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stay "on"

I wonder if you're like me...sometimes, I wish I could "turn off" being a Christian and just respond to people/situations in the flesh. I remember one incident when someone said something about me that was untrue - you cannot how hard it was to sit down and say nothing even though it was obvious that everyone believed the person. At such times (which come and go) I need to remind myself that my life is now hid in Christ, in God* and it's only in Him that I (should) live, move and have my being.** Therefore, I believe it is not as easy as an on-off switch otherwise, I'm not really hidden in Christ.

God is a God of balance and expects us to not only to "stay on" as christians, He also requires that put on and put off some things permanently not on a part-time basis... including:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gratitude is a matter of perspective...

You know, there is a blessing in de-cluttering. Recently while decluttering, I found a slip of paper where I wrote:

"Is your cup half-full or half-empty? We need to be even grateful that we have a cup that can contain things."

I have no idea when or even why I wrote this - all I know is it was true at that time, still is & always will be.

If you take a moment to think about it, too many of us spend time grumbling about things we don't have (yet or ever) rather than expressing gratitude for ALL that we do have. Indeed it's all a matter of our perspective and I can't agree any more with Brian Tracy who said: "Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation."

I know from experience, you may wake up one day and feel that you are moving backwards instead of forward. Remember, it's a matter of perspective. Be grateful that you even woke up because:
"Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way.
Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be."*

It is possible to always have a positive outlook & attitude to life. As you change your outlook, be on the look out for a better life ahead...
...it all starts with, & is sustained by, gratitude.


P.S.
We have exactly 70 days before this year ends - be grateful for the days past and the days to come...each one was, is and will be a gift. Accept them with open arms and grateful hearts.

Reference
*Marsha Petrie Sue

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don't be wasteful

Some people like to talk about how other people wasted their lives especially when those people (being talked about) have passed on. If you ask me, that is a waste of words and even a waste of time. What value is that information to a dead person? Ok, maybe the intention is to warn others i.e. those of us still living, not to live like that person did (or didn't). I will not dispute that as a reason but I'll then ask, what did the speaker do to help the person make better use of their time/life?

Let me digress a bit and talk about those who go through life without really living fully or enjoying it...the unfortunate thing is some of them never realize that. Have you ever received anything that you want to "keep" and use on that right day/moment? Well I have. Now, I'm not saying that is bad however, the Bible tells us that no-one has been promised tomorrow.* I remember chatting with a group of ladies and we talked about how we keep some outfits for that special event that may never come or which comes after we've left that location. I shared how my mum kept the lovely dinner sets she got at their wedding and I found them when cleaning out the things in storage in our home decades later. As you'd expect, they crumbled as I picked them up - so no one was able to use let alone "enjoy" them. Of course that taught me a lesson - to enjoy the moments I have and that extends beyond the things I have to the people God places around me. Fact of life: "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present."**

Indeed it is a present and I've said more than once that: Wasting time = wasting life.
Every moment you have is yours for that moment - once it's past it is the past forever.
George M. Adams put it differently:
"We cannot waste time. We can only waste ourselves." (God forbid!)
If we all live in that consciousness, I'm sure there would be fewer (unspoken) euologies of people who wasted their lives. Ephesians 5:15-16a tells us to:
"...Be careful how you live.
Live as men who are wise and not foolish.
Make the best use of your time."***
 
If you're not sure how best to live, you can pray like David did:
"Teach us to use wisely all the time we have."****
 
It is my prayer that we all all make the most of our time on earth...like Edward J. Stieglitz said:
"The important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years."

Many people have said a lot about how we (should) live. So far, one of the best (pieces of advice) you can live by is:
"Live every day as if it were going to be your last; for one day you're sure to be right."*****
 
 
References:
*Prov 27:1 - Never boast about tomorrow. You don't know what will happen between now and then. (Good News Translation)
**Bill Keane
***New Life Version
****Contemporary English Version
*****Harry "Breaker" Harbord Morant


Friday, October 12, 2012

Right Companions


I got this and had to share it because I'm really passionate about the type (& number) of friends I have and actually need to achieve my destiny in life. As usual, pictures and green font are mine.

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV) I like the NLT renditon of this verse: "There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother." It's on point...

Your destiny is too big to accomplish on your own. That’s why it’s so important to be connected to the right people. We have to understand that God has already arranged for certain people to speak faith into you. He has already placed people in your path that will inspire you, challenge you, and help you accomplish your dreams. The reason some people never reach their highest potential is because they never get away from the wrong people. A note of caution here: the fact that some of those around you tell you things just as they are does not make them the wrong people. In fact, the "wrong" people are those who sugar-coat things so you hear what you want to. The Bible even warns us against kisses vs. "kicks."*

Recognize today that not everyone can go where God is taking you. You’ve got to connect with people who understand your destiny and can call forth your seeds of greatness. You don’t have time to spend on people who are always pushing you down, telling you what you can’t do, or never giving you their approval no matter how hard you try. Friend, life is too short to drag people along. If you will get the wrong people out of your life, then God will bring in the right people so you can fulfill the destiny He has in store for you.

In fact, Beryl and I have written about Friendship previously - and I expect we will again:
http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.com/2010/06/secret-6-connection-friendship.html
http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.com/2010/06/secret-6-connection-friendship-addendum.html
http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.com/2011/07/everyone-needs-at-least-these-3-fs-in.html

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father in heaven, thank You for placing the right people in my life. Help me to discern the right connections You have for me. Give me strength to release the wrong relationships so I have room in my life for the people You have chosen to connect with me in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Source: TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Reference:
*Prov 27: 5-6 A truly good friend will openly correct you. You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies. (Contemporary English Version)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beyond 1 day...

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. It is always interesting to watch how people and places - stores and restaurants - all get geared up for this day. Meals and meetings are all planned just to celebrate "Thanksgiving." I only but wonder how much thanks is actually given in all the celebration.

Robert Caspar Linter rightly said: "Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day."

With that as our launching pad, I'll share some other Thanksgiving quotes that resonate with me:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fear or Faith

I got this piece from "allWorship.com" last week - actually, I got it on my birthday & it was one gift I was led to share...you'll understand why when you read it (pictures & green font, mine).

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Do you know what fear and faith have in common?