Tag Archive | change

Fingerprints 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

It’s a season of change at my house. Summer vacation has started. That means the grade transition has taken place. I now have two high school students. Friends have transitioned to non-high school life. People are moving from our everyday life to our text occasionally life. It is hard. It is sad. It is exciting. 

And as we look back over the last year, I see some heartache. I see laughter. I see adventure. I see success and I see failure. It’s the way of life. The ebb and flow of all things created. 

Yet as I see the page of a chapter in our life turning, I try to see God’s fingerprint. I see it in our continued love for one another. I see it in our attitudes. I see it in our tears for the change because we care so much. But I also see hope. I see the hope He gives in the promise that He will always be there. I see hope in the opportunity for new friends with new ideas and new dreams and new stories. 

Change happens in life just as surely as we know that the sun will come up tomorrow. Change can be scary. Change can be exciting. Change can be difficult. But in the midst of change, I encourage you to find hope. Solomon understood that “To everything there is a season”. We need to remember that as well. We need to accept that things don’t always keep us in our comfort zone. Growing doesn’t happen in that place. Growing happens when things are stressed and bothered. And that is exactly what God is doing in my house right now. Changing and growing with hope while reminding me of His fingerprints all over my life. 

No changes

Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

On occasions, I have a chance to be still. And when I have that opportunity, I realize something – no matter how crazy and technologically advanced our society gets, the birds are still going to sing and the squirrels are still going to throw acorns and the weeds are going to grow in my garden. As much as things change, some things stay the same. 

And there is a comfort in that. Especially when it comes to Jesus’ love for me and His grace and His mercy and His promises. 

People can get so consumed with the next best thing. With Christmas coming up, retailers will be vying for our attention to their “amazing” price and “unbeatable” deals on this wonderful, new do-dad. Chances are, you don’t need that do-dad but the retailer convinces you that life will never be the same without it. Know what? They’re wrong. Now, true, life is more convenient with gadgets but will we cease to exist without the latest and greatest? I doubt it. 

My point is this – sometimes we need to take the time to be away from the “stuff” of the world and listen to the birds and the squirrels and watch the grass grow. Sometimes we need to unplug and get lost in the truth that Jesus never changes. Let me encourage you to take that time. I think I’ll take some right now and listen to the birds for a while. Happy weekend. 

Turn the page

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

Today is the completion of a two year project – working at the nursing home. I have worked in a nursing home setting consistently for almost 10 years. That is a lot of people and a really long time. I have learned so much from all the people I have come in contact with. Some of them have nearly driven me crazy and some of them have truly touched my heart. 

But today, I am leaving a small group of people that have come to be my adopted grandmas and grandpas. Their antics have made me laugh. Their situations have made me cry. When you work with people the way I do, your heart gets attached to them. And leaving them leaves a hole that is very difficult to fill. I think the hardest part is this – even though I will go back and visit, there will still be some I will never see again. That is hard. 

But in reality, we face that every day. It is just more clear on some days than it is on others. 

I am moving on to another job that will still keep me in contact with new people that need my help and my skills. But these people at this little facility will always hold a special place in my heart. 

And by the way, it isn’t just the older people I will miss. There are fabulous people that I work alongside. They are kind and gentle and thoughtful and dedicated to making the lives of those around them as beautiful as possible. 

I know that the older ones will probably never read this but I want them to know today that I love them. And I want to say thank you for making an imprint on my heart. For the ones that I labor alongside, I want to say thank you for caring with me to hold up this older generation. Your labor is not in vain. 

We all need to remember that Jesus said, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)  I cannot tell you how many times this verse has run through my head over the years. 

So as I turn the page today, I will remember that Solomon reminded us that there is a time for every thing. And today is my time to turn the page. 

Transformers

  
Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

My son and I were at a stoplight yesterday when he said, “Mom, look! How cool is that?” So, of course, I had to get a picture. 

We are called to be a transformer. Isn’t that what Paul is telling us in this verse?

If you know anything about Transformers, you know that they can change from a car to a robot at will. The old cartoon version had a song that said – “Transformers, more than meets the eye.” How appropriate is that for us today??!! We are supposed to be “more than meets the eye”. We have a Power within us that is beyond human comprehension. We have the Creator of the universe on our side. And that gives you the ability to transform. 

This transformation needs to happen on a daily basis. It should be the first thing you do in the morning. Now, I get that not everyone is a morning person. I have two of those at my house. BUT, just because your body won’t cooperate in the morning doesn’t mean that your mind can’t. In fact, this is where the real transformation occurs – in your heart and your mind. You have to invite Jesus to walk with you through your day. You have to invite Him to transform your thoughts and your actions. You have to allow Him to conform you to Him and not leave yourself open to the ways of the world. 

Did you notice where the cross was at in the picture above? It was on his forehead. For me, that means that I need to allow God access to my mind. My mind is a scary place sometimes. The thoughts that run through it are not always pretty. But when I get out of the way and let Jesus in, amazing things begin to happen. Instead of being frustrated that my kids are running late for school, I see the opportunity to chill for a moment. Instead of being burdened by planning yet another meal for the road, I see an opportunity to serve. God can change perspective. And perspective matters a lot. 

One more thing about the picture – it’s a helmet. In my crazy mind, it’s a helmet of salvation. The purpose is partly two-fold – protection and identification. The helmet protects your mind during battle. It keeps the devil from getting to your thoughts and attempting to control them. It also identifies you as God’s soldier. By wearing your helmet, everyone should know Who you belong to. And it only fits when He gives it to you. 

So, let me encourage you today to be a Transformer. Be more than meets the eye. Wear that helmet with confidence in the One who gave it to you. Allow Jesus to change you from the “everyday Joe” to someone spectacular!

Moving on…

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

The time has come to go back to school. Last night, we had sneak peek at school. It is a time for the kids to come and get their schedules and generally, oogle over one another. It was fun, cute and incredibly stressful, at least for momma. 

But I know that in this life change must continue to happen. Life must continue to go on. The insanity must persist. 

Yet, through all of this, it is a comfort to know that there is a constant – I can still get up every morning and know that my Savior is ready to walk me through the day. Every thing that happens, every stressor that encounter, every challenge I face has a purpose. Things don’t happen willy-nilly in my life. I don’t believe in luck. I don’t believe in chance. I don’t believe in Karma. I believe that my Savior guides me through life to teach me more about Him and how He wants me to live and serve Him. I believe every thing, every little detail, happens for a reason. 

And that brings me peace. That gives me an assurance. I love knowing that when I get behind someone driving 15 miles below the speed limit that maybe that person was put there to keep me from making a stupid mistake and having an accident. I love that when I get to the drive through to get coffee that the person ahead of me is paying it forward and my opportunity to be a blessing to someone has been dropped in my lap. EVERY THING HAS A PURPOSE. 

So let me encourage you today to remember this short little verse. Remember that every thing has a season and every thing has a purpose. When you have Christ as your Savior, life has meaning; life has purpose. 

One more New Year post

Isaiah 42:9-12 – “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands.”

I put away all my Christmas decorations yesterday. Several hours of repacking and cleaning. It’s not all clean yet, but we are well on our way. Putting it all away is sort of bittersweet. I love looking at it and putting it out.

But there is a strange sort of metamorphosis to putting it away. It is like your getting rid of the last little bit of the old year left behind.

I’m still working on my spiritual metamorphosis. I still have some of the old me that hangs on for dear life. It just doesn’t want to leave – old habits, old thought patterns and the such.

I need to remember that the time for those things have passed. It is a new year – a fresh slate. The former things have passed away. They need to be gone. The time has come to sing.

We had such wonderful preaching yesterday at church that it makes my heart sing. What a way to start off the first Sunday of the new year with two baptisms and an opportunity to show love to a brother who desperately needed it. Beautiful. Beautiful stuff.

I want to encourage you, princess, to get rid of the former things that might be holding you back. It is still the beginning of a new year. And besides, a new you can happen any time. You don’t need the calendar to flip before you begin changing. Now is just a great opportunity. And don’t forget to sing. Sing His praises for the change. Sing His praises for the ridding of old things. Sing His praises for the opportunity to do both. God has been so good to me last year. I’m so excited to see what He is going to do this year.

Me and the mirror

James 1:22-25 – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

I was listening to the radio the other day and I heard this message being preached. It was based on these verses in James.

When you go to church and hear the Word of God preached, are you changed? Are you changed every single time? We should be. This shouldn’t be something we have to contemplate or wonder about.

The speaker I heard gave this example. When you go to a golf match, do you leave before the players have played the 18th green? Probably not. You want to stay around and see the whole match. You want to see the last shot taken to win the match. And when you do see the shot, you don’t typically leave right when it is finished. You stick around and marvel in the moment. You just saw a great shot that won the match. It was incredible. You want to remember this moment forever. You go home. You talk about it. You think about it. You draw encouragement from the struggle and subsequent success.

The point is this – do you do this with the worship service that you have at church? Does it change you to the point that you don’t want to leave or do you bolt to the door as soon as the last prayer is “amen”ed? Do you think about what was said throughout the week? Do you contemplate applying the truths of God’s Word to your life?
Why is it that we let a sporting event change us more that the Word of God? Why is it so hard to allow God to change us? Why are we only hearers and not doers?

I can only speak for myself. I think that sometimes I fall into a routine. And that is wrong. Serving God should never be routine. God is constant and doesn’t change but that doesn’t mean He is routine.
I’m at church pretty much every service. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the means. I listen and occasionally take notes. But I’m a “forgetful hearer” sometimes. I want to be more of a “doer of the work”. I want to have a change in my life every time the Word is opened.

It’s a challenge – to not let the stuff of the world take you over and consume your thoughts. It’s hard to choose to let His Word change you, every single time. But I don’t want to become hardened. I don’t want my service to be routine. I want to revel in the moments where He has changed me. I want to remember them often and fondly. And although I don’t always like what I see in the mirror, I must remember. I cannot loose sight of what and who I really am – a sinner saved by grace.