Friday, June 4, 2010

God’s Focus or Our Focus

For the Lord will not cast off for ever:

But though he cause grief, yet will he have

compassion according to the multitude of

his mercies. Lam. 3:31-32

There are times in our lives where we experience events that don’t turn out as we believe they should. When these happen, we can be devastated. We didn’t get the promotion or the job we thought we deserved. We wanted something nicer than what we received for our birthday. A friend has a burden that he or she doesn’t deserve.

We tell someone about the bad feeling we have. “I should have gotten that. . . because. . . .” What we don’t always realize is that God may have other plans for us. Maybe that promotion could bring more stress into our lives. That job you want might not be what He has in mind for you. Your friend may grow in his or her faith because of the circumstance he or she is in.

We might even argue with God. “But, God. . . I would be perfect for that position.” “God. . . I could do that job better than the one who’s doing it now.” “God, why did you let my friend go through this?” When we debate with God we show selfish pride. We also disrespect God.

Those around us suffer physical or emotional hurts and we react. We say things purely from our point of view. Like the friends of Job, we open more wounds for the victims. They become more confused due to our misguiding them. There again, we are operating from what we want to say.

But when we follow the Lord, we belong to Him. We view all events and happenings through His eyes. He becomes our guide in how to think. We learn to react to stimulus as He desires.

The process of changing our focus is a part of sanctification. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, sets us apart from our past habits and points of view to allow us to reflect

Him. It is our job to yield to the workings of the Holy Spirit. It is His to change us into who we are to become.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On Being Accountable

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily,

as to the Lord, and not unto men; Col 3:23 (KJV)

When we begin our walk with the Lord, we have to learn several new terms and a new way to live. We need to learn about commitment and accountability.

Commitment, the ability to follow through with our actions on what we say, carries a great deal of weight in who we are. God’s work can succeed only when we have commitment as a part of our spiritual make-up.

Accountability, according to Roget’s Thesaurus, is related to being responsible and answerable to another person. Being accountable as a Christian means that someone holds us responsible for our actions, attitudes and behavior that we display. We need to be accountable to one another as well as to God.

Our accountability to our brothers and sisters in Christ makes our accountability before God easier than it would be without our earthly partners. We are accountable to God for who we are and for how we relate to him. We are accountable for our sins.

The sins we call “little Christian sins” are just as important to God as the big sins of murder and stealing.

Our accountability to an earthly friend is a way that we are able to “walk the walk as well as talk the talk”. Without a brother or sister in Christ coming alongside and walking with us, we don’t always see God in our lives or our circumstances.

But when we yield to God and become accountable on the vertical as well as the horizontal plane of our lives we grow more like Christ.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank The Lord for Veterans

In deciding a topic for today’s blog entry, I was reminded of the reason for the holiday. Our nation has been blessed with people, men and women, who heeded our country’s call to protect our land.

We have had people give their lives for our nation. A former high school,now a medical training magnet school,  in Indianapolis bore the name of the first casualty (death) of the Revolutionary War. A highway in Indiana was named for a fallen World War II war correspondent, a Hoosier. A reserve Air Force base in the north central part of our state was renamed for an astronaut who died on duty when a fire broke out while awaiting lift off of a rocket.

On the yard of our city hall sits a monument to the local men who lost their lives in Vietnam. On the west side of town is a relatively new bridge named Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Two of the larger cemeteries here will have an avenue of flags lining their entry drives, in honor of those who are buried on their grounds. Our church will have flag poles set up, with the American flag waving from each one, on the hill where the church sits overlooking the intersection. The sight of multiple flags almost takes one’s breath away.

As I become older, I am aware of the importance of Memorial Day. Having had a grandfather who fought in World War I, a father in World War II and during the Korean War, and a husband who served in the Vietnam era, I have become mindful of the sacrifices the veterans have made.

At least two sets of friends of mine have grandsons who are planning to enlist in the military, one in the Marines, one in the Navy. They are or soon will be high school graduates.

My dad died last June. When the local newspaper published his obituary, there was an image of the Stars and Stripes below his picture. All veterans receive this recognition from the paper from the editorial staff as an honor to those who served our country.

On my mental “to do” list on Saturday was the task of purchasing some flowers and going to the cemetery and honoring him. Hubby and I bought flowers for Dad and for one of our brother-in-laws. I also hoped to borrow my son’s digital camera and take a picture of the flags at church. There is a group of men who put them up for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veteran’s Day.

Have you thanked God for a veteran, today? Have you ever taken the time to thank a veteran?

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...