Friday, July 1, 2011

A Reason to Praise

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully

made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

God put His character in each of us. Inside our hearts he tucked in a bit of Himself. When we ask Jesus to control our lives, we allow that small bit of godliness to grow.

David knew he belonged to the Lord. He realized God had made him perfect in His sight. The King of Israel found in this act of God reason to praise Him.

God made our son perfect in His sight. We went through seven surgeries in 13 ½ years, all but two being orthopedic in nature. To this day, he wears a brace on one leg. At one time in his life, he would have been considered multiply handicapped. But I could praise God for the neat things about our gift from Him.

My grandfather told my dad that our son was respectful toward older people. I never knew grandpa to pass out compliments like that before. Dad told hubby and he passed it on to me. Hubby told my dad that it was something I had taught our child. Sometimes, that boy taught me.

I worked one summer at the General Conference of the denomination I was in. My job was to coordinate the daycare. The preschool and the school age children’s programs were in the same school building. One of the school age boys was a Down syndrome child. He was a joy to listen to and to watch. A couple of months later, I saw an article in our denominational magazine, the young boy’s mother wrote about God’s gift to her and her husband. She talked about what her special son had taught her about life. She gave praise for the opportunity to learn from their son.

When I first wrote this, I had five days before I have a physical examination. I don’t look forward to these appointments. Our doctor has all these tests, listed on her computer, planned for me; they are. When I searched for a wallpaper calendar for June for my desktop, I was drawn to one that had the scripture I chose for this entry. How neat is that? Do you think God is trying to tell me something?

As I prepare to post this, I received test results back that the labs she had done came back negative. The following week, I received a letter in the mail from a gastroenterology group. Our doctor had referred me to them for one of those tests. I face that preparation and procedure next week. I am not looking forward to it, but I have to do it. I have a family history that says I have to have it done.

I can praise the Lord for our having a conscientious doctor. I can praise the Lord for giving the medical community the knowledge and training to be able to have this procedure available. I can praise Him for giving me the health I have.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Contentment: An Ingredient of Peace

. . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances . . .

I have learned the secret of being content in every situation.

Phil 4:11b, 12b (NIV)


Paul wrote to the people at Philippi an important fact of his life. He was content with who he was and what he did. When we focus on his letter to the Philippians, we need to remember he wrote these words from prison. This fact underscores the idea that our state of contentment doesn’t come from this world. It comes from God.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win he prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 3:1214.)

In Be Joyful, his Bible Study on the book of Philippians, theologian Warren Wiersbe explained that while we may have things of our past come to mind, we don’t have to be controlled by them. Jesus told us we could rely on him “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Matt 11.29) We all need to turn our burdens and cares over to Him each day because, when we do, He makes them His and we no longer have to worry about them.

It is important for every child of God to find contentment and peace in his or her heart. Personal peace is the foundation of interpersonal peace. In turn this leads to peace between nations, which leads to peace in the world. But, we won’t have true, lasting peace until Jesus comes to reign.

When we find contentment, we no longer have the anxiety we experienced in our earlier days. Didn’t Jesus tell us that each day brings new worries to be dealt with? (Matt.6:34)

We no longer murmur or grumble as we once did. (1 Cor. 10:10) Greed no longer has hold of us. (Heb 13:5)

As we progress in our Christian walk, we become aware of our unworthiness. Jacob recognized his failings as a brother and had to confess his sin to God. (Gen 32:9-13) We realize God is the only one we can trust. (Heb 3:17-19)


Webster’s New World Dictionary defines contentment as: “the acceptance of circumstances without grumbling.” Why do we grumble? Is it because we expect more from our lives? Do we expect more from those around us? Do we want things from God that we shouldn’t have? Do we feel others owe us something that we really don’t deserve?

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 ...