Thursday, April 23, 2009

Competitive Exercise

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his statue; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (I Samuel 16:7 KJV)

While on the exercise bike at the Health Club, disgusted with my weight gain, I enviously watched the trimmer, more slender members. Would I ever get back in shape, I wondered. I wore my husband’s large tee shirt to hide my full figure.

Later, I talked with a trim, muscular woman. I remarked she looked great, that I wished I could be in such good shape. "I’m working on getting in my bathing suit,” she commented. “Since my baby was born, I have been fighting my ‘baby fat’. “

I realized, as she spoke, that I’m not in competition with each Club member. I’m in competition with myself. Her victory doesn’t mean I am a failure.

As I observe people in church, some folks appear more mature than others. But God does not place a value of each person’s progress compared with others. He does not have a measuring stick to see who has grown more or is doing more. God loves us right where we are, and he loves us too much to leave us there. Only God sees what we need to grow.

Since I’ve given my life to Jesus, I am thankful He loves me where I am and doesn’t give up on me, and through His divine wisdom, I will lose my spiritual baby fat.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving me right where I am. Help me to be more like You.

© 2009 Lois Gosley

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chilled Morning

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name, I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63: 4 (NIV)

I bathe in the fresh crispness of the morning air,
Letting its coolness soak into my flesh.
I am drenched with the essence of its clean fragrance.
The sunshine tenderly touches my skin.
A cool breeze caresses my cheek.
My spirit stirs inside me.
I lift my hands towards heaven.
My mouth full of praise and my heart full of joy.
Thank you Jesus for these moments of pleasure.

Each day before my feet hit the floor I pray for God’s mercy, love and strength. He is the air I breathe, the sun, the moon, the stars the trees. I see His magnificence through nature as I gaze upon the beauty of His creation. Every time a flower grows, the hand of God touches it.

All the earth cries out in praises every day. The mountains stretch upward seeking Him.
God spoke and brought the ground to pour out life. God’s touch is on everything. His face is right here on earth.

Thank you for your lovingkindness Lord. Give me strength to make it through each day until that time you have set for me to come home to you.

© Copyright 2008 Marcella Panowicz

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Forgiveness Belongs to God

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness though we have rebelled against Him. (Daniel 9:9 KJV)

Corrie Ten Boom is my personal hero. During the German occupation of Holland, the Ten Booms opened their home to Jews hiding from the Nazis. When this act was discovered, the entire family was arrested and sent to concentration camps. Corrie was the only person in her family to survive the experience. She lived until 1983 traveling the world sharing how God’s wonders and miracles had unfolded for her in the face of unimaginable evil.

Many stories of courage and faith in God surround Corrie Ten Boom’s life. In this Easter season, her account of God’s forgiveness comes most clearly to my mind.

Years after the war, Corrie met a member of Hitler’s S. S. forces. He had been a guard in the Ravensbrook camp where her sister, Betsie was killed. The man had apparently found the saving grace of Jesus, and wanted to shake Corrie’s hand after she had spoken to a church group.

At first, Corrie was overcome with angry thoughts. But, she asked the Lord to help her to forgive him. A supernatural love for the man overcame her. She was able to shake the hand of the guard who had a part in so many innocent deaths because she knew that God had forgiven him.

Prayer: Father, this Easter we thank You for the forgiveness You provided to us through the death and resurrection of Your Son Jesus. Help us to bring your forgiveness into the world around us.

© Christy Struben 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Time Wise

. . . walk circumspectly not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time . . . Ephesians 5:15 (KJV)

Time and I are becoming better acquainted. When my days were determined by a work, school, and family schedule, not a moment was available, or so it seemed. Looking back, there were always blank spaces.

Although time can feel elusive, it never changes. Those little boring blank spaces that can sometimes grow out of control call my attention today. Time is the same but I have changed. What do you do when you think you have nothing to do? Are you the one with the distant stare? Does your mind shift while you are waiting in line at the grocery, MVA, bank, or stuck in traffic? During these moments one can feel as if being held hostage by time, waiting. What can we do as we wait?

Blank spaces of time can be used, we can adjust and refocus. The notion of wise time can be wise waiting--using waiting time as an opportunity to meditate, reflect or pray through our own circumstances or that of others. Therefore, we are creating a sacred space, filling in one blank space at a time, with God at its center.

Dear Holy Spirit, thank You for Your grace and mercy. In the name of Jesus, help us avoid distraction as we fill in our blank spaces wisely, keeping the time You have given us in focus. Amen.

© 2009 Evelyn Taylor