Showing posts with the label Bad

The place of true joy

Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18) Regretfully, there are just some moments in life when joy is the furthest thing from the emotions we are feeling at that moment. The world seems to equate joy with happiness, though, so when anything disturbs our happiness, we might say that our joy has been stolen by the event or memory. Joy is a much deeper feeling and is not based in circumstance - it is based on the relationship we have with Jesus. Happiness is elation over something that happened - it is fleeting and isn't guaranteed to be 'evoked' all that often. Joy is the emotion that emerges when we remember we have been placed securely in the arms of Jesus, that nothing and no one can rock our world so badly as to remove us from that safe place. Some will understand it best when we say that joy is internally based, while happiness is externally stimulated. If

Collect and Guard

What have we come to 'treasure' in life? There are lots of treasures when we stop to consider it, but we probably have some things that rise above the rest. For me, it is relationship - first with God and then with others. We place a 'premium' on what it is we come to treasure - devoting time and energy to those things. We are asked to live disciplined lives - exhibiting the ability to "listen" well and to "treasure" the right things in life. The ability to listen may be hampered by the life choices we have made. The clarity of what is heard becomes crystal clear when we learn to treasure the relationship we have with Christ. We won't want to miss what he says - the advice he gives. Good friend, take to heart what I'm telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life. Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding. That's right—if you make Insight your priority, and won't take no f

Have you asked him?

As with most 'baby Christians', I was one of those who actually believed that everything would come out all right - nothing bad would ever happen to good people because God makes everything work together for their good. Only good things are gonna happen to Christians, right? Wrong! It came as a surprise to me that bad things still happen to good people! What I failed to recognize is that God often takes us through periods of "adjustment" in order for his vision to be accomplished within us. He sometimes has to "enlarge" us enough to see what it is that he intends for us. The 'bad' isn't really meant to hurt us, but to make us see a new aspect of his keeping touch, understand a little more about his healing hands, and come to a place where we follow him no matter how the circumstances attempt to dictate otherwise. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or wh

Be a "do gooder"

Mark Twain once quipped, "Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." I think sometimes I do a pretty good job of astonishing myself with doing what is right instead of what I may have wanted to do! Why does doing the right thing sometimes just flow from us and then at other times it is so very, very hard? It might just be that the "right thing" is harder because we wanted something to be different - we thought we'd be on the receiving end, instead of the giving end, or maybe we believed the circumstances would have changed just a little the last time we "did the right thing", but found they pretty much remained the same. It can be difficult to do the right thing all of the time, but the more we get this right, the more of Jesus others will see in and through us. 9 We must not get tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time. We must not give up. 10 When we have the opportunity to do goo

Wild Oats! Oh my!

You are probably familiar with the term of sowing one's wild oats, but do we just do this in our youth?  Although this term has some differing meanings, in the most literal sense this idiom carries the idea of doing something wild and foolish - so I guess we could all probably answer this question with a resounding "NO"!  We find ourselves doing a good many foolish things in our older age, don't we?  What about the last time you said something you regretted, or acted a little too hasty, making bad decisions along the way?  Wasn't this acting foolishly?  What is the one thing we hope will happen whenever we have done something so foolish and silly?  Isn't it that God will forget all about it?  Or perhaps that the consequences of our actions will not find us out!  Either way, we know what we have done has been both misdirected and silly - all we want is to be "square" again with God, the others in our lives, and our own conscience! God  is fair and j