Showing posts with the label Present

Now it looks a bit better!

The past always looks better than it was. It's only pleasant because it isn't here. (Finley Peter Dunne) When does a person know they are finally done with their past? That might just be one of the toughest questions for us to answer because our past doesn't always have a way of staying in the past, does it? There will be times when the memory is flooded with something we have said, done, or experienced and there is just no stopping it coming forward. Truth be told, our past is a mish-mosh of both good and bad - it is fine if the memories that flood in are the good ones, but when they are the bad ones, we don't actually enjoy those memories.  God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from a

The past has a loud voice

 One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. (Golda Meir) Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:21-23) We have many choices in this life, but there is no greater one than choosing to leave our old way of doing things behind and choosing to live by the grace and love of God within our lives. We may attempt to erase the past, but we oftentimes find it hard to 'get past' what we have done, guilt and even shame haunting us about some of the decisions we have made. The one thing we can never forget is that God is all about new beginnings. We may have chosen unwisely in the past, but we don't need to make those same choices today. When we really &#

In the past...

But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. At one time you were not a people, but now you are God’s people. In the past you had never received mercy, but now you have received God’s mercy. (I Peter 2:9-10) A chosen people - chosen for a purpose. The purpose? To tell the world about the wonderful acts of God - especially his 'action' of redemption. The 'righting' of the world through the grace we find in Christ Jesus. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we all live in a 'dark place' without Christ. We make decisions that are self-directed, and we don't always make wise ones. With Christ at the center of our lives, we are called to live lives that reflect the light that comes when his grace enters our lives. That 'telling' is our role - but even the empowerment to 'tell' is g

Let's get caught up

You have probably heard it said that the enemy of the present is our past. In other words, we fight battles with our past more frequently than we fight battles with our present - but we are fighting them in the "space" our present is supposed to occupy! Our "present" has a purpose, but we occupy it with the things from our "past" which still gnaw at us. I wonder just how much of the present we miss because we are so focused on the past? The only thing changeable is the present - the past is forever just that - past. Why then do we spend so much time focusing on it?  One of the most common reasons we do this is the familiarity we have with our past – it is an easy place to drift into because it is a former “routine” for us. We hope by focusing on the past, we might just find something worthwhile there which can "benefit" our present. The issue with this is that most of what is in our past really brings us to the point of being overwhelmed in o

It is over

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life emerges! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Are you in 'union' with Christ? If so, you got a fresh start - the past has been erased. Before you roll your eyes on that one, let me assure you I know being totally free of our past it is easier said than done. In the ey

Yesterday versus Today

He left there and returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a lecture in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability?” But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters. Who does he think he is?” They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further. (Mark 6:1-6) To form a perception beforehand as a result of previously held or known information is not always the smartest thing we can do in life. Some of us have a tendency to gravitate toward what we "know" about a person, forming an opinion of that person based on the small number of facts we have already ascertained, but neglecting to dig any deeper or try any harder to get to know much

Three, but two

Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future. William Wordsworth Life is indeed past, present, and future - what have you been doing with each of these parts, my friends? Some of us hold on so very tightly to the past, not willing to let it go, thinking we may somehow be able to change what has been. Others live so fully in the present, all the while forgetting the future will have demands of us we need to prepare for somehow. Very rarely do we get this past, present, and future thing down well in our lives, but when we do, what an amazing thing it is! It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG) Who are

Old history be gone!

I don't think there is anything more damaging to our overall sense of well-being than for us to continually rehearse the 'bad stuff' in life. The 'stuff' may have happened TO us, or we may have been the ones to have DONE it. Regardless, to continually go over and over all that "old history" is really not all that productive and it might actually be the cause of why we aren't moving forward right now! There is something much more powerful in 'being present' in the moment - to be focused on what it is we can take control of within ourselves, then turning the rest over to God to let him have the reins in our lives.  “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands." (Isaiah 43:18 MSG) To forget about what's happened one must be willing to let go o

Let the past launch you into the future!

"One faces the future with one's past." Pearl S. Buck The other day the hospice nurse was chatting with mom. They were talking about how mom feels like she is sometimes a burden - something I think most parents feel when they become a little more dependent upon their children for their daily needs. As they chatted, the nurse kindly reminded mom that I appeared to be very happy doing what it takes to keep her safe and well-cared for, then she said that maybe it was my turn to repay mom for the many times I may have been a handful for her in my younger days. While she didn't know me as a kid, she certainly had me 'pegged'! I did my share of things that put mom and dad through heartache and the simple acts I perform today to keep mom safe and well are nothing compared to those times! We all have those 'tales from the past' we'd rather like to keep hidden from view - things we are neither proud of, nor very appealing to onlookers. Yet, they are the

Passport stamped?

A few years after my dad passed, I was feeling a little nostalgic and I decided to go looking for our first home in Arizona. Mind you, the home was built probably somewhere in the 1940-1950 range, and we all know how things change over time. Trees get bigger, neighborhoods morph from one look and feel into another, and what may have been a 'majestic mansion' when we were little kiddos is not always the same when we return to it some 30-40 years later! I eventually found the street I was seeking, now almost unrecognizable because of the transformation of the surrounding neighborhoods. I recall knowing quite clearly the house was the second on the right, so down the lane I went and there it was, but...what a different scene than the one I remembered or imagined! The gnarled mulberry tree was there, but the branches were all cut off and it no longer spread out over the corner of the yard. The once whitewashed fence still stood, but the faded appearance told me keeping it whitewash

No guarantee here

Never brag about what you will do in the future; you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. ( Proverbs 27:1   ERV ) "Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." (Melody Beattie)  None of us is ever guaranteed a "tomorrow" - we all have today and can do the best with today as is possible. We allow all kinds of things keep us from enjoying our "today" - including the issues of our past or the constant focus on what it is we might accomplish tomorrow. I am no different, here, for there are times when I get so "future focused" so as to miss what is right in front of me. The sad truth is that there is absolutely no guarantee there will even be that "tomorrow" I spent so much time planning for! What a shame to miss out on so much because we are not able to see what is right in front of us! For many, their lives were changed the day the towers came down in New York. Others would never

The past has no cure

I have carried you since you left your mother’s womb. I carried you when you were born,   and I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. I made you, and I will carry you to safety. (Isaiah 46:3-4 ERV) There are times we just need to be reminded of God's faithfulness toward each of us - today may be one of those times for some of us. Regardless of what you are going through, if you look hard enough, you might just realize that God is the one who has been carrying you for quite some time! From moment to moment, we may forget who is at work in our lives, believing God has abandoned us on occasion simply because things get a little tougher than we would have wanted. Whenever we get to feeling like we are abandoned, we just need to look to our Creator - for the one who creates will never abandon his creation. It was Elizabeth the First who said the past could not be cured. Too many times we go about our day's efforts try

The past's place

It was Alfred Lord Tennyson who said, " Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers ." He also said, " Tis not too late to seek a newer world. " With all that is going on in our world today, wouldn't it be grand to seek a "newer world"? We may want to escape just a little of the present in hopes of finding a little bit better of a future - but what we have in the present cannot be ignored. We must deal with the present conflict and sorrow in order to really see change. This is a premise to change - sometimes sorrow leads us to make changes we might not ever see as necessary apart from that sorrow. As Tennyson alluded - wisdom is what lingers once the sorrow has produced the work of turning knowledge into life-change. 10 The kind of sorrow God wants makes people decide to change their lives. This leads them to salvation, and we cannot be sorry for that. But the kind of sorrow the world has will bring death. (2 Corinthians 7:10 ERV) The Corinthian churc

Past invading your Present?

Someone once told me the enemy of the present is our past.  In other words, we fight battles with our past more frequently than we fight battles with our present - but we do it in the "space" our present is suppose to occupy!  Chew on this one a little.  Our "present" has a purpose, but we occupy it with the things from our "past" which still gnaw at us.  I wonder just how much of the present we miss because we are so focused on the past?  The only thing changeable is the present - the past is forever just that - past.  Why then do we spend so much time focusing on it?   Now  God , don’t hold out on me,   don’t hold back your passion.   Your love and truth   are all that keeps me together.   When troubles ganged up on me,   a mob of sins past counting,  I was so swamped by guilt   I couldn’t see my way clear. More guilt in my heart than hair on my head,   so heavy the guilt that my heart gave out.  (Psalm 40:11-12 MSG) There are many reasons we are d


Is:  To exist or live; to occupy a place or position; to continue or remain as before.  A small word, but it tells us much, doesn't it?  One that "is" really is one who exists and lives - occupying a placement or position unlike any other.  The most amazing part of the definition of "is" can be found in the last part - the concept of continuing or remaining as before - unchanged by what has come or what lies ahead.  This is the definition of the character of God - unchanged by what has been - what is today - or what will come in the future.  Solomon spends a great deal of time outlining all the accomplishments of a man on a quest - getting more of everything, living without restraint, not held back by anything.  He even tells us of his tremendous struggle with "accumulating" all (wisdom, houses, wives, lands, personal property - you name it).  It comes at a price - after all is said and done, time spent and body worn, nothing really all that satisfying