As I was waking up this morning, I started thinking, what day is today? Do you ever do that? Have trouble keeping up with what day it is? I know I do sometimes! Today was one of those days.
As I was gathering my thoughts right after that, I noticed the beautiful pink sunlight streaming through the blinds in our bedroom. And, it dawned on me (pun intended) that it was Sunday. Then, something odd popped into my head, "Son Day."
We can think of Sunday as Son Day. It is a day when we normally recognize the Son of God. Sundays are typically a day of worship, a day in which we Christians honor the Lord--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We love and exalt a triune God. So, why not start thinking of Sunday as Son Day? The Son of God Day!
It's just a little twist that can give you a new, fresh perspective on Sundays. And, for as much as the Lord has graciously given us, it is a very small thing that we can do to remind ourselves who this day is truly for!
Have you ever needed to do a “hard reset” on one of your electronic devices? Your mobile phone? A tablet? Maybe even your computer? You know, because it is frozen and won’t work anymore? I know I certainly have. It’s as if that device is saying, “Ok, I have had enough. I can’t take anymore. I need a break.” Thus, you have to shut it down, give it some time, and do a hard reset to get it to function again.
Well, as human beings, I believe we all need to take breaks, too. And, right now during this coronavirus pandemic, we are getting our chance. Maybe this is God’s way of giving us the ability to do a “hard reset” on our lives and ourselves.
Even though this pandemic is scary in a multitude of ways, we should be using this unexpected time at home to our advantage. If we just change our perspective a bit, we can look at this as an opportunity to better ourselves, our lives, and maybe even the world we live in. This is our moment to create some beauty out of the “ashes” of this Covid-19 mess. (See Isaiah 61:3)
Below are just a few ideas I have on using this time wisely.
Yet, more often than not, these are the first things that get pushed aside in our daily lives. We don’t necessarily mean to, but we get busy just living life. We have jobs and kids and chores. And, yes, these are all important too. But, we get so occupied with all of these other things, we forget our greatest concerns should be looking towards the Lord and then taking care of each other.
I pray that during this unforeseen season where our lives have slowed down to a snail’s pace, that we will all turn the tables to our benefit. Let’s do a hard reset on our lives and put the focus where it should be—God and others. After all, God’s commandment is to love Him first and second to love one another. (See Mark 12: 30-31)
We are smack dab in the middle of something I have never experienced before, and pray that I never experience again - a two-week quarantine. This is all thanks to the coronavirus, better known as COVID-19. And, while the quarantine in Georgia is mostly self-imposed at the moment, at the suggestion of White House officials, there are other parts of the world where they are not so fortunate. And, by fortunate, I mean that they are in a mandated quarantine.
Currently, Italy is having an extremely rough time. I would like to ask for all of you to be in prayer for this country and it's people. Of course, you should be praying for everyone here in the U.S. as well. Especially, our doctors, nurses, emergency responders, and anyone working in the medical community and nursing homes.
And, while the present situation is scary because we don't know as much about COVID-19 as we would like, I wanted to take some time today to remind you that the Bible tells us not to worry about anything. This includes COVID-19. And, yes, I know this is easier said than done.
So, to help calm our fears and worries, I thought I would share with you 18 Bible verses about NOT worrying.
As you can see, there are many verses in the Bible that we can turn to and take comfort in when it comes to worrisome situations. These are just 18 verses that I found in my initial search, I am sure there are a lot more that I am missing. But, these 18 are a good place for us to start.
And, the key is for us start--start reading our Bibles, start praying to God as often as we can, start believing in His love for us, and start trusting in His promises. He truly does love and care for us and wants the best for us.
And, once we start doing all of these things, we will realize we truly can STOP worrying--just like the Bible tells us.
When you were a kid and had trouble sleeping, did your parents ever tell you to count sheep to help you fall asleep? I don’t actually remember my parents telling me that per say, but I have heard of that saying since I was a little kid. And, I recollect trying to count sheep to fall asleep.
Fast forward to being an adult. Well, first, allow me to take a minor side-step. I LOVE old movies. I can sit and watch TCM for days on end. The movies from the 1940’s and 50’s are my favorite. There is just something about old movies that speak to me in a way that current ones don’t. Anyway, one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies is White Christmas. In it, Rosemary Clooney sings this beautiful song called “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” Now, maybe you can see where I am going with this.
As we enter into the month of November, the month in which we set aside one day as nation to give thanks, I think it is the perfect time to remind each of us that we should be thankful to God and counting our blessings each and every day. (And, I mean each and every day of every year—not just on Thanksgiving Day or for the month of November!)
God gives us so many amazing and wonderful gifts each and every day. Many of these gifts are simple things that we take for granted and often forget about. The gift of life, the gift of being able to get out of bed, the gift of having a bed, the gift of a gorgeous sunrise and/or sunset, I could go on and on.
In your Christian life, have you ever heard, “Seek the Giver, not the gift?” That is to say, we should be seeking God, not what God gives us. I certainly agree with this sentiment. We should be seeking God. We should be seeking God as much and as often as we possibly can. However, I learned a new saying just yesterday that I think we should all take to heart, that is a step above this statement. This new maxim I came across is, “Seek the Giver through the gift.” (I must give a shout out to Randy Alcorn and his Bible study “Happiness” for this little gem.)
Isn’t this just an extraordinary way of both seeking the Giver and of being thankful for the gift? I think it is! The example that Randy gives is that of a delicious meal. As we enjoy the meal, we can be thanking God for the ingredients, the hands that prepared it, and our taste buds for being able to taste it. These are all gifts from God! And, these are all things we should be thankful for!
In Psalm 50:23, Jesus tells us, “Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me.” However, I don’t think that giving thanks is a sacrifice. On the contrary, I see this as an easy way to honor God. Especially when you compare it to what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross for our sins. Giving Him thanks for His gifts is the least we can do.
Have you ever thought that much about the words you speak, hear, and use each day? Have you ever put any thought into how nuanced your words are? Or, how nuanced the English language is? Or, honestly, is NOT? While I have pondered on this from time to time, I never gave it any real, considerable thought. At least, not until recently.
(As a side note, the reason I say our language is not very nuanced is because we tend to use the same words for many things. For instance, did you know that Eskimos have 50 different words for snow? Or, that the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka have more than 50 words that mean variations of the word love? Isn’t that awesome?! I think so!)
I am doing a Bible study on happiness and it has brought all of this to the forefront for me. And, it is fascinating to me. Which, of course, means that I must share it with all of you.
How about the word word? Dictionary.com says that it is a unit of language. Which is true. But, thanks to my Bible study, I now think of words as containers that carry meaning. Isn’t that cool? A word is a container that carries meaning!
Now onto some words that are new to me, and one that I have been defining incorrectly.
Let’s start with the word blessed. Have you ever thought about what the true meaning of the word blessed is? I have always thought of it as meaning being gifted with something, or having something nice bestowed upon you, that you didn’t ask for or deserve. And, I have always associated it with being a Christian. Basically, I think of being blessed with gifts from God. (Gifts such as life, a home, food, etc.)
But, as we all know meanings of words can change over time.
Did you know that, in the Bible, blessed often really means happy? I had no clue! Blessed is the word that I mention above that I have been defining incorrectly.
Here are some new words for you. The Hebrew word for happy is asher. The Greek word for happy is makarios. So, both asher and makarios mean happy. And, many translations of the Bible use blessed for asher and/or for makarios. When the KJV translators rendered asher and makarios as blessed, their audiences knew the words meant happy. Happy was a synonym for blessed at that time.
Now though, no one seems to associate these two words--blessed and happy, happy and blessed. What a shame! God wants all His children to be happy. He wants all of us to be blessed. God has hard-wired all of us to want happiness. God, our Father, is a happy and generous Father, and He created us in His image.
Finally, before I go, I must share with all of you the word makarios doesn’t just mean happy, but it refers to deep, true happiness in God. Isn’t that beautiful?
I came across this post on Facebook today and I had to share it. Tera Elness is the Christian blogger who wrote this. Reading it was like an epiphany to me. I love, love, love it!
Thank you so much, Tera for writing this and sharing it. What a blessing you are!
I don’t know what you are waiting for Beloved, but I suspect you are waiting for something.
A breakthrough. A blessing. A boundary to keep him or her safe.
A dream to come true. A fear to get lost. A hope to fully be realized.
A restoration. A revelation. A real in-your-face-can’t-deny-it rolling away of the giant stone you just can’t seem to push out of your way.
Perhaps you are waiting.
For something to give.
For something to change.
For something to at least just shake loose.
Waiting is hard.
Amen and understatement.
And I’m not here to tell you otherwise, or proclaim it’s any easier for me.
I will tell you what He has shown me this year.
For truly, that’s what I do.
I can take the waiting and call it preparing.
Yes, I most certainly can.
I can call it glorious, holy preparing.
For I know, I have learned, that this is who He is.
A God who knows the value of the wait.
Babies in the womb take time to develop.
Seeds in the ground do too.
Cake batter in the oven doesn’t fair well after only five minutes in.
The best time.
The perfect time.
He knows the plans He has for us Beloved, He wrote them.
Each and every one.
For each and everyone.
And every one serves purpose.
He is the Author of our story and the Perfecter of our faith.
And I truly believe...that OUR waiting...is HIS perfecting.
Making us complete.
Making us whole.
Working things together for good.
Going ahead to prepare the green pastures before He leads us in.
For this is who He is.
He is good.
And His love endures forever.
And that will never change.
Trust the wait.
Trust the One.
Leaning on the everlasting arms...the ones that are carrying you home.
You can follow Tera's blog, One Girl's Faith Journey, by clicking HERE.
Growing in your spiritual life is not an easy thing. We learn from reading our Bible, that we will have trouble as long as we are living in this world. But, hallelujah, we also learn, that God has overcome the world! (See John 16:33.)
We can often find ourselves in the middle of some sort of trial or turmoil. The devil just loves to come at us in a myriad of ways. He will do everything he can do destroy our peace, our happiness; our relationship with the Lord. His ultimate goal is to beat us down, to make us feel like we have no worth; to feel like we are not loved.
The devil can get into your head and you may not even realize it. He uses fear, sin, unforgiveness, doubt, bitterness, and ignorance, among others. He plants negative seeds in your mind, seeds that cause apprehension, confusion, and uncertainty.
Even if you are someone who has a positive outlook and regularly rejects the devil and his attempts to drag you under, he will employ other methods to sidetrack you. I have found that he even uses things like boredom and busyness to divert us. Therefore, it is essential that we stand firm and plant ourselves in the love of our heavenly Father.
By reading our Bibles, we can learn to lean into God, stand on His promises, trust in Him, and believe that He will work out everything in our lives for good—if we let Him. (And, we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28)
I realized years ago that I can do nothing on my own. Whatever I accomplish in my life, it is only by the grace of God. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon reminds us that we are to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) And, we all need to do this.
I don’t know about you, but I “talk” to myself all the time. Yes, I admit it! (You know you do it too!) And, probably at least a million times a week I say to myself, “that makes zero sense.” I have concluded that most things in this world just do not make sense to me. In the past, I could really let these “things”, whatever they are/were get to me. Well, I am finally learning to not be bothered with these things anymore. Lean NOT on your own understanding.
I have decided to take this verse to heart.
And, why not? Why should we burden ourselves and weigh ourselves down with things we don’t understand? What’s the point? There is no point! This is what the Bible teaches us. We don’t NEED to understand everything. All we truly need to understand is that God is in control and He will take care of everything.
It is that simple!
Well, it’s that simple if we let it be. This is where the “trusting in the Lord” part comes into play. I am certain that, if we trust in the Lord, we don’t need to worry about anything else. End of story.
The devil wants us to try and figure things out for ourselves, because he knows it will just cause doubt and confusion. The devil causes us to question ourselves, to overthink, to try and figure everything out on our own. That in not the way we should be. That is not what we learn from the Bible. We don’t need any of the devil's crap! Send that devil away!
I believe in God. I trust in God. I know that He loves me and will work everything out for my good, no matter what happens. I don’t have to understand anything other than this. This is the beauty of God. This is the beauty of knowing God and trusting and believing in Him. It is simple. We just need to keep it that way!
So, put your trust in God. Believe in God. Trust and believe. Trust and believe. It is my new mantra!
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.