Monday, April 20, 2009

Thoughts

I had a few minutes to just rest this afternoon and was flipping through some channels on the TV when I came across the tail end of a rerun of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. This particular episode was about a couple with four children who battle a debilitating blood disorder. Of course, there were tears on my end as I am pregnant and I already cry easily. After the episode was over I sat on my couch and cried some more. Wow. The things I take for granted - like preparing food and not having to worry about every little germ and contamination that could happen. Like having healthy, beautiful children who are simply amazing - when I choose to cherish them. Here I am, living in a beautiful, spacious house with a healthy, gorgeous family, a baby growing inside my belly, a husband who is faithful and who loves me, and so many times I choose to focus on everything that is wrong or negative.

Lord, help me cherish, cherish, cherish what YOU have given me. Help me to live that life abundantly that you long to give me. Help me not take for granted the simple things. Open my eyes to see and my heart to appreciate the many blessing you freely bestow on me. Thank you for everything you are, everything you give, and everything you have done for this crazy, beautifully messed up world. Amen.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Redeemed

I was sitting here at the computer listening to songs on Rhapsody when the words of someone close to me came echoing back in my head: "You like those songs that pull on the heartstrings and are emotional, about forgiveness and healing, don't you?" I didn't give the words, which were said almost as an accusation, much thought at the time, but as they came back to the forefront of my mind, I realized it's true. My playlist will show songs such as, "Heal the Wound," by Point of Grace, "What do I know of Holy?" by Addison Road, and "There is a Fountain," a GREAT hymn - one I want someone to sing at my funeral. Is this a bad thing? To listen to songs about God's forgiveness and redeeming love, mercy, and grace? To dwell on the possibilities of where we would be without HIM. My answer is no. In my humble opinion we don't think ENOUGH about His redeeming love and just what that means for us as Christians. It is our very nature to become so obsessed with the things going on in us and around us that we forget to simply breath marvel at the breathtaking love of our creator. Now, I don't believe that we should remain stuck in the past and wallow over our shortcomings and dwell on our sins of the past. I do, however believe that we as Christ followers should be reminded of God's faithfulness and the restoration he brings to a decaying world. If we were so concerned with the way the world is going we would all do more to be salt and light. Salt prevents decay and light makes a way in the darkness of depravity and hopelessness. We are called to be both salt and light. To slow down the decay of this dark world. To shed light on the hope that there is a better way - a narrow and not always easy, but ALWAYS gloriously better way to live this life that we have been blessed with. John 10:10 is my husband's favorite verse and so we hear it a lot around our house - and I am so thankful. This verse talks about a thief that comes to steal and kill and destroy but Jesus came that we might have life ABUNDANTLY. Not just ordinary life, but ABUNDANT, beautiful, sometimes hard, sometimes painful, but fulfilling LIFE. A life where we remember where we came from and who we are in Christ. A life where that reality changes us and moves us to action. A life where we are left changed and in turn tough other lives with God's goodness. So listen to those songs that challenge the way you think, the way you live. Bask in the grace and mercy of our loving God. Be reminded again of His faithfulness and love for us - and then go out and do something with it. Talk to that stranger who looks down and out. Ask your cashier at the grocery store or the server at the local diner if you can pray for them. Be kind to the nosy neighbor that everyone else is content to ignore or shoo away. Give a Bible in an easy translation to someone who needs to read words of hope and encouragement and be challenged and uplifted. Apologize to someone and seek forgiveness. Forgive someone you need to forgive. Do SOMETHING and LIVE LIFE!!!