God shaped hole

God inside a heartThere is a Christian song on the radio that says:  ‘There is a God shaped hole in all of us” I believe that’s true, and the key to filling it, is staying connected to God.  However, sometimes we get caught up in all the things we need to do on a daily basis, all the work that needs to be done, all the shopping we need to do, all the television we need to watch and games we need to play.  And you know we have to check our face book page and tweet!  … Oftentimes we get sidetracked and we stop looking for God.  We are so busy and fill our days with so much noise, that we don’t have any time to pray, we forget to be thankful, and we are too tired to read our bible… and that God shaped hole inside of us remains empty.  Then we come to church seeking new ways to fill the hole. Searching for answers, knowing that we should walk with God but not knowing what to do and in some cases we believe that we are not good enough or not worthy of that closeness with him.

Every month we hear about celebrities who turn to drugs or alcohol because even though they are talented, have money & fame – they don’t believe they are worthy, they believe that they need more money and stuff to make them happy,  but don’t feel connected to anything, and that god shaped hole remains empty.  We see people going in for surgery to fix this or change that.  Plastic surgery is a multi-million dollar business.  The doctors will tell you that they can make you look just like the guy or girl in the magazine.  Have this operation, and you will look like everyone else!  The problem with that is that you are one of a kind!  God made you that way.  I wish I could hammer that into the heads of our younger generation.  We need to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else.  I know that’s difficult in today’s society.  We watch television shows, commercials, games and even songs telling us that in order to be happy we need to be thin, to have perfect hair, to wear designer clothes and have a lot of money, and then once that happens – you will finally be happy and successful.  They’re telling you that if you look like everyone else, if you act like everyone else, and if you do what everyone else is doing then you will be happy.smiley faces

But, it’s the person who breaks away and discovers their hidden talents, the person who tests their capabilities by doing activities they didn’t believe they would ever be able to do that finds true joy.  It’s the person who stops trying so hard to be someone they’re not and who stops trying to please everyone else and says… ‘this is me, this is who god created me to be, and I am going to live my life in a way that feels natural and comfortable and not worry about what others think or say. It’s simple, but not easy.

You have the power to create the life that God designed for you. It is not too late.  You see, you need God, and God needs you.  You have talents and skills that no one else has.  You matter, you’re important, and you are a vital piece of God’s grand plan.

In the end, we decide to take that action and move closer to God… We read the bible, praise him, live a life of gratitude, pray and meditate, take care of our mind, body and spirit, take care of others, learn change and grow.  When we do that, we will come to a place where we will not only find happiness, but discover a true sense of joy that will surpasses all our expectations and fill up that God shaped hole inside of us.  It’s that simple, and it’s that easy.

Ask Seek Knock

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In life, we go through periods of rough patches and like the weather we will have days of sunshine and days of rain.  And like the weather- neither of these lasts forever.  The one thing that is constant is change.  What is important is how we react to the change in our life.  This passage of scripture in Luke – Jesus shows us what to do, how to react, how to get through the ups and downs, twists and turns in life.

We can rely on the spirit of God to be there for us when we need to, to comfort us when we grieve and to celebrate with us when things are going well.  So how do we call on God’s grace? We pray… We ask, we seek, we knock.  Jesus even gives us the words to say when we pray – in the Lord’s Prayer.  With prayer and meditation we call on God to move in us.

You see living requires action, we can stop and rest for a while; we can do nothing for a little while.  But eventually we need to get up, brush ourselves off and carry on.  There are times when we go through a difficult situation and when it’s over we don’t know what to do next.  Here Jesus tells us. –

Ask – Ask good questions, this is no time for a pity party – so stay away from the ‘why me’ questions.  Instead ask ‘how can I help others? Who can help me? What good has come from this situation? What can I do, that will make me happy?

Seek – Get active and do something.  Don’t just ask questions and stop, get out there and move.Lords Prayer

And finally Knock – calling on friends and neighbors.  Finding opportunities, knocking on God’s door, Whose door will you knock on? What knowledge will you seek? What questions are you asking? Because Jesus tells us that when we ask, we will receive.  When we seek, we will find.  When we knock, the door will be answered.

There are people in your life that can help you, Throughout the bible, Jesus tells us to love one another. Having people in our life that lift us up, that support us, that help us in difficult times is paramount.  We love others, we rely on them, and lean on them when we need to and in return we allow them to lean on us when they need it.

You can overcome anything. You can rise above the ashes, scars and all … because you are a child of God.  You have the tools right here in the bible to help you get through anything.  God is with you even when you feel all alone.

I encourage you to take the Lord ’s Prayer with you today, saying it throughout your day, praying it out loud or to yourself.  Saying it when things look good and when things go wrong because … there is something powerful in saying that prayer.

Sunrise Dreams

by Sally Green

I saw God in clouds today,
In quiet peace, a world away.
Worries and fears around me flee,
Sunrise dreams surrounding me.

I heard God at work today,
As hurried chaos stormed my way.
Inhaling sweetly, breath divine,
Heard:  ‘Everything will be just fine”.

I felt God at home today,
as sun swept skies began to gray.
friendly smiles from loved ones dear,
Reminding me that God is near.

I saw God in sleepy haze,
From sunrise dreams to moonlit praise.
In gratitude and peaceful rest,
Joyous for a life that’s blessed.

God’s voice

by Sally Green

God_s_Voice1

God’s voice whispers in my ear:  “Slow down”
…  but there is so much to do, and there isn’t any time.
I hear:  “Sit quietly and pray.”

God’s voice whispers to my heart: “Give more”
… but there is no money left to give away.
I hear: “Give first and pray.”

God’s voice whispers to my soul: “Be someone”
… but it is not my fault, I can’t catch a break.
I hear: “Stop blaming others and pray.”

God’s voice whispers in the wind: “Be the light”
… but what if others don’t listen, who am i?
I hear: “You are a child of God, pray”

God’s voice whispers in the night: “Don’t be afraid”
… but there are so many obstacles in my way,
so much sadness and heartache.
I hear: “I am with you, pray.”

Who moved the stone?

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.    Mark 16: 1-8 

 

The stone was such a powerful symbol for the women as they walked to the tomb.  How would they move the stone? How would get they get past this obstacle, this symbol of death and ending and anoint the body? Who was going to roll away the stone?

But then they arrived at the tomb. The stone is already moved from the opening. How did that happen, what did it mean? What does this moved stone represent now? They looked inside the opening to the tomb, and sitting before them was a man who told them that Jesus had risen. The place where Jesus’ body lay was empty.

What did the moved stone mean?  The moved stone symbolized the resurrection, new life, and the fulfillment of all their dreams and expectations.  It is true that the fulfillment did not come in the manner they expected.  God often moves in unexpected ways.  Who moved the stone for them?  God did.  God did what they could not do.  God moved the stone and that moved stone represents a new relationship with God.  The moved stone means a new life, in a new day, in a new way.

What obstacles are in the way of achieving our goals?  Trust that God will help us conquer them.  When we look at the moved stone we see the opportunity for a new day.  We see the opportunity to look at life differently. We see the resurrection as a new beginning.  Today is the Lord’s Day.  Let’s praise him, thank him, love him, and put our faith in him and allow him to help us move away the stone and all obstacles in our way to reach our destination.

You are the Light of the world

How easy is it for us to focus on our problems and descend into darkness? How easy is it, in this economy, to worry about our finances?  How easy is it to blame others, to be depressed when our relationships seem out of kilter, How easy is it to complain about our health problems?light world

But we are to be the light of the world!  We are to look to the light, to concentrate on the positive things in life.  We are to count our blessings; to thank god for the money we do have, to be grateful for the people in our life that we love, to appreciate the sunshine and the spring buds peeking out of the snow.

Are you peering down into darkness or looking up to the light.  Are you focusing on your worries or your blessings?  Because what your search for, what you focus on you will find.

hummingbirdA vulture will fly over a field and when he looks down, he sees death and destruction, he sees rotting meat; and he sees sick and dying animals that he can come back for later. He sees what was, what was past, and he finds it because that’s what he is looking for.  That’s what vultures thrive on.  However, a hummingbird will fly over the same exact field and the same exact time and see vibrant fragrant blossoms, He’ll see a field filled with green luscious plants and trees coming alive with new buds, the hummingbird is searching for what is, seeking new life and finding freshness and new blooms to visit.  Each bird finds exactly what they’re looking for.  We all do.  What are you focusing on? Are you looking at the dark side of life … or are you concentrating on what is New and Exciting?

Jesus says we are the light of the world. We were meant to shine brightly and to allow our light to be seen by others.  Do not hide or cover up your light.

Today, you have a new beginning with Christ.  Being the light will lead to greater peace, a sense of joy and a lifetime of Gods grace.  You are valuable to God – right now! And God needs you to sprinkle the world with his love and to show others how to live with his presence.

You are the Salt of the Earth

popcorn and salt

‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.  Matthew 5:13-16 

You have had the experience, I’m sure, you sit down to dinner and you take that first bite, only to discover that the cook left out the salt.  Or perhaps the doctor has ordered you on a salt-free diet.  Have you ever tried eating popcorn, French fries or pretzels without salt? They’re kinda bland.  Salt is such a little thing, such a common thing, that we take it for granted.  But how big it becomes when it isn’t there!

When Jesus was preaching the sermon on the mount, he looked at his disciples and said – “You are the salt of the earth… “

Salt was a very valuable commodity at the time Jesus walked the earth. In fact,  the Greeks called salt ‘Divine” and Roman solders were partially paid in salt.  I believe that Jesus was telling us how valuable we are to God, and to the world we live in.

Perhaps you do not see yourself as someone of value. In fact, you may think that you are unworthy, not valuable at all, but with these words, Jesus places a great value on you.  So take time today to step back and realize how valuable you are, to let yourself feel the spirit of God moving in your life; to stop, amid all the chaos of everyday life and smell the roses – count your blessings.  Because too many times we are so busy with our day to day activities that we forget how valuable we really are.

We use salt to give flavor to every possible kind of food, don’t we? Salt has a definite purpose.  Salt gives food flavor; and, if used properly, will make an otherwise bland meal taste great! We are to influence the world in which we live by giving flavor to it. Rather than walking around with sour looks on our faces, we are the ones who should be the first to smile – the first to show joy! We should be the life of the party!

smiley faces

Not only is salt valuable but it was important for survival because it was the only way they had to preserve meat.  They didn’t have the refrigeration that we do today, so salt was rubbed into the meat before it was stored because it helped prevent decay.  Does this mean that Jesus is telling us that we have the purpose of hindering the process of decay in our society?  I believe it does – especially with the people that we deal with everyday.

It’s not always easy to live a life on purpose, to say no to temptation, to do the right thing.  We all stumble and fall.  We all struggle with temptation – and doing the right can oftentimes be difficult.  But God is there for you, you will find an inner strength that you didn’t know existed.  You will notice that other followers will come to your rescue and you will be lifted up every time you fall.  You will become stronger, more confident and wiser with each right decision you make.  You will discover opportunities to help others who are going through what you have overcome.  This is part of our purpose; this is what being the salt of the earth is all about; helping & influencing others.  Do not step away from the path that God has put you on.  Become the salt of the earth and sprinkle the love of God on those who cross your path and on those who come to you seeking to know Jesus.