Invitation to Praise God

Sirach 39:12-35 is one of my favorite scriptures.

I was in my twenties and needed a job. I was worrying about what I was going to do and where I was going to go. Everything seemed to be crushing my spirit.

I had started reading scripture about that time and remember opening my bible and reading “you must not say, What is this? Why is that?”

Ouch, I wasn’t looking to God for His plan, I was whining because I needed work.

The part of this passage was that invitation to praise God in every situation. “…sing with all your heart and voice, and bless the name of the Lord”

Scripture does tell me to pick up my cross and follow. Praising God in tough time does come natural. Even the Israelites who were freed from slavery found themselves whining.

So today I need to focus on thanking God. At 20 I didn’t have enough life experience to see how God would journey with me and get me through. I didn’t know I needed inner healing and to learn to trust Him. Now I am old and I have seen God work, then I complained and say oops I should be praising You God because I have survived much and even conquered a few things.

I am always grateful for my praying friends, those who share their own stories of survival and praise of God.

More reflection needed on this scripture but I think a will work on my gratitude list!

Obedience

“….He humbled Himself,

becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross…. ”

Philippians 2:8

Ever feel that strong pull to do something- I do at times but some days I may talk myself out of it. But if it’s God’s will He continues to talk until I just have to be obedient. Some days I am quick to obey other days it seems to be a battle.

come Holy Spirit help me to listen and respond-

more reflection needed.

Patience – practical results

James 1:1-12

“…but patience too is to have its practical results so that you will become fully-developed, complete, with nothing missing.”We’ve all heard the phrase “I want patience and I want it now”. But we are a work in progress not yet “fully-developed, complete, with nothing missing”.When I was at LSU, the Christ the King chapel was a safe haven. A place to pray and reflect. One night I met a student from South America. She said, don’t pray for patience, God may test you — patience comes with accepting things as they come, we grow in patience. Yes, we should pray for every good thing including patience. But like the serenity prayer says “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”James 1:5 helps us with the serenity prayer, James 1:5 “if there is any one of you who needs wisdom, he must ask God, who gives to all freely and ungrudgingly; it will be given to them”.I may be reflecting on this reading for awhile- God is Good. Thank you God for being patient with me.

Trials are Happy Privileges

James 1:2-12

Dearest Father God, I apologize for all the times I am whiny about what happens in life. Especially the times when life didn’t seem fair because relationships fell apart, or there wasn’t enough money or stuff, or someone died and I wasn’t ready to lose them, the list can go on and on. I guess on the positive side I kept talking to You God even when I was unhappy with the direction of things.  Times when I wondered where You were in this and what you where doing.

The dialogue with You kept my eyes on your Son Jesus who also had to bear His cross. And my wanting Your Holy Spirit to help me understand and to give me the wisdom.

I am grateful for Your word, teaching me Your ways. I really have nothing missing today, Jesus is enough.

As always I need to reflect more —

Holy -Be Holy

I remember hearing that holy meant being set apart. Wahla you are holy, I am holy because God has called us to Himself, and set us apart.

Words are very powerful. I remember being told I was stupid, ugly and wouldn’t amount to anything.

Imagine believing that crap and then God comes along and says “I am wonderfully made” psalm 139:14

Positive words I take them with me in prayer. It doesn’t stop bad days but leads to hope for a better day. It doesn’t stop others from saying negative things but makes it easy to forgive them because they really don’t know.

God is good and holy and I am His child.

More reflection needed.

Praying through survivor mode

Walking to work the other day I was thinking how my prayer has often been getting through something. I am a survivor and my prayer would be that call for help to get me through.

I am sure God is ok with my prayers in every stage because I am talking to Him. Keeping God close by is how I survived.

Sometimes with survival we are called to help others survive, sometimes we allow others to help us — God’s relationship with us brings us into relationships with others because we are all part of the bigger picture.

Not sure when my prayer changed to surrender and ok God we’re in this together- and even if I don’t survive you with be with me so I am good with whatever. Let me live in the present moment, let me be of service to You Lord.

I remember my friend’s daughter who had breast cancer and told her mom “if God brought me to it, He will get me through it”. She died peacefully knowing God had the best plan for her, even though it meant leaving her husband and children.

I hope to be with God in this present moment so that I can be with Him for all eternity.

Thinking and praying and hoping and knowing God’s in this moment with me.

Offering it up with an attitude of praise (gratitude)

Offer it up if someone hurt us, Jesus did exactly that on the cross. Died for all of us even though we turned our back on God. It isn’t a matter of deciding what someone deserves, it is a matter of obedience and sharing in giving mercy, like the Christ we want to follow.

Offer it up if we experience pain, scripture tells us to join it to the cross. Maybe there is a healing plan, maybe the plan is to give it to God for the sake of mercy. As a total surrender in trusting in Him.

Offer it up if we don’t have all we want, if we have Christ we have all we need.

Be grateful for those who hurt us and allowed us to share mercy. Those who made us a little stronger and a little more like Jesus who loves all.

Be grateful for our weaknesses that continually bring us to Christ, He who fills every void.

Be grateful for what we don’t have, because we are given strength to know Jesus is enough.

My thoughts as I woke up this morning.

Thankful, grateful for all the gifts God pours out each day and the includes even the crosses that bring me closer to Him.

ps. Grateful for all those who have shown mercy and love to me.