Sunday, May 25, 2014

Do You Lose Patience With God?

Road to heaven
Road to heaven (Photo credit: fd)

Then people will say,
    “Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
    surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

Psalm 58:11

New International Version (NIV)

        Human time is a lot different than God time    After all God has spanned an eternity before this nanosecond that is our lives even came to be.   We think in years that in some ways seem like a long span until we start nearing the end.  Then the years fly until this life is over.

         There is a future eternity awaiting us.  A glorious eternity with Jesus Christ.  Our Lord wants all of us to be there with Him in that eternity.   He waits for you, not like the impatient wait we might experience at the DMV or the doctor's office, but the patient waiting of a loving Father who wants to see us come to Him.  Come to Him in eternal life.

          Are you ready to enter His Kingdom?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Getting Past the Past

Been Crying (1)
Been Crying (1) (Photo credit: Toni Blay)

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3

New International Version (NIV)

          There are some who seem to have reached some point in life when all purposeful future ends and their life is defined by an event or a series of events that happened in the past.  This negative aspect of their life takes over their existence so that it becomes the focal point of their thought and action.  Nearly everything they say or do comes down to something that happened in the past.

          Should a healthy existence end when a life trauma occurs?    Should we be defined by the bad things that have happened to us?   Is there ever a time when we need to let go of painful memories in order to adjust to functioning and interacting with others without a cloud of negativity surrounding us?

          Bad things happen to all of us.  For every bad thing that has happened to you, someone else has experienced something worse.  Continually living in that bad thing will not change what happened.   Always looking for sympathy and reassurance is like being addicted to a drug--you feel better for a while, but then you want more.   Would your life be better if you could let go of the bad feelings and stop hanging on to the pain?

         There are some things that cannot be forgotten, but they do not have to be continually turned over in the mind so that there is no escaping them.   The bad events of life are a part of history and that's where they need to stay.   They don't have to be our trauma of the present.  We should not be enslaved by a bad past.   Instead we should use this part of our life to raise our spirits, help others, and to glorify God.

           The future does not have to be the past.

But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,  for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why,  for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

New International Version (NIV)

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tell Your Mother You Love Her--and Mean It

Mothers' Day Cake crop
Mothers' Day Cake crop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Proverbs 23:22

English Standard Version (ESV)

       Mother's Day is one of the days of the year when the most long distance calls are made, the most flowers are delivered, the most greeting cards are sent, and the most people go out to restaurants.  Treating Mom special is almost an obligatory rite for many on this day.   But shouldn't we make every day like Mother's Day.   And more than this shouldn't we let go of any bad feelings we may have about our mothers?

       Even if we think we've had the worst parents in the world, we might be looking at them with an obscured vision. Perhaps we need to try to look at them through God's eyes.   Most of us have had parents who nurtured us to some extent at least and saw us into our adult lives.  Especially those of us who made it to adult life and still have one or both parents still living, maybe we need to step into our own adult shoes and view our parents from a grown up perspective.

         I'm sure it's difficult for some of you.   I was lucky.  I had parents who obviously cared deeply for me, but they made their mistakes as well.  Would I gain anything dwelling on those mistakes?   We all have bad things that happen to us in life no matter how good our parents have been to us.    The point I'm trying to stress is to avoid dwelling on the bad things and enjoy the happy parts of the past.   And even more importantly, find the happiness in the present and strive toward the best future you can possibly make.

          We cannot change the past and the present is the time to stop holding people accountable for past mistakes.   Hopefully if apologies are due they will be offered and forgiveness can come in return.   Don't harp on things you can't do anything about and avoid bitterness and hatred.  

           What do you want to add to the world--positivity or negativity?   When people get older, their habits and attitudes become more ingrained.   People can be difficult to change and the more you fight them, the more entrenched they become in what they believe.  

         If you are dealing with an older parent, love them as best you can.  Sure, they might be an inconvenience to your life at times and they might even stir your negative emotions.   Remember that one day you too might reach their age.  What will you be afraid of?    What will you worry about?   What pains or difficulties will you have to deal with?   Put yourself in your parents' shoes.   How will you want to be treated when your day comes?

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.   “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—  “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Ephesians 6:1-3

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

A to Z Reflections 2014 #atozchallenge

Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

Psalm 96:3

New International Version (NIV)

The April Challenge Stats

         Though I consider my main blog to be Tossing It Out, this blog you are visiting now is the one I consider to be the one with the most important mission.   This blog is also the least visited of all my blogs.  During the A to Z Challenge my most visits came on day one with 35 views and 5 comments.  During most of April my views averaged at about 10 per post as opposed to my normal count of about 30 views on an average post.   My comments during most of April averaged at about 3 per post which is fairly comparable to the comments my posts here typically receive.

          To put the lower April pageview count into perspective, I was posting here seven days per week as opposed to only on Sundays as I do during most of the year.   That taken into consideration, my weekly visits and comments were considerably higher over all per week.  Still the counts here are very small.  I rarely promote this blog other than a few Twitter notices each Sunday.  That might account for increased page views during those periods.   I tweeted links to posts at A Few Words rarely during the April Challenge.

          Naturally I'm disappointed that I didn't receive more visits and comments, but I'm accustomed to this at this blog.    I am pleased to have participated and if I didn't reach many people with my messages, the personal edification that I receive researching the posts makes doing A to Z on this blog worthwhile.  If I reach only one person who will pursue the message further then my mission has been accomplished.

My Message During April

        My mission statement of my thematic intent for April was as follows:

         My theme for the 2014 Challenge will be From the Beginnings... Yes, the plural "Beginnings" is not an error. In history as in our own lives we see multiple eras or phases that entail new beginnings. The old passes and the new is born. Hopefully with new birth there is a change for the better or a lesson to be learned. If you are interested in learning more about a life change for the better, visit the above tab labeled "Take the Next Step"

         My hope was to stimulate thought in the believers who read my posts, but even more to pique some interest in any non-believers who might happen upon my site.   My typical approach on all of my posts at this blog is to open with a Bible passage from the Old Testament--usually one from Psalms, offer my thoughts on a particular topic related to that passage, and then close with a New Testament passage that is related to the subject.  This was what I did during the April Challenge.

A Request to You

         During April I only added about six new followers to this blog.  If you are not yet following and would be willing to add this blog to the list of those you do follow, please click on the "Join This Site" button at the right in the sidebar.  Then I would hope you might continue to stop by for my usual Sunday messages and leave a comment with your encouragement, questions, or observations.   It's always nice to see one's efforts rewarded with a few readers.   I hope that you might become one of those readers.

         Please share this site with those who might be interested or receptive to what I have to say here.  I am not a clergy person or anyone with a scholarly background in theology.  I am just a student of the teachings of the Bible and offer my interpretations as I see them.  I may be wrong sometimes and I welcome discussion on those points when readers see flaws in what I am saying.  My intent always is to say the truth as I understand the truth.

           I hope to see you come back to read and share in the future.   I thank you for taking the time now to read this post.

           May God's blessings be upon you and may you continue to grow in your understanding of what is true.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

Romans 15:4

New International Version (NIV)