LIVING ON PURPOSE Part Two

Let’s start with a few truths taken directly from Scripture.

Truth number one….Our Father God, who created us, is a loving God. His love is pure, unconditional and real. So real and pure that Scripture says that God is Love and Love is God.

Psalm 86:15 “But Lord, your nurturing love is tender and gentle. You are slow to get angry yet so swift to show your faithful love. You are full of abounding grace and truth.” (TPT)

1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good
and his loyal love endures.” (NET)

1 John 4:8 “The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love.” (TPT)        

Truth number two…Because He is pure, unconditional love, He desires that we have meaningful, well adjusted, purposeful, healthy in mind and body, abundant lives.

 John 10:10  “A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!” (TPT)

 James 1:17 “But whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and he shines forever without change or shadow.” (TLB)

Truth number three….We are commanded to share His pure love and acceptance with everyone who crosses our path. And if we are in a relationship with Him, Holy Spirit lives in us. So His love shines through us to others.

Matthew 22:39b You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (ESV)

Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian Neuroscientist teaches that we were created for love. We are wired for love.

Even through all the natural seasons of life, we can always show His love to others. I really believe that is our main purpose. In all this talk about purpose, that’s our main purpose.

As children we go to school. Then we either go to college or jump right into work. Both are new seasons with new experiences in life. We might remain single or get married, another new season. If we get married we may have children, that’s a new season of focus on raising children. Then they may leave home, and marry and we may be blessed with grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.

But even in all these seasons of life, we can still know and exercise our life purpose. Again, our main purpose is sharing God’s love with others, that’s the message of the Gospel. That’s the message of John 3:16.

Next time we will look at different ways we can use our gifts and talents to share God’s love. Stay tuned!

LIVING ON PURPOSE Part One

In all the ages since Adam and Eve, and through all the world’s belief systems, humans have asked this question: What is our purpose here on earth? Why are we here? What are we supposed to accomplish while in this physical body? How do we know which path to take to accomplish the purpose He has set for us?

Photo by Smart on Unsplash

Ecclesiastes was written by a man most scholars believe was Solomon. Solomon goes on and on with questions about why are we even here on earth and he looks at the many trials and tribulations we experience. He asks questions and more questions, almost to a point of whining. However, he does point out that we need to recognize that God will guide us through the tough times and He will provide all we need to get through. Actually, He has already provided everything we need to get through life.

There have been many Bible Studies and Christian books written which take a look at this question from many different perspectives.

But I’d like to share my thoughts and perspective. I believe our purpose was hard-wired by our Creator before we were even conceived.

“You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book.” Psalm 139:16 TPT

“We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!” Ephesians 2:10 TPT

Sometimes life challenges cause us to forget who we were created to be. A build up of heart wounds and trapped emotions keep us from hearing the truth of who we are from our Father.

Next we will look at a few truths taken directly from Scripture. Stay tuned!

Oh, How He Loves!

Song of Solomon 2:10, 13b

10) My lover spoke to me, saying: “Arise, my darling; My beautiful one, come away with me! …

13b) Arise, come away my darling; my beautiful one, come away with me!”

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I’m studying Song of Solomon this week and I’m struck by the love our Lord has for us. It’s similar to a romantic love. He calls us numerous times in a way that one would address a lover. Just look at the verses in Chapter 2.

Romantic love is described in Wikipedia** as “the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person.”

“In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one’s strong romantic love, or one’s deep and strong emotional desires to connect with another person intimately or romantically.”

So, I’m seeing in a new light that our Lord wants a relationship with us as deep and intimate as a romantic love.

He excitedly tells us to come away with him. See the exclamation point at the end of both of those verses above? It excites Him to be close to us, to be intimate with us.

He wants us to love Him this much too. Our love for Him will grow as we get to know him and we can get to know him better by intentionally drawing close to Him.

Even though I’ve often been hurt over my lifetime by people who claim to love me, I’m beginning to realize that there is One who will never betray my love and that One actually enjoys my closeness and intimacy with Him!

Draw closer to Him today by focusing on this amazing love. You can start by reading this short book of 8 chapters and meditating on His deep and intimate love for each of us as individuals.

Have an awesome day, knowing you are loved!

*Photo Credit: Unsplash: Milada Vigerova

**Quote taken from Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_(love)

Who Will Be There For You When You Are Beaten Down?

As you may or may not know, I am a Christian Life Coach and Counselor. I have met with people, who were at such low points in life that they just could not gather the strength or initiative to pray.

Have you ever been so deep in the quagmire that you just don’t have the words to pray? We can pray with groaning in our spirit and He hears our cry. We don’t have to use our voices and words. Sometimes we are so low, we just don’t have the words, but Holy Spirit does! And Holy Spirit will intercede for us!

Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” (ESV)

At this point, I am reminded of that poem, Footprints. The actual author is disputed because many have claimed to author this allegorical poem. Not at all my point today, but Wikipedia says:

(This popular text describes an experience in which a person is walking on a beach with God. They leave two sets of footprints in the sand behind them. Looking back, the tracks represent various stages of their life. At various points, the two trails dwindle to one, especially at the lowest and most hopeless moments of the person’s life. When questioning God, believing that the Lord must have abandoned His love during those times, God gives the explanation: “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”)

This is not actual Scripture but it states perfectly what I think about when people, including myself, experience when at those low points. And there are plenty of Scripture that remind us that He is with us and knows our needs, even before we are able to put them to words. Matthew 6:8, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (NIV)

Are you in a place of deep despair? Take heart and be encouraged!

Photo Credit:  Milada Vigerova http://www.Unsplash.com

 

 

What Happens After The Rain – My Thoughts On Life

We’ve had a lot of rain in our part of this planet earth. Actual flooding, pouring, storming rain has been a part of our lives for over a week now. We’ve also had a few, a very few, breaks with some sun shining down. Oh, what an experience to live with wet, muddy, rain and then see the sun pop out, even if just for a few minutes.

The other morning, after a night of constant downpours, I took some pictures of the wooded area on my way to work. I am always amazed at the brilliant colors of the varied greens and browns on the trees after a soaking spring rain!

What this made me think about are the rains and storms of life we all experience. How do you get through them while they are right on top of you and smothering you with, not only rain, but some bolts of lightning thrown in? Those metaphorical bolts of lightning are really jolting to the system. In our emotional, spiritual and even physical systems, we experience the effects of those “thunderstorms”. It’s almost like, we are down with the blaahhs, and even perhaps full blown depression, and then a lightning bolt is thrown at us for good measure.

During these times, I have to really make an effort to remember that I am an overcomer. Jesus took all that rain and those thunderbolts of life, with Him to the Cross. I have to remind myself that I can do this because He gives me the strength and stamina needed. I have to look toward a better day tomorrow with hope because of Him.

That better day is usually filled with beautiful, more vibrant, more varied colors. The Hope of a better day is, of course, available for us in the next life. But we can experience that better, more fulfilling, more exciting, day NOW. After the storm passes, there is a better day ahead if we walk with Jesus and stay close to Him, even through the storms.

John 10:10 says,” A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came to give life—life that is full and good. “(ERV)

My storms and thunderbolts have always brought me to a better place of provision and abundance. We all hate the dreary, cloudy, stormy days. There is a better day ahead and we don’t have to wait to die and go to heaven.

These past weeks of rains have reminded me to be more intentional in my spirit to look forward to the hope of greener greens, flowering dogwood trees, and various colored tulips.

Have a hopeful day today, regardless of the weather!

IMPORTANT:  If you are experiencing depression, even mild depression, for more than 2 weeks, PLEASE SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP!

If your depression or down in the dump feelings are causing problems with everyday normal activities, like differences in sleeping habits, irritability, etc. SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP!

This article is NOT meant to replace a need for professional help. God’s Word says you are valuable. Take care of yourself!

Two Aspects of Easter

Tim's Blog - Just One Train Wreck After Another

[From the archives.]

Easter, part one:

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matthew 28:5-8.)

The first Christians: afraid, filled with joy, and running to spread the news! Want to join them?

***

Easter, part two:

In case you’re feeling pressured to show up at church in your fancy Easter clothes, here’s how we do it. Sunday Clothes 1God doesn’t care if you have on suits or shorts…

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What does praying mean?

Photo by Ben White benwhitephotography.com

What does praying mean to you? Do you recite a prayer already written by another person? Do you pray only on Sundays? Or do you make sure to say your nighttime prayers as you were taught when growing up. Or do you pray before every meal?

I think praying is more personal than any of the above. And I’m not saying any of the above is wrong. I just want to point out a more personal way.

We speak to people we love daily, hourly. Even friends and family get some sort of communication from us on a regular basis. And with social media, we can communicate as often as we desire.

I have sisters who live in other, far away, states. We can touch base by Facebook Messenger almost daily, if we desire. They are always on my mind.

Here’s where I’m going with this. If we have a relationship with our Father, why not talk to Him anytime of the day. No set time needed. No set prayer, already written, needed. Just talk to Him. Let Him know your needs, struggles, even your accomplishments, and your happy moments.

Thank Him for all you have, and are, and how He provides for you. We always thank our friends and family for even the little things they’ve done for us. I think He deserves that too and more.

When we spend time talking with Jesus, we are in a state of relationship and worship. Praise Him for Who He is. Worship is not just the music on a Sunday morning at church. Praise and worship is a state of thankfulness for Him and all He did and does for us.

If you are a believer in Jesus, and all He did for us on the Cross, then His Spirit lives in you. You also have a spirit. So both Holy Spirit and your spirit live in close proximity, 24 hours a day. You can communicate with Holy Spirit anytime of those 24 hours. Take time today to express gratitude, praise Him, and even tell Him what troubles you. And since both Holy Spirit and your spirit live together, He will definitely help you with those troubles. Be open to Him. Be in tune in your spirit with Him.

What should I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing praises with my spirit, but I will also sing praises with my mind. 1 Corinthians 14:15 (NET)

These are just some of my thoughts on what prayer means to me.  Feel free to comment what prayer means to you.