Saturday, June 29, 2013

# 11 Yes you can.

One of the most loved verses in the Bible is Phil. 4:13  but I love the entire thought, that states we should learn to be content where we are. Put another way; we will never be happy with a where or a when. 
I will  be happy when I get this promotion, or I will be happy when I finally get moved into this new house. NO you won't! We must first learn to find some contentment where we are today.
 The secret to happiness  is  our relationship with God. 
That is not to say they we should not work to change difficult situations, we should. Happiness and joy are a product of knowing that God is always at work in our lives,
 and we can do all things through Him (God) who strengthens us!

Whether you think you can or you can' are right.  
 Henry Ford

Philippians 4
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

# 10 Work

Work is good for you, you do not need to punch a clock or have a boss looking over your shoulder to work! Ask any mother...Sail away on a dream project for a few days. I encourage you to find some one who you can help this week. It does not need to be a huge undertaking! Small things make a big difference. It may be as simple as giving some words of affirmation. You may even have to work at it!
Catch the trade wind!
I love verse 20 in Ecclesiastes below. Don't look at work as toil, look at it as God keeping you occupied with gladness of heart!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
 Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

Ecclesiastes 5

New International Version (NIV)
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

#9 A Quiet Life

Shared Wisdom
Guest post by John Batchelder

A Quiet Life
I attended a memorial service this week for a dear friend who went to his eternal reward after more than eighty years of life on this earth. He was a family man – somewhat reserved but always pleasant and unfailingly faithful to the Lord. Much was said about him by his loved ones about his character and style of life but what the most memorable was something I had known about him already. He lived his life according to the Scriptures and exemplified what the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica:

1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 New American Standard Bible

“But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more (in the love of the brethren),  and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,  so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.”

It is so easy to be loud, pushy, and offensive. In fact, our modern culture glorifies such behavior. We have the ability to see what everyone else is doing and make all kinds of judgments about what, how, and why we think things are so. When we fail it is not usually due to an abundance of effort but generally it is just the opposite.

We can learn a lesson from my friend’s life as stated in the Psalm 46:10:
“Cease striving and know that I am God”

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#8 Well Done

A long time friend of mine who is up in years has a favorite saying. "You can't talk things done."
You have to get out and DO IT.
We are entrusted with so many responsibilities in our lifes. Finances, relationships, and our own actions just to  name a few. We are not born with skills to do any of these, they must be learned...usually by falling short and learning from our mistakes. My father once said "some people live and learn, and some just live" 
Don't just live.....Learn
We should remember that failure is not a person, its an event. The only person who never makes a mistake is  the one who never does anything. God has given each of us unique talents that only we can use.
 Find something you like to do, and try it, maybe fail at it, learn from it, and try again.
If you are faithful with few things you will be trusted with many.

Well done is better than well said.” — Benjamin Franklin

Matthew 25

New International Version (NIV)
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Saturday, June 15, 2013

# 7 Rejoice

The Family 
Yesterday we had home made pizza night with everyone in "our" family there. I consider it one of the greatest blessings in my life to be able to share any event with everyone in attendance. The older we get, the harder it seems to be able to do this. Jobs, travel, and just plain life are always pulling us in many directions. My brothers and sisters were all able to attend a gathering in Vermont last year. The first time in a long time with out a funeral attached, we had a BLAST. The interaction between everyone last night was priceless. As our family grows the talk covers a wide spectrum from music to diapers! So plan an event, work at it and enjoy it. Rejoice in the fact that you have been blessed with family and extended family.
Love them, hug them and feed them and again I say

Philippians 4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

# 6 Quiet Time

Shared Wisdom
This is a guest post by Mark Batchelder

Just recently I was fortunate enough to enjoy some time off to rest my body, mind and Spirit. It is a yearly retreat, my own version of Spring Break a time I jokingly refer to as "voluntary solitary confinement". It had it's beginnings in the time spent wilderness camping with my Kayak in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York. There for the first time in a long time I experienced God's peace in the beauty of this tranquil setting.  After some time in the beauty and the silence things begin to settle down and thoughts become clear. To me it is like one of those Christmas globes with the fake snow suspended in liquid, you shake them up to make it snow but if you set them down the sediment gradually floats down to the bottom and the globe becomes clear again. Most of us are living our lives with our sediment always shaken up and never have or create the time to let things settle and clear out. Jesus we are told had a need to retreat and be alone often to a remote place to pray. In today's world with our busy lifestyles we need more than ever to make it a personal priority to set aside some time to follow His example.

Matthew 14:23

New International Version (NIV)
23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

# 5 Dust

As the week winds down..a very busy week for my whole family, I am reminded that we need to grab a hold of each and every chance we have to sit and listen to those that we love. The sharing of your time with each other is so very important and as the reading below says we are dust, and the wind will blow over us and we will be gone. We are patiently waiting our second grandchild...second one this YEAR! A new life will start in this world soon. We can't wait!
The opposite reality is, we have friends who are nearing the end of their journey here on earth.
 Send them your love too. 
Forget your anger and resentment and try to be more compassionate, gracious, abounding in love!

Psalm 103 
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

#4 Hospitals

This has been a busy week with people close to me in the hospital. My mother in-law and two close friends are all in the hospital. Most of you know that I too have logged my fair share of hospital days. As I reflect and pray for all of them, I remember how special nurses, as a whole are. They are truly a dedicated bunch who bring comfort and a healing touch to us day after day. When one patient moves out another moves in. An endless river of humanity many scared, nervous and in pain. 
Oh yea and all of them ready to "get out of here"!
So be nice to all the hospital care givers, even if they do wake you up to see how you are sleeping!
 I close with a sincere thank you to all of you who work the hospital wings.
 God Bless you for your patience with your patients.

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” 
Joshua J. Marine

Philippians 4: 12-13
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him (Christ) who gives me strength.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

#3 Trust

Trust can be a fragile thing. If you have lived very long someone or some thing has disappointed you. Not one of us is perfect and we should understand we will all fall short. Trust that the Lord will guide you if you reach out to him. Jacob and I took these pictures in Atlanta. These guys were back-flipping off the rocks into the river.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3, 5-6

# 2; Serenity Prayer

The serenity prayer is very popular and most of us have heard it. But did you know the popular prayer is only part of it? Here is the complete prayer. I like the second half even better!

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr