Monday, January 26, 2009

Whatever The Reason

More of my writing from the past . . . 

"Whatever the Reason"

Life goes on
Day by day
He wakes me up
For what reason 
Only He knows. 
So, I am here
Ready to be used!
Wondering . . . Where? To Whom?
Give me a word for the hurting
A hug for the needy
A smile for the downcast one.
That's all I can do.
Others soar, succeed,
I fall and I fail.
Give me strength to carry on.
Take me back to the few
The small, the needy, the insignificant.
If it is for them,
Let me serve
Happily, thankfully
With hope.

Learning to Trust God . . . However He Chooses . . .  One Day at a Time

Carla




















Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good Therapy

The past couple of days I have been out walking in this cold weather and loving every second of it!  Yes, I am bundled up, and don't go too terribly far, but being outside is great "therapy" for me when I am down and depressed!  This week I have tended to worry about the present and the future.  I have not questioned God's love or His character, but in my confusion I have sought to know and understand His will.  Walking out in His creation helps to clear my mind and invigorate my soul! I feel refreshed with a renewed strength and energy to "keep on keeping on" doing His will and trusting Him.  I have also found a renewed peace of mind.  He has changed my thoughts and given me with a heart of  extreme gratitude for all of my many blessings.  He has reminded me of what is truly important in this life. I also have a greater expectation and excitement for His imminent return! It is so easy for me to turn inward and obsess over problems and trials and think the worse case scenarios. I allow my mind to dwell on a sequence of events that could possibly happen, but most likely will not.  These events tend to be the worse thing that could happen, rather than the best!  I have so much growing to do in putting my total faith in God and allowing Him to guide my life daily. He has shown me very clearly that I have been allowing my circumstances  and my emotions to dictate my thoughts rather than His Spirit and His Word.  I truly love the Lord and am passionate about wanting to trust Him in all things. I am thankful He has once again shown His faithfulness to me by walking  beside me and quietly leading me down the path I desperately want to be on  . . . a life of daily trust and obedience to Him.  "Create in me a clean heart,  O God.  Renew a loyal spirit, within me."

Learning to Trust God . . . When I am Feeling Down . . . One Day at a Time

Carla

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Called

 In Ephesians 4:1, Paul refers to himself as "the prisoner of the Lord." There are so many other things he could have called himself, as he begins this portion of Scripture.  Perhaps he could have used "godly man" or "follower of Christ" or any number of other descriptive words, but he chose to make mention of himself as the prisoner of the Lord because he was not ashamed. Paul had done nothing wrong.  His imprisonment was because he had preached the good news of Jesus Christ. God had entrusted him with the message of grace as an apostle to the Gentiles, yet he  suffered because of it.  Today when we think of prisoners and jails we think of those who are there because they have done something wrong and are being punished. Or perhaps we may think of someone being a prisoner because they feel trapped by a certain situation or set of circumstances. They don't know where to go or what to do. Paul, as a prisoner of the Lord, knew exactly what was expected of him and he did it obediently with joy and passion. Paul did not use his imprisonment as an excuse not to do God's will. He did not say, "Maybe later, when circumstances are better."  God had given Paul a message to share. Paul goes on to" implore the readers to walk in a manner worthy of the calling which you have been called."  The very fact that he implored them, shows how serious he was about his message. He had learned things in jail about priorities and life.  Paul did not merely make a suggestion, he pleaded with the Ephesians in desperation and earnestness.  He did not recommend to them that they needed to be careful or they might end up in jail, or to keep their faith to themselves. His message was "Just do it."  Paul reminded the Church of Ephesus of their calling.  We, too, have a calling from God. What a privilege and an honor to be called by our Heavenly Father!  Once we have accepted that call and said "yes" to Him, we are to take off our old life and put on a brand new life, which will be evident in the way we walk and live our lives.  This calling is not just an outward show, but an inward change of motives and purposes.  If there is some "prison experience" we are in right now, let's not let it stop us from serving our God wholeheartedly.  We are not in an actual jail cell, but we may be experiencing pain, separation, or confusion that makes us feel like we are locked up and can't move forward.  We may be going through some really rough times emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically, relationship- wise, but we can still walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called. His Spirit is within us to help us and lift us up each step of the way. We no longer are under bondage to the flesh and self, but God has set us free to serve Him. Our lives must change to bring Him glory. It is important for us to remember our calling to a Godly lifestyle, and pursue it daily.  My prayer for myself is that I will take these words of Paul to heart and not be ashamed or afraid to walk as God has called me to do. I pray that I will relinguish any thing in my life that causes me to feel "locked up" and may be causing me not to walk in a manner which I have been called. May I give it up, hand it over, let go of it and follow the call of God for my life.  I pray the same for you all as well. Amen!

Learning to Trust God . . . In My Calling . . . One Day at a Time

Carla

Monday, January 12, 2009

Trusting God

This blog that I have been writing for some time now is all about how I am learning to trust God one day at a time.  Some days I go through things that bring me to my knees and He uses these times to teach me the lessons I need  to learn about trusting Him. Some times people I know are going through tough times, and God uses these times to help me to learn to trust Him, too.  It is not easy to see people I love and care about go through difficulties. Today God used a portion of Scripture to help me to see another aspect of trust. I was reading in my devotional book from Exodus 3: 7-8,  about how cruelly God's people had been treated by the Egyptians.  This cruelty went on for so many years.  It is hard to understand why God would allow that to happen to His own people.  It would be easy to question God.  That is one of those portions of Scripture that when I read it I have to concentrate completely on the character of God! I have to think about the God I know personally,  and the God who loves me and has a plan for my life. He is the God who redeemed me, and set me free. He is the God I am learning to trust. God told His people that He saw their oppression. He knew what was going on, and was not unaware of their circumstances.  Today I realized in a special way that He not only saw the Israelites as a group He also saw them as individuals; just as He sees me and knows me personally. He heard their cry.  He knew their sorrows, and eventually He delivered them. That encourages me greatly to know that when  I may feel like I am being mistreated or misunderstood that God sees all and knows all of my circumstances, too.  Just as God heard the cries of the Israelites, He hears my cries to Him as well. I never have to feel alone or question where God is in my trials. I can trust Him.  I know that in His perfect timing and according to His perfect will He will answer me and show me His ways.  It gives me such comfort to know I am not alone. It brings me such joy to know that God cares! In the good times and the hard times I can say with confidence I am  learning to trust God!


Learning to Trust God . . .  With My Life . . .  One Day at a Time

Carla

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Comprehending His Love

I have been contemplating the verses we will be studying and hearing in the sermon tomorrow: Ephesians 3:18-21. Verse 17 talks about how Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith and all about being grounded and rooted in love.  As we move into the next section, we are told that it is possible to comprehend the love of God.  God loves us and He doesn't just want us to know that intellectually by hearing it with or ears or reading it with our eyes. He actually wants us to comprehend His love so much that we allow it to go so deep that it is implanted into our hearts and souls.  With comprehension comes more than mere understanding for it is truly possible for His love to totally encompass us emotionally and spiritually.  It is possible for us to embrace His love for ourselves!  When we embrace God's love and have that comprehension that the verse is referring to it makes sense to us and we appreciate and believe it without a doubt.  God has made that possible to us because He wants to have a personal relationship with each of us. This love is for all the saints.  God did not just hand pick a few choice people and give them the ability to comprehend His love, but His desire is for us all to experience it.  Fellowship with other believers is so important in our growth as Christians, and when we can spur one another on to comprehending the love of God, we grow closer to each other and to Him.  He uses words such as breadth, length, height and depth to describe His love.  It encompasses it all.  It truly exceeds human love and  overshadows  it. God's love exceeds anything we know and is so much greater than knowledge (vs. 19). We know what it feels like to be empty and long for something.  Too often we look to the world to meet these unmet needs. The knowledge of the world and the ways of the world are not the answer we are searching for.  God's love takes care of our yearning and He makes it possible for us to be filled to the brim with the fullness of Himself.  He is all inclusive and makes us complete. Being filled to the brim like this will help us with our relationships.  It is easy to love people who agree with us, who are nice and have not hurt us.  But with God's love we can love those whom are different and whom are our "enemies."  It is His power working within us that allows us to have this supernatural love, through the Holy Spirit (vs.20).  God wants us to come to Him and make our requests known.  He expects us to call upon Him, and when we do, He is willing to answer far more abundantly that we would have imagined because of the power of the Holy Spirit working.  So let's not be afraid to ask!  He does deserve all of the praise and glory for His love and for giving it so freely to us to comprehend.  We need to offer Him praise and thanksgiving today, tomorrow and forever! (vs.21). Amen!! 

Learning to trust God . . .  In Comprehending His Love . . . One Day at a Time

Carla

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A willing Vessel

I just finished reading the book "The Nativity Story."  I checked it out from the library with a couple of other books to read after Christmas was over and before the new year schedules begin again.  It was based on the scriptural account of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, and much of it revolved around Mary.  I loved reading about how Mary was so human and it gave me a great deal of insight into the thoughts and culture of the day. Now I will have to watch the movie!  After reading the book, I have been contemplating on how Mary was so willing to be a vessel used by God.  Mary had a fixed desire to do God's will, no matter what the people around her thought, because she was doing what ADONAI had asked her to do.  She did not understand all of her calling but lived each day following Him in obedience and courage. I want to be a willing vessel who is used by God. Where He leads, I want to follow with full trust and commitment to Him.  I want to do what He wants, be who He created me to be, and do it all willingly for Him. Each day I wake up I want to be ready, eager and prepared to serve the Lord.  I need to learn to restrain from doing my own thing and to follow God with a willing heart.  After all God created me. He loves me and He has given me my life, not merely for myself, but for Him. He has given me Jesus, as my protector and my refuge. I look at Mary as being filled with faith, and as this new year is beginning, my prayer is that my faith in the Lord will become greater and intensify.  As my faith increases, my prayer is that my will and desires will decrease and I will become conformed more to His image and His will. May I be seen by the Lord as a willing vessel, a servant to be used for His Kingdom!  May I come to know in a deeper and more personal way, the wonder of Immanuel, God with us.

Learning to Trust God . . . To Become a Willing Vessel . . . One Day at a Time

Carla

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Joy to You This New Year!

It seems right to begin a new year of blogging with the words "Happy New Year."  I have already said it to friends, family and strangers throughout the last couple of days as 2008 was ending and 2009 was being ushered in.  I do wish everyone a happy year, and I would wish for myself a happy year as well.  But in reality I know I will not always be happy.  I will not always have those feelings of contentment, pleasure, and confidence.  My mood will not always be cheery or merry.  Things in my life will not always be without troubles or cares.  That is just not the real world.  We do not live in a sphere of fantasy where everything and everyone is free from anxiety and problems.  We are not always happy!! But reality is that as I walk with God, the happiness I don't always experience or have can be replaced with joy and trust. It is in knowing Him that we can have joy deep within even when  things all around us seem to be falling apart.  It is very possible that in 2009 we will experience a few or perhaps many trials and tribulations.. Things may be difficult to deal with or understand. We may encounter or come up against issues in our relationships, with our finances, adverse health issues or loneliness . The list doesn't stop here. However, we must always remember that God is in control and that He loves us. He is still on the throne and that alone should bring us to our knees with gratitude and joy even in the darkest of times.  When we look to Him we are then able to look past and away from ourselves and beyond our circumstances.  We will not always be happy, but we can always have joy.  God is with us!  So instead of 'Happy New Year" I wish you all a New Year filled with the joy of the Lord and many blessings! I pray we will all keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in 2009!

Learning to Trust God . . . In  Joy . . . One Day at a Time

Carla