Archive for the ‘What I’ve been thinking…’ Category

It truly is amazing how our souls are lifted when we count our blessings.  Dissatisfaction comes from dwelling on what we don’t have.  Contentment comes from recognizing what we do have.  I think if we can be objective, we would say there is a lot more that is right in our lives than there is wrong.  I’ve heard it said that thankful people are happier because they cherish the good things in their lives.

Yes, I do have frustrating challenges with things and people and my job but I also have people who love me and my job provides a warm house and a full belly.  Best of all, I have an awesome, personal God that’s always here for me and Christian brothers and sisters who always have my back in their prayers.  Would you like an example?  I probably would not have passed a very difficult security certification in Atlanta yesterday without those prayers.

Can people tell if we’re thankful?  Try this exercise.  Every night for a week, review everything you said that day.  What did your family, friends and co-workers hear come out of your mouth?  Positive, cheerful and grateful words or negative, complaining, and critical ones?  Instead of grumbling about not having enough money, we should appreciate the things we spent it on.

Sharon and I like to remind ourselves when one of our appliances or cars don’t work perfectly by saying “First World problem!”  

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17

 
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 Too many loose ends were left undone just before my vacation started last weekend and a difficult and unfinished phone system installation did not leave my customer or myself in good spirits, much less the Christmas spirit.  Even though I knew the Lord would make everything turn out OK eventually, the past week’s frustrations and confrontations still hovered over me like a thick fog.  Even though our God is with us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we still have to walk through it, right?

On Sunday night during the final song at the Andrew Peterson Christmas concert I finally let myself go and participated in the worship instead of just enjoying good music.  Then it happened.  My worries took a back seat.

Trusting God helps, but I have found that giving him praise and honor and glory seals the deal.  While I am doing it, nothing else matters; anxiety cannot touch me. 

Praising God dissolves my fears.  This is because fear and worship cannot coexist.

More good news-you don’t have to be at a worship service for it to work.  Just breaking out in a song of praise or simply saying “Praise God, Hallelujah, thank you, Jesus!” throughout the day infuses his peace and joy into your soul.

Well, here it is Thursday and I had to work some on my vacation but I was able to remotely work out the kinks in the phone system (praise God!) so the customer is happy and when the customer is happy you know who else is happy.

Merry Christmas to all of you.  May you find joy as you celebrate the birthday of the PRINCE of PEACE!

Rob

 

Remembering what God did for you:

“I sought the Lord and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  (Psalm 34:1)

Enables you to believe what He will do for you:

“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.”  (Psalm 138:8)

This builds your trust in Him:

“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.  Oh my God, in You I trust.”  (Psalm 25:12)

Your worries flee:

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.”  (Psalm 94:19)

Your joy overflows:

“My heart trusts in Him and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy.”  (Psalm 28:7)

and His Peace overwhelms:

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:7)

 

 

 

 

If you haven’t read My utmost For His Highest, a daily devotional book by Oswald Chambers, you really need to.  For several years it was the top-selling Christian book in America and it has been challenging me every day. 

I like how he explains the significance of the Incarnation and how Christ becomes manifest in us, as well.  I will just let Oswald do the talking in this post, so here is his devotion for December 25:

_________________________________________________________

HIS BIRTH AND OUR NEW BIRTH

“Behold, a virgin shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  Isaiah 17:14

His Birth in History.  “therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”  (Luke 1:35.)  Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it.  He did not evolve out of history; He came into history from the outside.  Jesus Christ is not the best human being, He is a Being who cannot be accounted for by the human race at all.  He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate, God coming into human flesh, coming into it from outside.  His life is the Highest and the Holiest entering in at the Lowliest door.  Our Lord’s birth was an advent.

His Birth in Me.  “Of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”  (Galatians 4:19.)  Just as our Lord came into human history from outside, so He must come into me from outside.  Have I allowed my personal human life to become a “Bethlehem” for the Son of God?  I cannot enter into the realm of the Kingdom of God unless I am born from above by a birth totally unlike natural birth.  “Ye must be born again.”  This is not a command, it is a foundational fact.  The characteristic of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that Christ is formed in me.  Immediately Christ is formed in me, His nature begins to work through me.

God manifest in the fleshthat is what is made profoundly possible for you and me by the Redemption.

 Oswald Chambers

 

Have a GREAT CHRISTMAS!
Rob

 

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birthday_cake


Wow!  It’s already been a year since I started this blog!  I’ve really enjoyed learning how to build this site and the challenge of sharing what the Lord has been teaching me.

With all the articles and books available to us these days, what did I think I had to say that hasn’t already been said?  I have no formal training in writing or theology and I don’t claim to be an expert in anything.  But since I started my quest on getting closer to God I’ve been getting all these ideas that burn deep inside me and keep me restless until I find a way to express them on paper.  The 40 posts I have written this past year have been kind of a journal of the struggles and joys I’ve experienced along the way.

I’m not sure how much longer this blog will keep going.  I haven’t written anything for over three weeks.  I’m still learning and hearing from the Lord, mostly from His word, but it hasn’t gone beyond scribbling down a few notes.  This could be because I’m being sidetracked with writing songs again and preparing to teach a class on video production.  Or it may be that the Lord is through using me this way, at least for now (he gives and he takes away.)  If you think I should keep this blog alive or have any suggestions, please let me know.

I want to express my extreme gratitude to my subscribers and others who have dropped by from time to time to check out my latest ramblings and the wonderful contributions from my sister, Karen, and my cousin, Diane.  I hope it has helped and encouraged you to pursue Christ more fervently than you have before.  I really appreciate those  who have participated and left comments.  That means a lot to me.

I would like to leave you with this blessing from Hebrews 13:20-21:

 May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

And one more… 

 THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS INDESCRIBABLE GIFT!

(2 Corinthians 9:15)

 

 

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man swimming2If you don’t make a focused, intentional effort to swim against the tide of secularism, you will be swept out to sea with the rest of mankind that finds it easier to go with the flow than to fight the current.  They say, “Since practically everyone is doing it, it must be the way to live, right?”

 

 

drowning

 

If you start to feel lonely or begin to drown in the crashing waves of life, you’ll probably want to climb into a rescue boat.  But be careful which vessel you get into, because the people in the boat will take you where they’re going, either to places that glorify God or mock him.

Do not be deceived.  “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33)

 

 

 fish against the tide2

 

 Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.  (Matthew 7:13)

 

I dare you to swim against the tide!

 

 

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When I was young you taught me how
to throw and catch a ball.
Your love for God and His creation
 was contagious to us all.

You and Mom would save a seat
for me in the pew.
And taught me all about the Lord
as He was teaching you.

A teacher by profession
you loved to show the way.
But you also walked the talk-
your life was on display.

Now that you’re there learning
how to worship Him,
save a seat for me next to you
to teach me once again.

 

Happy Father’s Day to you and our Heavenly Father!

your favorite (and only) son

 

 

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