Successful Merging

God, prayer, Guidance, InspirationWhile driving along the highway I noticed the many times I encountered a sign warning motorists their lane would end. This notice was to give time to merge with the lane beside them.

Usually this was done smoothly but I did observe occasional problems. Sometimes the person merging didn’t consider the other vehicles and cut someone off. Other times they held back, staying in their lane until there was no option other than to merge. It seemed they’d rather come to a standstill than join with the other traffic.

To me this had a far greater significance than highway traffic. A visual reminder about reacting to the changes in life was being played out.
My life path seldom has completely unexpected endings. If I’ve been paying attention there has usually a warning sign or two. Knowing that change is imminent, it’s up to me how I will continue. At some point I will need to merge with others going the same direction as I am. This is the only way to keep moving forward.

If I approach the change with hesitancy I run the risk of coming to a standstill. I need to be prepared for the new challenge ahead of me. Conversely, I may rush in without evaluating the timing. This can cause problems with those I cut off in my rush to get ahead.

There is an alternative. I need to pray and ask God for guidance. He is the one that knows where he is taking me and the best way to get there. When I spend time with him my journey will be much smoother.

Call to me and I will answer you. I will tell you great and mysterious things that you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3 GWT)

Is Your Glass Half Empty?

Bible, God, inspiration, positiveGenerally I think of myself as a positive person. For many years now I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal. Looking for positive things every day has changed my outlook and my life.

Recently I was in a setting that normally uplifts me. Instead of feeling peaceful and happy I was discouraged and sad.

I prayed for a change in attitude. The next morning my devotional readings had a few things that seemed custom made for me. The first sentence I read said that there was a mighty battle going on for control of my mind. How could this book, written several years ago have the perfect opening line for me on this day?

My Bible verse of the day said “Do not throw away your confidence.” This is when I realized that instead of being grateful for what I had; I was looking at what others had and feeling that I was missing out. I had, in effect, thrown away my confidence and was looking at my glass as half empty.

When I stopped to think of all of the good things in my life I was once again able to see my glass as half full. I apologized to God for my attitude and thanked him for his loving guidance. My day became brighter. My entire outlook changed. I am very grateful to serve a God who loves me and answers my prayers in ways that bring me closer to him.

The mind of a sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6 NIV)

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:34-35 NIV)

Growing Together

inspiration, Jesus, community, positiveI was walking along a wooded path when I noticed mushrooms growing off to the side. There were some very large mushrooms and others that had curly edges.

What captured my interest was a grouping of several small ones. Although there was space for them to spread out, they were tightly packed in a small group. Their shape became altered as they grew together.

I stopped to have a closer look and then continued on, but the image of these mushrooms growing together stayed with me. I wondered if there was a deeper meaning I needed to pay attention to.

I think perhaps they represented community to me. A community offers support, encouragement and nurturing. This is something that is reciprocal. Being together in this way creates a positive atmosphere in which to grow.

The people who I spend my time with can definitely affect my shape. It is up to me whether this will be positive or negative. For this reason, I need to choose carefully.

Jesus took a group of men and discipled or mentored them, changing their lives in profound ways. Many times in the bible we are given instruction to gather together, love and encourage each other. By doing so I am forming the community he wants for me. This growing together will shape me into so much more than I would have been on my own.

We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming. (Hebrews 10:24-25 GWT )

How Do You Eat Your Corn?

God, inspiration, trust, new experiencesFresh corn on the cob is a delicious treat that is only available for a short time of the year. This makes it something I look forward to.

We had enjoyed this vegetable several times this season but the last time brought more than a taste treat.

After it was cooked I peeled off the husks and placed it on my plate. Then I slathered in butter and reached for the salt shaker to finish the preparation.

Before I took the first bite I stopped and thought about what I had just done. When I eat corn that isn’t on the cob I add neither butter nor salt. What do I feel they are necessary now?

I realized that this is one of those actions I do without even thinking about. It is automatic. This is what I did as I was growing up so I continue to do so today.

How many other things do I continue to do because they are familiar and comfortable? When I’m stuck in old habits and behaviours it’s like I am wearing blinders. New and perhaps better ways of doing things are either not noticed or disregarded.

There is nothing wrong with tried and true, but what if it’s stopping me from experiencing something better? Old habits can be difficult to break.

The best habit I’ve developed is that of talking with God throughout my day. When I trust him to lead my life I know there will be new and exciting adventures along the way. They may be nothing I’ve tried before but I am confident that he knows what is best for me.

Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect. ( Romans 12:2 GWT)

Is It The End Of The Season or…?

endings, beginnings, Bible, inspirationThe daylight hours are dwindling and the nights have crispness to them. As summer comes to an end we have started the process of cleaning and packing up our trailer in preparation for the winterizing that will soon take place.

There are a few more weeks before this will become necessary but a new, busy fall season beckons us to other things. There is very little time left this season for us to enjoy our summer get-away.

Am I sad that this time is coming to an end? No, instead I am thankful for the long walks, playing in the pool with grandchildren, making s’mores over a campfire and the memories made.

The seasons of life are ever changing. As one comes to an end, a new one begins. This is such a good reminder to me to enjoy what I have at this moment. Once today is gone it will never come back again.

On the same note, I can’t rush a new season. My life will unfold one day at a time.

The Bible tells us there is a season for everything. I need to remember this and thank God for the season I am in right now. Each one is a precious gift.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT)

Breakfast Entertainment

entertainment, Bible, God, inspirationI was thoroughly entertained as I sat at the table eating breakfast. We have a small mountain ash tree in our backyard and I could see a bird feasting on the berries.

It should have been easy for this bird to sit on one branch and eat from one cluster of berries before moving to the next branch. Instead it flitted from branch to branch, sampling berries from many areas of the tree.

After eating from a few spots it would fly into a neighbouring yard only to return moments later. They had no trees with berries so it was back to feast on ours once again. This pattern was repeated numerous times.

As I watched in fascination I thought of how this related to my life. Many times what I need is right within my reach. Instead of enjoying this, I flit around needing to sample everything there is to offer. If I stay in one spot, I may miss something better in another.

At times like this I need to remember to place my life in the care of the Lord. The Bible promises that when I ask God, he will give me wisdom to know what to do. He knows what is best for me and is always there to offer guidance.

If any of you needs wisdom to know what you should do, you should ask God, and he will give it to you. God is generous to everyone and doesn’t find fault with them. (James 1:5 GWT)

Pocket Full of Rocks

God, Jesus, strength, love, inspirationMy husband and I were out for a walk on a cool morning in early fall. We found a path we’d never taken before and soon were making our way along a rocky lake shore.

The variety of colours, sizes and shapes of the rocks fascinated me. Soon I was picking them up to admire. Initially I had no intention of keeping any. I would just look at them and then put them down and carry on.

Something about these rocks called to me and before long some of them found their way into my jacket pocket. When I ran out of room a few were added to my husband’s pocket! Although these rocks weighed me down, I felt the need to carry them.

Why did these rocks hold such value that I would fill my pocket and struggle to carry the weight of them?

I remembered that in the Bible, God is called rock of my salvation, my rock and my fortress, rock of my strength, rock of refuge. As I thought of the many references to God as a rock, it also came to mind that we are all created in the image of God.

These rocks represented God’s people. We come in all sizes, shapes and colours. No two are completely identical. Although we appear different, we are all created in the image of God, our rock.

Jesus carried a heavy burden when he died so that we may have life abundant. Perhaps this pocket full of rocks was meant to be a reminder of the strength and love shown to mankind. Suddenly my pocket full of rocks doesn’t seem so heavy.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 NLT)

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (Psalm 18:2 NLT)

Wise Words

Jesus, inspiration, loveI have an aunt who has played an important role in my life. We now live an eleven hour drive apart which means I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like. Although I keep in touch on a regular basis, it is the face-to-face visits that I miss. These only happen once a year now.

Each visit is precious and I find it difficult when our time together comes to an end. She is approaching her 96th birthday and I am aware that there may not be another opportunity to spend time together.

When I was preparing to leave after a recent visit my aunt left me with some wise words. Looking into my eyes she said, “I hope I see you again, but if I don’t, today was nice.”

What a wonderful reminder to appreciate each moment. When it comes right down to it, I have no guarantee of seeing anyone again. For this reason I need to make the most of the time I spend with others.

Words of love, appreciation and affirmation need to be spoken. I never want to regret the kind words that were left unspoken.

Jesus gave us many examples of unselfish love. I want to follow his way and ensure those I spend time with know how much I value our relationship.

For those of you reading this today I say, “Thank you. I appreciate the support you have shown by following my writings. You are the wind beneath my wings.”

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24 NIV)

“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.” (John 13:34-35 GWT)

Passing Lane Ahead

God, timing, inspiration, trust,contentMy husband and I were driving between Calgary and Vancouver. There were many times that a slow moving vehicle caused a long line of traffic behind it.

Drivers would get frustrated and some would pass where they shouldn’t and have to cut back into the line when oncoming traffic approached. Their impatience caused some unsafe situations.

Signs that told of a passing lane ahead meant relief for those caught in this backlog. As we approached the passing lane there would be a sign asking the slower traffic to keep right. This would allow the others to safely move ahead.

In one case the offending vehicle stayed in the left or fast lane. When other slower moving traffic moved to the right, as per the sign’s instructions, there was no way to pass. The one impeding the other vehicles seemed to have no idea the problems being caused.

It made me wonder how often in life I have been so focused on myself that I didn’t realize the problems I was causing for others. Have I caused them frustration because I didn’t get out of their way? Did they take unnecessary risks because of my behavior?

There is nothing wrong with moving aside to let others pass. By allowing them to do so, they may encounter opportunities they would not have had otherwise. Encouraging others to keep moving forward instead of being stuck behind me is also an act of faith.

God’s timing for me is perfect. If I rush ahead I may miss something that he has planned for me. I trust that when the timing is right, he will move me into the passing lane. For now I need to be content with where I am.

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to anyone who seeks help from him. (Lamentations 3:35 GWT)

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