#God, #inspiration, blessings,positive The night seemed never-ending. Strange, vivid dreams disturbed my sleep. I woke frequently to the unsettling dream video playing in my mind. When I fell asleep again I’d find myself in another aspect of this bizarre story.

After many hours of this sequence, I realized that I needed to focus on something else as I was nodding off again. That’s when a snippet of a scripture verse came to mind; “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, think about these things.”

It took all my concentration to replace the unsettling images with thoughts of God’s blessings. What could be more pure and lovely than that? My final hour of sleep was peaceful.

Soon the alarm went and I was surprised to find my neck and shoulders were stiff and sore. My back ached and it took great effort to place one foot in front of the other. “What happened?” I thought; “I felt fine when I went to bed.”

It was then I realized the negative thoughts in the night had seized my body as well as my mind. If they had the power to make this much impact in eight hours of rest, I wondered what the overall effect of negative thoughts had on my health. This was one experiment I wasn’t willing to take!

Just as I discovered in the night, my focus needs to remain on God. He has provided many blessings in my life. By consciously turning my attention to God and praying about every situation, my mind will stay positive and the tension will be gone.

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. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:6-8 NIV)


#Jesus, #God, #inspirationI overheard a conversation about a new grocery store that had just opened in my area. “Did you go to the grand opening?” one asked. “No, I don’t like the crowds and lineups,” the other replied.

They carried on to say that there had been giveaways for the first 500 people through the door. This hadn’t been enough to get them to the store.

Although I’m sure the giveaways would have enticed many, the reward would need to be substantial before I’d be willing to spend my time waiting in line. Even if I hadn’t other commitments that day I wouldn’t have joined the throng of shoppers.

There have been times I’ve lined up for something of little significance. In contrast, the greatest reward I’ve ever received was available to all who requested it. It wasn’t on one day only or limited to the first 500 who arrived. No lineups were required.

Jesus accepts all who sincerely desire a personal relationship with him. I came asking forgiveness for my sins. He took away my guilt and shame. My doubts and sorrow were replaced with peace and joy.

The light and love of Jesus shines into my life and has secured my place in the kingdom of God. The day I invited Jesus into my life was the grand opening of my new life with him. No line ups required.

God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. (1 John 1:9 GWT)

Smell the Coffee

#Lord, #inspiration, #God, prayer, wisdomI was in the middle of an exercise class when the aroma of fresh coffee wafted in from a nearby kiosk. Not being a coffee drinker, it did little for me. Many others were impacted and soon were talking about their desire for this beverage.

The way the scent impacted most of the class made me think of the phrase, Wake up and smell the coffee. My interpretation of this phrase is to stop living in my own little world and to pay attention to what is going on around me.

It is very easy to become inwardly focused. Sometimes I get so caught up in what is happening in my own life that I fail to notice the struggles others are experiencing.

I need to remember life doesn’t revolve around me. This is when it’s time to stop and pray to the Lord for wisdom. He will give me an understanding of the needs around me and the guidance to know what I can do for others. When I follow his direction my life will be a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (James 3:5 NIV)

What Are You Looking At?

#God, #inspiration, wisdom, prayerThe recreation facility has side-by-side pools. In one was the aquafit class I attend. The other had children’s swimming lessons happening at the same time.

One morning I watched with amusement as a young boy was so interested in our class he couldn’t pay attention to his teacher. With great effort, she managed to get him to look at her. Seconds later he had turned to watch us again. Eventually, she moved him to the far side of the pool to minimize the distraction.

This would have been funny if it hadn’t been a reflection of my life. After all, I seemed to be paying more attention to him than my instructor! This brought to mind the times I’ve been equally distracted.

Just as the child was receiving lessons when his attention wandered, I have prayed for guidance and not held still long enough to receive it.

I want God’s direction in my life. He is more than willing to give it. When I ask and then get distracted and let my mind wander, it’s unlikely I will receive the wisdom God wants to impart. There may be snippets that register but much is lost due to my inattention.

The Lord has promised to instruct and teach me. His loving eyes see when I’m not paying attention. The Bible also says, “Come close to God, and he will come close to you.” In order to live the full life he has in store for me, I need to be looking at him.

Come close to God, and he will come close to you. (James 4:8 GWT)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)

Need to Recharge?

#jesus, #inspiration, power, strength“My phone is almost dead I need to recharge it,” I said to my husband; “I’m so glad it gives me warning instead of just shutting down.”

As I went to plug it in, I noticed another function I’d never paid attention to. When the battery is reaching the end of its usage a notification pops up asking if I’d like to put it on low battery mode. This function enables it to conserve the remaining power so it will last longer.

When I mentioned this to my husband, he said, “Is there a lesson here for us?” I must admit, the lesson was lost on me until he explained his train of thought. Then I understood the significance.

I have frequently expressed a desire to have such features built into me! There are times I’d appreciate a notification reminding me to conserve my remaining energy so I won’t crash. Instead, I tend to keep going until I have nothing left to give.

Although I may realize my strength is waning, I ignore the signs and don’t heed the warning. Something showing me how close to burning out I am would be handy.

What I often fail to remember is my power is never sufficient. And what’s more, it was never meant to be.

My strength comes from Jesus. As long as I stay plugged into him he will give me the strength I need to get through each day.

“ For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

Tacky Tourists

#Jesus, #Christ, #inspiration, My husband and I recently visited a National Park. Some of the trails we walked on were only wide enough for two people. That meant if we encountered someone coming the opposite way we would walk single file. We soon learned that not everyone had the same opinion. When the ones approaching us didn’t move over we were forced off the path and into the underbrush.

I was amazed to see a number of people stop in the middle of a trail and line up others in their party to take pictures. It wasn’t the photo opportunities that surprised me as much as the lack of concern for others wanting to get by. They would block the way with no consideration for anyone else.

My frustration was starting to rise when I felt a nudge in my conscience. How many times have I blocked someone from getting to Jesus? It may not have been my intention to get in the way, but when I become focused on my own needs and desires that is exactly what happens. Either they are forced to step into the weeds, stand and wait or turn the other direction.

If I am the centre of attention Christ is relegated to the background. No one should have to go around me to get to him. My role is to be the window through which Jesus can be seen, not the obstacle that makes them want to turn in the opposite direction.

Most situations have a lesson to teach. My experience in the park was a reminder not to get in the way. I need to step aside and let Jesus be the guide.

Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others. (1Corinthians 10:24 NLT)

Changing View

#God, #inspiration, change, beautyA few days into our mountain getaway I realized the view from our window was different every morning.

The first day dawned bright and clear. Sunshine accented the rugged outline of the Rocky Mountains, inviting us out to explore.

The following morning it was overcast and low cloud obscured our view of the majestic peaks. The drizzle and dreariness lasted throughout the day.

Day three I woke to see the brightness of the sun filtering through the blinds. When I opened them I was greeted by the beauty of fresh snow on the mountain tops. I knew that this beauty was a direct result of the previous day’s weather.

As I thanked God for the scene before me, I felt a nudge in my spirit telling me to apply this to my life.

Not every day can bring the sunshine. I have often felt despair in the dark, gloomy days of life. Hopes and plans seem to either be shattered or put on hold. A longing for the brightness of new promise is palpable.

What I don’t always remember is that God is working behind those clouds of doubt and confusion. Instead of resisting and fighting through with my own plans, I am forced to slow down and surrender to God. That is when he does incredible work in my life. It may not be anything I can see at the time, but when the veil is lifted there is a beauty and purpose in my life that wasn’t there previously. I thank him for the sunshine and the clouds.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV)

Mountain Reflections

#Jesus, #inspiration, reclaimedA few days in the mountains were just the break my husband and I needed. It was evening when we arrived which made the view in the morning all the more spectacular.

The sun was shining and the temperature mild as we headed outside to explore. We stopped at one directional sign and decided this wasn’t the path we wanted to take. The next sign showed a small lake only one kilometer away. Enthusiastically I said, “Let’s take this one!”

What we discovered was a hidden jewel. The water was crystal clear and smooth as glass. The jagged peaks on the Rocky Mountains were reflected back to us in the water. Golden yellow leaves of a tree in its autumn splendor were also shown in this mirror image. The beauty and peacefulness of the scene before me reached to my very soul.

Quarry Lake had once been the site of a coal mine. The land had been reclaimed and was now a spot for swimming, fishing and picnicking. Once an eyesore, this was now an area of much value to local residents and visitors alike.

As I sat on a bench enjoying the reflection on the lake, another kind of reflection was forming in my mind. My life had also been reclaimed. The day I asked Jesus into my heart the process began. I confessed the dark, ugly stains of unforgiveness and selfishness and they have been washed clean by the sacrificial love of Christ.

He’s not finished with me yet. I am a work in progress. The refining will not be complete until my life is a true reflection of Jesus.

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (Psalm 32:5 NLT)

But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 NLT)

Autumn Leaves

#inspiration, natureEvery season has its own unique beauty.  As we enter autumn (also known as fall), the leaves on the trees change colour.  The area I live in doesn’t have the vibrant reds that some parts of the country display but the golden leaves against the bright blue sky have their own breathtaking appeal.

On a recent walk I noticed some trees with green leaves, some with gold and many that had dropped much of their foliage.  There were also those with multiple colours, as though they couldn’t quite make up their minds. The crunch of leaves under my feet was strangely satisfying as I pondered the various stages in this cycle.

In front#God, #inspiration, life, nature of me were trees planted close to each other, the same type and approximately the same size.  They had received the same care.  Why the difference in their reaction to this period of change?

I have no answer for this, other than there is a time and season for everything.  For some the time had come to change, while others were not quite at the same phase in their life.

It’s the same for people.  We all have our own seasons of activity.  You may be in a time of growth and productivity while I’m in a period of rest and renewal.  Every cycle has its value. The autumn leaves reminded me that God’s timing is perfect for each of us.  I am thankful that my life unfolds according to his schedule.

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. ( Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 NLT)

%d bloggers like this: