Tag Archives: Jesus

Five Unusual Signs of Blessing

‘Gblessing stoneod bless you.’  I’ve said that to people, have you?  What do we mean when we say that?  I think I’ve meant – ‘may everything go your way’.

But some of the ways Jesus described blessing in the Bible seem to be a little different.  In Matthew 5, in what is called the Beatitudes, Jesus refers to a whole range of people being blessed that I wouldn’t think of having a blessing  —-

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit
  • Blessed are those who mourn
  • Blessed are the meek
  • Blessed are the peacemakers
  • Blessed are you when people insult you…because of me

Jesus puts us in a topsy-turvy world with these words.  Maybe blessing will bring about circumstances that humble us, so that we are poor in spirit.  Maybe to be blessed will bring about mourning, so we can understand comfort.  Maybe to be blessed will bring about strife, so we can learn to be peacemakers.

Our self-centeredness makes us want exactly what we want.  What God is about is having a close relationship with Him and making us more like Him   Sometimes that means having the opposite of what we think will be a blessing occur to us so that the blessing can follow.

So, when you are going through troubles it might just be God blessing you, you just haven’t seen the end results yet.

I think I’m an addict

using-ipadThese days I find myself online a lot, and when I say a lot I mean A LOT!  With wifi from cell phones, I can be plugged in 24-7.  My husband says I have an IV hookup to the internet.

What started as a habit has over time become, dare I say it, maybe even an addiction.  I’m always checking the latest postings on Facebook, tweets on twitter, e-mails, and LinkedIn updates.  Not to mention homes for sale, the latest sale at Coldwater Creek or the LOFT.  There’s endless things I can do and look up!

But my addiction really hit me over the Christmas season when family was home and I found myself physically present with them, but forgoing interaction to surf the net and check on Facebook to see what a ‘friend’ that I haven’t physically seen for six years was posting. 

My kids had made special arrangements to be here, spend time with us, and I was absorbed in my iPad.  I think we all can relate.  I’m sure we’ve all felt devalued by someone we were visiting or talking with because it seemed they were more interested in their phone than chatting face to face. I see it everywhere, in restaurants where families sit silently staring at cell phones instead of engaging in conversation, or before and sometimes during meetings where colleagues and friends sit glaring at hand held screens.  It makes you want to say, ‘Yoohoo, I’m here, am I not important enough to talk to or listen to?’ 

When I think about it, I’m really kind of a poor example of Jesus in that respect.  Jesus was and is always fully present.  He’s not distracted by other things.  He noticed the guy that climbed the tree to get a look at Him (Luke 19).  He even knew when a woman touched the hem of his coat ( Matt. 9).    He didn’t only know, He was fully present, stopped and entered into conversation.  I think it’s because he had His cell phone put away:).  He lived totally in the moment.

I’m going to ask Jesus to help me be more like Him and I’m going to try to be more like Him; I’m going to make sure I put my iPad and phone away when I’m with someone.  I’m going to look more attentively to someone who might be reaching out in a seemingly minor way or crossing my path because they may need to spend some time talking.  I’m going to try to live fully in the moment.

Who’s batting for you?

Why is it that I only show true reliance on Jesus when I’m going through rocky times?  I’ve been working on processing an answer to this difficult and disturbing question for the last few days.  A few months back, I experienced a personal tragedy in my life that sent me running (really, beelining) to the Lord for the comfort, direction, and peace that only He could bring.  As a result, He pressed on me the desire to join a women’s group at my church, to meet one-on-one with the group leader at Panera’Baseball pics, and to start building friendships with some of the other Christian women at my church.  Boy, did I feel good!  After the study ended and I found myself in a better place spiritually and emotionally, my outings started becoming more sparse and even my time spent in Bible reading, prayer, and devotion started sinking depressingly low.  Looking back,  I’m forced to ask myself the question “Why?”.

The answer can be summed up in two words: independence and conceit.  Dictionary.com defines independence as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.”  I must admit that I’m naturally a very independent, self-sufficient person, to the point where my husband has jokingly commented that I don’t even need him around!  That comes from many years of living on my own before getting married.  When times are hunky-dory, I find myself relying on me, myself, and I for just about everything.  But when times aren’t so swell and life seems to be throwing me curve balls, I find that I need someone bigger, better, wiser than myself to step in for me and to ‘play those innings.’

If I can wholeheartedly admit that Jesus is my answer when life throws those curve balls, and if He’s as wise, as big, and as strong as I know He is and is the provider of all good things (James 1:17), then why wouldn’t I ALWAYS want Him batting for me?  Really, I think I could do life better than He can?!?!  Wow!  Sounds a little conceited, doesn’t it?

As I start into another new year, my prayer (for myself and for anyone reading this) is that we will learn how to truly rely on Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Wonderful Counselor, the Provider, not only when times are bad, but when they’re good as well.

Jesus, Faithful Companion

January 3

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Betsy

I have to admit…I kind of entered into this blogging venture a bit unenthusiastically. Basically, I didn’t want to be the daughter to say no. I didn’t want to be the disappointing daughter, the needle that deflates mom’s hopes of the three of us doing this together. So here I am, blogging; something I’ve also never done before or thought I’d ever do.  My one stipulation was that our blogs remain anonymous, but I’m pretty sure the anonymity thing went out of the window. I’m the final blogger to go of the three of us and I’m sure it’s not hard to figure out who’s who. Hint: I didn’t just buy a house in Bellefonte and I’m not married:)

When my sister graduated from college and moved to New York State, she took the family dog, Betsy, to live with her to have as a nice little companion so she wouldn’t be alone. My sister loved Betsy. Betsy was always at the door happily greeting her when she came home from work. Betsy was there to comfort her when she felt sad and lonely. And Betsy was a great listener! When Betsy died a couple of years ago, my sister was heartbroken. So, being the wonderfully sensitive woman that she is, she went out and bought a memorial stone (larger than the size of our actual dog!!) and had the words ‘My Faithful Companion’ engraved on it. Betsy was faithful…but Jesus is the ultimate definition of faithful. What a refreshing thought….Jesus: Our constant and Faithful Companion! There are so many verses in the Bible and songs that speak of God’s faithfulness to us. Psalm 36: 5 says ‘Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies’ and Psalm 33:4 says ‘For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all He does.’

Jesus is always with me, wanting to talk with me, wanting to share in my joys and sorrows, wanting to bear my burdens for me. Psalm 139 illustrates this point well. That God watches and knows everything that I do.  There’s nowhere that I can go where He’s not. He’s with me and within me. And what’s even more amazing is that He is with all of us in the same way at the same time! That’s incredible!