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Gratitude for Life

B46453F7-2851-4221-85AE-69E3CFC4296E“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There have been functional MRI studies that show that positive thinking can lead to “rewiring” in the brain that accounts for better moods.  It is truly amazing that we do have this control of ourselves.  I know that our society casts many unpleasant circumstances upon us, but the way we handle these challenges affects our well being; so, it is wise to count our blessings and express gratitude for them—it keeps us healthy!

Weddings

0AFB6CC4-47D2-4488-981B-E30F92C834BA“On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.””
‭‭John‬ ‭2:1-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Weddings

As my daughter prepares for her wedding, I reflected upon weddings in general. These ceremonies have lots of common traditions around the world. Most have music, flowers, dancing, fancy dresses, food and drink. They have ignited an entire industry! (Google ‘weddings’) Obviously the most important thing is the union of two people who vow to love each other as long as they live. However, there is much cynicism about marriage among our society that has probably resulted from the high divorce rate and lack of commitment. Recently one young woman told me that many people her age don’t think marriage is necessary because humans are not meant to mate for life—they change and need to change companions to accommodate their needs and desires. Certainly we have become more self centered and feel more independent, despite our ultimate frailty and dependence on so many things. Perhaps weddings themselves have become the main reason for many to want to be married. Seemingly we have become a pleasure driven world.

 

 

My Heart

0CC74BA5-2F8E-4E0A-B1AB-3B9BC76C2F63“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today I am feeling thankful for a loving God that has saved me by Grace.  Everyday I realize how hard life can be and how my very nature is sinful.  It is The Spirit that guides me and comforts me and convicts me, revealing the Light and the Way.  Trying to  perfect myself without Him is impossible for me.  I am weak failing flesh, but He is life.  I fall, but He lifts me up.  I worry, but He whispers “fear not”.  For me at least, Faith is tough work, but I know that it has rewards beyond my imagination. With His presence, I will endure.

Tardiness

8EECBFD1-84FA-4690-81FC-D7A8A343D330“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:31‬ ‭ESV

Tardiness

My family and friends will tell you that I am always on time, which requires being early more often than late.  Some social events may allow for a reasonable delay of arrival, but the concept of fashionably late has spiraled out of control.  Particular for one on one meetings, being on time should be expected.  Tardiness is rude, selfish and inconsiderate.  Time is also precious for the person waiting and the tardy one essentially steals that time.

Costa Rica

6674C03B-E3A6-4FC6-BC9E-FE8375BDC6DBCosta Rica

What a beautiful country! The weather we experienced was perfect with plenty of sunshine and brilliant sunsets. The beaches and rainforests and zip lines lived up to their reputation. All the food was fresh and delicious and the drinks delightful. The native animals made guest appearances just at the right times to highlight our festivities. But the main joy were the people—kind and patient and friendly!! This family vacation was my first visit to Costa Rica, but with all these attributes along with the ease of travel, there will be more.

Peace and War

18D7F46F-E53A-4239-8FA4-8179CC2141A5“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:7‬ ‭ESV

As tensions rise and the threat of war seems eminent, I paused to think about when is war the right course of action. Our nation ignored the atrocities of the Nazis and the Axis Powers until Pearl Harbor was bombed. Now we have been ignoring the atrocities of Middle Eastern terrorists until recent targeted attacks. I hate war and long for Peace, but sometimes evil requires annihilation.

New Decade

292CD377-01F8-4398-880C-22CB3122A196“”Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:18-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Hindsight is 2020—so now it is time to move onward!! This new decade is a great opportunity for new challenges and goals. My family just watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and we loved the sign in Mr. Bailey’s office, “All you can take with you is that which you’ve given away.” What a powerful message! I want that attitude to define my life and the 20’s seem perfect for this mission. Exactly how I proceed is uncertain, but one thing is for sure, I plan to live by Faith and not fear.