Live in the Present

5F962604-2EC1-4410-BBA2-3D923BB4DC71“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Our church message today is that God is always with us each moment and we must live in the present.  The many distractions of this world tend to misdirect our focus on things that do not bring us closer to God.  Indeed we should be still, away from the “noise” and feel God’s presence.  Only then can we live to our true identity.  As the new week begins, I will strive to stay in the moment and live in this awareness and stop worrying about what lies ahead.  God is with us always and will be there forever and all we have to do is have Faith.

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.

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.

New Year’s Resolution

14BCF8B6-C084-4E2B-B379-D5B3FDB0EFD1“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The New Year brings so much to mind. Mostly I am thankful for all the blessings in my life—Faith, family and friends.  Just to be alive to experience it is a joy and I know that God’s plans are far beyond my wildest dreams. My resolution will be to strengthen my faith and follow His ways more nearly. Each new year, indeed each new day, we have a new opportunity to improve ourselves. I pray for strength to honor this commitment to obey His commandments, and to enjoy the process.

Rain

0F606F0D-548D-47E4-B0F9-32DF8D2CAD50“he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭11:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

As we await our flight to Costa Rica, the weather is deteriorating from sunshine to rain. Despite my best intentions, I tend to worry about the possibilities—delays, turbulence, etc. I have been waiting for this special vacation all year, and I despise disappointment. Realizing I must accept whatever happens, I find comfort in knowing that rain is a blessing—without it, we could not survive. Trusting in God defines my Faith so whatever He brings, I will accept.

Surveillance

C7D50894-6A0D-47BE-9297-6C19D2EE3039“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Surveillance
The average American is caught on camera about 70 times a day! The numbers of hidden cameras have grown astronomically due to the low cost and availability. One must assume that everything in public has a high chance of being recorded. Properly used these cameras have tended to deter crime. Obviously certain behaviors are changed when the threat of being captured on camera is real, but many people for whatever reason continue to break the law. Many of these criminals are true sociopaths who disregard societal rules. The Bible tells us that God is ALWAYS watching us and yet we all break some of His commandments. For people who believe in God, that makes no sense—knowing He is watching should deter us from sinning. I guess we all have lapses in our faith or denial when certain temptations arise.

Alive

F463943D-F343-4BC1-9EDB-1DD7D7747FA2“So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭20:38‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Alive

I just learned that a young patient of mine died after a long battle with cancer. She had such Faith with a spirit that shined bright and beautiful. As an oncologist, I often see courage that seems beyond reason and wonder how these individuals can bear so much suffering. It is easy to say how we should face such illness, but difficult to endure when the pain intensifies beyond our imagination. Indeed this woman’s relationship with The God of The Living allowed her to pass with Peace that cannot be humanly understood.