September 14, 2013

Praise you Lord God for Your good Pastors.

I get emails daily from Insight for Today and this one fit my recent weeks, thought I'd pass it along to you all.
For Growing toward Maturity
by Charles R. Swindoll
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless---that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life
and see the day fill up with good,
Here's what you do:
Say nothing evil or hurtful;
Snub evil and cultivate good;
run after peace for all you're worth.
God looks on all this with approval,
listening and responding well to what he's asked;
But he turns his back
on those who do evil things.
---1 Peter 3:8-12 MSG
Father, thank You for the reminder of character qualities that are such a vital part of our Christian lives. Though we bear very few of the marks of maturity Peter wrote about in the passage above, we always need to be stirred up by way of reminder. How often we have come before You, asking for help in these areas! You have heard our pleas on many occasions. Truth be told, You will hear them again. We yearn to be like Your Son, Jesus, the One who modeled each of these marks of maturity to perfection, though fully man. We long to grow in spiritual maturity . . . but the uphill journey takes so long. We confess that it often feels unending.
Thank You for the promise that Your Holy Spirit will be with us each step of the way. We desperately need His empowerment to keep us going and growing . . . until we become like Jesus . . . fully conformed to His image.
We ask, Father, that You give us hope beyond our immaturity. Help us in our unbelief. Guard us from discouragement. As we look back over the checklist You gave to Peter---and realize how far we have to go---remind us also how far we've come, by Your grace. Remind us that You will complete the good work You began in us . . . until the day of Christ Jesus.
Through His matchless name we pray. Amen.
See also John 14:16-17; Galatians 5:16; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 5:8; 2 Peter 1:13.
Oh Lord, help me to be a blessing.

September 12, 2013

The Simple things . . .

The simple things thrill me…
1.       Waking rested
2.       Jackson settled on his chair just people and bird watching
3.       This balcony to sit on and enjoy a cool September morning
4.       Fresh grapes
5.       Hot coffee
6.       The sun rising
7.       The silence of a neighborhood still asleep
8.       Sophie the Yorkie downstairs and her sweet little prance
9.       The jade plants growing
10.   Caring and kindness
11.   A clean apartment
12.   2 more pound off…getting closer J
13.   A simpler haircut
14.   Lotion
15.   Bubble baths
16.   Candles
17.   Revelations
18.   The shade trees
19.   A painting
20.   Soothing harp cd
21.   Did I mention it’s COOL outside – I know I did but it needs repeating
22.   Another summer almost done
23.   Good books
24.   Silly things that make us smile suddenly
25.   Trader Joe’s Orange mineral water
26.   Trader Joe’s anything (I think THAT is the happiest place on earth!)
27.   Last Friday, for dinner, I had French fries…just French fries.   
28.   This final year of the 40s
29.   Plans of Italy
30.   God’s plans of me, His words, “I know what I’m doing.”
31.   Great Bible teachers, messages, pastors…
32.   Brandt and Sherri (Air1) for an afternoon chuckle or two or three or….
33.   Today
34.   Things that make me realize I’m not as young as I think I am
35.   Things that make me realize I’m not as old as I think I am
36.   Apple fritters
37.   Sitting here, typing a list of things simple pleasures
38.   Clean fresh water
39.   Electricity
40.   Breathing
41.   Walking
42.   Leaning back in the chair, eyes closed, mind off
43.   Emails from Andy, Ag, Aud…Tena…
44.   Phone calls at just the right time
45.   Cinnamon toast
46.   Tarragon
47.   Fresh sheets
48.   Soft towels
49.   Broken in jeans
50.   Bare feet…
Go ahead, make your own list, it’s refreshing J