Posts Tagged ‘godly living’

Heart of pearls

Image by TheCleopatra via Flickr

The word faithfulness, or full of faith, draws up a myriad of images from the well of our memories. Some of those remembrances are full of light and love, radiating hope from their depths. While others are colored gray or black as we remember times when those we trusted to be faithful were anything but.

We remember other people’s faithfulness, and other people remember our faithfulness, or lack thereof. But, how many of us take time to recall and remember how many times the LORD has been faithful to us?

There are so many times in scripture that we are cautioned and warned not to forget what the LORD has done, how faithful He is. Many times this push to remember is accompanied with the reminder of the fact that He can’t be anything but faithful because being wholly faithful is not just a part of His character, it is who He is.

Let’s take the time today to remember the LORD and His faithfulness to us, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.

“For great is His faithful love to us; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah.”

Psalm 117:2

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Old books

Image via Wikipedia

I love books. I have always loved books. It’s not just what stories they tell that has always captured my imagination, but it’s how they are.

New books smell like new paper and new ink, while older books smell a little damper, a little richer, a little deeper. Older books feel that much more fragile than younger books, making you want to handle them a little more gently, taking care every time you turn their pages. Many times when those pages are turned rustling quietly, you find treasures of hand inked artwork or colored plates that look more like they could be framed and hung on the wall instead of nestled between pages of text.

You can always tell when books have been printed with inexpensive ink on less than optimum paper, making it seem like whoever put them together didn’t care enough to take the time to make sure they had the very best of materials at hand. The cheaper books smell a little more acrid, the pages are bound together so they fall out easily and they just don’t appeal.

I sometimes go to used bookstores to see what they have. Whenever I buy a book from one of these stores, especially older books, I wonder who has handled them before me and what those people’s stories were. I think about the story behind the story so to speak.

We all have them, these stories of our lives, and each is unique to us even if some of the situations and hallmarks of our tales are very similar.

The other day a friend of mine mentioned that we are all books being written and whoever we are in contact with and whoever we care about, or maybe don’t care about, finds their way into our own book. Whether that presence be in a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a page or more. Our life stories are threaded throughout with the life stories of others as they touch our own. The impact they have on us is forever recorded in the pages of our own lives.

Yet, even though we all have our own life story that is being written in our own books as we go along, and our books are connected with other people’s books, that doesn’t mean we are able read our own story as it is. Many times we read it with colored glasses, making it fit in with what we want it to be, instead of just accepting the story that’s laid out in black and white before us, and seeing ourselves, and our stories, as they truly are.

Even so, what amazes me about the stories of our lives, the books of us and how we feature into other people’s books as well, it that they are all being kept track of by the Lord and where we figure into the books that He keeps. The Book of Life that He keeps includes the names of all those whose own books feature Him and tell of a relationship with Him.

Just like books that we can pick up, read, smell and feel, and through that can tell if they are new, old, made well or not, the books of our lives should show the impact the Lord has on us and our lives and whether we belong to Him or not. The pages and words should show where He touches us, where He changes us, and where His unfailing love and faithfulness is featured in the words, the sentences, the paragraphs and the pages of our lives.

For those of us who believe,  He should show up like precious gold among the black and white pages of our lives.

“However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Luke 10:20

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God is near and far at the same time. Isn’t that just the strangest thing to wrap your head around?

Yet, the Bible is very clear that this is the case. Not only that, but He makes it very clear that when we become His children He will never leave us or forsake us, which is a pretty cool thing when you think about it.

But, can the same be said for us? Our hearts are fickle at best. We are so easily led by the shiny, the glamorous, the amazing, that we rarely think about what we may be walking away from in order to try to get to that which is looking so good to us at the time.

How many times do we impose on the grace and love of God by choosing to walk away from Him? Walking away from how He says we should live, in order to just get a taste or a view of something we know He wouldn’t approve of?

Many times we’re just ‘checking it out”, just “seeing what it’s like” when we find that we’re headlong into an area that we didn’t think we would ever be found in. And to make matters worse, we get lost there and can’t see a way back. Like sheep with no homing instinct we are lost until He comes out to rescue us once again.

In our arrogance don’t we just think, ‘He’ll forgive me, after all he loves me and I just can’t help myself, this is just how I am’. Isn’t that why Christ came? Because we can’t help ourselves because of how we are? To give us what we need to walk with Him?

But we still have a choice no matter how difficult it is. Either to live walking with Him in the path that He wants for us, or impose on His goodness by walking away then coming back. Walking away then coming back over an over again.

When we live our lives this way what we’re basically saying over our shoulder as we walk out the door and down the long curved hallway again is ‘I know there’s something better than You and I’m just going to try it out for awhile, but, if it doesn’t work out I’ll be back.”

How many of us have come back? Again? And again? And again?

How many times do we have to behave this way before we realize that there is nothing better than Him? That no matter what, God is better?

“For this is what the LORD requires of you men, only to act justly, to love faithfulness and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8

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Sticky notes by Post It are happiness in a square.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve loved the little pads since they first came out oh so long ago. Now, it seems like no office can truly get by without them.

Do you have something to say to someone else? Just write it on a Post It. Do you have something to say to yourself? Just write it on a Post It.

The fact that they have changed through the years makes them even more endearing. They have been dressed up from their original not so bright yellow, to neon pink among other wonderfully happy colors and now can be found in the shape of hearts and stars as well as squares.

The way they stick together has changed too. You can get them accordion style or just the plain old-fashioned one-at-a- time-stuck-together-at-the-top depending on how you want to take them out of their holder.

They serve a variety of functions in my house. I write notes to my son and stick them on the fridge or the cupboard, knowing they won’t leave a mark when they’ve served their purpose in getting the message across.

I write relevant scripture on them and put them on my bedroom mirror, in my checkbook ( yes, my checkbook which has started to look like a multi-colored butterfly in hues of bright pink, blue, green and yellow in my purse ) and anywhere else that I may look and be reminded that God speaks all the time, everywhere.

We don’t even need a sticky note to let us know that, that the living God who created the universe and everything in it, whether we acknowledge it or not, speaks to us all the time anywhere and everywhere.

And never so much than in His Word, it’s like a book full of sticky notes from God.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

John 1:1

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There are times in life when we just need to sit back and listen to what God has to say to us.

It’s kind of like when we were kids. We’d get so upset with something our parents were trying to tell us to do, that we weren’t able to hear what they had to say.

Even if we were quiet before them, we were fighting them in our minds replaying every scenario of what we’d say to them if we could.

How many times have you been fighting God so hard that you miss not only what He has to say, but what way He wants you to go?

“I will instruct you in the way you should go; with My eye on you, I will give you counsel. Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle, or else it will not come near you.”
Psalm 32:8-9

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