“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
As I read and prayed on these words this morning, God reminded me of the depth of this fundamental truth; that when we embrace the true nature of the Love He freely offers and seek to share that Love in all that we do, we clear the way for God’s peace and joy to overwhelm all those things in our lives that pull us down.
“Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” – James 1:17 (NLT)
When we allow our attitudes, our outlook, our words and our actions to be expressions of the many Blessings God places in our lives each and every day, we not only share His light with those around us but also find that our struggles and circumstances no longer define who we are.
Dear Lord; Happy New Year’s Eve Father!
As my mind wandered this morning Father, drifting along this past year’s erratic path and pondering the days ahead You spoke to my heart; a whispered phrase of things to be…
“Another Chance…” You promised.
And with that I realized Lord… Every day I wake with breath in my lungs You’ve granted me Another Chance…
“I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.” – Lamentations 3:20-23 (NLT)
Another Chance to recognize my mistakes…
And hopefully to learn from them.
Another Chance to receive Your gracious love…
And to share that love with others.
Another Chance to look with wonder at the Blessings all around me…
And Another Chance to worship; to lift my heart to You in gratefulness.
Another Chance to cast off the chains of my self-imposed guilt and failures and place them at Your feet…
And Another Chance to grow closer to You in the process.
Another Chance to read Your Word…
And know You more through each passage and verse.
Another Chance to gracefully accept the assistance of others when it’s offered…
And Another Chance to reach out to them in love as well.
Another Chance to strive for righteousness Lord…
Another Chance to draw closer to the man You desire me to become.
Thank You Father…
For Another Chance.
~Phather PhilPin It
Dear Lord; Happy Wednesday Father!
Over the past couple weeks Father, I’ve been listening to and enjoying a sermon series called “Times and Seasons” preached by Steven Furtick, the lead pastor over at Elevation Church. It’s been a powerful series for me so far Lord, and has touched on some areas of my life that are very raw right this moment. This morning as I pondered the most recent message I’d listened to, You placed on my heart a guest post I wrote for Healthy Spirituality a couple years back. I chased down the document containing the post, and as I reread the words You’d given me during a very different season of my life it dawned on me that even now, Your Promise still holds true…
Such is the way many choose to view the winter landscape.
I believe that winter carries with it a deeper message;
A Promise from God.
I absolutely love taking long, quiet walks in the woods; spending that communion time with my Heavenly Father, surrounded in the majesty of His bounty. In that Stillness, I find that I feel powerfully connected to God’s presence, and He’s used those moments of intimacy to bring me some wonderful revelations.
I try to visit our local forest as often as possible, even during the “less comfortable” seasons. Seeing the many transitions and phases of God’s creation never fails to unveil new truths to me, and whatever the conditions are I always come away feeling Blessed for my time there…
Even in the dead of winter.
Hmmm… The “dead” of winter…
Not a very accurate description in my opinion.
I actually enjoy walking through the woods in the winter months. Strolling among the leafless timbers, the barren landscape lies in stark contrast to the lush foliage that normally fills the scene. And yet, while first impressions are that all life has left this place, nothing could be further from the truth…
Life still resides here…
Promising to burst forth and begin anew with the breath of spring…
Just as God designed it to.
And Funny enough, He designed our lives that way as well. Like that forest, our paths are bound to the seasons God lays out for us…
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)
Times of abundance, and periods of trial; both are gifts from God. We celebrate those moments when His Blessings shine brightly all around us, and yet those times of wanting are also cause to rejoice…
When instead of dwelling on our pain,
We give thanks for His promise;
The promise that it is in fact, a season,
And that in the “dead” of our Winters, there is still life,
And there is still love.
Thank You for our Winters Lord, and Your promise of the Springs ahead.
~Phather PhilPin It