Monday, July 27, 2015

The Age of Technology

By Andrea Merrell

I feel like I’ve become part of the space age. Maybe I should change my name to Jetson.

We have a new robot as part of our household, and her name is Rosie. She’s a round disk about the size of a large cake pan and she vacuums my floor with the touch of a button. She and I get along very well.

There are so many gadgets that make our life simpler. It’s hard to imagine how people used to function without all this modern technology.  We even have newly designed cars that can park without human assistance.

There was a time when no one owned a cell phone, laptop, or GPS. There was no iPad, iPod, or even a Kindle. Looking back further, people survived without electricity and indoor plumbing. Going back even further, think about the Israelites wandering around for forty years in the desert. There was no such thing as tissues, paper towels, or toilet paper. What did the women do without diapers, baby wipes, and all the necessary feminine products? There were no microwaves or drive-thru restaurants. No phones to order take-out.

It’s hard to imagine life that way, but it makes me wonder if our generation has become so soft we’ve forgotten what it means to work hard. The trend today is to “work smarter, not harder.” Great concept, but maybe we’ve taken it to an extreme. We’ve gotten so smart we never want to work hard at anything. We want our coffee in thirty seconds, a great meal in less than thirty minutes, and instant access to everything technology has to offer. And heaven forbid if we should ever have to wait in line—for anything.

Am I saying I want to go backward and get rid of all my modern conveniences? Absolutely not. I’ll keep utilizing Rosie andlike everyone elsekeep looking for ways to simplify my life.

Maybe what I am saying is that we should appreciate all the things we have to make our life  better, yet not be afraid to dig our heels in, use a little elbow grease, and do some manual labor when it needs to be done. The Bible says a man has joy by the answers of his mouth. I also believe a man (or woman) feels intense pleasure and satisfaction with a job well done.

(Photo courtesy of Stockpic.)

TWEETABLE

To view in browser, click here.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Darkness Must Flee for My Light Has Come

Today's inspirational post is by author and speaker, Nan Jones. Check out her new book, Perils of a Pastor's Wife. See link below.

By Nan Jones


Arise [from the depression and 
prostration
in which circumstances have 
kept you—rise to a new life]! 
Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), 
for your light has come, 
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! 
~ Isaiah 60:1, AMP


I couldn't sleep. My mind leaped from thought to restless thought, tumbling into the shadowed abyss between. With a heavy sigh I finally surrendered and got up. I fumbled through the darkness until bumping into the couch in our den. Sitting down, I curled up on the end near a window.

Father, I prayed, I'm so overwhelmed. I'm consumed with sorrow and ridden with anxiety. There is no peace within me. Be my peace, Lord. Please be my peace.

I adjusted the throw pillow so I could hold it in a snuggle and feel its soft caress against my cheek. Darkness shrouded me in its heavy cloak. Tears trickled. Shoulders heaved. And my spirit struggled to press into the One who loves me.


"Jesus ... Jesus," I spoke in a soft whisper.


My eyes scanned the ebony sky. It was nearly dawn, but the black of storm clouds fought the rising sun. Towards the east, a faint silvery glimmer appeared. The dawning of a new day struggled to break through the persistent storm clouds, ominous in size, harmful in their threat.


I watched the battle in the heavenlies.


Mesmerized.


Hoping against hope that the light of a new day would win over the billowing clouds of night.

The old mantle clock ticked away the minutes, filling the quiet with rhythms of life. I watched as the sky's silvery nugget began to expand. Edges of golden light fringed its soft perimeter, silhouetting and revealing the magnitude of the clouds. The light continued to grow, overcoming the darkness with its brilliance. I watched as the storm clouds bowed to the presence of the light. 


As the morning sky sang praise to its Creator, the darkness of the storm faded. The colossal clouds began to reflect the morning light as they transformed before my eyes. Ribbons of apricot streaked across the expanse of heaven, delighting and calming my worn spirit.

The Lord spoke quietly into my heart, Nan, I am the Light in your darkness. Just as the light of dawn overcame the darkness of night, so my Presence in your life overcomes your despair. I am your peace, your hope, your joy. With your mind stayed on Me, I will keep you in perfect peace.

"Yes, Lord," I whispered back, the colors of dawn reflecting in my eyes. "With my eyes focused on You and You alone, I will find peace. Your glory will light my path, permeating my darkness and lacing it with the brilliance of dawn."

The fiery globe of the morning sun rose above the mountain ridge and gave a nod towards my sleepy face. The darkness fled, for my Light had come.


TWEETABLES



Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence. She has been published in several anthologies and online venues, and is the author of The Perils of a Pastor's Wife. Visit Nan at www.NanJones.com, or http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com/, or her Facebook community page, Seeing Beyond The Veil. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com.

The Perils of a Pastor's Wife is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

To read in browser or to leave a comment for Nan, click here.




Monday, July 13, 2015

Here's Your Sign

By Andrea Merrell

Being confident of this very thing, 
that He who has begun a good work in you 
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Phil. 1:6-7 NKJV

Have you ever felt like hanging a sign around your neck that says, Out of order? Maybe you need to wear one of those sandwich signs with the words, Beware, or even Danger—Explosives!  How about a button that says Keep Out, Pity Party in Progress, or Closed for Repairs

Sounds comical, yes, but many times we walk around conveying these same messages with our attitudes, words, facial expressions, and body language.

There will always be days when we’re not at our best or at the top of our game.  We will experience times when we feel down, useless, helpless, and out of sorts.  Those are the days our sign should read, Under Construction, Pardon Our Mess, or Please Be Patient—God’s Not Finished with Me Yet.

We’re all a work in progress—a diamond in the rough—an unfinished puzzle—a masterpiece in the making.  Are we going to do it right every time? 

No. 

Are we going to mess up, blow it, and make wrong decisions? 

Absolutely. 

Is God going to be surprised, caught off guard, or disappointed when we do? 

Not on your life. 


God just keeps on loving, forgiving, restoring, correcting, molding and shaping us. He is a master craftsman and each one of us is His special project and precious treasure.

So, the next time you’re tempted to bring out the Out Of Order sign, how about replacing it with this one: He who began a good work in ME will complete it in His time and His perfect way.

(Photos courtesy of morguefile.com.)

TWEETABLE

To read in  browser, click here.



Monday, July 6, 2015

Blind Spots

By Andrea Merrell

But how can I ever know what sins are 
lurking in my heart? Cleanse me
from these hidden faults. And keep me from 
deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them.
Psalm 19: 12-14 TLB


Few things are worse than a car with serious blind spots. Frustrating and dangerous, they can leave the driver –who is not being careful and paying close attention—vulnerable to major problems.

It’s the same with our spiritual walk. Blind spots … we all have them. Without the Holy Spirit revealing them to us, we may never see our sin, our bad habits, and our negative traits. Even when we feel like we know ourselves better than anyone else, we tend to overlook, ignore, or justify things that simply need to change.

On the flip side, we can also be blind to talents, abilities, and God-given, innate qualities that need to be recognized and nurtured.

It’s been said that “we’re our own worst enemy.” This is especially true when we refuse to look at ourselves closely in the light of God’s presence and the mirror of His Word.

Don’t let your blind spots derail you. It’s far better to recognize and deal with them than to have someone else point them out to you. Let’s pray along with the psalmist: Cleanse me from these hidden faults. And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. God will come to our rescue, remove the blinders, and light the path before us.

(Photo courtesy of morguefile.com and picmonkey.)

TWEETABLE

To view in browser, click here.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Door is Closed

By Andrea Merrell

And if you leave God's paths and go astray, 
you will hear a voice
behind you say, 
"No, this is the way; walk here.”
Isaiah 30:21 TLB


I was so excited. We had been such good friends years before and now we finally had a chance to reconnect. This was going to be the rekindling of one of the best, most meaningful relationships I had ever had—the BFF kind of friendship. There would be so much to talk about … so much catching up to do.

Or not.

After our initial greeting, the conversation was stilted and the awkwardness almost unbearable. It seemed we had gone our separate ways—physically, emotionally, and mentally. We no longer had a connection and our reunion fell flat.

I was devastated until I realized the woman had been put in my life for a certain season and a single purpose. When the season came to an end, God closed the door and we both moved on. Now, years later, here I was … trying to re-open the door with a crowbar.

Sound familiar?

Sometimes it’s hard to let go, and we can easily lose our way, but all seasons come to an end, according to God's plan. We can spend all our time staring at the locked door, trying to break it down, or peering through the keyhole. But God’s plan is for us to move on and look for the doors that are wide open with a welcome mat that says, This is the way, walk here.

That’s where the blessings are, and they're always better than before.

(Photos courtesy of morguefile.com.)

TWEETABLE

To read in browser, click here.