Incredible Delight

Delight:
  • a high degree of gratification : joy; also : extreme satisfaction
  • something that gives great pleasure <her performance was a delight> 
  • archaic : the power of affording pleasure            (www.merriam-webster.com)

What brings delight to your life?

   Your children?

     A cup of coffee with a good friend?

       Watching your favorite sporting event?

         Walking through the woods, along a beach, or some other beautiful place?

     

Do you know what brings delight to God?

YOU!!!

The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
                                      Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

This can be hard to grasp. The God of the universe, the Creator of the world and all that is in it delights in YOU, and in me, and in each person who loves Him and seeks to do His will.  

He promises it in His word, and all we have to do is believe and accept His delight, and then live in it.

I’m praying that each of you will find your peace in life’s puzzle today as you delight in the Lord and receive His delight in you.

blessings!

Paula

 

 

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Take EVERY Thought Captive?

Winnie The Pooh once asked, “Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?” I don’t seem to have that problem. I seem to think constantly and sometimes it’s overwhelming. Occasionally I even wake myself up in the night thinking. I weigh options and mull things over, not wanting to settle for something less than the best. I’m not often spontaneous, I’m much more of a “routine” person. I will admit that at times this has more cons than pros, but that’s the way I’m programmed.

I was mowing lawn today and surprise! I got to thinking. The lawn mower is an ideal thinking spot as there isn’t much else to do whilst riding along making beautiful rows of freshly mown grass. Anyway as I was thinking I began wishing there was a device that would record what I was thinking it while I was thinking it so I wouldn’t lose my deliberations after hours on the mower.

As I was dreaming about my special thought capturing device it hit me. What if this device captured every thought I was thinking…all the time? If I couldn’t turn my thought snatcher off and on, how would I feel about what it captured? How often are my thoughts unkind, unruly and un-Christlike? And what if others could access the thoughts on my device? Would I be embarrassed by what they encountered?

Paul encourages us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to

“demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the

 knowledge of God, and take captive every thought

to make it obedient to Christ.”

This challenge is posed to every believer. What we think really does matter. We may not have a machine that records our thoughts, but we do have a Father and Creator who sees our hearts and hears our thoughts. Whether or not they are Godly matters to Him and it should matter to us. Our thoughts about strangers matter just as much to Him as thoughts about our friends and family. When we take our thoughts captive we make them matter to us as well. Deciding if they are pleasing to God and making the choice to stop thinking those that are not is a discipline that we learn by drawing closer to God through scripture, prayer and examining the life of Christ. Becoming more like Him inside and out is the ultimate joy in life and brings everlasting peace.

So as I thought some more about my thought snatching device I realized that I have some work to do before I want all of my thoughts captured…at least externally. I will have to keep working on taking my thoughts captive.

And for now I’ll stick to paper and pencil!

blessings and peace to you!

Paula

Too Old To Hold?

From the moment we were born most of us spent a great deal of time in someone’s arms. Whether it was our mom, dad, or another who cared for us, we were held, hugged and helped most of our waking hours. We depended on another not only to meet our physical needs, but our emotional needs and wants as well.

As we grew and gained independence our attachment to others waned and we began to show and accept less physical affection. We may have even pushed away from those who wanted to embrace us, declaring ourselves “too old” for the mushy stuff. We wanted to stand on our own two feet, not needing someone else to hold us up.

When we were introduced to God many of us were encouraged to focus on the rules He expects us to follow and the life He wants us to lead. We are told that God loves us, but often that love seems far away and conditional. We sing the song “Jesus Loves The Little Children” and have that picture of the children gathered around Jesus, smiling and being held by Him. It’s a beautiful picture, but just as our independence may cause us to push away the affection of humans, we also may find ourselves pushing away the affection of God. We struggle and strive to be “good enough”, fearing perfection is the only way to stay in God’s good graces.  

But does it ever get lonely? Do you ever wish you could go back and climb into someone’s lap to be held and told everything is going to be okay?

I have good news for you! God is waiting to do just that.

While God does lay out rules for us and desires us to live without sin, He looks at our hearts along with our actions. If Jesus Christ is our Savior and we live our lives with the desire to please Him and to help others come to know Him as well, His love becomes that of a Father, not a judge. God isn’t waiting to punish us each time we do wrong. He will correct us as a Father corrects His children, but He also longs to love on us, not cast us aside each time we do wrong.

If you are a parent, think of your love for your children. If you don’t have children of your own, think of how you feel toward your nieces, nephews or other children to whom you are close. Sometimes you are required to discipline them. Part of your responsibility is to teach them right from wrong and help them to become wonderful human beings. But after you discipline them, what do you do next? Do you send them away until they become perfect or do you take them into your arms to reinforce how much you love them even though sometimes they fail? You most likely treasure the time you can hug them, hold them and reassure them of your love, no matter how old your children get. 

Now remember that we were made in God’s image. That’s right, God made us like Him! The affection we feel for others is indicative of His love for us.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”                                  1 John 3:1

I want to put a challenge out to each of you. When you feel alone, and aren’t sure of your place in the world, find a quiet spot where you can spend some time with God. Begin talking to Him and revealing your heart as if you were a child again. Push aside the preconceived notions in your head of how you are supposed to act and what you are supposed to say when you’re talking with God and just tell Him how you feel. Imagine that you are little again, running to your dad or mom, falling into their arms and pouring out your story. Visualize yourself falling into God’s arms and climbing into His lap.

Then just rest there and feel His comfort, peace and love.

He’s waiting for you to rest in the peace only He can give.

In your Father’s eyes you are never too old to hold.

 

Wishing you blessings and peace today.

Paula

Life In A Rearview Mirror

As September dawns and summer is quickly fading I am tempted to look back with longing and want to go back. I love summer with it’s warmth and carefree atmosphere. The days are filled with the lightheartedness of kids who are out of school and ready for adventure, the look and smell of freshly cut grass, beautiful flowers all around, and the sense of togetherness as families seek to spend more time together vacationing, camping, or just enjoying time tossing a ball around in the back yard. The thought of it fading into fall (which only leads to winter) gives me a melancholy feeling, and I will admit that this morning one of my first thoughts was, “I want a DO-OVER!!”

I was soon convicted however, that life should not be lived in a rearview mirror.

I’m not suggesting that we should not look back and remember or even evaluate the past. God equipped us with memories and He wants us to use them. He doesn’t want us to learn or experience something just to cast it aside with no more regard for what benefit we gained from it.

But at the same time, God does not want us to live life in a rearview mirror. Each day we are given is a gift from God, an opportunity to learn more and to touch the lives of others with the words we say or the things we do. God has a plan for each of us, and in order to fulfill that plan we need to keep going, focusing ahead of us and not living in the past.

In Philippians 3:12-14 Paul gives us an example to follow:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Whether the past has been filled with positive or negative things in your life, I encourage you to leave them in the past and look ahead to what is still coming. Seasons change, but God does not. God’s plans aren’t affected by the seasons of the earth, they are dependent on how much we focus on Him and look for Him in each day…pressing on to find the gift that is a part of today.

May you find the peace that is waiting for you today, and know that a glance in your rearview mirror is good, but to find where you are going you need to look ahead.

blessings to you on this first day of September!

Paula