Sunday Rewind! (By, In And For Love…)

This morning I spent a little bit of time at Eureka talking about how we are not meant to do life by ourselves. I talked about how we were created by love, in love and for love. This is one of those things that I have known for quiet some time, but as I grow older, I seem to get it more and more and I can very clearly see it’s relevance to our everyday life and living.

We Were Created By Love! In the very first book of the Bible Genesis 1:26-28 we read: “26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

This reminds us that we are made in the image of God and given dominion over every living thing. It also explains that God male and female and blessed them with the command to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it. This is not something we do by ourselves, but something we do TOGETHER.

Often times, we tend to think of God as some cruel judge in the sky, just waiting to catch us doing something wrong, so He can fling a lightening bolt, but that is not God at all. Our God is a loving and patient Creator, who want the absolute best for His creation. The Bible teaches us that God is LOVE. God is everything we know as good and so much more…

We Were Created In Love! Thomas Merton said: “Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with one another. I heard a story about an experiment with rats. The researches put a rat in a cage and gave it a choice between pure water and drug laced water. Most of the rats chose the drug laced water and often continued drinking it until they over dosed and died. The researchers concluded that if given a choice, the majority of people will use drugs.

This was the prevailing opinion, until another researcher came a long and re-designed the experiment. This time rather than having the rat all alone in a cage, the researcher allowed the rats to live together in what he called a “RAT PARK”, where they could socialize, eat good meals together, exercise, mate and live a fulfilling life. Under these conditions, the researcher found that the majority of rats chose the pure water.

It wasn’t the drug that determined if a person would use drugs or not, but rather their emotional state and their environment that would help decide. Social isolation is not good for any of us and a lack of stimulation that comes from always being alone is not natural and can lead to hopelessness and unhealthy coping strategies. The bottom line: We were created for relationship, friendship and connection.

We Were Created For Love! There is more to this life than just me and my life. There is you and your life and them and their life and all of us we created to do this thing called life together. Before we can offer love to anyone else, we must first receive it for ourselves and give it to ourselves, because when we get this right, then we are ready to share love and acceptance with others.

To get church right, then we must come together on a regular basis to do life together in a better way than we ever could a part or separate from the place and people of church. When I was growing up, it was not just the people my own age that blessed me at church, it was people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Love is the beautiful gift of God that keeps on giving to us and through us. I challenge you to get it right by receiving it and then sharing it with everybody, everywhere in every way you can…

The Power Of Choice!

I usually get pretty reflective during the weekends and I’m not really sure why? Maybe it’s because I have a block of unfocused time and I feel compelled to try and do something useful with it. Whatever the reason, I usually find myself looking back on my life and the lessons that I’ve learned and that I am learning.

Today, I have been thinking about choices and how we are blessed with the opportunity to make them every day. Right now, if you are reading this, it is because you made a choice to check out what this ole boy is up to. If you are not reading this, then we are talking about you and you have no idea. (HAHA)

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” -Proverbs 19:21

In the very same way that you made a choice to click on over to my blog, we also have the ability to make a choice to be HAPPY. The really amazing and beautiful choice is that every day of our lives is filled with opportunities for us to choose to experience happiness.

In the moments of our lives, we have opportunities to do very simple things that enhance our lives and bless others, if we will just make the choice to pay attention and not miss it. God has blessed each one of us with a future of hope, success and blessing. All we have to do is start stacking up right choices on top of each other.

In the morning, when we make the choice to get up, we get to make a choice about how we are going to get up. Our attitude will determine our altitude for the day, so we should choose carefully. If we choose to, we can find so many different things in our life to rejoice and be happy about. There is available to us, a continual stream of reminders about the faithfulness of God to those who He loves and and who love Him back.

One of the things I am learning about this human experience is that it is supposed to be enjoyed. I really believe that God created us to walk through this life with a smile on our face that says to the rest of the world: “I AM BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!” Take time to start living your life on purpose as you chase after the purpose you were created for. Look for and find the goodness and blessing in each and every day. Before you know it, you will be super wealthy with happiness, joy and you will find yourself living the amazing life you chose to live…

Prioritizing Your Priorities!

I reached up on the book shelf above my creative desk and pulled one of the leather journals down to take a glance. As I fingered through the pages, among the scriptures, gratitude lists and task, my eyes fell onto a heading labeled My Top Ten Priorities. I smiled, because I can vaguely remember making the list and also because I feel like I maybe have made a little progress over the last five years. I thought I would share the list with you, in the hopes that it might encourage and maybe even inspire you to think about your own…

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7

MY TOP TEN PRIORITIES:

1.) ADVENTURE – Life is not supposed to be boring and it’s really not boring, if we are paying attention. There are amazing things happening everyday all around us. People to see, places to go, experiences to have and life to enjoy. I think one of the greatest lessons I have been learning is that everyday is an adventure, if I’m ready, willing and able…

2.) BALANCE – This is one of those lessons that we always know we need to learn, but always seem to have a hard time learning. We may get it right for a day or two and then before we know it, BAM – it’s all messed up again. This is not a “one and done”, this is a work in progress. But balance is very important if we want to keep from drowning in this life…

3.) FAITH – This has always been foundational to me, even in the times when it is not high on my priority list, because I am nothing without it. Believing in God and that He has a plan for my life is vital to everything else falling into place. Without this, nothing else works…

4.) FAMILY – The old saying is: “You can’t live with em and you can’t live without em” And most of us have discovered this to be very true. I love my family, immediate and extended. As different and crazy as some of us are, I really wouldn’t have it any other way, because our crazy is our normal and it’s really a pretty sweet blessing…

5.) FUN – All work and no play will make you boring and bored. Every now and then, we have to let our hair down and enjoy ourselves. Sometimes we need to run out and dance in the rain or maybe go jump in the lake. We need to enjoy ice cream, hot chocolate and a good joke. When was the last time you laughed so hard, your belly hurt???

6.) GROWTH – Whenever we stop growing, we begin dying and it is often a slow and agonizing thing. My greatest growth seems to have taken place over the last few years. The older I get, the more I realize and understand just how much I don’t know that I thought I did know…

7.) HEALTH – Three areas are important: Physical, mental and spiritual. If we don’t take care of all three and work to enhance all three, we will become sick and our quality of life and living will be impacted in a very big way. There are very simple, but powerful things we can do to be healthy in all three areas and we need to make sure that we are doing our part.

8.) WISDOM – You can have all kinds of education, knowledge and learning and still be a fool. Have you ever met an educated fool? Wisdom is the proper us of knowledge. We not only need the knowledge, but the common sense to use it in meaningful and productive ways…

9.) SERVICE – God gives to us so that we can give to others. When we take the gifts and talents God has given to us and share them with others, God is glorified and we all are blessed. Ministry really is what makes the world go round…

10.) PASSION – To me this is love on fire! God is love and we are made in God’s image, so we are to be love to. Love is not something we say. Love is not even something we do. Love is what we are, if we are being what we were created to be. If we are love, then the doing and the saying are taken care of…

Amazed By Grace!

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