Tag Archive | Bible

A normal life

The other day, I was thinking it would be nice to have a normal life. I won’t even begin to tell you what I think that is. You would probably have a different version of normal.

So what is a normal life? I’m not sure there is one. What I’m probably wishing for is a life designed to my own specifications. One that would be easier than the one I’m living right now. Or at least I think it would be easier, prettier, fancier, if I designed it myself.

It’s a good thing I don’t have that option. In fact, I’m really thankful God does not answer my silly, selfish prayers.

I placed my life in God’s trust so many years ago, and His word tells me He has a perfectly divine design for me. Psalm 139 describes in beautiful detail how I was planned and made according to God’s specifications. It even says all of my days are written in a book.

Now I am all about writing things in a book. I’ve kept a planner for years.  I also journal, keeping records of the past for future reference and future generations who may someday wonder what in the world great-grandmother Wright did with her life.

If I was a design-it-yourself project, I’m afraid I would have missed some of the most memorial events of my life. Not the most pleasant, mind you.  In fact, some of them have been exceedingly painful. Those moments are the ones I remember well, the ones that made such an impact and a difference in me. The hard roads, the excruciating days, the tear-filled weeks, the losses, the squeezing and molding process that was meant to conform me into a Jesus likeness would not have been on my plan sheet. I would never have listed any of them on my To-Do List.

Only God in His all-knowing wisdom would give me such an “abnormal” life. He did it with a purpose in mind, that through it all I would be less me-centered and more concerned for others. That would be the image of Jesus emerging. As a result, He would be glorified.

What is normal?  I still don’t know.  I think it doesn’t exist.  Each person has a life to live, a plan to fulfill, an image to bear.  If that life is surrendered to God as a Christ follower, it will be the best life lived, a perfect plan completed. 

 

What do you think is a normal life?  Leave your comments.  I’d like your opinion.

The gift of worship

 

Today, January 6, is Epiphany, a holiday celebrated by Christians in remembrance of the wise men’s visit to the child Jesus. History tells us Jesus may have been about a year old at the time. Because the wise men, or Magi, were not of the Jewish faith, Epiphany holds significance for Gentiles. Jesus came to the Jewish people first, but we Gentiles were included in the glorious manifestation of God coming to earth.

The word epiphany has come to mean an insight into the meaning of something, a moment of revelation, usually as a result of a simple or commonplace event.

You remember the story of the wise men who traveled a long distance to find this Child who would be king. They searched the heavens for clues about His location. They eventually arrived in Jerusalem and asked the reigning king, Herod, if he could help them find the child. Guided by the star, they found Jesus with Mary and Joseph, and their joy was over flowing.

We have assumed the Magi found him on the same night the shepherds came to see the baby in the manager.  At least, that is the way our Christmas programs portray the scene, isn’t it? 

We have also assumed there were three of them because Matthew 2 mentions three gifts presented to the Christ Child, gold, frankenstein, and myrrh. It was a surprise to me when I actually searched the Scriptures to find there is no mention of how many wise men there really were.

There is something else we might overlook in the story of this strange visitation. Did you ever stop to think that there were not three gifts but four?

“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11, emphasis mine) 

The first gift the Magi offered was their worship.

 The Jewish law instructed the people to come into Jehovah’s presence with an offering or a gift. I read in places like Exodus 23:15 and 34:20 how God said they should not come empty-handed.

As a child of God under the new covenant, I no longer have to bring the blood of bulls and goats.  A complete offering was made for me at the cross of Calvary.

Yet, when I come to God, my Father, I must not come empty-handed either.  The gift, the offering I bring is my sacrifice of praise. 

 Just like the wise men of old, I bow down and I worship.

 

Leave a comment.  I love hearing from you.

2011 is here! What now?

 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Bill Vaughn said, “Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve.  Middle age is when you’re forced to.”  I’d like to add my two cents worth:  Old age is when you sleep through New Year’s Eve.

If the shoe fits, wear it.

This is my last day for organizing tips.  I hope you will let me know if you plan to try any of them.  Or even better, share your tips with me.  

Limit your social networking time.   Facebook is fun, no doubt.  And I guess it’s a legal way to snoop, to be the ultimate nosey neighbor.  If we are not very careful, however, it can eat up our time.  Be aware.  Set a timer.  Limit yourself.  If necessary, be accountable to someone.

Don’t buy so much.  This is a no-brainer.  I can be tempted to buy what I don’t really need because marketers are so good at their jobs.  The glitz is enticing.  The price may be right.  But if I don’t need it, it really isn’t a bargain.  Ask yourself these two questions:  Do I really need it?  Where will I put it? 

If something comes in, something must go out.  This is an appendix to the above.  If you make this a rule when you shop, it might help curtail some impulse buying. 

As I continue with my January organization (begun in December), I am serious about paring down.  It is difficult.  Simplicity is a  far off destination, it seems.  But I’m on the right road.

I remember a quote attributed to WIlliam Morris (1834-1896):

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

I’m not sure I am there yet.  I can easily pick out the useful and the beautiful items.  What stops me dead in my tracks are things that I might need in the future.  I just never know when I will find a use for all those popsicle sticks, the boxes of fabric, a half set of mittens, the clothes that will fit when I lose 20 pound, or old scarves that are sure to come back in style.   Sometimes I think I’m a hopeless keeper of stuff. 

I encourage myself that even the Bible mentions people and their stuff.  Genesis 31:37 is talking about Jacob.  Applying it to me is a bit out of context.  Actually, it is very much out of context.  But here is the verse anyway:

Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff?  (King James Version)

That’s me in a nut shell.  

One thing for sure about this brand new year.  I will be held accountable for the way I spend it.  I’d better spend it wisely.

Happy New Year and Good Organizing to you.