Thursday, September 25, 2008
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.--1 Peter 2 : 9 --NKJV
I was reading something that I knew but didn't pay much attention to today until I began to think about it. We like to label and define people. Advertisers and marketers talk about demographics, separating people into categories according to age, interests, and buying patterns. We were graded and evaluated when we were in school, and again as an adult in our job description which sorts us into departments, functions, and salary levels. Just think about what we say when someone asks who we are. We describe ourselves as a Mother, a wife, a leader of a women's group,,,ect. We then describe ourselves by race, religion, physical appearance, career achievements or intelligence. But the real question is not, "How do I or others define my identity?" Instead, the real question is, " How does God define my Identity?"
The Bible says that our identity is in Christ, not in the circumstances of our birth, our economic standing in the world, or our ability to please others. This positive identity transcends all human categories, freeing us to live out our calling from God. I know my identity in Christ is a constant source of strength. My hope is not in my power or righteousness or self-discipline. It's in God's power working through me.
Sometimes I dwell on not being pretty enough, or spiritual enough, and sometimes I feel as though I'm not a good enough wife. I know these are all things Satan is telling me. But I also know that God sees me differently. He sees me as uniquely created and beautiful in His eyes. You and I are made in the image of God. We are forgiven, and called in Christ. What a wonderful calling we have.
When we claim our identity in Christ, we have a peaceful confidence in His declaration of who we are. Circumstances may change and we may make mistakes, but God sees us as perfect and complete in His Son. This identity offers a solid foundation that gives us room to grow and change, encouraging new interests and adventures. It's large enough for a lifetime and allows us to explore who we are and what we want to become.
Our identity as God's beloved child will improve your relationships, freeing us from the need to manipulate others. We no longer have to conform to stereotypes of who and what we "should" be. We can revel in our own individuality and accept others differences. We can stand for what we believe without the need to prove ourselves superior to others.
Dear God, Thank you for your grace and your love and creating us in your own image. What a wonderful gift you have given us. Please help us to enjoy our freedom and to explore our identity that you have given us knowing that we are very special in your eyes.
Love, your adopted daughter,
Thoughts To Ponder:
To work in the world lovingly means that we are defining what we will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against.--Christina Baldwin
Christians have an entirely new basis for identity. The basis is a foundational reality which transcends any culture's value of a person.
Some Things I Can Do:
1. Be confident because I know that God has called me.
2. Do my best and trust God with the results.
3. Relax in God's love instead of trying too hard.
4. Know that God thinks I am special.
Smile! God Loves You and So Do I.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Just a short note to say I have the photos of our bedroom makeover as my b-day gift in my gallery now. DH painted the 2 walls gold for us. When we first moved into the house 8 years ago, he made the bi-fold doors out of cypress wood for the 2 closets in our room. We never did find out why they never had doors on them.
The chest of drawers is solid oak, circa late 1850 something we are told. The hip chair which you can see in the gallery picture is extinct American walnut. We found both pieces at an auction we've been frequenting for 8 years now.
The quilts on my quilt rack came from my husband's family and some date back over 100 years. I am very grateful to have them.
The picture on the paneled wall was a gift from my DH several years ago. I found it at the auction as well and fell in love with it. He said he bought it because it looked like what I like. He said, "It's you!"
We have 5 stained glass and one etched glass window we got from the same auction through the years. We also have a Morris chair, which has large oak arms and carved wood and legs that look like a lion's paws. The back and seat is leather, and it is an early recliner. It has a bar on the back and three positions that you can slide the bar into to raise or lower the back of the chair as a recliner. I have a small round marble top table as well. We also have a trunk that my FIL used when he went to college and it was sent on a train to his college. The trunk is over 100 years old as well. I have several cut crystal bowls from the family too. I love the beauty of antiques. It was fun looking for a few things to furnish our home with years ago.
Please don't think I am bragging...I just wanted to share some of our collection with you.
The auction I mentioned is the one that I still go to every Wednesday and play the organ for them. we are the only auction around with live music during some of the preview time. Then right before the auction itself starts, I play the Star Spangled Banner. We have a place with the American flag on the wall and all the armed forces flags surrounding it. The crowd is very Patriotic. It's good to see that especially today.
If anyone has anything old, don't be afraid to use and enjoy whatever you have. Please don't "save it for company". Be you own company and treat yourself as you would your company. Life is too short to not use the precious items we have.
Closing thought: May God send His love like sunshine in His warm and gentle way, to fill each corner of your heart each moment of today.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Psalm 107:8 NLT--Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for all his wonderful deeds to them.
I have realized that there is so much beauty and wonder in the world around me. While on my walk yesterday I stopped and watched a pretty yellow and black striped butterfly drink nectar from a flower. As I was watching that beautiful insect that God had created, I realized that God loves me. He has given me a tiny taste of what Eternity with Christ will be like one day. I compared it to the sweetness that the butterfly was tasting. Sometimes I get so busy with "life" that I forget to see and value the bounties God has given me.
There are so many wonders of this world to see. I can just hear God asking me, 'Hey Elayne, are you awake? Are your eyes open? Is your heart receptive to what I want to tell you?" Beauty is all around me, but at times I am blind to it. I need to take time to see what all God has created. I am really working on being totally present in the moment. Life is so precious. I have learned that an important part of my spiritual life is being attentive to what is going on around me. Jesus has told me in His Word to 'Consider the lilies." He is telling me is to take a moment to stop and stare in awe and behold the works of the Lord.
Jesus also taught me that when I am feeling stressful and overwhelmed, I need to remember that pleasure lies in my heart. My attitude affects my perception. i read a quote by Luci Swindoll that said, " To experience happiness we must train ourselves to live in this moment, not running ahead in anticipation some future date or lagging behind in the paralysis of the past. With wholeness and sensitivity we must live in the here and now!"
I have also learned that the mundane things in life--a bag of groceries, a phone call, a meeting--can all be reminders of God's generous blessings.
A friend on the other end of the phone may remind me that I am rich in support and loyalty. I have seen a crowded grocery isle as an opportunity of plenty and choice. These small wonders can bring me so much joy. Today I pet a stray cat and felt the joy of his purring at my touch. All of these wonders help me to look into my heart and see that I, too, am a wonder created and loved by God.
In Bible Study yesterday we were talking about what we say when someone we have just met asks, "What do you do?" A great answer I will use from now on is, " I am a child of God and I serve him the best I can." This will work particularly well now that I don't work outside our home.
Today I will value life just as it presents itself to me. I will open my eyes and my heart. I want to receive God's priceless gift of life. I will see God in all the details around me.
Thoughts to Ponder:
To Believe in God is to take sides with life and to end our alliance with death. It means to stop killing and wanting to kill, and do battle with apathy which is so akin to killing.--Dorothee Soelle
At the back of our brains, so to speak, there is a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and the spiritual life is to dig for its submerged sunrise of wonder.--G. K. Chesterton
Dear Lord, Thank you for showing me hot to appreciate all that you have made, and to pay attention to the world and wonders around me.
Love, your daughter,
Monday, September 15, 2008
Hi everyone . My name is Thor and I am Angelbeliever's fur baby. At least that's what she calls me. Yesterday my Mommy turned 60 years old or young, whichever way you look at it. Well, I was born in September 3 years ago, so we celebrate the same birth date. At least I am a lot younger than Mommy.
On August 29th Mommy officially enrolled me in Spark People because when I went to the vet's office for my shots, (which I hate) Mommy was told I needed to lose some weight. HA, what do they know. They had the nerve to say I had no waist and had a roll as I was sitting up looking so handsome. I hit the scale at 23 pounds. Now, I am a big cat, and my shoulders are very broad and I have big paws. I'm told I have part Maine Coon in me. I don't even know what that means. Anyway, I've been put on something called R/D feline weight reduction diet .It's supposed to have more fiber and less fat. Ok, so I use my box more. That's not a problem. What is a problem is that when I take my Mommy to my EMPTY food dish, she just says, "Aw, sorry, no more now." What does she mean? MY DISH IS EMPTY! Just because she's on portion control she thinks I should be too. She never even asked my permission about this new deal. I used to get a cup of food a day, now I only get 3/4 of a cup. What gives here?
This morning Mommy stepped on this square thing that she steps on every morning. Then she stepped off of it and them picked me up and held me long ways . Then she got back on that thing and off again. What's with her anyway? But, she then said, " good boy" I like to hear those words. I then think she said I had lost weight. I used to be 23 pounds, but today I was down .6 of a pound. She said that was good. Now I don't think "losing" anything is good, but Mommy does. She said that's almost a half a pound gone.
I guess this lifestyle change is a good thing. I want to live with Mommy for a long time and I am still young so I'm told. I guess I'll get used to my dish being empty at times. I know she won't starve me and I know she really does love me, and I love her. MEOW MEOW
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Yep, you read right. I turned 60 at 10:10 am today. First I want to say thank you for all the e-mails, goodies and comments left on my page for a Happy Birthday.
I had a wonderful day. I celebrated in church and Sunday School this morning. My Sunday School Adult class sang Happy Birthday to me. I felt like a kid again.
My dear husband, Arjay, painted our bedroom for me as that is what I asked for for my gift. This was truly a labor of love because he hates to paint with a passion! We went to the Red Lobster tonight for dinner. I had the half portion of grilled salmon, a baked potato, broccoli and salad. I had 2 glasses of Raspberry Iced tea ( a good diuretic) and I brought home a slice of key lime pie in lieu of having a cake in the house.
Talked to all in my family today and tonight. Had e-mails from my nephew. My sister called me while on a trip to NYC.
My Husband's card to me was adorable. The message was "You make me smile like no body else can." I shed a tear.
I am a miracle . When I was born 60 years ago I came into the world 2 months early. My Mom had toxemia, and both of us almost died. When I was born, I weighed 2 pounds, 6 ounces. I was 12 inches long. My Uncle looked at me and said, "Not even a good sized roast!"
It was touch and go Mom said. They weren't giving me much of a chance. I went down to a pound and a half. I had to stay in an incubator for 6 weeks. Mom never even got to hold me until I went home in November 2 months later. I weighed just under 5 pounds . Oh, Mom said she and my Grandpa would go and see me every morning. The nurse would hold me up and show me to them through the nursery glass. The nurse could hold me, but my Mom couldn't. They were afraid of germs, of course. Mom said I turned blue a lot at night, but then would be ok by morning. I was called "Thumper" because I would hit my foot against the glass! I was know as the Princess of the nursery. When Mom got me home I had to be fed every 2 hours round the clock with a glass tube called a Breck or Beck feeder. I'm not sure which. Anyway, it was like a glass syringe with a big ball on the end of it. More like a baster I think!
Anyway, I had a tough beginning, but God had a plan for me . I am so grateful he saved my Mom and me. And yes, we "bonded" just fine without Mom being able to hold me at birth.
I have had my ups and downs these 60 years like everyone else. My health is challenged, but that's ok. I'm doing well despite my challenges. I have a wonderful family, a husband who loves me unconditionally, friends both here on Spark and outside of Spark . I have a Lord and Savior who loves me and is the Lord of my life. I have no doubt where I will be going when my time here on earth is done. I don't know when that will be as that is up to God himself . Every hair on my head is numbered. Until that day I will continue to serve Him to the best of my ability.
Just wanted t tell you a little about what happened 60 years ago today. Thanks for reading this. Love to all!
Get An Email Alert Each Time ANGELBELIEVER Posts