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A little fun to start off your week along with food for thought.

It’s been very busy lately around here so no time to put pen to paper. Instead, I share with you a few collages. First up is one containing some funny things I’ve been saving for awhile. And the second contains two images that are great reminders for us as we walk with God.

 

Hope your week is wonder-filled. That you are able to see God at work. And that gratefulness will permeate your soul.

Much love,

Mimi

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New Beginnings: 6 important things to remember.

The opening sentence in any story is often the most important sentence of all. It sets up the story and gives the reader an expectation of what is to come. It is so important, that authors may spend untold amounts of time crafting that one sentence. For if they don’t capture the reader’s attention at the very beginning, they may not stick around to read the rest of the story.

Thank goodness this doesn’t hold true in life.

Thank you, God, that our beginning, good or bad, does not have to dictate our outcome. Our story in fact will be rewritten many times. Our Author is also our Finisher. He is the Director and while He calls the shots, it’s up to us to follow His ways.

But great news. When we don’t follow His commands or directions, we can rest assured that once we return to Him, acknowledging His authority in our lives, He gives us a do-over…He will in fact rewrite our story to allow us to return to the life plot He had in place for each of us before the beginning of time.

Important to Remember

  1. Your first day in Christ means you have a brand-new life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  2. Each day is a fresh opportunity to follow God. “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” (Psalm 143:8)
  3. God’s mercies are new each day. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
  4. God is all about doing something new in you. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
  5. Repentance brings about restoration and forgiveness. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9)
  6. God has a good plan in place for your life. “The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.” (Psalm 138:8a)

These are just a few of the many Scriptures that show us God’s amazing love. They remind us that He has a good plan for our lives, and that He is ready with forgiveness when we approach Him with repentant hearts.

God welcomes you back.

If you’re a parent of a young child, you have expectations for their future. And they are always wonderful plans with happy endings. But often, that child takes a detour, trying to find their own way. They may disregard your advice or fail to realize your hopes for them. Yet, you stand ready with open arms welcoming them back, ready to help them return to the best path. And it’s the same with our Heavenly Father.

When we find ourselves struggling with needing a do-over, when we feel we’ve disappointed God and desperately need His forgiveness, when we think there’s no hope left, that’s the time to turn to the One who has already written our life story, to the One who is also more than willing to rewrite it when necessary.

His arms are open, His heart is big, and He’s waiting for you.

Love you much,

Mimi

What’s in your cup?

 

Happy Monday to all.

From time to time I share quotes or stories I’ve discovered or that someone has sent me. Today, I want to share a little wisdom in the form of an analogy.

I would gladly credit the author but I don’t remember where I found this. Though simple, it’s quite profound. After reading it, I hope you’ll agree.

Note: While most of you will easily be able to read this short analogy in the graphic, I’m going to print the text so a friend, who is blind due to a retinal disease, and can read what the graphic contains.

The Analogy

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee? You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

The point is, whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it until you get rattled.

So, we have to ask ourselves… “What’s in my cup?”

When life gets tough, what spills out? Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?

Or does anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions come out?

You choose! Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others.

Sounds a lot like the fruit of the Spirit to me.

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that this “fruit” is the evidence of the Spirit of Christ living in you. It finishes with this admonition: “There is no law against such things.”

Of course, there isn’t. Because exhibiting this fruit shows others your life is in Christ and He lives in and through you.

Beloved, the encouragement today is that God’s fruit is evident in our lives. And if it isn’t? Then we need to draw close to Him and repent of things that are standing in the way. The world needs Jesus. And they are watching…you! His fruit in our lives is on display and may be just the thing that testifies of God’s love for someone else.

Mimi

The big, capable hands of God.

All my life I’ve been aware of my large hands…large for a woman that is. No one thinks twice about the large size of a man’s hands but to me, when a woman has large hands, people can take notice.

Her only flaw:

The Seinfeld show even devoted an episode to this subject. Jerry had started dating a very attractive woman whose only flaw was that she had man-hands—meaning her hands were large and coarse like a man’s. Many of the Seinfeld episodes came from the perspective of very self-indulgent characters who superficially put value on the wrong things. But I admit when I watched that one, I realized that having large hands was a very real thing. (Don’t remember? Here’s a very brief CLIP from that episode.)

Over the years, I’ve taken less notice of the size of my hands and instead have focused on what those hands can do. In the photo above you’ll notice just how many puzzle pieces I can hold at one time. This comes in very handy when putting 1000 pieces back into the bag for storage. (tee hee)

Here are a few other things my larger-than-normal-for-a-woman hands can accomplish:

  • Comfort and support when offering a personal prayer.
  • A “big” demonstration of love when holding onto a grandchild’s hand.
  • It’s easier to clean up a mess of spilled cereal. Silly but true.
  • They hold a lot more peanut M&M’s than someone else’s more petit hands. A definite advantage.

While I still at times wish my hands (and feet I might add) were smaller, mostly I’m able to accept they’re simply a part of me and “me” was created by God. And He makes everything beautiful and perfect.

But most importantly…

When I look at my hands, they remind me of the even bigger hands of God—hands able to create, hands able to protect, hands that enable, hands that perform miracles, hands that enfold in love, hands that protect, hands that can be trusted.

So, if looking at my hands turn my attention to God, then my hands indeed are perfect. And I love them. I absolutely LOVE them.

But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all. (Isaiah 64:8)

What do the hands of God remind you of?

Mimi

Confession Time!

I’m confessing and it pains me to know I even need to.

I almost had a car accident the morning and it would have been totally my fault. Worse than that is knowing I could have caused great injury to someone else or someone else’s property.

Why? Because while driving I had a momentary lapse in concentration. Sure did. After running errands, I was on my way home and simply put, not paying close attention. I wasn’t on the phone, wasn’t listening to the radio. In fact, if you’d have asked me a few seconds earlier, I would have said I was practicing very safe driving.

I only knew I nearly caused an accident when, after turning a corner, I heard a car horn blaring at me, and out of the corner of my eye was able to see a car driving past way too close for comfort.

I immediately felt terrible.

I felt terrible, but I also thanked God for protecting the other person as well as myself. I still desperately wanted to express sorrow to the other driver, but there was no way to make that happen.

I bet you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Not necessarily while driving a car but perhaps without meaning to, you caused or almost caused harm to someone else through your words, an action, or even a look.

As a believer, most times I think I’m fairly kind-hearted. And since I genuinely care for others, it really is never my intent to cause hurt. Yet I do. Just this past weekend, I hurt the feelings of our youngest grandson. After spending some great time helping him with a game he devised for the adults, I blurted out a clue he didn’t want me to. And that blunder cancelled out all the fun we had had up to that point.

My heart was heavy with grief and I couldn’t apologize enough. I wanted to take back my mistake. And I wanted to erase his pain. But none of that was possible.

In life, we will undoubtedly cause pain to others.

Sometimes on purpose and many times without intent. Likewise, on occasion, we will find ourselves on the receiving end of pain.

While I couldn’t do much more than apologize to Callan, there are a few things we can do when we find ourselves on the giving or receiving end of pain. If we doled it out, we need to apologize, as quickly as possible. Even if we don’t find out until later, we need to do what we can to correct the situation as soon as we realize what we’ve. With sincerity and without blaming the reason on anyone or anything else, our heartfelt apology will go a long way to righting the wrong.

If, however, we find ourselves on the receiving end of a hurtful action, we also have a choice in our own re-actions. It’s so easy to take on the offense, play the victim card, and wallow in the pain. Whether or not the other person ever apologizes or even realizes what they’ve done, just forgive them. Yup. It’s that simple.

Everyone is guilty.

Everyone is guilty of uttering words they wish they could take back. We’ve all inflicted pain…yes, even on purpose. We may even have caused pain without realizing what we did or said was hurtful.

If we are quick to forgive, the pain can hopefully begin dissipating sooner. Often, a conversation won’t even need to take place. You simply forgive in your heart, and move on.

Other times, a conversation will be warranted. These conversations can help the other person understand how their actions caused pain. And they may clear the air about long-held beliefs and feelings. Sometimes we may discover the pain we felt is simply our response to a circumstance. That there is really nothing to forgive. And that the painful response may be a signal to ourselves that we may have an area in our lives that needs the healing touch of the Lord.

So, Callan, if Mommy is reading this to you, I hope you know how sad I felt for disappointing you and messing up your game last week. And I hope you can forgive me. I love you so much and feel terrible that something I did, caused you to feel so sad.

Let’s Pray

Father, the truth is…we both experience and cause pain to others. Sometimes on purpose; many times, without even realizing it. Help us to be attentive to Your voice when you bring these circumstances to our attention. May we be quick to and quick to forgive.

Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. (Ephesians 4:32 NCV)

With love…Mimi

Being held in God’s hands.

Several months ago, I read a devotional that reminded me that we should rest in the Father’s (God’s) hands. His hands can be trusted. His hands are strong. His hands are secure. His hands are comforting. His hands are protective. His hands are all-encompassing.

I was so taken with the image in my head of what this would look like, that I jotted a reminder to myself to search for the perfect image of His outstretched hands. Maybe I could even superimpose my name in the palms of those hands, then print out the picture, frame it, and display it on the wall to serve as a constant reminder that I’m in God’s hands.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Alas, I’ve been unable to find the perfect image or to figure out how to insert my name short of hiring someone to draw the hands with “Cindi” in them.

But just looking at the photo above and reading over my notes about being in God’s hands serves to remind me that God’s got me. He’s never letting go. He chose me with those hands. And with those same hands He drew me to Himself.

You, too, are in His Hands.

There’s very good news, my friend. You are also in those hands if you know and love God. If His son’s sacrifice has been acknowledged by you, if you’ve repented of your sin that separated you from Him. If so, then you are indeed in the wonderful Body of Christ. And securely in His hands.

But that same great news is also available for those who have not yet acknowledged Christ’s sacrifice. If you can imagine God’s beautiful hands outstretched toward you and take it as His call to you to come to Him.

Roman’s 10:13 reminds us that “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

The how.

Also involved is acknowledging your sin. It’s a condition of our heart and we’ve all sinned. Romans 3:23 states “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Recognize that there is a penalty for that sin. “The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NCV).

Ok, so I’m a sinner and the payment for that sin is eternal death. Now what?

Glad you asked. Accept or believe that the death of God’s son Jesus on the cross was for you. Yup, without even knowing you, Jesus died a horrible death making that totally impossible payment for your sin so you could become part of His family and know that your eternity is secure with God. “God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

WOW. That’s amazing, isn’t it!

Let’s review.

We’re all sinners. But God loved us so much, even without knowing us, that He had a plan. That plan was to have His son, who lived a perfect life and therefore was a perfect sacrifice, die a horrible death on a cross to pay the punishment for our sin. We repent or turn away from our sin-life, believe the death of Jesus was for us personally, and we become a part of God’s family. Eternity starts the moment this happens, even while on earth. So, from that moment and forever, we’re children of God and in His loving, beautiful hands.

What is our response?

I imagine there are two basic groups of people reading this. Those who are already in God’s family and those who are not. If you’re already a believer in Christ, then use today’s post as a launch to praising Him for all He’s done for you. For holding you in His very loving, capable hands.

And if you are not yet a believer in all God’s done for you, then don’t wait any longer. Make today the day, YOUR day, to turn from your sinful ways, to acknowledge all that God has done for you, and turn your life over to Him. Then rest in the assurance you are now resting in God’s hands. The hands outstretched that now carry your name in them.

With ever so much love,

Mimi