Friday, September 26, 2014

Times of Change

Summer is quickly coming to an end. The crisp chill of Fall is in the air and things are beginning to slow down. Feeling a bit uncertain during times of change is common. No matter how we may try to position the change to ourselves and others, the result is the same: fear, sadness, guilt, shame or even anger. Just as night becomes day; change will occur on a regular basis. Some change actually brings a sense of joy, excitement and anticipation. Like the night before the long awaited trip of a lifetime to an exotic place or family trip to Disneyland.
When I was a kid, I didn't sleep at all the night before a trip to an amusement park. It wasn't hard to imagine the rides, the crowds or the sounds. Having fun was the thrill that kept me from sleeping. Just as the anticipation of fun was the culprit as a child, fear of future financial or health issues has been the culprit as an adult. Our imagination is truly a powerful gift from God. We can see beauty and adventure or we can see failure and destruction.
We can see all things in our mind. It's where we live, move and breathe. How we see ourselves manifests itself in the physical world. “As a man thinks – so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 I believe this is why we fear change as an adult and not as a child. Adults have been conditioned for years by parents or society to live and behave a certain way. Measurements of success are ingrained in us. Any level of change that we can not anticipate or control, leaves us vulnerable to failure. Whereas children see each new day as an adventure, a challenge and a thing to be enjoyed.
Life is a gift from God. We were created for His enjoyment. Much as the enjoyment that a parent gets from seeing their children having fun at an amusement park, so does God get pleasure from us. When we learn to truly trust God as our source and allow His blessings to become reality in our lives - It blesses the Lord. We are cautioned in scripture not to allow the cares of this world to overcome us. (Matthew 13:22), but to trust the Lord and be joyful for all He has done for us. (John 14:1)
Recapturing that child-like wonder can be difficult, but growing in your understanding of God's love, His plans and His desire for you, will begin to reignite that child that still lives in all of us. Change is the beginning of a new adventure – embrace the moment.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Seeking Happiness

A few years ago I read that people of Scandinavia are the most happiest people on earth. Those looking for happiness, I am sure packed their bags and headed there. I wonder with the influx of population after that report, if that is true today. In the article there wasn't an emphasis put on religion. When I hear things like this, I need to read between the lines. Is religion the problem with most people?
People are raised in a belief system of some sort. We all have a philosophy of life. I believe because the true Gospel of Christ has not been properly presented or taught, that Christians don't live the truth and we've actually become an enemy to the cross of Christ, more so than those who are antagonistic the Christian faith. The truth of God's Word holds the entire universe together—the power of the cross changes lives.
Too many poorly instructed teachers with their own agenda have led people astray The Word of God and Power of the Gospel are not received by the people it was intended to reach. The purpose is to teach people the freedom Jesus purchased for us. Most Christians teachers don't teach the power given to the believers under the New Covenant, but make it more like rehashed version of the Law. Many Christian live in fear of God and not in praise for the mercy and gifts they have received through Jesus.
As Christians we all need to faithfully read the Word of God for ourselves – trust what the Holy Spirit says to us— stop gathering so many teachers to tell us what God says. God speaks! Our personal happiness does not depend on circumstances—that is a lie from Satan. Other people are not the source of happiness, in fact most people will disappoint us at some point. They will not follow through with promises that will dash our hopes.
 Happiness is not found in a place, a job, health or wealth. Our personal happiness begins and ends with a personal relationship with Jesus – where our true peace, happiness, purpose, wealth and health are. We can't live without Him. He is the vine and we are the branches.