The Gift of Choice

Choose

Much of life is about choice. Here in America, as other parts of the world, we fight for our right to choose every day. We are wiling to be killed to preserve our right to live as we wish and to worship who we choose. We will always elect freedom over bondage and allegiance over betrayal. We chose to be married or remain single, to have or not have children, to care for our aging parents or abandon them. The list goes on. We made these decisions because we believe we have the right — some would say God-given right — to do so. Webster defines choice as: the act of picking or deciding between two or more possibilities. Eleanor Roosevelt states, “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes . . . and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

But what you may not see in dictionaries or brainy quotes, is that the first and most important choice was given to man the moment God says to our first ancestors, “You may

freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die” (Genesis 2:15-17). And we have been making our own choices ever since. And let us not forget that in some cultures certain rights are often denied, especially when it pertains to women and children. Nevertheless, the desire to choose will never die, although it may be an unsustainable hunger for many.

However, when it comes to making good or right choices, we often fall short. We chose misery over happiness, isolation over companionship, loneliness over love, politics over morality, and war over peace. We make decisions from a place of fear, or impulsively—without insight or thought of consequence. We form relationships without knowing the true nature of a person. We choose to abuse instead of nurture or tear down instead of affirm. We accept what others say about us instead of standing on who God say we are. We choose to stay in the wilderness instead of allowing it to strengthen and motivate us. We allow our past to dictate our present and future. But living life purposefully is making the decision daily to be fully who we were created to be, by discovering and utilizing our gifts and talents to lead a happy, productive and prosperous life in Christ.

As the year rapidly comes to a close, resolve daily to live a purposeful life. Choose not to tarry in the wilderness. Choose not to allow bitterness to engulf you. Choose to forgive. Choose to love. Choose to trust and invest in the people you love. Choose to give of yourself and live an abundant life. Remember this, Ruth chose to follow Naomi and she got the man of her dreams; Job chose to trust God and got double for his trouble; David chose to wait on God and he received the crown; Abraham chose to leave his comfort zone and travel to parts unknown with his family and he became the founder of the Jewish nation. As Joshua suggested, if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:14).

Much love. Many Blessings.

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The Root of all Fears is Death

English: Gaganachukki Water Falls - Saivanasam...

When we think of death we often think of someone or something physically dying. Yet death is more than the termination or shutting down of all biological functions. Death is not only the end of physical life, but also the spiritual existence for humans. Death is separation. One of the most painful death experiences is the emotional separation from people we love.

When a marriage or a relationship we have invested time and energy in with the hopes that it would bear good fruits dies, something within us also dies, and we mourn that loss—privately or visibly. Death is also the loss of innocence other than through the natural and gradual process of time and love. When a child is sexually molested, parts of him or her—essential for healthy development—will die a sudden and violent death. But perhaps the most tragic form of death comes from the isolation, emptiness, and loneliness that resulted from the severed bond between Creator and man.

The truth is, we all fear death of one form or another, whether it be the loss of life or love. However, when God permits loss and suffering, He also provides comfort and restoration, but it requires looking at the transition with our spiritual eyes to see where we are going, instead of who or what is behind us.

I would die for my children, but I can never live for them. Do not allow fear to rob you of living. Live today! Live with Christ in the picture! He came that we may have and enjoy live, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows (John 10:10 AMP).

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

Anaïs Nin

Blessings

Living Purposefully in the Waiting Lane

Some of you may be familiar with the song, “I Don’t Mind Waiting” by Juanita Bynum, but “wait” is a transitive verb. It has two characteristics: one it is an action verb, expressing a doable activity, and two, it must have a direct object, meaning something or someone who receives the action. So waiting does not mean sitting back doing nothing, while expecting the perfect job. That is laziness. It does not imply keeping your heart shut tight, waiting for the “perfect” man or woman, which for some women is Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome. That is foolish. The other day, I read a post from someone in my blogging community that makes perfect sense. It goes something like this: God will not send you someone perfect. He will send someone perfect for YOU. So, to wait is to live in expectation of something, but you should be prepared for the expected.

Although God is still in the miracle business, doing nothing will produce nothing. If you put nothing out there, that is exactly what will return to you—nothing. While you are living in expectation, you should be making preparations to receive His blessings.

Much can be accomplished while you are in the waiting lane if you view it as a service road designed for you to gain new insights, by reexamine the things that are not working in your life. It’s a place to rethink relationships, discover who you are and where you are going. It’s a time to spring clean your mental closet and renew your mind. The waiting lane the perfect opportunity to tune-up your spiritual engine, set personal and professional goals for your new season ahead. The waiting lane is where you learn to trust God as you observe His mighty hand at work in your life. So while you are waiting, live purposefully, love yourself, take time to smell the roses, and observe the Creator at work! He is a faithful God and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Blessings.

The Cross: A Lesson in Forgiveness

 

Српски / Srpski: Groblje_Sv._Marko

Српски / Srpski: Groblje_Sv._Marko (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We just celebrated Good Friday and Easter Sunday is just around the corner. After my last post on “Issues of Forgiveness” I am reminded that the greatest lesson of forgiveness was given at the cross. It was at the cross Christ saw us at our absolute worst, took on our sins and pay the debt that we could never be good enough (or do enough good deeds) to satisfy without His blood. It was while he was being beaten, spat on, and condemned to die that Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” It was at the cross one criminal asked for forgiveness and received access to paradise. The cross not only teaches us the greatest lesson of forgiveness, but it commands us to forgive.

If you are a believer, I pray that during this weekend, you will take time to rediscover the meaning of the cross, reflect on Jesus’ love for you, reach out to someone and freely give the gift of forgiveness.  If you are a skeptic struggling not only with forgiveness, but also with the whole idea of a God, I pray you will seek to know Him for yourself. You can start by searching the Scriptures so that you may discover the meaning of the cross. To those of you who say you love God, let your love show in your words, conduct, compassion, and love for others. Start by doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you. In other words, don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.

This weekend, as I reflect on Jesus and the cross, I think about how He gave His life so that I may have life, and have it more abundantly. I think about how good God has been to me in the past and how He continues to guide my steps. I ponder the fires and waters and barren lands he has taken me through, and the lion’s den he saved me from. I think about how merciful He has been even when, in His wisdom, He disciplined me. I consider His blood that covers me. Today, I reaffirm my commitment to love, serve, and walk in my purpose. The cross gives me peace, hope, joy, and I am so happy to know that He is alive in my life!

I will continue with the subject of forgiveness for a little while longer because it is a huge issue even for believers.