Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Custom-Designed Plan

My grandson, Bryan, is working on a project for this year's Science Fair. It is occupying much of his extra time as he plans, researches, and thinks of ways to make it unique from others of those in his class, and different from past Science Fair projects. He wants to custom-make it to fit what he thinks will be a winning project. He's working toward winning the prize (and probably a good grade from his teacher.

People have a natural inclination to want to have something that no one else has. Men long for custom-designed cars and/or boats, and women long for custom-designed kitchens. Why is it that we long to be "different" from everyone else, to stand out from the ordinary? Could it possibly be that God created us that way? He desires for us to exercise the part of us that He created as unique and special from everyone else. What you can do, I cannot do in the same exact way. I can try to mimic you, but I can never do exactly what you do. That's because God created us "fearfully and wonderfully" in our mother's womb with such magnificent unique gifts specially designed for us personally----my gifts cannot match another's. Another's gifts I cannot master.

God has given each of us a custom-designed plan for our lives. "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." We have each been given a purpose by God to fulfill---He created us with that purpose within His birth process. We have been called "according to His purpose." In Romans, we are told that "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." God is the giver of those different gifts. When we recognize our custom-made plan built inside of us by God, we can truly know the joy of service for Him. When we strive to do something other than what God has planned for us, we experience a sense of struggle deep inside of us.

Bryan, I know you will do very well with your science project. It will be custom-made by you and that will make it special! My fellow readers, God has made a custom-designed plan for you---and I know you will be special in His eyes as you seek to do His will for you!

In His Grace,

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Autumn and Personal View of Halloween

In the fall of the year, the color orange pops out at you everywhere, but none as vividly as a host of pumpkins all stacked together in a pile. Autumn is my favorite season. In Hawaii, we don't experience the beautiful changes in the leaves of the trees, or the crisp smell of fresh air, and October blue skies like you do in the hills of West Virginia. However, you feel the end of October approaching as children prepare for Halloween parties, and Harvest gatherings. The excitement they feel as they dress up as their favorite character, and knock on doors for treats has been a tradition in our country for a long time.
However, as parents, it's a celebration that often concerns us for our kids.

Halloween is a focus on the macabre, vampires, witches and goblins. It highlights the scary, the underworld, the evil that is already permeating our society at a rapid rate. It is not a focus that most families wish to pass on to their children as "fun" and "alluring." As Christians, we need to be aware of how the celebration of this one day affects the thinking of our children and is it something we want them to pass on to their children in the next generations to come? I admire churches and communities that are trying to guide this tradition in a new direction by offering safe and fun outings for children in an environment focused away from the evil that underlies the Halloween tradition. Satan loves to draw the children into his realm by luring them with sweets and seemingly harmless "tricks." We, as parents, need to be aware of his ploy and counteract it with firm convictions and right decisions for the safe future of our children.

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." Col. 2:8

Let the kids enjoy their candy, and the fun they can have together with games and fellowship, and let them know that their time together is a celebration of the good gift of each other!

Happy Autumn!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fresh Beginnings

I have been away from blogging now for about three months as I was away from high-speed internet services and it was more of a hassle to work through the slowness of the system than to just put my blogging aside for awhile. Now that I am back to my wonderful high-speed internet service, I can more freely let my thoughts flow and it feels good to be back. It's a fresh new beginning!

Today is Monday, a new start to the work week, a day of fresh beginnings---the first day of the rest of your life! It's a day that God can bring fresh and new mercies to you. They are His gift to you---you but need to make the choice to accept each happening as His lesson for you. You can choose to grumble or rejoice about the new thing occurring in your life, the gift of His circumstances He is allowing today. You can choose to see it as His Hand at work in your life to teach you, to grow you up, to bring a sense of acceptance and trust in your relationship with Him. There is nothing that happens in our life that God is not completely aware of and will use it to mature us and help us understand Him and ourselves better! We just need to look for the little gems He brings our way and see them as blessings. Even those things that appear to be curses sent our way to destroy our day can turn out to be God's greatest blessings in the overall view of our lives. God is the Author of our story and He is writing it page by page, day by day. He knows the end and He has already written the final chapter. We can trust Him!

I have a couple of new things occurring in my life that I am very excited about. My girlfriend in Minnesota and I have agreed together to call each other on the phone to pray for each other and our families at least twice a month. I love the image of each of us picking up the phone with a third-party (God) picking up His phone and listening in and agreeing with us over the things that we pray. Some things God will nod His head and say, "yes, my children, I can grant that"; some things He will say "no, my children, that is not best for you or your family'; or "just be patient and wait, I know the right timing for that answer." Prayer is our most powerful asset for each new day and I'm looking forward to having a prayer partner agreeing with me over my heart's desires.

Also, this past summer I decided to attend Weight Watchers and accomplished a weight loss of 26 lbs. Now that I have returned to Hawaii, I convinced my great-niece to attend the meetings with me here in Maui. Tonight will be our new beginning on the journey of losing weight to meet our goal. It's a good feeling.

Fresh beginnings---life never needs to be boring with God in each new day! I pray you will see today in a fresh new way and rejoice in the fact that God is allowing you the opportunity to enjoy it! Even on Mondays, the start of a new work week!

Happy to be back!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Okay---I'm back!

Prompted by my son to "blog" again, after a long hiatus away from it this summer, I decided that tomorrow (Monday) would be my first day to continue again to bring my thoughts, actions and ponderings through this unbelievable media. To think that anyone will read this is, at best, egotistical; to think that anyone would enjoy anything I have to say is ludicrous, and to think that God could use whatever I have to say to encourage others is very very humbling.

But I am returning to the "blogging" experience because I love to write, I love to share whatever God lays on my heart, and to share with others the blessings I feel God blesses me (and each of us) with every day. "His mercies are new every morning." As Christians, we should be able to go through a day, ponder on the events of the day, and find many many ways that God was involved within the events or happenings, or words, or maybe even a smile of another during the day to bless us. If he blesses us, we should be able to pass His blessings on to others. We never know when just a thought, a word, a scripture, a replaying of an event will cause another person to say "Amen"---I can relate.

We are all created by the same Creator, we are all in the human race together, and we all should relate to life in similar ways or learn from others who have experienced something differently as they make their journey through life. I welcome your comments, your thoughts, your criticisms, and trust that God will use this media as His avenue for blessing others! I just want to be a worthy vessel.

I am happy to be back!