What’s Your Good?

Psalm 73: 28

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.

Oh my! Just when I think I’ve read all the good Bible verses–I discover another great one! I love this verse. The nearness of God is my good! How easy it is for me to forget this. This verse calms me–reminds me that all I really need is God.

We live in a world where we’re bombarded with the message–I need that and that and that… which means I need more and more and more money. And so when we don’t have that and that, it must mean we can’t be happy, right?

Wrong!

And this verse reminds me of that. I don’t need more stuff–I need more of God because the nearness of God is my good.

Simple Enough?

1 Peter 1: 16

…for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Simple enough, right? “Be holy, because I am holy.” With I AM being God, of course.

Non-Christians and, sadly, many Christians as well think Christianity is about rules. Don’t do this. Do this. If you’re good enough, then you can go to heaven.  Not true. On our own, we are but filthy rags in God’s sight. We can’t be holy enough, but when we believe in Jesus as the Son of God, we have righteousness through him.

Therefore our goal should be as it is written–be holy. We aren’t perfect, but we should keep striving to be more like Jesus.

What are some things to strive for?A few come to mind. Kindness. Compassion. Patience. Forgiveness. Jesus showed these attributes time and time again in life and as he died on the cross. So they should be my goal as well.  I don’t know about you but I have a little trouble being consistent in these areas and others. But I keep striving to do what is right in God’s eyes.

Our human nature is very rebellious. We want to do what we want to do!! But God says–be holy because I AM holy.

Simple Enough!

Now it’s YOUR TURN: Do you have a favorite verse that helps keep you on track with your attitude and your actions? Share it with us…please!

Until next time…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Yet Again–Part 2: Giving Up Isn’t An Option!

Proverbs 24: 16

For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
         But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.

I finally managed to get Joey + Rory’s new album—oops I mean CD, HYMNS on my IPod that I use while I work out. If you don’t know Joey + Rory’s story, you might want to check out Rory’s blog, This Life I Live at http://thislifeilive.com.  Just be sure to have a few tissues handy.

As I listened to Joey’s beautiful voice this morning singing her favorite traditional hymns, I was inspired by her courage. But more than her courage, also by the fact she didn’t lose her faith during her battle with cancer, even when she knew she wouldn’t be winning the battle–here. But she’s won now because  Joey’s in the arms of her dear Savior and mine.

But the inspiration doesn’t end there. If you know anything about Joey + Rory, it’s how much Rory loved his bride. We were blessed to see them perform several times and the one thing I always noticed was the love that twinkled in Rory’s eyes whenever he looked at Joey.

So these days, Rory’s doing what he needs to do to get back up after losing his beloved bride. For him, giving up isn’t an option. He’s determined to honor God and Joey as he goes on with his life. Which should inspire all of us to do the same. We all fall down but staying down and giving up shouldn’t be an option when you’re a Christian.

Joey inspires still but so does Rory!

Anyway as I said in my last blog, Yet Again, I’m back on treatment for my brain tumors in spite of being told they were stable and shouldn’t cause any more problems.  This came right at the point where I was feeling stronger and healthier than I have in years. Even if I manage to avoid chemo, I know the steroids are going to knock me down again–for now.

But giving up isn’t an option.

Yes, I’ve fallen down once again but with God’s help I know I’ll get back up.

Now it’s YOUR TURN: Who inspires you and why? Doesn’t matter if the person is famous or only famous to you. Tell us what inspires you about them.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

YET AGAIN!

Philippians 4: 7

And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Did you notice the all-capital letter title? I’m not exactly yelling but…I’m definitely frustrated. Or at least I was for a little while this week. Once I tell you why, you’ll probably agree that my frustration is understandable. But Philippians 4:7 says God gives a peace that transcends all understanding.

And that’s where I am right now–in this moment. Not sure where I’ll be in the next but I’m praying to stay in the peace of God that transcends all understanding.

I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors 4 years ago this month. At the time, the doctor told me I would need 2 separate Gamma Knife surgeries and it would take a year to recover from them. In August 2012, I have my first Gamma Knife and then in October 2013 I had my second. So by all accounts my treatments should be finished by October 2014, right?

Wrong!

The problem is that my hearing keeps going wonky! Meaning sounds become so distorted that I can’t understand speech at all! Not a good thing. I lost all my hearing in my right ear after the Gamma Knife and started to lose my hearing in my left. But my wonderful doctors at Cleveland Clinic have worked really hard for that not to happen.

Since the 2nd Gamma Knife, I’ve had two rounds of chemotherapy and months and months of being on steroids. Not a good thing either but this past January I was told my tumors were stable. Finally! No more treatments and I wouldn’t need another MRI until the following January.

YAY! Right? Wrong!

This past Saturday, the wonky hearing came back. I’m now back under the doctor’s care, on steroids again and hoping to avoid a 3rd round of chemo. Along with that, I finally got to the lowest weight in almost 20 years! Another big YAY until I had sto start taking the steroids again. Now, I’m eating and eating and….you get my point.

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve had a bad week at our house with several other major upsets and I do mean major. So you can understand my frustration, right? But I choose not to live and wallow in that frustration. I have my moments but I refuse to get stuck in those moments.

So how do I do that? As the verse above says, Phillipians 4: 7 says it’s a peace that transcends understanding. What I can tell you is I’ve done a lot of talking with God this week. Yes, I’ve asked for healing and asked others to pray for that as well. But that’s only been the start of our talks. I’ve also told God I trust Him. I know He loves me whatever happens. And just telling Him how incredibly frustrating the situation is for me along with some old-fashioned praise and thanksgiving. Because after all things could be worse.

I’ve also spent time focusing on the Bible, specifically verses that talk about who I am in Christ. The comfort, support, and encouragement I get from the Bible keeps me focused on Jesus, not on my circumstances.

Finally, I’ve  made a point to spend time listening to and singing uplifiting music, both praise and traditional hymns. Both add to my joy and my peace. I haven’t been able to hear all the words but that’s OK, I could still sing along.

So that’s been my week, I pray yours was better.

Now it’s YOUR TURN: What’s something you do to stay in God’s peace and joy no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Happiness

My very special guest writer today is Chad Young.

ChadYoung-colorheadshot

He’s a 14-year Cru (formerly Campus Crusades for Christ) staff member residing in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife Elizabeth and their children, Wyatt, Clark, Evelyn, and Josilynn. He’s also the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World.  His latest release is Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators.

 

“Two Keys to Happiness” by Chad Young

What if someone told you that if you do two simple things today, you will be a happier person? Recently I read the first part of the book of Philippians, and I found two keys to happiness that we can apply to our lives today:

1) Be Thankful – The first thing Paul did was to thank God. He thanked God for the people in his life, the people he loved. He counted his blessings and thanked God for them in his prayers. “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil. 1:3-5, ESV)

2) Rest in God’s Sovereignty – Secondly, Paul acknowledged that God is in control. He’s at work in people’s lives. He never gives up on us, and this gives me hope because I know it means he will work out everything for my good. He will even use my trials and tragedies for my long-term benefit. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6, ESV)

 

Great advice! I agree with you, Chad! I’ve seen that in my own life as I struggle with the aftereffects of my brain tumors.

 

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Attitudes

My very special guest writer today is Chad Young.

ChadYoung-colorheadshot

He’s a 14-year Cru (formerly Campus Crusades for Christ) staff member residing in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife Elizabeth and their children, Wyatt, Clark, Evelyn, and Josilynn. He’s also the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World.  His latest release is Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators.

 

“Having a Charitable Attitude” by Chad Young

We all know it’s a good thing to give generously when it comes to our finances, right? What we don’t talk about enough is the importance of having a charitable attitude. Many of us are quick to give money, but we’re not so quick to give generously through our words.

There are three ways we can have a charitable attitude today:

  1. Speak well of others. Recently as I was studying Philippians 1:12-18, I was amazed at how charitable the Apostle Paul was to his fellow believers. As he was talking about those who minister out of hypocrisy, he could have thrown them under the bus. Instead, he was thankful that the gospel was being spread despite their hearts.
  2. Encourage others. In this same passage (vv. 12-14), Paul encouraged the Philippians by reminding them God is in control. They were discouraged about his being in prison in Rome, and he shared with them how God was using this trial for good. How often do we need to be reminded that God is in control and that Romans 8:28 is true, that he works everything for our good?
  3. Have a thankful spirit. Paul thanked God for the Philippians, and he shared with them how thankful he was.

Real joy is found when we have a charitable attitude toward others, and most importantly, complete joy is found when we’re thankful to God.

To read more of Chad’s adventures, see his new book, Wrestling with Faith, Love and Gators.

WrestlingwithGatorsCover

Thanks so much, Chad!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

God Wants You To…

2 Timothy 3: 16 (NKJV)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,

for instruction in righteousness. 

 

How dare I presume to know what God wants? Right? Wrong!

I don’t have to presume what God wants. He’s given us an amazing book to tell us exactly what he wants! The Bible. I became a Christian in my teens but didn’t discover the power of God’s Word until I was in my forties. That’s a lot of years of wandering in the wilderness!

And that’s a perfect way to describe my life without the wisdom God gives each of us in the form of His Word. I want you to avoid that wilderness or find a way out of it if you’re there now. That’s the main reason I write this blog. To share just how powerful God’s Word really is.

God wants you to…. I don’t know the specifics of that sentence for you, but I do know He wants all of us to do something or we wouldn’t be here and still breathing. James 1:22 tells us: Be doers of the Word and not hearers only.  I’m not going to tell you that your life will be perfect even if you follow God’s Word perfectly, but I can tell you it will be better with God’s Word than without out it!

But here’s the thing, we can’t be doers of the Word if we don’t know the Word.

And that means studying God’s Word! Not reading it, studying it. One of the things I do when studying God’s Word is to write specific verses on index cards and then read those cards again and again.

Your turn: What’s your favorite way to study the Bible?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!