Posts Tagged ‘God’

This is the closing post on the subject of “Life Is.” It’s a great summary and i wish i had written it. But, i didn’t. It was written by someone i hardly know and yet after reading this i felt like i had known him for years. Kindred spirits is all i can say. my hope is that you enjoy it as much as i have.

Life is a first date and a couple in the arms of new love where their hands gently, and accidentally, brush together. Life is holding the hand of the one you love as pledge yourself to a lifelong struggle of passionate love and commitment before

God, family, and friends. Life is holding that same haimagesnd and praying for God to take away the cancer that is slowly turning the one you love into a shell of who they used to be. Life is longing for the hand that has held yours and wondering if God could ever heal a hole that seems so vast and so real.

Many equate life with this finite span of physical existence, loving relationships, and emotional experiences that begin joyously at birth and end abruptly in death.  Life is a flower in the field, growing and beautiful, but gone in the morning. Those we know are here today and gone tomorrow. We wake up remembering what it felt like when we were young, but as we roll out of bed we feel the weight of all the years that were gone too fast. When we look at it this way life is wonderful and beautiful but ultimately it is a defeat and no victory can be found in it. Because, life explained only in terms of this world will always leave us wanting.

Is this what Christ meant when he said he wants to give us “abundant life”. Did he give us the beauty of a sunset or the joy of love as the height of life? Or is there something more?

I would like to suggest that we have begun to translate what is offered in this world as a definition of life. All its joys and sorrows, comforts and worries, all we can feel and see have consumed us. We no longer know of the Kingdom of God here and now. Life can be found in this world yet it is much more. Christ came and has shown us what true life is. We miss the awesome power of these words, “I AM the way and the truth and the life”.   What Paul said is right “For to me, to live is CHRIST and to die is gain.” To live in this world is to live in humble obedience to Christ and to sow the rewards of eternity. A life lived as a beacon for Christ will be rewarded in eternal life, where death is a beginning.

Life is Christ. Life is abundant and eternal love. Life is trouble in this world and tremendous wonderful joy in the next. We live here and now, but we fix our gaze on eternity and true life. This truth will give us eyes to enjoy the meaning and purpose of today as well as experience, in part, the joy and reward of Christ.  Life is the joyous communion we have, through Christ and in the Spirit, with the God of Abraham.

The first century church with all the persecution and turmoil knew of a life that few in this generation have ever tasted.  We have entertainment, comfort, technology, education, and everything we could ever need.  We have interpreted life and it’s meaning from these things. But life is found in the pierced hands of our Savior. The knowledge and love of Christ will illuminate the love we have in this life and it will bring forth joy from sorrow. The way to the find the true interpretation of life is up Calvary’s hill, passed the entrance of an empty tomb, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  In Christ true life is made clear.

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Let’s look at the last sentence of John 6:63, “The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.”

So it says that the Words, truths that Jesus was speaking were spirit and life. Selah…. (Pause and think on this) Upon first reading i immediately took that to say that life is the words Jesus spoke. But… it does not say life is the words i speak. No doubt there is life and the spirit in the words Jesus spoke. Jesus spoke words and Lazarus came to life so from that it could appear that life is the word. I happen to think there is a difference between life being the word and the words i speak having life. i think in part what Jesus is saying is that to simply breath has no benefit, no profit and i get that! Breathing without Christ… well, what’s the purpose?

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

This can get a little deep for my purposes but you can research it on your own if you desire. His words are nourishment to our spirit and our soul. His words have the power of life and death in them.His words change lives, transform situations and make the impossible possible.

DEEP BREATH…. TIME TO TRANSITION… So how do i reconcile all that with Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Does that put me right back at Life Is… Breath, more specifically God’s breath?

So, what is the breath of God? my understanding is that the breath of God is the life and power of God, and is given to man to animate him.

The Creator of heaven and earth did two things in creating man. First, He formed him from the dust of the ground, and, second, He breathed His own breath into the nostrils of Adam. This distinguished man from all of God’s other creatures.

Genesis 2:7 reveals three significant facts about man’s creation. The first is that God and God alone created man. God created the substances, and then He used those substances to create man. God had both the omniscience (all-knowledge) and the omnipotence (all-power) to do exactly what He wanted.

Second, God breathed His own breath of life into man. Man is more than “dust” or physical substance. Maimagesn has a spirit. Picture it this way: Adam’s body had just been formed by God from the dust of the earth—a lifeless human body lying on the ground. Then God leaned over and “breathed” His own “breath” into Adam’s nostrils. So what exactly did God give Adam? i have always believed that when God breathed into Adam He gave him a portion of EVERYTHING He is. Much like a candle lighting another candle. What does the candle being lit get? A portion of everything the already light candle has!

Third, man became a living soul. The word soul in Hebrew is nephesh, meaning “an animated, breathing, conscious, and living being.” Man did not become a living soul until God breathed life into him. As a physical, animate, rational, and spiritual being, man is unique among all living things upon the earth.

This is starting to sound like the “which came first question, the chicken or the egg,” Gods’ breath or God’s Word?

 

i think we can all agree that, no air, no breath, no life! Wikipedia says, Breathing is the process that moves air in and out of the lungs, or oxygen through other breathing organs such as gills. For organisms with lungs, breathing is also called ventilation, which includes both inhalation and exhalation. Breathing is one part of physiological respiration required to sustain life. “Breathing is required to sustain life” but is it life?

breath-of-GodBreathing is one of the few bodily functions which, within limits, can be controlled both consciously and unconsciously.

Conscious control of breathing is common in many forms of meditation, swimming, cardio fitness, speech or vocal training, where one learns to discipline one’s breathing, initially consciously but later sub-consciously, for purposes other than life support.

Unconsciously, breathing is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which automatically regulate the rate and depth of breathing depending on the body’s needs at any time.

So, without air, without breath there literally is no life. So is this the one true answer and all the others are a by product of this one. i mean life wouldn’t be so awesome without the air i breath. Life wouldn’t be a series of events without air and breath. Life just wouldn’t be anything if it weren’t for air and breath… right?

And what about those people that we all know who seem to have no life despite the fact that they breathe? Now if that’s true then breath, air, is not the answer i’m searching for. i mean air can exist without man but breath can not take place without air, but as i just shared i know many people who breath but they appear to have no real life. Sure they have a physical life but is that the life Jesus meant when spoke about life?

Perhaps this gets confusing because there is a physical life and a spiritual life and i’ve been looking for an answer that will cover them both? That’s somewhat surprising to me as i usually go directly to the spiritual because for me everything is spiritual. Physical is temporary but spiritual is eternal… right?

Look at John 6:63, Jesus says, “It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it]. The words (truths) that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.”

It is the Spirit Who gives life [He is the Life-giver]. So it is a spiritual matter and add to that the words that follow, “the flesh conveys no benefit whatever [there is no profit in it].” So does that mean that air, breath, are not what life is? And… what does this verse do to the other “Life Is…” answers we have shared?

Here’s one thing i know for a fact as of this post. i know where life comes from and i’m thinking that knowing where it comes from will help me to understand what it is.

Today’s post comes from a reader.

Well, this is my maiden blog and what a wonderful subject with which to launch!  As I understand it, the blogging question is “What is Life”.  So….here goes…..

Life is the very essence of Jehovah God Himself. In Genesis, God gathered together a collection of dirt/clay, shaped it into a creation named Adam, which housed both man and woman.  Then He breathed into their nostrils His essence….life.  Adam had no memories, no behavioral patterns, no perspective on everyday affairs, he was just an inanimate object made of clay until God breathed Himself  (spirit) into him.  At that time Adam/Eve were one with God because  they had His thoughts,  imagesmotivations, character, ability to speak His personal language and was able to commune with Him on His level. This was His big dream and His plan all along, to have a family and a Bride for His Son that thought the way He did, loved what He loved, hated what He hated, was in sync with His emotions and plans.

We had that ability until the choice was made in the Garden of Eden to allow our soul,which can only operate through information given to it, to rule. Free will is located within our souls/intellect and was the key ingredient to maintaining our relationship with God. God has to be our first love by “choice” so hence, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  We chose to receive a counterfeit source of life that comes thru outside information, experiences, etc to determine our identity, thoughts, memories.  As a result of not choosing to allow our spirits to lead and interpret these things for us, the very life-sustaining, immortality that was given to us by God began to grow less effective in our lives and our bodies became mortal.

There is only one source from which a human being is given life, and  that is God. There is no other entity that can cause something to come to life.   We all have a spirit that came from God that keeps us physically alive but because of Adam’s choice, we do not have complete access to it until we are born again. The Holy Spirit then begins to unpack all  that was hidden since the fall  in the Garden.  When  Jesus  said ” I have come that you might have “life” and  have it more abundantly”, He was indicating that we already have the source of “life”, our spirits, which keeps us physically alive, but that Holy Spirit would begin unpacking a measure and dimension of “abundant life” packed  away in our spirit  that our souls could never dream of.

Wow!  The ability to live life and commune with God on His Level!

So, to me when I am asked “What is Life?” , it is being who you were created to be, His Equal Partner .  Can you imagine?

Life Is… HARD!

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Life Is...
Tags: , , , , , ,

After three weeks the number one answer by far is Life Is… HARD!

So how about you? Is life hard for you? Do you struggle all the time? Do you wish things were easier? If so, that puts you in exactly the same boat as most others.

People don’t realize it because we trick ourselves. We think, “If i had ‘X,’ everything would be fantastic! If i could just achieve ‘Y,’ then everything would be wonderful!”

Thing is, that’s not true. Guess what happens when we get our heart’s desire? We walk on a cloud for a few hours, weeks or maybe a month and then, we adjust. We think, if i were rich, life would be easy! If i were famous, life would be grand! If i could just looking like that person, i’d never have anything to complain about.

Everyone knows that rich people, famous people, successful people, extraordinarily beautiful people have just as many problems as everyone else. It’s just a different set of problems.

Matthew 6:34 (MSG) says, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Here’s what i have found… my life is hard when i take my attention off Him. AND… the farther away from Him i get the harder life is. This is one of those experiential things. i can share till i’m blue in the face but you won’t get it until you experience it for yourself. Perhaps the picture can at least bring us some perspective.

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i just love it when God shares a few ideas and some material for me to use and then just takes it over by sending someone else… well actually 4 someone elses to put it all together in a way that i couldn’t. Thus is the case for this post.

Some days, it is a lot harder to wait. When i’m bringing my concerns to the Lord again and again, i can grow tired of waiting. It soon begins to feel like my prayers are falling on deaf ears. Often my response is to take control and just “do the best i can” Let’s look at a story about waiting

images-2John the Baptist was a fearless preacher who found himself waiting. In case you didn’t know it he is the cousin of Jesus and that’s important in the bigger picture of things. He openly pointed out the sins of the people regardless of who they were. And because of his boldness he was put in prison by Herod, the ruler of the Jews.

For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not. (Mark 6:17)

Here’s where that relative thing comes into play. If i’m John i am most definitely expecting Jesus, my cousin, to come and rescue me from prison. It’s an opportunity for Him to use a wondrous display of supernatural power. But, instead of moving in that direction, when He came to know of John’s imprisonment, Jesus moved farther away! What! John is blood, what about having his back?

John was updated by his followers of the marvelous works of Jesus. And he, John sent his representatives to Him.

Now listen to this! John tells his disciples to ask Jesus, “Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:2, 3)

That’s doubt if i’ve ever seen it. John sent messengers with his questions of doubt. If he hadn’t heard of the marvelous works that Christ was doing, then his doubt would be understandable. But having heard of His works and doubting is strange! This is John who proclaimed Jesus arrival!

The thought that troubled John and has troubled me on many occasions was, how come Jesus was not coming to help?

Jesus understood the struggle that John was going through. At least He didn’t rebuke him, but instead gave him more evidences so that all his doubts that the enemy was trying to put in his way would be removed.

Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on:

The blind see,
The lame walk,
Lepers are cleansed,
The deaf hear,
The dead are raised,
The wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.

Then Jesus says something profound or at least it was to me. He says, tell John, “blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is he who takes no offense at Me and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth.” This is a post in and of itself because Jesus just announced that He would do things or not do things that would cause some people to stumble. If you want more on this watch Andy Stanley’s “When God” series part 1.

When John’s disciples left to report, Jesus started talking to the crowd about John. He says, “No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer;

Many miracles were performed right there, even the raising of the dead. That was supposed to give John hope and courage to face even his death, which followed. But this is what John had to remember and so must i, my God’s power extends beyond life, beyond death, beyond any challenge, beyond any circumstance!

Isaiah 55:8-9 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

In closing… Jesus i wait for you because honestly… i don’t want anyone else!

 

 

Have you heard of an animal that complains about not having enough money? Have you heard of an insect that suffers Kid to mom about funky dog: 'I'm not complaining, Mom, but when can I get one that's not a bobblehead?'from too much stress? Have you heard of a fish that lives in pain due to a broken relationship? Probably, only human beings live complicated lives. So why is life so complicated? How about this for an answer, because i have increasing needs. When i have more needs, i add more complexity to my life. Here’s another question, do people ever have enough? Or am i always looking for more. What about figuring out how to enjoy more with less.

I shared a story about a 14 year old who committed suicide on Friday. For the parents of this child life got real complicated and will probably remain that way for some time if not the rest of their lives. At the funeral on Sunday this little girls 8 year old sister spoke and shared that she was both angry and sad because her sister did this. This 8 year olds life just got complicated. My grandsons life got complicated as well. my life got a little more complicated because of my grandson. He’s a little young to have to begin dealing with such awful and bewildering situations. The only persons life that didn’t get complicated was this 14 year old who decided to end her life. Obviously she felt the complications prior to Friday but for whatever reason saw no hope of a solution.

This post is not the one i wrote to open this series of Life Is… either. i can not shake this question of, “Life Is…” so i decided to begin asking people if they could tell me the answer. It caught most people off guard and i could tell that they were puzzled and struggled to come up with an answer, any answer so that i would leave them alone and stop making them uncomfortable. The most popular response i have heard thus far is “Hard.” “Life Is Hard…!”

i began looking at those around me and saw some of the complications that they are dealing with. Theres’ the couple that got thrown off track and now they can’t seem to find each other. There’s the person dealing with depression and their own thoughts of ending life. There are several who feel like their in a waiting mode and some of them not even sure what their waiting for. There’s one who feels that playing the lottery is complicated as they try to find the winning combination of numbers. One person shared how their car began falling apart this week end and now life is financially complicated. There’s a single mom trying to put their daughter through college and they only have one car making getting around complicated.

62176560c92ddddee0f2a394f11aed21This series is taking on a life of it’s own and some are willing to share their answer, so i will begin sharing their answers. i am not suggesting that they are right or wrong. They are just what they as individuals feel that life is at this time. i’m guessing that if i ask them the same question in a month or two that their answer may take on a different look.

If there is a reader out there who would like to share your answer please send it to annmarieanded@yahoo.com and i will consider sharing it. i am looking forward to what others will share!

On January 28th I expected to get my monthly disability deposit.  It’s supposed to come on the first, but often comes a couple of days early. I’m in bed it’s 3:00 a.m. and I grab my phone because I’m not sleeping well. I log into my bank on
Unknownmy phone to pay a couple of bills that are not on auto pay. I pay a little extra when I can. When I looked at the  balance and it said $44,744.00 I just looked at the phone and was thinking holy crap! I just knew that had to be wrong so I put the phone down and went to the back room where the desk top computer is and turned it on. The  desk top computer would correct this error. Well there was still $44,744.00 dollars in my account. Something big just happened! After counting on my fingers to actually grasp the idea of all this i prayed to God. That’s another story in itself maybe for another time.

It turns out that a disability claim that I have with the VA since November 2011 was approved and I got retroactive back pay. Holy cow, I paid off my bills, invested some and helped my mother and brothers. Also the monthly increase will help me immensely. I just can’t describe what a load has been lifted. I have also had another med added to the ones I am taking and I am doing much better.

It still is amazing to me how much of a lift it was to recall my accomplishments as i stood in that cold, dark, dreary garage. Now i remind myself of them every day. Now you  might be thinking that anyone would be better with a financial gift like that, but remember, i had no idea of the gift when God brought the accomplishments to my mind. I have no doubt that I would be been doing ok without the financial blessing but needless to say i am grateful!

Now I could have easily thought ‘WHAT A COINCIDENCE” or “What a bit of good luck”. I can’t tell you how I knew, but I knew that God brought my accomplishments to my brain. At 3:00 a.m. i’m facing the end of my life and at 3:45 a.m. i’m facing the beginning of a brand new life which includes God and is filled with hope. I can see life past when my mom passes and I have been waiting for her to go for years. I am also noticing that I am much more patient than I have been with her.

I am thanking God daily for this gift. I know I can not blow this opportunity, this second, no third chance to actually hopeenjoy life and do whatever God has in mind for me. I still have things, issues to deal with but I know I can do that now. What happened will always be in the front of my brain. This was one of those times in life that is a “‘God Thing”

I hope my story helps anyone who is in a dark place. Think of what God says about you and don’t focus on your dark thoughts.  A big thing “ASK FOR HELP’ its out there, friends, family, agencies. Look and ask!

 

i hope you don’t mind but i have another question. Are the problems of life keeping you from the promises of life?

UnknownProblems according to Webster’s are any matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty. 

Promises according to Webster’s are declarations that something will or will not be done, or given. 

“Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever known because i will not let matters of the world involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty keep me from the declarations of God that something will be done or given to me!

Here’s the first thing to know about these two seemingly opposing words. God is involved in both problems and promises.

Problems 1 Corinthians 10:13 “For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear].

imagesPromisesBut God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable andstrong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.

The Bible is the word of God and is powerful and life changing. In 2 Timothy 3:16 God tells me that all Scriptures in the Bible are inspired by God. So if i am dealing with a problem where can i find  the answer? How about Psalm 50:15? God says, “call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”

There’s an old hymn that goes like this. “Standing on the promises I cannot fall, Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call. Resting in my Savior as my all in all, Standing on the promises of God.” That brings me to another question… am i standing on the promises of God or the problems of the world?

images2 Peter 1:4 is one of my favorites. “By means of these He has bestowed on me His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them i may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.” Exceedingly great promises so that i may escape problems.

“Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever know because i will stand on the promises of God. In fact “Today” is the greatest day i’ve ever know is a promise in itself.

 

 

“Today” is filled with endless opportunities. “Today” i’ll do my best by filling my mind with things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; by meditating on the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. “Today” my declarations will be “i will” verses “i’m done”.

“Today” i will treat each moment as a gift from God and see the unique tapestry of life that God is preparing for me.

“Today” i will keep it simple.

“Today” i will call forth my Spirit man to lead me and guide me verses my mind, will and emotions.

“Today” i will walk in peace regardless of what is said about me, or to me.

“Today” i will value my time.

“Today” i will effectuate a small change in my life.

“Today” i will find something humorous about myself.

“Today” i will do what others will not.

images-1“Today’s” life lesson. i cannot control everything. No matter how much i meditate on the Word, how much time i spend with God, how many classes i take, how many books i read, so that i do everything “right,” something can, and will, still go wrong. Let me change that. It won’t necessarily still go wrong, but it will still be different than what i expected. That’s life, things seemingly just happen, i cannot control everything no matter how much i might want to or think i can. So why fight it especially with what God says in Isaiah 55:8-11 “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.

In closing let me leave you with a question. How far do you want to grow and mature during the remaining years of your life?