Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rain.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8

What reveals the Lord's beauty more than a storm after a drought?  We've finally seen rain in my town after a long, long time. 

rain

From http://www.photographyblogger.net/14-marvelous-rain-pictures/



From http://rpmbold.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/rain/




Note: Through God's Eyes does not necessarily endorse the sites the pictures are taken from.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How Are We Using His Time?

According to http://www.thefactsite.com/2010/03/how-much-time-people-spend-doing-stuff.html:
  • We spend 5 years of our lives waiting in lines.
  • We spend 2.25 years of our lives in a movie theater.
  • We spend one third of our lives sleeping.
  • We spend 6 years of our lives eating.
  • We spend 1 year, 1 month, and 1 week of our lives on the toilet.
According to http://socialmediatoday.com/node/504064:
  • Across the globe 3,995,444 years are spent online per month.
According to http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm:
  • We spend an average of 2.8 hours watching TV per day.
These are some of the more interesting stats that I found.  I've been thinking a lot lately about how I spend my time.  Try to draw a pie chart of how you spend your average day.  It's pretty reavealing, huh?  What we do with our time shows what we care about.  If I don't spend time with God, my excuse is almost always that I didn't have time.  If I don't empty the dishwasher, I didn't have time for that either.  Not spending enough time with my little brother?  Just too busy!  Not "loving my neighbor as myself"?  There are only 24 hours in a day! 

If you think about it, that's about the dumbest excuse anybody could think up to give God.  How can I presume to tell the One who created time and determines every moment that I'm just too busy?  He made time, so it's His.  But I also gave my entire life to Him, so my time is doubly His.  Matthew 22:37 says, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind."  We're supposed to love God with everything we've got.  Including our time.  Let's be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us.    

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Motivated By His Love

Why do Christians obey God?  We all know that it isn't to earn His love.  Ephesians 2:9 says, "Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."  God's love doesn't change with our good and bad behavior.  He loves us supremely right now and forever.  So I've been told all my life that we should obey just because we love God.  But I've always thought there was something wrong there.  Now I realize what it is.  We've still got the emphasis on us--on the strength of our love for God and it's power. 

But last time I checked, the Bible wasn't written about my love for God.  I'm fallen, weak, human, and average.  If my obedience is based on how strong my love is, it's going to be a part-time obedience.  I've betrayed the people I love; I've yelled at them and cut them down; I've forgotten that I was supposed to be showing love.  Obviously, it's not going to work for our obedience to be motivated by human love.

What, then, is our motivation for obedience?  It's God's love.  2 Corinthians 5:14a plainly states, "Christ's love controls us."  Not your love.  Not my love.  Christ's love.  Similarly, 1 John 4:19 says, "We love each other because he loved us first."  All our obedience to God is wrapped up in loving each other (Romans 13:8).   Because He first loved us, we obey Him. 

Steve Gerali's words from How to Stay Christian in High School sum up what I'm trying to say: "Being God's child and getting all this love makes me feel very free and it makes me want to do things for God.  God's love motivates me to do good things because I'm so thankful to Him...Christ's love, demonstrated by His death for me, is the motivation for me to live for Him.  His love drives, or compels, me to want to please Him."  It's all about His love.   

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shut up and Listen

                Is there any excuse for the cruel neglect that this blog has suffered?  Probably not.  So I’ll just say this: I will do better in the future.

                Shut up and listen…I think that’s what God means when He says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10)  My family went camping in the Rockies about a week ago, and I realized just how much I need to shut up and listen to God.  We were hiking this trail and we sat down beside a snow-melt creek that ran through a little pasture.  You could see the mountains right there.  I was suddenly struck with how awesome our Creator is, and I just sat there, reveling in it.  That’s what it means to be still and know He’s God.  It means being so caught up in Him that you don’t have any words of your own left.  It’s when you catch a glimpse of how big, how powerful, how beautiful He really is.  It’s when it’s not about me at all and it’s all about Him. 

                Sometimes I wonder if this state of worship is what prayer really should be like.  Too often, God’s children come before Him with nothing but a list and a desire for Him to fix all their problems.  You know the drill: “God be with my friends, my church, my family, my dog, the sick people, the old people, the mean people, and everybody else.  Amen.”  Now, of course, God wants to hear about our problems, even our extensive list of problems.  1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for us.”  But He also wants a relationship.  When we come before Him with a heart that wants nothing more than to be in the presence of the Almighty God, then I think we’re really praying.  Prayer isn’t about saying the right thing or checking something off your to-do list.  It’s about talking to the best Friend anybody could ever have. 

And, honestly, it’s not being a very good friend to Him to sit and chatter on all the time.  Just like in human relationships, sometimes we need to be quiet and listen to what God’s got to say.  How do we do that?  Through the Bible, of course, first and foremost. God speaks in other ways, but nothing we “hear” actually from Him unless it is affirmed by His Word.   Sometimes God speaks through friends and family members.  Nature constantly proclaims God’s “divine power and eternal nature.”  (Romans 1:20)  There have been times when I’ve heard God’s Spirit speaking, not aloud of course, but with that quiet, direction in my heart.  God speaks in so many different ways if we’ll just shut up and listen. 
                                      

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How do I talk to God? (Part 1)

I mean, He's God!  How do I talk to the Person who created me?!  How do I talk to Somebody who knows everything already?!  How???  Well, Jesus answered the question like this:

"Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.  May your Kingdom come soon.  May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.  And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one."  (Matthew 6:9-13, NLT)

Most people know this as the Lord's Prayer.  And many people know it by heart.  But for me at least, it doesn't really affect my prayers.  I've realized that it should.  Jesus said, "Pray like this." (Matthew 6:9a, NLT)  I don't, however, think that we should pray with these exact words every time.  Jesus didn't say, "Pray these words every single time you start to pray."  He said, "Pray like this."  

How do we follow this pattern that Jesus gave us?  Well, if you look at it, the Lord's Prayer seems to have four basic elements.  First, it exalts God.  It lifts Him up and acknowledges that He is a God who deserves our praise.  The second part is basically a reminder to us of God's promises and a prayer for Him to keep those promises.  It prays for the Kingdom to come (for Christ's return) and that God's will be done.  We know that whenever we ask God to do His will and keep His promise, the answer is always "yes."  And praying God's promises gives us faith that He will do what He says He'll do.  The third part is asking God to provide.  I think that the word "bread" here could refer to anything that we need, whether it be food and shelter, comfort in a hard time, or help for loved ones.  Finally, the Lord's Prayer deals with sin.  It asks forgiveness for past sins, gives forgiveness to those who have sinned, and seeks help for the future temptations that we know are going to challenge us.  The Lord's Prayer is a model straight from Christ Himself.  Let's start using it.  I think it'll make our prayers even more powerful.  

We'll look at other passages dealing with how to pray next week.     

Friday, May 18, 2012

What is the worst thing you can do to someone?

Comment and try to answer this question! Answer coming next week.....answers could vary.
Love you all!
Chantal

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thank you, Mama.

A Mother's Love
Author Unknown

There are times when only a Mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.

There are times when only a Mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
 
There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.

For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above...

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
Proverbs 31:10, 27-28, King James Version