Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pray Without Ceasing

"Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28). Just a moment of prayer or meditation can improve your mood, lower your blood pressure, decrease your anxiety, grant you more optimistism, give you resilience, and strengthen your immune system. No wonder the bible says to pray without ceasing. It's really easy to stay in a prayerful attitude during the day if you practice doing that. Once you get the habit, it feels so good to stay connected, and you will wonder how you ever got along without prayer.

Where do we go to pray? You can pray wherever you are: driving, washing dishes, making the bed, or waiting for class to start. Wherever you are, you can connect with God, and that is such a blessing.

The other thing about prayer is that the time to do it is NOW. There is no need to put it off until you have more time. Peacefulness brought on by prayer is available to you right now, right here. Whatever is happening in your life, do not let it keep you from prayer. The time we need prayer the most is when life is the most hectic and stressful.

Many times at night, I wake up with a concern on my mind. I find that if I avail myself to prayer, the concern will gently go away to be replaced by a sense of well-being. "If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit." (Galatians 5:25)

The DAILY WORD yesterday had this suggestion: "I imagine that I have just walked through the desert and have now reached an oasis with refreshing water, a cool breeze, and a hammock tied between two shade-giving trees. I have reached a welcome refuge."

Let the calmness and serenity of a tropical vacation wash over you and release all your concerns to God. Have a blessed week!

Love and Light,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pay Attention Already!

"He said to them, 'Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more shall be given you.'" ~ Mark 4:24. I read that verse in the DAILY WORD today. It spoke to me about giving more attention to whatever I am doing. If I stay focused on this very moment, I am much more in tune with everything, and it is so much more enjoyable than if I absentmindedly go about my activities.

Today I was teaching at a junior high, and the kids and I were reading a novel full of action. I was caught up in the plot and so excited that I almost went over the allotted time. The students didn't want to stop reading and listening either because the climax of the novel was forthcoming with all the suspense and excitement that any good novel contains. We were caught up in the moment, giving it our full attention.

That's the way our life can be too. It is exciting and enjoyable if we give it our full attention. The more we practice this, the easier it will become.

We need to be selective, though, about what receives our attention. We can zero in on the ideas and feelings that give our life inspiration, and selectively filter out the things that give us a negative perception of the world.

The Holy Spirit guides us to what would serve us well if we are willing to listen and let Him sculpt our lives into something beautiful. Each precious moment of this life can impact us in a powerful, positive way if we let it dance around in our consciousness and let Him give us a loving, joyous rendition of the spirituality He offers so freely.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Star of the Movie Is Me, but the Director Is God!

"Be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and...clothe yourself with the new self." (Ephesians 4:23-24) Can you picture a whole new you?

Sometimes I use positive imagination to get me through challenging situations. This last weekend with family was wonderful, but an issue came up for which I had no solution. That night as I lay down, I shared my concerns with God as I always do. And as He always does, He helped me quiet my mind and release them to His guidance and direction.

I was ready to move forward with confidence and courage. I realized that I had become a very dependent person, one that was living my life in a way that longed for approval even if it met sacrificing my own beliefs. Instead, I felt the need to become someone who can stand on her own two feet and become assertive when the situation calls for that. "Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance the Lord will accomplish for you today." (Exodus 14:13)

Sometimes that can be a challenge, but the Lord will always give me direction when I go to Him in the moment receptive to His peace that passeth understanding. I can be a new person of changed perception and enjoy the miracle of peace when I forgive myself and others and open myself up to the flow of my GPS (God's Powerful Spirit).

When I get out of alignment with that golden flow of life and love, I know it from my uncomfortable feelings. That's when I want to give up my old way of thinking and know that the answer to everything comes from trusting God to work out all situations and circumstances in my life and turn them into something beautiful!

I use my positive imagination to create a harmonious picture of everything working out just perfectly! Yay! I'm enjoying starring in this movie of life. I know it will have a happy ending because God is the director, not me. I'm just the star!

You are starring in your own movie too. Enjoy it and let God give it a happy ending!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Grace of God

I am so thankful for God's grace today. Even though I didn't ask for them, blessings rained down on me. I accepted a job in a music classroom this week, and as I was leading the fourth grade in their songs, I realized how beautiful the words were. We sang, "Something for me, something for you; you show love for me, I show love for you. If we take time to see what this world could be, we could live peacefully; we all could be free." This is part of a song by J.D. Steele, Larry Long, Brian C. Herron, and Nate Underwood. I just felt blessed to be singing these lovely words with such impressible little souls.

The second thing that truly blessed me today was getting out of school early. The teachers have an in-service every Wednesday so I get to leave an hour and a half before the usual end of the school day.

The third thing that blessed me today was our lawn service coming over to mow the lawn. I just felt so privileged to be able to have someone do such a wonderful task for us.

There are so many other blessings I received today like a wonderful dinner with my husband and granddaughter and the gratitude of my grand dog when I brought him in the house away from the scary lawn mower.

Paul said, "Everything is for your sake, so that grace...may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God" in 2 Corinthians 4:15. Every breath I take, every drop of rain that falls, every drink of clean water I enjoy, every morsel of food I digest, and every comfort of my home remind me of how abundantly God provides for me. I am grateful. "He brought me into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey," (Deuteronomy 26:9).

Love and Light,