Archive | January 2012

STRESS

Stress – we all deal with it from time to time. We experience it within our families, at work, at school, with everyday things like finances. To relieve stress we deep breathe; we close our eyes and imagine a calm, beautiful place; or (my favorite) we roll a stress ball in our hands. These “therapies” can calm us down for the moment, but what about for the long haul? We can’t go round with our eyes closed all day or play with a little ball constantly. So what can we do? We can go to Jesus. Tell Him what is stressing you out; ask Him for some peace. Then the Holy Spirit can take over filling you with calm, allowing you the chance to look at the big picture. Once you are more at peace you are better able to look at options for relieving the stress, or you may find God has relieved the stress for you.

COMMUNICATION

Typical mailbox outside the post office.

There are so many ways to communicate these days. We have the regular mail, e-mail, texting, facebook, twitter, telephones. Most communication is of the electronic variety. We are losing the art of actually talking to each other. How do you communicate with friends and family? How do you communicate with God? There is an open line of communication with God 24 hours a day. It doesn’t involve any electronics or writing. This form of communication is called prayer. Any time, day or night, you can talk directly to God. No automated voices, no being put on hold. God is available anytime you need Him. You can share your joys and your sorrows; ask for forgiveness for a wrong you’ve done; or just tell Him about your day. God is a very good listener and He does respond.

HEALING

The hospital in Grand Haven, MI.

The hospital is where we receive treatments and is a place of healing. Doctors and nurses are there 24/7 to diagnose diseases and other medical issues and then offer the best treatment they know how. There is someone else to go to for healing — Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. Jesus can perform miracles and heal people who human physicians wouldn’t have thought possible. If Jesus is such a great physician why do people still die? There is a set time on earth for each of us. It is part of God’s plan. Jesus does not only deal with physical issues. He also is able to heal the soul and mind. This healing comes in the form of inner peace and acceptance. The physical ailment may not be cured, but Jesus is still at work. Don’t lose faith. Jesus is healing people  physically and/or emotionally all the time.

GOODWILL

The Goodwill Store in Grand Haven, MI.

According to Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus other words for goodwill are: benevolence, charity, cordiality, friendship, generosity. Those words seem to fit what the Goodwill stores are all about. What about on the personal level? Do you have good will in your heart and in your actions? On the night Jesus was born angels brought a message to the shepherds, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:14  King James Version) The angels were not there to frighten the shepherds. They were there to bring good news from God. They were bringing peace, friendship, goodwill from  heaven. We are to be instruments of God here on earth. I challenge you today to think how you can show goodwill to someone else and then do it.

ALONE

I saw this tree and the first thoughts that came to mind were loneliness and depression. The tree is in the middle of a field all by itself. It almost looks dead with no leaves and being dormant for winter. There are times we can all relate to this tree. We feel totally alone and depressed. We may need help or just some company; to know we’re not all alone. This is where God through the Holy Spirit comes in. Lift your cries to God. He will hear you and the Holy Spirit can provide peace and a feeling that you’re not alone after all. If needed, God will even connect with other people to help you. Don’t give up. You are not alone.

OPEN TO USE

Sign outside New Hope Baptist Church in Allegan, MI.

Many things have to be opened in order to be used:  packaged food; pop cans; cupboard/refrigerator doors; the internet, just to name a few. You can’t learn anything from a book unless you open it and read. Why do so many Bibles sit on a shelf or table collecting dust? They are never opened. How can you know what the Bible has to offer if you don’t open it? There is so much help to be found in God’s Word. Is there a Bible in your home just waiting to be opened and used? Please, take the time to check it out.

ANTIQUE

Old Machinery at Reender’s Blueberry Farm, Grand Haven, MI.

People enjoy looking at antiques and imagining how things were back in history. That’s why museums are popular places to visit. We know these old things, like the machine in the picture, will never work again like it used to, but they are fun to observe. Some people think that way about the Bible. It’s an interesting book to read, but it’s an antique, not usable today. They are so wrong! The Bible is very pertinent for today’s world. Sure, the events recorded in the Bible happened thousands of years ago, but the messages/lessons behind those events are timeless. Every problem or question we have about how we should live and how the world should be is addressed in the Bible. Maybe it’s time for you to explore the Bible again. It is still in perfect working order.