The Little Things in Life

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:3  King James Version (KJV)

When we think of the characteristics and qualities of a child, most people focus on the pure innocence and curiosity of a child. We think of the playful nature and free spirit that a child carries as well as their mischievous ways.

The Bible states that we must become as a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What exactly does that mean?

We tend to lose the basic traits as we become adults through the process and experiences of life.

A child lives in the present moment. They often do not think about the past or worry about the future. They are focused on the present moment. In Matthew 6:25-34, it states that we should not worry about our life because if the Lord takes care of the birds he will take care of you (See below for scripture reference).

A child depends on their parents to care for them. They believe all their needs will be met. They seek security and acceptance. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, their needs may fall short of being met however there is grace and protection over children. An adult will most likely step in to help, guide, nurture and protect a child that is in danger.

Just like our loving Father, the Lord will help, guide and protect us from harm. He will shield us from unknown dangers that we may not even be aware of at the time. Sometimes it seems as if our prayers are left unanswered but it’s the Lord’s will to protect us from all things that are not pleasing to Him or may cause us harm in the long run.

A child has a trusting heart. They don’t think that the world is out to get them. They are not concerned about all the extras and pressures that life brings. They do not seek power or status. They are contented with the simplicity that life offers. They find joy in the little things. They laugh and smile easily and cry when necessary. They’re not afraid to release emotions. They believe almost anything someone tells them but questions everything around them while they constantly try to figure out the world around them.

A child is quick to love others and does not harbor resentment or unforgivemess. Since they have no prior experiences, they do not fear of getting hurt emotionally. They easily open their hearts willingly through innocence and trust. They are not perverted or worldly. Their hands are clean as well as their hearts. They speack boldly which may even cause public embarrassment to others with the brutal honesty they give.

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, though mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2 (KJV)

Overall, the reflection of a child’s nature is made of trust, love, peace and contentment. There are many other qualities that you may take notice of as you reflect of this message.

As you go about your week, take mental notes of the child-like qualities that the Lord is requestion for us to have and work towards transforming our rigid ways to mirror the characteristics of a child.

The wonders of life is enduring, wholesome and pure.

Psalms 131:2

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Mark 10:15

15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Matthew 7:13-14

  13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life and few there be that find it.”

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Wings of Freedom

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Photo Credit: laur720.deviantart.com

 

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:1-2

As we step into 2015, we hold great expectation and goals for the New Year. We anticipate change whether good or bad, but either way we go forward with hope or anxiety entering into the unknown.

As we confess our resolutions, plans and goals, we may feel overwhelmed, yet hopeful of what is to come. However, we often put a time limit on success. When we don’t meet those expectations, we experience disappoint and we feel like a failure.

We live in a time-based society. We are consumed by hectic schedules and unrealistic demands. The Lord is not limited to time. He orchestrates our lives according to His intricate plan for our lives. He plants the right connections, family, friends, enemies, challenges, obstacles, struggles and experiences in our lives for a purpose. Some people are just for a season while others are rooted in our lives for longevity. “Each experience is not a result of luck or coincidence. It is the result of His divine plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11.

The ups, as well as the downs, are part of our development and growth process. It doesn’t take much to praise God in the easy times. However, when we are locked into bondage, it is hard to trust, praise, read the Bible and rest in the Lord.

We all have different prisons: A failed marriage, a friend or family member who has committed suicide or has died in a tragic accident, depression, drugs or alcohol addictions, poverty, job loss, a natural disaster aftermath or terminal illness. We struggle with our identities:  Low confidence, self-esteem issues, jealousy, competitiveness, egos and status. We may even be in a good place in life, but still feel like we can’t breathe; stuck in routine and trapped in mediocrity.

All of our life issues sends us on an emotional rollercoaster ride that is rooted in fear, anxieties, abuse, torment, confusion, isolation, procrastination, temptation, sadness and discouragement.

When we have negative feelings and experiences, it sucks our energy dry. We are stagnate and idle. We are unable to focus or can’t seem to move forward.

The best thing to do when you have moments of despair is to praise the Lord no matter how hard it may be. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true.

However, if you are dealing with serious issues such as a chemical substance or physical, verbal, emotional or sexual abuse, you will need to seek rehab and/or counseling immediately.

All throughout the Bible, music is emphasized. The whole chapter of Psalms exhorts the Lord. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people. It is the best way to get God’s attention. This is a form of worship and communication with God that builds relationship not only in the good times but in the worst of times.

Satan’s desire is to shut our mouth in prayer and worship. His whole goal is to steal our joy, hope, faith and truth. He wars with us to establish lies into our minds and hearts. However, where God is present the devil can’t reside. Where there is light, darkness is obliterated.

Do you ever notice when you listen to music you start to feel better when you’re down? Music speaks to our soul. It is powerful force. It stirs up emotions. When we listen to worship music it lifts our spirit. It encourages and inspires us. It gives us hope to go on. When you sing to the Lord, you open your heart to Him. You rejoice in his love, grace and mercy. Even through pain, you begin the healing process.

It’s not about how we feel inside when we are singing or listening to music, but it’s because of who God is that makes worship so special and powerful. When you magnify Him, your problems become smaller and you enlarge His territory to work in your life. Your focus in now on the solution and not the problem.

Whatever trouble or prison you may be in, open your mouth and shout unto the Lord for He is worthy to be praised. “Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.” Psalm 95:2

We are transformed by His power. He has kept us under the safety of His wings. We are released from whatever is holding us back once we renew our minds and align our thoughts with God’s thoughts. This is a season of action and redemption. Accept no limitations as we move forward in faith with high expectation in this New Year.

In 2015, receive God’s promises and blessings for you and your family.

Singing praises to the King, we are set free, in Jesus Name.

“And at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundation of the prison were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:25-26.

“Thou has turned my mourning into dancing thou has put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” Psalm 30:11

The Greatest Christmas Presence

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Photo Credit: Christmasstockimages.com

During this season, we are busy preparing for the biggest day of the year: Baking cookies, stringing lights on the tree, attending Christmas parties, going shopping and wrapping presents.

Christmas can also be a very depressing and lonely time of the year for many. While family and friends gather together, many are left alone. Others are left without gifts, food or shelter. Others may have lost a loved one and Christmas is just not the same anymore.  It can crush someone’s spirit when they don’t feel joy and cannot celebrate as other’s do.

Jesus cares. It’s through Him that we share His same spirit to help and assist one another in life. A kind word, a hug, a listening ear, a warm touch or simply a smile can heal unspoken wounds or silent tears.

Jesus is with you in the most desperate of times. His name, “Emmanuel” means God with us. Yes, we may ignore his presence when everything is going great in our lives, but He never leaves us regardless if we acknowledge him or not. He patiently waits for us to come to Him. He is patient and kind and loves us more than we will ever know.

Through all the exciting festivities, I challenge you to take time out during the holiday season to focus on the reason for the season which is the birth of Christ. The Lord sent His Son for our salvation which is the greatest gift in the world. His presence is forever with us. We are part of His heavenly family once we acknowledge Him and accept Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.

I-pads, tablets, iphones, the latest video games or flat screen TV’s will never compare. Jesus is the greatest Christmas presence ever known.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immaneul.” Isaiah 7:14

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Luke 2:14

Recharge Your Life and Gain Balance

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“The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakens morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4

 

Do you feel like when you take time out to rest, you feel like you’re wasting time? Your mind rushes. You may feel a bit of guilt mixed with a little hesitation?

Everyone needs take a break to enjoy the simplicity of life. With so much to do in your daily schedule, taking time out can cause anxiety in itself. You may feel restless: tempted to reach for the cell phone to follow up on a project, text a friend or check your email.

In today’s complex lifestyle, it is very easy to get caught up in constant motion. Even if you decide to unwind, you find your mind wondering, thinking, planning, solving and even worrying about your next task or responsibility.

The pleasure of rest is lacking or even non-existent in today’s society. Most people do not even acknowledge Sundays as a day of rest anymore. It’s just one more day to squeeze some type of activity or work into their schedule, whether it’s shopping, cleaning, fixing or some other project that needs to get done. Much like a foreign language, you simply do not understand the importance when your battery needs to be recharged. The whole concept is unimaginable, unrealistic or unthinkable.

You may be juggling a long commute to work, looking for a job, taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and buying groceries. The list goes on and on. The challenge is not in the doing, but in the delegating. You must learn to free up some time for yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary.

Your body will speak to you when you need to rest, but we must also listen to the signs and act accordingly. The pressure and demands of life can cause severe health issues down the road, if you are not diligent in learning how to treat yourself with care.

When you take a break from the complexities of life, you gain productivity. You’re refreshed with a sense of energy and clarity. Simplicity is bliss. You may gain a new perspective, get a new idea and even solve a problem.

You may feel like you’re missing out on something at first, but actually you’re taking back your life and regaining control and order. When you are rested, you perform better. You are also less irritated and handle problems with a clear head.

I’m reminded of the Bible story of Mary and Martha. One woman, Martha, worked hard for Jesus while he visited their home. While the other, Mary, rested at his feet and listened to him teach. Martha got upset that her sister offered no help. However, Jesus acknowledged Mary who rested. “Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:38-42

Taking a break is not lazy or a bad thing, as long as there’s balance in your life. Spend time alone. Get enough sleep at night. Meditate. Watch the birds or clouds. Sit in silence. Do nothing (not even think). It’s a challenge, I’m sure; but it will definitely recharge your spirit, especially if you make it a daily or weekly habit.

“And on the seventh day God ended His work which he made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work he has made.” Gen 2:2