Tuesday, January 25, 2011

God Bless You!

I've recently heard a couple of sermons from different Pastors on the importance of blessing others.  My own Pastor encouraged us to say "Bless you" more often, perhaps beginning on Thanksgiving Day.  I took this suggestion to heart, and mentioned each person at our Thanksgiving table by name in our prayer before the meal.  Afterward, I could tell that it made a difference to everyone there: the power of being named and the power of being blessed.  So, I highly recommend praying for blessings with others and for others.  Blessing friends and family in this way is the easy part. It feels great and people appreciate it. The harder part is blessing people who you really want to smack!  The other sermon talked about blessing those who curse you.  Of course, once I heard this sermon, those words came back in my mind when I found myself hurt and angry by disrespectful communication at different times by different people. Blessing those who hurt you is a lot harder!  It's not something you do with them, but rather for them.  Blessing our "enemies" is equally if not more important and incredibly powerful.  I don't know if it has much impact on these disrespectful people, but it has a huge impact on me.  My stress is lower, my blood pressure returns to normal, and I can smile again.  I think Melissa knew that when we bless others, we get blessed in the process. That's why she spent all of her time focusing on giving to others, and more determined to do so as her time grew short. So, as much as it's a struggle, I will continue to bless people-- both those I love and those I'd love to strangle. Because in giving the blessing, we get back so much more!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions are the topic of discussion this weekend. We crave new beginnings, a fresh start!  We want to forget our past mistakes and failures, charging into a new year with hopes of a better chance at success!  I have a big project ahead of me.  Something I am committed to doing, but fear that it will not turn out good enough.  I know the way to make my new year dreams and goals come true: team up with the Living God.  Plug into the Power Source.  Join the winning team.  I admit, the price is high.  I have to give up what I want to do and put God in the driver's seat. Of course, any goal that helps me be more physically or mentally healthy is automatically backed by my Creator who wants us to be all we can be--all we were meant to be-- all we were created to be!  God always has our best interest at heart, but only HE can see the road ahead to know which way to go.  Here's the cool part: He will take us on the best adventure of our lives, and guarantee us success!  As long as I am are following Jesus, I cannot fail!  Miracles happen when we follow God's leading: (See Acts 12).  Melissa knew the power of following God, and prayed for His help to do so continually (See Melissa's Prayer Journal ). Melissa also felt the blessings of God's arms around her every time she prayed!  So, this year, I'm putting prayer on the top of my New Year Resolution list.  I'm joining the A team & putting God first in my life.  I'm going to post this verse in my kitchen: Joshua 1:7-9.  I will tackle this project, and hang on tight to Jesus. Amen!