Monday, November 24, 2014


How do you explain "being blessed" or what it means to be "blessed by God" to a group of first graders?  My husband posed this question yesterday and it has turned out to be more difficult to answer than I would have originally thought.

Blessed is defined as being divinely or supremely favored, fortunate or having good fortune.  See, this is where the problem lies...we are taking our words and subsituting them for God's words.  I have a huge issue with the word "blessed" and how we throw it around these days.  I feel like our definition of blessed and God's definition of blessed could not be further apart.  We have taken our words, our desires and our perceptions and messed it all least I have.  We deem ourselves or others as blessed if nothing bad happens to them.  Seriously, I really don't know how to put it much more simple than that.  I could go into detail or sugar coat it a bit, but I would just be dancing around that one statement.  You are seen as "blessed" in this world if you lead a happy, wealthy, healthy, good fortune kind of life.  The one thing that all of that stuff has in common is that it is all based on our circumstances.  

God never intends for us to determine our level of blessings by looking around at what everyone else has or to judge our blessings based on what we don't have.  His definition is different from ours.   When Christ delievered the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew chapter 5, He spoke about being blessed when foks insult you and speak awful things about you and persecute you (that's in verse 11 and that is my pitiful attempt at paraphrasing it). That kind of being "blessed" does not line up with the world's definition of being "blessed" at all, does it?  Nor does verses 3-5, blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn and blessed are the meek...mourning, being meek or poor in spirit doesn't necessarily go with the American dream either, does it?

I certainly can't speak for God's definition of blessed because I am the first in line to mess things up and get it wrong. However, I do feel like it comes from within, from a relationship.  It is a happiness and and joy that is not based on circumstance.  We are all supremely favored by God. He desires a relationship with all of us.  He loves us so much that He laid down His life for us.  He took our sin upon Him.  He defeated death so that we may have life...We are Blessed!!

The blessings we typically speak of are temporary, the blessings God desires for each of us are eternal.  Let's seek the blessing of fulfillment and purpose in Christ.  Hope y'all have a wonderful God-centered Thanksgiving.   

Monday, November 17, 2014


What are our expectations of God? If you are a follower of Christ, do you have a list of things that you expect from Him? We talked about this in our small group at church yesterday and some of the answers were things that all of us have probably thought about...things like a certain type of lifestyle, a certain level of protection for our loved ones, meeting our "needs" and if we are completely honest we would probably throw in a few of our wants as well. Heathly children was at the top of my list, seriously don't we expect that from God?  I know I did...I had a picture in my mind of the perfect family and it certainly did not include Cerebral Palsy or seizures or severe developmental delays.  I am not proud of myself I am just being honest, I had/have a list of expectations that I expected from God in order for me to live the life I think I deserved.   Yikes...that's a lot of I's...looks like I think it's all about me.

It seems so easy to get caught up in all the things I think I deserve living in the age in which we live.  This age of entitlement and selfishness and instant gratification.  We have placed a Holy God right in the middle of our "right now, my way" type of thinking.  We have reduced Him to some kind of genie granting wishes.  How about a different perspective?  How about we expect God to be exactly who He has told us He is?  Christ never told us to "take up our cross," follow Him and we would never experience difficulty, hurt or hard times.  In fact James 1:2 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds..." not if you face trials but when you face trials.  As our Pastor likes to say, you're either coming out of a trial, currently in a trial or fixing to be in one...friends we've got some stuff going on.

How about we expect God to be God?  His Word tells us He is loving, forgiving, faithful, strong and powerful.  These are just some of the things we can expect from God, because He has shown us who He is.

Psalm 136:1, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  His love is eternal."

Matthew 26:28, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

Psalm 108:4, "For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the sky."

Psalm 24:8, "Who is this King of Glory?  The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle."

Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God to bring salvation to everyone who believes..."

Dare we trust that the plan the Lord has for us is better than than plan we have for the short term future we think we can see before us?  Dare we give up whatever perceived control we think we have?  Because it is just that...perceived.  When we expect God to come in and "fix" everything, then we are tying our happiness and our joy to our circumstances.  We can trust God and we can expect Him to be exactly who He says He is.  In that moment, in that trust, in that "resting in Him," there is freedom.  There is freedom from the burden and the worry, there is a contentment in our circumstances, there is joy in our heart and in our home again.

It's not a lowering of expectations, it's not giving up on hope, it's a change of perspective.  Instead of continuously trying to force and bend God to our will which is impossible, let's line our life up with His will.  
It can be a beautiful thing.