Friday, July 23, 2010

Blessed, part 1

Part of finding our "Joy in the Lord", I think, is realizing how blessed we are.

In my concordance under blessed, there are a multitude of verses and I am dividing it up into sections because I have to do this around my family...a blessing, and a curse...MONK

Genesis 1:22
God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the sea, and let the birds increase on the earth."

Birds and fish, what a blessing it is to have them...and how wonderful is it that the Lord "blessed" them in their fruitfulness, does this mean simply that they were going to multiply like wildfire? Or did the Lord make the act of multiplying a pleasurable thing for them too?

Genesis 2:3
And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating he had done.

It is important for me at times to not only be glad that Sunday is here and I am going to potentially deal with boredom...but it is also helpful to remember that we are not to feel guilty about needing a rest every once in a while. Today's society has us running helter-skelter so often that at times it truly feels "you slow down you die" is truth. We were not designed to be energizer bunnies, and there is nothing wrong with slowing down. Its okay to decline an invitation, opt out of helping with Sunday school, not offering to make ALL the school costumes for Johny's play. I think as a Mom, I tend to forget that I can't do everything.

Genesis 22:18
and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.

This is my favorite of the three. I know God was talking to Abraham, but I figure the Lord will bless obedience from anyone. Technically the refrence to all nations on earth being blessed was about the coming of Christ, but it is because of His arival and our obedience that our children can grow and bless others by sharing the love of Christ that has been instilled in their hearts in part, because of our obedience. I know this to be true because of the people out there with obedient parents who have in turn been a blessing to me.

This morning has been odd to me, but I am glad...this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I guess I am so used to NOT hearing the good news that it almost feels boring writing this. I hope by the end of this journey I will be so excited about the hundreds of reasons to be glad that my writing and life wont be able to contain my excitement. And that my excitement will be so contageous it will infect those around me and my corner of the world will be changed.

Pollyanna may have had something here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Journey Begins

I've been reading Pollyanna to my daughter at bedtime...we need a dose of optimism right now.

Just recently we came to the chapter where Pollyanna confronts the Pastor about his "Hell'N'Damnation" sermon and lets him in on her late father (who was also a minister)'s secret. She refers to them as the "glad texts" of the Bible and explains how after her mother died her father was very depressed. This depression was about to consume him when he became inspired to find Gods joy and His commands throughout the Bible to find happiness in HIM. According to Pollyanna, her father found over 800 texts that command us to rejoice.
This got me thinking.
Are there really over 800 texts that tell us to rejoice and be glad? 800 texts that encourage us to find our hope in HIM? We all know that God is sovereign and that the Bible is "good news" But how "good" is it?
For those of you who know me, I am typically a fairly optimistic, Pollyanna-ish person as it is...and I am no where near depression or throwing myself off a bridge, but even the most optimistic of optimists needs encouragement sometimes and so I decided to (with the limited concordance I have) see how close to 800 I could get.
Yesterday I looked up and copied all the verses pertaining to "benefits". I don''t know one person who would be upset to get benefits of any kind.
According to my nonextensive research, there were 4.

Romans 6:22
2 Corinthians 4:15
Psalm 103:2
John 4:38

I would encourage anyone to look these up. If you don't want to get your Bible out, or don't have one to find, is a good site to use.

Today I looked up "bless" for a grand total of (6) "glad texts".
And the two from today were...
Genesis 12:2-3
Romans 12:14

Both days I have walked away from my quiet time feeling encouraged and refreshed and thought I would share with anyone interested. After all, God didn't write this stuff just for me! I hope whoever reads this is able to take away some encouragement from it, and if not, well...its good for me to get it out anyway.