Sunday, May 22, 2011

Awesome Wonder

After church today, Sabrina, Amari, Halle, and I went to The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita (http://gentlebarn.org/).  Halle brushed a couple of the cows' fur; Amari, like Mary, befriended a little lamb; Sabrina was literally hit on by a black stallion who enthusiastically shook his head "YES" when she asked him if he liked her; and I bonded with the sleeping swine.  It was amazing!  To say that we had an awesome time would be an understatement.  I was so emotional by the time I made it back home that I had to tell my neighbor (who simply asked how my day was and surely wasn't expecting the earful that I gave him) all about how GREAT God is!

The entire time that we were at The Gentle Barn, I couldn't stop praising God for being such an awesome wonder.  I couldn't help but thank Him for allowing me to see and feel His presence all around me.  I gave praise aloud a few times because I just couldn't help myself. 

The animals were beautiful--so precious.  They had so much personality.  I looked at them and knew that they (like I) had been created for the sole purpose of giving glory to God.  I could see that He had taken His time with them and that He LOVED them.  His arms were wrapped around them and they were secure in His embrace. 

My mind began to run marathons as I thought about the swaying trees waving their leaves toward heaven--magnifying the Lord, their Creator.  I thought about the blowing wind singing praises to the Almighty.  I thought about the ocean, so wide and so deep, moving at His command.  I thought about the earth's plates shifting at His orchestration.  I thought about how lava spews forth after volcanic eruptions at His direction.  I thought about the mountains and the valleys and the deserts all prostrate as they honor Him.  I thought about the rocks crying out that He is the Most High God.  I thought about the sun and the moon and the stars that He set in place to light our world and provide the energy necessary for this life to exist.  I thought about how His creations depend upon each other and how none of this would be possible without Him...and I was reminded that God is my all and all.  He's my everything!  I live and I breathe to worship Him and I humbly submit to His will for my life.  I sing praises unto the Lord, for He is worthy!

Hallelujah!




Friday, May 6, 2011

Think on These Things

Image and information filtering can be quite difficult—especially when you are looking for one thing and chance upon another. When flipping through the guide channels, for example, show titles “Girls Gone Wild,” “MILFS with Hot Amazon Mandingos,” etc. flash across the screen. Turn the radio to the wrong station at the wrong time and you hear about bumping and grinding with your best friend’s husband, smoking weed while selling cocaine, killing the fool who steps in your way, etc. Or when driving down a street in Hollywood, there is a billboard with two men hugging—under it a line about being tested for aids. News headlines talk of scandal in both the political and financial realms. The people engaging in the activities seem to be having so much fun. They seem so happy…Then you find yourself wondering: Why not sleep with your best friend’s husband—Especially if there is a good beat playing while you do it? If Jane and John Doe can do it and be happy, why can’t you?

With negative imagery and ungodly activities as in our face as they are, continuing to walk on the straight and narrow path isn’t always easy. But it is a must! It’s imperative that we keep our eyes focused on the prize—eternal life with God.

Sin begins in the mind with a single thought. When negative thoughts—“going wild,” doing drugs, participating in ungodly relationships, taking things that don’t belong to you, etc. try to creep into your mind, stop, breathe, and replace them with images and scriptures that will keep you on track. Don’t entertain thoughts of sin for a single moment. When you do, you will, without fail, find yourself in situations where you are faced with an opportunity to act out your thoughts…and that action leads to misery, guilt, unhappiness, bitterness, and dissatisfaction.

Remember that you have a higher calling. You are in the world but not of it. Choose Christ. Serve Him with your whole heart. Don’t flirt with sin. It isn’t worth it. Only that which is Christ-centered leads to true euphoria.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)