View of God


“You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.” (Nehemiah 9:17)

Unless we have a cosmic view of God and his purposes, He can appear confusing and unreachable. The Scriptures have so many metaphors, its sometimes difficult to keep the picture clear.

For example; shouldn’t “evil-doers” be exempt from God’s blessings? Yet, it seems that behavior doesn’t make any difference with God. He gives blessings to good and bad alike. Even the prophet Jeremiah at times questioned God’s fairness.

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“I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly…Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” John 10:10; Jude 2

“These are my wishes for you.”

May you find serenity and tranquility in a world you may not understand.

May the pain you have known and the conflict you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism. Always know that there are those whose love and understanding will always be there, even when your feel most alone.

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From day to day we work with people who seem to us destined for a mediocre lot in life. May I offer a unique story.

Jim worked on a ranch for a considerable time. He performed his jobs faithfully. But no one thought he would make a great mark in life.

About this time, the ranch owner became concerned since Jim and his daughter were developing a very close friendship. The rancher was determined that she must meet and marry someone who would really amount to something. So he arranged for Jim to be transferred to another job several hundred miles away.

The plan worked.

His daughter did finally marry a person who showed more promise. Nothing more was heard of Jim. But as the years went by, his talents and abilities continued to blossom. People now recognized he possessed special qualities bordering on greatness.

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Thought of the Week

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” Ecclesiastes 9:10

The story is told of a much beloved bishop living near the coast of France where white wine is an art form, was given other responsibilities in a different region of the country. The townspeople were saddened to learn of the promotion, however, they were gladden that he had made such an impact on their lives during his stay.

The mayor called together a town council meeting to ask what kind of gift should be given to the departing bishop, to help him remember them by. One suggestion after another was given but none seemed appropriate. Then, finally a marvelous suggestion came to the fore. Why not each man give some of his fine wine from his vineyard to a common cask? Then, and thereafter, whenever the bishop would have some wine, he could reflect on the townspeople that loved him so dearly. Yes, a very fine idea! Let us do it! And all ran off to their farms to prepare for the festival and to give of his share of wine.

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Senseless Acts of Beauty

“Do not do unto others what you would not have done to you” (ancient Rabbinic saying, paraphrased)

“So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matt. 7:12 NIV

It has been told that a woman sitting in a restaurant waiting for her order wrote down on a napkin the following words: “Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty”. After leaving her table, a waitress pinned the napkin on the bulletin board. That saying revolutionized the restaurant, and the lives of the staff.

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From Tragedy To Triumph

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28 NASB

One day a man received a gift of a rare plant, which he set in a big flowerpot close to a fountain basin. It never thrived well; in fact, it barely lived. Its foliage was stunted, in spite of all the care the owner gave it.

While he was away some weeks from home, the flowerpot was hit by a careless garden boy, and the pot smashed with the contents spilling into the fountain. The plant, earth and all fell into the water, creating a mess. The boy removed the broken pieces of the pot, but left the plant at the bottom of the pool, because it was too much bother to remove it.

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“Cast all your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” Ps 55:22

Stanford researcher, Dr. Robert Ornstein, says that “Emotions, whether positive or negative, seem to stimulate ver strong actions. They also help organize experience. They tend to color perception of ourselves and others. Emotions both guide and goad our actions.” The Feeling Brain: Emotions and Health.

Most of us would like to have better control over what triggers our behavior. Many emotions seem unpredictable, and too many times we don’t know that the key to emotional choice is the emotion itself.

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A Nursing Home Poem

The following is a poem which I have seen dozens of places, and during its travels, it has become famous. However, it still tugs at the heartstrings and calls us all into accountability how we view others about us, especially in the home.

It is attributed to a elderly lady who died in a nursing home. She had tucked it away for the nurses to find after her death.

What do you see, nurses, [put yourself in here] what do you see?

What do you think when you are looking at me?

A crabby old woman, not very wise,

Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes.

Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,

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Prov. 11:25: The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

I was browsing the web the other day and ran across this little story that really inspired me to be conscious about doing little things to help brighten someone else’s day.

“Today, at 7 AM this morningm the woman in line behind me at grocery store looked upset, so I bought her a fresh rose for $2.99 that was sitting in a bucket of water at the register. An hour later, when our new corporate VP showed up on her first day of work, she immediately smiled at me and said, “Thanks for the rose. I was just a little nervous this morning about my first day here.”

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Hebrews 3:13- But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today.”

I just could not wake up this morning.  Each time that alarm went off, I reached over and whacked it a couple of times, silencing it’s incessant noise and allowing myself the luxury of just nine more minutes of fleeting slumber. It took about three cycles of this process before I finally decided that I had exhausted any cushion of time that I might have and still not be late to work.  As wonderful and necessary as those 27 minutes were, they didn’t come without a cost.  My morning routine was now compressed by a missing 27 minutes.  Where I would have had the luxury of cuddling with my son before he went off to school, or even enjoying a bite or two of breakfast, or even taking a moment to speak more than 11 words to my wife and give more than just a peck on the lips goodbye for the day, I now had to hustle and stress just to get out the door so I could attend to the “important” matters of the day.

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