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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Preservation (and a much needed trip to the beach)

Preservation 
Definition of preservation (n), according to Bing... pres·er·va·tion[ prèzzər váysh'n ] protection from harm: the guarding of something from danger, harm, or injury maintenance unchanged: the maintenance of something, especially something of historic value, in an unchanged condition **upholding of something: the keeping of something intangible intact. 

We are spending time with my parents for about 5 full days at the beach and it feels great. Yes, I'm continuing with my BLOG about Perseverance, Preservation and Patience. I really enjoy the definition of preservation above, highlighted, "upholding of something intangible intact." That is a really great way of defining the way I love my parents. There is no word for the amount of love, honor and respect I have for my earthly parents. 

Our generation grew up with more fear and respect where the divorce rate was much lower so more households were intact, or least that was my perception, dear one. And no, I wasn't the perfect child. By far, in fact, I had DOM. Can you figure that out, dear friend? Diarrhea of the Mouth. I felt that I needed to speak out, no matter what, whatever the age. Did I say whatever the age? Regardless of the childhood, birthdays and memories, ones perception is ones reality. I feel and felt at 26 (when I first started my journey that would ultimately lead me to accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior) that I was born an adult, that I didn't have a childhood and again, my perception. 

There are plenty of wonderful memories mixed with laughter, food, fun and tradition that I hold dear. However, I remember when the therapist asked me, "When is the last time you had fun?" I think there are many of us that feel weights of different kinds where we take control and box God in because we know better or at least think we do. Our children, parents, work, finances or any type of stress. This is where Faith truly comes in and the Holy Spirit speaks, when we are Still (foreign word for me up until the last few years). When I feel I'm carrying too much, I recall that favorite Philippians verse:  

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 KJV)  

Well, I think that say's it, right? He can't get any clearer than that? So, do we worry and take control? Or try? Because He is always in control no matter what. By us worrying and controlling, we are putting God in a box. Even when I used to take control, the challenging steps that He uses to get us back on His path really validates that it wasn't worth taking the longer road.. Wouldn't it be easier just to Listen to the Holy Spirit, Be Still and Pray? Sounds easier said than done, I know. And then comes the challenge when we hear or feel nothing in return. If one hears nothing, keep praying but also examine your own to make sure that you are in God's 
Will. Ask Him to reveal anything in your heart that needs restoration, cleansing, renewal or repentance. If we are outside of God's Will, our prayers won't be answered. Sometimes, our prayers are being answered but He is waiting for the right window so that His Miracle can be truly seen by many. 

We are to only reflect on positive things and allow God to work on everything else. Can you imagine? Not worrying about whether or not your child will do well in Math? Not worrying about whether or not you can make your next house payment? Yes, we are not to worry period. It has taken me many years to grasp this but the enemy actual created worry. Worry is another form of control. Are we ever in control? Yes, there are decisions here and there but when things are out of our "control." We have to hand it over to God. I think of it as a test. If we truly are in love with Jesus Christ, then why wouldn't we trust Him? He made us, but we question him because He is intangible. If He walked in our home, we would probably trust him more. It goes back to the my love to my parents. When something is so intangible as the honor, love and respect I feel for my parents, it's going to be hard for someone else to feel that because they are my parents, not theirs. But our Father made All. He is the Great I Am. As I sit casually with them, enjoying fellowship, others may take this exchange for granted but to this woman, I take not one second for granted, but cherish every moment that we can share with them. This is such a blessing. Preservation is so important within a family and I think in our society, something of a lost art. Weekly dinners where the family gets together are a thing of the past, at least for some. Memories are getting lost with the miles that separate loved ones or with blended families or other reasons. Although we are not of this world, history and tradition is so gently critical to pass on from generation to generation. When I left St. Louis over 21 years ago, never did I think I would be gone from my blood family but God had other plans and we have to listen to our Father, no matter how much it may hurt. Looking back, I see the blessings, praying and witnessing that occurred because we were where He wanted us to be.

.For now, we are enjoying conversation, prayer and fellowship and that is something I don't take for granted. For years, I did when growing up in St. Louis. Our family is loving, independent and rarely, if ever, squabble. Overall, we'll laugh, play games, laugh (did I mention laugh?), dear friend. And God has truly blessed me with friends that are my other family who are very important in my life and I can tell you that many times, through many situations, God has validated that we are where we are meant to be. In the big picture, our time on earth is short and eternity is forever where there is no worry, guilt, sin.. See my visual below: 


 
Our time on earth is so short compared to a wonderful Eternity with the Father and the speaks of how beautiful Heaven will be!  Yet, we hold onto as much as we can in this world, resulting in the phrase, "You can't take it with you."  It took me a while to grasp this and I'm still getting my arms around it but really, the only thing that matters on this earth is to put God first and listen to the Holy Spirit.  As stated in Matthew 28:18-20:

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is also referred to as The Great Commission.  What is important, although the older I get, is that God is truly in Control and He will do what is best and We need to follow His Path. Here is the hard part and I've pondered greatly how to word the preservation of honor and intangible love we have, dear friend, towards our parents. Families today are separated and sometimes one argument can cause years of separation, missing precious family moments and cause deep hurt and despair when the second greatest commandment "Love Thy Neighbor" as stated several times through the Bible, as in Matthew 19:19. If relationships are broken, go to that family member in love and discuss and resolve in love. Do not let time go by and then regret no saying those important words that pride kept us from that family connection. The past can't be changed and the future not predicted, however, God gives us a gift...the present. So, tomorrow, we shall once again enjoy the day in our paradise on earth. Tonight, do your family, forefathers, children and grandchild a favor and Pray. Pray that your family comes together, that hearts are healed and that any broken chains are join in love and in Christ. Let's bring together all and "make disciples of all nations", as stated above by our beloved Jesus..  That is my prayer for you and I, dear friend..

And if there are prayers you  need, please do not hesitate to email me or comment so more can pray for you.  Prayer works!  God Listens!  If you are a Believer In Christ, He will answer.  If you are not a Believer and want to be, below is what Paul, one the greatest disciples for Jesus (although he said he was the least of the disciples (I Corinthians 15:9), said you needed to believe.  It will change your life forever.  It doesn't make life easier but you've get the the Great I Am carrying you through it.  It's much better than going it alone.  The best part?  You get to spend eternity with other believers, see His Miracles happen all around you.  Pray and watch as He Answers.  Yes, we were born sinners and works alone do not get us Heaven but as you continue on your Walk with Jesus, you will want to walk less in this world and more with Jesus.  There is a book by Frances Chan called Crazy Love basically titled that way because of his Crazy Love for Jesus.  That book changed by small love into an overpowering Crazy Love for this All Knowing God Man who took this world back from the enemy by dying on the cross for EVERYONE!  You and you, and you and you and yes, you, too!  Can we even grasp the overpowering Love Jesus has for you and I.  It's an easy read but what a Wow! Book!  Get your hands on it.  I don't say that about many books as I tend to focus on the Bible, the Living Word.  Please recite this when you are ready:



1 Corinthians 15:3-8

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.


Welcome to God's Kingdom!  Your Heart that had that place that was empty is now filled with Jesus. You will begin to walk, talk and act differently.
In His Service, 
Lisa