What’s Your Focus?

“You get no forgiveness from just looking at your sins.

You get no healing from concentrating on your diseases.

You get no redemption from studying the pit you’re in.

You get no crowning with glory from fixing your eyes on your failures.

You get no fulfillment of desires from looking at all you don’t have.

You get no renewal from focusing in your oldness, staleness, dryness.

Only He…

Forgives all your sin…

…heals all your diseases…

…redeems your life from the pit…

…crowns you with love and compassion…

…satisfies your desire with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103: 3-5)

Only He!

Look to yourself and ultimately you will be embarrassed.

But:

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.’ Psalm 34:5”

From: I Want to See You, Lord by Anne Ortlund

So – what are you focusing on today?

Blessings

476px-William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_Tête_d'Etude_l'Oiseau_(1867)Blessings.

We all want them.

We all pray “Bless me Lord!”

Yet when the blessings come we often complain. Why is that? Maybe it’s because most blessings come with work attached.

Think about it.

My husband’s job is a blessing – in a time when many are without, he has a steady paycheck. Yet this job requires him to work.

We have a large garden and are “blessed” with much produce this year. That produce required our diligence to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, weed and water as needed, and finally –  harvest the vegetables.

My new house is such a blessing, yet I need to continually dust, vacuum and clean to maintain it.

My health is a blessing, but I need to do my part to maintain it by exercising and eating right.

I think we would all agree that children are a blessing, but to bring them into the world requires labor.

I feel sorry for the new mom who wasn’t prepared for the sacrifice and work involved in raising those little ones. Motherhood isn’t all smiles, stroller rides and photo opportunities (although there are plenty of those!) There are a lot of dirty diapers, long days, short nights, and loads of laundry.

Yet they are a blessing.

I think we sometimes live in the “happily ever after” fog believing that we just need the perfect job, the perfect spouse, beautiful children and we will be happy.

But that just isn’t going to happen in this imperfect world in which we live.

But still, we are a blessed people. We live in abundance, surrounded by blessings every day.

Maybe it’s time for us all to stop complaining about the work involved and take to heart the line from the song “Blessed Be Your Name” –

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise…

A Man of Sorrows

273px-william-adolphe_bouguereau_1825-1905_-_compassion_1897Isaiah 53:3-6

“He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face,
He was despised and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
and our sorrows He carried;
yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities,
The chastening for our well-being fell upon him.
And by His scourging we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”

No Time

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows:

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

No time to turn at beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

~ William Henry Davies

Don’t Waste this Hour… Don’t Waste Today…

William Adolphe Bouguereau- The HaymakerSome wise words from one of my favorite authors, Edith Schaeffer:

“A balance that is important to consider…is the balance between the danger of wasting the “now” or of considering that everything is going to be static, with no future!

Don’t waste this hour, Don’t waste today…Think hard-what can you do now in this combination that you can’t do in ten years, in five years, even next year? Then do it!….

What does this summer have for you and what does today have that you can do, that won’t be possible five years from now, two years from now, next week?

Someday all that you can do today or this week will only be a memory. Let it be a memory of what you did do…

What if we have to move; what would you want to do first? What do you enjoy about this garden, this house, these books, that if it all were taken away, you’d wish you were here to do it for just one hour?…

Don’t waste the now…”

~Edith Schaeffer, from her book What is a Family.