Monday, September 25, 2017

{Monday Meditations} Make Me A Channel of Blessing

Hey! It's Monday...the dreaded day of the week. Let's start it off right though with looking to God.

I was planning on continuing some thoughts on Psalm chapter 1, but I have been waiting to share this with you guys for a while now, so we're going to pause Psalm 1 and check out this for a week.

This was part of my other blog I did for a school project "Beyond the Hymn", but this was something God really spoke to me earlier this year and it continues to convict me. Hopefully this will make you think and give you something to ponder and chew on as you go throughout your Monday.

Back at my home church a couple months ago, the speaker used an example I had never heard before. He gave a brief geography lesson. He talked about seas in Israel. The Sea of Galilee is a thriving sea; lots of life, vegetation, and animal life. Just 50 miles south the Galilee Sea flows into the Dead Sea. However, true to the name, the Dead Sea is dead, empty, and lifeless. But the Sea of Galilee is just north of the Dead Sea and it is doing great!

What's the difference between the two?

The Dead Sea does not have an outlet. The Sea of Galilee outlets into the Dead Sea but the Dead Sea takes in all that water and keeps it in. Because it has no where to go, everything dies in the Dead Sea.

Now the speaker applied it to the Christian life. Christians learn and gain knowledge and blessings from other Christians through fellowship, interaction, Sunday School, church services, etc. Other Christians are sharing their knowledge and blessings through different forms of media (Pastor through church services, Sunday school teachers through their class, other Christians through interaction and fellowship). These Christians are usually happy Christians who are growing, serving, and being blessed by God.

There are also Christians who struggle. Perhaps they complain a lot and whine about different circumstances. They gossip, they are jealous, angry, and irritable. What can be a reason for this?

These Christians do not have an outlet.

These Christians are not sharing what God has done for them with other Christians. They aren't taking the time to minister to others. We are all called to be salt and light to the world. We should be bursting with blessings and Biblical knowledge to share! Maybe you don't think something God did in your life was a "big enough" blessing. Or maybe you think you don't know enough about the Bible to share. You never know how God could use a "small" blessing to bless and impact someone else.

Christians who fail to share and minister to others the love of Christ are dead Christians.

This made me think of the hymn "Make Me A Channel of Blessing" by Harper G. Smyth. Harper G. Smyth doesn't have a story like some other hymn writers do. He was simply a faithful servant who served as a music director in local churches and for other organizations. He penned these strong words that will most likely convict anyone who takes the time to really read the lyrics.

Verse 1:
Is your life a channel of blessing?
Is the love of God flowing through you?
Are you telling the lost of the Savior?
Are you ready His service to do?

Make me a channel of blessing today,
Make me a channel of blessing, I pray;
My life possessing, my service blessing,
Make me a channel of blessing today.

Verse 2:
Is your life a channel of blessing?
Are you burdened for those that are lost?
Have you urged upon those who are straying
The Savior Who died on the cross?

Verse 3:
Is your life a channel of blessing?
Is it a daily telling for Him?
Have you spoken the Word of salvation
To those who are dying in sin?

Verse 4:
We cannot be channels of blessing
If our lives are not free from known sin;
We will barriers be and a hindrance
To those we are trying to win.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thought Process

Hey everyone!

I've been trying to think of fun, silly posts I could do for you's what I came up with :P

I got to thinking the other day about brains. I concluded that a writer's brain definitely works and functions a lot differently than a regular brain. We writer's are constantly thinking up scenes, dialogue, and dramatic cliff hangers. It's just a normal thing for us. I took the time and really thought about how my brain functions and here's what I realized.

I talk to myself--a lot.

But seriously, I do talk to myself. Not necessarily out loud, but I run ideas through my head sometimes. Other times I'm working on a scene for one of my stories and I pretend to be one of my characters and create dialogue between that character and the others. Sometimes I'm imagining alternate scenarios to movies or books. 

I like to think that something like Inside Out happens in my head.

Except I think I just have two lil' people in my heads. I just named them today XD 

The first one is Lisa. She is the wise, calm, educated one. She helps me when I'm in class here at college. She's the one that reminds me to put on my coat when it's below freezing out here. She reminds me to eat fruit and vegetables more than I eat ice cream too :P

The second lil' person in my head is Beth. She is the bold, reckless, and fun one. Beth helps me out when I play sports. Beth is the one that tells me doing something stupid will be fun. She helps me come up with jokes and quips to tease my friends. 

Unfortunately, these two fight A LOT. For instance, I shall recount an experience I had last year....

[Set the Scene] In our dorm rooms, we have these chairs that work as a desk chair but also work like a rocking chair.
Roommate 1: "We should see who can tip back their chair the farthest without tipping over!"
Me: "Yeah!"
Lisa: "NO LAUREN."
Lisa: "No! You'll hurt yourself."
Beth: "Do it, do it, do it!"
Me: "Yeah! Let's do it!"

In the end, I tipped my chair back the farthest...and succeeded in falling and smacking my head against the side of the bed...yeah it hurt...BUT I WON. :P

Another example:
Lauren: "I'm just gonna go get one scoop of ice cream."
*gets to the ice cream bar*
Beth: "OH MAH WAWRD! Look at that! They have apple crisp! You should put that in the bottom of your bowl and dump vanilla ice cream on top!!"
Lisa: "Noooooo! You had a lot of ice cream yesterday; you need to pace yourself."
Beth: "But who knows how long they'll have apple crisp? If you don't get it now, it might be gone tomorrow!"
Lauren: "Well...I mean...I can eat healthy tomorrow..."
Lisa: "EVERYONE SAYS THAT! And they never mean it!"
Beth: "I want apple crisp and vanilla ice cream so baaaad! LOOK AT IT!"

I ate the apple crisp ice cream :P Lisa really tries to help me out, but Beth is a lot louder and pushier than Lisa so I usually listen to Beth more than Lisa.

So tell me, do you ever talk to yourself, out loud or just in your head? Do you think there are lil people in your head that encourage you to do different things like Lisa and Beth? ;) And would you like to see more of these posts?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

{Monday Meditations} Psalm 1 Part 2

Good morning! I hope you guys had a fantastic weekend. Mine was relaxing ... I'm getting sick so I just relaxed, caught up on homework, watched Youtube :P I did go out to eat with some friends to a Hibachi Grille for the first time! That was exciting, trying new foods and the like. It wasn't too bad either :D

Today I wanted to continue the thoughts I expressed last week. I want to move to verse 3 of Psalm chapter 1.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;

The Psalmist uses a tree to explain how our lives as Christians ought to be. Why is the tree planted by rivers of water? Because trees need water to survive! (Duh) The water supplies nutrients and strength so the tree and grow big and strong and produce fruit! The further away water is from the tree, the less healthy the tree is likely to be.

How does this apply to us?

We are to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Obviously, we aren't literally to be by the rivers of water, but what can we relate the rivers of water to? What do we need to survive, to grow, to produce spiritual fruit in our lives? The Bible! The Living Water! John 4:10 says "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."

So here's what I conclude:

Tree............planted by water....water supplies strength................produces fruit God's Word........God's Word supplies strength.....produces spiritual fruit

Have you ever heard of the hymn "Springs of Living Water"? I think it's an old one that isn't very popular nowadays. But I feel like the author wrote this from Psalm 1.

"Drinking at the springs of living water,
Happy now am I,
My soul they satisfy;
Drinking at the springs of living water,
O wonderful and bountiful supply!"

Do you see the link between this chorus and Psalm 1? The Blessed Man in Psalm 1 delights, or is satisfied, in the Word of God. He doesn't delight or seek satisfaction anywhere else. The chorus rejoices that he has found the living water! And he is HAPPY (Blessed means happy, remember?) and satisfied.

Another comparison from the tree to us, is how the water is supplied. A tree gets the water through its roots, it's most inward part. We receive the Living Water, through our hearts, our most inward part. Nothing can reach the tree quite so effectively without coming through the roots. We are most effected by what we hold in our hearts.

If a tree has roots by contaminated water, it will not grow. If our hearts are in a contaminated source (wrong reading, inappropriate TV shows/movies, ungodly thoughts, etc.) we will not grow.

Did you ever sing that kid's song "Read Your Bible Pray Every Day?"

Read your Bible pray every day
Pray every day
Pray every day
Read your Bible pray every day
And you'll grow grow grow!
Don't read your Bible, forget to pray
Forget to pray
Forget to pray
Don't read your Bible, forget to pray
And you'll shrink, shrink ,shrink!

It fits. What we choose to delight in (Psalm 1:2), will effect how we grow spiritually (Psalm 1:3). And I need this reminder constantly. I love to watch TV shows and movies, I love music, especially musicals, and I love following celebrities and things like that. But if that's where I'm keeping my heart, I'm gonna shrink, shrink, shrink, spiritually and I won't produce any fruit for God's glory. And as my pastor reminded us in church today, our purpose on earth is to glorify God by producing godly fruits in our lives.

I hope this week, you'll remember to delight in the things of the Lord to that you will be a strong tree producing beautiful fruit for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.