The Big Picture

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to ‘Dee’s Thoughts’. Drop me a line if you have time I would love hearing from you. FYI-We are gearing up and starting classes again starting in February.  A new class called ‘Heart Matters’ that will start on Monday mornings February 19th from 9:30am-11:30. Another class called ‘Running   against The Wind’ that will start on February 21st from 6:30pm-8pm. Both of these classes will be held at Emmanuel Fellowship. These classes will also be posted on our website and Facebook . www.reachingthebroken.org

At the beginning of a new year we are all wondering what this new year will bring? I am no different as I also think of the new year and anticipate what it will hold. I remember a long time ago when I was just starting in ministry I was having a meeting with some leaders and this one person looked at me and said, “are you looking at the big picture”? Well, it took me back some as I didn’t really know what to say. I said, “I don’t even know what that means.”

He was aiming to help me look beyond just where I was at presently. It can be difficult for any one of us to see beyond where are at now and look ahead and by the way ( that is faith). Even though at the time I did not see clearly what the bigger picture looked like he gave me a glimpse of what the more that God wanted to give me was still ahead. Even though we may not always see a bigger picture at the time, as we walk this journey of life with our loving Lord and Savior, that bigger picture begins to unfold.

I want to encourage you to not stop looking for that ‘bigger picture’ because it is still ahead of you. We don’t have to have all the answers right now or always know where our journey is taking us, but in our Lord Jesus we have the promise of him taking us where he wants us to go. Jeremiah 29, so keep keeping on the best is yet to come!

 

Blessings Dee

Keepsakes

Good Afternoon Everyone and thank you for visiting 'Dee's Thoughts. Please shout me a word and say Hi, I always enjoy hearing from you.Don't forget to visit our website as well-www.reachingthebroken.org as we post upcoming classes for the year. we will soon be starting new classes in February and there will be posting on Facebook as well as the website.

Most of us have special keepsakes don't we passed down from others who have gone before us, like a piece of china, a favorite book, a piece of jewelry. We usually try our best to take care of them putting them in a safe place where they won't be damaged right? But then you do the very thing you fear, you drop and break it. you feel terrible!  You have been entrusted to take care of this keepsake and what has happened (we break it).  it may not have been  expensive in $ value but it is tells stories and holds memories of those who had owned it. It had a meaning a purpose.

Well, "now i am the generation who has dropped it".  We live in dark days don't we? News from overseas becomes more troubling by the day, and within our own borders our basic rights as followers of Christ are being eroded bit by bit. But when we feel pressure to conform to ideas that are contrary to our faith, we can find ourselves tempted to sit quietly and wait for Christ to come and rescue us.

We have a choice to either be a silent observer  or we can choose to live our faith boldly--not merely with bumper sticker phrases, T-shirt slogans, etc. or we can stand strong in our faith and keep walking the path that God has laid out before us. I want to be that person that keeps walking how about you? By God's grace we will keep walking. Psalm 119:105 says, Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Let's keep walking together!

Blessings, Dee

Real Rest

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to “Dee’s Thoughts”. Thank you for your responses I love to hear from you.  As the Holidays are upon us, I am reminded of all the hustle and bustle of the Season. There is never enough time or money to accomplish all of our goals and preparations.   Most of us recognize this hurried pace but can’t seem to get off of the roller-coaster ride. We long for ‘rest’ but it never seems to come. When is the last time you felt rested?

We don’t live in a culture these days that is conductive to rest. Even in our churches we can end up being over-committed because we say ‘yes’ to often. After all, it’s easier to say no to attending a neighborhood party than to signing up for a Bible study.  If it sounds spiritual, we too easily think we should line up behind everyone else and take a ticket.

But being busy for God and knowing God are very different, and we often confuse the two. Jesus spoke one day to a crowd and he spoke directly to their ‘weariness’ Matthew 11:28. He was speaking to those who were worn out trying to do the right thing to please God  and earn their salvation.

Jesus loves you and me, there is no ‘if’ tucked in at the end of the sentence. Despite the countless shades of light and dark that lives inside of us, we are loved completely by God, Hard to take in, isn’t it? That kind of love doesn’t exist apart from God. That kind of love is hard to grasp when we are busy running from one activity to another. That kind of love calls us to rest—really rest—in the presence of the One who made us, who knows us, who loves us.

Enjoy the Holidays in His presence of ‘rest’.

Blessings, Dee

My Life Is Not My Own

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to ‘Dee’s Thoughts’. Thank you for your comments I so enjoy them. I am reminded as I walk through this life that as a believer in Christ that ‘my life is not my own’. We tend to forget that when challenges come out way and we find ourselves faced with situations that seem to be out of our control. I have had some things come up in my own life recently that have caused me to question why I am going through what I am. I am sure you can identify!

 Before I knew Christ in a personal way, life to me was “just living”. I never did think too far ahead about tomorrow, nor was I very concerned about death and what happens after death. But now, now that I have come to know Him in a personal way, my thinking has changed over the years regarding my life and the purpose God has had for it. Now I realize that “The shaping of my life” has been totally designed by God, a perfect plan just for me that cannot fail because God has put it into existence and motion.

Oh, there have been  bumps along the way and there will probably be more,  but  I don’t have to be worried about them because those bumps will not deter me from  reaching the ultimate goal and purpose of my life, because my life is “not my own” it belongs to God.

 I find that it is still too easy to forget that my life is in Christ and begin to question why I am going through certain things. As I have been going through some of my own challenges, I am more aware of how I respond and react to those things. As time goes on the faithfulness of our Lord begins to reveal the purpose for which he is allowing these challenges and to see his faithfulness to me as I walk with him through them.  (the key is walking with him)

As I look back I can see clearly God’s hand in everything, the good, the bad, the happy and the sad. All these things have been part of a bigger picture and a bigger plan to bring me to a place of peace, contentment and trust in the One who loves me and you. There is a divine plan in place for us that we cannot see clearly now but we will one day. 1 Corinthians 13:12

So, if you have days where you wonder why you are here and what purpose there is in life, know this, God has a plan, a plan for you that is being unveiled every day. For  I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 .

Rest in Him there is no better a place than this!

Blessings, Dee

 

 

 

An Attitude of Gratitude

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to 'Dee's Thoughts'. I am reminded today of just how many blessings I have received from others and from God. I never want to take these blessings for granted but rather have a grateful heart. Many times I think we all forget just how many blessings we receive everyday that we don't always recognize at the time. Here is a story I want to share with you:

Here in the United States, we have so very much to be grateful for, more things than we can even fathom. I'm reminded of a wealthy Texan who was in the habit of giving his father unique gifts every father's day. One year it was hang-gliding lessons.  The year before it was the entire record collection of Slim Whitman's Hits, autographed by the singer himself. But this past year he had outdone himself. He purchased a rare kind of South American bird, called the translator. This bird could speak five languages and sing "Yellow Rose of Texas" in any key while standing on one foot. The talented bird cost $10,000, but felt it was worth every penny. This would be the Father's Day gift his dad would never forget.  

A week after Father's Day he called his father. "Dad, how did you like the bird?" His father responded, "It was delicious." We have so much that sometimes we can't see the great value of all God has given us. That is ingratitude.

Francis Schaeffer once said, "The beginning of man's rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart. It is such an attitude that sees one- self as the source of their own strength, happiness, and prosperity. We, as Christians, are influenced by this sentiment and live with the ever-present danger of thinking that we are what we are, or have what we have, solely because of what we have done. It is an attitude that runs against scriptural teaching and is inconsistent with the Spirit-filled life.

We are so often tempted to see nothing but our own reality. It takes little more than a brief trip to another country to be reminded of the great blessings we as a nation and as individuals have received. Lord remind us all how much we receive everyday and help us to have an attitude of gratitude.

Blessings, Dee

 

The Burdens We Carry

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to 'Dee's Thoughts'. I am reminded this morning of the burdens of life. We all have them-family, health, loss, finances and relationships. But I also know we can carry more than we should at times. What is a burden? It is something that is emotionally difficult to bear, a source of great worry or stress; weight.

Some burdens are meant to be SHARED, some burdens are meant to be SHOULDERED, and some burdens are meant to be SHED.

We all have burdens, some of these burdens can be Physical, some Spiritual, and some are Emotional, such as depression or anxiety, a heartache over some loss, or financial hardship. 

Choices are something we make every day, but not all choices are equal. Deciding which pair of shoes to wear or whether to give your phone a quick charge on the way to work are definitely choices. Yet there are those choices that are so difficult to make that they can be paralyzing. Rather than committing to a decision we muddle over the choice until it impacts our life negatively or the choice is no longer an option. 

According to experts the more choices you have in front of you the harder it is to make the difficult ones. They suggest that for those that have difficult choices in front of them or life changing options that have both pros and cons basically equal to eliminate the smaller choices.

Some are meant to be shared---We are supposed to encourage/strengthen one another when it comes to faults and failures.. Some are meant to be shouldered---There are some burdens which no one else can help you with. Sometimes the choices we make are not the wisest but we have to take ownership of the choices we do make. It does no good to beat ourselves up when we make a wrong choice but we don't have to make the same choice again!

Jesus said, Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2. We don't have to carry our burdens and problems alone, but we do have to humble ourselves and reach out to others and to God for help.

 

 

 

 

Are You Listening?

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to ‘Dee’s Thoughts’. How do you feel when you are trying to communicate to someone and they are not listening?  It can be most frustrating can’t it?

Listening is not the same as hearing, hearing alone is impersonal, listening is personal! To be a good listener, we must, first pay attention. When we don’t listen we create feelings such as Annoyed, frustrated, discounted, rejected, anxious or angry? Such feelings usually make communication more difficult. So how can we show someone who is speaking that we really are paying attention to them? We can do this both nonverbally and verbally.

Research shows that about 85% of what we communicate is nonverbal that includes our posture, eye to eye contact and facial expressions. Knowing when to be silent can be a powerful communication tool. Silence allows others to become aware of their own feelings and gives them freedom to express without being pressured.

If we are to become good listeners we cannot be intimidated by silence! This is the obstacle we all have to overcome-- is to be able to stop doing all the talking and give others the space to open up and share. Listening is an expression of love and can heal many wounds.

Have a great day

Dee   

Be Patient with one another

 

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to Dee’s Thoughts. I am reminded this morning of how difficult it can be at times to show patience. We may know we should and we want to be patient, but at any given moment something happens and our patience is being challenged! Why is it so difficult? We have all heard of this statement: Lord, give me patience . . . and I want it right now!

Patience is a rare and remarkable virtue that comes with a price. In the Greek, patience is not used in regard to things or events, but rather, people. It is a compound word that means "long or far," and also "hot, anger, or wrath." Putting it together, we come up with "long-anger." You've heard the English expression, "short-tempered"? Well, I suppose we could coin an expression for patience—long-tempered—and not miss the accurate meaning very far.

So how do we practice ‘patience’? The secret is found through ‘endurance’ As we endure through life’s challenges we will reap the fruit of ‘patience’.  Job is an example of enduring under the load of suffering. He determined that he would "abide under" the blast furnace of affliction regardless of its heat. The result was patience. If we let endurance do it’s work in us, all the dross will rise to the top to be skimmed off,. like the purifying process of raw gold. That explains why Paul says that trials and tribulations bring about patience and perseverance within us (Romans 5:3–4).  Lord, have your way in our hearts.

Blessings, Dee