Weekly Reflections

July 12th, 2017

Today’s reflection comes from my morning reading from this morning. Over the last few weeks, new situations have arisen in my life, shaking apart my day to day organization and bringing a lot of fear and anxiety. In the past, I have been able to easily quell these negative emotions by praying and remembering that God is always there beside me, however, like everyone else, I need to be reminded that He truly is there and that we are to look to Him for strength. These verses from Psalms and First Corinthians helped me to reaffirm the truth that God is with me always.

“And so I will sing of your strength, in the morning and acclaim your faithful love; you have been a stronghold for me, a refuge when I was in trouble.” (Psalm 59:16)

For me, this was a great verse to read first, because it reminded me of all the times I have previously turned to my Father in times of turmoil and suffering and how He has been there for me every single time. To reassure me, to guide me, and to help me formulate the right words and actions in certain situations.

“None of the trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, but with any trial will also provide a way out by enabling you to put up with it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

How amazing is this verse? Every time I read it, I feel empowered and encouraged. God will NEVER put more in your life than you can handle. God is our Father who knows us inside and out. He knows our weaknesses and He knows our strengths. He knows how far we can continue to be resilient in every situation. However, what is more amazing than the fact that He will not test us beyond our strength, is that He will always provide a way for us to to deal with the trial. With some of the recent situations that have occurred in my life, I have found this to be especially true. All we must do is to turn to Him and ask Him for support.
Sharing a more personal example, recently I was put into a very stressful and scary situation that I knew was coming for a long time. Whenever I felt the fear and anxiety bubbling up inside me, I prayed to God to help me in the situation and to give me the right words and emotions. When the situation arose, I found myself noticing how strangely calm and collected I was, and I immediately realized that the Lord had answered my prayers and had indeed provided me with a way out by enabling me to be able to put up with situation and to handle it accordingly.

“My strength, I will make music for you, for my stronghold is God, the God who loves me faithfully.” (Psalm 59:17)

God is a rock on which to plant our anxieties and fears instead of letting them grow like weeds in our hearts in which they would become the ruling dictators of our emotions and actions. He doesn’t want us to go through our trials alone. Like an attentive father, He wants to be with us every step of the way. God loves us ‘faithfully’ and unconditionally! Because of our immense love and for the love He provides for us, we must remember to give Him praise. Personally, I cannot help but continue to keep Him close in my thoughts when I’m going through these trying times and I continuously pray to Him. These verses really resonated with my soul and my current situations today and I hope that they were able to instill some peace and encouragement in your life.

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July 1st, 2017

Today’s reflection hits a few different subject points, however, they each stood out to me in a specific way, mostly because I found them to be extremely intriguing and informative about the life Christ calls us to.

This first collection of verses comes from Second Kings. In case you have not read this whole chapter, I will give some back story in order to reflect accurately on the verses. Elisha was a Holy man who regularly passed through a small town in which a woman of great influence offered him a warm meal. The next few times Elisha passed through the town, he stayed for a meal each time. Eventually, the woman told her husband that she wanted to turn the roof into a bedroom for the traveler so that he would have a place to lay when he came through. Once the room was put together, she offered it to him and he stayed the night. Elisha wished to do something in return for the kind woman and asked his servant what he could do for the woman. His servant told him that the woman had no son and that her husband was becoming old in age. So, Elisha told the woman that she would conceive a son and within the next year, and she did.

“Elisha promised, ‘This time next year you will be cradling a baby son.’ She said, ‘My Lord, you are a man of God; do not deceive your servant.’ Yet the woman conceived, and by the same time the following year she had given birth to a son, as Elisha had promised; and the child grew up healthy.” (2 Kings 4:16-18)

For me, I find this verse to symbolize our responsibility of hospitality. When you break down this tale, it becomes truly amazing. The woman, whose gender was usually not allowed to control what visitors entered the house, blindly and generously opened her house to a stranger – Elisha. She could tell that he was a Holy man and desired to take care of him. She even gave him the coolest place in the house – the roof, for it was summer. Elisha, himself, does not take advantage of the hospitality and only stayed one night. However, the prophet and the woman are at the center of the miraculous birth of her son due, purely, to the woman’s sense of hospitality and duty.
This story reveals many messages. For one, it instills the great responsibility each home owner has to be a hospitable host and to be kind and respectful to our neighbors. For another, it shows that we are to be close to our tutors and offer them safety and hospitality in exchange for the great educational gifts they share. Elisha was a Holy man who spread the word of God and was most likely poor with no place to stay and no food to eat regularly. The woman realized the benefit this prophet was to society and desired greatly to help him.

This next verse provides a completely different message than the previous collection, however, it stood out greatly to me this week because it breaches on a subject that is usually very hard for people to understand and accept.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-42)

Usually, when people first read this verse, they immediately think that God requires us to forget about our family and focus purely on Him, however, this is just not true. Our family itself is a gift from God, and He wishes us to cultivate those relationships. However, as I have discovered as I have grown older, God must be at the center of your whole life. This makes sense when you realize that God is our creator and He is in every part of our lives. He is dedicated to us daily – giving us every single breath. He is the reason anything is possible and the reason we are alive and here. Jesus asks us to have an attachment to Him greater than our attachment to our family. Though these are hard words, when you realize that Jesus is not asking you to just drop your family, it becomes easy to understand that we are to grow closer to Him than to our family. For me, this makes sense as our relationships with our family can only grow more through our relationship with God.
I relate this verse most closely with the relationship between husband and wife. When married, a husband and wife are called to leave their mothers and fathers to be devoted to each other, however, God is still needed at the center of the relationship to ensure that the right things are fostered and grow so that the couple can continue to become close and dedicated to each other.

I know this week’s reflection presents some hard topics, however, I hope the verses at least give you something to think about and ponder and relate to your own life.
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June 22, 2017

Today’s reflection comes from my morning and evening readings. Lately, I have felt this yearning need to develop a connection with God, however, depression and feelings of unworthiness can sometimes get in the way, hindering me from praying and reading the Bible, actions that are meant to strengthen your faith and personal resolve. Today’s readings brought feelings of warmth and I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was being hugged with each word.

“Like a Shepard he feeds his flock; / in his arms he gathers the lambs, / carrying them in his bosom, / and leading the ewes with care.” (Isaiah 40:11)

The Lord is our Shepard and he attends to us even when it feels as if he doesn’t. My humanity sometimes kindles the feeling that God is not answering my prayers or keeping me from suffering. Then, I begin noticing the small things. My favorite song coming on the radio, right when I needed it most. Sunshine on a day that was supposed to be rainy. The chance to go to breakfast with a good friend. These things we often take for granted, but they are little things that I am so grateful for. The Lord truly cares for each and everyone of us, feeding us the ‘finest wheat’ – his love.

“He feeds you with the finest wheat.” (Psalm 147:14)

For the last several months, I have had a re-awakening of my zealousness to be active in my faith. This daily eagerness has fostered a great want to learn more about God, the Bible, and my own religion. Growing up, I was always told that education leads to a better life. In a similar way, learning about God and what we are required as christians to do, creates a path for us to follow that can lead to happiness, deep-rooted satisfaction, and ultimately salvation. I know in my heart that this is true, because I feel such a joy and an unyielding calm when I participate in my daily Bible readings and meditation.

“Come aside to me, you untutored, / and take up lodging in the house of instruction;” (Sirach 51:23)

God calls upon each of us to enter the ‘house of instruction’ and learn all we can about a life that will bring us closer to him. The above quote stood out for me and I found such power in the words. The words are firm, yet kind, and bring forth feelings of a guide or a teacher that wants to show you the way.

Lastly, this following quote was present in my evening readings. It stood out to me, because when I meditated on the words, I realized that I did indeed feel safe. Even when completely alone, I have nothing to fear, because I am spiritually NOT alone. The Lord and my guardian angels are always with me. I cannot not tell you how much of my anxiety and fear is relieved when I was able to completely and fully believe that the Lord is always with me. I am a person who has struggled greatly with social anxiety, however, as I have gotten older, I’ve been able to embrace my faith with a zealousness I had never before excepted. With my faith renewed and new understanding, I have been able to battle the emotional wars that rage inside me.

“I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4)

I hope these quotes bring about some sort of peace in your life today. Please feel free to comment and let me know how these quotes impacted you personally.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog. Please like us on Facebook for regular updates, inspiration, and encouragement.

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One thought on “Weekly Reflections”

  1. You are being asked to login because bearmountainranch2011@gmail.com is used by an account you are not logged into now.

    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to Weekly Reflections:
    Hey, the total of this reflection (only the first paragraph) did not show up when I opened it the other evening?

    I’m really encouraged by the Sirach passage. It is not a suggestion, but a command. That tells me that if I do as commanded, because it’s given in loving instruction by the Lord, that it will produce the desired effect, which is what He intends it for in my life! Reminds me of the passage (Isaiah 55:10-11) For, as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilising it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat,so it is with the word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do.

    Isaiah 55 is a chapter (the whole book really) of perfect words to inspire. You want to feel on top of the world? Read Isaiah.

    2 Why spend money on what cannot nourish and your wages on what fails to satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy.

    3 Pay attention, come to me; listen, and you will live. I shall make an everlasting covenant with you in fulfilment of the favours promised to David.

    8 for my thoughts are not your thoughts and your ways are not my ways, declares Yahweh.
    9 For the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.

    12 Yes, you will go out with joy and be led away in safety. Mountains and hills will break into joyful cries before you and all the trees of the countryside clap their hands.

    13 Cypress will grow instead of thorns, myrtle instead of nettles. And this will be fame for Yahweh, an eternal monument never to be effaced.

    Like

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