Archive for August, 2011

Don’t get upset!

We are a nation of fretters, whiners and anxious human beings. I know because I’m one of them. It doesn’t matter whether we are fretting over something major, or someone jumping line at the grocery store, not having enough money for everything we want, the price of gas or someone cutting us off in traffic. We whine and fret; we get upset or distressed about many things. 

It reminds me of the children of Israel on their march to the Promised Land. Now, I’ll grant you, it was a long way, but hey, they did bring it on themselves by their disobedience and their lack of trust. 

God spared their families from the death angel, caused the Egyptians to ply them with all types of treasures, parted the sea so they could cross on dry land,  gave them free food, and shoes that never wore out. And, let’s not forget the nightlight so they could see where they were going. 

After all this, they looked longingly back to Egypt—to slavery. For what? Could it be onions and melons?  Then, they decided they were tired of the manna and wanted meat. God gave them quail, but he punished them for their whining. 

Perhaps, we are quick to jump all over the Israelites for being upset about insignificant matters.  But what about us? Aren’t we just like them? 

My friend Shirley purchased a lovely pair of eyeglasses from a local Chinese optometrist. After three months, the stem broke. She went back to the store, and the conversation went something like: 

“I’m very upset!” 

“Why you upset?” 

“I’ve only had these glasses three months, and look, they are already broke.” 

“Tsunami—get upset! House burn down—get upset! Cancer—get upset! Eyeglasses break—no get upset. I fix. You get back. No get upset!” 

There are times when we need to put things in perspective. What should we allow ourselves to fret and “get upset” about?  God knows our needs and circumstances better than we do ourselves. Many times He uses what we think is upsetting to cause us to turn to Him in prayer or to soften our hearts toward others. I think I need to take a lesson from the Chinese optometrist –“No Get Upset.” What about you? 

“”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV



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A neighbor gave me several lily bulbs ten years ago. She told me they were resurrection lilies. In late spring they send spear-like leaves through the ground, but no flowers. The foliage dies back in a month. The flowers are supposed to bloom around the month of August. This has occurred only a few times with my bulbs. So, I forget about them.

Today, from my kitchen window, I noticed something pink among the green stalks of the wild sunflowers in my flower bed. Upon closer examination, I found six pale pink blossoms. They were totally unexpected, and I almost missed them because I wasn’t watching for them.

 When Jesus resurrected from the dead, the disciples were surprised. They really weren’t looking for Him. He tried to prepare them for what was to happen, but they didn’t understand until later. In John 14:3 – Jesus said: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” And in Matthew 25:42 we find: “Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” The Lord is pleased when we watch for the signs of His coming with hope and confidence. The same Lord who ascended into heaven after His resurrection is coming again, and that’s good news.

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“And if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.–2 Corinthians 4:3 (NIV)

As I enjoyed an afternoon stroll at sun-warmed Edisto Beach, SC, a fragrant breeze carried a whiff of pine. Chickadees, cardinals and finches flitted in and out of the holly bushes while chattering noisily. A snowy egret stood patiently along the edge of a pond looking for lunch. When I snapped his photo, I was unaware of the mirrored reflection in the water.

A friend shared with me recently, that as a small child, she had trusted Christ and through the years participated in church activities. As she reached adulthood, she became less active, but still felt her life was acceptable. One day at a garage sale, she wore a T-shirt that proclaimed a Christian message. An acquaintance read the message, and she asked, “when did you become a Christian?” This, she related, was a wakeup call to her that her life was not mirroring Christ.

Our lives should reflect the image of the one we represent here on this earth. When we have the love of Christ in our hearts, it should be mirrored by our response to those around us. How we treat our family, neighbors, and strangers is a reflection of the Spirit within.

Lord, help me to reflect your image in everything I do and say. May others see you in me, and want to come to know you as their Redeemer. Amen

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Hello world!

So, here is Ms. Jan trying to set up a blog – not sure the world of blogging is ready for this, but here goes. I’m going to try to do some short inspirational writings – I will be using some of my devotions, and just thoughts that God inspires me with each day. I hope you will check back and be blessed.

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