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How do we measure up..

9 Mar

A friend of mine recently asked if I set spiritual goals and how did I measure them. I answered as follows:

Yes, I set spiritual goals! The only way I know how to measure them is by the peace I am given in my heart and soul, the more peace and contentment the more I am achieving my goal. I don’t know if this is what you are asking, but that is what works for me.

Reply from Larry:

I’m not sure how I make that work for me, Ed. What makes it difficult to me is that it all comes down to a relationship and I don’t know how to set goals and measure those.

Me:

Are you saying you are not sure of your relationship with God? There are no ways that I know of to measure the quality of a relationship, so how can you set goals? A relationship with God is so personal, only you can judge how well you are doing. Doing God`s will to the best of your ability, and you know if you are doing your best.

Larry:

No, I’m just saying I would love some metrics that told me what I was doing was doing some good.

So how do we know if we are doing some good, especially when it comes to God? How do I make good decisions? What does God really want from me? Does God care about every little choice I make?

The big question behind all of these questions, of course, is this: What’s God’s will for my life? Do my decisions really matter to God?

God cares about what’s going on in our hearts. In any decision we have the opportunity to choose who we will worship. Will we worship God or will we worship ourselves? God desires to be the highest priority in every part of our lives.

In some areas of life it’s clear that there are right decisions and wrong decisions—like the choice of whether to do something we know is wrong. In other areas, we need to make choices between two good things—like making a decision between two great books. It’s quite possible God would be present in and honored by either decision. Other times the choice may have to do with a gray area—something that’s not necessarily right or wrong. These are opportunities to practice wisdom. For example, spending a lot of time talking on the phone or texting friends may be a good thing. But if there’s never any time when we are just quiet and still, it can be harder for us to be aware of God’s presence. Being wise might mean turning the phone off from time to time to quiet your heart so you can be more attentive to the presence of God in everyday life.

Sometimes when we make decisions, it can seem like we’re trying to work God into our life story. But really, we are part of God’s story and God is delighted by our desire to live with that focus in mind.

How do I discover God’s will? First, you have to make sure you’re seeking to obey what God has already revealed in Scripture. This includes things like obeying your parents. That’s a clear instruction from God. It doesn’t really work to ignore God’s revealed will but yet expect God to answer specific questions like where you should go to dinner.

As you study God’s Word and spend time in prayer, your relationship with God grows and you begin to understand God’s character. You will then be in the right place to hear God’s instruction for other areas of your life. In addition to Bible study and prayer, be willing to seek godly counsel from a mentor or pastor.

If we’re serious about following God’s will, we have to recognize that it’s not about getting what we want, but doing what God asks. We must trust that He is faithful and good, and that His will is what’s best for us.

Will God ask me to do stuff I don’t want to do? God may call us to do things that don’t feel natural to us at first. But as we listen and respond to the call of God, we get connected to our deeper desires. After all, the things God calls us to do are things that he created us to do. Many of us have habits that we find comfortable or that we enjoy. In the long run, though, those things may not meet our deeper spiritual needs. For example, we may have a habit of seeking acceptance by conforming, following the crowd. This is easy and can make us feel like we are accepted, but actually this habit can prevent us from being who we really are meant to be. It’s scary to take the risk of letting your true self be known, but God calls us to do that.

What if I miss God’s will? Making a poor decision doesn’t mean we’re forever out of God’s will. That’s part of the beauty of Scripture: It has story after story of people who make bad decisions, but God still uses them mightily. Just look at Abraham and David. They both did some things that were clearly wrong, but God worked through them to accomplish great things. God can use all of our decisions, whether they’re right, wrong, or neutral.

We need to remember God is our Father. God is not here to condemn us, but to help us become more like Christ. If we are focused on Jesus, and on holiness, some of those other things will fall into place. God is not a cosmic trickster who only gives us one shot to get things right.

In summary I feel the Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you. As long as I am covered by the Grace of God I feel comfortable going where ever He guides me. Do I expect He will give me feedback? He gives me daily feedback through our daily conversations and when I do stray off the path, He always guides me back. The key is LISTENING when He is talking to you.

What do you think? Are you getting the feedback you need from God? Is there any way I can help with your goals?

Walk in daily conversation with God.

Love,

Ed

Hope

26 Feb

Faith, Hope and Love are the center of our life, the greatest being Love. I have written about Love and Faith a lot.Today I will talk about Hope. 

To me Hope makes the world go on, for without it life just doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t want to envision life without some sign of hope. 

It is my belief that hope begins with God. I believe that there is no true, lasting hope in this world without God. God who made us. God who loves us. God who wants to give meaning and purpose to each of our lives. 

If you’ve tried to make it without God, you probably know how frustrating it can be. Without God’s power, we have no hope of overcoming our struggles. Without God’s mercy, we have no hope of overcoming our past. Without the meaning that God gives to life, without the sense of purpose that He provides, we have no hope of overcoming the problems that life presents. While we certainly don’t know everything about God, we can learn a lot about God by looking at what He has done and continues to do everyday. 

He created this world and everything in it, which shows us that He is life-giving. This world was created in such a way that life can be sustained, this shows a loving nature. God’s revealed word, the Bible, tells us that God has continually called people to be in relationship with him. He is not an aloof God, but one who desires to interact with his creation. God has told us the things that are necessary to be done to be in relationship with Him. 

These are not arbitrary rules and regulations, but things that actually work for our good. We also see in the Bible that God made promises, and He always kept His promises. Some of those promises concern things that are still in the future, and we believe that God will continue to keep His promises. He has promised that He will do things for us in this life and that when this life is over, He will provide a life for us that will have no end. Our belief in God and our trust in His promises fill our lives with hope. God wants to be in a relationship with us. 

Today, He wants us to talk with Him every day. He wants to provide what we need for this life and eventually provide us with a life that doesn’t end. What better hope could there be?

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed 

Gallery

Life is…

26 Feb

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.  She hated everyone, except her living boyfriend.  He was always there for her.  She told her boyfriend, “If I could only see the world, I will marry you.”  

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her.  When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.  He asked her, “Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?”  The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind.  The sign of his closed eyelids shocked her.  She hadn’t expected that .  The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.  

Her boyfriend left her in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: “Take good care of your eyes, my dear, before they were yours they were mine. I have seen the glory of God for years and am glad to have given you the chance to see His glory also. I have everlasting memories of  His glory to reflect on and now you can build memories for yourself. Enjoy and be  happy for I am happy for you.”

Life is full of challenges and how we handle those challenges define us. God places these life challenges in front of us for a reason, they not only help us to grow they spread His glory for all to see. So when you are faced with a life challenge, don’t be weary, rejoice and make the most of it growing stronger in His glory and blessings. 

This is how human brain changes when the status changed. Only few remember what life was before, and who’s always been there even in the most painful situations. We are only human, correct, but so many times we speak without taking the time to think. Why is it that people only think of themselves without concern for anyone else? This often causes much more pain. So let us all rememnber: 


Life Is A Gift


Today before you think of saying an unkind word–

think of someone who can’t speak.


Before you complain about the taste of your food–

think of someone who has nothing to eat.


Before you complain about your husband or wife–

think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.


Today before you complain about life–

think of someone who went too early to heaven.


Before you complain about your children–

think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.


Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–

think of the people who are living in the streets.


Before whining about the distance you drive–

think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.


And when you are tired and complain about your job–

think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.


But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–

remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.


And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–

put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.


Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.


Walk daily with God at your side!

Love,

Ed

A Little More Love

13 Feb

When Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves and as He has loved us I don’t think he was just referring to the neighborhood or something across the street. He was telling us to love all as He loved us and to teach this love to all we meet. This is not much to ask for all He has given us.

Yet it is apparent that more and more people have taken the attitude that if you don’t agree with them you must be the opposition.  This my way or the highway posture is exactly what has divided our country, and it is getting good worse rather than better. 

I’m even seeing it in the churches and on social media posts from many Christian’s some of them church leaders. In my opinion they should be held to a higher standard as they set the example for the congregation.

If we are to heal this divide, we need to share His love with everyone. We need to accept the diversity of the world, realizing not everyone thinks the same as we do and that we aren’t always right. It will take just a little more love and a lot more patience. Imagine the wonderful things that could happen if everyone just shared a little more love and hope with each other. 

With just a little more effort on. our part we can change the world for so many, giving them hope which in turn will give them love to share and on and on. What a beautiful way to bring peace to our divided nation.
 
Love shared with others is contagious and can spread across the country and world bring hope to all it touches. Will you do your part to spread the love?

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love,

Ed 

On Higher Ground

5 Feb

  1. I’m pressing on the upward way,
    New heights I’m gaining every day;
    Still praying as I’m onward bound,
    “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

    • Refrain:Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
      By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
      A higher plane than I have found;
      Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
  2. My heart has no desire to stay
    Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
    Though some may dwell where those abound,
    My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
  3. I want to live above the world,
    Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
    For faith has caught the joyful sound,
    The song of saints on higher ground.
  4. I want to scale the utmost height
    And catch a gleam of glory bright;
    But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
    “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
  5. Johnson Oatman 1898


    Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

    I recently heard the classic old hymn, “HIGHER GROUND,” which prompted me to write this post, because we are supposed to be moving higher-and-higher in our walk with God each passing year. Are we closer to God today than we were a year ago? Are we as concerned about bringing lost souls to Jesus today as we were a year ago? Are we pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day, still praying as I’m onward bound, Lord plant my feet on higher ground? … 

    It is my prayer to be more for God today than I was yesterday. May every day find us a better person. As former U.S. President Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and may every year find you a better man.” Unfortunately, Benjamin Franklin died a sinner’s death, having openly rejected Christ’s deity and the gospel. 

    Walk daily with God at your side!


    Love always, 


    Ed


     Pulling It All Together

    11 Dec

    ​In my post Solitude I discussed the importance of prayer and the importance of seclusion where we can experience His presence and hear His answers. Today I want to reflect on some on these points and revisit the reasons behind them.

    https://efchristi.com/2016/12/11/solitude/

    Through prayer I have learned never to under estimate the power of God!

    His compassion and love is overwhelming to us here on earth, but it is through His love we are even here. He is the referee of our troubled hearts and the source of all our joy.

    Prayer is our medium to talk with Him and the gentle whispers and nudges come from Him in answer. He will listen to our cries of sorrow and the tears of joy. He is always there to provide an answer or a path of guidance and He never turns a deaf ear.

    Paul encouraged the Colossians to “continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).

    Our prayers are a powerful force in the universe! 

    But he reminds us that faith and love are essential to each other and that we may not forget the Golden Rule. In the Sermon on the Mount, when speaking of the sixth commandment Jesus taught his disciples that acceptable worship of the Father was impossible if everything was not right with one’s brother.

    After having taught us to pray,

    “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors,”

    Christ added,

    “If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

    I am reminded of my younger days when grandfather would tell me:

    “Just because you don’t see His hand, don’t question His plan.”

    God has a plan for each and everyone of us, we just have to be patient and listen to what He whispers to our hearts. 

    In the bible every time Jesus prayed he went away from the crowd and prayed in seclusion. We are instructed in the bible to pray in a closet or some other place of privacy. The reason for doing this is so we can hear what His answer is. When He whispers in your ear or into your heart, it is best to be in a quiet place so you have no distractions from hearing His words. 

    Are you willing to find some silence in the day where you take the time to be with God? Are you prepared to follow Christ’s example and like him want to pray unceasingly?

    Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1Thessalonians 5:16-18)

    For me this has been the most efficient way to talk with God. He is always there to guide my every move and I am always looking for ways to share the blessings He has given me. We are in continuous conversation with each other.

    At the close of the parable of the unmerciful servant, He applies His teaching in the words,

    “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). 

    Throughout the day we can ask God for guidance. When we come to a rough area it is Him we may trust and count on. He leads us through it. Let prayer be a continuous conversation. Come to see that His answers are always within reach.

    The importance of listening can not be overstated. He is always there and always has the correct answer.

    Walk daily with God at your side!

    Love always,

    Ed 

    Solitude

    11 Dec

    Having the advantages of growing up on an Indian Reservation, I know the importance of Solitude, especially when you are looking for answers to your prayers. The bible tells us to hide in a closet while we pray or to pray in secret, but doesn’t really explain why that is necessary.

    Grandfather would always have me go find a quiet place in the canyon when I came to him for answers telling me the answer is there I just have to listen to it. As a small child, I didn’t understand his statement. Now as an adult I have found more truth and understanding in the reality of his words. The answers are right there if you are willing to listen and it is so much easier to hear then in quiet Solitude.

    Bob Dylan wrote a song on the early sixties called “Blowing In The Wind” which tells us the answers to our long standing questions are out there but just out of reach. In reality they were within reach but we didn’t listen for them.

    Prayer is a private conversation between you and God. He listens and then answers according to your needs. Many times the answer is just a soft whisper in your ear, which is why He says pray in Solitude so you can hear the answer. Yes, sometimes the answer is not what you want to hear, but as you continue down the path the reason becomes much clearer.

    I have listened to.many people complain that prayer is useless because they never get answers to theirs. I tell them it is important to listen more and talk less for the answer may come as a soft whisper in their ear.

    I am an early riser, so I use the early morning Solitude for my conversation with God. We cover a wide range of subjects and He fills my day with hope, peace and love.

    Throughout the day I ask for guidance when I come to a rough area and He leads me through it. To me prayer is a continuous conversation and His answers are always within reach. The importance of listening can not be overstated. He is always there and always has the correct answer.

    If you find it hard to find the answers to your prayers, try finding a little solitude, a quiet place where you can have a private conversation and listen for that whisper. He always answers. You will find a new world of peace in your life.

    Walk daily with God at your side!

    Love,

    Ed