I came across some pictures the other day from a winter day almost five years ago. I had forgotten all about that day and all of the snow that came down only to be followed by beautiful blue skies.
Anyway, some of those pictures are sprinkled throughout this post! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have been. Things here have been wet and grey and brown. Oh and cold. Very cold. Looking at these pictures is a nice reminder of what winter can be....eventually.
While these pictures are beautiful, I want to talk about something else....I want to talk about living a beautiful life.
We go through life trying to make everything as perfect as possible. With every season, we have lists and ideas for things that we want to do and see. That is all just fine. But, too often, we end making more out of all of these THINGS than we should.
Life becomes stressful. We become....well, we become OVERWHELMED We can't wait to get to the weekend or the next trip or home to escape it all.
What kind of life is that?
What kind of life is it to always be striving and stressing and looking for the next thing. That thing that will give us another moment of happiness and joy and peace.
What kind of life is it to constantly be looking for ways to ESCAPE?
I've been reading several books (two of them are completely fiction) and just started a sermon series.
The two fiction books are about families striving for the perfect get together. In one, a sister is planning a perfect reunion/surprise party. In the other, a mother is planning a perfect Christmas.
In both, tragedy strikes in the form of a car accident. Serious injuries happen, brain activity becomes scarce, and "organ harvesting" is considered.
I cannot even imagine having to make that decision. In both books, organs are taken and given to others. Because of one family's tragedy, another family is given a chance at life. The unexpected happens and some receive something that leaves them shocked while others receive something that they have been hoping and waiting for.
In both books, families battle with life and death. With longing for heaven and dealing with life on earth. Some of the people have regrets. Some learn about what is really important before it is too late.
In the sermon series, a new to me pastor named Art Azudia is talking about Jesus' request for our sanctification, the reason for His request, and the basis for His request all from John 17:17-19.
He opened the first sermon by asking how many people have wanted to just be DONE with life on this earth. How many people have thought about the glories of heaven and found themselves longing for life there?
Heaven is going to be awesome...But, there's something Jesus saved us for. Jesus came to earth to save His people so that His people could live on earth becoming like Him. As they become like Him, others will continue to hear about Him.
More people are constantly coming to KNOW about God. Some of those people are coming to saving faith.
So, WHY live a life of regret?
You ARE SAVED. You are STILL alive. It's not time for heaven yet.
It's time to be sanctified. It's time to be made like Jesus.
ENJOY enjoying God right NOW...Through the details of His creation, His Word, and spreading that same treasure to the people around you.
This Christmas, this holiday season....Enjoy things but don't let life or anything in it make you overwhelmed.
Love God. Love people. Hate sin.
Jesus prayed for you...He meant EVERY word:
"Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth." John 17:17-19
In everything, God speaks to His people. I haven't quite put my finger on what He is trying to tell me right now. I want some cut and dry truth out of all of these seemingly "random" things that have come into my mind lately. I didn't plan or seek any of them, but I am seeking His truth.
What have you been learning lately?
What Scriptures keep coming up?
Thanks to everyone who has been commenting lately! I LOVE hearing from you, even if you're just dropping by. :)