"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)
Music and memories seem to go together. We all have songs we can think of, remember phrases of (if not the whole song) and have going through our minds about now. Some of us have favorite hymns where the same thing happens. Some of us, especially me, can only remember a phrase and it is never the first line! Thankfully I have friends who can help me find the hymn or the song.
Music can also help us strengthen our relationship with God. It is a "good and perfect gift" (v. 17) helping us to connect with God who "doesn't change" even as we change the music styles. I, personally, like to listen to praise music but an old fashioned Gospel Hymn Sing is what some people immediately think of. There are also "regular" hymns and, my Dad's favorite, Gregorian chants. Quite a selection of music to praise God with.
Music and memories -- what do you think of? Do you have a special hymn or praise song? As Caregivers is there a type of music you use to help strengthen your relationship with God? To help calm, and strengthen, YOU? Can you share it? Something to think about.........
"Be prepared. You're up against far more than ou can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it is all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet." (Epheisans 6:13 The Message)
It has been an interesting summer of reading, learning and talking about various books and ideas. Now what? God is still speaking to each of us, calling us to not just "go" where God is asking us to go and do, but to a closer, stronger relationship with God. We started with David and facing our "giants" and have gone through daily - working on making the change - "daily".... can you for one day?
Our readings, today, are about making the decision and standing our ground. Solomon is thanking God for keeping the Covenant. Solomon is before "all the assembly" and praising God. (1 Kings 8:22) Jesus is also speaking to the assembled group of people pointing out He is Emmanuel - the "bread of life." (John 6:58). He is now asking the twelve, and us, "Do you also wish to go away?" (6:67) Jesus has already, and continues to, warn it won't be easy to make the decision to follow God. Paul is who shows us how in the Ephesians reading. I like the way The Message says it: "Be prepared." (6:13) The book we've been reading, this week: "Win The Day," by Mark Batterson, gives some wonderful advise for how we can do this "for one day."
The question is will we make the decision? Will we make, and do, the hard part -- and "be prepared" to answer the questions? Can we, even (or especially) as Caregivers "Win The Day"?
"Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, (16) makingthe most of time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:15 & 16
"Making th emost of time" feels like something we are, pretty much, doing already - right? Some of us are pretty good, at least most of the time, at multi-tasking. There is also everything on our schedules, which seem to be filling up as fall comes closer, before we add Bible studies and books to read. I don't know about you but it kind of reminds me of a song, very popular in the 80's but still heard today - "One Day at a Time."
Being careful, thinking and understanding - listening - is what the readings are about today. Solomon is asking God to guide but also to give him, Solomon, "understanding" so Solomon can "govern." (1 Kings 3:9) Paul is reminding the Ephesians, and us, to be "careful" and "wise" (v. 15) Jesus is reminding all of us He is the bread of life. (John 6:51) In my readings this week it was pointed out about bread in the prayer Jesus taught us... "give us this day our daily bread." The "living bread" (v. 51) daily.... An interesting thought - to be listening to, thinking about, being careful daily. As in everyday being with God. This week's book, I am encouraging reading, is "Win The Day" by Mark Batterson. It gives very clear help (suggestions?) on how to make changes and move forward.
At the same time, trying to make the "most of time," like Paul says, we can (and maybe should) think "One DAY at a time" like the song and the Lord's prayer. And, sometimes (especially as Caregivers), "one day" is to big - we need to think about what we are doing right now, this step, this hour. Then we will continue for the "one day." And.... Making changes....... we can for "one day" - right? Something to think about.
Hearing what? Whisper......
"They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, "I have come down from heaven?"" (John 6:42)
When you are excited about something how do you shar it? OR when you want, or need, to get peoples attention how do you do it? It depends on the circumstances - doesn't it? With a group of kids you would, probably, do it differently than with a group of older adults. In a class room, or even in a building, different from outside. The size of the group can also determine how -- right? A large group versus one-on-one. I have a tendancy to talk to myself so make sur you have gotten my full attention if you are talking to me.
The readings, today, area bout what we do with what we hear. Paul is reminding the Epehsians, and us, how we are to be listening to, following and dowing what God is calling us to do - "live in love, as Christ loved us." (Ephesians 5:1) Jesus has been answering questions in the crowd of followers. This group is questioning what they are hearing and from whom they are hearing it - "whose father and mother we know?" (v. 42) This group of people are right there, seeing, and listening to, Jesus. Are we listening to Jesus? Do we hear Him in a "loud clear voice" or in a whisper? Are we following where Jesus is leading? The book, I am suggesting this week, is "Whisper" by Mark Batterson. It is a very interesting book about listening for the voice of God in our everyday lives.
Sometimes what we are hearing is a still, small voice - an idea in our hearts and heads. Sometimes it is a suggestion to pay for the person behind us, for someone's gas or groceries, or to give some money to the person asking on the corner. Sometimes it is the thought of someone you haven't thought of let alone talked to in quite a while -- pray for that person! Then call them, talk to them! Yes, as Caregivers, we are busy but we can take time to follow where God is leading. Something to think about.......
"So they said to him, "What sign are you going to to giveus then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing?"" (John 6:30)
Talking -- we are all pretty good at doing that at least some of the time -- right? How often does it feel like the person, or people, we are talking with are not understanding or, maybe, even listening? I've worked with both international students, teaching needelwork, and people with hearing issues. The international students might speak the Kings's English but they didn't always understand American English especially with a sourthern accent. Those with hearing issues need to have their full attention on the person talking to maybe understand what the person talking is saying. In both cases, international and hearing issues, what is heard may not be what is understood.
The readings, today, are about the same idea. Paul is pointing out to the Ephesians, and us, how we are all part of the body of Christ. Jesus is trying to answer questions about who he is and what he is doing. The people are a little confused, not understanding, and thinking about Jesus being the "carpenter's son." (John 6:42) If you think about it you wonder why they are questioning - they have just witnessed feeding over 5,000 people and how Jesus could heal people. Now they want a "sign." A person could wonder, even ask, if those doing the questioning had been paying attention.
We have been talking about what we believe, IF we believe it - can we talk about it and do we live it? Yes, we can also wonder if the person listening, to us, is really listening - if we have their full attention. My question, however, is are we LIVING what we believe? Caregivers are following where God is leading and we are trying to do what God has called us to -- but are we sharing about how we are living with following God's presence in our lives? Something to think about......
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.