FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

This weekend we celebrated – my Sweetie’s birthday and our anniversary!  Both events occur on the same day because our first date was many years ago on his birthday.  Being well past needing or even wanting more stuff, we endeavor to create and share experiences as our gifts to each other.  One of my gifts to him was a visit to the symphony.

Our state Symphony was paying a tribute to Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, so the evening promised to be one filled with good music.  It did not disappoint.  Byron Stripling, trumpet virtuoso, is known as an extroverted performer who brings the audience into his music exuding happiness through his trumpet and his vocals which are quite reminiscent of Louis Armstrong yet also his own.  Stripling filled the gaps between sets with funny stories, clean jokes and a poem that spoke to my heart.  He called it Wishes, and it went something like this:

“I wish I had a telescope to scan the starry skies, but since I have no telescope, I’m glad I have two eyes.  I wish I had a kitchen all run by push-button commands, but while that kitchen’s still a dream, I’m glad I have two hands.  I wish I had a new Rolls Royce – to my friends that’d be a treat, but until that new car comes along, I’m glad I have two feet.  Two eyes to look to God above…two hands to clasp in prayer…two feet to carry me to church…wow, I’m a millionaire!”

THIS WEEK ponder this quote from Charles Stanley then take inventory of all the ways you are a millionaire: “When we limit ourselves to human ability and resources, we will find that both run out very quickly. When we instead trust in the Lord’s ability to work on our behalf, we tap into an infinite supply that cannot be measured or depleted. God’s resources are 100 percent recession-proof.” He has promised to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19).


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Beyond the Clouds

It rained today.

It rained yesterday.

It rained the day before.

I’m not fond of rain. It messes with my hair. It messes with my shoes. It messes with my mood.

James 1:17a (NASB) says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” Amidst this soggy season and my soggy mood, God gave me a good and perfect gift. I saw it while driving in the rain. A blue patch peering out from behind the dark, ominous clouds that loomed above as rain poured down.

Have you ever seen that? Just a little patch of blue peeking out from behind the gray of storm clouds. Though I was hurrying to class, I pulled over and tried to capture photos with the camera on my cell phone. They didn’t come out so great, but the image is forever etched upon my grateful heart – this reminder of God’s great love and that He is always there, just beyond the clouds.

Now the only thing that beats one gift is two gifts!

God gave me a second gift during the afternoon drive home. The sun had come out, so I enjoyed a surprisingly dry and breezy walk to my car. But during the 59-miles journey home I experienced a little sun, then an immediate and heavy downpour, more sun, some dark clouds which changed gradually to fluffy white clouds, then a quick shower and more sun and finally another downpour for the last 5-8 miles. All along my route conditions changed.

So what was the gift? It was this second reminder of God’s faithfulness through the storms of life. Just as I experienced sun, downpour, clouds and showers during my drive, so it is with life. We have sunny seasons, cloudy seasons and seasons of rain. But He does not leave us in one season. We pass through.

He is with us, and He will not leave or forsake us Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV).

A gift for you may be found in Deuteronomy 30:9 (NIV) which promises, though your season may be stormy, He will, again, delight in you.