Charles Spurgeon

Monday Muse: The Best is Yet to Come!

Last week we spoke of Blessings in Disguise. I have kept the Mantra by me all week long. The idea of a blessing in disguise has been close to my heart all week. Since I’ve had some sort of “mystery illness” that has stumped the doctors, I’ve found out that there is an autoimmune disorder that I’ve probably inherited. A trusted wellness counselor told me I’ve been lucky all these years to have been able to avoid lots of other problems by following a gluten-free diet. I may have to follow the stricter celiac diet, but I was able to ‘coast’ as she said, for years! I take that as a good sign and a blessing in disguise. And finding out that if you want to feel well, just follow the signs and there is a path forward to manage your life, even in illness. That is something that I have learned about as we have gone through the Growing Group process. If you take one step at a time and actually stop at the crossroads to look and listen, you may actually learn something! This week, Charles Spurgeon is the one who tells the story. There was a poor minister in need of funds. So the kind benefactor began to dispense an envelope with weekly amounts of about five pounds and a letter saying, “More to come.” The blessings abounds as we realize that part of the miracle of believing that we can be blessed, or that we deserve a blessing, is because of God allowing us to hope. Hope is the key to the message: “More to come.” If we are looking at this in the correct way for our spiritual life, we can realize that each day can begin with thoughts of blessings we have received as well as the ones we bestow on others. And the one thing that can set us apart is our belief in the future and of hope of better things to come. The old song says it all: “The best is yet to come!” When we believe in the blessings of our life, the best is yet to come. Mantra: This week I will focus on the blessings that I have received. Some of the best were unexpected ones. I will concentrate on times that I have been able to bestow blessings on others, and the joy that it brings when we can fulfill a need. And finally, I will think of the saying, “The best is yet to come,” in terms of my own life. The things I would like to do for others, as well as the blessings I would like to receive. And I will concentrate on ways to make these blessings become part of my plan as I live a hopeful life that acknowledges blessings each day.

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Your Monday Muse: Finding Happiness and giving comfort

Finding Happiness The following is an excerpt from Life Coach/ Christ Coach: The answer to the question of what Happiness is will mean different things to different people. It will change for us throughout the course of our lives. Contentment is something we may not try to seek, and happiness is that elusive thing that is mentioned in the US Constitution as that thing we are free to pursuit all our lives. What is Happiness? Most likely in Christianity it is defined through Joy. Joy is found throughout the Bible in places where we may find it most unlikely. It is in a brother reuniting with his family, after they have sold him into slavery and given him up for dead. It’s in a tale of redemption, where a father rejoices to know his wayward son has returned to the fold so that he then slays the fatted calf. A woman finds peace following her mother-in-law to a strange, new land, and a man who could not speak suddenly finds his voice upon the birth of a long-awaited child. A couple who longs to have a child suddenly find they are expecting. There are human tales, and tales of ordinary people who do remarkable things and face extraordinary odds. Giving Comfort From Life Coach/ Christ Coach: …One of the emotional scenes I have written about in the past is the comfort that I find when I seek Christ in my church simply by sitting quietly and absorbing the meditative quality and radiant light from the stained glass window portraying Christ in Holman Hunt’s “The Light of the World.” The words inscribed below the picture are: “Behold, I stand at thy door and knock.” The message is clear-those who seek Christ and keep an open mind will be comforted by his presence in times of trouble. Solutions: In Giving Comfort, we may be surprised how the advice of simply showing up may make a world of difference. Your presence may be a comfort at funerals, and a few kind words that you may feel from the genuine depths, sincerely meant and not simply uttered by rote, are what may make a huge difference in someone’s life. A short note with heartfelt sentiment can also be treasured more than you may know. Remember this when you are the one who becomes the comforter, and then in turn, may need to be comforted in return one day. Faith in Ourselves From Life Coach/Christ Coach:  John Calvin tells us that hope is nothing else than the expectation of the things that faith has believed to be truly promised by God. …Faith believes God to be our Father. Hope expects that he will always act as such towards us. ..Faith is the foundation on which hope rests. Hope nourishes faith. It is true that hope and faith do go hand in hand in this life. We spoke earlier of the virtue of clearing the air and opening our hearts, leaving behind secrets. In this idea of faith, faith looks deep and says, in the words of the missionary AB Simpson, ‘This is God’s secret. You look only on the outside; I can look deeper and see the hidden meaning’  It is akin to the diamond in the rough, when we see things at times in rough packages. Treasures of love, kindness and wisdom are often hidden within. God can see inside the rough packages, and we must have the faith -as in the Serenity prayer-the wisdom to discern through him. Trust in him and we learn more about the hidden meanings and secrets tied up in rough packages… …The Prayer for what John Baillie called “LovingKindness” is part of that belief and faith in this better world. Charles Spurgeon tells us: “Blessed is the one who waits. Wait in Faith. Many of us know that waiting is part of the human condition, and part of the Christian condition Wait in Prayer. Wait in Faith.” There is a story of a woman who took a sea voyage back in the day when crossing to Europe involved long journeys by boat. This woman, Mrs. Charles Cowman, spoke of the terror in the passengers in the face of a storm that tossed the ship. A man came among them radiating calmness and peace. He assured them in a gentle voice that all was well. Who was he? The captain of the ship. As with this, we can liken the voice of Jesus as we toss and turn on a restless night, in the midst of turmoil.  In my church, there is the beautiful stained glass picture of Jesus with the lamp, stating: Behold, I stand at thy door and knock, When there is turmoil in my life, simply staring and being in the presence of this has given me strength and peace. It is a symbol of the one who can bring this peace to us as we fight and struggle in our daily lives for answers. As we have mentioned, let him in. Christ is knocking on that door. How do we have faith? Peter Marshall tells us: “Make us like children again.”  Don’t overthink it. Not childish, but childlike in our faith, a faith that is willing to trust even though we cannot see. Mantra: This week I will think about different ways of finding Happiness. And the definition of what Happiness means to me in this life. And I will think of times I have given comfort and those who have used kind words or unexpected deeds to comfort me when I needed it. And finally, I will think back on times I have been too hard on myself, and think of “LovingKindness” when I start to lose faith in myself and my abilities. From the Bible:  Behold, I stand at thy door and knock- From Revelation 3:20

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