PRACTICE

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Hmmm?   Love is like playing the piano?

When I turned 40, I realized that time was flying by. The reality that I didn’t have enough time to do all the things I want to, set in. However, I am going it give it a good effort anyway.   First, I decided to ride a street bike.   Very quickly, I went from a baby bike to a big girl bike.   I haven’t mastered her yet but I’m ready to check off another goal from my very long bucket list during the winter months.

My next endeavour has been to take piano lessons. Whether it’s playing the piano or practicing love, it is best when you follow the example and advice of a good teacher. It is great to have good role models but what happens when you don’t?   There is hope. Jesus is your role model for love.   It doesn’t matter that he was never married because he treated everyone with dignity and respect and we are to love everyone.  Although someone else said these words, you can accept them as Jesus speaking directly to you.   “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.   Train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training in godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.   Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”   PURITY!? Now that’s a challenge because although we show everyone how good we are on the outside, God knows what we look like on the inside.   By the grace of God, go I. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect but in the time being, I know that it is only because of Jesus’ righteousness that I am able to come boldly into God’s gracious presence.

For years, I’ve been practicing love but in that time my heart has been broken into itty bitty pieces and I’ve learned to guard my heart against loved ones who hurt without remorse or sneak in a bit of revenge. As I commit myself to prayer for not only the ones I love but my enemies too, I choose to trust God to fight my battles in the spiritual realm in the same ways He did for King David. What God has done for one, when asked, He will do for another. Often, the argument, “that God expects me to do for myself” has been brought up by Christians who don’t mind living on the beach with God’s palace overlooking their little tent but I want to live in His home with Him.   My interpretation of God’s Word entails a lot more intimacy and dependency than these advisors suggest. So, I choose to always put love first and to sacrifice myself for the sake of the greater good so that I will dwell with the most High forever.

Many people have confided in me about their failed marriages. Often, I’ve wondered, if they had let God help, how would the circumstances have been different? There are four marriages, that I’ve seen where God has helped and completely released a spouse from another because of the other half’s outrageous behaviour. Yes, you heard me correctly. The marriage dissolved with God’s intervention. Clearly, the one spouse was favoured by God and blessed by being severed from a highly dysfunctional relationship.   Sometimes God requires us to let go of friends that have bad influence over us, as well. Considering that there may be an idealist reading this blog, I will say that my grandpa and grandma on my father’s side lasted happily until death did them part. Years ago, I witnessed a christian couple that submitted themselves to God for the healing of their marriage.  He was faithful and they were blissfully surprise how amazing God is. From where I stand, I want my life to be completely directed by God.   I am certain that His way is leap years ahead of what I could do for myself. I still want what I want and am willing to practice love and patience in order to achieve the end result.   God promises that He will give me anything I ask for.

A common benefit of playing the piano and practicing love is reduced stress.   Also, research has shown that older men and women who take up the piano as a hobby generally have an increased sex drive and better cognitive functions which is absolutely a perk when practicing love WITH YOUR SPOUSE!!

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WEATHER

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Is there anything that people talk more about than the weather.   At first, when I started in the oilfield, I thought it rather odd that every morning’s ritual was the weather report.  This disturbed me.  Trusting in man’s abilities where he or she really has no power without supernatural intervention is foolishness.  Trusting the weatherman’s forecast is as feeble as playing the lottery and winning.  Yes, it can happen but the odds are against you.  Is it going to rain? Absolutely but if I had to put my money on the exact time.

On the other hand, do you hear God’s voice in a storm.  Some think that when it thunders, God is angry.   Is he trying to get our attention?  Instill a bit of holy fear, with lightning bolts and crashing thunder.   Hearing God’s voice is absolutely life saving, whether in the midst of a storm or not.  Listening to the voice of God and obeying his instructions leads to satisfaction and that sense of purpose that we are all searching for.  Constantly inquiring about the things that are happening around you brings the answers you are inquiring about.  Patience though, He doesn’t always answer immediately but He always answers.  Awareness of God’s presence brings abundance to life.  It brings depth to understanding and knowledge.  Practice the following principles and you will weather any storm life can throw at you.

Look back and Thank God

Look forward and Trust God

Look around and Serve God

Look within and Invite God

Identity

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One of my earliest memories consists of my dad’s death.  Shortly thereafter,  a handy man, who became my step-father, showed up to help a poor pregnant widow with work around her property.  He was a strong, handsome man until he drank.  Then he became a physically abusive alcoholic.  A father has many roles and one of those roles is to give his children a centre or roots, if you will.  Knowing they can trust their father, children develop a sense of security within.  Needless to say, I grew up not really knowing who I was or where I belonged.  Struggling with my identity day by day.  Until at the age of eight, after asking Jesus to come and live in my heart, I accepted God as the only Father I would ever have.  That joyful moment lead me into a deep meaningful relationship with our creator.   One life changing day, I realized that I didn’t trust him at all and I had to make the conscious decision and effort to start. It has been a rocky road but I have learned my lessons well.  As a result of getting to know God more and more, my character grows stronger and  liking myself becomes easier.  Today I can say I trust him 100%.  Knowing with certainty that He knows and wants the absolute best for me and is hard at work to that end.  After all it is a mutual interest of ours.  Trust me when I say his promises are worthy of trust.  On a scale of 1 to 10, how much have you learned to trust the one who loves you the most?  It makes all the difference within your identity!

CHOICE

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Following Life, the second best thing God gave human beings in the Garden of Eden was Choice.  The gift of choice increases my attitude of gratitude.  When men or women, playing god, try to take away my freedoms, I become very angry . When faced with decisions, I ask God to help me. Then committing to a decision,  I trust God always and I trust me sometimes.  Very often when talking to people about the state of the world, the same question arises.  “Why doesn’t God do anything to make this world a better place?”  If what people want is supernatural intervention all the time, God would be overriding our personal freedoms.  To understand what He has done or is currently doing, you must make the effort to know him intimately.  By creating us in His image and then sending his Spirit to dwell within us, our actions directly affect what he is doing in the world.  Whether you are praying or actually rolling up your sleeves, He works in and through you.  Remember, it was Jesus choice to die on the cross to fulfill God’s long term plan.  People didn’t think that Jesus was doing enough to change world affairs either but he is still remembered nineteen hundred and eighty five years after his departure from earth.  Will you be remembered for your world changing healthy choices?