Tag Archive | grateful

MEANINGFUL LIFE UNDER THE HEAVENS (guest post)

Centuries ago, a wise teacher conveyed his reflection on the meaning of life.  In his writings classified as wisdom literature, the Teacher said, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 NIV)  Yes, the time for birth is the beginning of a human being under the sky. But this isn’t an endless journey.  There is a time limit that no one can reject, namely the time to die.  Among these two phases, humans live a life full of color and dynamics.  Humans work, study, have fun, work, enjoy happiness, partying, prosperity, success, but in it there is also pain, loneliness, pain, poverty, destruction, and experiencing injustice.  All can come at any time, to anyone, whether they deserve it or not.  About all of that, the Teacher who was rich, powerful, and had the potential and opportunity to enjoy everything available in the world, gave his skeptical views: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.  “Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1: 2 NIV)  Then, about the various things that humans do throughout their lives under heavens, the Teacher concluded pessimistically that all these things are “chasing after the wind.”  What does that mean?

 

HEBEL, HEBEL, HEBEL

Hebel, a Hebrew word which in some copies translates as vanity, meaningless, futility, is a word that is repeated 37-38 times in Ecclesiastes.  Hebel, a word that means “through the breath, a breeze, a smoke, water vapor” is a very appropriate word to describe how short human life is.  Whether living for 30, 50, 60, 70, 90, or 100 years, all is like a single breath compared to limitless time, namely eternity, where every human being will go.

Hebel is the same word that is also used in Psalm 39: 4-6.  “Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.  Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor.  Selah.  Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they [b]busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches,  And does not know who will gather them.” (NKJV)

As with the Teacher, the Psalmist also viewed human life as “hebel”.  Very short, as a flash of shadow passed.  Contemplate … how briefly it can be finally be truly in vain if man only seeks satisfaction and the meaning of his life from what is transitory and temporary!  Then, what is the benefit of grandeur and pride under heaven, if in the end all things that are painstakingly pursued and maintained must be abandoned, and not contribute anything to eternity.  Up to this point, it is perfectly appropriate for the Teacher to describe it as vanity and chasing after the wind.  Then, how should humans go through life so that they aren’t trapped in a vortex of futility and a chasing after the wind?

 

CHRIST BE THE CENTER OF LIFE

The teacher doesn’t mean to say that human life is meaningless and useless, but that is what will happen if humans live their lives in their own way and do good things according to their own thoughts, without really seeking God.  Therefore, let’s return to the Teacher’s statement about the time for humans under heaven: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die.”  This statement shows that God has full power and sovereignty over everything, including determining the time of birth and death of everyone, without humans being able to choose for themselves.  However, between birth and death there is a period of time in which humans live their lives and in this life humans are given free will to determine their own choices, including those relating to relationships with God.

Praise God the Father, if at one moment we have made the decision to receive salvation in Jesus Christ.  It is grace that has transformed our status into a child of God and made a significant difference to our entire life.  When we accept Jesus Christ, at that time there is also a displacement of purpose in eternity, namely from death to life, from curse to blessing, from vanity to the divine vocation.  Faith in Christ is a step that immediately puts us on the path of grace which provides unlimited power and opens opportunities for us to do noble things that are eternal, according to God’s time and determination.

The power has been given by God, His help is available, but how the outcome depends on how we live our lives, whether we really make Christ the center of our lives or not.  Making Christ the center of our lives means making Christ the only foundation, source, goal and motivation, which controls all our thoughts, actions and attitudes in all aspects of life.  The sincerity of making Christ the center of our lives will be reflected in every choice of our response to everything that God has permitted to happen throughout our lives.  Whether we obey the desires of the flesh or the will of the Holy Spirit, obey our feelings or obey to do the word of God, continue to believe or be disappointed with God, and remain faithful to the end or leave God.  In the end, the choice for choice will determine the life we ​​live in, in vain or produce fruit for the Kingdom of Heaven.  Later, we must give accountability before God.

 

ENJOY LIFE IN THE FEAR OF GOD

” Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 NIV)

Actually, this whole life journey is a preparation for an inevitable responsibility, which must be faced by each person, personally.  Later, there is no reason and defense for every sin and mistake, because God has given us a lifetime opportunity to repent, be changed and shaped by God.  Therefore we must truly live right before God, because all of our responses to God when we are still alive today greatly determine how and where we will be in eternity.  God has bestowed salvation, given the Holy Spirit as Helper and Comforter, and has given the word that becomes the guide and contains the promises we need.  We just have to always live in fear of God.  Not fear of His judgment, but fear of God because we love and respect God.  So, we will be able to see and respond to this life properly so that we can receive and enjoy what God has provided in our lives with satisfaction and gratitude.  Thus, our focus isn’t on the pleasures of this world, but on God who gives everything.  As the Teacher’s advice: “This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” (Ecclesiastes 5: 18-19 NIV) 

Life isn’t easy, maybe we have done wrong and failed many times, but as long as we wholeheartedly want to surrender ourselves to God, then God will help us rise again and again.  His love always forgives and His power certainly strengthens and enables us to live according to His purpose and plan, so that our lives and labors aren’t in vain.  Then later … when we stand face to face with God to account for our every act, we will look at the face of Jesus Christ without feeling accused, but with relief and gratitude because God has made our lives meaningful.  Amen.

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images ( pixabay.com ) edited with pixlr apps

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Always New Every Morning

ALWASY NEW EVERY MORNING-KARINA'S THOUGHT

After I had a baby, almost every morning I always found new things from my baby.  Sometime ago, in the early morning I was so amazed to see him began open his eyes. Not too wide but it has made ​​me amazed and thrilled.  My husband and I saw it with feelings of gratitude and happiness. My husband said softly, “What another great God’s grace in this morning and there will be another God’s grace and blessing to him which will always be present in all of our morning. And please remember, not merely to our son but to us as well. So, do not ever forget to give thanks to God.”

My beloved friends, in our life we always want to something new. Why do we always read the newspaper every morning, watching news on television or searching through internet? Because we always want to know the latest news and what is become a trending topic today. When we go to the bakery, we always look for the new and fresh bread. We all always love something new. God knows it, and behold that He promised new blessings every morning.

What do we think about when we wake up every morning? Whether we instantly think of our fully work schedule today? Griping and thinking about our unresolved problems? Or we are preoccupied with so many things so we forget to give thanks for the God’s blessings this morning? Would be a pity if we wake up every morning besides thinking about our busyness, we do not think and feel God’s grace and blessings that always new every morning.  every morning? Yes! God’s word said every morning. This means there is grace from God poured out down when we are wanted to start a new day. Look how beautiful we living with God. Once we wake up, there is God’s grace that instantly greets us. He longs to bless us with all the best that comes from Him alone. That is God’s promise. But unfortunately we may not be aware of and missed all of that because we tend to start a new day with the thinking about a stack of problems, our mind full of restlessness, grumbling and so on.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentation 3:21-23)

The writer who wrote this verse really knows where he should direct his focus. He fully realizes that God’s faithfulness was not limited and so great for us. God’s grace is so, is endless, and always new every morning. Not only grace and blessings but God always gives us a new hope so we should not hesitate to put our hope in Him.

As human beings we may have doubts about all the goodness and grace of God promised and provided for us. Let us now examine one part of the Bible to prove what God promised and provided.  Let’s open the book of Psalms chapter 103:

  • God forgives all our sins and heal our diseases (Verse 3)
  • redeems our life from the pitand crowns us with love and compassion (Verse 4)
  • Satisfies your desires with good thingsso that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.(Verse 5)
  • The Lord works righteousnessand justice for all the oppressed (Verse 6)
  • He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel (Verse 7)
  • The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love (Verse 8)
  • He will not always accuse,nor will he harbor his anger forever (Verse 9)

And there are many more God’s promises in the following verses. If the verses above still less convincing us, let we open one passage the book of Isaiah, it was clearly written which states that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They, or we, would like an eagle flying overcome the storm with a strong pair of wings, will not even easily tired despite facing severe storms.

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Romans 8:32 also show how precious we are in His eyes. How great His love to us. How great God’s yearning to always provide the best to us.

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

My beloved friends, what about our morning today? How we treat our beautiful morning? If we woke up then our mind has been filled with every kind of life problems? Filled with disquiet because there are so many unsolved tasks? Or we spend time a while just sitting on the bed and be grateful through prayer for the opportunity sipping the fresh morning air, give thanks to the breath of life that God has given to us, enjoying the warmth of the morning sun, be grateful we still have a chance to listening a beautiful songbird and said to God, “Dear Lord in heaven, thank you for this beautiful morning. Thank you for the opportunity to live and feel how beautiful and great is Your love”?

Right now, allow me to encourage you to always make sure ourselves to remember all of this every morning, and give thanks to all God’s goodness when we woke up. Keep reminding our soul and mind to realize how good God is, never forget the grace which He lavished on us, never forget a new grace that He bestowed to us as a tremendous grace to us. Keep Preserve so that we will be able to continue to grow with an increasingly strong faith. It is good to know what God’s blessings are, but please do not just to know, Let’s continue to give thanks every day and make sure we feel His goodness, and pay attention it all in order to be real and alive in us. By taking a few moments to give thanks, will make us more aware that God is always present in our lives with the grace which is always new every morning and His compassions never fail even in the midst of difficulties we face there is always grace and hope because He is ruling above of all forever and ever. Amen.

With those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:18-19)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

 

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
there is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
as thou hast been thou forever will be

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

Thomas O. Chisholm – William M. Runyan

Karina – Living by faith

Great Is Thy Faithfulness sung by Woman of Faith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-HszBrTGfA

Photo credit: debbieburtonnaturopath.squarespace.com

 

I Thank Thee

I thank Thee

O Thou whose bounty fills my cup,
With every blessing meet!
I give Thee thanks for every drop—
The bitter and the sweet.

I praise Thee for the desert road,
And for the riverside;
For all Thy goodness hath bestowed,
And all Thy grace denied.

I thank Thee for both smile and frown,
And for the gain and loss;
I praise Thee for the future crown
And for the present cross.

I thank Thee for both wings of love
Which stirred my worldly nest;
And for the stormy clouds which drove
Me, trembling, to Thy breast.

I bless Thee for the glad increase,
And for the waning joy;
And for this strange, this settled peace
Which nothing can destroy.

Jane Crewdson

Photo credit: photo.net

 

 

Thanksgiving in Prayer

prayer3

This morning when I just arrived at the office, my secretary suddenly asked me: “Ma’am, what is your prayer today? What you ask for in your prayer?” I smiled and replied: “Today I did not ask for anything. Just lift up my praise and gratitude to God.”  My secretary looks a bit puzzled. “You did not ask for something? You did not ask to God to lead your day as you always ask me to do?” I replied again firmly: “No. what about you. There is anything you ask for?” My secretary replied enthusiastically: “Oh Ma’am, Yes. I have so many requests to God!” Then she mentions a series of requests.  My heart saying: “Oh God you always impatient to listening your child’s request”

The conversation above describes our attitude in prayer.  Many people use prayer as a medium only for asking and complaining. Well, it is normal. Because in The Bible it’s written:  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”(Luke 11:9). But did we realize that in our prayer we not just asking and always asking but should fill our prayer with thanksgiving? Philippians 4:6 clearly said: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” It is important to remember because in fact there are many of us who forget to fill our prayers with thanksgiving. Maybe we did start our prayers by saying thanks, but how we really appreciate the thanksgiving seriously, who comes from the deepest of our heart? How much our gratitude compared with our request? Suppose that our prayers are written as many as four paragraphs, how many paragraphs filled with our gratitude?

We often use thanksgiving as an introduction in prayer while our minds are filled with a list of requests from the beginning we starting to pray. God does not want we pray like that. First, He wants us to believe through our faith. He wants us to begin our prayers without feeling worry. God wants us to lift our requests with full confidence, comes from our love to Him and only that which allows us to be able to fill the prayer with thanksgiving. God wants a sense of joy within us is not lost under any circumstances, and the sense of joy that is what enables us to be able to raise the praise and our gratitude regardless of the condition or any situation that we are experiencing.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

Dear all friends, what about us? Whether our prayer got it right? Whether we have made a balancing between the requests and gratitude?  Whether our thankfulness only as an introduction or just lip service?  Let us begin to pray not only full of requests but also full of thankfulness from the deepest of our heart. God knows what our problem without need to shout to Him every day. Nothing is impossible before God, and please remembers that God loves us as His children and He was created us very special.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. (Psalms 95:1-6)

Karina

Photo credit: google images

 

Be Thankful

???????????????????????????????This post was inspired from the board meeting this afternoon. The finance director gave a presentation about the company’s financial condition over the last 6 months. He said that to this day there is no problem with the company’s financial condition and very healthy. But further he said, the profits drawn are not in accordance with our expectations. He stated her dissatisfaction and looked a little bit disappointed.  Then we discuss about the things that make our profit target is not reached.

After the meeting, he met me privately and he said: “I am sorry ma’am, just curious; in the meeting you seem not surprised or look disappointed on our profit.” I smiled and said: “You know what, Even though we did not reach the target but we still got the profit and our financial in very healthy condition, right? So, please be thankful! Our sustenance already set up by God. Just be thankful.”

That short conversation makes me pondering. In our daily lives, we often forget to always be thankful with everything that we got. We are even more tending to show a sense of disappointment when what we expect is not achieved and we did not appreciate the small things. My parents always taught me to always give thanks in all circumstances, as it says in Bible verse: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

We often look to the big things rather than small and we are not being thankful. Small things merely will become commonplace in our eyes because we are more focused on the big things and then we will began not pay attention anymore. When we are not pay attention we will start to not appreciate. Even worse, when we are not appreciating with everything that we achieved, we will start to not be thankful.

God does not want this. He wants we always give thanks in all circumstances.  The most important thing that should to remember is God has arranged our lives including our sustenance. We live in the plans that have been established by God.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

If the company does not achieve the target profit, it is not a big deal! Because God still providing profit and our financial condition stay healthy. I am being grateful for that blessing. I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge (1 Corinthians 1:4-5)

And I am not worried at all or even disappointed. Like Matthew 6:25 said: Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”

My beloved friends, Let us always be thankful for what God has given to us. No matter big or small and let us remember that big things start from the small things. Amen

 “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” Oprah Winfrey

Karina

Photo credit: wikimedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Be Content

sunrise2

Dear Lord in Heaven, Good morning, God.

Thank you for another day that you given to me, Thank you for give me opportunity to see how beautiful sunrise. Thank for give me chance to hear morning song bird. I am grateful  for the mild and brightly weather. God, You are very great and wonderful God, full of mercy and grace,

Dear Lord, I pray today that I will yield my spirit completely to You, that You may use me as You please.  I pray that You will provide me opportunities to show people how much You mean to me.  Give me discretion to know what to say and how to say it.

 I pray that I will stay focused on You today.  I pray that You will constantly remind me to be content in all of my circumstances.  I pray that You will fill me up that I may be joyful all day, even if stress creeps in.  I know that through my contentment, You will be glorified.  I want to honor You, Father, in all that I do.  I praise Your Holy Name!  I submit this imperfect prayer into your hands. In the name of Lord of Jesus Christ, Amen

Karina

Photo credit: google image

The Most Beautiful Thing

Beautiful thing

The beautiful things in our lives are:

When we go, there is someone who pray for us

When we are far away, there is someone who misses us.

When we are in sadness, there is someone who makes us smiling

When we are in a big trouble, there are open hands to hugs us to encourage us

But the most beautiful thing in our lives is:

When God almighty deign given us a breath to life,

 When He given us opportunity to complete our day

Dear Father in Heaven, I am grateful for beautiful day that I had.

Thank you for Your remarkable blessing, I am grateful for every problems and tribulation that I faced today. All of it makes me standing strong on Your strength. Amen

Karina

Photo credit: phraseologyproject.com