Encouraging, uplifting , positive thoughts rooted in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Category Archives: Reminders

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

A flock of about fifty geese hunkered down on a football field was a very unusual sight for me, so to satisfy my curiosity, I asked my colleague why the birds just sat there, as if they were immobilized and motionless. He responded that due to the high winds in the atmosphere above our level, the geese knew to remain on the field until the storm had passed; otherwise they could be blown way off course; become separated from their travelling partners; or even lose their lives. With the long flight to southern parts, and the way in which geese depend on each other in the flight routine, one mistake could result in a lost goose, and one lost goose could bring an end to the team.

The support of the flock is as important to the one goose, as the support of one goose is important to the flock. Serving God in isolation may seem the answer sometimes, but is serving by one’s self God’s design for His children?

Sometimes we feel strong enough to make it on our own, but it is much easier to snap one twig than a whole bundle of twigs. As the Bible aptly puts it, a cord of three strands is not easily broken…. When we are all grounded it is easier to stay together and support each other, but the one who has no one to support and encourage may lose his way.

Our Father is able to keep us in and through every storm. He takes care of swallows, and geese and us, His children. If geese do not fly into a storm, why should we?

Inventory / Introspection  Have I taken care to hunker down and hide under His wings when He shows me warning signs of storms ahead?  

Personal Application: My loving Father is able to keep me through the storms of life, but He also calls me to safety in Him.

Dear Father, we are grateful for your protection. You equip geese with what they need to ride out a storm, and wait until it is safe to fly. In the same way, we have the Comforter to lead and guide us if we choose to listen and obey. Help us to be on the watch for the warning signs You give us, and to be careful to walk where You lead.  When it’s time to hide under Your wings, may we run to You without hesitation. When it is time to soar, may we rise with the wind of the Holy Spirit.

I am told that when geese fly, they rotate the leadership position when the leader gets tired.  Geese know that the roles they play are not constant throughout the journey. Help us to remember that. Sometimes we will lead, other times we will follow, but we support and encourage each other to the glory of your name.

Storms and changes will come, but you remain steadfast and certain. Geese know not to fly into a storm… may we never knowingly run into danger either.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann
Toni R
(c)
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  


You have searched me, Lord, and you know me… Psalm 139:1

I was somewhat disappointed when a large glass bottle fell to the floor and broke into pieces in the middle of a project. I was already strapped for time and this would only slow me down, but I picked up the larger pieces, swept the floor, and went back to my project. Unfortunately, I missed a tiny sliver and later spent more valuable time extracting it from my foot. Had I taken the time to carefully sweep and re-sweep the floor, I may  have found the splinter, but in my haste to get back to what was urgent, I cut corners and ended up paying the price.

The tiny little piece of broken glass was barely visible to the naked eye, but it brought the entire body to a screeching halt once it pierced my skin.  Sin is sin is sin… ‘big’ or ‘little’ all sin is sin, and any un-confessed trespasses can interfere with the believer’s walk.  The bigger pieces of glass were easier to see, so I had no trouble disposing of those, but the tinier pieces needed additional lighting and greater patience to remove them all.

For some of us, it’s easier to confess the ‘bigger’ things, especially when others are aware of them, but we should take care to constantly seek God’s cleansing, as ‘all the things that are done in secret will be brought to light.”  As human beings, we don’t have the capacity to forgive sins, but the Holy Spirit will alert us when we have crossed the line. It is a good thing to ask the Lord to search our hearts and cleanse us fully of any wrongdoings, so that we can be free to do what He wants us to do, instead of carrying on in our own strength and suddenly be brought to our knees by the ‘little sin’ that we forgot to ask Him to take care of.

The little piece of glass was hidden from my sight, but nothing is hidden from our Father. He will see what is inside our hearts whether or not we ask Him to look. After, all, He has searched us, and He knows us!

Inventory/Introspection: What are the ‘little things’ that I need to ask God to work out of me?

Personal Application:   “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9

Father, we are thankful for forgiveness and the ministry of reconciliation. We make mistakes more often than we admit, but it is wonderful that we can trust You to heal the big cracks and the little splinters!

Today we ask that the Light of the world would search through all the dark places, and help us to be upfront and honest with the things You reveal to us. Some ‘splinters’ have been there a while, and every now and then the pain reminds us to take care of them, but we ignore them and move on. May we be honest to You today and allow You to do a full sweep, removing anything that does not glorify Your name.

We release all those who have caused us pain, and we are asking You to help us not to cause pain to anyone.

May we run straight to You the next time we fall, trusting You to perfectly clean everywhere, even when we feel we have done a good job of taking care of the source of our pain.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann
Toni R
(c)
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  .


My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world 1 John 2:1-2

In some cultures, some types of sins are punished more heavily than others. For example, the woman caught in the act of adultery faced death by stoning, even though the man she was with did not face the same punishment. Fortunately for her, Jesus advocated on her behalf and gave her a fresh start.  (Click here to read her story )

Our sins may not be as widely known as hers, but we sin nonetheless. Our sins may not be deserving of such awful punishment. Or they may … Either way; Jesus stands ready to offer us a clean slate. As John wrote, we do not have to sin, but if we do sin, our Righteous Advocate, Jesus Christ will intervene on our behalf!”  The enemy of our souls may try to guilt us into hiding our transgressions, but Jesus knows them anyway! Not only does He know them, but His Sacrifice at Calvary was enough to atone for my sins, your sins, and for the sins of the whole world!

What a wonderfully comforting truth!

Inventory/Introspection: How does knowing Jesus is my Atoning Sacrifice affect the way I seek His forgiveness.  

Personal Application:   Having an Advocate is not a licence to sin

Father, we are so grateful for forgiveness!  We are thankful that we cannot amass wealth or sacrificial offerings or riches or deeds to earn forgiveness for sins, and that Your forgiveness is offered freely to all who will ask.

Help us to keep love at the base of what we do. If we love You and our neighbours as You commanded, then we will make every effort not to do anything to negatively impact the relationships.  May we never forget that we have a duty to forgive others, even as You forgive us for going off track..

May we experience Your love and grace in a new way this week, and may we be mindful of the opportunities that You give us to share Your love and grace with others.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann
Toni R
(c)
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. (Matthew 16: 21- 28)

Jesus knew the death that awaited Him. He knew of the cross He had to bear, the stripes He would endure and the sacrifice that He would make for mankind.  Our feature verses follow His discussion with his disciples about fulfilling the purposes of God for His life.

In verse 24, Jesus set out the requirements for those who choose to be His disciple. We are called specifically to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow HIM In my earlier years as a Christian, I often pondered this phrase and tried to balance it against the verse that says we must cast our cares on Him.  I’ve come to understand that this verse is guiding us towards self-denial, and truly trusting Jesus to order our steps.

One of the dictionary definitions (Merriam Webster) of deny is ‘ to refuse to acknowledge.’  Strong’s Comprehensive Word Study shows the interpretation of deny in Mathew 6:24  as ” to disown and renounce self, to disregard all personal interests and enjoyment.” When we step outside of our own strength and abilities and see ourselves as only strong in Him, this can shape the way we think as we come to a place where we trust Him to empty us of our own desires and find our identities in Him.

When we put self aside and allow ourselves to be weak and vulnerable before Him, any strength that we have must be as a direct result of His influence in our lives. The denying of ourselves allows us to carry that cross – not in our strength, but in the strength God gives us. 

Now that we have allowed ourselves to be strengthened by Him and have taken up our cross, our next step is to follow Him.  There is clarity in where we need to go with the cross we are now carrying with the strength that He has given us. We need to follow Him! If we follow our own dreams and desires, we may end up in places He didn’t intend for us to be.  If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, as we walk in the strength that He has given us, then we will find the cross may not be as heavy as we thought, nor the journey as long and painful as it first seemed.

The cross-carrying experience is not a walk in the park. We don’t generally look forward to pain and suffering, but when we no longer limit ourselves to what we can do on our own, we come to realize that we can indeed do all things through the Christ who gives us strength.

Inventory/Introspection: How am I handling the cross bearing experience?

Personal Application: The cost of following Christ add up to nothing when compared to the consequence of rejecting Him. 

Father, there are days when our walk with You seems to demand more than we are able to endure, but we are thankful that You have made a way for us to triumph in Your name. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

We are grateful that You give us the gift of choice. We choose to follow You! We are grateful that You call us friend, and that Your love surrounds us! The idea of carrying crosses may not be attractive to us, but You clearly ask us to do just that.

The cross we bear today may not  be the one we come across tomorrow, but You remain constant. Your love is everlasting and Your faithfulness knows no end. The words You spoke centuries ago remain relevant and effective in our present circumstances. Letting go of who we are and what we can do, creates the opportunity for You to strengthen us  so we can carry our crosses.

Dear Jesus, we do not want to gain all that life has to offer, and lose out on what You have already died to give us. We look forward to the day when we will behold Your face in awe and wonder, but for now, may Your name be glorified as we deny  ourselves, shoulder our crosses in the strength You give, and follow after You.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

Children are taught that square pegs do not fit into round holes, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Some have managed to fit the pegs into the holes, but not without significant damage to said pegs and holes.

As children of God, we do know that we are called to live a life of holiness, but sometimes we find ourselves making adjustments as we try to fit into situations that were not meant to accommodate us. Sometimes the adjustments may be blatant and obvious, at other times they are subtly deceptive and we may find we keep moving the boundary lines inch by inch, until we are miles away from where we need to be. The people we hang out with, the books we read, the music we listen to, the television programs and movies we watch, and the policies and platforms we vote for should reflect the Christ within us.

Christians are not called to a life of popularity. We are called to follow Christ. Our primary goal should be to live the life that pleases Christ, even if it does not sit well with the crowd. In James 4, we see that friendship with the world makes us God’s enemies. If we choose not to stand for “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable … excellent or praiseworthy”  (Philipians 4:8),  we might find ourselves nursing wounds that come from trying to fit into what He has called us to separate ourselves from.

Inventory/Introspection: What are the little things that could cause me to subconsciously or unconsciously move His boundary markers?

Personal Application: Standing up for Christ means that sometimes I will stand out. It can feel like a lonely place, but I have His assurance that He is with me and that He will never leave me. When I stand up for Christ, I am never standing alone.

Father, we are thankful for Your Word and the guidelines You lay out for us to follow for our own good. You love us so much that You have prepared a way for us to live eternally in You. (John 3:16) 

The consumer nature of our present world makes it easy for us to access ‘things’. Some are beneficial and good for us, others can lead to sin in our lives. Help us to be aware of the little things that can become issues later on. Your Word shows that a little yeast affects the whole dough. (Galatians 5:9) A little compromise can affect our own Christian walk, and when we are weak, we can also put our brothers and sisters in Christ at risk by introducing them to practices and possessions that can cause them to grow weaker in their faith.

Help us to walk as Christians, even if we become like square pegs that cannot fit into the world’s expectations of us. We have no desire to be battered and beaten up, so help us to remain true to the ‘shape’ that we are supposed to be. We have no reason to find friendship with the World. We are Yours, and we are thankful for Your unfailing love.

May we never forget who we are as we go about our daily lives. May Christ be our focus whether we are simply choosing a book to read, or electing a leader. We do not need to cut corners or seek favours from man in order to be successful in Your eyes. We have no reason to compromise if we trust You to take care of whatever concerns us, be they large, small or in-between.

We choose to be non-conformists as far as following this world is concerned. We will follow only You.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

3 Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. St John 20:1-10 – NKJV

Every Fall we clear out our potted plants by emptying the soil and the plants that have been damaged by the frost, and storing the pots until Spring comes again. Last winter I did not get around to clearing the pots, so we just packed them away, dead plants and all. Imagine my surprise when I started getting ready for Spring planting and came across a pot with a flourishing plant, beautifully green and very much alive! This plant had survived three months without food or water, yet it was healthy and growing.

My surprise and wonder in no way compares to what Mary and the disciples must have felt when they showed up at the tomb on the third day, that first Easter morning. They went looking for the lifeless body of our Lord, but they found His grave-clothes instead. Our  Saviour had risen and was indeed very much alive! He was crucified and buried, but He rose from the grave. This is the believer’s hope! The resurrected Christ gives us the chance of eternal life!

Our God is great and worthy to be praised! Christ is risen! The tomb that once held His body is empty! Christ is risen! There is hope for those who believe in Him. Christ is risen! Yes, He is risen indeed!

The Christ who conquered death and the grave has the power to give life to our ‘dead’ situations. Our realities may tell us one thing now, but when we trust Him fully and act on His words, we will see life in the midst of what appears to be dead or dying.

May you find joy in the salvation that comes from knowing the risen King!

Inventory/Introspection: Have I closed the door on a situation or relationship that He wants to breathe life into?

Personal Application: – Mary did not recognize Jesus when she first saw Him in the garden (St John 20:14-17).  How do I acknowledge His presence in the midst of my weeping moments?

Father, we say ‘Thank You’ for the cross and the empty tomb! We give You thanks for the assurance of Salvation and hope eternal! Through the sacrifice of the spotless Lamb, we can enter into relationship with You and call you Abba… we are thankful indeed!

Dear Jesus, our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude for the finished work. You took on flesh to give us a hope and a future. We give You our hearts and lives to be used for Your glory.  As often as we eat and drink, may we remember the Sacrifice and the meaning behind this great act of love. We thank You  for taking on what we could not handle.  We give our lives back to You and ask that You would order our steps and that Your name would be glorified in all we do.

Help us to see You in our circumstances even when tears of anger, pain and disappointment threaten to block our vision. Thank You for the confirmation that You are always with us, and that we have a reason to rejoice.  May we allow You to reveal Life in the unexpected places.

Yes, Christ is risen – indeed!

Amen

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.   Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates,  so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.( Deuteronomy 11: 13-21)

The present advances in technology make it easy for people to move from one location to another. Some leave temporarily and return home, while others leave and never return as they start a new life in a new environment.  Whether our leaving is temporary or permanent, we take things with us. Some had the chance to pack precious belongings as they left Egypt behind. Others fled for the sake of safety like Mary and Joseph did. In our fleeing, we often try to grab physical items such as a passport or food, but other things will flee with us, even though we are not conscious that we are carrying them around. Whatever we take with us, speaks much of who we are, whether or not we are aware.

As you reflect on this from a Christian perspective, think about what you take with you when you leave home?  You may have consciously packed your bag, but did you check your attitude? When conflicts arise, are the words you speak considered “apples of gold in settings of silver?” (Proverbs 25:11). Did you plan to speak love to the next person who annoyed you? When you respond to the fingers that point at you, will your accent give you away as Peter’s did in Matthew 26:73?  What do you have in your wallet? Your pocket?  Your hand? Have you come to the conclusion that all you have is a piece of stick, or will you let Him use that rod as part of His plans for deliverance?  What did you bind to yourself today?

As you think about what you carry today, remember His directive:Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Christians, have the potential to positively affect our world for His name’s sake. What we have written on our hearts and bound up in our thoughts will come out as we relate to others. Our human nature is to pack the things that we are contented with and leave out those things that push us out of our comfort zones. When we commit our lives to Christ, we give up the opportunity of packing what we want. Following Him requires a change of heart, a passing up of old habits and the taking on of a desire to live the life that counts in His eyes. Nothing is worth carrying around if He will not be glorified through it. What do you have bound to you today?

Inventory / Introspection: Will the things I bind to myself lead others to Him, or will they drive others away from His kingdom?

Personal application: If He were to call me into account tomorrow, would He be pleased with what I have been walking around with?

 Father, I thank You for revelation. I am not always aware of how what I do or say can affect those around me. Sometimes something spoken or done in innocence can prove to be painfully damaging to my brethren. Help me to keep Your words “fixed in my heart and mind, tied as a symbol on my heart and bound on my forehead” as a daily reminder that what I walk around with should only honour You. Help me to speak with your accent so the life I live will attract others to You.  There are physical aspects of myself that I cannot change, but if I allow you to mold me daily, I will be more effective in service to You. What I see as limitation, You can use as opportunities for Your glory.

Please search through all I have amassed over the years.  Do take inventory of all I hold dear, and rearrange as You see fit and rid me of anything that will cause others to see anything but the Christ that lives  in me. It is my desire “to love You  and to serve You with all my heart and with all my soul”

Amen

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 


Gray hair is a crown of splendour; it is attained in the way of righteousness. …  Proverbs 19:31

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6

These two verses were recently brought to memory as we went through the 31 Days of Purpose challenge. Reflecting on them caused me to think of the stages of life and how God in His divine purpose, takes us through times and seasons.

As I look back at the decades I have lived, I can see how my life has been dramatically influenced by those who were older than me.  Now that others look to me for advice, I experience a two-fold thrill. On the one hand, it is a wonderful blessing to be able to pour back what I have learned into the lives of those to whom I offer daily guidance. On the other hand, there is the constant reminder that I am being watched, and that the life I live and the advice I share could affect generations to come.

Whether you are a child, a parent, or one crowned with ‘gray hair’, know that your life is in His hands. Be reminded today, that He has full knowledge of all your days and years, and that your life experiences matter much. You may not be living the life you planned, but His plans for you are perfect. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

What customs and traditions do you carry on because someone you looked up to taught those ways? What is the legacy that you are leaving for those who will come behind you? Do you have a heart that follows after God even when He doesn’t reveal the plan? Will you be remembered as one who trusted God, despite the issues you struggled with?  Will those following you be eager to walk in your footsteps?

Inventory / Introspection: How has my life reflected the concept of supporting the elderly while leaving a legacy for those who will come after me?

Practical Application: 1. Connect with an elderly person this week and let them know that they are treasured, relevant and respected.   2. Examine your personal journey to see if you are leaving a Godly heritage for those who look up to you.

Father, I am blessed to know so many in my life who fit into the category of aged and elderly. I am blessed to be surrounded by so many whose experiences enrich my life. I am double blessed to know those who have walked with You for years and testify like Job that they ‘have never seen the righteous forsaken’. I am blessed and thankful all at once. I am also aware that there are many who are old and alone today, feeling forgotten and useless. I pray that today they will feel Your love around them. I pray also for those who weep over families torn apart. I pray that You will heal and mend broken relationships that the hearts of these old soldiers may rejoice and glorify You.

In Your wisdom, You place others in our paths so we can offer them guidance and direction. Help us to take our cues from You, realizing that the only things that matter are the things that bring You glory. Help us to be mindful of our potential to influence those around us in the way we speak and act. I am thankful that You know everything about all of Your beloved children, and that You have not forgotten even one.  Help us to live lives that please You so that we can leave the legacy of Your goodness and faithfulness to those You have placed in our care.

May our lives reflect Your love.

Amen.


Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 


For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. St John 3:16

Once a month, we share communion together as a church. Our practice is to celebrate ‘open communion’ which means that any believer in the house is welcome to partake, whether or not they are a part of our local congregation.  As we shared in our last communion, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the fact that His table is open to “whosoever will”.  He does not draw lines by denomination, race, life status, geographical location or any other lines by which we define ourselves. His table is open to whoever wants to share the gifts He sends our way but there are life cycles that causes us to miss out on His blessings.

Sometimes we get so caught up in other activities that we miss the important things in life.  In St Luke 14: 16 24 we read the parable of the Great Banquet. Those who had received an invitation found themselves busy with other life events and were unable to attend.  As a result, the invitation was extended to the ‘cripple and the lame’ so they could enjoy what others didn’t have time for. How are you with priorities? Are you clueing in to what He’s offering?

Sometimes we dream of the days we sat freely at the table but our thoughts are weighed down by feelings of unworthiness.  We feel a sense of loss as we assume our past has cost us our seat at that table.  We convince ourselves that a seat at the table is too good to be ours so we feast on refuse instead of taking what is freely and readily available to us.  In Luke 15: 11-31 Jesus shares the parable of the lost son.  The father watched and waited for his wayward son to come home. Perhaps you have wandered away from His table.  Today may be the day for you to return home … His arms are still open wide and He has saved you a place at His table. How will you respond?

Sometimes we don’t step forward despite the clues He sends, so He comes to find us Himself.  In Revelation 3: 20-21 we read His words to us “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.  To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.”  Life gets busy at times.  Between our jobs, relationships and other obligations, we sometimes don’t get around to doing what we need to do.  Perhaps it has been a while since you sat at His table … not because you have wandered away, but because other things have been competing for your attention. Would today be a good day to set aside some table time with Him?

Royalty is seeking fellowship with you today. His desire is to have communion with you. The first invitation may have been given thousands of years ago but that has not changed His attitude towards us. You may feel your house may not be in a state of readiness but I implore you, do not ignore the knocking. I respectfully submit that your house will never be in a state of readiness unless He’s living there.

If you have been sitting at His table all along and you are enjoying the sweet communion of His presence, maybe you could share the ‘secret’ with someone else.  Let them know how wonderful it is to spend some time in His presence and how marvelously refreshing it is to bask in His glory.  Would you run with that message today?

Father I thank you for the way You reveal truth to us. We were all headed in the wrong direction but You sent Light. Our very existence made us outcasts- we were born in sin- but You prepared us a table and gave us reason to partake of your best.

We release our pasts to You and we ask that You would help us to accept the forgiveness You offer. Sometimes our own assessment of the realities we live through give us misperceptions of how You love. We are thankful that You are able to ‘save to the utmost’. We choose to walk in the freedom of Your love as we step away from the old life and sit at the table You have prepared for us.

We release all feelings of guilt and shame to You for the moments we opted not to share what You so lovingly placed in front of us. I pray You will help us to gladly share the table with those who are apart from You. May we not be selfish with the things You have done for us but may we willingly go to the highways and byways and seek those who are living in dejection and hunger.
Amen

Blessings,

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 


St John 10: 7-10 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the door for the sheep.  All the people who came before me were thieves and robbers. The sheep did not listen to them. I am the door, and the person who enters through me will be saved and will be able to come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness. *

My father worked as a firefighter for many years. Before we retired to bed at nights, He would make sure there was a clear passage to the door. He always said we needed to be aware of where the door is, in case we need to find it in the dark or in an emergency. I carried that into adulthood and even in our home today, that is the rule – there must be a clear passage to the door.

I know the layout of my home by heart. I can find the door at midnight if I need to but it doesn’t matter what physical preparations we make to keep our family safe, nothing compares to the refuge that He is!  In Him, we have the safest of safe places. According to Psalm 4:8, “I go to bed and sleep in peace,  because, Lord, only you keep me safe” *  So while we make sure the path to the door is clear, it is in our best interest to make sure there is nothing blocking our access to The Door.

Jesus said “I am the door” … do you have a clear path to Him?  There may be events you can’t prevent or circumstances you can’t roll from your path, but as far as it lies in your control, do you have a direct line to Him? When an emergency hits, do you see immediately see Him? Or do you have to clear some things out of the way to get to Him?   It is His desire to satisfy us. He says whoever enters through Him will be able to come in and go out and find pasture… ”  Through Him we have access to “life – in all its fulness” ! I confess I didn’t always get this. I felt I had to earn my keep and was reluctant to ‘bother Him’ with my needs. I would waste precious time trying to find the access He had placed right before my eyes. It took me quite a while to understand who He is to me and the ‘no strings attached’ package He offers.

He presents Himself as the Way and the Door. All our needs are met in Him! When you enter into relationship with Him, He gives you the right to benefit from the pastures He has provided. Tap directly into His grace and goodness today. Move towards the Door!

Father, please search my heart today.  Please walk through the entranceway that is my life. I ask that You remove whatever I have gathered that does not glorify You. I pray that You will clean house for me today and help me to keep the path to You clear. You are the door to everything I need to live the life that counts.

There are things in my life I have no control over and there are days it seems like an avalanche of issues are coming at me from all angles. Still, I choose to look unto You and allow You to ‘order my steps and direct my path’. Earthly issues and disasters may trip my feet but as long as my eyes are fixed on You, I am safe. You can do the impossible in my life. I will keep my eyes on You and allow You to guide me around the traps that the enemy has set for me.

Nothing is impossible with You. If You call me, I can walk on water! In the midst of frustration You are my peace. When disappointment and discouragements assail, You are my joy!  I am thankful that You are the Door and the only Entrance that really matters.  When I run to You, I am truly safe!

Amen

Blessings,
ann

Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson,    Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Toni R
(c)

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.