Ocean

beach clouds cloudy coast
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Have you ever stood on the beach & looked at the ocean?  Did it leave you in awe?

I have.  It reminds me of how big God is.  It reminds me of how much He loves me.  It reminds me of what an amazing creator He is.

Being on a boat on the water is also amazing.  I haven’t been on a cruise yet, I want to though.  I can imagine being in the middle of the ocean.  No land in sight.  It sounds amazing.

One other thing I notice, is that listening to the ocean is quite loud.  It is peacful though.  To me, it is the ocean giving praise to God.  It’s beautiful.

I haven’t been to the ocean in a few years.  I’ve only been 3-4 times in my life, but I have enjoyed it every time.

Simplicity

Simplicity is a topic I’ve been reading & hearing a lot about recently.  I have also been giving a lot of thought to simplifying my life.

I can get overwhelmed so easily with all the perceived responsibilities/commitments that I have.  Some are actual commitments that are necessary to keep.  Others are only things that I have perceived to be responsibilities or things I think that I have to do.

Things that are actual commitments that I must attend to & I want to attend to include my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, what I have volunteered to do at church, my job, my relationships with my family.  These are all relationships that are important.

Things that are just perceived as commitments include Facebook, games that I play, Pinterest, hobbies, tv, books.  These are all things that set themselves up to look like commitments.

Somehow these things have become reversed.  For example, when I feel that I have to watch that tv show or check Facebook instead of spending quiet time with God or talking to someone.  Technology is such a temptation.  My phone is there.  I always think I have to check it on a regular basis or I might get behind on notifications.  I have to play my games on a daily basis or my friends might think I don’t want to play the game anymore.

The phone is handy.  Technology is helpful.  But when it starts taking the place of my relationships, it becomes another thing entirely.

It is so easy for me to hide behind a computer/phone.  I’m an introvert by nature.  I draw energy from being alone.  I often don’t always know what to say in social situations.  Being in a crowd drains me due to so much going on.  I know my fellow introverts understand.

However, there are relationships that I have that have suffered, because I don’t take time for them.

Something I’m working on is not worrying about how much I’m spending on things & work on how much time I’m spending with the people I care about.  I know that will take time & it may not always appear that way to others, but God is working in me to be a better person.

 

Philippians 2:13  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Philippians 1:6  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

I also need to work on changing my thoughts towards all my perceived responsibilities.  Those things are NOT things that I have to check on a daily basis, if I don’t want to.  It’s just a routine that I have started.  I need to start a new routine where I don’t do all of these things as often, which could leave more time for what’s important.

Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you wil be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It also will decrease my feelings of being overwhelmed.  I can only do one thing at a time.  So some things may just end up going by the wayside.

It is time for some evaluation of what is part of my life and how much of a part of my life it is.

So the process has begun.

Ambassadors

Imagine with me for a moment.  The king or president of your country has come to see you or has sent for you.  He asks you to go somewhere.  He wants you to be an ambassador for your country.  He wants you to go to another country & speak with them.

So what does it mean to be an ambassador?  You would be there representing your country.  You would be representing your country with everything you did.  Your behavior while in the other country would need to represent the country you are representing.

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

Heaven is our rightful home & the country/nation that we are from.  We are on this earth as Christ’s Ambassadors.  We are representing Heaven/God in whatever we are doing.  When we sit down, we are from Heaven.  When we stand, we are from Heaven.  When we speak or don’t speak, we are from Heaven.

God has been speaking this to me over the past couple of days.  How am I being an ambassador of Heaven in my daily life?  Wherever I live, work, volunteer, attend church, etc., would people see Christ in me?

He wasn’t asking me to be perfect or trying to condemn me for any specific actions.  It was kind of a revelation to be more aware of my actions & to do what is possible to represent Him in this fallen world, such as whatever He is asking me to do & live by the example of Christ.

 

Fear not

Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

This verse is a great help to me.  A co-worker of mine gave me a mug with this verse on it for Christmas.  It sits on my desk at work as a reminder when anxiety comes.

In this verse, there are 3 things that He is.  He is so much more, but I will just work with these 3 things for this post.

First, He is our refuge.  When we are scared or need shelter, we can hide in Him.  If we go to Him, He will take us in.  He will hide us & keep us safe.

Second, He is our strength.  When we are weak, He is strong.  He shows Himself strong during these times of weakness.  He gives us His strength to move on.  Doing life without God makes things more difficult than it has to be.

Third, He is an ever-present help in trouble.  There are really 2 things here.  He is ever-present & He is help.  I will start with help.  He will help us.  He’s not afraid to do so.  Sometimes, He is waiting for an invitation to help, but He is always willing to help.

He is ever-present.  When we need any of these things, whether it be refuge, strength, or help, He is always there.  He is always within reach.  He is with us always.  We just have to talk to Him & reach out to Him.

Psalm 46:2-3  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  Selah.

No matter what, if we reach out to God, we need not fear.  We can take refuge in Him.  He will give us His strength.  He will help us.  He is right there with you, just ask Him.