The Secret of Being Content

Uncategorized 5 Comments

In Philippians 4: 12-13, the Apostle Paul says that he knows what it is to be in need and he knows what it is to have plenty…and that he has learned the secret of being content whatever his circumstances.  To me, that is such a profound statement.  Paul is saying that no matter what is going on in his life, good or bad, that he is okay.   As I have heard this scripture over the years, I always wondered, what the “secret” was.  Can you imagine, that if we all could be content despite the circumstances of our life…that would be amazing.  Paul endured hunger, suffering, imprisonment—and yet, he says that he was content even in those situations.  If we only knew what the secret was then we too could be okay even in the midst of all the issues and problems that we confront.  I have wondered for years what the secret was and not long ago, I realized that the answer to the secret is in the following verse where Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  Paul’s great secret to contentment is that he KNEW that no matter what his life circumstances were that the Lord would give him the strength he needed to make it through.  Because he had such great confidence and faith that the Lord would be with him, Paul was then okay no matter what situation he found himself in.  The more faith we have in God and His willingness and ability to minister to our every need, the more content we will be too.  Even in this economy, we can say to ourselves, “God will make sure that I’m okay”.  In the midst of relationship difficulties and family problems, we can say, “God will help me through this”.  During the curve balls that life throws to us, we’ll know… “With God, I’m strong enough to deal with this”.  Because of our faith, we can then be content.   Through his life, Paul has taught us something very valuable.  Life will not be perfect.  Paul was a great servant for God and even his life was filled with hardship.  If life was hard for Paul, a man of God, surely it will be hard for us too.   During those hard times, we must be content…knowing that God will give us the strength we need to make it through.

Carl

On Life and Death

Uncategorized 2 Comments

I went to a funeral today.  The deceased was a 41-year old, beautiful, vibrant, caring woman with a great spirit about her.  She was a dentist who used her professional skills to touch the lives of those who depended upon her care.  A couple of years ago, she was excited to learn that she was carrying her first child.  Because she had married late in life, this pregnancy was especially important because it was not only her first, but most likely, her last.  Shortly into the pregnancy, she began to have some medical issues…it turned out that the disturbance in her body was cancer.  The doctors urged her to terminate her pregnancy so that they could immediately begin chemotherapy.  She refused.  Instead she delayed her treatment and held on to the growing baby inside of her for 27 weeks or so—until that baby could survive outside of her womb.  Her daughter was born premature, but she was here—her mother has chosen to give her life, instead of potentially saving her own.  Mother and baby faced their health issues together.  While the baby grew stronger, her mom was growing weaker.  Chemotherapy was taking its toll.  There were ups and downs during treatment.  Some months the doctors felt hopeful, other months the news they delivered to her was woeful.  Through it all, this young woman, kept her faith in the Lord.  When people called to console her, she ended up consoling them.  She loved her baby daughter with all she had…she protected her.  She knew that she had made the right choice in allowing her to come into this world, even though her choice likely meant reduced odds in her own fight to live.  Just about 26 months after she gave birth to her child, her own life ended.  Today, she was funeralized and buried.  There had to be 1,000 people or more at her services today.  Those who spoke on the programme said that she had touched their lives in a big way.  She took time out to be a friend, a sister, an adviser, and a confidante to those who were around her.  She impacted so many lives in just 41 years.  While sitting in the church today, I thought about my life… I thought about the lives of all of us.  Life is temporary.  Whether we choose to believe it or not, we are all dying…it’s just a matter of time before we leave this Earth.  None of what we attained in this life will really matter.  We’re just borrowing it—we can’t take any of it with us.  The only thing that will matter at the end of our lives is our works on Earth, because the Bible says that we will all sit at the judgment seat of Christ and be judged according to our works; whether they be good or bad.  Today, I decided to try my best not to get distracted here on Earth.  I decided to try my best to live on “purpose”.  I want to focus on doing God’s Will, being good to others, and trying to enjoy life…in that order.  Why spend any more time in life worrying about things that won’t even matter years from now when our time on Earth is done?  Today, I realized quite simply that death is a part of life and with everyday that passes we are wasting valuable time if we aren’t doing the will of God, being good to those around us and enjoying what life has to offer.  Today, I sensed that this young, 41-year old woman, lived her life on “purpose”.  I believe she truly understood what life is all about.

Carl

Pray for Our New President

Uncategorized 2 Comments

Last night was a historical night for the United States and the World.  The election of Barack Obama says alot about the progress the U.S. has made.  Regardless of one’s political views, I think most people can agree that the leaders of this World need our prayers.  We should ask that God helps them to make good decisions on behalf of the people they govern.  We must remember that our World leaders are mortal human beings who are given much power and responsibility.  They need the hand of God on them so that they use their power wisely and are able to stand up under the tremendous responsibility they have been given.

Beware of the Company You Keep

Uncategorized 3 Comments

I Corinthians 15: 33 says that Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals.  It is the Bible’s way of giving us a stern warning about the people who we allow to be in our lives.  If you keep bad company, the Bible says that your good morals will be corrupted.  In other words, you will then become like the company you keep.  Throughout the Book of Proverbs, we are given wisdom about what happens when we keep company with ungodly people.  The result is always unfortunate.  Recently, there have been a number of high profile incidents that demonstrate the importance of keeping people who are bad company at a distance in our lives.  The more they are in our lives, the more of an opportunity they have to know us, to know our weaknesses, to know where we are vulnerable—the closer they get to us, the more damage they are able to do.  Evaluate the people in your life.  Are they good company or are they bad company?  If they are not of benefit to you and your walk with the Lord, you probably need to take a serious look at whether or not to allow them to continue to keep the close proximity they have to you and your life.

Carl