Perspective

SCRIPTURE: Psalms 121:1-2 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV)

OBSERVATION: The events that were facing King David when he wrote this Psalm are unknown.  Regardless of whether he was facing another battle against the physical enemy, going through a personal struggle or simply reflecting on who the LORD God was to him, we read that King David knew God was his helper.

APPLICATION:  The picture accompanying this blog is one that I took during a recent extended stay in hospital.  During this time I was reminded of a story of two men who shared a hospital room which had only one window.  I recall in that story how only one of these two men could see the view out the window.  During daily conversations, the man by the window would describe the view to the other.  His descriptions included a colourful picture of the park with a lake filled with ducks, people walking hand in hand around the lake and children playing in the park.  Both men enjoyed this interaction which brought joy to their days.

One morning the man farthest from the window woke to find that the other man had passed away during the night.  He asked the nurse of he could swap sides of the room to be able to enjoy the view that was so often discussed.  Bemused, the nurse agreed.  The man soon became disheartened to discover that the view was actually facing a brick wall.  The man was advised by the nurse that the other man was blind and assumed that he was sharing his perspective on what he imagined the view would be like.

We are all faced with moments of disappointment in our lives, along with opportunities to control our perspective and influence our atmosphere.  Like the blind man in this story, I had the opportunity to bemoan my view from the hospital window.  I knew exactly what direction I was looking out at, that I would be able to enjoy the sunrising in my room most mornings, and watching the weather patterns and pedestrians throughout the day.  My perspective was, despite why I was there, to make the most of the time I had to stop, rest and count my blessings; to use it as an opportunity to spend much quality time with God.  Yes, I missed my family and friends, the freedom and fresh air, but I chose to look to the hills, because I knew my help was and continues to come from God.

PRAYER:  Dear God, help me to see life through your perspective, that I may be constantly aware of your presence and help, regardless of my present situation.  AMEN

 

 

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Start Again — ~ Rachelle M. Smith ~

The Story of Marriage ~ John & Lisa Bevere WEEK SIX ~ Blog by Rachelle M. Smith It is only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis – Margaret Bonanno Throughout the series of The Story of Marriage my blogs have been focusing on the original plan as well as building a blue print […]

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Don’t stop celebrating!

SCRIPTURE: ACTS 16:16-34 “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” (v25-26)

OBSERVATION: Amongst the hysteria of the time, there were those who were profiteering of the miracolous works that Jesus and his disciples had demonstrated.  Paul and Silas had been sent to prison for calling out one of these such charlatan by using the name of Jesus Christ to free a girl from demonic possession, and removing the income source this girl was able to provide.

APPLICATION: Things happen in life that bind and restrict people.  The girl in this story was demon possessed, Paul and Silas were bound in chains along with other prisoners.  The sentence given saw them placed ‘into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.’ (v24)  This makes prisons in our modern western culture seem luxurious.  The smells wouldn’t have been fresh, and the lack of natural light could have added to the depresive environment.

Paul and Silas had a chioce – be bitter and angry about the miscarriage of justice, and the circumstnaces they found themselves in; or remember that the God whom they love and served is bigger than anything this world could throw at them.  We read that at midnight, when it always seems the darkest, when things are coming to an end that they were found to be ‘praising and singing hymns to God.’ (v25)  It was their choice to celebrate life and the freedom that they knew they had in God, that could not be taken away from them that changed their environment.  Their spritual focus created a natural response that led to an earthquake that impacted everyone around them.  Their declared words of faith and hope brought them a freedom that impacted those around them.

We can all make a choice in our lives, to focus on how big God is and not how big our problems can appear.  Our praise and breakthrough can overflow into the lives of others.  Do you keep your praise and thanksgiving to God to yourself or do you shout it out and declare it for all to hear?  People are listening, so continue the celebration of praise that Passover represents and see how many people around you receive some of your overflow breakthrough.

PRAYER: God I am so thankful for who you are and praise you despite what my circumstance say, beacuse you have the last say.  AMEN

Celebration Time

passover

SCRIPTURE: Exodus 12:1-28 “that you shall say ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when he struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.'” (v27 NKJV)

OBSERVATION:  Passover, or Pesach (Hebrew) is a Jewish festival which commemorates the story in Exodus in which the ancient Israleites were freed from slavery in Egypt.  This year, the passover festival is celebrated from sunset on April 22 for seven or eight days.  This passage outlines the account in Exodus when the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron giving them some commands to follow to see them released from their captors.

APPLICATION: You may not be Jewsish, or interested in remembering anything to do with the history of the Israelite people, but you can still learn something from this story, and this Festival that celebrates the freedom that God wants you to experience.

If you thought about what is going on in your life right now, what could metaphorically represent Egypt.  What barriers, attitudes or mindsets are holding you captive.  The Israelites had no freedom to live their lives how they wanted to, they were expected to live and assimilate into the culture of their captors.  That sounds like the characteristics of an addiction – being held captive to somethig you cannot find a way out from.

Maybe its time to change your perspective on your struggles.  This Passover Festival is a essentially a week long party to celebrate God’s goodness and breakthrough.  Instead of focussing this week on where you haven’t seen your breakthrough manifest yet, why not celebrate those areas that God has provided for, the breakthroughs from your past, the relationships that have sown good fruit into your life.  Give PRASIE to God for those miracolous provisions of resources in times of need.  Give Thanks for the healing that you saw, or the good health that you have enjoyed for so long.  Maybe you have seen someone elses breakthrough and are needing some of that yourself, then PRAISE God for what He did in that persons life.  Ask Him to DO IT AGAIN.  Celebrate life with your friends this week.

The power of the declared word includes your testimony.  Start speaking out, not just in your head, giving thanks for those Egypt’s that you have conquered and watch how your perspective changes.  Like the old Hymn said “Count you Blessings…and it will surprise you what the LORD has done.”

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for all that you have already done in my life and for those things yet to come. AMEN