Monday, May 2, 2011

Slow Down and Be Thankful

First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and that your Monday is off to a wonderful start.

I know I mention this a lot-- but, I strongly encourage each and every one of you to go to, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link that says, "Resources," and listen to the current series. For the past 7 weeks, we have been on a series," OMG, Who is God and why does it matter?" All the messages have been great-- and I strongly encourage you to listen to them! As Pastor Derwin says, "The greatest thought we will ever have is what we think about God." That thought will influence everything else about our lives... and this sermon series has been exactly what I have needed to hear every week! I am sure that God will speak to you and work in your life through the words of Pastor Derwin.

Yesterday, we looked at God as Creator and how huge He is... Pastor Derwin did a great job taking the message upward, inward and outward (love God completely, love ourselves correctly and love others compassionately). He showed a few pictures... and I want to share a couple of them with you....

The first picture is of the X-Structure in the Whirlpool Galaxy... 37 million light years away from Earth. The second is of Laminin-- a structure in our cells that holds our bodies together (I am sure there is a very scientific explanation to the exact role of Laminin-- but, that's not the point and I don't have the most scientific mind...).

If you are like I was yesterday when he showed this pictures-- You are amazed! As far away as the most powerful telescope can see, you see the image of a cross. In the very center of our being and what holds us together, you see the image of a cross. WOW. Reflect on that for a minute... and really, listen to Pastor Derwin's message on the website (he also has a podcast). He does a much better job explaining than me... but, it is too amazing for me not to share!

Today's challenge is to slow down and take the time to be thankful. Make a list... what 10 things are you the most thankful for? Are they all big things or do you take the time to be thankful for the ability to take a breath and to simply exist? After you listen to the lesson, I bet you take the time to be thankful more often... We are incredibly blessed each and every second of everyday... and we can thank our wonderful, huge, amazing God for that!

Personal Story:
I have always loved stars. To the point that when I was 18, I had a star tattooed on my foot. Yes, I have a tattoo. I like it-- but, sometimes I am self conscious about it because I don't know what people might have to say about it... Yesterday, I went back and thought about my fascination with stars and can look at my tattoo in a new light. Yes, some people are completely against tattoos-- but, now if someone asks me about it, I know I can use it as a way to share something amazing that I am thankful for. Maybe, in an offbeat kind of way, being thankful for the stars will open someones eyes to all the wonders in this world that our Great God gives us daily...
(**I am not advocating for everyone/anyone to go get a tattoo-- Simply saying that it's awesome to learn how to use different things as a way to share God's grace with others... Nobody would expect a response like that when talking about a star tattoo!!)

I am thankful for:

  1. God sending His son so that I may be forgiven and have eternal life with Him. Grace that I absolutely do not deserve.
  2. The ability to have a close, intimate relationship with God. And for that relationship, all I have to do is trust Him and give my life to Him!
  3. The beauty of the world around me and the exactness it takes for us to exist (listen to the message)
  4. The love and support of a wonderful family.
  5. The love and support of a wonderful man placed in my life by God... at the perfect time!
  6. The knowledge that I am a continual work in progress... and the desire to fulfill the purpose God has for me (even if I am not exactly sure what that might be).
  7. The ability to communicate and hopefully lead others to their most important relationship-- the one they are meant to have with God!
  8. The wonderful people placed in my life--- friends, seemingly random encounters and everything in between.
  9. Honestly, the stressful times in my life where turning to God is the only thing that could get me through. Sometimes it takes the tough times to open our eyes.
  10. And I am thankful for you taking the time to read this and hope that your relationship and desire to know God and fulfill your unique purpose is continually growing. 
"He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name." Psalms 147:4

"I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalms 139:14

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