Tag Archives: God

Jump into Fall

 

jumping with sun 2I confess, this is the time of year when I struggle a little. It’s not that I’m not in touch with Jesus. It’s just that season… leaves fall, the wind blows, temperatures get colder (unless you’re blessed enough to live in a warm climate year round). So what can you do?

  1. Try on a new attitude-spring doesn’t have to be the only time you get a fresh start. Fall can be a starting point instead of the ending just as the Jewish tradition has looked at the night as the start of the new day. We can choose to look at fall as a sort of beginning, a prologue, or an introduction to all things new! By the way, that’s one of my favorite verses “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone” (NIRV).
  2. Re-arrange the furniture-I once met someone who admitted, “this is the only way I can arrange my family room.” Okay so to some this may sound radical… but what would it hurt if you moved that armchair into another corner and placed a cabinet in its place? Sometimes rearranging furniture can really add zip to a room. Check out some fun ideas at Better Homes and Gardens. Just remember where you put things so you don’t do a Dick Van Dyke over the ottoman!
  1. Add a little paint- (paint you may already have just waiting in a can, around the house)… There are new methods to paint like these vertical striped walls which place your seal of style on any room.
  2. Thoroughly clean everything- from the walls to the curtains to the carpets … who says spring is the only time to clean? Check out Real Simple for ideas. It just makes sense to get your house ship shape for the holidays now before the rush. Cleaning can be a lot of fun, put on a favorite Christian Praise CD and pump up the volume! Although many verses in the Bible talk about cleanliness, the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness isn’t in the Bible, rather it was a phrase apparently coined by the founder of Methodism. But surely our God is a God of order. As we look at the changing of seasons, and the intricate systems he has designed within plant and animal life, we see his beautiful orderly mind. God is not a God of chaos, but of order.
  3. Set some goals before the new year approaches-weight loss and exercise can lower risks of diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Walking, an aerobics video, or even dancing to the songs on Christian radio stations like Family Life Radio and K-Love for 30 minutes can really add uplift to your day (your family can even join you).
  4. Join a Bible study-chances are you may have some Bible study groups in your area you didn’t even know about. I benefited greatly from Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). When my husband Jeff was going through long term debilitating depression, my friends at Bible Study Fellowship were my life-line of encouragement! God used my teaching leader Bonnie, to speak God’s words into the places of my life that needed it most, reassuring me and helping me know the joy of perseverance. I actually served as a BSF small group leader for a few seasons because I saw the benefits. If you are well-grounded in the Bible, you can also ask your pastor if you can start a Bible study at church. You don’t have to write it. Many Christian publishers specialize in Bible study material. Publishers such as Discovery House  and Lifeway have some great Bible centered book studies from which to choose. Think about this time as a gift to you and your group! When you grow close to friends through Bible study and praying it creates bonds that just may continue not just through the fall season, but for the rest of life.

This is by no means the entire list of things you and I can do to jump into Fall. I invite you to add your ideas to this blog so others can benefit.

From my heart to yours,

Tammy Bovee

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Letting Go of the World to Hold on to God

man at sunrise“…the peace I (Jesus) give is a gift the world cannot give.” John 14:27 (NLT)

It’s better than a life insurance policy. It’s stronger than a Hefty garbage bag. It tastes better than your favorite dessert yet has no calories. It surrounds you like a fluffy down comforter. God’s peace. It cannot be bought or sold with the world’s currency. It can be yours even when you’re living on a shoestring, about to take a transcontinental flight, or facing a firing squad at work.

There have been moments… when you’ve felt peace. A seaside sunset washing over the water-smoothed sands, painting the sky with a hush of colors so vivid you couldn’t speak. Maybe for you it was walking through a garden at sunrise as the first daylight chased the mist and the dew clung to the flowers. Maybe you felt peace as you walked one night through the forest on a mountain roadway, and looked up through a clearing at the dark sky. You saw stars so brilliant it felt like you could grab them if you stood on your tiptoes and reached far enough. Or maybe it was holding that little baby, those tired eyes looking up at you, drinking love from your face– that tiny mouth suckling the bottle– those soft watery eyes slowly shutting– as that little precious baby bundle lay resting… in your arms.

Isaiah 40:11 snapshots God as he “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.” This is the place of peace, near to God’s heart.

What is threatening to undo you? Name it right now. Speak it aloud. Whisper it… to Jesus. Psalm 34:18 says “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted…”

Have you ever focused the lens of a camera? What happens with a camera lens also happens with your heart. God gives you the ability to focus the lens of your heart. Though the problem seems enormous, is it bigger than God? Or does the problem look so big because your heart is focusing on it?

Right now, God is here—Comforter, Creator, eternal. He sees you. He knows your pain. He feels it. He also felt the blows of the nails that went into his Son Jesus’ hands. Yet he loved you so much that he gave his son so he could be close to you. James 4:8 says “come near to God and he will come near to you.” God longs to be closer to you than the trial you are facing. He desires to hold you, to gather you in his arms and comfort you with a peace so real that it blurs the problems into the background.

Peace comes from knowing the One who paints each brilliant sunrise and sunset, lights the starry skies, creates babies with the desire to rest in their parents’ arms. Yet peace is more than that. It is being held in a love relationship with God, the Creator, whose love is everlasting and whose hope is real.

Are you weary, bewildered? Do you wonder how long this trial will last? Are you hope-sick for answers that just won’t come?

God offers his peace, a peace the world cannot take away. Why? Because this kind of peace doesn’t come from the world, it comes directly from the Source, God himself. Today he says to your heart, “so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV