Your “Most Treasured” List

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What are some of the things you treasure most in life? For me, it’s time with family and friends. I treasure times of laughter and shared life experiences. I treasure the relationship I have with the Lord – His presence, His grace, His salvation and His Truth. I treasure wisdom, realizing it is one of the most valuable pursuits in life. I treasure taking long walks with my husband, savoring a good book and enjoying a little bit of alone time to write.

What about you? What would be on your “Most Treasured” list?

All too often we rush through our days, without really considering what it is that makes our heart feel rich and full. I believe It’s important to consider what we treasure, because it helps us think through our priorities and what we want to pursue in life. Sometimes it is difficult to identify what we value most in life. It takes contemplation, thoughtfulness and prayer.

This week, take some time to create your list. Perhaps it will make you want to readjust some priorities or re-look at some of the reasons why you treasure what you do. Let’s not assume that everything we treasure is necessarily best for our life. Maybe there’s a few things we shouldn’t treasure so much – areas that may have gotten our lives a little out of balance.

I also want to encourage you to start a discussion this week with those who are close to you, and ask them what they treasure in life. It will allow you to enter their world and open your understanding of their heart’s desires.

Finally, let’s reflect on what Jesus said about treasures.

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:19-21

What does Jesus mean by treasures in heaven? Ponder and reflect on His words this week, and ask Him to guide you as you consider what it means to lay up true and lasting treasures.

Thrive – 25 Positive Words, Day 16

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Sometimes I hear people say, “If only I can just survive the holidays…” Well, I suggest we choose a different perspective. Let’s choose to THRIVE during the holidays, rather than simply surviving them. Yes, I know there is added stress during this time of year, but it is up to us to decide to have an attitude of love and strength, rather than defeat. We can ask God each day to direct our steps and give us the strength and wisdom we need to face the challenges of the day. We can also ask Him to love through us in a powerful way to bless others. Thrive in the power of His Spirit.

Broken Clocks, Broken People

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In our house, my husband is the one who does the decorating. I love the fact that he enjoys the hunt of finding just the right items to make our house an inviting environment for us as well as our guests. Curt loves to visit antique stores. I must admit here, before I met Curt I had never stepped foot into an antique store. Now, its become a regular routine.

Antique clocks grabbed my attention when we first started visiting old shops. Unique and beautiful, most of the rare clocks we purchased had long since stopped working. But that didn’t matter – they made lovely accents to the ambiance of our home.

There was one clock that I especially loved because of it’s classical design and features, yet this clock was old and of course, not ticking. I wanted to fix this particular clock because I had a feeling the chimes would add beautiful music to our home. I asked myself, “What do you do with a broken antique clock?” I suppose I could try to fix it myself, but I don’t have any knowledge of the inside workings of an old clock.

I tried to take it to a clock repair shop, but the repairman told me, “I’m pretty sure the only person who can fix this clock is the clock-maker himself.” Hmmm…..Since this was one really old clock, I am pretty sure the clock-maker is no longer available. Currently, the clock sits on our shelf as beautiful and silent decoration.

When it comes to fixing antique clocks, I know I’m out of my league. In my case, the only one who could repair the clock was the one who made it. Isn’t it interesting that when it comes to clocks, I recognize my limitations, but when it comes to people, I often think I can fix them. When will I realize that I can’t fix broken people, but I can lead them to the gentle touch of their Maker?

Consider who you are trying to “fix” right now in your life. It may be one of your kids, or a co-worker or your spouse. Could it be that you are not equipped to fix them? Maybe, instead of doing it yourself, you could consult the Maker and point them in His direction.

When we pray for the broken people in our lives, we begin to have a fresh perspective. And as we use our words to point people to the Lord, we give them hope beyond what we can provide. Let’s begin taking people to the Clock-maker, rather than trying to fix them on our own. God may give us the insight and tools to help them on their journey, but only God can do the greater work in their hearts.

Besides, aren’t we all broken in one way or another? Don’t we all need the Lord to do a work in our lives?

In the Pit

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Ever felt like you were in a pit? When life or emotions seem to bring us down, it is difficult to see anything but the pit in which we dwell. Interestingly, did you ever notice that there are several instances in the Bible where people were in literal pits? Think about it. Joseph was thrown in a pit by his brothers and then eventually sold into slavery. Not the Plan A Joseph had for his life. And then there’s a little known story about Benaiah who ended up in a pit with a lion. Seriously! The Bible tells us that Benaiah was a valiant warrior and performed many great exploits. The prophet Samuel recorded, “Benaiah struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion (2 Samuel 23:20).” Now that probably wasn’t on his schedule of things to do that day either.

David described God as the one who “redeems our life from the pit. Now perhaps you have felt as though your life or your day was in the pits and you could see no hope, no redemption and no way out.  I suppose that’s how pit-dweller Jeremiah felt. Jeremiah was one of God’s prophets who was thrown in a pit as a result of simply proclaiming what God told him to say. That doesn’t seem right! There he was obeying God, and he was thrown in the pit. Take a look at how low this Old Testament prophet must have felt as he wrote, “The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.”

But Jeremiah didn’t call it quits. He was able to keep his eyes on the Lord despite his circumstances. Here’s what he said after describing his situation, “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.  I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’ The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him (Lamentations 3:19-25).”

Now there’s a person who has their eyes in a positive direction!  He’s not dwelling on his dismal circumstances in the pit, instead He is dwelling on the Lords faithfulness. His sight is going beyond what he can see, and looking to the hope of what a faithful God can do.  How’s your eyesight? In one of his most fearful moments David declared, “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame (Psalm 34:5).” Oh for the faith to look past the dark clouds of despair and see the sunlight of God’s faithfulness peeking through to bring us comfort and hope! May He be your strength today.

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This is an excerpt from Positive Life Principles for Women on sale this month for $5. Click here for more info.