His power is made perfect in my weakness

II Corinthians 12: 9a

But  he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” NIV

I have many weaknesses.

Among them, I am highly susceptible to worry.

This project and this last year have taught me many things.  This verse is the perfect ending to what has been an incredible journey.

God’s grace is sufficient.

And, His power is made perfect in my weakness.

It’s only through weakness that many of us can see our true need for God.  My bet is that He designed it that way.

I’ve enjoyed this daily quest so much … I’ve learned so much … it’s a bit hard to believe that the goal of finding 365 reminders has been achieved.

So, what’s next?

Isn’t that just like us as humans?  We conquer one hill and immediately begin looking for the next one.  I’ve thought about several topics to study … new projects to tackle next.

But, for now, I think I’ll take some time to just enjoy the view from my new vantage point.

My parents live far away.  I’m blessed to be able to talk to them several times a week.  Often when I call I get to chat with both of them on the phone.  I love those calls.

But, whether my mom has been on the call or not, my father ends every call the same way.  He always says he loves me, and then he says, “God bless you and thank you for calling.”

I say the same to you today.

God bless you.

And, thank you for reading.

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I won’t worry about the rest of it

I Thessalonians 2: 19-20

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?  Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy. NIV

Paul is so clear here.

The point of our life here on earth … the accomplishment for which we should be striving … is investment in others.  We are called to share Christ’s love and His message with our fellow man.

Nothing we accomplish independently — no trophy, no title — will mean anything in the hereafter.  The glory will be in those who join us there.

To keep that eternal perspective in our world is sometimes difficult.  We get bogged down in the day-to-day, in the expectations that others have for us.

If I can remember that what’s important is what God expects of me, I won’t worry about the rest of it.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Tied up in knots …

Colossians 1:5

… the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel … NIV

Paul’s letters are filled with run-on sentences.  This one started in verse 3, and someone, wisely, chopped it up over three verses.

This phrase is so descriptive!

In my mind, I see one of those elaborate Celtic knots … the Word of Truth is inextricably bound to my Hope in Christ, from which springs faith and love.  It is impossible to tell where one of these concepts begins and another ends, and when viewed altogether they are something beautiful.

Sometimes, when I’m worried, I feel tied up in knots.  The next time that happens, I will call this image to mind.  A beautiful knot that binds me to the past and to the hope that is my future.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Open the eyes of my heart

Ephesians 1: 18-19a

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  NIV

This letter from Paul to the church at Ephesus is filled with such encouragement!

I love to read it in The Message, where verses 15-19 say, “That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus, and your outpouring of love to all the Christians, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you — every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks.  But I do more than thank.  I ask — ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory — to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him — endless energy, boundless strength.” MSG

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.  Help me to know the hope to which you have called me.  Flood me with your incomparably great power.  Help me to be intelligent and discerning.  Keep me focused on exactly what it is you are calling me to do.

That’s my prayer today.

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There’s just no time for it!

I Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love. NIV

I love this verse.

I love the parallels between these three and the Holy Trinity.

The Holy Spirit bolsters my Faith.

My Hope is in Christ, my Savior.

And God, the greatest of these, is Love.

If I am focused on loving others as I am called to do, if I’m turning myself outward and performing my role within the family of God, there is no time for worry.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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The New Me … joyful, patient, faithful.

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. NIV

Welcome to year two of this project.

I began this journey one year ago today.  February 20 was a Saturday, and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground when I sat down to start a blog.

I’d never been a blog reader, and I’m not a twenty-something.  But, it seemed intuitively to me to be the right way to catalogue what I hoped would be a year of help and hope and healing.

It has.

If I’d stayed on track with my goal to find one of the Bible’s reminder not to worry each day, I would have finished yesterday.  But, there were six days this last year when life got in the way, in one way or another, and I failed to find a reminder, or to write one down on those days.

So, instead of finishing yesterday, my plan is now to finish this coming Friday, with 365 reminders found … in one year plus a little less than one week.

Today, my word search on “hope” has brought me here to Romans.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Joyful in hope … note that it doesn’t say that hope is our last resort.  Instead, it is a joyous privilege.

Patient in affliction … Times of affliction are times of learning.  If we rush to get through them in order to stop the pain or the inconvenience, we don’t learn. For me, it seems that if I deal with affliction with impatience (or with worry), I’m likely to repeat exactly the same thing that caused my problem in the first place.  If I’m patient in affliction, such that I can get to a place of truly accepting my circumstances, God can and will open my eyes to see the world in new and different ways and to learn new things about myself and to see new ways that I can be useful to others who are in need.

Faithful in prayer … I’m called to pray without ceasing, in goods times and in bad.  It is through prayer that I can turn my worries over to God; through prayer that I can experience the peace that passes understanding; and through prayer that I can develop a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I absolutely want to be these things.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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No constraints

Romans 8: 24-25

For in this hope we were saved.  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  NIV

Hope that is seen is no hope at all.

I love that.

Hope that is seen is certainty.  Anyone can trust in what he can see or feel.

Hope is the opposite of worry.

When I’m worried, I’ve either figured out what I want, and I’m worried that it won’t happen … or, I’ve figured out all the terrible things that could happen, and I’m worried that they will.

When I hope, I put no constraints on the future.

I make my requests known to God, with thanksgiving for whatever He may choose to do.  And, when I’m hoping, my heart is thankful for all of the incredible things that He already has done for me.

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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