Brotherly Blessings

Brotherly Blessings

This weekend my glimpse of God came from an unexpected source: my brother.

I was tasked with the responsibility of house/pet sitting for my family while they were away for a few days. This weekend also happened to be one where an ice storm was to hit the area, forcing us southerners to run for the bread and milk and batten down the hatches.

My brother, anticipating that I would not want to be alone, had his bags packed. He helped me take care of our four cats and he turned out to be the best company when it comes to simply chilling out. He could have been having fun in the snow with his college buddies, but instead, he chose to be cooped up in the house with his little sister.

As I observed his selflessness, I also noticed just how much God has worked in and through his life. I can see just how much he has changed over the years and how God has made him into a spiritual leader.

Spending quality time with him this weekend showed me that he has become not only a blessing, but an inspiration to me, and I can only pray that the girl who has the privilege of marrying him will look at him the same way.

God Bless!

-LJM

When You Stare at Stones Walls

When You Stare at Stones Walls

The other day I was sitting in our university’s quaint little prayer chapel. I sat on the kneeling bench and faced the wall like I normally do and just listened to the waters splashing down from the fountains behind me.

I studied the stones and the maze of cracks picturing the people who may have been involved in spreading the mortar and laying each stone exactly where it needed to be. Even though I have stared at these same stone walls a million times before, I feel like God brought a simple truth to mind.

The stones were all in the same family because they had to be in order to make the wall look right. But each stone was different in size and though the stones were composed of the same variety of colors, no stone looked the same. Together the stones make a beautiful wall that has so much more character than a uniformed brick wall.

It reminded me of the kingdom of God. According to God, we’re all in the same family, and we are building the kingdom  with everything that we say and do for the glory of God. Not one of us is the same. Some have been given much, others have been given  little, but both are used for God’s purpose.

God has created us all to be different from one another, but we share the common goal of walking with Christ and serving His purposes on earth so that one day we can all be together in the kingdom.

God bless!

-LJM

Netflix Red and Monday Blues

Netflix Red and Monday Blues

We all know that feeling we get on a Friday night. Half of us want to go out and party while the other half wants to spend the entire weekend in sweatpants, drinking coffee, and binge watching our favorite shows on Netflix.

What doesn’t sound perfect about that? I know how it feels after a long week of classes to want to crash and enjoy doing nothing for a couple of days.

But we also know the feeling that follows: the Monday blues. The anxiety that comes Sunday night when you realize you haven’t started your homework due the next day or the fact that you have to wake up before 10AM.

So why does our heart sink with dread and our shoulders slump with weariness come Monday morning? Even after our weekend of bumming around or having fun?

I’ve come to share with you a better way to spend your weekend, one that will leave you rejuvenated and confident to face the coming week. God knows how hard we work, how much we study, and how taxing every day life can be. In advance, He gave us a special day. A day where He commanded us to stop what we are doing and rest just as He did.

That day is the 7th day called the Sabbath.

Our loving God ordained this holy day for many reasons one of which is because He knew we needed it. It is a wonderful day to be still, to rest, and to fill ourselves with His spirit, His word, and His love.

In my spiritual journey, I’ve continually noticed that when I’m chilling out watching movies, playing video games, or staying on the computer, I’m doing things I think will relax me. Society has taught me that I can spend my time doing useless pastimes and that will make for the perfect, unwinding weekend.

Unfortunately I’ve learned that those activities leave me feeling empty and lazy as I distance myself from God for the two hours that I could be drawing close into His beautiful presence.

So when next Saturday rolls around, take that cup of coffee and open your Bible, your journal, and/or your devotions and let the Father pour His spirit into your weak and tired body. Enter into His peace that surpasses all understanding and rest in Him. “Be still and know that He is God.” I guarantee that when Monday rolls around, you will feel renewed and filled, ready to take on another week that God has planned for you.

God bless!

-LJM

Psalm 46:10, Proverbs 21:25, Isaiah 58:13,14

 

Colorful Promises

Colorful Promises

Yesterday was cold and rainy and honestly, it felt like pneumonia was in the air. I drove home in the rain, tensing my grip on the steering wheel with each puddle I hit. I was relieved to arrive at the comfort of my home, awaiting a hot dinner and two playful kittens to cuddle.

Before dinner Mom kept leaving the stove to look for one of our kittens. Ringing cat toys and clanking food dishes failed to fetch the attention of the curious feline and Mom and I started to get nervous that he may have gotten stuck somewhere.

Out of desperation, Mom decided to look out the front door, and to her amazement, a double rainbow shone in the sky. We could see the rainbows from end to end and the first one was the brightest and most vibrant rainbow I’ve ever seen.

As we took pictures, I was reminded of the glory and the beauty of God. The sight also made me think of the first rainbow in the Bible after Noah’s flood and how it was a manifestation of God’s promise. If we had gone out there a few minutes later or not at all, we would have missed the simple blessing.

I believe God wanted to remind us of his promises and his faithfulness through those rainbows because as soon as we turned to go back inside, our kitten was waiting for us at the door.

God Bless!

-LJM

Wanted Weakness

A couple of weeks ago my ankle gave out for the millionth time. The pain was enough that I couldn’t simply walk it off, but the damage didn’t require crutches either. Having my body betray me can be so frustrating, but this time around, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness.

If one part of the body isn’t working well, the rest of the body is strained and going about every day activities becomes more difficult than normal. That is why our bodies needed such a detailed and perfect design that only God could have created. Our body, His temple, needs to work as perfectly as possible, because if one part of the temple is off, the rest of it is off as well.

I didn’t ask for weak ankles, nor do I appreciate the pain that comes with having them. But even when I’m laid out on the couch with an ice-pack on my foot, I am reminded that God reveals His strength in our weaknesses. I am also thankful for His sweet healing and I don’t take my body for granted because it only stays together because of God.

God bless!

-LJM

2 Corinthians 12:10

Crossing Paths

There’s a street that I drive down to get to work and there is an elementary school nearby. During the day, a crossing guard stands at the nearest traffic light and with every car that passes by from any direction she smiles real big and waves. No matter how many cars drive past, she makes sure she is waving at all of them.

As I’ve observed this pleasant crossing guard, I find myself looking forward to driving by her so that I can return the wave. Her kindness towards everyday people passing by is such a simple gesture, but it brightened my day and reminded me about the little things in life that make an impact. She could be bored to tears, staring at her phone, or simply stand there, but she chooses to be a ray of sunshine to a bunch of strangers.

That is how we shine the light of God in our everyday life. We do the little things like smiling, opening doors for others, asking how are you, and all of this can be apart of the fruit we bear as children of God.

LJM