I’ll Meet You on the Other Side

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The day you died,
I was broken inside
My face left stained with tears

But deep down I know
God needed you at Home
much more than I did here

One day soon
He’ll call me too
Heaven’s gates will open wide

When the race has been won,
and the work on earth, done,
I’ll meet you on the other side.

~Amanda N. Sams

In loving memory of Floyd Edward Chapel (Papa)
January 9, 1944-August 5, 2010
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“This, Too?”

Blessings “The power of gratitude is breathtaking and centering. It is along the lines of nuclear power. It makes our lives richer and fuller and freer. And it is a direct link to the goodness of God, which is an unending source of power and hope and faith.”
~Nancy Ortberg, Looking for God

Too often I think the attitude we have about the way the Lord blesses us goes something like, “Thanks for blessing me with…. but…” or “I’m really glad that You gave me this, or helped me through that, but what I really wanted was…” We pray for things that seem to be a big deal, but completely miss something even bigger when we’re upset that the Lord didn’t answer our specific prayers.

I recently finished reading “Looking for God” by Nancy Ortberg (It’s fantastic, definitely a recommended read!) and the title of her second chapter is “This, Too?” as I read I began to realize that those two simple words need to be precisely how we look at each blessing the Lord places in our lives. I won’t get into explaining the context of how the phrase was used in the chapter, it would take a long time, but it shook me. We should be overwhelmed and overjoyed each time God blesses us. Whether it be something huge and completely life changing, or something as simple as seeing a smiling face when we’re feeling down.

Here’s the thing, if we go through life constantly expecting more and more from God, there WILL be disappointment. There’s a reason you didn’t get that promotion at work, or you didn’t win the lottery, maybe someone else is dating the person you thought you were meant to marry. There’s a good reason, God has something better planned for you! I have to be honest here, I’ve occasionally found myself looking at the blessings of people around me and having thoughts like “Why did the Lord give that to her? She hasn’t even been a Christian as long as I have.” Or “I’ve prayed and obeyed God and waited for what seems like forever for that, why did they get it so easily?” I’m sure it’s not just me that finds myself scolding myself quickly after I let those thoughts dance through my brain.

Can I tell you something? Yours is coming. The Lord doesn’t play favorites, and even if He doesn’t give you exactly what you want or think you absolutely HAVE to have, He still loves you. Bunches and bunches! He has a plan and a purpose for each blessing He places in your life, trust Him and His perfect timing.

From now on, no matter the size or relative importance of each blessing the Lord places in my life, my response is going to be “This, too? Thank you Lord for blessing me more than I deserve!” (And remember, as hard as it may be to accept or admit, most of the time life’s rough patches are blessings in disguise and opportunities to grow spiritually and pull closer to the Lord.)

“So whether we’re looking out of an airplane window, or into the faces of people we encounter everyday, whether we’re on the job or in our kitchens, whether we’re reading a book or paying bills, if we just look, we will see things that cause our hearts to well with gratitude. God created the world, and it reflects His nature. Because of that, we can see Him everywhere. And everywhere we see goodness, we see God. The only thing we have to do is connect the dots.”

~Nancy Ortberg, Looking for God

I am Blessed

God with Us

Christmas Star

An angel came to bring good news

To a virgin girl named Mary,

“Don’t be afraid, you’ve found favor with God,

A baby boy, His son, He’s chosen you to carry.”

 

His name shall be called Jesus,

Emmanuel, God with us,

King of kings, Lord of lords,

In Him we’ll place our trust.

 

Mary and Joseph had a long journey ahead,

The Inn had no room for them to stay,

So Mary gave birth in a stable

And laid Him in a manger filled with hay.

 

The news spread fast through all the land

Of Christ our Savior’s birth

Sent to earth to cleanse our sins,

To give our lives great worth.

 

A single star that lead the way,

Three Wise Men to their King,

A baby boy, His manger bed,

Such joy His birth did bring.

 

A gift to us from God above,

Our Savior born that night,

A virgin birth, the Son of God,

The King of love and light.

 

~Amanda N. Sams

December 16, 2013

Innkeeper

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God.36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)