Tag Archives: blessings

Secure your Gifts

Why is it so tempting to look at the number of days lost to sin and shortcoming when in fact the quality of life gained through salvation is much greater than that lost by sin? So much of my life is spent counting the number of years lost to mistakes, when I have gained the generous gift of eternal life. Why does my mind reel around the possibilities of yesterday instead of enjoying the present?

I believe God created me to be a critical thinker. It helps me on my everday work. He must have thought, “Chelsea will be good at solving problems and paying close attention to detail.” Unfortunately Satan looks at this gift from God as an opportunity to infect my mind with the kind of critical thinking that is critical of me, and in turn, critical of others.

Well, today I put my foot down. Satan will no longer use what was made for good to destroy me. God made me in his image, and though I fail, he made me new. I was born again, and guess what, in his image! Satan cannot change that. Yes, I make mistakes, but God has already washed me clean.

From now on I will give my thinking to God, that it may be used to solve problems, not make them.

What God-given gift is Satan trying to rob you of? Examine your life. Is he turning a blessing into a mess? If he is, give it back to God, and declare that it was never a curse but a blessing.

A friend of mine is very talented in the field of business. Satan robbed him of this gift by planting seeds of greed in him. Satan lied to him, telling him he would make more money of he sold drugs. Another friend with the same talent accepted the lie from Satan that he could double his money by gambling. Each of these friends remain trapped in sin because they believed this lie.

Don’t let yourself believe that your gift was meant for sin. God will use your gifts to make you prosper eternally. You may not be the most financially secure, but you will be secure in your salvation.

Too Blessed to be Stressed

When asked on his 90th birthday how he stays so youthful, he replied, “Too blessed to be stressed!” Walking down the hall, he announced, “I’m too blessed to be stressed!” Talking to patients, he explains, “You’re too blessed to be stressed.” I’ve never seen a man smile so much, and continue, with persistence, to proclaim his gratitude to God.

I met him at my workplace, a Bay Area cancer center, where an organization called Phil’s Friends visited to distribute care packages to the patients. This lovely, young man of 90 years came along with his granddaughter to help distribute the packages. As we were getting ready to distribute them we piled into a small meeting room to stage everything and to open with a prayer and a few handshakes. What we didn’t expect to get was a beautiful gospel song sung by our new 90-year-old friend, a former preacher and gospel singer/songwriter.

Phil’s Friends distributed many care packages at the cancer center today, but I think the most important thing they delivered was the gift of hope through their conversations, their smiles, and even a few gospel hymns. As I peaked into one woman’s room after her visit from Phil’s Friends, I saw a peace that passes understanding settling into a restful and joyful smile as if all her worry had been washed away. She had been reminded that she was blessed.

If we never stop proclaiming that we are “too blessed to be stressed” as if it is the very breath that brings us life, we don’t give the enemy the opportunity to steal our joy. And when we are not strong enough to proclaim it, may we be surrounded by friends that remind us of our blessings even in our weakest moments. We will not all live to be 90, but we can keep reminding ourselves that we are favored every moment until our last breath.

There are many ways you can give hope to others. Start by speaking hope into the lives of your friends and family. Soon you will find, not only are you too blessed to be stressed, you are also too blessed not to share it with the grocery store cashier, your coworkers, the world.

When Mercies are Blessings Trust and Obey

Laura Story sings the song “Blessings”, which poses the question, what if the trials of this life are God’s mercies and blessings in disguise? I often challenge myself to ponder this very question when things don’t go my way. I’ve seen it time and time again that an inconvenience turns out to be God’s mercies at work.

For instance, this week my computer came down with a virus, and 40 malwares later I was pacing, scratching my head, panicking about what to do to fix it. After all, I don’t have the money for a new computer! Later that night, after panicking for hours, I realized I could just take the computer to my friend who works in IT. The next day I trotted down to his shop, and he fixed it at a fraction of the cost of what most places would charge. I felt a weight was taken off my back, but little did I know that the weight I was carrying was not nearly the weight I would have been carrying a week later. When I retrieved my computer from the friendly and intelligent hands that repaired it, I heard from him that the computer would have “stopped working” within a week. For some reason the drive I was saving to was only one sixth of the space on the computer, but the computer would have thought it was full and stopped working without notice. Wow, my prayer the night before and the morning I took my computer in had worked. I had told God that if my blog was something that served him, and he wanted me to continue, He would make a way for it to be repaired within my budget. Not only had he done that, but he had spared me the even bigger headache of my computer completely breaking down.

Yesterday I was on my way to a town about 25 miles away to meet an old friend. Stuck in traffic I decided to stop at the fabric store on the way. I pulled over to text my friend, “Are you still going tonight?” When she replied I was relieved because she said she had forgotten and was already at the Raiders game. With a deep sigh of relief I continued to the fabric store. I pulled into the parking lot and texted her back, “I’m kind of relieved. The traffic is horrible and it’s pouring down rain.” As I looked up from the text the rain had stopped. If it hadn’t slowed me down I would have just driven all the way there only to find out that my friend had forgotten. Instead I was spared the drive and the frustration of a last minute cancellation, and I was able to get the fabric I needed to finish Mark’s Christmas present.

It all reminds me of a sermon I was listening to by Pastor Tom when he spoke at my church a few weeks back. The title, Trust and Obey. There is no obedience without trust, and disobedience is trying to do things by our own will. When I panic and try to fix the computer on my own, I am not trusting God to do His work. I am only making the problem worse, plus I am telling God that I don’t need Him when I’m in trouble. When I push to go faster in slow traffic in the rain because I have my own agenda, I am telling God that His plan isn’t good enough. Try to listen for that still small voice. The more you get to know him, the louder His voice will get, and soon you will find yourself having morning coffee with Jesus right across from you.

Blessings in Disguise

Have you ever looked at a landscape and thought “God paints the most beautiful pictures”? During the week of Christmas my parents and I went on a beautiful hike at Upper Bidwell Park in Chico, California. The landscape is gorgeous with oak trees sprinkled over rolling foothills and rocky ridges. We hiked from the base of an incline along Big Chico Creek. When we reached as far as we could go for the day and looked out across the creek to the climbing rocky ridges my mom exclaimed, “God paints the most beautiful pictures.” Looking down at my feet I noticed the dark, almost black rock winding down to the creek, lumpy and bumpy like bubbles in the rock. Looking to the northeast I saw Mt. Lassen in the distance. I knew this rock was volcanic. I turned to my mom and said, “They probably didn’t think that when the volcano was actually spewing lava and ash where we stand.” Image

It’s true. We go through life completely unaware of God’s plan, and when something doesn’t go our way we often think that God must have screwed up. What kind of God would send lava and ash spewing at me?!? The kind of God that knows exactly what he is doing is the kind of God that allows us to wrestle with our day-to-day struggles. In the moment we don’t see what good will come out of it, but I heard it said “Life only makes since in rewind.” If you don’t skip to the end of the novel everything leading up to the final chapter seems to be incomprehensible, unpredictable, sometimes happy yet sometimes unbearably painful. Since we will never know how each of our lives will end we must trust in the God that paints beautiful pictures.

Next time you are in a season of trials, frustrations, and disappointments reflect on God’s character and his faithfulness to see you through past trials. And lastly, take a look at a beautiful landscape, and know that in the end your life will make perfect sense like the lumpy, bumpy beauty of the rock at Upper Bidwell Park.