WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE, ANYWAY?

Here’s a good one from Lee! 

********************************

 

I was thinking about this point (hence the title above) as an end-of-year exercise and posed the question to myself: why would God even need or want to create us? Certainly, we clearly come amply bundled with a whole set of problems (sin) that God must continually deal with in each of our lives. When I look at life from my limited point of view, my first reaction would be: if I’m God, why would I even want to subject myself to the many messes we – each one of us – create for ourselves and others around us? And endure the anger and disrespect we often direct at our loving God.

As I thought more, it occurred to me that, by Themselves, the triune godhead, could be perfectly happy (emphasis on “perfect” here) with one another. As part of that godhead, Jesus knows exactly what God the Father is thinking and desiring; what will make Him happy. But even with all that perfect knowledge of one another, I kept coming around to the thought that life for our Lord might somehow be boring if each person of the Trinity knows exactly what’s going on with the others in that Trinity. I actually felt pretty ashamed that I could even consider that thought: that somehow existence could be boring for the Creator of all that is. But if God wasn’t bored, then why would He (they) go to the lengths that He (They) did?

As I pondered this thought, it occurred to me that quite probably God created first the world for us to live in, then created mankind, purely out of love. In researching this topic, I found an interesting article (www.bible.org) and it contained a wonderful thought. To quote: “In general, Scripture teaches us that God created the world and all that is in it for His own glory and because He desired to share His life with others.” I have been long aware of the first part of that quote but had never considered that latter portion of the quote. God is full of love and goodness, and can create anything imaginable. So, it appears that He set out to create all that we see and know just for us. Because He wanted to share us in on all that He has and all that He can do, and, even more importantly, share us in on HIM!

Many wise philosophers have spent centuries considering this question: why are we here? And countless volumes have been written on the subject. Consider the works of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, and Immanuel Kant, for instance. One web site I came across in researching this topic posed the question along these lines: “Our presence in the universe is something too bizarre for words. The mundaneness of our daily lives causes us to take our existence for granted—but every once in a while we’re cajoled out of that complacency and enter into a profound state of existential awareness, and we ask: why is there all this stuff in the universe, and why is it governed by such exquisitely precise laws? And why should anything exist at all?”

Maybe the answer is just this simple: we’re here because God loved us and wanted us to be able to be with and enjoy Him. All the riches and pleasure that we so enjoy just comes with the package, but the real treasure to be found is God Himself. It seems more than plausible that God did this creation thing (including creating us) purely out of love. I don’t know about you, but that answer is infinitely more appealing (and sensible) to me than one that says all this happened “by chance and the passage of billions of years.” To me, the latter sounds more like an off-the-cuff copout rather than the stuff of serious thought and meaningful, soulful consideration of the reality all around us.

Lee Pierce

 

THE POWER OF A MOMENT…

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.   Wow!  I can’t believe another year has passed.  The older I get, the faster time seems to fly.  I remember thinking in my late teens that I would never live to see thirty-five…and here I am thirty years over that!

I wanted to share the words of the following song with all of you, so I have written them out.  The song is by Chris Rice.  I heard this song years ago, but it has continued to haunt me.  It has such poignant lyrics and asks the questions about the things that really matter.  Take a look…it will make you view the importance of time in a new light!-anita

*********************************

The Power of a Moment

What am I gonna be when I grow up?
How am I gonna make my mark in history?
And what are they gonna write about me when I’m gone?
These are the questions that shape the way I think about what matters
But I have no guarantee of my next heartbeat
And my world’s too big to make a name for myself
And what if no one wants to read about me when I’m gone?
Seems to me that right now’s the only moment that matters

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of a moment
In Your kingdom where the least is greatest
The weak are given strength and fools confound the wise

And forever brushes up against a moment’s time
Leaving impressions and drawing me into what really matters
You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of a moment

I get so distracted by my bigger schemes
Show me the importance of the simple things
Like a word, a seed, a thorn, a nail
And a cup of cold water

You know the number of my days
So come paint Your pictures on the canvas in my head
And come write Your wisdom on my heart
And teach me the power of a moment
The power of a moment, the power of, the power of, the power of a moment. –Chris Rice

We need to take these words to heart and heed their advice, for no one can recall time…there is no rewind button.  Once a moment has passed, it is gone forever.

This New year, let’s all live in the moment and remember the importance of the simple things!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

Anita

SIDE-TRACKED VS. DERAILED

“In ALL your ways acknowledge HIM, and He will direct your paths.” -Proverbs 3:6

*********************

I have a plaque with the above verse etched in it.  I put it in a place…right in front of my easy  chair so that I will see it every day, and hopefully obey the wise advice and counsel given in those words.

For the last few days now, I’ve been thinking about my life.  Maybe it has something to do with the New Year approaching…new resolutions to make, and just thinking about changes I need to be making in my life.

I’ve often heard it said that this life we live is like being on a train.  We are hopefully always moving forward…however, regretfully, I’ve found myself moving backwards many times.  On this train of life, there are various stops.  We can get off and stay for a while…or even a lifetime; or we can get back on the train and move forward.  Some of us choose to be “stuck” in a certain location; while others of us don’t like where we are and we choose to get back on the train to find a better place.

During this time of soul-searching, two words have come to mind.  If life is like a train…then it is possible to get ‘side-tracked’, or even ‘derailed.’  I KNOW this from experience.  I pretty much get side-tracked every day!  Instead of going to God in prayer first thing in the morning, I reach for my ‘to-do list.’  And, sadly…God and His plan for me isn’t on that list anywhere!

I wake up to a new day and I’m headed in the right direction, but somewhere along the way, I take a detour.  Barreling down the track, doing things “MY” way, I never ask God which way to go.  I take the path that looks right to me, and find myself side-tracked!

When I look at things in my past, I know for certain, I’ve been derailed quite a few times!  I’ve run off my rails, and caused a temporary disruption of proper operation for my life.  I have put myself in a potentially serious hazardous position.

How did this happen?  Why did I get derailed?  Because I had a head-on collision with something that was NOT sent by God.

For me, it is usually an issue of rebellion.   I don’t know why I’m so stubborn and self-willed, but I can tell you…it has gotten me into more trouble than I care to remember! 

Am I proud of this?  Hardly!  Those times are when I have made my biggest mistakes causing my worst regrets in life!

So…why am I bearing my soul, and confessing my failures to you this morning?

Because I have learned from experience…there is a better way!  God’s way!  If we call on Him…seek His face in all that we do, life is much easier!

He DOES have a plan for all of us!

He controls the seasons.  He controls the cosmos.  I’m sure he can control my life…give it order…give it meaning!  But I have to allow Him to take control!

I urge you…I urge myself, to ask Him what He has for us today, and then follow His leading.  Let’s let Him direct our path.  Then and only then will we live without regret!

Anita

‘TWAS THE MORNING AFTER CHRISTMAS…

The following poem was written yesterday as I found myself still cleaning up from Christmas Eve!  My son, Joe, keeps reciting, ” ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas”, so I found it easy to write about the morning…and days after that wonderful holiday.

I’m sure all the mom’s out there can identify!  Enjoy!-anita

*****************

‘Twas the morning after Christmas

When all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring

Dog… cat…or mouse!

 

Well…except for me, of course; I’m mom!

 

The house was a mess!

Paper…ribbon…and bows,

Cluttered the floor,

And got stuck in my toes.

Half-filled glasses of Eggnog,

Paper plates…napkins too,

Littered the counter,

Making me quite “blue!”

But then I thought of the smiles

On each happy face;

And the mess in the house

became a magical place!

As I wadded through piles

Of “stuff, ” here and there,

I remembered the love

That everyone shared!

Then I thought of “THE GIFT

God sent long ago…

Wrapped up in a manger

Found in stable so low.

I fell to my knees

To thank God above,

For that first Christmas night…

When He sent ALL His love!

I remembered a time

When I, myself was a mess,

But Jesus, in mercy,

Forgave…and did bless!

He cleaned me up,

As He hummed, all the while;

And when He was done…He gave a big smile!

I looked at the mess

Through different eyes now.

I made a promise…right then,

Before God, I did vow;

To clean up the “mess”

Made by family and friends,

And always thank God for them

When each day ends!

For they brighten my world

With the memories they leave

Every Christmas that passes…

And each Christmas Eve!

As I went to work,

I Thought to myself…

To have that kind of love

Is the best kind of wealth!

To be blessed with love

Is all one can ask…

So I hummed, and I smiled

As I went to my task!

 

By:  Anita Mondragon  -December 2016

 

HE CAN BE “CLEARLY SEEN…”

Everyone knows there is a God. The evidence is all around us. In fact, the Creator designed the universe so that His many invisible attributes would be “clearly seen” in the things He made, so that we are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

************************

I woke up this morning thinking about the above verse.  Let me explain “Why.”

A few days ago, on December 17,  my husband blogged a post entitled, “God’s Presence.”  In it, he was talking about the “Christmas Flower” …the Amaryllis, that was blooming in our dinning room.  He took a photo of this amazing flower, and added it to the post.  Below is part of that blog.

“As I looked at the flower, I was impressed that the entire flower resembled a cross! If you look at the attached photo you will see what I mean! After the initial impression, I heard the voice (God) say, “look closer”, ” there are two full blooms and one in the center yet to come”. I was reminded in the Spirit that the Son and Holy Spirit have already come, but the Main bloom, the Father, has yet to make His full presence known! The beauty of the first two have manifested. We should all relish and glory in that at this time, but the full bloom and splendor of the God Head is yet to come! Rejoice and be glad for that time is soon!”

****************

As the days passed, the flowers began to die.  I reluctantly removed them from the stalk to give the remaining flowers the water and nutrients needed to survive.

When the flower in the middle died…it truly reminded me of Jesus’ death on the cross.   The middle flower hung it’s head…and was gone, while the two on the side looked like out-stretched arms.

I decided to remove the dead flower, and save it.  I do that a lot with the flowers from my sons and my husband, because they mean so much to me;  I want to keep them forever!   I usually let them dry, then put them in a vase to save them that way…but with this one, I chose to “press” it in a book.

As I lay the flower between the fly-leaf of my book, I saw something that truly fascinated me!  …The edge of the petals were “bleeding” red on the page!

God has most definitely shown us through His Creation, that He exists, and reminds us of His love for us on a daily basis!  If you have any doubts, look at the sunrise tomorrow morning…or the sunset this evening.  Watch the wonder of a child being born…or better yet, watch the video on YouTube of a fetus in the womb from 0-9 months!  AMAZING!  ONLY GOD could do such a marvelous thing!!

The following is a quote from –

The Creator Clearly Seen

by Jud Davis on July 1, 2008

God reveals Himself in two ways. One is through the special revelation of the Bible. Through the Bible God spells out the path to salvation….  God also communicates through the “general” revelation of creation. While it does not replace the saving truths that mankind must learn in the Bible, creation clearly teaches all men and women that God exists and that certain things are true about Him.

***********************

All I can say is, “Thank You Lord for revealing Yourself to us everyday!”  YOU truly are an Awesome God!

Anita

 

WHY PRAY?

I remember when I was in my late teens, we attended a church that had a huge banner hanging outside.  The banner read, “WHY PRAY…WHEN YOU CAN WORRY?”

Even though I was young…that has stuck in my mind all of these years; so, today, when I drew the following promise, I was reminded of that banner.

“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” -Luke 18:1

Here is the poem that accompanied the verse…

Faint yet pursuing we go on our way,

The Lord is our Leader, His Word is our stay. -Author Unknown

 

So there you go…if you’re ever wondering ‘Why’ you should pray, the above verse tells us to pray so we will not faint (feel discouraged, despair…or worry!)

Prayer…putting things into God’s hands, takes less time and effort than worrying.  Worry won’t change a thing…but prayer will!  Remember… the next time you feel desperate- fall to your knees and give your problem to the Lord.  He WILL fix everything!

Our motto should be…

WHY WORRY WHEN YOU CAN PRAY?

Anita

MARY’S LITTLE LAMB…

I’ve blogged the following before…so, forgive me for blogging it again today.  I am always reminded of the verse in John 1:29 that says this:

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

That Lamb…Mary’s little Lamb, is Jesus!

One day, I was watching my grand-daughter, Audrey.  She came to me in the kitchen, and tugged on my dress…”Grandma…will you read me some nursery rhymes?”  I told her to go get the book; she crawled up in my lap and I began to read:  “Mary had a little lamb…”  At that very moment, God’s voice  was almost audible, as I heard Him say to me… “Yes…she did, and HE was the Son of God!”  After she left, Jesus and I sat down and wrote this poem together.  Hope you enjoy, and A Very Merry Christmas to you all!-anita

***************

Mary had a little lamb.

He was the Son of God.fullsizerender-1

That Christmas night He came to earth,

The angels did applaud!

They KNEW He would for sin atone,

And die upon a tree…

And by His blood, WASH all men clean,

And set their spirits free!

A light shined bright outside the door,

Where naught but darkness was before;

To light the way…to show the path

Of incarnate love, that would quell God’s wrath.

In stable low, while shepherds watched,

And cattle were a lowing…

The King, lay sleeping in the hay

Even though a child, yet knowing;

His PURPOSE for mankind was clear…

It was the REASON He appeared!

He went from sitting on a throne,

To lying in a manger.

From being worshipped and adored…

To being but a stranger.

From hearing angel voices singing,

Holy!  Holy!  Holy!

To hearing sounds of sheep and cattle,

In this stable, lowly.

From eyes of adoration

From redeemed, in eons past…

To shepherds, staring on in awe…

Bewildered…amazed…aghast!

From having Heaven as His domain…

To finding no place at the Inn.

Long before that night, He’d flung the stars,

And put them in their place;

Now, from that lowly bed of straw…

He gazed into his mother’s face.

When they looked down…

They saw a babe, lying in the hay;

When He looked up,

He saw a race, lost…and gone astray!

They saw Him helpless…meek and mild;

He saw them lost…undone…defiled.

They saw the manger where he lay.

He saw the CROSS…crucifixion day!

They gave thanks for the fruit of the womb…

He praised God, for the empty tomb!

They were excited to tell the story…

He was content to give God ALL the glory!

Yes!  Mary had a Little Lamb

Born on Christmas day;

The Sacrificial Lamb of GOD…

The Truth, The Life, The way!

From Heaven’s glory, to manger low…

Finally, dying on the cross…

He came that night for ONE reason only…

To SEEK, and to SAVE that which is lost!

ARE YOU LOST?

Then, He’s seeking for YOU!

But the question is:

What will you do,

With this wonderful gift,

Sent from God’s own hand…

With this little babe…

Mary’s Little Lamb?

By:  Anita Mondragon  December 2007

 

THE BIRTH OF JESUS

Luke 2:1-20King James Version (KJV)

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

***************************

This is what we should do if we KNOW the Lord Jesus as our Savior!  Glorify Him…Praise Him…and tell everyone we see what He has done for us!

Be blessed this Christmas!

Love you all,

Anita

HE’S GOOD!!

This morning, I drew this promise.  It reminded me of a lot of things in my past.

“I will bless the Lord at all times:  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” -Psalm 34:1

I remember a time when I was about four years old.  We lived in Oklahoma, and attended a predominately African-American church.  There was an old gentleman that would get up and pray.  He always started his prayers out by saying, “I just wanna thank ya Jesus for waking me up this morning…”

That is something that if I live to be a hundred years old, I will NEVER forget.  Sometimes we forget that it IS God Almighty that wakes us up in the morning…and protects us all day long!

In my much later years, we (my husband and I) once again attended an African-American church.  We used to sing a song there that I’m sure was based on the above Scripture.  It went like this:

“I will bless the Lord at all times…for He’s good….  He’s good…He’s good…SO good!  So I will bless the Lord at ALL times…for He’s good!”

Not sure who wrote that song…but it always blessed my heart, and reminded me of the old gentleman who thanked God for waking him up!

Let’s bless the Lord at ALL times…for HE IS GOOD!

Anita

TRUTH…

I was looking at one of my inherited books this morning –The great Quotations, “…a collection of man’s best thinking…” from the Introduction by  J. Donald Adams and compiled by George Seldes.  I turned to the section where all of the “truth” quotes were, and ran across the following by William James

“The ultimate test of what a truth means is the conduct it dictates or inspires.” – William James

Upon reading this, I was reminded of a quote by Jesus Christ.  He said this…

“I am The Way, I am The Truth, I am the Life.  No one comes to the Father (Heaven)  except through Me.” – John 14:6

Now, think about the quote by William James, then look back over the ages of recorded history; you’ll be surprised at what you see!  Jesus’ conduct dictated and inspired many things!

Jesus said…”Love your enemies…pray for them…”  HE brought Peace!

Jesus gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, and our very laws come from those commandments.  HE brought Order!

Jesus has inspired scores of people to construct orphanages, homes to house the homeless, soup kitchens, food banks, churches …places of refuge for those in need.  HE brought Compassion!

Jesus died, over two thousand years ago…for the sins of the world.  HE brought Forgiveness, and Salvation!

That’s the kind of TRUTH I want to follow!

Because of the Love HE has shown me, while I was yet a sinner…HIS forgiveness has dictated a change in my life and inspired me to tell others of HIS marvelous grace to all who will believe!  I am so thankful that God opened my eyes to The TRUTH…Jesus!

Anita