I Have A Choice

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My pastor’s sermon this past Sunday was centered on living life joyously.  A well-planned and appropriate topic as we enter into our holiday months which features thanksgiving, joy, peace, and love.  Normally I am right there with his sentiment, but I am falling short this time.

Generally, I am the glass is half full kind of gal.  I always look for the positive in any circumstance.  But recently, I feel like the cheerleader in me is sitting on the sidelines with a big pouty face, and no rah-rah left in her.  So starts the pity party.

I know, first world problems, right?

I am truly blessed.  I have a beautiful family, my health, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly (maybe a little too much).  So what is wrong with me?

I need a little perspective adjustment and to CHOOSE my attitude.  It is all about choices for me.

When I am melancholy (and we all experience it at one time or another) I have to face the fact I am not in a right state of mind and need to focus on finding my way back to appreciating my blessed life.  How do I do this?

PRAY-I don’t always feel like doing this, but it is a must.  It helps me re-center, recognize and find my joy.  I am able to lay down my blues and woes to Jesus and leave them at His feet.  I can release the sadness and worries and lighten my load.  It may not be overnight, but I eventually fill up with His truth and am reminded I am adored.

READ-Another choice I make is to read the bible.  It is full of stories of how others who have experienced similar circumstances chose God and walked with Him, regardless of the outcome.  Life is not perfect and the bible is full of examples of poor choices, forgiveness, redemption, and fulfillment.  God’s mercy and grace gives me the ability to acknowledge I have a pretty awesome life and should be thankful and humble about my reality.

ACT-A third choice for me is helping others in need.  Volunteering is a way for me to provide compassion and concern for another person and demonstrate God’s love for all of His people.  When I can feed the homeless, take supplies to hurricane victims, and pray for the sick and grief-stricken, I am reminded how wonderful is my situation and how I need to give back to the less fortunate.

Bottom line is I have a choice in my perspective and attitude and know what I need to do to keep myself positive and uplifted.  Guess what?  I am feeling more positive now after reminding myself of what I need to do in order for my desired outcome.  If you find yourself sometimes feeling the same way, give it over to God and see what He can do for you.  I would love to hear any suggestions which help you change a downer day into a grandiose celebration.  Please leave a comment below.  Blessings!

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. Romans 12:11-12

 

*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

We All Bleed Red

We All Bleed Red

I love my dogs. Between the two of them, they weigh about one hundred and thirty-five pounds.  For some reason, they think they are small creatures who love to get underfoot.  I have repeatedly yelled out their names as I trip over a body and crash to the floor.  And there they are, licking my face and forgiving me for hurting them in my uncoordinated fall and words of anger.

I can’t think of any creature on earth who demonstrates such unconditional love.  Our dogs do not care about a person’s gender, color, religion, or creed.  All they know is when they come in contact with a human being; they wag their tails discovering a new best friend.  As a human race, we can learn a lot from man’s best friend about how to treat one another.

God made us unique and diverse.  How boring would mankind be if we all looked, talked, thought, and acted alike?  I think the enemy wants to use our differences to divide us, from each other and God. Why can’t we embrace our differences and find common ground?   We all look vastly different on the outside, but if you opened us up, you would see we all bleed red.

We all share similar behaviors and traits known as a commonality.  First, we all sin.  Whether you believe in God or not, sin is part of our world, and we all partake in our fair share.   Second, we all have a family. It may not be a traditional family, but it is our inner circle where we can let our guard down and share, confide, laugh, and cry. Lastly, we have physical, mental, and spiritual needs.

My heart is so saddened by the polarizing of groups in our country.  Whether it is political, racial, or social commentary, I wonder what I can do to make a difference.  I have prayed about this and God has revealed three actions for me to focus my attention.

Change-There will always be those who I disagree with on a variety of topics.  It is not for me to change them to think as I do; I need to change.  I need to recognize our differences and respect those who don’t see the world as I do. I need to recognize we are all children of God and to accept and extend grace to those who do not concur with my beliefs.  A perfect example is the use of social media.  I try and screen carefully items I would put out there in internet land and resist from responding publicly to friends or family who state thoughts which are different from mine.   I need to treat others and their opinions with respect as I would like to be treated when expressing my views.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”-Psalm 139:23-24*

Cherish-I need to be thankful for my life and the people who are in it.  Life is too short to be mad and waste time on petty issues.  There are family members and friends who I need to reach out, forgive, and extend the olive branch.  It will not be easy, and it may not go according to my plan, but I know God would want me to make an attempt and try and bridge the chasms created by anger and pride.  I know there can be toxic relationships and I find myself praying for guidance and direction from Him.  If God nudges me to focus on mending the damage, then I know this is a relationship I need to embrace and nurture.   “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”-Colossians 3:13*

Challenge-God has asked me to step out of my comfort zone and volunteer and minister to those who are not like me.  Feeding the homeless has been a wake-up call to me and how I viewed people.  It was easy to sit in my comfortable air-conditioned house with a belly full of food and pass judgment on those who lived on the streets.  In my mind, they were addicts who threw it all away to get their next fix.  My opinions have changed drastically since feeding the homeless and learning about them as individuals.  Yes, there is addiction and mental illness, but they are people, who have stories, and want to be heard.  They are so appreciative of the meals we bring, along with clothing, books, bibles, glasses, and toiletries.  God has opened my eyes and shown me how to put aside my prejudices and see people for who they are, like me. –“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”-Proverbs 11:25*

We all have as much commonality as we do diversity.      tweet-graphic-4

I believe my true growth is to discover the importance of both facets and how to find common ground.  I do believe we could learn a little from our canine buddies about unconditional love and how to show it to others.  We may look different on the outside, but on the inside, we all have a heart and blood pumping through our veins.  Unlike my dogs, instead of wagging my tail, I will grace a smile to show my genuine acceptance of a new best friend.

*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

A Prayer Prescription

A Prayer Prescription

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”-James 5:16

It finally happened.  I had invested in so many cleaning and disinfectant products I could open my own restoration cleaning service.  The little beast was not making its way into my abode, not without a fight.  We struggled and we fought hard, but lost.  Influenza made its ugly way into the front door and took over every square inch of our house.  Blame has to be laid somewhere, right?  I blame the school where it has bred and grown every day for weeks (the word on the street was there were hundreds of kids out with the flu) and I begged my sixteen-year-old, please wash your hands all day long!   I could have asked him to wear a mask and gloves because no one would have noticed or made fun of him, right?

We are all rarely ill in our family and so when we become sick, we are not good patients to ourselves or each other. The best course of action was to go to our three separate corners and fight through this by ourselves.  But in hindsight, I realized we were not alone.  God had our backs.

Even though I did little advertising we were all down for the count, people did check in on us and offered prayer.   I barely could whisper a “help me” to God and yet folks were reaching out.  You would think with all the hours of lying in bed, in and out of sleep, I could have spent ten minutes giving thanks for my circumstances (I could unload a list of diseases worse than the flu to have to fight for a much long time than a few days) and ask for healing, but instead I laid there, void of thought, other than feeling rotten.  It is nice to know others were praying for me during my time of need.

My lesson had revealed itself to me as I was on the mend.  My friends told me they would pray for me to feel better, heal quickly, and get back to feeling right with the world.  I was able to experience all of these steps and I believe it happened because they kept their word.  When I offer to someone I will pray for their circumstances, my intentions are to make it happen.  I try to pray immediately for their needs and also put their request in my journal so I can continue to pray over them.  I want those who ask for prayer to feel my appeal to God for them and know I care.  Prayer for others is a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus and demonstrate my commitment to raising their needs to Him.
Tweet: Prayer for others is a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus and demonstrate my commitment to raising their needs to Him.

As I get my house back in order, (can you smell the bleach?) I am relaxed with a certain peace in my heart.  I had several activities which were planned last week and they were not completed.  I am not stressed or panicked and I am able to re-schedule items which were neglected.  I think someone must have prayed for me to experience grace as well because, under my normal way of conducting activities, I would be in full freak out mode.  Not this time.  So thank you for the prayers last week for me and my family, you helped a sista out more than you know!  Let me know if I can pray for you.  Blessings.

Blessings In Grace

blessings-in-grace

“…Who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace.  This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”-2 Timothy 1:9

“Here, try this pair,” I said to him.  His shaky hand took the eyeglasses and he put them on his face.  He grabbed the bible and looked at the words on the pages.  Then his mouth erupted into a big grin.  “I can see the words, I can read my bible!  Bless you,” he said to me.  All I did was hand him a pair of free glasses, under the overpass in New Orleans on a brisk day in January, and he was ecstatic.  Yes, he did bless me.

My family and I try to go once a month to downtown New Orleans to feed the homeless.  We have met a wonderful couple, Cliff & Kim, who devote their time, energy, and resources to help people in need.  I remember the first time we volunteered with our son a couple of years ago.  I was extremely nervous to put my child in the midst of homeless adults and could only think the worst possible thoughts.  Boy, I was wrong.  It was easy to be on the outside and look into the secret, dark, and dirty world of living on the streets and to pass judgment.  They must be lazy, they must be addicts, and they must have done something terrible and this is why no one in their family wants to help.  God whispered to me, “look a little closer and talk to them.  Find out their story.”  And I did.

I met a man, who had to have dialysis four times a week, and because of this, he could not hold a job.  Since he could not hold a job, he had to live in a shelter close to the dialysis center.  His family was scattered all over the United States, and he did not have the money to move and be close to them.  He was so appreciative of the hot meal we brought to him.  He was so thankful for living to see another day.

I met a young man in his twenties who ran away from home because he could not stand the rules being imposed on him.  He got hooked on drugs and was too ashamed to go back home.  He wasn’t sure if he wanted to get clean, but he was surviving on the streets.  He had not talked to his family in over three years.

I met a young woman with two small children.  My heart ached thinking these precious children would be living on the streets.  Thankfully, they had a small apartment they lived in and mom needed some help with a home cooked meal for her and the children on this particular day.

As much as the stories here tugged on my heart and made me thankful for my own circumstances, they also have brought clarity to why I need to be there and offer some food or pass out some free clothes, bibles, or glasses.  It is about grace.  As a Christ follower, I have been showered with abundant grace from God.   I feel His mercy and favor in my life and I want others to benefit from His providence.  This should apply to all people in my life, not only the homeless.

I have unresolved issues with others and need to forgive or ask to be forgiven.  There are people in my life who have different opinions and beliefs and I need to honor and respect their views.  There are individuals who need kind words of encouragement instead of defeating statements. I can control my actions in my close circle and want to demonstrate favor, mercy, and kindness instead of setting up hurdles of impediment and condemnation.

If we all took one step in extending grace to those close to us or complete strangers, think of the change it could make in all of us.  I hope to inspire others to evaluate their own situations and see how they can discover the blessings in reaching outside of their comfort zone and spread some grace.

**I volunteer for a couple of different organizations and listed below are the websites if you would like some more information. Blessings!**

Ragan’s Hope

Mission:  Ragan’s HOPE, is committed to helping parents of children with serious ongoing medical conditions or injuries endure the initial impact and embrace the future, in the name of Christ.

https://raganshope.org/

Our Good Shepard Ministries

Our mission is to glorify God by reaching hurting people and helping them rebuild their lives in a positive way.  We are reaching out to the homeless, hurting and any other people in need to give them a “helping hand” in an effort to move forward with their lives in a positive way by providing basic life necessities (food, clothing, furniture, household items) while at the same time showing them the Love of Jesus and helping them to understand they are valuable, loved and not forgotten.

http://www.ourgoodshepherdministries.org/

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS….

north-star

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.’”-Matthew 1:20-21NIV

I visited a family today whom I support as a volunteer.  There is a total of seven family members who have moved here from another country to receive medical treatment for one of the children.  I look at this family who gave up every comfort they knew, to travel thousands of miles and relocate the ENTIRE family, to heal but one.  The only words I can think of to describe this accomplishment are bravery, selflessness, and love.

To listen to the mother’s stories of the confusion, obstacles, and hate she has encountered since being in Louisiana breaks my heart.  But she is not discouraged because these were but a few instances.  The love and compassion she and the family have received came from her church, one of the first places she found and joined when she came to Louisiana.  To hear of all the positive and loving acts from the church and complete strangers restores my hope in man and I give praise to God.

When I reflect on this family’s journey it reminds me of a trek over two thousand years ago.  A pilgrimage conducted with bravery, selflessness, and love.  A young couple, who followed their faith, and wound up in a manger behind an inn where the gift of Love was born one night, as recorded in Luke 2:10-11, “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.’”

I want to experience the courage in practicing my faith in this cruel and unforgiving world.  I will not be ashamed of my beliefs and hope to have the confidence to share my testimony with others.  In addition, I would like to have the unselfish desire to love and serve others without any need for thanks or recognition.  I want to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit showing others love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control like Jesus.  In knowing I will fail over and over again, I can still receive His grace and get a daily “do-over”.

This is the gift for all humanity.  To be reminded of the true love of our God who brought His son into the world to save us all.  What a precious gift given to me and you.  Have you accepted this generous gift from God?  Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2017.

Peacefully Disagree

confront-5mfw-e1475106598853

The prompt for today is “confront”.  It has taken many years to figure out the difference between confrontation and peaceful disagreement.

//In my younger years, I liked to boast my opinions and challenge those who did not think similar to me.  At work, I would challenge co-worker’s ideas and suggestions and list the many reasons why they would fail.  I would anticipate objections and have my rebuttals ready and able.

I had developed a reputation of not being flexible or a team player.  I enjoyed and thrived on confrontation.  I was and still am an extremely competitive person.  I learned some hard lessons in my early adulthood.

I have learned it is not about pushing my agenda, being right, or winning the argument.  I believe God has humbled me in certain situations and the discipline has made a lasting impression. He is in charge, not me.

Some of my inner circle may not agree, but I feel I have grown and mellowed.  I think in my current stage of life, I am looked upon more for wisdom, decision-making, and leadership.  I try to handle these particular requirements with grace and empathy and hope my family and friends see this in earnest.  My intent is to coach and not dominate others’ thoughts and opinions.

Confronting others is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is the way in which I approach it. I pray God directs me and guides me so I can be a blessing to others.//

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”-Ephesians 4:2-NIV

A Teachable Moment

Teachable moment

In the spirit of back to school, I have been reminiscing about my school days (Which by the way, don’t feel so LONG ago).   I remember drill team camp, school clothes shopping, and the back to school eve jitters.  Oh, how we would rush to school and get our schedules to compare with our friends: who was in whose class and the most important part; which lunch do I have?  I had some wonderful mentors and teachers and am so thankful for my school years.

Another crucial piece of my school career was discovering I am a visual learner.  Looking at pictures, hi-lighting words, and taking descriptive notes were the ways of absorbing knowledge.  I retained more information by watching demonstrations such as working math problems on the board or conducting a science experiment.  I also enjoyed reading books if there were pictures to go along with a story (it was hard for me to develop scenario pictures in my head).  This preparation was invaluable for me in college and the workforce.  I would describe myself as a visual learner when attending workshops, labs, or classroom courses.  I thought I knew myself pretty well until recently when I learned a new part of my learning equation.

I am also a visual teacher.

For years I have been labeled as a headstrong, Type-A, and I can do it better than you personality.  I would become frustrated in trying to explain to others how to tackle a project or task because they would not understand or complete it to my specifications.  The problem was when I try and show someone what to do; they viewed me as controlling and would give up.  I discovered it is hard to find the right words to instruct someone on what to do and I would get frustrated (with myself).  I would take control and feel more comfortable in performing the task in front of them then giving written or verbal instructions. I bought into the labeling of myself and would judge others for not meeting my standards.  I was convinced I had to do it myself.

Recently I have changed my opinions of blaming others for not “getting it” to realizing perhaps it was me and my communication issues.

HUH?

“God change my heart.”

And He has.

This has been a recent prayer of mine for the last few months.  In all the years I have struggled with the disappointment, anger, and frustration over simple items I thought I had to do myself because no one else could.

It was not them, it was me.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 NIV

I can teach others but I need to approach the teaching moment differently.  I have to change the way I  present a request and to be patient with the recipient as they comprehend and learn.  When I struggle to explain or discuss something, I can be honest and say, “You know I am not the greatest at explaining a task.  I don’t want to be overbearing and do it myself.  Hang in there with me as we learn together!”  It is about being aware of my shortcomings and accepting the change in me-not them.

Letting go and letting God.

What a relief.

What is your struggle?  Is there a teachable moment for you in asking God to change your heart?  Blessings my sweet friend!

BE THE LIGHT

Be the light

“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”-Matthew 5:16 NIV

I despise the word hate.  I try to not use it in my vocabulary because as I say to my kids, “Hate is such a strong word.”  I prefer to use I don’t like or I don’t care for instead of the four letter H word.  In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary hate is defined as intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from FEAR, ANGER, or sense of injury. HHHMMM, what does this describe?  Our present world and society.  People not understanding other people’s views, opinions, lifestyles, and religious beliefs lash out in hate for the fear of the unknown.   Social and news media in general pounce on hatred events and fuel the fire with speculation and prejudice.  Before you can count to ten, situations have been exploited, intensified, and created division between one another.  All of the negative reports of people hating on other people can be so discouraging and overwhelming.  What can I do?

PRAY– I love the term prayer warrior.  When praying for others, I imagine myself strapping on the armor of God and heading to battle.  God hears our prayers and I know He answers.  And the great thing about prayer is I can pray for anyone around the world, at a moment’s notice, from southern Louisiana and not leave my home.  This is why the church, bible study groups, prayer circles are so important to God.  “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”-Matthew 18:19-20 NIV

LOVE-So easy to say; so hard to do.  Yes, we should show love to ALL.  The terrorists, rapists, murderers, and thieves are children of God.  The man who cuts you off in traffic, the women in the grocery line who is yelling at the cashier, the parents on the opposing soccer team screaming unkind words to your child, they are children of God.  God expects me to be kind and show love-EVERY TIME.  I have to ask Him for strength during these moments and hold my tongue.  There are times I won’t show love like I should, but I have to strive for this level of forgiveness and empathy daily.  “ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:44-45 NIV

BLESS-I have found in serving others it blesses both me and them.  Sure I have planned events which I volunteer, but I am talking about the spur of the moment acts such as allowing someone to pull out in front of you on the road, or carrying a dinner tray for a mother who has small children bouncing around her while carrying a baby.  My husband makes a point when he sees someone from the military approach them, shake their hand, and thank them for their service.  It is such a blessing for him and he is sincere in his appreciation for their sacrifice. I should take the time to serve others without any desire of praise.   “But I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28 NIV

I know this sounds like an optimistic, make believe solution to a larger than life evil problem.  If Jesus could show love and compassion to everyone, why can’t I?  Why can’t I choose to love my brother and sister regardless of how they treat me?  It has to start somewhere and I am the one who can control my thoughts and actions.  I can be the light and shine God’s love to others in this sad, cruel, and unfair world.

I would love to pray for you-check out my prayer request page.  Blessings!

The Ultimate Destination

Sunflowers

Philippians 3:20-21-“But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body”.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have had several family members visit and stay with us.  We had members from Virginia, South Carolina, and Texas.  Everyone enjoyed checking out the trees, the swamp, the history, and the food in Louisiana.  We shared with them there is much more to this area than Bourbon Street!  We had a great time and eventually everyone traveled back to their homes.  I thought about my home and how I came to Louisiana after growing up and living in Texas.  I love both places and am so blessed for calling both states my home.  I think of all the wonderful scenery, food, weather, and landmarks each of these great states present and know there is something even greater to experience.  This is a temporary home for all of us and our permanent home is with God in Heaven.

John 14:3- “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going”.

After my first husband died, I wanted to learn all I could about Heaven.  I read countless books and absorbed the different interpretations of Heaven and drew my own conclusions. I imagine Heaven is a physical place and there is the experience of being IN THE PRESENCE of God for eternity.  WOW!   The thought of living with Him in His Kingdom and feeling His love pouring into my new body with warmth, pumping my blood, and filling me with joy forever.    This will be the ultimate vacation!

Like a vacation, I have to prepare and plan for the ultimate destination of Heaven.  On my checklist I have the following:

Accept (The invitation) -It is a simple prayer, from your heart to God.  “Lord, I need you.  I accept You are my Lord and Savior and I will only honor and worship You.  I ask for the forgiveness of my sins.  I know Jesus died for my sins and His blood covers all my transgressions.  I also believe He has risen and sits with You in Heaven.  I ask for Your mercy and grace and wish to receive Your precious gift so I can live for You.  Amen”.

Action (Live by example)-It does not stop with the simple prayer.  Get involved in a church and surround yourself with Christians.  We are all sinners and we are here to lean on and lift up each other in dark times.  Spend daily time with God, in His word, and prayer.  Develop the relationship with Him.  It takes time but so worth the investment.  The more you schedule and practice the quiet time, the more it becomes natural and routine.

Articulate (Spread the word)-This is the tough part but what I have found is to share my story and give glory to God.  I am not a bible expert, but I love to share my stories and use bible references to support my experiences.  In turn, I am learning more about the bible and scripture has become exciting and intriguing to me.  I will stand up and profess my faith and ask God to use me as He deems necessary.   My role is not to judge others as I may not agree with everyone’s opinions.  I will love and respect others because we are all God’s children.

When it is my time to leave this earth, I welcome my place with God in Heaven.  I know it will be sad for those left behind, but it is all part of this thing called life.  I will continue to plan and prepare for my ultimate destination and hope to bring as many family members, friends, and acquaintances along with me.  I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment!  If you have a prayer request, you can send it to fhldigs1313@gmail.com.  I would love to pray for you!

Revelations 21:3-4 “…They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”.

Rainbows Make Me Smile

rainbow

Ephesians 2:4 “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved”.

It was a typical summer day in Southern Louisiana; hot, sticky, sunny with a rain shower.  I am driving with the windshield wipers on high swishing away the pounding drops of water. Did I mention I have on my sunglasses in an attempt to keep the glare out of my eyes?    As I made my way down the road, the beating of the raindrops subsided and there in front of me was a glorious band of colors stretching from one side of the road to the other.  There were green, blue, yellow, and red streaks stretching across the sky like a colorful banner as a result of the combination of rain and sun.  I smiled and said, “Thank you, God.”

Every time I see a rainbow, it makes me stop and think about God’s promise to all living creatures.  In Genesis 9, God declares to Noah a covenant with life on earth, and never again will there be a flood to destroy all.   “I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.  Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.  Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”- Genesis 9:15-16.

What a glorious promise!  God is faithful in His grace and mercy and to have the added bonus of no more destructive floods to remove all mankind just sweetens the pot!  What if every time I witness a rainbow, I promise to spread the gospel, tend to the sick, assist the poor, or pray for others?  It would be my promise to not hide the Truth for fear of persecution, but to live and testify to God’s word.  I would not judge others, but love all walks of life, with no exceptions.  As a Christian, I may not agree with everyone’s opinion, but I can l love and show compassion to others and agree to disagree.

Anytime I see a rainbow; across the sky, on a flag, shirt, or a website, I will look at it as God’s promise to save this world from a destructive force which would wipe out all living creatures.  I see the rainbow as a symbol of hope and God’s compassion for mankind.  Psalm 145:9 states, “The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made”.    I daily receive His mercy and should pass it on to others.

My prayer is next time you witness a rainbow, it will remind you of God’s love and mercy. Maybe it will inspire you to extend compassion and mercy to others and be the rainbow in someone’s cloudy day.

Now that makes me smile!