Where Do You Seek Pleasure?

April 29, 2011

Pleasure – I love that word. Just saying it brings a smile to my face. It can’t be helped. Seriously, stand in front of a mirror. Relax your facial muscles completely, then speak the word pleasure or the other form of the word, which is please. Did you notice? Your entire expression changes. A smile forms quite naturally. The smile, however, is just the external manifestation of the feeling within. Where do you seek pleasure? Where do you find it? Are the two answers the same or are they in contrast? Psalm 147 suggests where it is not likely found, telling us “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior . . . “ and that’s all well and good, but where do I find it? The dictionary defines pleasure as that in which I take my delight. When I get up in the morning, I can’t wait for a cup of coffee. I have friends who look forward to a glass of wine at the end of the day. There’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. The Bible is full of mention of wine and our Lord performed the well known miracle at the wedding changing water into wine, so surely a glass is not wrong. However pleasant these things may be though, they do not provide the lasting pleasure I seek. My delight is not truly found there. Nor are they that in which I can place my trust or seek refuge. Where then?

I looked for the answer to this question in Scripture and the answer started to come to me in the book of Daniel 4:2 “It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me.” His words got my attention causing me to thirst for further wisdom on the source for these miraculous signs and wonders. I found my answer in Ephesians 1:8-10 when I read “He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” The answer I was searching for! I know that, for me, the only one in whom I can seek refuge, place my trust, and find true pleasure is in Christ. In giving my heart fully to Him, I found life! He is my Savior, the lover of my soul, and the source of such amazing, underserved and unconditional love and it is only in Him that I can ever find true and lasting pleasure! Amen! Come Lord Jesus!


Nightmare or Dream?

March 4, 2011

I picked up a book recently, for just 50 cents, because the cover told me that reading this book would cause me to discover the miracles in my daily life.  Okay!  Wow!  That’s a bargain at just 50 cents.  Count me in!  When I got the book home and read a little the focus at first glance seemed to be “God is everywhere.”  Well, shoot!  I was hoping to learn something new!  I read the next page and was told that those who acknowledge Him become aware of His amazing presence and find that He turns the darkest nightmares into the most beautiful dreams.  Wow.  That’s a powerful claim.  At that point I had to put the book down, though reluctantly, because I injured my eye a few days ago and need to rest it so that it can heal.  I sat quietly with a cold pack on my eye and thought about the Lord and listened to what He might reveal to me.  I can’t wait to return to my “new” book “A Pocket Full of Pennies” by Rick Amato, because God has already revealed Himself to me in new ways from what little I’ve read thus far.  I am sure there is more for me!

 As I sit resting my injured eye, an eye that has had surgery 3 times to correct a problem with weak blood vessels, I am frustrated.  I begin a new job on Monday.  I’ve been seeking employment for 3 years now, since moving to SC, and now just days before I start a new part time position, I feel relief at this opportunity and am excited to work on some projects at home without the inner distraction of “gotta find a job” interrupting the tasks at hand.  However, as before, I realize that my plan isn’t always the best one.  Sitting quietly gives me a chance to pray, to meditate, to listen to God . . . and to recall what I just read.  I realize that the author is correct.  These past 3 years have been my darkest nightmare in many ways and some of those nightmarish situations are unresolved still.  However, I know that in many other ways these 3 years have been a time for me to find my life, my heart, and my soul transformed in amazing ways. 

 The Lord has revealed Himself to me in so many ways and given me so many opportunities to invite Him into my heart and to fill me with His Holy Spirit and while He is always present with us, the author of my 50 cent book is correct.  We need to invite Him, to acknowledge Him.  We have free will.  I’ve always believed.  I’ve always gone to church.  I know the prayer book inside and out.  I’ve always, until the past 3 years, been okay.  There were good times and bad times, but all in all, it’s been okay.  I was doing okay.  Well, these last 3 years have shown me that I am loved more than I am capable of understanding.  They have also revealed to me that our Lord doesn’t want us to be just okay.  He is amazing and he wants an amazing life for us.  He wants to fill us with His joy!  In between job hunting, stressing, worrying over bills, and the rest of it in my recent past, I also listened to Him.  When we listen to Him, we cannot help but be amazed and awed by His presence and His love for us.  If I’d fallen into a typical job and a typical life in these past 3 years things would have been okay.  Life would have been pretty good and I’d have done the sensible things I’ve always done.  Instead, much of the practical things are still unresolved, but I had time to know Jesus personally have come to know the path He has me on isn’t at all sensible or okay.  It’s full of joy, full of mystery, and full of Him.  I can step aside and go my own route and have a sensible and okay life.  I don’t want that anymore.  This path I’m on isn’t always going to be easy and not knowing much more than the next step to take on a long journey gets me crazy sometimes, but Amato was right when he said that God could turn our darkest nightmares into our most beautiful dreams.  My life is living testimony to this and dreams do come true! 


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