God’s Blessings, and Continuous Thanks

Angel Trumpet Plant

As with much in life, God has blessed this blog more than I expected. “I Was Thinking the Other Day About…” reached a couple of milestones over the weekend. It passed 50 followers (now at 53 – the number given in the right top of this screen includes Twitter and Facebook, not just specific blog followers) and has had over 3,000 views (3,039 so far). (Views don’t necessarily mean someone read something, but it does mean they were at least here).

I want to send a special thanks to all of you who follow the blog. It is humbling to think you went out of your way to sign up, and I greatly appreciate your continued support. I thank you all for your comments and input. They’ve helped me learn and think of different things, and from my standpoint I can say I’ve made some good friends. Hope you have too. I hope especially that you have had a few good thoughts about God from the reading.

And I send out those same thanks to all who visit but haven’t followed the blog. The blessings of you being here are true to me, and I hope you are blessed at times in stopping by.

Our God is truly an awesome God. He blesses us in so many ways to learn and grow in Christ. I thank you all for allowing me to be a small part in your life – and I thank our God for the wonderful opportunities.

Thanks and God Bless, Bill

The Last New Year’s Post – Until 2013

    

Bluegrass Pickin' Party - that's me playing the banjo and trying to sing

     Back in our bluegrass band days, the bass player, John, and I sometimes borrowed an old Steve Martin Saturday Night Live skit. As we rolled up cables and put instruments in cases after a job, we discussed which songs worked, and whether the audience paid attention. On nights when things went especially well, we would talk about the future of the band and realize what we were saying – “…yea, we could start having regular practices…add more songs…we could really get serious and …” Then we’d stop talking, look into the air as if thinking about it, turn back to each other, shake our heads and say “Naaaah” – and laugh as we continued to put things away.

     It wasn’t that we didn’t care. Practice sessions weren’t needed because we played jobs at least once a week, and often more. We added new songs by working on them during breaks. We had worked up to a solid musical level, had great fun with it, and when the audience paid attention, they had great fun too.

     John and I knew our family lives and day jobs wouldn’t allow us to “really get serious”. As we expounded on the future, we had the luxury of letting the excitement seemingly build and then jokingly say, “naaah, this is good where we are.”

     As we talk and think about possibilities in life, we often feel the spark of excitement and begin to make plans. The plans are for good things so we make heartfelt commitments – and intend to keep them. The hard part then is consistency and diligence in the long term. Life gets in the way, and that spark of excitement dims.

     That isn’t always a bad thing. Whatever we were planning may have been impractical or the timing was wrong. But, often, as we allow the commitments to fade, we’re neglecting something that is practical and the timing is right, and the need is important (perhaps even critical).  

     In all our various roles as Christians, we don’t always have the luxury John and I had. We are called to good works, to obedience, to avoid becoming lukewarm.

     The New Year is a good time to ponder those things we may have let slide – what we once were excited about doing but haven’t carried through. If we have, in effect, decided “Naaaah, I’m good where I am”, we need to prayerfully ask whether God agrees with that.

“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.” Titus 3:8 NKJV

Are We Walking Worthy?

 

When we see politicians on television news shows, their name is shown at the bottom of the screen so we will know who they are and where they’re from (“Representative so and so of this state” or “Senator whoever of that state”).  There is usually a (D) or an (R) beside their name – meaning Democrat or Republican – to note their political party.  Sometimes, we don’t need to see the D or R to know which party they’re in because they’ll be stating opinions and taking positions that are identified with a particular one.  At times, they’ll be saying or doing things that will make the other people in their party wish that the D or R was not there so they wouldn’t be identified with them.

What if television stations started using a (C) after a person’s name to show they are a Christian?  If the people in our life – our family, friends, co-workers, and the strangers we deal with along the way, were to see us on the television news giving a sound-bite, would there need to be a (C) after our name for them to know that we are a Christian?  Or thinking the other way, if our actions and words were put on theTV screen and beside our name we did have a (C), would they be surprised to discover we are a Christian?  Would other Christians wish we didn’t have the (C) there?

Whether we realize it or not, and whether we like it or not, our words and actions are clear signs to those around us.  They show where our heart is, and what we base our life upon.  As Christians, our words and actions should make it evident to others that we are basing our life on Jesus Christ.  If we were to be seen on the news with a (C) beside our name, it shouldn’t be a surprise or regret to anyone.  It would be even better if our faith is so clear that the (C) isn’t even necessary.           

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” Ephesians 4:1 ESV

Bill Jones (C) - By the Grace of God - and thankful for it!