Glad to be back after a few weeks off preparing to celebrate our milestone 40th Pastoral and Church anniversary at New Covenant Church, serving God's people, as well as enjoying some vacation time in Europe with my wife Patricia. I know that many of my followers enjoy my photography, so on the blog I've posted some photos and video clips that you might enjoy.
With all the pressures and challenges of life, it is essential and comforting to know God is for us. This is especially true when we are paying attention to Him. He loves us regardless of our state, but our goal is to be pleasing to the Lord. He draws near to us when we draw near to him.
I would like to share an insight from last Sunday's message in which we talked about solutions, answers, and hope. I used the phrase "There is an app for that." This became a parable for experiences during our vacation in which almost everything we did was helped by using an app on my iPhone. Life also has apps or applications of the heart and mind. We discussed this in the lesson on Sunday. Check out the podcast or view on our YouTube channel.
How we think, or our type of mindset, is a very important factor to the quality of our lives. It's important to have something that I will call "a solution mindset." Let me share a Scripture with you and explain what I mean.
Isaiah 59:19 reads, "So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him."
It is an encouraging thought that when the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of God raises up a standard. But I think there's a better way to look at this Scripture, especially in light of the fact that original Bible languages did not include punctuation. In our first reading the enemy is characterized as a flood coming in.
Let me offer this alternative reading of Isaiah 59:19:
When the enemy comes in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
I'm not saying this reading is correct and the other one is wrong, this is an example of developing a solution mindset where we don't place as much emphasis on the trouble as on the answer. I like to think that it is the Spirit of God who brings the flood of blessing more than the enemy bringing a flood of trouble.
I like this quote from a book entitled The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
“Just because other people say that something is hopeless or crazy or broken to pieces doesn’t mean it is. We decide what story to tell ourselves.”
The more you realize that God is for you, the more you will see that His solutions answers and hope are bigger than the problems we face.
Have a great day, God bless, and be encouraged!
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