If I Only Knew Then…

pushing car quoteThe familiar saying goes, “If I only knew then what I know now,” but the fact is, we learn as we go, and sometimes the lessons are hard. In most cases (with me anyway) it seems the school of hard knocks is the one that teaches the lasting lessons.

Yes, if we knew then, what we know now, we probably could’ve saved ourselves a lot of pain and heartache. Unfortunately, it’s usually after we realize how little we know, and turn to God, that we truly begin to learn.

 

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments. Psalm 119:73

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Plan? What Plan?

When you set out to build something—a house, for instance—you will achieve the best results if you have a set of plans to guide you as you build. Architects and engineers put their knowledge into the plans so the house can be constructed soundly and beautifully. Likewise, if we follow God’s plan we will help to build His house. But in either case, if you deviate from the plan, you probably won’t like the results.

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Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

1 Peter 1:8

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Don’t Beat Yourself Up

I’m a perfectionist—to a degree—and when I make mistakes it really bothers me. I usually get over it, but at first I have a hard time dealing with whatever mistake I’ve made. I tend to condemn myself for the one mistake, even though I’ve done a lot of good things.

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There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

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Pure Freedom

Are we free? Do we even know what freedom is? It seems to be a fleeting thing; disappearing as we punch the clock, or slide into our seat for first period, on Monday morning. So many times, we feel trapped by our circumstances, and too often we ask ourselves, “Am I really free?” Freedom is a state of mind, and there are times we soar like eagles lifted by the winds of happiness, and then there are times we come crashing to earth in the throes of a life that is sometimes cruel. Freedom… sometimes we just have to race full-tilt toward it, jerk back on the handlebars and let it lift us into the air. Being able to do that, my friends… is pure freedom.

kid on bike 2Freedom is a memory; a memory we can carry with us and relive when life seems hard or unfair. Freedom is a feeling like the feeling I had on that glorious Saturday morning—the first day of summer vacation:

Yes! In those precious moments I was free! Free from the rigors and trials of fifth grade, the screaming and crying at home, and from the very earth. In those few seconds, I felt a freedom that was complete and real, and I wished I could just keep on climbing into the sky and disappear forever.

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Life In A Bobsled

Sometimes I find myself in a rut; so steeped in routine that each morning I feel like I’m in a bobsled race, tucked into the sled—my life—speeding around the same course day after day, every turn familiar; every straightaway zipping by too quickly.

But I’m learning to remind myself each morning that God is with me in truth and love, and His grace, mercy and peace are mine for the asking.

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Maybe it is the same old sled and the same old ride, but you control the brakes. So slow down and watch for sudden blessings. You never know what’s around the next curve.

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s son, will be with us in truth and love. 2 John 1:3

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Well… Come On Then!

We never know when we might encourage another person, and oftentimes we don’t even know we’ve done so. I can recall times when I was feeling down, and a stranger showed me a small kindness that cheered me up.

toddler fishing 2I’ll never forget the time I stopped at a historical mill in Arkansas. A toddler was coming out of the mill with his mother as we were going in, and he stopped in front of me. “We’re goin’ fishin’,” he told me excitedly. I grinned at him and said, “Me too!” The little guy just stood there staring at me with gigantic blue eyes, and after about half a minute, said, “Well… come on then!” That brief encounter occurred over twenty years ago, but it blessed me then and has brought a smile to my face many times since. The little boy, obviously, had no idea he was refreshing my heart, but he left a lasting impression on me.

God sends refreshment in many and varied ways. Don’t get so down you forget to look up. You might miss your blessing.

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:7

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Suddenly!

Mom inspired this poem, and she said it was on her heart today, and wanted me to re-post it. I’m happy to to do so, because… that’s my job!

SUDDENLY

 

Oft’ times our prayers seem to go unanswered

We start thinking, maybe God doesn’t care

We wait, ever patient, stand on our faith

I’ve been known to stand on an ear

 

No answer comes, we grumble and groan

Quite certain that He doesn’t love us

We try to outguess Him, figure Him out

As He smiles down from high above us

 

He shakes His head, goes on with His work

Surely chuckles about our impatience

For He’ll not let us down, in spite of our frowns

And complaints about His expedience

 

In due time, He would tell us, should we but hear

Good things come to those who wait

For the want that you want, if it’s worth the wanting

Is still good whether early or late

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Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn

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