Connecting in Christ

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Are We There Yet?

During this season of vacations, how many times will we hear, “Are we there yet?” As a parent in a car with kids, I can get pretty tired of hearing this. Especially when the question is asked about 30 minutes into the trip! I tell them to relax and enjoy the ride as it is part of the fun!

Along my spiritual journey, however, God probably tires of hearing me ask, “Am I there yet?” Hence the phrase “children
of God.”

On a vacation we have the journey, then the destination. On our spiritual walks we have the journey and the destination. The difference is we will not reach our spiritual destination until death. But wait, that is not true either. I think that death
is still part of the journey. It is where we end up after our death that will be our final and eternal destination.

So, let’s talk about the journey. I know one year, as my family was heading out to Myrtle Beach to meet up with more family and friends for a fun-filled week, we had a bit of a delay along the way. We left early because we wanted to be the first ones to arrive. So much for our plans! We had a flat tire along the way. Sounds like a disaster, huh?

But while going through our efforts to fix the flat (our spare was flat too!) we actually had many laughs. Finally, a policeman came and helped us out. It took several hours and money that had been earmarked for other items to get us back on the road, but we did in fact get back on track. We made it to our destination and, well, everyone was waiting on us! Good intentions don’t always pan out.

What does this have to do with our spiritual journey? I think this story parallels our spiritual journey in the way that many times along the way it does not go just as we plan. No, there are road blocks, detours and flat tires along the way. But it is how we handle these distractions that will tell much about our spiritual lives. Do we just get angry and blame others? Do we pull together and work it out? Do we seek the guidance of our Heavenly Father? Do we make the best of difficult, and what may seem impossible, situations?

You know, the most memorable part of that year’s vacation was the flat tire incident. Looking back, it was not a bad memory at all. Approach your spiritual journey with the same excitement and expect a few bumps in the road along the way. But know that God goes before you and prepares the way. Always, always follow His leading. If you do, when you get to the intersection where the road divides, realize that one road will lead to heaven and the other to hell. Don’t let road blocks become stumbling blocks; look at them as only detours! See you in heaven!

Father God, help us to always see the blessings in things that at the time seem to be huge heartaches and disasters. From our simple-minded perspectives many times we can’t see our way through difficult times, but we know and totally trust that You have truly gone before us. You are on the other side and we just need to continue along on the journey and seek You always and You alone. Thank you, Jesus, for never, ever leaving us or forsaking us! Help us to enjoy the journey even through the difficult times, knowing that You are the One to be glorified. We  love You Lord and pray that You will help us to always trust you blindly. We need nothing more than You! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Connecting in Christ,
Carrie Gunning

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall . . .

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Well, for me it depends on the time of day . . . you know, first thing in the morning or after I have made an attempt at the hair, pulled out my “face in a case” and spread it on and brushed my teeth. O.K. there is really not that much difference from first thing in the morning! Sad, but true.

What do you see when you look into the mirror of your soul? Is there deep-seeded pain, unforgiveness, self-pity, hate, envy, jealousy, greed or self-centeredness? Or do you see peace, joy, love, mercy, grace and the reflection of Jesus? If you are not sure which one you see, why not? Ask yourself the hard questions. Seek out true and honest answers. From my experience, the hardest part of seeking answers is taking action. Doing the right and the best thing is not always the easiest thing to do. As a matter of fact, most of the time it is the hardest thing to do.

If there is bitterness and hatred harbored in one’s heart it is a cancer that, if left untreated, will grow and eventually consume the person. People that hang onto such feelings are miserable, and it shows, whether or not they think it does.

Getting rid of emotional cancer is not easy. No, but it is possible and it requires work on the person needing to rid him or herself of it. It is very frustrating to see physically sick people losing battles. Yet, I am amazed at their courage to continue on to win each and every battle. It is frustrating, too, to see emotionally or spiritually sick people struggle and attempt to hang on to hurts that cause deep pain.

God has given us much power with our “free will.” Only He can change our hearts and minds, but we must first give our minds and hearts over to Him to allow Him that opportunity for a healthy change. Self-pity is a very lonely place to be. If what you see when you look in the mirror of your soul is loneliness, then bring out your “face in a case” and paint on a smile. Let it soak into the depths of your soul. The Holy Spirit will not dwell in a heart filled with discord. Empty yourself of ALL negativity and welcome the Holy Spirit of God to come and make His home in you!

Father, so many struggle with the darkness of depression and the downward pull it has on a soul. I know this from my own experience. God, I pray that those who find themselves in this situation will keep looking up to You. Help them, please, to find the peace and joy that comes from You. Your peace, comfort, and joy given with the most abundant love are all we need. Thank you for that. You are all we need. Keep us close, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Connecting in Christ,
Carrie Gunning

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