June 8 Ecclesiastes 7,8,9; Ephesians 4

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish. Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at DiscoverOneThingPrayer@gmail.com

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Then and Now | Joni Tyner

S~ Don’t long for  ‘ the good old days.’   This is not wise. Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NLT)

O~ King Solomon is reflecting on life in Ecclesiastes.  This book has portions that are negative and pessimistic.  I think it would be easy to take verses out of context if not seeing the bigger picture. This verse absolutely SCREAMED at me this morning.

A~ Yesterday, I was off of work and received a spontaneous invite to hang out at the pool with a couple of friends. (shout out to Kim and Carrie!!) I loved it, it reminded me of the good ol’ days… my kids and I always went to the pool, often with a couple of neighbor kids. We filled our summer days with sun, water, friends, laziness,  and unhealthy snacks.  It was awesome.

And then my kids grew up and I didn’t have anyone to go to the pool with.

I miss it. I miss lots of things that are associated with having active busy kids at the house.  It takes about 30 seconds for my eyes to start watering when I remise about “the good old days” .  I drove a minivan that always had trash and junk in it. (I used to hate that thing and long to drive a flashy sports car!)  We always had multiple places to be at the same time.  The game plan was to divide and conquer and pawn a kid off on another family for a few hours.   It goes on and on…I miss all that stuff.  Things like the rushed drive to get to school on time…countless stressful moments as we tried to “not be late again”.  Now, my kids set their own alarms and drive themselves.  Sigh…  I apparently survived the almost 2 decades of school drop-offs and pickups.

So, what can I take away this morning from this passage?   First, I’d like to encourage mamas (and dads) who read this and are in the thick of it to embrace their blessings.  See the relationships and the memories and look over the mess, the noise, the inconveniences that come with growing up a family.  This is an important assignment to hang onto and finish with excellence.  For me, I think God is reminding me that my purpose today is the same as it was back then, …it just looks different.  It is embracing the lifestyle of having young adult children.  I’ve learned to text message funny pictures to them as an effort to connect.  I treat them to Starbucks instead of chicken nugget meals.  I have become a fan of The Bachelor with my daughter so we can have spirited conversations about who should be voted off next or make fun of the nightly stupid behavior.  (don’t judge me!! , it’s called sacrificial love!!!!!   :O  )

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for the blessing of our family and the wonderful memories, I cherish them.!!!   Please forgive me for all those times I rolled my eyes or whined about this and that.  I feel blessed by all we have experienced.  Please remind me to embrace the here and now with excellence and purpose and to not be tempted to be selfish with my free time.  I pray for continued memories to be made with each of my kids.  …Bring on the fun!

Good Times and Bad | Kelley DeAses

S~ When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.  Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)

O~ This verse serves as a reminder to really try to be “in the moment” — to embrace the full import of whatever season in which we may find ourselves. Good or bad.  Which, of course, can turn on a dime.  And while it is a far easier thing to grab hold of the sweet and precious and enjoyable and wonderful bits that fly our way, it is just as valuable we not ignore, dismiss, medicate, or run from those tough patches which arrive unbidden.  A counselor of mine used to say, during a season I experienced when it was fully appropriate to the moment, “Lean into the pain.”

A~ Not that my life is perfect (whose is?) but I am enjoying a time of happy.  Marriage is good; our jobs are good; kids are doing well….feeling content and blessed.  I would love to freeze frame this summer’s day and re-live it a few more times.  But yet, darkness looms around the edges.  I just had a brief chat with a friend dealing with a serious cancer diagnosis; another family in our circle just lost the baby they were expecting this December; another friend resigned from a position she’s held for many years.  And, really, if I’m honest, I, too, am just a doctor’s visit, a phone call, a wrong turn, or an unfortunate circumstance away from personal tragedy.  I just have to say, “God is God.  He is Sovereign over it all. And I can trust He will be with me come what may.”

P~ Jesus, So grateful I can know You as my Joy, my Comfort, my Savior, my Light, and my Life.  You are all those things.  You are whatever I need.

Beyond Understanding | Michelle Myers

S~ I also saw all that God has done.  Nobody can understand what God does here on earth.  No matter how hard people try to understand it, they cannot.  Even if wise people say they understand, they cannot; no one can really understand it. Ecclesiastes 8:17 (NCV)

O~ I guess the wise thing to do would be to stop trying to figure God out and just trust Him.  I guess another wise thing to do, would be to stop listening to people who say they have God figured out (understand what he does on earth).

A~ My anxiety increases, if I don’t understand something.  My frustration level increases, if I try and figure something out, that I cannot figure out.  I create a lot of my own misery by being in this cycle.  I often ask people (usually my husband) for answers, that they don’t have.  It can frustrate the people I am asking.  I know that it has to do with faith, surrender, etc.  I know that God has had my back so many times.  Yet, there are aspects of my life and the way it has turned out, that I don’t fully understand.  This can easily cause me to try and figure God, and what He is doing out.  I can waste time trying to figure out why He allowed certain things to happen in my life.  It is all pointless and a waste of time.  Or as Solomon would say, it is “like chasing the wind”.

Now, one group of people that I know for sure that I should not listen to, even though they think they understand what God does, here on earth, are the members of the Westboro Baptist Church.  The hate that they spew, is something that I will never understand.  Yet, I do know, THAT is NOT GOD.  At first, it usually makes me angry.  Then it makes me sad.  How awful to think that God is that cruel and mean. Their sin is no different or better than anyone else’s.  So, I often wonder if they feel condemned, at all themselves.  Or, do they think they are an elite group of people who NEVER sins?  They baffle my mind.

P~ God, thank you for having my back.  I pray that the people of Westboro find YOUR love and peace, and can leave the rest of us sinners alone, and for you to deal with.  Help me grow in surrendering what I don’t understand to you.  Help me better trust your way.

Tolerance and Love | Jill Terry

S~ with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 (NAS)

O/A~ As Christians, we are called to be tolerant, humble, gracious and to show love to all people. Far too often, this is not what non-Christians see or receive from Christians. Most often. non-believers see and receive hate, condemnation and judgment. It is very hard for a non-believer to see a reason to follow Christ when all Christians (seemingly) do is judge, ridicule and condemn their life. Believers often show hate instead of showing Christ’s love.

I have a son who is Agender meaning he does not identify with having a gender at all. It is very hard for him to believe in Jesus when most Christians automatically condemn his very existence. It is very hard for me to witness the hate that is directed towards him.

I see non-believers accepting and loving my son for who he is and who he was created to be. On the flip side, I see Christians deriding his very existence. It should be the very opposite. If we as Christians are called to be humble, gentle, loving and showing tolerance to others, why is my son and others like him judged so harshly? Why are Christians not standing up and loving him and the entire LGBTQ community? Why are Christians not showing the very essence of Jesus to him? Why is grace and peace last and judgment and intolerance first? I just do not understand.

P~ Thank you Lord for my son. Help him to see You and not the hate. Amen

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Posted on June 8, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Michelle Myers

    Jill….Preach it, Girl!

  2. Jill, Thank you so much for your honest sharing. It goes a long way to help build bridges of understanding where there is ignorance. And I have been on the side of ignorance. I appreciate the risk you took in order to shine light on a painful subject. May God bless you and your family. May He protect and guide your son. I pray He will give healing where there is hurt.

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