Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stand Out

There are many things I love to share and other things I enjoy keeping to myself. One thing I am NOT shy about is that I love Fall in New England.  Today is the first day of Autumn.  I look forward to this day all year - every year.  I am happy to say that it never disappoints.  I have absolutely no doubt that God has created many beautiful areas on this Earth that are just incredible to see, but Fall in New England has to be, by far, one of the greatest anticipated blessings.  It's funny how it happens, it begins slowly - we get to see a few leaves change to bright reds or glowing yellows.  There is a hint of orange here or there.  As the weeks proceed, and the backdrops of gorgeous mums, large apples on trees, and the feel of the crisp air rolls through, the Lord's paintbrush comes alive.  Each day, as one looks to the left or right, you can't help but see new brilliance with every view.  The commute each day turns from a chore to an anticipated journey.  It is a "wonder" that I never tire of.  Yes, some years the colors are deeper, more defined. Some years, the leaves stay longer on the trees or a quick storm comes and sends them all falling to the ground.  Each year is different.  I think that's part of the fun - not knowing what kind of year it is going to be until it actually is here!

Yet, with all the splendor that I have shared, there is something miraculous about finding the one leaf that stands out among the green, the one leaf that chose to do something different first - the one that said, "Let me shine to you."  Now, that one always seems to feel special.  As I sit in my backyard, with the fall crisp air blowing (snuggled in a sweatshirt), I couldn't help but to chose this topic to write about this week - standing out.  The red leaf in my picture helped me to gain a perspective about our lives as Christians and what our Dear Lord asks us to do.  God provides a wonderful path for us and a guidebook in The Bible.  For each of us, he knows what will happen, knows who we are, and what our lives will hold for us - if we choose to live a life filled with Christ.  Of course, when we decide to go after our own selfish desires, our own free will, we opt for a life that tends to be far from what Christ orchestrated.  When we choose to "Say Yes" to what God has in store for us, the blessings abound.  This doesn't mean life doesn't come with moments that help us gain courage, strength, and perseverance towards faith.  This doesn't mean life won't have its tumultuous days.  Yet, when we decide to stand out and stand up with Christ, we know there will be a difference - not just in our lives but with those that we help, with those that we chose to share Christ with.  

God has provided each and every one of us with an incredible gift.  Sometimes, our own difficulty is realizing what that gift is.  Maybe you have been blessed to open that box and realize your God-Given Talent!!  If so, it is time to stand out and stand up - it is time to use it.  Find that special way to be the red leaf among the green ones - the leaf that chooses to stand out with the talent you have been provided in order to share God's love with others.  It doesn't have to come with firecrackers and streaks of lightening.  Standing out to another person may be all that is necessary to move in God's journey.  Stand out!!  Maybe others of you are still trying to find the gift.  Many times, the discovery is half the fun.  Our ability to try new things in the name of our Lord is a wonderful journey in and of itself. Most importantly,remember to stop and listen for God's word.  He will talk with you, guide you, show you His path for you.  For years I kept asking God to show me my path.  Although he practically took the baseball bat out for me, I will listen, I will learn, and I will grow on this journey - with love in my heart and peace in my soul.

Choosing to stand out - to be the red leaf among the green, is when we let God paint our lives for us.   Our lives then become the canvas and the painting He creates is truly a masterpiece.  Let God's love for you create the masterpiece of your life.  As the type of canvas can change the entire painting, let your canvas be one that God is pleased to paint on.  May the end result be a masterpiece that stands out to the rest of the world - one person at a time.  God's blessings be with all of you during this Autumn season.  If you happen to live in a part of the world that can enjoy this incredible view of God's paintbrush during the next few months, I encourage you to take a few extra moments in your day to soak in the wonder of His awesomeness.  If you don't happen to live where Autumn shines - I will do my best to share some of His glory with you.

"...who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood:  Grace and peace be yours in abundance."  (NIV)  1 Peter 1:2

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Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope we can share how God's grace has been life changing and that SIMPLE FAITH, getting back to a life that is rooted in the basics, can truly set us free to achieve so much in our lives.