Category Archives: Spiritual Life
It happened two winters ago, that nearly devastating incident.
My cousin and myself piled into the back seat of my dad’s truck and started to make our way to my aunt’s house during the holidays. We took up conversation and talked about Christmas as we head down a hill down a back road.
And then it happened.
We swerved right, and a ditch came into view. There was a small railing, but only made of a couple cement beams and wires strung in between; in other words, before us was doom.
However, our direction quickly changed at the very last second. My father had somehow managed to get us going in the other direction towards the telephone poles lined on the other side of the road.
Luckily, in the end of it all, we went into a snowbank between two poles. When we stopped my cousin and I clung to the seats in front of us for dear life. I started laughing, my cousin just sat there frozen. It was a bigger shock for her as she had just moved to Massachusetts from Florida and hadn’t even seen snow before.
Whenever I look back at this experience I always remember how God is in control. I believe that God sent an angel that day to guide the car in the right direction. If my dad, cousin, and I had continued in our original direction, we would have ended up either seriously injured or even dead. It was almost as if an angel or Someone else took hold of my father’s hands and guided us to a safer direction and destination.
But God can do this for us in any situation on any day. He is always willing to take your hand and guide you in the proper direction. Remember, He’s got your best interest in mind and is leading you to the ultimate destination; eternity with Him.
It’s important to make a habit of being thankful. This is usually something we talk about during Thanksgiving time, when it seems to be a common thread among people, but in reality, it’s important all year around. No matter where you are in life or what you are going through, there is something to be grateful for. There are always things to be happy about and there is always a way to find something positive.
The Bible tells us about this many times. There are many parts of the Bible that speak about being thankful through difficult times. It’s not that we need to minimize our pain or pretend as if bad things aren’t happening, but focusing on the positive is more useful than focusing on the negative. It’s a hard concept to deal with at first, and for many people, it’s difficult to let go of negativity, but it really is the healthiest way to live.
God always gives us reasons to be happy. God never promises us that this life will be easy, but He promises to be with us, and that is reason enough to be thankful. The fact that we have such a friend in Jesus and that we are more than conquerors because he loved us is the best reason in the world to be joyful and to praise God for everything He has done.
Today, be encouraged knowing that God is sending you blessings, seeking after you, and placing certain people in your life for specific reasons. God isn’t only involved in the big events of your life, but He is present in every aspect of your life, taking care of even the small details you don’t notice yourself. Make a mental note to pay attention – watch for the little things that happen throughout your day that make it a little better. Another suggestion is to make a list. Making a list of things you are thankful for, and a list of reasons to be happy, is a great thing to do. It can be a very helpful practice to make these lists and pray, thanking God for each of the wonderful blessings He has given you. Whenever you’re feeling down, go back to that list, and think about all the times God was there for you and helped you through and blessed you abundantly. He’s not giving up on you, and He’s still here now, doing everything to make all things work together for your good. There’s a time and a place to discuss complex things and difficult issues to deal with, but there’s also a time and a place to just focus on the simple blessings you have been given.
How do you practice being thankful for what God has given you? Share in a comment below.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2
Teachers play a key role in student success, and although some may seem like they don’t need to be acknowledged – a simple “thanks” can go a long way in a teacher’s life. Teachers may not get paid the most, but they certainly make more of a difference than almost anyone else. They spend their lives improving the lives of others, sharing knowledge, and working for a bright future for the next generation.
South Lancaster Academy is a small school in which students have really good connections with their teacher. Because of a 1:17 ratio they have a chance to be more involved and know one another more. The SLA Pioneer decided to ask some students how much they appreciate their teachers and what can they say about their teachers unique classroom environments.
“I appreciate how far Mr. Lambert has achieved as a teacher and made his way into becoming principal. I will definitely miss him as a history teacher and making his class environment the best high school experience”- Sophia Cantrell
“She always wants each individual in Vocé and choir to reach their full potential. She always goes above and beyond by hosting Friday night rehearsals in her home, staying after school to have an necessary extra rehearsal, and making sure she has a relationship with each one of her students. She is definitely a teacher that is appreciated by her pupils. I can speak for all the Vocé seniors that we will be heartbroken once we leave Vocé behind.” – Raissa Silva
Last summer, on a Sabbath afternoon, a group of people from my church and I decided that we would hike up a nearby mountain. I was fairly excited to go to that particular mountain because it just so happened to be my favorite to hike. I’d hiked it many, many times in years’ past, and it hadn’t been the most difficult of climbs. I hadn’t exactly done much physical activity over the summer, so I was a bit out of shape.
At the base of the mountain,the summit didn’t look too far away. Once we were halfway up the now steeper-looking slope though, I was ready to hike back down. The path seemed to go for miles and was beginning to resemble Jacob’s ladder more and more.My steps slowed more and more until finally I had to start taking short breaks. A few times I had to run ahead only to sit down for a longer while.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I finally reached the top. I felt like rallying to my knees and kissing the ground at that point, but decided on just laying down instead. The wind seemed to give me energy and after a few minutes of laying down I took to a rather large boulder and leaned into the breeze, feeling more alive than I had in the longest while. You know what’s funny about conquering a mountain? After all the struggle and suffering and pain, you get to see the beautiful and refreshing view.
No one said being a follower of Christ would be easy. The mountain I climbed was very much like the life of Christians today; when the going gets tough, the tough get going. 1 Peter 1:7 (NIV) reads, “These (trials) have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Even though life is a clear challenge, with new ones always waiting around the corner, the trials come for a reason; God wants to know if you really mean what you claim to be. Live up to your title as a Christian, be a good example to others, stick to the word of your mouth and people will respect you. And lastly, keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t lose sight of your reward and think of the beautiful view you will have from the foot of the throne of God.
Everyone has a trial in which they’ve gone through. Whether big or small, the challenge will bring us closer to our goal. Let us know about a “mountain” in which you have conquered in the comments below!
On April 25, 2015 an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck Nepal. Nearly 5,000 people have lost their lives, 10,000 more have been injured, and countless others have been emotionally affected, or lost a loved one. This tragic event has caused chaos and heartbreak for the people of Nepal and has led to them requesting international assistance. There has been so much destruction, and while there are many relief agencies currently at the scene helping out, there are still entire villages that have not received the assistance that they need. There is frustration and confusion over this troublesome event as relief agencies struggle to do the best they can. A large percentage of the people of Nepal have lost their homes and lost everything that they had. People are left without shelter, and are stuck fighting to survive out in the cold without enough food. Read the rest of this entry