I’m very thankful for friends and family sending out such sweet birthday greetings, not to mention a wonderful husband that makes sure I have a very special day! I’ve had a blast getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, a glazed & a pumpkin-filled croissant from Burney’s Sweets & More besides eating part of my Panera Cookie that had been tucked away in the freezer (since I’ve been on my “no dairy, no sugar fast” for the last 37 days!) along with great fun shopping at T.J. Maxx! And finally, the hubby took me to dinner . . .
On the other hand, I’ve had some unthankful moments pop up: like the weather – Autumn refuses to appear and decided to give summer several more weeks to roast us (missing the fall breezes and getting to wear boots today), Mission Barbecue gives away free barbecue sandwiches on your birthday so I went to get mine, but they were out of pulled pork (the meat I wanted), probably the worst unthankful moments today were when I reviewed picture-taking and saw, you guessed it, WRINKLES! Honestly, they have been hanging around for several birthdays now. I know, they are a part of growing older and projecting wisdom and all of that stuff, but they kind a cramp my style!😉 If you know what I mean!!
However, 56 years of life IS a gift from God! And He is something (or Someone) I definitely can’t live without and I am very thankful that He saved me early on in those 56 years. Hope you enjoy the pics from today (I tried hiding the wrinkles in a couple of them),
and this devotional by Paul David Tripp
A thing I can’t live without, such that I doubt God’s love when it is absent, becomes a functional God-replacement, directing my heart more than he does.
. . . What things of this earth tend to capture your heart and, in so doing, control your thoughts, words, and behavior? The apostle Paul captures the struggle that we’re examining here with these words: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). Immediately after writing a beautiful depiction of the gospel of Jesus Christ, why does Paul lay out the call of this passage? The answer is that he knows his audience. He knows that even though they are God’s children, the spiritual war is not over for them yet. There is a constant struggle for the rulership of their hearts. From a big-picture perspective, the heart can be captured or ruled by only two things. I’ll use Paul’s terms. Your heart is always living under the rule of “things that are above” or “things that are on earth.”
At street level, you and I are either worshiping and serving the creation or the Creator. The spiritual struggle is that we all tend to vacillate between the two. There are times when we get it right, and the deepest motivation and joy of our hearts is to live in a way that pleases God. But there are other times when we tell ourselves that there is some created thing that we have to have, and we functionally forget God and give ourselves to getting this thing that has captured our thoughts and shapes our desires.
This “above” or “earth” struggle is the great spiritual war between your conversion and your final homegoing. It really is fought in all of the situations, locations, and relationships of your daily life. It is not wrong to celebrate created glories. It is not wrong to want them in your life. It is not wrong to work to get them. But they must not be allowed to rule your heart and, in ruling your heart, to become your functional God-replacement. Not only is this struggle the big battle of the Christian life, it is also a principal argument for our ongoing need of grace—grace that can free us from our bondage to things that will never give us what God alone can give: life. New Morning Mercies
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT).
What God-replacement do you battle against?