Friday November 30, 2018 The Day

Posted November 30, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

On Christmas morning it is always so fun to watch the kids ripping through wrappings and tearing open boxes.  The fury of anticipation fulfilled is amazing to behold.  I often wonder what the world would be like if we opened the PRESENTS that God gives like that.  His gift is the day, today, the present!

It would be a much different world if each of us, ripped back the sheets of our bed like we were opening a precious long-awaited gift.  Excited and in wonder of the amazing rewards that lie ahead in the seconds and minutes that we have at our finger tips.  Moments to love, create, embrace and forge memories.  I love the saying… “People forget years and remember moments”.  Ann Beattie

That is the possibility that the present gives to us, an opportunity for a moment we create to treasure a lifetime.  Seize the day and rejoice because it never comes again.  When we dwell in the past our lives are filled with regret and we can easily be depressed because of unfulfilled potential.  When we look anxiously ahead, always worrying about the future, we miss out on the beauty of TODAY!  Peace only comes when we live in the present, the moments that God gives us NOW!

So take the gift bag that is today and turn it upside down, shake it out and bask in the joy of living in the moment!  Possibilities are endless!

Lord help me always appreciate and embrace the gift of today.  Help me make the most out of what it brings to me by seeking to serve You! 

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Wednesday November 28, 2018 Celebrating

Posted November 29, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord.  2 Samuel 6:5

Celebrating with all their might!!!  Sounds like the David was my kind of leader.  I am from a big family who always liked to party.  For any reason mom would bake a cake and we would celebrate a good grade or an award one of the kids one, birthdays were a big deal and forget about weddings and even funerals… celebrating the life that touched us all was often raucous with tears, laughter and stories galore.

I love that our God created us with the ability to be passionate.  Jesus even said He spits out the lukewarm.  So as the holidays are upon us, celebrating with all our might is a gift we can give ourselves.  Enjoy the beauty of all the decorations.  Wrap your presents so they are an extension of the love inside.  Make occasions an opportunity to celebrate with all YOUR might whether that is a tea party with grandma or a glamorous evening at a house party on New Year’s Eve… just hire a UBER or Lyft if alcohol is involved.  😊

Jesus gave us only two commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor.  If we do that with all our might… the celebrating becomes second nature.  For each moment we are engaged with those we love, not judging, not expecting things to be this way or that, celebrating who they are and who we are when we are together… we can party with abandon.  Life is a celebration!  Don’t place limits on your ability to enjoy all God has placed before you.  Party with exuberance and embrace and remember the reason for the season and the people that are in your life.

Dear Lord, Thank YOU for the desire You have placed in my heart to live and love with all my might.  Help me to always move passionately each day, celebrating the present moment for it is truly all I have! 

Tuesday November 27, 2018 Abundance

Posted November 27, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

“Seven years of abundance are coming.”  Genesis 41:29

On a #GivingTuesday would we be more generous if we woke up and heard on the TV or radio or read on our news feed from CNN that “Seven years of abundance are coming!”  Most would take that news with a grain of salt.  Figuring that they certainly could not be correct, that is just for the rich people, or shake their heads and say, “Who are they kidding?”.

I have been around for a long while… (sixty-seven years) and have learned that abundance is really a state of mind.  If you are feeling poor, then you are poor.  If you are feeling blessed, then you are!  Having what we need covers a very wide range of items for most of us but in reality, if you make a list of what YOU REALLY NEED what would be on it?  A roof over your head, I know children who are living in a car, is that the roof you were thinking about?  Or is it a palace… Food to eat, most of us throw out more food than some live on.  What do we need to eat to sustain our health?  Clothes to wear, I have a closet full of clothing for every occasion… I am often overwhelmed with keeping all my stuff stored and neat.

That really is ALL we need to survive so the rest is abundance.  Today is a great day to bless someone who does have needs with our bounty.  How can you and I be the provider of abundance for another?  Maybe not for seven years but for one day, and then another!  God has promised to meet our needs.  He does so with abundance so we can share!

Lord, help me to always appreciate everything You have provided in my life.  Help me always be grateful for Your provisions and share my bounty for anything over what I need is abundance!  What I need… is You! 

Monday November 26, 2018 Acknowledge

Posted November 26, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him.  As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the spring rains that water the earth.  Hosea 6:3

I love the beautiful expression of love that is the book of Hosea.  Come back to me with all your heart, is all God has ever asked of you and I!  The profound beauty of this verse that simply asks us to acknowledge God as creator and trust that when we do God will be there makes living our faith a simple thing.

There are so many ways in our daily lives to put God front and center in our thoughts and actions.  In gratitude for every gift from the parking space to the sale on an item we need.  It is imperative that we recognize His hand in our successes and seek His help in our distress and disappointments.  For even in the things that we think of as BAD, God is there.  He knows what each of us need and will be there to make our way straight if we just acknowledge HIM we will see His hand guiding us!  So often in the “GOOD” times when I think I am accomplishing… that is when I most need to focus my attention on Him.  He needs to be first in our hearts and minds to keep true perspective!

By acknowledging Him, we keep remembering His presence in both the triumphs and the tragedies, whether tiny or huge, He is with us.  God is found in relationship not religion.  If we truly have steadfast love of Him, our ability to love others and even ourselves is magnified.  When the line between religion and relationship blurs, we need to acknowledge the God who loves unconditionally!

Lord forgive me for the times that I am forgetful of Your love and omnipresence in my life.  Help me to acknowledge and appreciate all You are and keep my focus on our relationship so that I may be who You have created me to be. 

Sunday November 25, 2018 Kingdom

Posted November 25, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.  Matthew 6:33

I love that the Church in her wisdom has appointed the last Sunday of the Church Calendar as The Feast of Christ the King.  Each of us seeks the kingdom of God but we still need a reminder that the little baby that takes precedent of our minds and hearts in December is a King.  His glory fills the hearts of His people with love and commitment, but we can never forget His power.

In the gospels, Jesus miracles are documented and even Pilate asked about His Kingship.  The God who writes straight on crooked lines lived and died to set you and I free.  His mercy created the opportunity for each of us to live forever in His kingdom.  The Israelite people were confused because they thought the Messiah would be a King who would free them from the Romans.  They refused to recognize that His Kingdom was not of this world.  Jesus spoke eloquently but they still sought an earthly freedom not an eternal one.

God has shown often that He can turn our wrong thinking into the right direction.  Even sins have been made right by God’s gracious interference.  The omnipotent power of our God has made the world aglow with goodness if we can just stop and recognize it.  The focus in our media is always about what is wrong as blood and destruction sells.  But if we just focus on the wonders that surround us, living a God centered life of gratitude and thanksgiving is possible.  Today, find ten things to be grateful for… I guarantee you will be filled with JOY!

Lord, Thank You for coming as King to bring to life Your Kingdom.  You have enabled us to come and live with You by our choice to accept Your love and seek Your grace.  You are the alpha and the omega and the eternity that I seek. 

Saturday November 24, 2018 Forgetting

Posted November 24, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14

How often I struggle because I want life to stay the way I like it.  I am comfortable with the way things have been moving along.  When change arrives, and I realize that I need to embrace something new… I see that forgetting is an important first step to moving to what God is calling to me to be NOW!  Unless we leave the shore, we can never get to the destination.  Cortes when he arrived in Mexico burned his ships so that his men would be HIGHLY motivated to fight to win.  There was no other option.  I ask for the ability to forget the past and embrace the future the Lord has placed before me, often.

The drive that Cortes created for success certainly motivated his men.  Burned bridges still happen today when health concerns or a lost job, a devastating divorce or a crisis of any kind makes us unsure.  Forgetting the comfort and going forward into a new reality is the only way to attain the prize of a joy filled life.   God calls each of us heavenward and asks simply for our trust.  Can you let go of what you had pictured as your life and start building something new?  Can you strain toward the prize that God has called you to win forgetting the goals you had set for yourself?

Lord help me to look heavenward and come strongly to stand before You.  Give me the ability to forget the glory and comfort of my past and seek to be Your servant in my daily walk. Help me to always seek the prize that You offer instead of anything I had chosen.  I am Yours! 

Thursday November 22, 2018 Willingness

Posted November 22, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable to what one has, not according to what one does not have.  2 Corinthians 8:12

Once when I was hosting my orphan holiday meals, as was the case, everyone asked what they could bring to share at the dinner.  One girlfriend who was having a particularly rough go financially called me and said she wanted to clean my house for me in anticipation of the party.  I was working in retail at the time and so busy that I was thrilled and grateful but felt I could NOT accept.  She confided it would be what she could afford to do and would not come otherwise.  Her willingness to humbly offer and confide in me touched me so deeply.  So she came on Wednesday while I was at work and cleaned and helped make my house not only shiny but warm with decorations that she had made.   That was one of my most profoundly GRATEFUL Thanksgiving meals.

It is important to offer what we have because it can make all the difference and not looking at what others have or do but giving accordingly is so much more empowering.  St Paul explained how he was blessed by the Macedonians who were thrilled to be a part of his ministry.  Like my friend, being a part of something wonderful allows for a sense of belonging.  When our new parish was meeting in a high school, our pastor told the story of a poor farmer who gave just one brick toward the building of his parish church.  Others donated stain glass windows, or the marble altar or the golden tabernacle but each time he attended, the farmer would proudly look at his brick and see that he was a part of the beautiful house of God.  He gave what he could and was a part of his church home!  Every parishioner became a part of our building fund and in an amazingly short time we were able to start construction because all willingly gave what they could to be a part of the wonderful creation.

Lord, today is a day of Thanksgiving, a moment to rejoice and acknowledge what You have given to each of us.  May I always remember to share willingly with those who have a need never caring what others do but according to what I have been given.