Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Only a Season

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Story By: Lisa Petrarca

No matter what happens, severe heat, raging fires or the drought of summertime...fall and winter is just around the corner. Changing the color of the leaves, grass and blowing in cooler weather. Winter sneaks in to provide rain and snow to renew the land. Just when you feel as though you can't take the chilly weather anymore, it begins to warm up. Winter has refreshed and replenished, making the beauty of spring possible. Brilliant red, yellow and purple flowers sprout up and bloom. Fruits and vegetables begin to grow...bringing with it renewed life.

In life we too have seasons; happy, sad, difficult, easy...change is always happening. Something new is just around the corner. The difficulty is often in the waiting. Learning to be patient for the new season to make everything right. During these times we need to remember that Heavenly Father is always there. Through prayer and His word, you'll find food, water and shelter for your soul. It's everything you'll need during the seasons of drought and storms.

Don't deprive yourself the nourishment you need to weather the storms of this life. Remember that through the gift of Jesus Christ you have a new beginning, a fresh start to the ever changing seasons of life.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted. A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,2,4,6,7

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. That brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 4:1-3

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Story By: Lisa Petrarca

I sat, locked away, wondering how to open the door. A prisoner behind a wooden fortress. Each day spent frantically searching for a way out. By nightfall, completely worn out. I knew that if I could open the door, everything would be better in my life. All the anger, hurt and frustration would be gone. On the other side, I would find the answer, happiness would finally be a part of me. Pounding, pushing hitting only produced deep rivets in the wood, but it wouldn't give.

My sins had trapped me here. My past haunting me, searching to find freedom on the other side. My mental focus on that door. Years past, the days spent consumed with the door, now deeply scarred, chunks ripped out, exposing lighter wood and splinters. My hands torn and bloody, my soul still longing to be free. Breathless and exhausted, the time spent looking at my captor, my burden, had taken its toll.

No more! Throwing myself to the floor, tightly curled in a fetal position, crying from the pit of my stomach, gasping for air, unable to look at that door. I cried out to God to save me. This was the first time I had thought of anything but the door. I cried over and over, "Please release me from this prison. I have tried to get out...I have nothing left, I give up, I can't look at it for another minute."

The Lord replied, "My child, that door represents your sin. You have focused on it for far too long, keeping you away from all that I have for you. Your past has held you prisoner. It has kept you away from Me. You were too blinded by sin to see the other door. My door...which I provided for you, through my only begotten son, Jesus Christ. He provided the key. Through His sacrifice you no longer need to look at the door of your sins. You are forgiven, My door is open...YOU ARE FREE."

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7,8

Don't continue to let your sin keep you away from a relationship with your Heavenly Father. Stop spending so much time focusing on it and ask the Lord to set you free!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Turn Off Your Cruise Control

I often dream of going to far off places. Visiting other countries, seeing different cultures, sites and people, breaking free of my normal life. Adventure and change has always held an appeal to me.

Taking small road trips in the meantime to satisfy my need to explore. Stopping at abandoned homes to take rustic pictures, imagining who lived there, what happened in their lives that made them leave. Trying to look at things in a different way, finding beauty and joy in the unexpected.

However, in my everyday life, I find change very difficult. I get stuck in my routines, going to work, pick up the kids, make dinner, clean up, and then getting everything ready for the next day and start all over again.

Why do we go on auto pilot? Saving up excitement and joy only for vacations. You need to turn off the cruise control. Open your eyes to what is going on around you. The adventure you are seeking can be the lonely neighbor who's lost a loved one and needs some company. A friend who asks for help. The elderly person struggling to unload their groceries, or cheering up a co-worker with a smile, and encouraging words.

It may not sound like the adventure you were hoping for, but there is absolutely nothing more satisfying than giving of a Christ like life. He has shown us the true way to happiness...showing love to others by giving of yourself. Take a look around you this week and see if you can find an adventure waiting especially for you! Turn off your cruise control & auto pilot...step into the excitement all around you. Pray that God will open your eyes to your true purpose and remove the blinders! Only then will you find true peace, happiness and joy that may be missing from your life.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7