By Patricia Ann 8/12/23
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Oh, how wonderful it is to know that our Father in Heaven desires for us to think on the good things in life!
God knew, of course, that we would have troublesome times.
That is why Paul writes to us in Philippians, letting us know the importance and necessity to focus on what is good, despite the bad that we may have seen and experienced.
Bad days are inevitable. Sometimes we have a bad week, month or even a year. And sometimes, it seems like years go by with increasing troubles and we start to lose our focus on the good things. We lose our focus on the things of God.
Almost always, we can rest assured that God will send us a sign. It might be through a stranger, family member, a pet, smell or a sound that alerts our senses to something good that we recognize. For even a split second of our miserable day, we taste the joy of the Lord. We are in HIs presence and we know it. We like it! It feels like home! But, then those old familiar feelings of despair and depression can come right back to pull us into the darkness of our tarnished existence.
Ad that is what we are. Tarnished is who we have become.
There is good news, however. Just as silver gold or copper can be shined up and the tarnish removed, how much more does our Father seek to have us restored to our former beauty. God seeks for us to walk in His beautiful presence. He seeks for us to shine in his Glory.
And we might wonder... just how do we do that? How do we shine in the glory of God's love when we feel so unfocused and downtrodden?
The answer is simply written by Paul in Philippians 4:8... Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Peace! Yes. Peace is what we need. Peace allows our focus to return to its original
intended purpose to love and worship our God.
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
In doing this, we can be sure that God will meet us with open arms and restore us to a peaceful existence within His reach.
My prayer for today is that we receive all the goodness of our Lord as we strive to continually focus on Himself.
I am writing a few words about my experience with focusing on God at the lake today...
True... Lord God, I know your word is forever faithful and true. You are the beauty in creation! That is true!
Noble... Lord, you are noble, upright, righteous, pure and loving. You are the creator of noble character!!
Right...Lord, loving you is the only right thing to do. Without you, I am nothing, but with you, I am fulfilled. That's right!
Pure...Lord, you are pure and because you are pure, I am also made pure in your love. Your love is Pure!
Lovely...Lord, this beautiful earth you created is lovely, with the sun and moon, mountains, rivers, lakes and streams, the birds and the animals that all worship your Holy name. Oh, how lovely!
Admirable...Lord, I admire you! The way you listen to my every desire, your gentle whisper in the breeze, the sound of an eagles cry in the sky and the flowers that bloom...butterflies and fireflies and lady bugs, too. They are all reasons to admire you!
Excellent...Lord, your ways are excellent. Your excellence is in All things created. All creatures great and small have been created for your excellence to enjoy!
Praiseworthy...My Lord, You are praiseworthy. I can sing of your perfect love all day long. I praise your Holy Name!
As I was at the lake today, you met me my Lord!
Oh, how I needed you! And you showed me the turtles warming themselves in the sunshine on a log.
You showed me the pinecones, high up in the tree. The beauty of the green pine tree loaded with a huge number of pinecones captured my attention. They are there in the tree top, just growing, just waiting.... for the right time to fall to the ground. You know Lord when that will be!
The beautiful, blue sky with the white, puffy clouds reflected on the shimmering lake water!
I stood there at the water's edge, taking in all the glory of this part of your creation.
You knew I needed this time to reflect on You, to spend some moments with you!
I am humbled, my Lord, as you showed me that when I get too busy with the things that the busy days bring, I only need to begin praising you, thinking on all things good... and you will meet me!
Thank you for giving me you a silent nudge to drive to the lake to pick up pinecones for craft projects today.
As my soul had felt down for several days, You, my Lord, lifted my spirit high, as you shared some very beautiful parts of your creation with me.
Oh yes, my Lord. Thank you for the tiny, orange butterfly that landed on my fingertip and those colorful, orange and yellow mushrooms that I found growing under the pine trees. There they were, popped up seemingly from nowhere... bright with color among the brown, dried pine needles and pinecones. They were a pleasant surprise!
Thank you for meeting with me and spending time with me. Focusing on the good things really does work!
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Greet all God’s people in Christ Jesus. The brothers and sisters who are with me send greetings. 22 All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.
23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.[a]