Talents

During our last visit to Disney World, we stopped off at the Mexico pavilion and saw someone making glass figurines. It really fascinated me because (1) it’s something that I can’t do, and (2) the finished product was so incredible. I stood there for a few seconds just watching the woman shoot flames on the pieces of glass then melting and forming shapes from it.

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I thought about these passages from Exodus 35:30-33, “Then Moses told the people of Israel, The Lord has specifically chosen Bezalel… giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman… He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft” (NLT).

There are so many talented people in the world, but I’m not sure if they realize that their skills and abilities have come from God. I am not always thankful for the abilities God has given me, and most of the time I take them for granted. Psalm 139:14 reminds me that God has made me into who I am today and all my gifts and talents come from Him. Thank you, God!

Natural beauty

Today I did something different— I ate breakfast on the dining room table, all by myself. The room is beautiful in the morning— one side is open and through the glass I can see the birds flying and the squirrels scurrying around.

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The sun is just peaking off the top of the neighbor’s house, and between the leaves of my trees, the shimmering light glistens through the window—what a breathtaking sight! It is mornings like this that I especially feel God’s presence. I think about all the natural beauty in this world and I am filled with awe. What a wonderful Creator He is!

Psalm 19:1-4 says,

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.”

Then I thought about this Scripture verse, “…ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Rom 1:20).

How can somebody see all this beauty and not acknowledge God?

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

Change

I’m thinking about a question that was asked this evening— if you could have the perfect relationship (such as with your spouse, a loved one, etc.), what would it look like?

Some people think they have the power to change others. For example, they enter relationships believing that people will change simply because they are in that person’s life. When there are no changes, then they get disappointed.

The truth is we don’t have the power to change anyone, but God does. Ezekiel 36:26 says, “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (NLT).

That perfect relationship that you want is possible— with God’s power.  Pray that He changes your loved one, but most of all, ask Him to change you (Psalm 51:10).

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

Buttons

All of us have our “buttons”—things that make us react negatively. My “button” is feeling overwhelmed. This happens when I have too many things to do in a short amount of time. When I am overwhelmed, I get very grouchy; but even worse than that, I tend to get too busy for God.

One time I had seven classes I was teaching—I couldn’t remember which classes were starting their week or which ones were ending.  I wish I had remembered these passages from Psalm 46:10—“Be still and know that I am God.”

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Even in the midst of chaos and confusion, we need to talk to God. Only He can calm the storms in our life. How are you handling your “buttons”?

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

Never give up

After reading our Bible this morning I went downstairs to work out. As I was running on the treadmill I kept constant watch on my time, pace, and distance. When I found myself slowing down, I would adjust the pace; and when I got tired and felt like quitting, I would grab the handles and keep going.

It reminded me of God and His Word. The Bible helps us to gauge our progress in our Christian walk— how are we compared to those mentioned in its pages? Are we following the good examples or the bad ones? Ephesians 5:8 declares, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!”

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What do we do when we feel like giving up—do we grab onto God (like I grabbed the handles of the treadmill to keep me going) or do we just fall to the ground? Joshua 23:8 says, “…cling tightly to the LORD your God…” Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Finally, 2 Corinthians 4:1 states, “…since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up.”

If you haven’t been reading the Bible or turning to God for help, then I urge you to start today.

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

The Valley

I’ve only been running/jogging for a few days now, but I’m starting to notice a pattern of when I am prone to getting tired during my run. At about 2.5 miles I start to struggle but after a couple more miles I have more energy. The up and down pattern of my workout reminded me of life in general. I think all of us have felt sadness or depression at some point in our lives. In fact, there are several accounts of sadness or even depression that is illustrated in the Bible: Hannah (1 Sam 1:10), Job (Job 7:11), and Jesus (John 11:33-35) are examples.

To me, being sad or depressed is like being in a valley—the beautiful mountains are all around and I just want to be in the midst of its beauty but I’m in the flat area—isolated and alone.

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When I am in the valley I try to think about Psalm 23: 4— “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (NLT).

Being in the valley can be a lonely place, but that’s where God works on me. I think God puts me in the valley sometimes to get my attention so that I will turn to Him. I find that I rely on Him more when I am in the valley, and when I get out of the valley I am stronger, spiritually. I don’t really like the valley, though, so I have to remember Him even when I am not in the valley—“… Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God…” (Deu 8:11), but if this is the way God wants to shape me, then I am willing to go through the valley because I know He has meant it for good and He will take me through it.

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti

The sun

This morning I woke up hearing the rain. It was a soothing sound, but I knew I had to leave the house to run errands and it would be cold and damp outside.  The thought of getting wet and miserable made me wish for warm and sunny days. It made me think about the numerous pictures I had taken of the sunrise from various parts of the world. It’s amazing that the same sun that I see here is the same sun that I saw in Florida and the same sun that rose in Nepal.

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The sun has always been there– it’s the same sun that was there when the world first began. It made me think about Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God is consistent– He is always there. He is the same God they spoke about in the Old Testament and the One we pray to today– “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13). No matter where in the world we are, He is there. Even when it feels like He is far away, we can be reminded of His presence by looking at the sun. I then came across this other Scripture verse:

“For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11).

On days when the sun is bright and beautiful, I am reminded of God’s constant presence in my life. He has filled a void that will never be empty again.