Blessings In ‘Disguise’ [v189]

NOVEMBER 2014

Blessings In ‘Disguise’

We commonly hear that there are two things we can be certain of in this life: “death and taxes”—but, in my opinion, it’s not a complete statement—I think they need to add “trials.”

If you are like most people, from time to time you find yourself in difficult trials. Those unwelcome moments of life you and I wish we could ‘escape’. In fact, that may describe your life today! (As it does for me: I’ve been ‘wrestling’ with how to ‘deal with’ some of the ‘trials’ I’ve been going thru lately, especially as I prepare for a third surgery related to the total knee replacement I had in April).
 

So, in this season of thanksgiving—with a spirit of ‘gratefulness’—I’m going to suggest that we all try give ‘thanks’ for the things that challenge us! Yep, you read that right. Grateful for the unwanted things we have to confront, the things we can’t avoid (try as we might), and things that, at times, turn our world ‘upside down’. Why? Well, as one author put it, “An obstacle may be either a stepping stone or a stumbling block” [Author unknown], and “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors” [African proverb]. Complaining about your pain will not change it or make it go away. If anything, all it does is keep you ‘stuck’ in it.

Much of life boils down to how you deal with what you have. You have the choice to take the ‘lemons’ that life throws you, and turn them into lemon meringue pie—or you can lament the situation and be paralyzed by it! In addition, in facing and conquering your challenges, you build character and increase your skills in the process. In the words of author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
 

When people want to build up physical strength, they need to work against resistance. That’s why people lift weights and do isometric exercises. The process can be uncomfortable at times, and that’s why there is the saying, “No pain, no gain.”

The same principle applies to building up our ‘character’. For example, in order to develop patience, we need to be put into situations where patience is required (that gives us the opportunity to develop our “patience muscles”). In order to become more forgiving, we need to have things to forgive (enabling us to strengthen our “forgive­ness muscles”). In order to become more loving, we need to have people in our lives who are difficult to love (enabling us to increase our “loving muscles”). Of course, this is all easier said than done—but it is doable!

So, the next time you are confronted with something that has the ‘illusion’ of being an obstacle, simply realize that it is not the ‘boss’ of you—you are the ‘boss’ of it—and view it as being a ‘stepping stone’ in the right direction! For one of the many beautiful things about being brought down to the ‘ground’ is the realization that there is only one direction to go—and that is UP!

[ “Overcoming Adversity” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kGmjb9Qhzg ].
 

As a photographer, I am interested in ‘great’ images. One subject I’ve seen composed many different ways is what is called the “most photographed tree” in America. It stands on a rocky point overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the famous “17 Mile Drive” near Carmel, California.

It is a gnarled, twisted cypress tree growing out of what appears to be solid rock. The winds have blown its branches backward from the sea until they are permanently shaped like, well…Medusa’s hair, though not so deadly.

Many have captured the tree and have descriptively captioned their art. One famous artist entitled his simply: “Strength to Endure.”

The over 300-year-old cypress has something to ‘say’ to us all. It has endured the battles of the elements that rage around it: in the blistering winds of winter; in the lightning of spring; in the erosion of summer; and in the storms of the fall—and after all these years, it still proudly ‘wears’ its “crown of life” and ‘displays’ its perseverance for all who see it.

[ See it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Cypress
http://buzzclickphotography.com/the-lone-cypress/ ].
 

So, when trials come, how SHOULD you respond? Well, allow me to try to offer some ‘direction’ and some words of encouragement. I want to show you how ‘TRIALS’ can, in fact, become a tremendous BLESSING in your life!

A story I’ve heard told in the past might help put all of this into perspective:

“One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway, it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey So he invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement, he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed, as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off!”

The moral to the story is this: Life is going to shovel all kinds ‘dirt’ on you. The trick to getting out of the situation is to ‘shake it off’ and take a ‘step up’. View each of your troubles as a ‘stepping stone’, and don’t ‘waste’ the opportunities!
 

Well, there so happens to be an ‘epistle’ in the Bible that addresses how to overcome the trials of this life—it’s called the “Book of James” (the ‘half-brother’ of Jesus).

James offers numerous practical examples that illustrate how faith endures in the midst of trials, and how to ‘call’ on God for wisdom going through them. He says that such trials enable us—by God’s grace—to develop character qualities which will bear good ‘fruit’ for eternity. If we can get a vision for the valuable end results, then we will be able to see the trials as being ‘helpful’—enabling us to “count it all joy,” and consider trials something to be grateful for, rather than a problem to endure. Our trials here on earth are so brief compared with eternity. So, we should ask God to give us that eternal perspective, so that we see them as He does. James said it this way:

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you…Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him” [James 1:2‑5; 12].

God’s purpose in trials is our ‘maturity’, and to BLESS US by enduring them—making us into the person He wants us to be.
 

In every trial that we go through in this life, God promises that He will use trials to ultimately work for our eternal good! The Apostle Paul said it better than I can:

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” [2 Corinthians 4:16-18].
 

Another story I’ve heard about ‘struggles’ might help here:

“A man found a cocoon of the Emperor moth and took it home to watch it emerge. One day a small opening appeared, and for several hours the moth struggled but couldn’t seem to force its body past a certain point.

Deciding something was wrong, the man took scissors and snipped the remaining bit of cocoon. The moth emerged easily, its body large and swollen, the wings small and shriveled.

He expected that in a few hours the wings would spread out in their natural beauty, but they didn’t. Instead of developing into a creature free to fly, the moth spent its life dragging around a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The constricting cocoon and the struggle necessary to pass through the tiny opening are God’s ‘way’ of forcing fluid from the body into the wings. The “merciful” snip was, in reality, cruel. So, sometimes the ‘struggle’ is exactly what we need!”
 

Jesus also talked specifically about “blessings thru trials” in His “Sermon on the Mount.” He said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” [Matthew 5:4].

I know something about mourning, losing my dad a few years ago. After he passed, God comforted and encouraged me through Scriptures and during times of prayer—and I have been able to pass that comfort and encouragement on to other people going thru a death of their loved one.

Jesus cites another Beatitude that doesn’t ‘feel’ like a blessing when we face difficult circumstances: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” [Matthew 5:6].

What does it take for somebody to “hunger and thirst for righteousness”? Going through the trial of having to endure unrighteous behavior. This can range from rela­tively mild things to serious crimes. It can involve trau­ma­tic one-time events, or a series of events. It can be something done to an individual or to a group of people.

How could such a thing turn out to be a blessing? I have heard testimonies of men and women who were so appalled by their own unrighteous behavior—while serving a sentence in a prison—that they truly longed for truth, justice, goodness, and righteousness. They found it—’in’ Jesus—and they became Christians. God not only satisfied their longing, He also changed their hearts and made them His children.

[ Note: One of these prisoners was the “hatchman” of the Watergate ‘breakin’ out the Nixon administration, Chuck Colson. After serving his sentence and returning to society, he founded “Prison Fellowship,” a great ministry that helps inmates become Christians, and prepares them to become fully functioning members of society after them are released from prison. Their “Angel Tree” program coordinates giving Christmas presents to the children of incarcerated parents, working through local churches nationwide. My church, Faith Covenant, participates in the program, and I am involved with a special campaign called “Recycled Decorations” that gives 100% of the proceeds to their Angel Tree campaign. More details about this at the end of this ‘newsletter’ ].
 

To try to ‘sum up’ all I’ve been saying, the following are five things to remember about trials (from God’s perspective):

1. Trials are a short-term reality [1 Peter 1:6-7]
The difficulties that we face in life are ‘short-term’ realities because our existence is eternal. This life is not the end, but a ‘stepping stone’ for eternity.

2. Trials can lead us to greater blessings [James 1:12]
Standing up for God in the midst of life’s heartaches and heartbreaks leads us to a great reward. James says that those who persevere will gain the “crown of life.”

3. Trials give us proper perspective [2 Corinthians 4:16-18]
If this life were nothing but good, there would be no desire for heaven. Paul tells us that this life may be fading away but eternity is drawing closer. Each day we live, we get closer to the day we will ‘stand’ before Jesus.

4. Trials can help us experience God’s presence [Psalm 27:5-6]
God gives us His divine presence in the midst of trials and difficulties to send us a clear message. When we go through hard times we never go through them alone.

5. Trials help us to look forward to heaven [Romans 8:18]
One day we will reach the shores of heaven and see Jesus face to face. Every difficulty and trial will simply melt away in the ‘light’ of eternity. We are not living for today, but instead we are living for that day when we stand in the presence of Jesus.

Now, here’s what God ‘says’ might be some ‘lessons’ we can learn when we go through a trial:

1. God is at work in all things [Romans 8:28]
There is absolutely nothing that escapes His attention or is ‘completed’ without His divine care.

2. God gives strength in every situation [2 Corinthians 9:8]
God knows our every need and graciously supplies everything that we need to make it through the trials of life. There is no situation too hard, no time when He forgets, and no problem too great that His grace cannot help you through it.

3. Jesus has defeated the ‘power’ of trials [John 16:33]
Jesus gives us security in an insecure world. He is the one who helps us overcome the troubles of the world. Jesus gives us His calm assurance in the midst of the world’s chaos. There is nothing that happens in this life that Jesus has not already overcome.

4. One day the trials will be removed [Revelation 21:3-4]
God samples the worth of our faith through the trials of life. If we preserve in faithfulness to Him and His word it proves our faith is authentic, it will be more precious than gold. Trials bring blessing because they prove our faith is genuine.

God BLESSES our faith when we trust Him through the trial, and uses trials for the primary purpose of building our faith and character. Character must be tested to be proven genuine. There is no place for ‘wimps’ in the development of faith, for it calls for stamina and courage. The believer is rewarded by growth in Christian character after they have endured trials. If our faith is proven genuine, we will be strong and courageous even through trials!
 

When you face your trials in life take a look at those around you. The key to peace about one’s suffering is to put your problems into perspective. Look at the problems that you have, then look at those around you—you might just find that your problems are not as ‘extreme’ as others’ are, and that you should be thankful that they aren’t—and focus on the ‘blessings’ that you do have!
 

So, what is waiting for us when we have endured to the end? The “Crown of Life”: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” [James 1:12].
 

The word “crown” here is the Greek word “stephanos” which means a emblem of joy, life, reward and glory. It is a symbol of victory and of great joy and reward. The phrase “of life” means the only true, highest, and eternal life.

Clearly we are warned not to build up all our treasures here on this earth. These things can be taken in a moment. Our kingdom which we are a heir of is in heaven. In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul said he was “looking for that crown that we in store for him.” Peter told those he wrote to that when Jesus appeared that they would receive a “crown of glory that will never fade.” Jesus told the church that was being persecuted in Smyrna to be faithful to the point of death and he would “give them the crown of life.” [Revelation 2:10]. We clearly have a choice which crown and which glory to work for. We are told to work for what will last forever and not the temporal.
 

Each of the crowns mentioned in Scripture ( Everlasting Crown [1 Corinthians 9:25], for the One who Wins Souls [Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19], Righteousness [2 Timothy 4:8], Glory [1 Peter 5:4], and of Life [James 1:12; Revelation 2:10] ) is a reward for some particular special act of service or perseverance within the Kingdom of God. By all appearances, the crowns will be some sort of actual reward handed out to believers when Jesus returns again in the future.

So, if you are experiencing severe temptation, trials, or persecution, be encouraged and persevere through them. Just as a runner perseveres through the difficulties of the race so that he might reach the finish line and receive the reward, so also Jesus is waiting to put the “Crown of Life” upon your head when you reach the finish line after persevering through pain, trials, and persecution. It may not be an ‘actual’ crown or ring of leaves like Olympians get, but some sort of special blessing, honor, privilege, or recognition.

By offering the ‘incentive’ of a crown, Jesus is encouraging us to stay strong, keep the course, and remain faithful.
 

After persevering through many trials in his life, the Apostle Paul gave this encouragement, at the end of his life:

“The time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing” [2 Timothy 4:6-8].

In the 1600’s, Brother Lawrence, a “lay brother” in the Carmelite monastery in Paris, summarized exactly what I’ve been trying to say: “Afflictions are often God’s best blessings sent in disguise.”
 

I pray that you wholeheartedly seek God thru your trials—He WILL BLESS YOU!
 

[ Excerpts from: Michael Youssef; Norm Rasmussen; David Dewitt; Dennis Davidson; Ralph Juthman; Terri Althoff; Ken Silva; Paul Hudson; Nadia Ballas Ruta; Belinda Munoz; Maria M. Kneas; Connie Giordano; Dustin Hughes ]
 

RESOURCES:

“How to Let God Solve Your Problems: 12 Keys to Finding Clear Guidance in Life’s Trials”
By Charles F. Stanley

When trials come, how will you react? Facing troubles like job loss, divorce, or the death of a loved one is painful, but there is help. In “How to Let God Solve Your Problems,” Charles Stanley shares how trials can be used by God to grow your faith, and that He can help you through the difficulty you’re facing with hope.

http://www.christianbook.com/problems-finding-clear-guidance-lifes-trials/charles-stanley/9781400200955/pd/200955

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“Lord, Why?: Trials and Tribulations are All in God’s Plan”
by Reno I. Johnson

If you find yourself facing adversity and discouragement, take hope and strength knowing that God is with you in your trials. In “Lord Why?,” Pastor Reno Johnson will help you learn to see difficulties as opportunites, not obstacles. He provides practical, biblical wisdom for overcoming whatever types of opposition you face.

http://www.christianbook.com/lord-trials-tribulations-all-his-plan/reno-johnson/9781599799667/pd/799667

—————-

“Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials: His Help for Every Difficulty You Face”
By Elizabeth George

Born out of the author’s desire to help others through difficult times, “Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials” guides women to the assurance that God is still with them in their troubles. Elizabeth uses biblical examples and personal experience to show how God redeems seemingly hopeless situations. Readers will be encouraged as they explore how God can use their weaknesses to strengthen their faith.

http://www.christianbook.com/finding-through-trials-every-difficulty-face/elizabeth-george/9780736913744/pd/913742

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[P.S.: If you would like to investigate what the Bible says about God’s promises to help us thru our trials, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q5_d5_4of10.html
 

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v189) for NOVEMBER 2014
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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BLESSINGS
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel you near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if each promise from Your Word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win, we know
That pain reminds this hearts,
That this is not, this is not our home…..
It’s not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

What if my greatest disappointments,
Or the aching of this life,
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy.
What if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise?

[ Laura Story – Album: “Blessings” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOOFAaUGfRE

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BIBLE VERSE ABOUT BLESSINGS
We often go to God with our requests, but have you considered going to God to thank him for your blessings? A journal of blessings is a great way to accentuate the blessings that you see in your life. Sure it is easy to ask for blessings, but it is just as easy to be thankful for blessings. Try it, get a journal or a notebook and start recording one blessing a day. Each new day brings a new blessing — no repeats allowed. Here are 20 good scripture quotes about blessings.

2 Corinthians 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Blessings of Heaven:
Romans 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The Crown of Life:
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Revelation 2:10 (KJV) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

The Victor’s Crown:
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (KJV) And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Crown of Glory (The Preacher’s Crown):
1 Peter 5:1-4 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Crown of Righteousness:
2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Crown of Rejoicing (Soulwinner’s Crown):
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?For you are our glory and joy.

Examples of Blessings for Obedience:
Exodus 16:26 “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.”

Deuteronomy 7:13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you.

Jeremiah 7:5-7 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the father-less, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever…”

Zechariah 3:7-9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day…”

Blessings in Disguise; Persevering Testing & Trials:
Esther 4:14 “…For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Matthew 10:21-22 Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Sometimes blessings are disguised by trials. The Christian song writer Laura Story wrote a song during a time in her life when she wondered about blessings because God was not answering her prayers the way she wanted. Sometimes God gives us trials so that we can see the blessings in the end. I posted Laura’s “Blessings” song below, click on the play button and you can listen to it as you continue to read this article.

Unexpected Blessings Recorded:
Genesis 50:18-20 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

2 Chronicles 1:11-12 God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”

Luke 17:13 …”Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. (Jesus heals of leprosy)

Luke 24:30-34 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” (after the Lord appeared to them on the road to Emmaus and they did not recognize the risen Lord)

Acts 9:17-19 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened. (The conversion of Paul of Tarsus)

[ Pamela Rose Williams ]

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BLESSING IN DISGUISE
In the deep of the dark you fell in as the heart
Of your world went down in flames
To a cauldron of pain. Seeing no way out
And as you walked through the fire, losing even desire
It was like a dying swan
To look at you then. But look at you now.

You have found a new lease on life
A stronger step and a curious calm on your face that you wear as if to say.

Chorus:
You can rise from the ashes again
You can rise to the morning that breaks in your eyes
For what looked like your heart’s demise
Has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

It has worked for the good, like you heard that it could
But it was hard, so hard to believe
Standing among the ruins of a dream
But from here looking back, you can see clearly that
You can gain from things that you lose
And learn many ways by many means.

You have been an inspiration to me
And all the volumes of hope your revival can speak will always say to me.

Chorus:
You can rise from the ashes again
You can rise to the morning that breaks in your eyes
For what looked like your heart’s demise
Has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Chorus:
You can rise from the ashes again
You can rise to the morning that breaks in your eyes
For what looked like your heart’s demise
Has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

…It’s turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

[ Susan Ashton, Margaret Becker, and Christine Dente – Album: “Along the Road” ]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um0Q-FdzDaI

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RECYCLE YOUR DECORATIONS
As you get out your Christmas decorations during the Thanksgiving holiday, consider donating the ones you are not going to use to a GREAT CAUSE—the “Angel Tree” campaign—that purchases gifts and food for the children of prison inmates.

We are NOW COLLECTING ‘quality’ decorations [ items like artificial trees/stands; lights (working); ornaments (tree and table); wreaths; candles and holders; etc.] to sell them at the “Lucia Christmas Store” at Faith Covenant Church on Saturday, December 6, 2014—and 100% OF THE PROCEEDS will go to our “Angel Tree” campaign.

We need them by Sunday, November 30, 2014.

There is a drop-off ‘area’ in the “Fellowship Hall” at Faith Covenant Church (14 Mile and Drake roads) or just contact me, and I can arrange to pick them up from you. Thanks!

[ More info about Prison Fellowship’s “Angel Tree”:
http://www.prisonfellowship.org/programs/angel-tree/ ].

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DEEP THOUGHT(s):

“If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse.”
[ Anthon St. Maarten ]

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
[ Haruki Murakami ]

“Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty.”
[ Thomas S. Monson ]

“Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunder-bolt is elicited from the darkest storm.”
[ Charles Caleb Colton ]

“Before the fruits of prosperity can come, the storms of life need to first bring the required rains of testing, which mixes with the seeds of wisdom to produce a mature harvest.”
[ Lincoln Patz ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” [James 1:12]

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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One Response to “Blessings In ‘Disguise’ [v189]”

  1. Open ‘Doors’ | LIFE'S DEEP THOUGHTS Says:

    […] in disguise” was discussed in a previous ‘edition’ of “Life’s Deep Thoughts”: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/blessings-in-disguise-v189/ […]

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