A new session of STAND will begin on Monday, September 14. For more information, please visit and click on the links for "Stand." Our last session together was WONDERFUL... you won't want to miss this study!

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Can't wait to study with you!!!
Love, Mary

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lori, I was thinking some of the very same things as you … that being blessed is a choice, a perspective. First of all, most of us in industrialized nations are incredibly spoiled when compared to others in the world. Things we think we “need” or “just gotta have” are often completely unessential. (Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I never pout or whine when I don’t get what I want as far as material blessings. Knowing and doing are two entirely different things, eh?) I think the more we have, the more we want … so here’s a strange thought -- in a way isn’t it a blessing to NOT be wealthy or flooded with every earthy gadget we desire on a whim? (Again, I know this but don’t always LIVE it! Any ideas for how to better put this into practice??) I think that blessings, in the true sense, are not dependent on our circumstances. We might have to look harder sometimes, but they’re still there. They might just be wrapped in different (less-obvious) “packaging” during times of struggle. But those camouflaged packages are somehow so much more rewarding when we find them in the middle of our deserts than the obvious ones we come across during times of plenty!Sam mentioned being “deeply durable.” This reminded me of something I’ve heard about grass -- that if it gets too much water too often when you plant it, it won’t be tough because the roots won’t have to grow very deep. I think the same is true with “physical” blessings in this life -- the more “stuff” we have, the less likely we are to grow those drought-resistant roots that will later save us (Matthew 19:24).I don’t think these verses downplay the misery of suffering in hard times. Suffering is, and always will be, miserable. Again, I think what these verses are offering is perspective. They offer an alternative point of view. If we process things from God’s viewpoint rather than our own, we see things so much differently. (I’m often too caught up in myself and what I’m feeling and wanting that I fail to do this, though. It’s so much easier said than done!) And from where God is standing, He sure can see more of the picture than we can, so I’m feelin’ sure that His viewpoint has a lot of advantages over ours : )
- Amy

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