Ephesians 3:14-21 is a prayer shared by the Apostle Paul. My study Bible says that Paul wrote this as an acknowledgement of all that God is doing in the lives of believers. Paul asks God for the believers at Ephesus to be strengthened with power through His Spirit. This is just the beginning of all that Paul asks for the people of Ephesus. I believe that Paul is asking the same for each of us. He asks God for gifts for us and he asks God that we grasp “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
This passage goes on and on about the incredible gifts, love, and power of God. After all of this, the Word tells us that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or can imagine! The power in this prayer comes not from the one praying it, but from the one to whom he is praying. The might in this prayer is not confined to the people of Ephesus. The One to whom Paul is praying was not just a God of that time, but is the God of this time and the God of all time.
James, the brother of Jesus, shares some difficult teaching with these words.
“My dear brothers take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, so to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19-20
James begins his letter speaking of trials. He calls on his readers to consider it pure joy when they face trials. He talks about how going through these trials in faith will bring about perseverance so that reader may become mature, complete, and not lack anything. James is not saying his readers will not face trials because they are believers in Jesus Christ. He does tell them their perseverance in faith will make them complete and mature. Even though we are reading his words 2.000 years later, the message is the same for us.
Until I was 10 years old, I lived next door to my grandparents. I saw them nearly every day. My aunt, uncle,and cousins lived on the other side of us. I remember thinking that everyone grew up like that. What a surprise when I found out how unusual that was. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. We would talk and play cards and, no doubt, she formed my love of needle crafts of sewing, quilting, crocheting, and knitting. She loved to bake. Well, I don’t know that she loved it, but I know she was really fabulous at it. When I was 16 she asked me what I would like for Christmas. It was an easy answer: an APPLE PIE! God bless her, she made me an apple pie. I shared it with my boyfriend, a cousin, and her boyfriend after midnight mass that Christmas.
John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
This is a verse that I have loved for a long time. To me, it gives hope and sets things straight. Right in this one verse we have the set-up of how things are, how they always been, and how they have always been.
I adopted this verse for Winter Grace Senior Ministries, Inc. I see it as a great summary of good vs evil, God vs the evil one, satan, the world, however you want to name the other. God gives hope, abundance, fullness. The other takes by stealing, killing, and destroying.
Okay, okay, I am using cliches and that is breaking a rule of writing, right? Well, bear with me for a few minutes. Every once in a while you come across someone discussing what they believe is the meaning of life. They will share what they hold most dear. In this post I am taking my turn and giving it a twist. During the last two and a half months, my top 3 parts of the meaning of life have come together hard! Through the passing of my mom, I see now more clearly than ever what gives my life meaning. I am going to share a small taste of the practical and real examples of why my top 3 are what make up the meaning of life to me.
On December 26, 2019; D. Patricia Elsnic (nee Haas); beloved wife of the late Henry Robert Elsnic; devoted mother of 3, dear grandmother to 6, and great-grandmother to 8. went to be with her Savior. This is the abbreviated form of the obituary. I left out names for the sake of privacy. What you do need to know that this is the beginning of the obituary for my mom.
The day after Christmas started the way most of the first day after Christmas normally starts in our home. It was quiet. It was going to be a day of rest and relaxation, It was going to be a time to play with our new toys if we received any, read a new book, chat, stay in our pajamas, and eat leftovers.
You could ask 10 people for their definition of spirituality. Most likely you would receive 10 different definitions. There may be common themes, but everyone looks at spirituality in a different way.
Definition of Spirituality
These are all definitions of spirituality that you can easily find through the wonders of the internet:
“The aspect of humanity that refers to the way that individuals see and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.” Christina Puchalksi, 2009.
“The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things- essence, being, self.” – Google
Finally, from a young musician: “Modern Spirituality is centered on the ‘deepest values and meanings by which people live.’ It embraces the idea of an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality. It envisions an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being.”
“The quality of state of being concerned with religion or religious matters.” -Webster
Why is increasing your spirituality important? We have already explored 10 Ways to Grow Our Spirituality. You may be wondering why we want to do that, especially as we age. As it turns out there are several physiological benefits to being more Spiritual.
Before we explore the benefits, let’s check out some definitions. As you will see from the these definitions, spirituality can seem all-encompassing. The question may become “What doesn’t fit into this category?”
Do you belong to a church that has a time for prayer? The pastor may ask for you to share your joys and concerns. Concerns of Aging.. Do you have any? Sure. If you were to say that you do not I would perhaps be a bit suspicious. Or I would know you were fairly young. Of course, the younger we are the less concerns we have with growing old. I realize that is a sweeping generalization and certainly does not apply to all young people. Our personal situation certainly influences what we are concerned. with.
Have you considered the Joys of Aging?
There are several surveys and articles which list possible concerns that people face as they age. According to Forbes Magazine there are 8 main challenges: