I love reading inspring, religious notes. Especially when it is how we can worship better. Here are some great notes by author, Rick Warren, who wrote, "Purpose Driven Life":
"Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems: If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is 'my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD."
When I came across this, I loved it and had to share it. This reminded me so much of what I learned as a missionary. Family wasn't there to confide in, only in letter form, which took a couple of weeks. But immediate counsel usually came from prayer. I have grown to love prayer. All forms of it, as said above, "happy, difficult, quiet, painful and all moments, turn to God." I remember never praying so much than in the mission field. We are always saying some form of prayer, and I felt wierd not saying them all the time after I got home.
Another thought that comes to mind, since I'm on the subject, that I still think about periodically is "What was my motivation to serve a mission?" my mission president would ask at zone conferences.
I liked how he answered: "Maybe you decided to come on a mission because you didn't want to dissapoint your parents, or maybe it was because your girlfriend said she wouldn't marry you unless you served a mission (to the elders)." The funny thing was, those answers applied to many, but ultimatley our reason should have been for the purpose of serving the Lord. I remember Larkins Dendobucho at the pulpit, feeling the spirit so strong, and hoping that my motivation could be just that, solely serving the Lord.
I think I went partly to serve the Lord, but also partly because I wanted to learn, on so many different levels. There was the language to learn, the gospel to learn well enough to teach, and I knew I would be eternally blessed for serving. Sometimes I think I'm so selfish for that reason...always wanting more blessings! Out of fear of doing wrong, I tried to do what was right, and I knew the blessings would come from the Lord...in all different ways. But that was my motivation.
The missionaries are coming over for dinner tonight. I love their presence in my home, for my children to see and feel. And I just can't help but reflect on my time in the mission field as I prepare dinner and straighten the house just so. Bryanna loves the missionaries and she talks their ear off every time they eat with us. It's quite hysterical about how she goes about conversing with them. I will have to write down the funny things she will say tonight.