Well, today seems like a good day to write about snow as a few inches have accumulated.  This entry will be dealing with the topic of snow more so in the allegorical sense with a little bit of literal sense so here is my two cents.  Although it is normal for anyone to have doubts and sadness with a longing for modification, I have personally been struggling with adjusting to become the man that I need to be and that I was made to be.  Basically, I have been going through a winter lifestyle (feeling cold, being inconvenienced, and most of all, completely uncertain of the future).      

Lately, more often than not, I would get lost in thoughts of regret for things that I should have done but did not do and for things that I did do that I should not have done.  We do something that we know we should not do either from something that we were told of before or just know inside our conscious is not right.  This is sin, doing something that is not right and not doing something that we know we should do.  This usually becomes a downward spiral resulting in the fact that we then become slaves to sin, in other words, we are held in bondage to an activity that is not good for us.  If you do not control your desires, your desires will control you. 

As I was sitting at work, watching the snow fall on the cameras through the closed circuit television monitors, I became inspired with the thought that for every snow flake that comes down is a reminder that I have been forgiven.  This reminiscence comes from Isaiah 1:18-20, “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD.  “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow.  Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.  If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.  But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.  I, the LORD, have spoken!”

http://youtu.be/MpWozyQ2QH4  (Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns)

There is a saying that, “Most of us are thermometers, merely reflecting our environment.  We need to be thermostats, controlling it.  We must learn to give more of ourselves than what others may reasonably expect.”  It is never what you are going through, it is always how you are going through it.  Learning to change requires us to think differently, unconventionally, and outside our comfort zone and always requires hard work and dedicated participation.  In the process of change, we need to remember that the greater the struggle we encounter, the greater the blessing we will receive.  As difficult as that is, we need to wait for the breakthrough.  I once heard a sermon that included this quote:  “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.  Where the battle rages, that is where the loyalty of the soldier is tested.”  Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”  At this realization, we should be able to embrace this season of life that God has given us as a gift.

There is a story about a young boy around the age of 7 who wanted to make a fort on top of a hill in his backyard.  He had a large wooden barrel and was trying to roll it up the hill.  He tried so many times in so many different ways with all of his strength but no matter what he did, he and the barrel would end up back at the bottom.  Finally he just started crying, and his father came out and asked him what was wrong.  When the boy told his dad that he had used all his strength but failed at the task, his dad told him that he did not use ALL of his strength and he needed to push.  The boy said that he had pushed with all his might and still ended up at the bottom.  The father then told him, “You did not use all of your strength because you did not ask me for help.  All you had to do was ask me and I would have helped you bring the barrel up.”

There are many “anonymous” groups (Alcohal Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc…) that have a 12 step program that ask their members to submit to a higher power.  These groups are wonderful for changing people who suffer from some type of addiction in their lives to become better functional people in the world.  Biblically speaking, there are only two “high powers” in this world:  God or Satan.  We must cry out to the right source immediately for help.  When we cry out to God, He will give us deliverance.  He will deliver our souls to salvation.  He will deliver us from bondage to freedom that can only be found in Jesus Christ.  After God has delivered us, we will find rest, peace, and silence with Him.  Finally, we need maintenance to keep us from going down the wrong path again.  We need determination because of salvation. 

In one of my devotional study commentaries, I read that, “Genesis is known as the book of beginnings.  We find the beginning of time, life, marriage, sin, worship, human government, and salvation.  The genesis of abundant life for each believer begins at the cross.  In order to be renewed by the Spirit, Sherwood Wirt says, “We must go to the cross-not only to kneel in reverence, not only to bow in commitment, not only to pick up our cross and carry it, but to be crucified.”  Self-crucifixion means that Christ will send His power into us as individual selves by the same Spirit.  But first, as Richard Bennet says, “The Christian has to attend his own funeral – willingly.”

Shane Idleman provides fantastic insights on life and a few things I got from him that applies to this entry is this:  “Without God, we are self-absorbed drifters with the false mindset that we are kings and queens of this world, looking inward believing that everything is about us.  We often tell Jesus that He should stay on that cross while we sit on our thrones.  Jesus tells us that if we want to live life to the fullest, then we should get off our thrones and carry our crosses.  In Christ, we know that it is not about us, we look outward toward others.  Freedom comes from Jesus Christ who gives life abundantly.  Devotion to Christ and the spreading of the Gospel is a life full of joy.  We cannot become new if we are not willing to break.  We have to break to become a new creation.  Why?  Just as muscles grow in the body, they are broken down while resting and eating nutrients, strained by an unfamiliar workload and responds by growing.”

The timing for this entry is uncanny as this is the season of Lent.  The purpose of Lent and the purpose of any fasting is to discover where our priorities are and to refocus on God.  For example, if we have the most desire and spending a lot of our time and energy watching television, we need to replace that desire, time, and energy by reading the Bible and be in prayer.  The same goes if we spend most of our time on the computer, eating, playing games, etc… The power of sin is dead; however, the influence is not.  What we fill our minds with will either build us up or tear us down.  We feed our bodies with food, so we need to feed our spirit with Scripture and there will be times where we need to remove what we feed our bodies and replace it with feeding our spirit in order to become stronger.  We find in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “So be truly glad.  There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.  These trials will show that your faith is genuine.  It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.  So, when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”  Later in 2 Peter 5-9, we read, “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises.  Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.  The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.”

http://youtu.be/DXDGE_lRI0E  (10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman)

A few expressions to ponder:  “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.  If you must look back, then look back with thanks. If you must look forward, then do so with faith.  In the meantime, just rejoice in your walk living moment by moment.  The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”  I would like to close this entry with Colossians 1:9-14:

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”