The REdeemed Life

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II Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV): “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

Recently while visiting my son and his wife, along with my daughter, in Lancaster, we enjoyed exploring the unique shops in the downtown area. As we looked through the decorative shops, I noticed that several words beginning with the prefix RE kept appearing to describe the variety of refurbished goods for sale.

For purpose of clarity, I have defined the prefix RE as meaning: again; for a second time; and anew: in a new and different form. Some of the descriptive words, along with their definitions, are as follows:

. REcycle: to cycle again through changes or treatment

. REfresh: to make or become fresh or fresher

. REfurbish: to give new life to old pieces

. REimagine: to form a mental picture of something not present (make new in a different form)

. REmake: to make anew or in a different form

. REnew: to make or become new, fresh, or strong again

. REpurpose: to give a new purpose or use to

. REstore: to put or bring back into a former or original state

. REstyle: to make or style into a prevailing mode

Most of the above-mentioned words were used to describe the REcreation and transformation of various pieces of old, new, or unfinished furniture items. The results were extraordinary. This was of particular interest to me since I had furniture pieces at home that I wanted to change. Even social media sites list a number of businesses using these words to describe their site’s transformation of older, worn-out pieces of furniture, frames, windows, etc.

Today, I received a copy of the October/November issue of the AARP Magazine (yes, I am in that age category), and I began reading an article entitled, “Reimagine Your Life” by Richard J. Leider and Alan M. Webber. Geared to readers in the 50’s+ category, the article explained that they had a ground-breaking new program entitled, “Life Reimagined” and gave readers six guidelines to follow to assist them with answering the question, “what’s next?” and to help navigate them into the next years ahead.

The article intrigued me as it discussed ways to unclutter your life and how to find purpose in the latter years before and/or after retirement. In our society today, most of us live very busy lives and we do not take the time to reflect and explore other possibilities/options that are available to us before or once we reach retirement age. Since I am retired, but with a number of outside interests, I too have asked the age-old questions, “what’s next?”

Although the RE words are geared towards REmaking something out of an old piece, I could not help but REflect upon the profound words in scripture that mention that we are a new creation and REnewal begins within one’s own heart and life. A few of the scriptures are:

. Psalm 51:10 (KJV): “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.”

. Psalm 139:23 (AKJV): “Search me O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts.” (The song, “Change My Heart O God”, written by Eddie Espinosa, was based on his scripture.)

. Romans 12:2 (KJV): And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

. II Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV): “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

Christ paid the ransom and has REdeemed us (to ransom, free, or rescue by paying a price) by his unconditional love and the shedding of His precious blood, and we are now REborn (born again; a new or second birth) into His eternal kingdom forevermore.

Throughout my life, I have always had short or long-term goals–both at home and at work. However, I believe that we should ask for His REdirection, REpurpose, and daily REnewal in our walk with Him, and He will give us the answer to our questions: “What’s next?”, “Where am I going?”, “Where do I begin?”, “How do I get there?”, and “What direction do you want me to take in the next season(s) of my life?” in order to serve Him to the fullest.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Life is full of possibilities, and even in the last season of your life, the best is yet to come when we completely trust in Him.

Blessings on you,

Finished reading: “The Noticer Returns” by Andy Andrews and “Becoming Myself” by Stasi Eldredge

Currently Reading: “A Million Little Ways” by Emily Freeman

Summer Into Fall 2013

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As I looked over my blog posts, I realized that it had been a while since I posted. June arrived and I began traveling throughout the summer and then worked on and completed several projects. Why didn’t I blog? I believe it was because I questioned and asked myself “what did I have to contribute” that would be of importance. I then began to realize that the blog posts are not about who I want to read my stories and about how many followers I have, but they are for the One who created me and who allows me to share His stories through me.

It also occurred to me that I was looking back over why I had not posted rather than what the Lord had allowed me to accomplish throughout the summer into the fall. So I made a list of “Things I Did Do” and I was amazed. I decided to share the following list with you:

. Meditated daily/wrote in journal
. Walked the dog every day, if not raining
. Exercised to a 3-mile DVD at least 4 days a week
. Finished painting three 11×14 canvas paintings and a door sign for a boy’s room
. Painted a name plaque with ostrich characters for a newborn’s room
. Painted a pitcher as a gift and drove it to Lancaster
. Drove to Virginia in June, August, and twice in September to help daughter with home projects
. Attended a Women of Faith Conference with daughter in Washington, D.C. for two days
. Visited relatives back East over the 4th of July weekend and again in September
. Weekly practiced piano and selected songs for the Sunday services
. Attended a neighborhood block party
. Helped oversee the installation of a deck in the back of our house/new patio door in dining room
. Crafted a shadowbox for my daughter’s wedding memorabilia
. Scraped wallpaper off two of the dining room walls to prepare for painting
. Painted primer on the block wall under the deck
. Lunches with a friend periodically throughout the summer
. Performed daily chores such as cleaning, cooking, and washing clothes and grocery shopping
. Encouraged and prayed for church family/FB friends with special prayer requests
. Read at least four books and am still reading “Becoming Myself” by Stasi Eldredge and “The Respect Dare” by
Nina Roesner

As I looked over the above list, I am sure I have probably forgotten to list an item or two. Do I feel like a failure because I did not blog? The answer to this question would be a resounding “no, of course not.” In fact, I feel the opposite. I feel good at what has been accomplished throughout the summer and into the fall in that I am counting my blessings at the lessons I have learned in what the Lord helped me do. Our strength is not in ourselves, but it is in the Lord who gives us all gifts and encourages us to use those gifts for His honor and glory.

With the fall comes Harvest fests, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. As we celebrate this wonderful time of the year and what is ahead, let us look back and see God’s hand, grace, and blessings in everything that He has provided in our lives. We are truly blessed regardless of how much or how little we have. Let us rejoice for this is truly the day that the Lord has made.

Blessings on you,