WHY?

     Most of us put our trust in people, money or positions – not God.  Then when things fall apart we blame God whom we we not trusting in to begin with.  Interesting, isn’t it? 
     Why would we put our trust in people?  The Bible says “people are a blade of grass…a puff of smoke.”  In other words they do not last.
     Why would we put our trust in money? Money is only temporary, at best.  Today you may have it, but there is guarantee you will tomorrow.  The same is true with position, power and status.
      Life is every changing.  What has not changed in your life the past 10 years? the past year? the past week?  GOD has not changed.  The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
      Why not place your trust in an unchanging GOD?  Then when things fall apart we will understand that God is not to blame.  We may not understand the how’s, what’s or why’s of the situation…but we will rest assured that God is unchanging, He is trustworthy and He loves us.
      Here is a verse to check out.  Nahum 1:7 
      Make a choice to place your trust in God TODAY!  

      Wednesday I will share a few more verses of scripture with you that talk about the character of God.  Till then: Be still and know God…He is all you need!
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen           

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Important is an Understatement

   What is important to life itself?  I was thinking about this question a lot today.  Relationships are our very life-blood.  They feed our soul; they give us security;  they encourage us to grow, hope and dream.  Bad or broken relationships are destructive; devastating and crush hopes and dreams.
   This is more real to me now watching a relationship I thought would grow strong, die on the vine.  It’s heartbreaking to stand by unable to console and encourage.
    I find strength in knowing that God cares and as I pray I picture God wrapping His arms around my loved one.  He promises He is near, He cares and He will give strength when we are weak.  
    God is LOVE and He sees the past, present and future.  Trust HIM to see you through tough times because He sees beyond the pain and heartbreak of today to tomorrow and for eternity.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Abiding in Christ

“Abiding” – A word study   Abide (from Webster’s Dictionary)
2a.  to endure without yielding: withstand
2b.  to bear patiently: tolerate
2c.  to remain stable or fixed in a state    
How many different active words do these definitions conjure up? 
 
…to be longsuffering
…to be strong, unflinching …to be patient even in discomfort …to be unmovable.  At the same time can you see how the word abide provides rest, peace and safety?     The end result of abiding is…worth waiting for
 …that it provides a barrier
 …that it makes discomfort bearable
 …a calm, serene state of your soul

 You cannot abide without being still.  To be still before God is to know Him.

In A.J. Russell’s “God Calling” the October 3rd entry says, “Be still and know that I am God.  Only when the soul attains this calm can there be true work done, and mind, soul and body be strong to conquer and to bear.   Out of this “soul calm” is born a deep certainty in Me”. (italics A.J.Russell)

            Have you ever thought about the fact that you must “be still” you cannot “do still”!  Be is a state – not an action.  If we are always in action we are not abiding.
           
What is our posture to be while abiding?  STAND QUIETLY 

Why abiding IN Christ?…and not abiding WITH Christ?

     In (from Webster’s Dictionary)

     1a.  used as a function word to indicate inclusion

     1a.  (adj.) that is located inside or within

     2a.  that is in position, operation or power 

With (from Webster’s Dictionary)

      3a.  used as a function word to indicate one that shares in an action, transaction, or arrangement.

How do we get to a place of abiding?  Psalm 37
      Vs 1 Fret Not
      Vs 3 Trust  
      Vs 4 Delight
      Vs 5 Commit
      Vs 7 Be Still and Rest

 caring for you,
Carin g Hansen
      

The Surgeon

          We’ve all heard the analogy of God as the Great Physician.  Let’s take a little different route and explore the analogy of The Holy Spirit being a surgeon.  When we need surgery on our physical bodies, the Doctor prepares us by telling us the problem, the procedure, the possible complications and the expected outcome he’s hoping for.  We then place our trust in him to perform the procedure.  Then with our modern day technology we are anesthetized and when we wake up, the surgery is over.  Pain can be lessened with pain-killers and so we begin to heal.  However, no matter how skillful the surgeon is we have unsightly scars that last a lifetime.  Many times the outcome is not what the doctors or you had hoped for…or planned on.  
        
Spiritually speaking, when the Holy Spirit knows we need surgery, he too tells us the problem.  Sometimes through prayer and Bible study; sometimes by other people’s witness.  There are many avenues He uses.
  If we truly desire His best for us, we agree to “surgery”.  Often the procedure is long and painful.  Unlike physical surgery, we are “awake” through all of it!  Oh yes, He is gracious, gentle and loving, giving us peace and comfort, but we feel His spiritual scalpel intensely.   We often cry out in the middle of it “STOP”!  I can’t take this, it’s too much to bear, and being the merciful God that He is, He does our bidding, leaving us with open wounds and diseased spirits that will need more surgery later on.

          BUT, if we let His skilled hand finish the work and close the wound, the healing can begin.  The Holy Spirit is never unsure of the outcome.  He KNOWS what we will become once we have healed.  Something even more wonderful is that the scars from Spiritual surgery will always leave you more beautiful than before.  There is no disfiguring, no never!  Thank you God for the scars.

for more faith building articles and comments visit www.bridges2beauty.net and sign up for my free e-newsletter.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

October Victor!

     With October being Breast Cancr Awareness Month I thought it fitting to reflect a bit.   October is extra significant for me because I am not only a breast cancer survivor but today, October 4th, is the 13th anniversary of my survivorship.  
      I have struggled with that word “survivor” for a long time and recently came up with a new word.  The word is “victor”!  Every person who begins a cancer journey must either survive or end their journey in death.  When we talk about survivors it is connotated with someone who simply “made it through”.   But, a victor is someone who wins in the end. 
     I have often said that had God asked me if I wanted breast cancer so I could grow spiritually and emotionally I would have answered a resounding “NO”!  However, God didn’t ask and I grew immeasurably because of it.  I won in the end!  Does that mean I never get too into myself and feel a bit of remorse or that I cherished every step of my cancer journey.  Not even close.  But what it does mean is that although I may have lost a few battles I won the war.
     Now, don’t think for a moment I am saying those who lose their battle with cancer are not victorious.  I do not believe that at all.  In fact, I see those who lose their lives to cancer but have a personal faith in God as not only a victor but a victor wearing a purple heart medal!  In the end they won and they are now living in eternity without pain and tears.

     I am thankful God has given me thirteen more years to live.  I cherish every day knowing that it may be my last.  Not because I am obsessed with death but because that is simply how it is.  Everyone who is born must die, it is just a question of when. 
     Touch someone’s life with the love of God today, tomorrow and everyday you are blessed to stay on this earth .
with love and care,
Carin g Hansen

The End of Summer

      Fall is in the air and with it comes a time of reflection on fun times had with friends and family. 
      Seasons come and go and so it is with our lives.
      If you are in a place of struggle at this time – this season will pass
      Or perhaps you are in a place of great success – this season will pass
      Maybe this is a time of great transition for you – this season will pass
      BUT without the seasons there would not be opportunity for growth …
      and then our lives would stay in winter forever.
 caring for you,
 Carin g Hansen

Modest Dressing

     As a quick refresher from Friday’s blog,  modesty is defined as: a special characteristic in dress, speech or conduct – not bold, or self-asserting: but instead being cautious not to offend.

     So, what are some ways we may offend with our dressing?  Well, first of all we need to always dresss appropriately for whatever the occasion may be. 
     For instance if you are headed to a wedding you must be cautious not to “out-do” the  bride.  Or  perhaps you are going into a business meeting where you are an integral part but not the CEO.  You need to dress professionally and tastefully making certain you do not call more attention to yourself than your role dictates. 
     However, the most important way we, as women, may offend with our dressing is when we do not show respect for the men around us.  Whether that be your husband, male friends, boy-friends, fellow workers or male bosses – modesty shows repect to men and men respond to respect.  Respect means to value, admire and show consideration for. 
     Unfortunately in today’s society women are not taught to show respect in either their actions or their fashion choices.  All men are wired to respond to a woman’s body.  That is how God created them so that mankind would pro-create and not become extinct.  However, as women we are not to push a man’s sexual buttons in public arenas or with men who are not our spouses.  
     Dressing mysteriously and sensually can be alright with men we are dating or engaged to.  Even then, though, we must be cautious not to offend.  Be sure you are respecting them.  You do not want to be responsible for making them respond to you in ways that are inappropriate. 
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Modesty Anyone?

     The following four words relate to fashion and style.  Let’s see how close you come to the true definition of each of these words…

Sex – sexually suggestive or stimulating

Sensual – having a strong sensory appeal (sight, smell and touch – in that order)

Mysterious – exciting wonder or curiosity

Modest – a special characteristic in dress, speech or conduct – not bold, or self-asserting, but instead being cautious not to offend.

     Wow!  I bet that last one surprised some of you!  Modesty as it relates to fashion and style has gotten a bum rap.  Read the definition again.  Shouldn’t that be the goal of each of us?  To dress in a stylish, attractive way that does not bring undo attention to us…but rather flatters our coloring and bodies…while being careful not to offend those around us. 
     Monday’s blog will be about different ways we may offend with our clothing choices.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen

Thinking about Sept 11th

     This week as our nation remembers the 6th anniversary of the horrific attack by terrorists on our homeland  I thought it would be good time to celebrate some heroes we often forget.   I certainly do not in any way want to diminish all the wonderful heroes of that day and the days and weeks that followed.  How blessed our nation was and is to have heroes who put their lives on the line. 
      The heroes I want to bring to mind today, though, are those who fought a brave battle against cancer and lost their fight.  These precious people exhibit incredible strength, perserverance, grace and beauty in the face of an ugly disease.  They have looked death in the eye and in their last moments on earth encouraged those of us left behind to let them go because they are ready to face death.
      Take a few moments to remember the lives of these heroes and how your life has been blessed, changed and made stronger by them.
caring for you,
Carin g Hansen