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Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

A Walk with Purpose | Contemplations in essays, creative prose, and poetry | A Christian's perspective on life, written by someone who happens to be working to health from chronic illness | May your day be brighter and your dreams sweeter | © 2012-2017 Bernadette Saddik, RoomFullOfIdeas.com | All rights reserved. I am not an expert. All photos, writing, and anything else posted is my own unless otherwise stated. Please, if you would like to share, give credit to the author. The content on this site is not professional advice or analysis. Please note that your comments are subject to moderation. Thank you.

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Deeper than Words | This I Pray to You, Lord Jesus

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Forgive me Father, I have and will continue to fail.
Let not my mistakes be a stumbling block.
Let them be an opportunity to learn.
And as I lag behind when I fall,
And as I struggle to stand,
Pass Me Not O gentle Saviour!

For, in You is my every good thought, word, deed.
You Who are Goodness.
You Who raise me up.
You Who rose from the deepest grave.
Be my high tower.
Help me see the destination You see.
And, in so doing, strengthen me as I journey.
Be Thou My Vision.

Fill my being, Lord, with Your lovingkindness.
Fill me beyond what I can carry now.
Not to my personal limits, but to the potential You created in me.
And, in so doing, grow me.
Grow me forever that I may approach nearer to You.
Nearer My God, to Thee.

Direct my mind and heart to You.
Show the evidence of Your glory in every moment.
The joys in the little things.
In the big things.
The joys realized through trials.
Brought through success.
The joys in Your holy plans.
How Great Thou Art!

And, when I tire — tire of speaking, tire of writing, tire of thinking…
When these hurt because I don’t know what to say, write, or think…
(Because how can I possibly translate the explosions of internal expression that words do not and cannot contain?)…
Translate for me, and lift me in Your rest.
‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.

Make me to know the comfort of Your presence.
Banish the loneliness.
Banish the sorrow.
Banish the holes.
They do not belong where You, Almighty God, are welcome.
And You are welcome in my life.
I need You in my life.
I Need Thee Every Hour!

“Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto Thee daily. Rejoice the soul of Thy servant: for unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon Thee: for Thou wilt answer me.” Psalm 86:3-7 KJV

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Categories: Reflections

A Wondrous Life | Inspired by God’s Gifts

Author: Bernadette Saddik

You are an inspiration.

I do not claim this lightly.

No matter where you are in life, what has happened to you, or what you’ve done, our Heavenly Father has worked so much for you, for you are precious.

You, who are made in the image of love. (Genesis 1:27)
You, whose hairs are counted by your Creator. (Luke 12:6-7)
You, who are saved by blood and victory. (Mark 14:24)

So let me repeat:

You. Are. An. Inspiration.

You can, or not, bumble around, bluster, and be befuddled.
Because you know what makes you inspiring?

Your laughter, lifting up a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Your tears, yes, Christ cried them for you and me too.
Your struggles, we are not alone.
Your victories, encouraging our faith.
Your doubts, let us lift each other up.
Your mistakes, thank you for the lessons.
Your wisdom, thank you for the guidance.

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…” Romans 12:4-6a NIV

Your life is a light.
You matter.
You have a purpose.

“Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14a, 16 KJV

It’s not always pretty. We may not acknowledge it.
But your life is always wondrous.

“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14 KJV

So yes, you, a beautiful masterpiece,
even though sometimes broken,
You are an inspiration.

And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good…” Genesis 1:31a KJV

Please remember that.
Remember that Christ’s sacrifice and victory for you are not in vain.
That you, His child, are loved.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 KJV

Live like you are loved, because you are.
God loves you.
He lavishes you with gifts.
You, who are a gift.

As God has such blessed plans for you, so too do you inspire me.

“Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…” Philippians 1:2-3 KJV

And, when you recognize this power within you,
This power to inspire,

When you embrace the power of the Holy Spirit around, or in you…
This inspirational power that is rooted in Christ’s sacrificial love…
Life becomes fulfilling….
“Filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (from Ephesians 3:19).

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13 KJV

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Categories: Reflections

Faith in Our Future | Hope in God’s Plans

Author: Bernadette Saddik

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 KJV

We all face trials or disquieted spirits at some point in our lives.
Maybe you know what you want but can’t figure out how to get it, or are discouraged in realizing it.
Maybe you are frustrated because you don’t know what you want.
Or stuck in some combination of the aforementioned.

Right now, I want to run fast again. Play music again. Not hurt every time I blink, or smile, or breathe. I want to feel strong and capable again.

But it’s not about what I want.
It’s about God’s will for me. About what He knows I need.
So there is only one thing deserving of ever being wanted.

It should be yearned for, craved, sought after.

And that is God’s will.
That is powerful to want.

It means nothing is in vain. When you walk with God, you are never left alone to figure out the path for your life.
There is no aimlessness, there is no mistake.
There is a purpose.
There is a plan, and you will reach your dreams. Dreams He has placed in your heart, or will once He has prepared you (that is for another post — update 9/1/15: see Praying for a Dream | God’s Purpose for Your Life).

“But always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17b-18 NIV

Time and time again we see how surely that hope is not cut off.

From the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him through a roof to bring him to the Healer:

When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, ‘Son, thy sins be forgiven thee’…But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He saith to the sick of the palsy), ‘I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.’

And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all…” Mark 2: 5, 10-11 KJV

The man and his friends followed through with a risky idea, which could have failed in many ways, in pursuit of the hope for healing Christ brought.

The paralyzed man was completely immobile.

And he walked.

From the girl who was proclaimed dead:

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Be not afraid, only believe’…And He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, ‘Talitha cumi’; which is, being interpreted, ‘Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.’

And straightway the damsel arose, and walked.” Mark 5:36, 41-42 KJV

Her parents spent the last living moments of their daughter’s life in pursuit of the hope for healing that Christ brought.

The girl had died.

And she walked again.

“Be not afraid, only believe.”

Be not afraid about where you are. Be sure of your future. To believe in God’s perfect will, to have faith in His evident mercies and plans for us, is powerful to want.

It means I want my Shepherd to wrap me in His arms as He walks me from my pain to the fulfilling of my calling.

It means I want my Comforter to whisper to me constant reminders of His love for me as He encourages me to step forward in faith.

It means I want my King to call me His daughter to join the inheritance of a whole and joy-filled life starting today.

Lord, may the only ‘I want’ in my life be a passionate desire for Your will, to know and trust you more and more!

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10-14 NIV

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Categories: Reflections

A Comforted Life in Difficult Times| Our Weakness, God’s Strength

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Hard times can lead to comforting realizations…

We are weak. As individuals, we can do nothing. And that is fine. In fact, it is the release of one of the biggest burdens we try to carry.

Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that one of most comforting concepts you’ve heard?
You do not have to be a superhero.
You do not have to be strong alone.
You do not have to rely on yourself, weaknesses and all, to navigate this often confusing life.

And because we are weak, we are also among the strongest beings who exist. Yes, because God exists in you, and it is He Who makes you strong.

Not you, not anyone else, but Him.

It is as though life is a blinking contest, and we are straining our eyes–and losing–against our monsters. Let Him take over the blinking contest and deal with those monsters.

Go on, enjoy God’s precious gift of life while He fights the battles not meant for us to fight.

I cannot say you will be immediately or completely free of your thorns. A lot of the times we won’t be since we often fall into the trap of trying to take the illusion of control.

But you will have the chance to really live. Those thorns do not have to entangle you. Every time you remember to lift your problems and your weaknesses to God, He will take true control of the chaos.

Just because God does not guide you down the path you imagined does not mean there is not a wealth of opportunity to live a less burdened life.

This freedom from being strong in yourself immerses you with hope and love and passion. So much that, right after thanking God, you thirst to learn what to do with it all.

What first? What goal? What purpose?

We started out as ignorant victims, believing the whispers of monsters that we should try to fight alone.
We became solitary rebels–weak and incapable–but struggling against the inevitable truth that alone we are not equipped.

And now, by letting the Saviour into our lives, we can focus our energies on our purposes. And, in stepping up to the roles to which the Spirit calls us, we are to inherit the peace and love–strength–of our powerful and loving God.

You do not have to resign your life to vainly fighting your thorns. Christ has already done that for you.

You, who are special, for God created you in His image.
You, who are worth it, for Christ died because your life matters.
You, who are strong, not from yourself, but because God is strong.

I am going to work on giving Christ my thorns so I can live in the freedom, strength, and comfort of God’s love. Care to join me?

“And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 KJV

Our Weakness, God's Strength

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Categories: Reflections

Today | God’s Hope in Every Day

Author: Bernadette Saddik

…You may have woken up this morning hurting and unable to move.
…Or maybe you were woken up.
…You may have been fine and just not have been ready to face the day.
…You may be that chipper friend who hopped out of bed ready for anything.
…Or, you may not have paid much attention to the moment and trudged along like you monotonously do every day.

I’ve missed some of you, I’m sure.

But I’m also certain that if you are reading this, then you have been given another day.

Today may have been a good day:
Keep that memory for every tomorrow.

Today may have been a hard day:
Remember the joyful yesterdays that may very well be tomorrow.

Be grateful for every task you complete, no matter how menial.

You did it.

You blinked, you breathed, and perhaps you did some other things in between.

I hope you smiled. But I understand if you didn’t. Sometimes smiling doesn’t work out.

I do encourage you to keep part of your mind burning with joy. That’s important. There’s good reason to.

Though this world can be difficult, can cause pain, can make you cry, we also get glimpses of something better.

We may see it in our own lives–someone helps you carry your bag, or someone talks to you for a few minutes just because, or you look up and see a breath-taking painted sunset.

Or maybe we see it in the news–of a community banding together, of a family reunited, of a beautiful newly-discovered nebula.

That something is glorious and permanent. And each day we wake up, we can enjoy more gifts which testify a better time.
…A lifetime with our Saviour. Peace, Happiness, Comfort.

Find that crumb that is joy, or positivity, or whatever you call it. Let it anchor you in the memories of those good days.

Hope is real.

Today is another day. And today with Christ, I’m going to build a cake out of the crumbs.

Care to join me?

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:11-12 NIV

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Categories: Reflections

Shepherd

Author: Bernadette Saddik

The path is straight and narrow (Matthew 7:13-14). It can be so hard to navigate. But we don’t have to do it alone.

Christ leads us, if we ask Him. He holds us close in our darkest hours. God grants us the Holy Spirit in us to comfort us in these moments.

Not just that, He holds us in our lightest ones as well, that we may “hear joy and gladness” (Psalm 51:8) that much louder. But there is more.

Christ holds us steady when we stumble. C.S. Lewis once said that, “If we only have to will to walk, then God is pleased with our stumbles.”

How true! And Christ lovingly guides us away from the twisted burrs we stubbornly wander into.

He stands us tall when we walk. Christ lifts us up, His little lambs, into His arms when we tire.

When we acknowledge that we really don’t know what we’re doing, He grants us wisdom to stay on track.

When we acknowledge that we really don’t have the strength to continue alone, He grants us direction to stay on track.

When we acknowledge that we really don’t walk for our own reasons, He grants us purpose to stay on track.

Let not the wolves ensnare you. Keep up faith, my fellow sheep, for we have a Shepherd on our side (Psalm 23).

“Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; be their Shepherd and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:9 NIV

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Categories: Reflections

The Walls of the Mind

Author: Bernadette Saddik

The wall shoots higher.
The cage grows stronger.
The fortress, is it unbreakable?

Stop the knocking! Get out of my head,
Fear, doubt, anger, betrayal, guilt, sadness, pain

They ring in my ears and consume my thoughts.
Don’t come in!

“…who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24 KJV)

Who can understand us? Who can read the language of our minds which torments us?

Life can hurt: physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. And sometimes, a lot of the time, we are wary of opening up to others. We shut down. Because in this state, we remember the times that we did hurt more.

Once bitten, twice shy, one can say.

But how do we tackle this predicament: the need for a friend?

Well, there is Someone we can trust with our lives because He gave His own for us. Christ Jesus.

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, Who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:9-10 NIV)

He breaks down the barriers we put up in front of others and cradles us in His arms, letting us vent and cry and yell and hurt.

And then, He lifts up your face and tells you how it’s all going to be OK.
How He calms the language of our minds.
How He “has a plan for us.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
How He “leads us beside still waters.” (Psalm 23:2)

He will not interfere, though, without our permission. So, all we have to do is let Him tear down that which entraps us. Let Him be your Friend.

Of course, He asks that we follow Him in return. But, compared to the struggle without Him, following Him is a breath of fresh air.

Literally, a new life of peace and joy.

Sometimes, God sends a person for Him to work through. How do we recognize who? Ask that the Holy Spirit grant us a humble discernment, then take that leap of faith. Cherish this friendship. Pray that it is blessed. Let His hand guide it, from the beginning to whenever, if ever, He deems it finished.

The language of our minds need not be tamed alone.

Remember, we have a Friend always.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8 NIV

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Categories: Reflections

A Request for a Blessing

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Thank you Lord for providing this (food, drink, appointment etc.). Please let it be good, healthy, healing, and fulfilling to me. Cleanse it from harm.

Bless and protect all who partake in this (…), that we may become closer to You. Thank you for giving us all we need, when we need it, the way we need it. Let it all be for your glory.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–one God–amen.

“I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:6 KJV

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Categories: Reflections

A Daily Prayer

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Thank you Lord, for this day You have given us. Please watch and guide us always. Thank You so much for everything You have granted my family, friends, and me.

Forgive me of my sins. They are plentiful, but please forgive me. Help me not to repeat them. Help me walk closer to You and not depart from Your ways.

Please be with us in everything we do, say, and think. Bless our dreams and dream-scapes and mind-wanderings. Let it all be in You, through You, for You, and because of You.

Help us to get everything done when we need to get it done, the way we need to, where we need to, for Your glory. Let us not be anxious about anything, for you are the Almighty Who holds us in Your hands.

Allow others to see You in me and me in You. Witness to them in all I do–open our eyes to Your mercy.

You love us so much Lord; please let us see that, be energized by it. Bring us closer to loving others as You love us.

Heal that which hurts Lord, if that is Your will. And if You have something different in store for us, grant us patience to accept that. Be our strength in every part of our journeys.

Above all, align our wills to Yours, that we may be satisfied with the wonders You have in store for us.

Thank You for the gift of salvation.
Thank You for the gift of forgiveness.
Thank You for the gift of prayer.

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–one God–amen.

“But verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.” Psalm 66:19 KJV

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Categories: Reflections

Who am I?

Author: Bernadette Saddik

Someone who is willing to listen. Who steps forward, bringing others with her to the goal. Who makes her purpose in life to be a positive force in this world.

Who am I?
Someone who believes that compassion is the heart of leadership. That perseverance is its feet. That trustworthiness is its hands.

Who am I?
Christian, daughter, sister, friend, writer, student, ally. I am not my experiences, but they are opportunities to learn. I am not my situation, but it influences my growth.

Who am I?
Someone ready to enact change. Care to join me?

God bless you all

“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30 KJV

 

This post also appears in a blog for one of my classes this quarter at A Leader’s Footprint’s–“Who am I?”

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Categories: Reflections

The City, My City

Author: Bernadette Saddik

She lived in a happy town, where she knew each resident by name. Every day, she skipped back to her home, her comfort, filled with love and familiarity. One day, she returns from her journeys, but there is no joy, no smile to greet her. Instead, a new city has taken its place, very strange to her. She wanders lost through the foreign streets, looking for someone, something, anything she knows. It has all changed. She has a decision to make. Adapt or fall.

She begins to learn the new language, watching others speak, and applying these new skills. While the culture is unfamiliar to her, she reflects on how she acts and strives to improve. She realizes that her experience makes her unique among her fellow citizens. But how, she wonders, can she make a difference?

Sobbing in a street corner, she is overwhelmed. So much to do, so much pain to handle. What is the balance? Wait. Is that the key, more than just a footnote? Pulling herself together, for no one, she vows, should see her tears, she marches forward examining this new possibility.

Alone, she can only go so far. There is only so much she could do herself before she becomes too involved, too attached to her work. But this means letting others in on her work, perhaps exposing her flaws, her weaknesses. Can she trust others to lift her up and not slash her down? Is she ready for exposure of her work?

In this work, she sees some of the most powerful communication in this new society means speaking up. Another challenge to overcome. Capture the attention of her targets. Put herself in the public sphere. She has an end-result she wants her audience to arrive to; it is her responsibility to take them there. But how? That blasted question. She feels she has asked this too many times to be a worthwhile voice. But, she must persevere to rise; else she will fade into obscurity.

She must embrace her imperfections to go further, otherwise, the lack of it will consume her. Let them hear her stutter as she struggles. Let them see her stumble as she so passionately advocates for a better life for all. Let them conclude that it is precisely this innate imperfection within us that has caused so many problems, but also that drives us to so many solutions.

She is ready to “speak out, no matter how loud or shaky; stand up, no matter how tall or steady” (Purpose). She strides before her judges—no—her peers, to recruit them to a cause greater than any single one of us. She leans heavily on her peers and mentors. But, She Is Ready.

She steps down from the podium, anxious for the next stage in her journey. For the first time in a long time, she smiles, and others smile back. Though the lonely tears still fall, she’s home again. This time, though, she won’t be complacent. She will continuously work for the betterment of others. That is her path in life. Won’t you join her?

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:9-10 NIV

I wrote this piece as my final argumentation for learning in my CTW course. The link to the portfolio with the works mentioned is at https://www.taskstream.com/ts/saddik/Portfolio

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Categories: Reflections