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Thursday, January 31, 2019

BRIEF GLIMPSE OVER YOUR SHOULDER

One should always be very careful when looking back.  That is exactly what our rear view mirrors tell us ~



There is a popular song, "Glory Days" which addresses the propensity of some to live today in the memory of yesterday.  There is certainly not one thing wrong with reflecting upon our past occasionally, but living in the past wastes the gift of today.  


Lot's wife made the mistake of glancing back on the past they were fleeing and look what happened.  She had been given a reprieve from sure death and the hope of a future with only one requirement.   Having been told to not look back, she was disobedient and as she glanced upon the past she paid dearly for her sin.


Job sat with his three friends lamenting all he had lost which had taken years to accumulate.  Such a great loss must be mourned, for Job lost it all--including his family.  After a period of time, Job picked up and started again.  He moved forward, and the memory of all he lost--moved with him--forever etched upon his heart.  Still he made the most of today and retained the lessons from the past.

Our history is an important part of who we are.  The lessons of yesterday helps us live a better today.  As we reminiscence on our past, we are reminded of God's presence and blessings in our lives.  Even in the hard times, we are blessed with His comfort and care.  The past is a reminder in how life should be lived.  We can learn from our mistakes as well as those times well lived.

We are all mortal and have a past, present, and future.  Each of these seasons has an important function in forming who we are.  We learn from the past, live in the present, and have the sure hope of a future.  It is so with all men.  Only God is always present--in our past, in today, and in the future.  Time is eternal with Him and He can be present in all three places at once. 


I often laugh and say, "If only I had a crystal ball."  Faith and trust are my solution to my unknown future.  I look on the past and see how God has been by my side and live today knowing that has not changed.  As for the future, based upon the truth of God's Word and the knowledge of my history, I have faith and complete trust God will always be with me.

The past was all a beautiful gift from God, but I have only this moment to serve and seek Him.  How will it look when I look back at this moment and how I used it?  My past is exactly like my rear view mirror in my car--only to be used for brief glimpses.  My eyes are fixed on the road in front of me and not glued to what I have left behind.

13 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, 
14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize
 for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

BITTER FRUIT

Our lesson for this week from


addresses the danger of harboring anger.

Be angry and do not sin;
do not let the sun go down on your anger,
and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-7

As I read through the author's comments on the results of harboring anger, I knew there have been times when I went to bed angry.  Even Jesus was occasionally angry-it is a very real human emotion.  Anger in itself is not the culprit, the unwillingness to let go of anger is the invitation to Satan to take our thoughts captive.  Even righteous anger can, with time, eventually steam and boil over.  Our refusal to let go of anger--leads to hurt feelings, jealousy, outrage, hatred--all staggering fruits of offense.  Anger eventually leads to the planting of bitterness in our hearts and bitterness always bears rotten fruit.



We live in an angry world.  Turn on the news--ANY TIME--you will hear the consequences of anger.  People are shouting at each other, name calling, rude, and down right belligerent to each other.  No longer are we able to peacefully agree to disagree.  We all take it personal when someone dares to disagree with our opinion.  It starts at the top and trickles down.  We not only go to bed angry, we are guilty of enjoying our anger and feeding it through all forms of media.  The enemy is delighted in our war of words--for you see it takes our time and attention away from the truly important--that with eternal consequences.  We demand grace, but extend judgement.

"Anger is often based on a distortion of the facts-a misrepresentation about the details of whatever situation ignited it and a skewed perception about the truth of who God is and who we are in Him.  We've forgotten that we are accepted in Him no matter what others think or say.  That we, as infinitely worse offenders against Him have still been the recipients of His grace.  And that as His children, becoming more like Him each day, we should extend grace to others."

Gut check time--are you harboring anger?  There are no exceptions to our need to extend forgiveness.  God has not picked and chosen what He is willing to forgive us---He forgives it all.  Why then do we think we are given a pass on our unwillingness to forgive?  Have we allowed anger to become an idol--a golden calf?  Do we go to bed angry and give the enemy a toehold?  Is your fruit bitter?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

WE HAVE LIFT OFF

Recently I began to notice, that I always use my hands when standing up from a sitting position.  It would seem I cannot get off the couch without putting at least one hand down to push myself up.  This is an indication of poor core strength.  I have finally turned into my mother and cannot get my rear off the couch without a little push.  NEVER thought that day would come!



While I am still able to lift furniture and other heavy objects, lifting myself off the couch has become a challenge.  So I decided to work on that! I scoot myself to the edge of the couch and rock back and forth to get the momentum going and then presto I have managed to obtain "Lift Off".  It is slightly humiliating to admit I can't get up without the use of my hands, but I have decided to work on that.  The problem is it takes core strength to achieve this upright position when down, and my core has become weak.



I have friends who can sit cross legged on the floor and stand up with no assistance from their hands.  We call them--SHOW OFFS!  GO AHEAD-TRY IT!
It is very difficult.  Why one thing is for certain, if I can't even get up from the couch without putting my hands down--there is NO chance I will get off the floor.  

I plan to start small and begin working to get off the couch without hands first.  It takes a great deal of core strength to get off the floor and I had better start with a little less distance and an easier challenge.



Our Bible Study is currently discussing the belt of truth.  Priscilla gives an excellent description in the book of how this belt was put on and all the uses it had.  In a nutshell--the belt is the all important core of the armor. The belt of truth protects and strengthens the core.   God's Word is the truth and His truth is our standard.  We put on the belt of truth by-

1.  "You uphold and affirm the standard-the truth and boundaries set by God in Scripture."
2.  "You daily, systematically, repeatedly begin letting God help you align your decisions and responses, even your attitudes and ambitions alongside His benchmark of truth."
3.  "You continually learn about the character and purposes of God."
4.  "You filter every circumstance, personally and culturally, through the prism of His Word."

"Truth is the starting place and then everything else begins falling into a much better place."  Through truth we develop a strong core.  The core is the most important group of muscles in our body and in our faith.  To stand in righteous, we must first put on the belt of truth to protect and strengthen our core.  The first step in preparing for battle is the belt of truth. 


1Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
Ephesians 6:14

Monday, January 28, 2019

IMPENDING MELT DOWN

Having just returned from #1 and Only Granddaughter's tea party/birthday, I came back with new material.  We have always celebrated this little delight's birthday with family parties.  At the ripe old age of 4, she now has graduated to a full fledged--invite your friends party.  Her smart mommy kept the numbers small.  

This one was born a drama queen.  The question is not if she will have a melt down, but when the melt down will begin most days.  "Hot Mess" is such a good description for this little sweetie, when her emotions and feelings collide with tired.  In all honesty she has been letting those "emotions" get the best of her since she exited the warmth of the womb.  Her expectations are high and when we are not able to meet them on cue--well she can go from glad to mad to tears in the time it takes to get your breathe to address what is happening.


Self regulation has met its match with this little one.  She is far too busy regulating the rest of us to realize she might could bring those "feelings" down a notch or two.  When you are four, it is difficult to deal with expectations, excitement, personalities, and exhaustion.  She was wound tighter than a coil on a  spinning top and the spring finally was popped by some well intended-but mis-understood remark by an innocent by-stander.  


You are sitting there trying to figure out what exactly is the problem and she is gathering steam to pop her cork.  Bless her heart!  Her mom was quite proud though, she lasted two hours before the anticipated eruption.  Two hours of playing nice, sharing her toys, a boat load of sugar, running, squealing, and all forms of merry making before the exhaustion of it all caught up with her.  


We knew there would be a melt down, because of previous experience.  One of her brothers is also very emotional and had to leave his third birthday party after his melt down.  The next year at four was not much better and unfortunately we were at an off site venue for that party.  They are just too immature and highly emotional to deal with the stress of all this happening at once.  The melt downs are not pretty--but with time they will get better.  Social maturity does happen.



Or does it happen, or are we guilty of regressing occasionally?  Do we let the stress of a moment, the unmet expectations, the disappointment of the day, the pain of loss , unexpected illness--the weight of the world become too much and throw our own royal hissy fit?  Does self regulation and social boundaries temporarily escape us at time?   In all truthfulness, I have been known to step out on my back deck-when I lived deep in the woods, and let a good earth shattering scream go.  I felt much better--and let off some steam.  It is not a bad thing to blow off steam, let if fly, have a good foot stomping fit--if it actually helps you to pull those emotions back in.  What is bad--is when you take it out on the person who is standing in front of you when the last straw is added to the stack--and your stack gets blown.  Are you guilty of taking it out on someone who has nothing to do with what is really wrong?  Do you hurt the innocent by stander because they made the mistake of standing by you?  



The next time--you feel the need to pitch a fit--stop and consider who you are pouncing on while throwing said fit.  Do not make the mistake of running off the very one who stood by you during the turmoil.  Do not shoot the messenger, or attack the innocent.  Pull that melt down back in, take a deep breath, and call out to the One who understands.  One important fact to remember, after the royal hissy fit--her mommy and all the rest of us still love her MORE than we can describe.  So it is with us--after our melt down and tantrum--God still loves us--MORE than we could ever imagine--no matter how we act--He loves us!

1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
I John 3:1

Sunday, January 27, 2019

NOT EVEN NOW

NOT EVEN NOW

ARE YOU DEFEATED

NOT EVEN NOW ARE WE ALONE

NOT EVEN NOW 

ARE YOU LESS THAN ALMIGHTY GOD




BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

MEANWHILE BACK IN TEXAS

I AM

DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS

CELEBRATING

THE BABY'S FOURTH BIRTHDAY



TEA PARTIES

AND BALLOONS!

Friday, January 25, 2019

DESTINY

I am watching the PBS Masterpiece Theater series, "Victoria".  From what I can see it closely follows historical facts, with a liberal dose of artistic interpretation on the emotion side.  Are any of us able to truly interpret someone's "feelings"?  I have a difficult enough time understanding my own.




On last week's episode Victoria's eldest son, who is the heir apparent to the throne cried in his mother's arms.  "I don't want to be king!"  He could have saved his boyhood tears.  History shows he did not become king until the ripe old age of 60.  Those British royals--especially the females have plenty of longevity genes!  He only lived 10 years after taking the throne.  



Edward was bemoaning his duty to become king after his sister taunted him that "She could do a better job than he could!".  They both had seen the stress and pressure on their mother's shoulders during the uprising over commoners wanting to vote.  Add to that a pot full of crazy relatives floating in and out of their lives and it would send the strongest of hearts running toward the castle door.  

Victoria explained to young Edward it was his "destiny" to be king.  Webster tells us destiny is-


the events that will necessarily happen 
to a particular person or thing in the future

Edward was the eldest male offspring of the reigning royal.  According to the "rules", he would become the next king--because the oldest "Male" offspring,  was the heir apparent.

Do only royals have a destiny?  I remembered the scripture which tells us-

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment
Hebrews 9:12

So if we are born, we are destined to die--at some point in the future.  So is there any sure destiny beyond that for any of us?  Surely, I am destined for greatness? ~in my wildest dreams!  NO-Not even a royal can be assured of ascending to the throne, if their predecessor outlives them.  Mortal man has no assurance of fulfilling his believed destiny because of the uncertainties of this world.  The path that seems to be ours for the taking might be filled with dead ends, pot holes, and detours which thwart our fulfilling what we think is our sure future.

The only destiny that is a guarantee is the sure assurance of life eternal with God the Creator when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.  This destiny cannot be challenged, road blocked, or stolen.  IF you make this decision, it is your destiny to spend all eternity in the holy presence of God the Father.  No other event in your life is a sure thing, but this--this will necessarily happen.  It is your destiny through Christ our Savior.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those
 who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined
 to be conformed to the image of his Son, 
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Romans 8:28-29




Thursday, January 24, 2019

BEFORE HEADING OUT THE DOOR


My blogging friends in the northeast are being blasted by winter storms.  When you begin to see the rising death toll directly related to the weather, you know it is a serious matter.


I have been reminded of the four years and two babies when #1 daughter lived in Erie, PA.  Snow is a rarity here in the deep South, and I was NOT prepared the first time I visited them in the deep of winter.  I got off the plane in a pair of loafers, no hat, thin gloves, and a sufficient for the South coat.  It was a RUDE awakening!  I ended up having to make a stop at the mall to be better prepared for the conditions.  When you head to the ski slopes, you go prepared, but this Southern belle had no idea what was in store when I stepped off that plane in the rolling hills of Erie.


I soon learned Randy from "The Christmas Story" might have been really funny, but also a necessary ritual for stepping out of the door in PA in January.  It all begins with an insulated base layer, topped with a warm daily layer, add to that your vest (if it is really cold), and then your water proof/insulated coat.  A hat was an absolute necessity, along with a scarf, face protection, glove liners and water proof insulated gloves, and OF COURSE--wool socks topped with water proof-non-skid-insulated boots.  THEN you are ready to walk out the door,.  It could take up to a half a hour getting prepared to leave the house and all unnecessary travel became null and void.  Top this off with the reverse procedure necessary for taking off of all these layers when you arrived in a heated building and the simple act of getting ready to go somewhere became quite a task.

BUT--the truth of the matter is--you are putting your life on the line if you walk out that door without being prepared for what is coming.  Several feet of snow is no laughing matter and risk of hypothermia or frost bite is very real.  Being unprepared is foolish and risky.  You would be crazy to leave the protection of home without being prepared for what is just out the door-potential cause for your earthly demise.  You need to be suited up to withstand the danger of the elements.


So it is with God's armor.  If it were not important to be suited up and prepared for battle, it would not be in The Word.  There is danger out there--all around--lurking--waiting to pounce.  We are given the resources to be prepared for the battle, but unless we are willing to take the time to get ready and put them on--they are like coats left hanging in the closet.  We have them, but do not use them.  Be alert, be prepared, and ever vigilant for the dangers of the world are real.  Don't leave home without being suited up with God's full protection.

Put on the full armor of God, 
so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

YOU IS IMPORTANT

I am ALWAYS thrilled when God gives me an epiphany!  Sometimes it takes me a little time to understand what He is teaching me.  I suppose you might say I am a little slow on the uptake (or downtake in this case).  I was recently channel surfing, in the futile hope there might be something worth watching, when I came across the movie, "The Help".  If you ever watch it, please note this is a snapshot of my youth.  I lived those times.  



I "happened" to stop on that channel just long enough to hear these profound words,

Aibileen Clark (to Mae Mobley): "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."



I didn't stop and watch the movie again, but I kept  thinking over those words and the deep rich lesson, not in the words, but in the intent over the next couple of days.

Aibileen was affirming to Mae what was important about her.  She was speaking truth into her life in an effort to negate the damage done by Mae's mother's NOT so kind words.



One of the things most of us struggle with is the not so kind words which have been spoken into our lives.  They become forever etched upon our hearts.  God has taught me the importance of forgiveness, but I was not able to let go of those heart scarring words until I made this brief stopover at the exact time these words were being spoken in the movie.



As I thought over the importance of the words we speak into each other's lives, it occurred to me most of the positive ones are discounted and quickly forgotten.  Most of us have a difficult time in believing the best about ourselves.  Instead we tightly grip the negative pronouncements and count them as truth.  EVEN knowing what God has said about us!

The light went off today as I continued to mull this over.  I am believing the words of a mortal-fallen man instead of the words of a Mighty God.  I have chosen to believe what was spoken in anger, frustration, justification, envy, or any other negative emotion instead of the eternal steadfast truth of God.  I am giving more credence to the mutterings of a mortal man than to Almighty God.

I will still think of these words occasionally, for so far, my memory has not failed me, BUT I will then renounce them as not the truth.  I will then remember what God Himself has told me and hold steadfast to His truth of His great love for me.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made--in His image.  I am important in His eyes!


The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; 
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
 he will quiet you by his love;
 he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

INSTANT REPLAY

  Rich in history, culture, traditions, and resources, Louisiana is financially poor.  The one thing we have really been proud of in the last few years is our beloved Saints football team.  I have not watched much football in the last few years, but for some reason I had the muted game on Sunday.  Here is what I witnessed~




I am no football expert, but even I knew they missed the call.  The defense player got away with a flagrant foul and the referee missed the call.  The entire state of Louisiana feels they have been robbed of the Super Bowl shot.

We could bat this ball around (pun intended) for quite a while--the conspiracy theories are already flying.  THAT is not the point of this post.  The point--the miracle of the instant replay.  This brief encounter was immediately and repeatedly replayed for all the world to witness the injustice done to the Saints.  The league recognized the missed call and the coach quickly reported their call.  The failure of the Saints to go marching into the Super Bowl is a BIG DEAL and you can bet your bottom dollar it will be the hot topic here deep in the South for some time to come~perhaps years.



I really hate they lost!  Why, I already had the menu planned for the giant Super Bowl party we would have enjoyed.  Now everyone from the East and West coast will be glued to their television Super Bowl Sunday, but not me.  I will go back to my Sunday afternoon activity before this mis-justice occurred.  I will assure you of one thing--those watching the game will be shown this clip again.  The referee and player have had their careers immortalized by the power of instant replay.  Over and over they will be reminded of their missed call.

What IF--our sin was caught on camera!  What if it was captured on film and we were vilified before the entire world?  These referees will not want to step foot back in the Super Dome.  The crowd will be merciless.  Why I will not be surprised in someone having to take the fall among the men in black and white.  We all know even in conspiracies--there is always a convenient scapegoat.  The player who done the deed is certainly guilty but he got away with it~or did he?  We will not see instant replays of his brilliant plays ever, but this one flagrant foul will follow him the rest of his life.   Because of the instant replay--he is charged and found guilty without mercy or right to counsel.  How would you like to be remembered for all time by one missed call or one flagrant foul?

What if there is a giant screen in Heaven and our sins are replayed over and over to remind us of how and how many times we sinned against the Father.  It would not be Heaven, but instant play Purgatory.  Thankfully we serve a Risen Savior who cast our sins as far as the East is from the West.  He remembers not--there is no recording--no reminder--we are seen only through the perfect lens of mercy.  We are forgiven--never to be reminded again of our failures--short comings.  He will welcome us into Paradise with Him and never bring up our confessed sin.  He paid the price for the rights to the film of our sins and they are all on the cutting room floor--forgotten and gone.  Thank God for His mercy and grace!


he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:10-12

Monday, January 21, 2019

THE CASE OF MISTAKEN FRUSTRATION

Work has been particularly frustrating today.  The boss worked you over for something that was not even your responsibility, a client blames you for their inability to take care of their business, and just when you needed it most, the network crashed.  Delayed by a last minute phone call, you rush out the backdoor~ late~ only to be met with rush hour traffic and a wreck on the interstate making you even later in relieving the babysitter.  You are met at the door with a teacher's note about you missing the teacher's conference you forgot, and a child complaining of an ear ache.  You forgot to put tonight's supper out to thaw when you rushed out the door this morning--so much for cooking ahead--and it will be frozen pizza once again.  The washing machine will not turn on and your daughter will get another 0 if she doesn't have her clean gym uniform for school tomorrow.  And, Oh YES, she needs 3 dozen HOME BAKED cookies for the PTA sale tomorrow morning.   Everyone is pushing and pulling at you and there is simply not enough to go around.  Your husband walks through the door and cheerfully asks, "What's for supper, Honey?" and you let him have it--with both barrels. 


If you work and raise children or ever have and none of this sounds familiar, I would like to know what alternative universe you live in!  Poor Hubby walked in to a trap.  He wasn't to blame for all that had happened that day, but he became the scapegoat when he walked through that door.  You certainly could not take out your frustrations on your boss nor client and who can ever talk to an IT person and get any sense out of them?   Traffic is part of rush hour madness and to be expected and heaven help those who were involved in a wreck during this maddening hour. The poor children were certainly not to blame for illness, your forgetfulness, or the washing machine going on the blitz.  You couldn't blame them--but then in walked hubby--poor innocent hubby--and he gets it full force.  You became uncorked, blew your fuse, and the last straw was added to the already too full stack.  It really had little to do with him, but he was the one to bear your wrath over all that had gone wrong.   He never knew what hit him!  You weren't really mad at poor hubby but he was caught in the tidal wave from the perfect storm of a really trying day.  Hubby was not the real enemy--but none the less, he was the one blamed for being insensitive, not involved, and of little to no help when he didn't even realize you needed help. The real problem was a demanding job heaped on top of raising children while maintaining a home without delegating responsibility.  BUT HEY--SOMEONE HAS TO GET THE BLAME--and when he walked through that door---"TAG YOU'RE IT!"




Think of the most difficult person you are dealing with, most pressing problem in your life, and/or most overwhelming circumstance you are facing right now.  We all spend far too much time allowing someone or some circumstance to claim  too much of our thoughts.  Most of the time, they are not the real problem, but only a symptom of the deeply buried real problem.  They become the scapegoat--the one who steps into the mix at just the wrong time and we are deeply affected in some negative way--be it pain or anger.  We are spinning our wheels trying to solve, change, or deny the impact they have had on our lives.  These circumstances are all "a personalized strategy which has been insidiously put in place to destroy our vibrancy and rend us defeated."  Our enemy knows our hot buttons and uses them to render us ineffective by creating diversions from that which is truth. Satan uses others to become the scapegoats for his attacks on us in an effort to discredit God or defame His church.

Recognizing where our anger, frustrations, or pain comes from is the important first step in realizing what the real problem is.  With all of us complex humans, it is never as simple as she is angry because her boss chewed her out.  Yes, the boss chewed her out, but does this bring up the repressed anger from a childhood under a tyrannical and abusive parent?  Perhaps the forgetfulness brings to mind being challenged as a child for not taking care of our business which has lead to a lifetime of trying to take care of everything instead of delegating.  On and on--we have a lifetime of experiences which have influenced our reactions to today's problems and situations.  We are prone to knee jerk responses without thought to the why's of any situation.  Forgetting to ask--where is this emotion coming from--we just react and forget to be proactive in understanding the why's.  We have our own "perfect storm" for keeping our thoughts off that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.  We become ineffective, distracted, and useless to the kingdom when we allow all of the negative of this world to capture our thoughts.  Time to let go--become free of that which is a hindrance from focusing on the eternal.  Time to allow that which is good and just to rule our time, energy, and thoughts.

Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.
Put on the full armor of God, 
so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
 but against the rulers, against the power, 
against the world forces of this darkness, 
against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:10-12

Sunday, January 20, 2019

HOPE BEYOND THE SUFFERING


MY BODY MIGHT BE DYING,

BUT I'LL ALWAYS BE ALIVE




BLESSED SABBATH,

DEAR FRIENDS

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

VOWS AND PROMISES

We ALL certainly know what vows and promises are.



I found this quote while searching the WWW.  Now THAT is sad!  AND I refuse to believe it!  The politician may be promising things he cannot possibly fulfill, but your life partner--can and will fulfill what they promise ~hopefully.  #2 son recently married and he and his sweet wife recited vows they had composed.  I love personalized vows, for they speak volumes about the couple and I think, we are much more apt to not forget what we have promised if we personally compose those vows.  Although, I love many of the rituals celebrated by the "traditional" church, this one scenario seems to work better when it is personal.  You are still promising before God and His church to love each other, care for each other, and stay together through thick and thin, but the words of that promise come from your heart.  When you participate in the writing of your promises to each other, it then becomes your word--your integrity--your promise that you will have to break to walk away.

NOT where I am going--sorry--pig trail created by the above quote.



During Small Group this past week, one of the participants made a statement which profoundly affected me.  She spoke of the vows and promises we make as we walk through this life.  She challenged us concerning what we are really saying when we utter those vows and promises   You know those, "I will NEVER's" or "I will ALWAYS" statements we throw out--sometimes without really giving it enough thought.  I have a few of my own.  "NEVER AGAIN" has crossed my lips, as has "I WILL NOT".  I have sworn off the Never's when it comes to anyone beyond myself.  I have eaten every "Never" I ever stated about my children.  They showed me who was in charge!


She was speaking of those promises and vows we make about our life path.  I will NEVER open myself up to that pain again.  I promise you will not see me cross that doorway in this lifetime.  I will never accept help from them.  I promise you I will never speak to them again.  Those vows and promises--which will control our lives to a degree.  What we have decided is best for us.

She was reminding us that when we make these vows and promises, we are taking the control of our lives away from God.  We are putting ourselves on the throne and marking the path we choose to take.  We are refusing to turn it ALL over to God.  WHOA!  Stopped me in my path!  Here I thought I was making a wise decision about the course I planned to take, when really I was refusing to allow God to be My Master.  OH MY!  Food for thought, Friends, food for thought!

But above all, my brothers, do not swear,
 either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath,
 but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no,
 so that you may not fall under condemnation.
James 5:12


Thursday, January 17, 2019

THE GOOD NEWS

You are going to hear plenty about this Bible Study



It is literally filled with truth and speaking volumes to my heart.  After discussing the first two days with the group, I am more excited than ever to hear what the others are gleaming.  We all approach things from different perspectives, and each of us with our unique experiences are taught a little differently.  It is eye opening to hear what others reap from the study.




Priscilla quickly reminds us --literally in the beginning--Jesus has won the war for us.  Praise God--because I sure could NEVER be good enough!  Here is a little tidbit I had not considered--but was thrilled to read.  God--resides in the heavenly realm--with Jesus by His side---and guess what!!  We are right there with them.  Here you go---PROOF-


By grace you have been saved 
AND raised us up with HIM
and seated us with Him in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 2:6

WOW!  Talking about a seat of honor!  It doesn't get any better than this!


SO-if we already have the seat of honor--WHY should we have to do spiritual battle--THE WAR IS ALREADY WON!

Oh, the enemy KNOWS the game is up--but he is willing to be satisfied with small victories.  He wants nothing more than to steal our joy, claim our thoughts, have us live in fear and doubt, whisper lies in our ears.  He knows he doesn't win this war--but he can still render us ineffective by capturing our thoughts with his deceptions.  He is a crafty old thing--determined to make our life miserable.

We can stop him in his tracks, if we remember to gird ourselves with God's truth.  God's truth does not harm us, make us depressed, create hate and anger, make life seem futile.  God's truth does this-

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32

AND that sly one, the deceiver and accuser--he can just crawl back into his hole.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT


You all know I am an introvert.  That does not mean I desire to be by myself all of the time.  In fact, I consider myself very social.  It does mean I need time alone to re-energize and think.




I love this quote from Oscar Wilde.  The last few years I have discovered who I am by being alone.  Introspection is a great tool and impossible to do while in the company of others.





There are times when I do have too much alone time.  Negative thoughts begin to creep into my head during those times.  I begin to doubt who I know I am and more time alone is not my friend.



 The voice whispering in my ear all those negative thoughts is NOT the voice of God.  It is the one who comes to seek, kill, and destroy.  Any time spent on these negative thoughts is time away from being used by God for His glory and good pleasure.   The discipline I must practice is comparing what I am hearing to what God has promised in His Word.  If it does not measure up, He is not saying it.  Then I must denounce the liar and proclaim the truth.  For you see, even when I am alone, I am truly never alone.



This is one truth that is undeniable.  

Be strong and courageous.
 Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
 for the Lord your God goes with you;
 he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6