Ever have those conversations that leave you thinking or screaming “What in the world was that all about?” I have and the hardest part of it all is that it was someone I love who railed against me and left me feeling worthless!
Some of you know what I’m talking about here! But when it comes from those we love, ouch, it sure does bite. I was left devastated, giving in to negative thinking for a brief period of time.
I am so grateful that I know the Lord, and that I know His Word. Because of this knowledge, I can combat the lies of the enemy when he comes pointing fingers and scoffing at me. You see I know it isn’t that loved one that I am battling, it is the enemy of my soul who wants to see me rendered ineffective.
God’s Word really is a healing balm…
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NASB
I am so thankful that the Lord reminded me of this because I let myself get angry! I was devastated and hurt. Not only that but my ministry was also attacked. How could that be?
You see the devil loves when he can pit us against one another and cause us to back-bite and curse one another with that poisonous venom that threatens to kill us emotionally and render us completely useless. He is the ruler of this earth and for a season he longs to make us hate one another.
If Jesus came to show us love so that we could love one another then the devil does just the opposite! He stirs us up with negative thoughts of one another and we kinda get paranoid which is described as causing you to falsely believe that people are trying to harm you. But the verse above is what we have to remember more than anything. And that hurting people hurt people.
So what will you do the next time the accusations come to taunt you and put you on the defense?
Will you retaliate and think of all the bad things that person has done and caused?
Will you get on the band wagon and rally the troupes in hopes of getting others to take your side?
Will you get into a shouting match with that one and tell them just what’s on your mind?
When conflict comes our way, we actually have an opportunity to put that ole devil in his place…by not giving in to our emotional reactions, instead, acknowledging the situation for what it is, applying the truth instead of succumbing to the deception.
All these things can help us to see that the person who seems to be against us is actually the enemy who is out to get us. We may just be a target for their pain and frustration. Certainly that doesn’t make it right!
So to take every thought captive means that all the negative thrown at us must be weighed and measured with the Word of God. We may see a few things that could be true about ourselves but seriously, we are not going to drink the poison of our taunters.
Here’s what I must remember to do when I fall into a situation like this…pray!
Then, I must forgive.
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:16-18
It does take time to move beyond circumstances like these. But I know when we extend forgiveness and let go of the pain we have given over to the Lord, He will heal our broken hearts and hopefully restore and reconcile the situation. You may or may not have the relationship you once had but then again maybe you will have a better relationship than ever before?
What do you have to lose?
The pain and recollection every time you run into them, especially if it is a family member.
What do you have to gain?
Peace, peace knowing that God is working even if for right now it doesn’t look quite like it!
I have always enjoyed hearty, grainy breads and this one is just delightful with a slab of butter and your favorite jam, honey or your favorite nut butter! You will enjoy with a morning beverage.
I found a very nice organic six-grain flour at our local ‘Country Pantry’ that is comprised of Wheat, Rye, Barley, Corn, Millet and Buckwheat. It is a lovely fine grind as well.
I love to use my KitchenAid electric mixer only to mix my bread dough. Maybe yours is handily accessible and even on a portable stand. Mine is not, packed away in its box waiting to be used!
4 Cups Warm Water (no more than 105 degrees)
2 Cups Almond Milk (I use plain unsweetened but any milk will do)
2 Tbsp Yeast (2 packages)
1/2 – 3/4 Molasses (you could use honey if you don’t care for the flavor molasses gives)
8 Cups Flour
Add warm water and yeast then gently mix for several minutes. (I use my wire whip attachment for this step.) Let rest for about 5 minutes and then add your almond milk and blend well.
Here is where you will add your sweetener which the yeast loves as it begins to make it grow! You can now add in your 8 cups of flour and whip until it is well mixed and the consistency of a thick batter.
You will then let this rise for an hour.
2 Tbsp Salt
3/4 C Butter or Coconut Oil (I mixed mine)
5 Cups Rolled Oats
5 Cups flour (you may need a little less or more and flour for kneading)
Add the oatmeal and then sprinkle the salt around on the top and very thoroughly mix the oats into the batter.
Begin to add your flour until the mixture is of a good kneading consistency. Not too sticky. You can now empty your bowl content onto a floured counter or board and start kneading in the rest of flour. The consistency will be somewhat stiff! Remember, kneading is good therapy!
Oil your bowl and add the ball of dough swiping the dough through the oil and flipping it over so the top is well oiled. Cover the bowl of dough with a light, dampened cloth and let rise for about an hour.
Punch down the dough once again and let rise another 40 minutes.
It is now time to shape the dough into 4 loaves. With a large knife you can slice the dough in half and then in half again.
Grab one of the 1/4’s and pat it out on the floured board or counter to press out the air bubbles. Then fold over the dough pressing it as you go and fold the other side over and press together. Fold your ends down and under and place in your lightly greased bread pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating you can let your loaves rise for about 25 minutes. Pop in the oven (not too close together) and bake approximately 50 minutes. The loaves will be golden brown and when tapped will sound sort of hollow.
Tip your loaves out on racks to cool Completely. (Remember, if you put them in bags to store before they are cool they will sweat and make too much moisture.) But be sure that you don’t put them away until you have yourself a nice warm slice with some butter and honey drizzled on top with a cup of tea or coffee!
Here’s a sweet deal for you who might be wondering just what this Zeal Wellness is really all about! I would love for you to try all three flavors of Zeal Wellness so I’m giving one box of six bottles away to someone! All you have to do is leave a comment about Zeal and I will put your name in a drawing to receive not only some Zeal samples but also a little something from the Gift Shoppe!
I want to introduce you to a blogger friend of mine whom I have shared with you before and who has offered her wonderful devotional “Trust Without Borders” which I believe has been for ‘such a time as this’ (at least in my world), Arabah Joy.
Arabah has just released her latest project for us “Grace Goals” and it is going to bring an excellent start to your new year!
If you would be interested in checking this out for yourself, you just need to click on the image above and discover what in the world Goals is all about.
Arabah is a woman of the word yet struggles just like the rest of us to walk in the Spirit day by day. I personally love her transparent style and I believe you will too.
Let’s join the journey together and be blessed by this new release from Arabah Joy!
Ah yes, the lyrics are in my head, “It’s the most wonderful time, it’s the hap…happiest time of the year”. Is that really true? Is it really the most wonderful time of the year for you? Personally I waver back and forth between good and sad! I have had some good Christmases and some very sad ones. Most of the difficult ones have come as a result of poor choices I have made in my life. At those places I was either a little girl in an unhappy family setting, a lonely runaway when I didn’t even know it was Christmas and then in a marriage that was very difficult where my family suffered from the results of alcoholism. These were times when I had no hope, because Christ was not in my life.
Is Christmastime a Difficult Time for You?
There have also been times when even as a believer that Christmas has been sad or difficult. I have a prodigal son who has caused much sorrow because of his poor choices. For many years we have seen him come and go without any change in his lifestyle or he continued to add more “stuff” to the baggage he continues to carry. This makes for sadness for his family as we watch him struggle to keep his head above water. These are times when all the sentiment and family time just doesn’t take away the pain of watching a loved one flail through life.
However, deep inside the recesses of my heart, I really do have peace and joy. And it is because of the Christmas story. An incredible expression of love that was lavished upon mankind as the Creator of ALL. He humbled Himself to come as a little baby, being birthed in a lowly manger just so that we could once again be in fellowship. He restored what was broken in the Garden of Eden.
You Are Loved…
This extravagant love, poured out in the form of a baby, then child, then man, the Christ, was God’s greatest work from a desire to once again have fellowship with us. As it tells us in Genesis 1:26,27,
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
We have been created in God’s very own image! That is sometimes too big for my comprehension but…I have accepted this truth and accepted the Christ who came yet was crucified, died, and buried (defeating death) when He rose on the third day! All for those who will receive the loving offer of redemption through His shed blood.
Christ Our Hope!
So in the midst of your Christmas, I pray you will know the peace that surpasses even the difficulties (and there are so many things that try to rob this peace from us), whether death of a loved one, divorce, prodigals, sickness, financial loss, hunger…remember, Christ is the one who fills us completely with His peace and purpose in spite of the former mentioned. Click To Tweet
(Thank you Frances Chan for making that very evident in Crazy Love.)
With that being said I want us to think about your most favorite person on earth. You know what I mean don’t you…the one you long to be with, can’t get enough time with and can’t wait until the next time! Well now let’s make that person our Lord. Let’s base this whole worship concept on who it is that we adore.
This is a fascinating definition of worship by apologist, Ravi Zacharias:
“is the submission of all of our nature to God,
it’s the quickening of conscience by His holiness,
nourishment of mind by His truth,
purifying of imagination by His beauty,
opening of the heart to His love,
submission of will to His purpose,
All this gathered up in adoration…is the greatest of human expressions.”
Love it, an intellectual defining of worship as only Ravi can define! But we aren’t all there with the lofty understanding and sometimes need a down to earth picture of what this worship is all about.
As you can see from Ravi’s point, this is a something you do or we can say that the out-flow from us makes this worship a verb form of the word. Or I like to think of it as a ‘response’ to the Father’s love. The more I get to know Him, the more I want to worship Him in everything I do.
But what about the musical aspect of worship? Oh I love my worship music! After all I host a radio program for two hours every weekday filled with music that points to the King! That brings Him glory and expresses my love for Him.
Now here’s the thing, music is something I can do a lot of the time because I sing all day long. I wake up with a song in my heart. But I want to say that how I live my life for Him, every moment of every day is really my expression of love for Father!
Pouring my heart out before Him as I express my hearts desire to know Him more!
Singing along and worshiping with this great group of ‘worshipers’ is one amazing event! I love the element of deep focus on the Lord that musical worship brings into my heart. Oh how I look forward to a day when this is what we will be doing forever, gathered with the Saints in worship before the throne of God!!!
I don’t know about you but, I think we need to practice the worship thing while we are on this side of eternity! So let me ask you…
When do you know you are worshiping God? Does it feel like a result to doing something, like warm fuzzies?
How can you practice, this in your everyday living? Careful, I’m not talking about a works based thing here.
Remember, worship is a state of the heart. Go back and read Ravi’s description before you move on.
The result of a changed heart from experiencing His presence when we draw near to Him with an adoring heart creates an out-flowing love for others. It brings us to that place called ministry, called caring without thinking about it. Worship is my time with God in whatever form that takes in our individual lives. And on this side of the journey, I am always thrilled when I can pull a bit closer knowing it is transforming me to be more like Jesus.
And another aspect you may want to investigate is that Worship is a Tool! And in the Bible there were the worshipers who went before the soldiers to accomplish a certain task before the battle would take place. Quite fascinating especially how we can apply that to our services today that open and close with worship.
Will you let the Lord pull you a bit closer by opening your heart to His? He wants to reveal more of who He is to you and as you draw near He does just This is the stuff that changes us from the inside out, friend!
“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.” Psalm 73:28 (NASB)
Kimberly serves in ministry at Psalm FM Radio in the “Icebox of the Nation” where she hosts a daily music program,”Vertical Connection”
Living northward with her husband, mom, dog and cat is a must while indulging her grandsons with lots of woods to venture in when they visit.
Kimberly loves to encourage and challenge through her words and whether speaking or writing her love for Jesus is evident.
“For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much;” Luke 7:47a
Reading in Psalm 1 today and here’s my question…how have you sought counsel from the wicked and were the results favorable?
I tend to think that wicked can be those who do not have your best interest in mind or those who plot against your success.
:1 “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the [a]path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!”
a. or way
Sometimes the Message paraphrase provides a fun way to look at God’s Word:
:1 How well God must like you—
you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.
Think about times you sought counsel from the ungodly, secular, random opinions of others and allowed them to ‘twist’ your thinking just enough to get you off of your God pathway. Where you decided not to put God first in your morning…then daily thinking and planning.
When we ponder those times we can then see where we may have gotten off track or slid into troubled thinking resulting into unwise judgement about something.
But the Word reminds us that blessed is the one who refuses to entertain thoughts, suggestions, ideas, recommendations, etc. from those who do not know God or are even hostile toward Him.
:2,3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.
And the NASB:
:2,3 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Lord, today my desire is to keep my mind on You. Let me dwell on your goodness and forsake my tendency to ask from those who refuse to proclaim Your name. Let me be wise in those things I watch on television and even let my children watch while they are in their formative years of growing and learning to make sound decisions. I want Jesus, You alone and the Holy Spirit to guide me along the way. Let my reactions to His prompting direct my decision making and help me learn to respond immediately when He speaks to my heart, instead of wishing I had later in my day. I ask because I know you hear my hearts desire to please you in Jesus name.