Tag Archives: Peace

When the Scoffers Come!

1Pet 2.1Ever 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.

Line Break

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.

Line Break

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!

2 Corinth 10-5So 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!

If the Son Sets You Free…

Every now and again those songs come along that just touch your heart and add peace to your day. I love this group of young fresh Irish Christ lovers who call themselves Rend Collective. Their songs are joy-filled and full of faith.

Line Break

Since I have been pulled from the pit of destruction when I was that crazy mom of 30, through many trials and tribulations I now know what it means to be free. Free from the guilt that stained my heart and kept me from walking in liberty. I know how God redeems and sets us free to live in fullness which He must delight in as He sees us dancing in our freedom in Christ!

Scars 2

If you are still having difficulty pulling free from your past gunk, let me boldly ask, what are you waiting for? Give it all to Him, quit holding on to your past and the bondage that is keeping you from true freedom in Christ! If you don’t think I know what it means to be there you can visit here to see what Jesus has done for me!

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:34-36 NASB

No one is too far gone with too much past that God, our mighty Savior, cannot break through! We are called to point others to Him but walking in the Light as He is in the light! 1 John 1:7

If you have never met the Father and would like to, please know that there are redeemed ones who have prayed for you to know Jesus and the peace and joy that only comes from knowing Him. How does this all work you might ask…jump over here to find out more. And visit my prayer page if you would like prayer! Today I pray you will bask in His peace!

Oh Momma, are You at Peace Today?

John16.33Is your contentment contingent on another’s happiness? Whether it is our children, our spouse, our our boss, too often unless they are happy then we will want to or tend to do cartwheels to make them happy. When they aren’t then we may have trouble settling in and being at peace.

Too often our thoughts and the things that we do are perpetuated by what another thinks or by how they may respond. I think we call that walking on eggshells! Boy that can make us one miserable and sometimes neurotic person!

I want to encourage you to look inside and ask yourself just what it is that gives you peace and contentment. If you find it is in pleasing others then “Houston, we have a problem!”

So where do I go and what do I do to find true happiness?

First of all let me ask what is it that causes you to feel content?

Where do you derive that sense of peace that makes you feel ‘real’ joy?

I know that for myself, it didn’t come until I was willing to let go or cut off every string of a someone else “if only they…” that drained life and peace from me. I did so someone else would be happy or see value in me. I controlled so that someone else would not get upset. And on and on the vicious cycle would go. Family, loved ones and our friends can be wonderful, because relationships are extremely important! Part of who the human race is and why we exist is to be relational, by God’s design. And of course ultimately pointing to Him. But when we can’t find contentment apart from others then we really do need to purpose to know why not.

When I came to Christ as a troubled young mom who was extremely co-dependent, I was not a very happy or peace filled person. My joy was too contingent on others. For thirteen years I struggled to be content. I was never truly happy and my world basically fell apart, not to mention that my marriage came pretty close to a disastrous end as well.

Line Break

I remember a time when my husband and I had words that weren’t good or healthy. I was so upset and of course the first thing I wanted to do was run to the phone to talk to an older wiser woman of God. I am not kidding you when I say that when I went to pick up the phone the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Put down the phone and call upon me.” Wow, I did, and I prayed and talked to the Lord and felt more at peace than I had for some time.

You see our tendency is to run to others to solve our problems or to gather our troops. To prove our case is right and that our ‘enemy’ is wrong. Way to solve a problem…not!

It wasn’t until I continued to run to my Abba Father and cry on His shoulders that I could finally find contentment and peace in the midst of my storms. Hey, I had to learn the hard way and it really was a slow process for this hard-hearted woman.  I could no longer keep looking at people to make me happy, to solve my problems so I could have peace. I realized that it needed to come from within, from listening to the Holy Spirit to guide and show me my shortcomings and sin which when confessed lightens the heart!

You may have guessed that this verse in John 16:33 is one I lean hard into…

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

How does knowing this help my situation? I have said many times that I purposed long ago when I came to Christ to although not understanding much of what I read in the Bible, I would choose to believe even what I couldn’t understand. That the Lord would reveal to me what he wanted me to know when I needed to know it.

I have peace knowing that God is sovereign, omniscient and that in spite of His greatness, He cares greatly… Click To Tweet

In trusting a God like that, I can have peace that passes ALL understanding, even when my world is crumbling apart.

Line Break

Oh momma…I want to encourage you to not doubt the God who loves you. Did you know it is a sin not to believe? This isn’t some wishy washy, comme ce, comme ca, kind of God who is in and out, here or there, maybe I can trust Him maybe not. If we don’t believe in what He says then why are we pretending to “Believe” in Christ?

Will you ponder these first three verses of Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Let your heart find rest not in people, for they can disappoint and let you down. Not in the doing all the right things, to be affirmed (you won’t make it anyway or you will make yourself sick trying!) How about simply allowing yourself to rest in Him. To be comforted by Him. To be surrounded and loved by Him?

The last four verses of Psalm 46 should give way to reassuring your troubled heart:

     Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.

He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.

“Cease striving and know that I am God”…another version says, “Be still and know that I am God…” Tonight when you lay your head on your pillow to sleep or hope too, remind yourself of your commitment to Him. Your commitment to trust Him in ALL things, to put your hope in Him so that He can fill you with faith, trust and confidence in Him.

Lord, when my heart is in panic mode and I don’t know where to turn I know I can turn to you! You are the only One who can show me true peace which allows me to truly rest in You. Thank You for loving me and caring for me like nobody else can. There is none like You Lord and I am grateful to be Your child…amen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6eDvl4Xbh8

GraceTruth-300x300

Oh Momma, Do Not Fear…

GraceTruth-300x300The world certainly is in an uproar. Doesn’t that make you a bit unsettled? These days there isn’t much peace and contentment going on. Watching nightly news only stirs us up and freaks us out! So how can we survive when every thing around us is literally shaking?

Over the past two weeks on the news there have been reports of earthquakes, volcanic activity and of course war. Countries at war, and angry people everywhere. The Bible says it as “wars and rumors of wars.” And indeed we see the Word fulfilling itself!

So friend, how are you doing with it all? You may be so consumed in your home life raising kiddos and working that well, you don’t even have time to look around at what’s happening in the grand scheme of worldly news. It may be several days later that you have the time to even grab the newspaper and see what’s going on. And the list just keeps piling high doesn’t it! We are a busy people today!

However, when you do get a glimpse of all that is taking place it sure can be a bit disconcerting can’t it! But I have a place of refuge where if you will take a moment to just rest and read, you will see that God is still in our midst. He hasn’t taken His eyes off of us, no He cares for you and me and this rattled world we are living in.

Line Break

I won’t talk prophesy at this point but yes, all this turmoil is foretold in God’s Word. What I will share are some verses from a Psalm that helps me to know that God is still in control, still on the throne and can still be trusted.

Have you read Psalm 46 lately? It’s not too lengthy, and seriously, it helps to slow down my pulse rate!

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

How does this resonate with you? I remember the night of 9-11 very vividly. When I went to bed that night I distinctly remember feeling fearful. My husband wrapped me in his arms and comforted me the best he could and I cried and thought of how everything had suddenly changed. How nothing will ever again be as it was. At that moment he was my refuge, holding me and allowing me to rest in him as he said it would be alright. But seriously here, as much as we love our husbands and count on them for our comfort…there is a greater One who even outweighs our men. That may be sort of hard to visualize cause after all we usually want God with skin on!

God is greater and His refuge is sure. It is here that you can find the strength to lift your head out of your… Click To Tweet

Psalm 46.1

Because the Lord is with us everywhere and always, He is our help in times of trouble. And I don’t mean maybe! I don’t know about you but that is extremely reassuring!

The next couple of verses read:

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah”

Love that word Selah! From Bible Study Planet: The word “Selah” occurs seventy-three times in the Psalms, and is found also in Hab 3:3,9,13. The exact meaning of the word is unknown, but it’s believed by many scholars to be a musical term that means to pause, or reflect.

God seems to think that it is profitable for us to ponder theses few verses. And frankly, for me He is saying to my heart, “Put your trust in Me because I have all these things in My big hands.” We are completely covered by Him.

When our busyness keeps us from looking at our world, is that really okay? Then we don’t have to deal with how it affects us and our family, right? We don’t want to think about those things cause they aren’t safe for us! I get that. But seriously friend, we need to see God in our midst without minimizing the fact that He is Lord over all of it! The good, the bad and the ugly!

We have the Lord on our side when we have and know His son Jesus! And I often say, how do people get through the really hard stuff without Him? I am thankful that I know Jesus! Please visit here if you want to know more about how this happens!

So let me post the last couple verses trusting you to read the Psalm in its entirety!

Psalm 46.10-11

Oh Momma, take some time to stop, read, and reflect on the truth and promises of our God! He tells us to stop striving and He also reminds us that He is ever with us and always listening and even guiding his own with His eye!

Don't be overwhelmed with the world and your circumstances, be overwhelmed with God's love and care for you! Click To Tweet

 

Oh Momma, When You Just Have to “Give it Up”

Oh momma, are you at all like me? A bit persistent, strong-willed and stubborn. Although I am starting to get it, I have had to learn the hard way through lots of disappointments that it just isn’t worth the battle.

As my kids grew up and left home, got married and then returned for their visits during holidays and then with their children, my comfortable home began to feel a bit tight. We have a small dining area just on the other side of an island of counter that is approximately 12’ by 11’, and this where meals are taken. It sufficed for years with three kids, mom and dad. But now the table for comfortable five has had to become stretched out into the living room to accommodate 10 – 12 at times. Yikes, we are in on the living room rug!!! (Bless your hearts those who say what’s the big deal!)

12682856705_6a8f645bc6_z

I would pray and ask, then pray and ask some more…only to get ‘for the few times we are all together we can make it work.’ I even drew out the plans to push out our kitchen and dining room to make an L-shaped house from its regular rectangle. (I love planning things like this!) I had even drawn the cupboards and was going to have just a lovely dining area with the space to safely keep us all on the tile floor for meals and include a nice large island for cooking times when my small counters get easily crowded.

As my husband drew nearer and nearer to retirement he was more and more determined that this would never happen. God and I would talk ‘cause I knew that God delights in giving us the desire of our heart, even a larger house…and sometimes He does. However, I found with every no that I was getting more and more determined to make it work.

Then God spoke to my heart and showed me that I was fighting a losing battle, and if I persisted in demanding my way (to which I thought was for the best of reasons!) that I was only going to get more and more angry at not getting my way. Wow, did I have a lesson to learn. I was going to have to resign myself to the fact that this just wasn’t ever going to happen!

It was at that juncture that I could stomp, connive, deceive and work my way into a tizzy trying to get my guy to change his mind. This would certainly drive us all nuts! Or I could give it up and…let it go. My Father was asking me to “let it go”.

I can be a fighter! I had pushed this thing and of course had everyone on my side to make it happen, but I couldn’t change his mind. I remember being very frustrated, very resentful and not feeling very nice about the whole thing.

Line Break

Have you ever been called to give something up? How difficult was it for you to just say ‘I resign’?

There are times in our life that this is the call and as hard as it can be I have learned that my world didn’t fall apart, AND that I have more peace in my heart because I gave it up. One less source of agitation between me and my husband, with less resentment brewing and stirring up all kinds of unpleasantries!

2Cor13-11Remember Paul and the thorn in his side? You can read of it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 where Paul had to contend with a “thorn” in his flesh. Reminding me of a sliver one sometimes gets. It is not pleasant. And God’s reply to Paul was merely that “His grace is sufficient for you…”

In the long and short of it, peace in my home was worth finding through my giving up my desire to be more comfortable. If the juice gets spilled on the rug, then I am going to clean it up. And life will go on and we will enjoy many wonderful family meals even if we have to eat IN the living room. I have realized that time is short. Many memories are made when we engage around a cramped dining area and that really is what counts as important.

2014 Sleigh Ride
This is what it is really all about!

I didn’t lose the battle here…I gained, through the grace of God, a heart that is content with what I have.

My Home, My Sanctuary…

Birdnest on CrossI remember the days of chaos in my home. Screaming kids and stuff everywhere. Discontentment does that to our homes! I was not happy with anything, complained about everything and joy was superficial. This is not a happy home!

This is what chaos means according to Merriam Webster:

Complete confusion and disorder; a state in which behavior and events are not controlled by anything

So sadly, my heart and home were a real disaster area where one would rather depart from than be welcomed into!

If you want to put stress on your family, drive away your spouse, wonder why your kids are hanging from the chandelier, this may give you a clue. I truly understand because I was there once upon a time.

I did not have peace in my heart. God was not even welcomed in my dysfunctional  environment and there wouldn’t have been room for Him anyway. For years I existed in this disarray becoming more and more miserable.

Then at age thirty I was introduced to Jesus Christ. God used Christian media to show me what it could look like on the other side of my whirlwind. In my desperate state, getting ready to flee, unable to take many more days of utter confusion, I said yes to Jesus because of the testimony of a couple who were living much like I had been. When they received Christ, they found the Prince of Peace! You see, I was desperate and I wanted that peace!

Over the next 20 years the Lord began to redirect my life and turn it right-side up to where home looks completely different than it once did. His perfect peace filled my heart gave me a resting place within instead of that heart of discontentment.

As God’s peace infused my being I realized that my environment was beginning to be more orderly and complete. Dare I say that our environments reflect our souls? My home has become a sanctuary and a place of welcoming. I know God is here because of the peace I feel when I walk through the door. No, I don’t have altars set up but the environment is for the most part a welcoming place.

I am still working on my minimalizing to help me with clutter tendencies but it is coming along. This place is where my husband desires to be and on those hectic days out and about I long to retreat into because God’s peace is present!

So do you struggle with finding peace in your home?

Is it sometimes difficult to return to when there is disorder awaiting you as you open the door?

The most important element can be the state of your heart. Be willing to look inside and see what it is that may be out of sorts and begin to purge and rebuild from the Father’s perspective so that your heart and your home will exude His peace that passes all understanding.

Take a moment and visit Philippians 4 to help you in your pursuit of a “peace that surpasses all understanding…”

Father, I am going to refuse to succumb to chaos any longer and I ask for Your perfect peace to fill me and guide me as I learn to walk in it. I want to lay down all areas that bring confusion and chaos and I’m asking You to replace the messes inside of my heart and home in exchange for Your peace. I am trusting You to rebuild me as I hand over to You my surrendered heart…in Jesus’ Name.

Abiding in Him

I have this little piece of wall art that hangs on my wall and it says ‘Abide in Him’.  Using wall art that include words or Scripture speak loudly of my convictions and beliefs.  But the word abide (in itself) is such a descriptive of the Spirit-filled life that I desire to live, yet struggle to attain.  

I was plowing through a book by Francis Chan, called “Forgotten God”, and in his convicting fashion I was challenged by one of my favorite chapters in the book of John, chapter 15.  Chan issues a challenge by asking a profound question, is my life too loud, to which I could readily say “yes it is!”.  Then Francis proceeds to encourage us to put down his book and pick up the Book and read a few chapters in the book of John.  Right to some of my favorites in John, chapters 14, 15 and 16.  

The verb “abide”, according to Merriam-Webster means to wait, endure without yielding, to bear patiently.  It also means to remain stable or in a fixed state and to continue in a place.  In John 15 where the picture of the ‘vine’ is used to describe our life in Christ–we being the branch, Christ being the vine and then the Father addressed as the vinedresser–John uses the word “abide” ten times: 

John 15:4-11 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

Do you think maybe there is a point to be made here? There are ten references to the word abide in the verses above that are being used to drive home some profound points:

The imperative to remain in Christ;

We aren’t fruitful if we don’t;

If we refuse to abide in Christ we can be thrown away for we aren’t fruitful;

There is an invitation to remain in Christ’s love;

By walking in obedience we partake in His love.

So when I am restless, when I am struggling through (with my own resources) and forgetting that apart from Him I can really do nothing, instead of being frustrated with myself I really need to stop and remember that I am a partaker with Christ.  I really sell myself short and settle for less than His best by “trying” or “trying to do it myself”.  I am sure my Father is thinking “Oh foolish girl”, as I expend efforts that amount to little when in Him I can accomplish great things or at least what He desires and that spells success!  

Line Break

I don’t believe if you are a driven person that there is necessarily an easy way to submit your efforts for His peace that only comes from abiding in Him!  God desires that we would “remain stable or in a fixed state” by abiding in Him walking in the Spirit-filled life.  But from one who has been there…stop striving, try it and see.  Then you can appreciate these words from the Psalmist, Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8 (ESV) Abiding in Him is where we fulfill the Spirit-filled life that God desires we live out for Him and His glory!

Father, I remember that this battle to ‘do’ in my own efforts is a winnable battle when I walk with you! I will make the choice today to let You lead via Your Spirit which is living in me! The rest that comes from giving You the reins of my life is well worth the concerted effort it takes to hand them over. So thank You Father for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who allows me to quit my striving by abiding in You!

 

 

Holiday Madness!

Photo from the Daily Page - Madison, WI
Photo from the Daily Page – Madison, WI

It is Christmas time and for most of us the season begins around Thanksgiving.  We typically shift gears right after the turkey dinner into Christmas.  Of course if you are a television person you may have the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  (A tradition since I was a young girl.)  I was nine when I moved to New York City and on my first Thanksgiving there I was treated to getting to see it in person!  That was exciting and chilly as I stood there watching, feeling quite small as I tried to see the floats go by.  So I have sometimes had that on in the morning background while cooking in the kitchen and specifically when my grandsons are home.  It truly jump-starts our holiday celebrations and can make me feel like decorating!

I can remember the days of late night baking, making and decorating that although nice to have, thoroughly exhausted me by the time Christmas actually came. I wasn’t really pondering the nativity scene. And with all that baking, no wonder I would put on several pounds throughout the end of November and month of December! No surprise that when the day came I was cranky and lacking energy from all the late nights, poor diet and no exercise. This makes me tired just thinking about it! Then the new year comes and we have to make all those resolutions that end up getting tossed aside after a few weeks or a month if we are really diligent.

Snowflake DividerSo how can we be kind to ourselves and those we love without over-taxing, over-spending and over-indulging ourselves? It is hard and I will be the first to admit that my will power is weak and wimpy this time of year! I guess one could shop and bake throughout the months leading up to Christmas but that typically doesn’t happen! So as I have been thinking about this I have some thoughts to share.

Over-taxing ourselves can lead to physical fatigue and then we succumb to sickness especially when we are around it. It is vital to keep the immune system boosted and fighting all those ickies that float around in the air and are on things we touch in public places! Sure we can carry our sanitizer with us but if we are taking care of ourselves then our immune system is able to do what God created it to do and ward off the ‘stuff’ that wants to invade our bodies.

Take care of yourself during this stress-filled time of year!  It seems that everything is heightened (the good and the negative) and we become emotionally drained.

  • Make sure to get lots of rest and try to eat healthy (sorry but that means to avoid sugar like the plague!)
  • Freely use your vitamin C (love that 1000 mg dose in an easily consumed package!  Stir into a little water and voila, it will go a long way throughout your day. (Just don’t take it too late in the evening or you won’t sleep!)
  • Stay hydrated.  Winter is always dry and most of our homes are more so in the closed winter months. Unless you live in the south!!! (I struggle with consuming water throughout the day but try.)
  • In the process of doing all you can do to stay healthy, visit my Zeal for Health page for information on supplements that take to keep me moving!

How is it that we know what is good for us but struggle to do it?  Sounds like the familiar words of Paul, “…for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate…” Even Saint Paul struggled to do the right thing. It is sometimes just a simple, ‘right now, I am going to make a conscious effort to do what is right’! You will be encouraged when you do. And we are reminded that we must take care of this temple God has given and that the Holy Spirit resides in, don’t neglect this!

Prince of PeaceWe all know that over-spending this time of year is typical. I don’t know about you but a gift-giving budget is just hard for me! One of my love languages is gifting so it is extra hard for me to reign in. However it helps to have a husband who is ultra conservative on matters like spending and so we are back and forth as I try to show him the “somewhere in the middle” range of spending:0) I have started to ask my kids and grandsons for a list. That way I can have a choice pricing-wisely and yet be able to gift them with something that they really would like to have. It is also nice if one can put funds aside throughout the year to use toward the gifting fund.

Gifting is a wonderful thing and we know that Jesus himself said in Acts 20:35 “that it is more blessed to give than to receive.” A few years back we decided that we would let our grandsons see giving done in the spirit of blessing those who don’t have. We looked through our Samaritan’s Purse catalog and let the boys choose a gift to give like a dozen ducks or chickens and we even purchased a goat to be given in their name another year. The whole gift thing should be focused on the fact that we give because God first gave to us His Son Jesus! We have certainly carried that to the extreme!

Snowflake DividerThen the over-indulging issue! This tends to be one of my worst sins. I have been completely defeated in this area for way too long! However I had my best year ever a couple of years ago and I am hoping to continue it this year. I confess my besetting sin, gluttony! Not a very nice word to admit to but I am going to call it what it is!

Author Dee Brestin, relates ‘gluttony’ to idol worship and I agree that we can let food replace our need for God in many instances. In the word it says in Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good…”  I am determining to replacing my excessive food intake with precious time with the One I love. Not only does the consuming interrupt my Godward thinking but look at the prep time in cooking! It is time that a good portion could be given to my Father who waits for me to come and join Him in sweet fellowship! Not to mention Paul’s words again from 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God and that you are not your own?”  He issues the call to “glorify God in your body.” Yikes, I guess for me it will only be a couple of ‘goodies’ and a nice meal or two when the family is home and keeping it as fresh as possible. It is difficult though, I love to cook and feed!  Now I can turn my “feeding” into spiritual food!

Mary Joseph & Baby Jesus
Now This is Peace! From Jesus of Nazareth

Be kind to yourself and those that have to put up with you. Be a joy to those around you and spend your quality time with your Father. You might even enjoy participating in an Advent reading throughout the weeks before Christmas morning. Then, celebrate Christ’s birth!

Celebrating Christmas the way it is meant to be celebrated will help us to be equipped to meet the needs of… Click To Tweet

Now that’s Christmas!

 

Snowflake Divider

 

 

Let Your Love be Genuine

1190818714_59b75ec2c2_z
credit to Chat in the Hat

A friend of mine and a loved one of mine are so good at picking up on the needs of others.  It amazes me how a segment of their life is all about using their gift of mercy to come along side of  those who have been in tough places and have real physical and spiritual  needs.  These women are an inspiration to me and they truly walk out the verse in Micah 6:8 that is really a verse for all of us!

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

After reading through the minor prophets in the Old Testament, I came away with knowing how important it is to stay connected to the Father and then walk out my love for Him by loving others.  If Jesus said in six different verses in the New Testament that we are to “…love one another…” then I think it is a pretty important point to pick up on and to live out!

  • John 13:34: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have love you, you also are to love one another.

    John 13:35:  “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    John 15:12:  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

    John 15:17:  “These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”

    1 John 3:11:  “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

    2 John 1:5:  “And now I ask you, dear lady–not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we havce had from the beginning–that we love one another.”

  • Are you getting the picture?  This is for the body of Christ today, right now! How are you doing with your part of the words above from Jesus?  I know we all don’t have the gift of mercy but let me ask you how you are doing with issues toward another?  You might be gifted in teaching or helps but if you are not living out the above “commandment” are you being effective?  Nothing we speak or do without the inspiration that comes from genuine care or concern amounts to a hill of beans if it isn’t lived out in us first.  I have heard it said that our pets know instinctively who is a dog or cat lover.  And that can be applied to people as well.  If we love each other and sincerely care, we will accomplish what Christ calls us to because we have taken seriously the mandate to “love one another“. 

    Lord, I know there are people that I struggle to love and I want that to change so that I can walk in Your ways, not my own.  Please stir in me a desire to let go of any misunderstandings and really desire to put love into practice.  I can call out to you when it gets difficult and if I listen to You, You will show me how!  Paul says it well in Romans that we are to “If possible, so far as it depends on you (me), live peaceably with all.”  When I purpose to live letting love be my motivation, you can use me to touch lives with Your words and minister to the hurting!

How Do I Forgive Myself?

Nyborg  0037

I have added a page to my blog with the intention of offering a kind hand through prayer to those who struggle to forgive themselves.  Is your past one like mine that is filled with pictures of where you never again want to visit…have you done stuff that seems unforgivable?

Please take a moment to view this page on my blog and maybe share the hope of forgiveness with someone you know might be struggling with past regret!

The Tough Stuff