Day 2 Proverbs 2

Proverbs 2:7-8: He holds success in store for the upright,  he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just  and protects the way of his faithful ones.

What does it mean to be blameless?  Colossians 1:22 tells us that once we accept Salvation from Jesus, we become blameless.

22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you  holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

Ephesians 1:4:  tells us that He chose us to be Holy and Blameless in His sight.

We are Chosen to follow Christ and therefore we are blameless

But what exactly does Blameless mean? Well the dictionary definition means to not be guilty of wrong doing. Which of course brings up the fact, “All have sinned…” So how can I be innocent?  on your own, you can’t but by accepting Christ as your savior you become blameless.  Does that mean we can do what ever we want? No because to be good witnesses for Christ we have to strive to do what is right. Which is what the Proverb is trying to say.  We trust in the Lord to guide us and show us the right path. When we work towards following God, he will protect us.

 

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Concerns of Bullying at School?

It is August and in a few short weeks, students return to school.

  • There will be new students
  • There will be new cliques
  • There will be students that don’t fit

There are things as parents that we should teach our children.

Besides respecting the teacher which by the way, is on the decline; we need to teach our children to be polite.  Dear Emily Post, I am sorry you wrote lots of rules on politeness (etiquette), but somewhere along the way we lost.  Most of us don’t even have a clue as to who you are.

We need to explain to them why bullying is wrong.  The problem is most children don’t realize that they are hurting someone’s feelings.  I know the students that called me alphabet or worse because of my long last name did not realize how hurt it made me feel. Or called me greasy because of my Sicilian heritage didn’t realized I washed my hair three times a day.  I know when they asked me what I got for Christmas or my Birthday they were just trying to be polite.  How do you tell someone who you didn’t get anything except maybe a nicer meal?  Or that this year for Thanksgiving dinner we had hot dogs, mac-n-cheese, and baked beans?  Or when the cafeteria is serving liver on Monday and you eat yours and your friends that won’t touch it, everyone is saying eeew.  But it is the first meal you ate since last Friday’s lunch?

But there were those kids that maybe didn’t understand; but they were taught how to be polite and never said a word. Or pulled me away when someone was saying something mean to me.

Today, there are kids whose life is just like mine was all those years ago. If you teach your child to be polite, they won’t say anything. They might even reach out to help. They might pull the person away when someone is being mean.

There is one girl, that I remember, she had one of those friends that was mean, she was always trying to pull her friend away from me.  Her parents must have taught her how to be polite. Oh, sure we can add empathy to the list, of things we should teach our children.  But the truth is if we instruct them on the rules of etiquette all those other things will follow.

All the things that we need to improve the ever-increasing problem of bullying in our school

Empathy

The idea of Sharing

Etiquette

Kindness

The list goes on and on but it can be wrapped up with one tiny skill: Etiquette.

 

Proverbs Challenge: 31 chapters- 31 days

Proverbs 1:1-7:  Proverbs starts out telling us that it’s purpose is to help the reader gain wisdom.  There is one thing that I have learned about reading anything, but particularly the Bible, you have to give yourself time to digest the message.  Every Author has a message that they want the world to hear. Whether they write fact or fiction there is almost always an underlying message.  Well, the message of Proverbs is to gain wisdom. 

Here is the challenge there are 31 chapters in Proverbs and 31 Days in August, Can you find a few minutes to read a chapter of Proverbs a day?  But don’t just read it, think about what it is teaching.  Yes, some of the lessons are repeated, but let them sink in and see if it changes your heart.

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for gaining wisdom and instruction;
    for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
    doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
    the sayings and riddles of the wise.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs is full wisdom and if you allow it to sink into your head and your heart, it will bring you wisdom.

On that note for each of the 31 days of August I will help you walk through Proverbs by taking a verse and exploring it through writing.

See you there.

Creation is knowing how, important?

The big question is not did God create the world, He did. It is not the question is it six of our days, or six of God’s day.  It is not the question of how who knows. The question is why are there so many theories, why are so many trying to prove that Genesis is wrong. I think the answer is we want the story of creation to fit in a box, and until we discovered dinosaur fossils and learned how to date those fossils; it did fit into a box. Before then, it was so much easier to just accept the Bible.  I still accept the Bible, I just think outside of the box so I can answer questions in a logical manner.  Still it can cause arguments. Which is where I drop it.  To me it is much more important that you believe that God created the earth.  It is much more important that you believe He sent His son to die for us. That the only way to heaven is through Jesus than to press my point.

There are several scientific theories concerning how the world began, with a couple suggesting that life began in the water. There are even some that believe in a creator.

We are here because we believe in God, the creator. I do find it interesting that some of the more well-known theories all start with life in the water, because according to Genesis 1:1 it did.

Genesis 1:1

 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Notice that God creates and then says it is good. When we think that God’s time is not our time and thinking about dinosaurs. We don’t read about them in the creation story, a logical mind has to wonder where they came into creation and perhaps that is why scientist are constantly seeking and answer for creation.  We have discovered evidence of other life before man. Proof of dinosaurs but no proof that man existed while dinosaurs walked the earth. But did God intend for us to wonder? Accepting that God is the creator based on scientific evidence requires faith. Are there things in creation that are there because faith is required? I think so. I also believe that given that God’s time is not our time. Psalms 90:4, and 2 Peter 3:8 a thousand years is like a blink of an eye. It is possible that six of God’s days took more time than we can to imagine. Yet through our faith, we believe that God created the world. And if someone is sure that six days is six human days; then I am reminded of Romans 14: 13-23, not causing someone to stumble, because it is not worth the argument. All the debate six of our days, six our God’s days, is not the most important issue.  The most important thing is God created the world, and He said it is good.  It is most important that you accept Jesus as the savior-much more important than how was the world created.

 

God my BFF and being Holy

1 Peter 1:13-15:

 

What exactly does it mean to be holy?  I mean, on my own, I am not holy. I mess up every day. Today, I lost my temper.  I felt justified, but I really wasn’t.  Let’s face it; it is hard to be good all the time. We sin all the time. We don’t mean to sin; it just happens.  We think an impure thought, have a twinge of jealousy or fear, maybe it is gluttony, or self-pity.  We are after all, human, full of faults.  The great thing is there is forgiveness.  Jesus died for our sins giving us forgiveness.   Forgiveness does not give us a license to sin; no, it gives us the responsibility to strive towards perfection.  Even though we will not achieve it, we are called to be holy.  To live a life as honorably as we possibly can.

The catch, we have to remember that accepting Jesus as our savior, we are made holy.  Being holy does not mean being perfect. It means that we follow, that we try, and we do our best to be a light for the world. We share the LOVE of Jesus with everyone that crosses our path.  Losing our temper is bad because we lose an opportunity to share God’s love. Being holy means that we strive to use every opportunity.

Being Holy means that we accept that Christ is the Messiah, the savior, the Lord of all.

Moreover, it means that we accept Christ as our BFF.  Because that is the relationship, God wants with us.  He wants to be our BFF to talk to him the same way we would our BFF. To honor him as we would a BFF. We also need to acknowledge that God is more; we are supposed to follow him. Following and obeying God makes us holy.

 

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

I can

As I sit here watching my little dog sit in the sunbeam on the carpet in the living room, I am reminded of the warm feeling I get from just sitting in God’s warm embrace.

The one you get after studying the word, after praying while you are just sitting there quietly  just waiting. The moment right before you get your marching orders.
Just like my dog, I don’t want to leave that spot where it is warm and comforting.

While care of ones self is vital; not just your physical or mental self, but your spiritual self as well. There reaches a point where we have to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.  Maybe you help others without getting your hands dirty, most of us do hard work.  Even if it is not physically demanding.

I realize that although I am still in recovery, there are little things I can do to turn my eyes to others instead of just inward.  I can pray for people, I can write encouragement to people, and I can research things for people.

I can sit and make phone calls.  I can find work answering phones, editing, or writing.  I can type letters or other correspondence. Yes, for sometime I can’t do physical work; but that doesn’t mean I can’t live.  I can be productive.  It will just take some creativity to find a way to use my God-given talents.

EVERYTHING AND BALANCE

I have written anything for sometime now.  It has been hard. I thought that I was doing things that God wanted me to do.  I thought I had life figured out.  Find a job, write on the side. Get rid of all the extra junk that is cluttering my house.  I give away as much as I can.  But I am not a fan of Goodwill and am currently seeking a place that pretty much gives household items away without taking a huge profit. I know they say they help people, and perhaps they do; but their CEO’s make more in one year than the people they claim to help make in a lifetime. Like I said, I thought I had it all figured out.

Then this series at church happened: “LOVE UNLIMITED”. The pastor started talking about how we are supposed to love people with out regards of the consequences to ourselves.  He pointed out that if we believe that we are supposed to follow Jesus’ guide, then we love without regards to ourselves.  The series was wrapped up with the truth that we are supposed to turn everything over to Jesus, even our relationships, to include the one with HIM. After all, every thing, every relationship, every day is from God and we need to be good stewards of everything HE gives us.  EVERYTHING.

Right now, I am trusting God for healing I have so much to do not just those things I mentioned before, but I have so much communicating God’s LOVE, given through HIS word to people.  I have so much LOVE to show people and unused talents.  There is a new idea forming in my head, right now my health sucks. I am getting better it is just taking some time. But through all this I realized that if I focus just on me, then I am doing no better than I was before.  Oh sure, I need to take care of me, otherwise there will be no ME to do these things.

I am learning Balance the hard way.  I thought that I had it.  Maybe I did this last health issue is common and can strike anyone but mostly women.  Since I am praying and believing in healing, I don’t want to focus on the ailments, which I believe are all related, I don’t want to live my life as a …., I want to live my life as an active loving ministering Christian woman. Sure it takes time to heal, but while I am healing I can still share Jesus with whomever will listen. Once healed, I can move on having learned balance (hopefully) and be a true doer for the KINGDOM of God.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

Acts 20:24 NIV

Heroes and Christians are ordinary people

I am always talking about being a good example for Christ.  But does that mean you don’t have bad days?  No Christians have bad days.  Bad things happen to Christians as well.

Think about all the hero stories, the hero has bad things happen to them all the time.  Think about it. Indie almost always gets captured, Luke got stuck in garbage, and people in Harry Potter’s world laugh at him.   A Heroes and Christians have something in common.  It is how they react under pressure.  Indie never gives up, Luke never stops trying, and Harry Potter ignores the laughter.

I would like to say Christians never let you see the sweat, but we do so do those heroes.

What we have in common is the fact that we struggle. We also have this in common, we deal with our struggles.  Wait a second doesn’t every person in the world deal with their struggles?  OK, you have me. Then what is it?

It is how we deal with out struggles.  Christians know that they have Jesus and have peace.

The peace of Jesus brings grace.  Grace is the ability to know that no matter how dark it gets, God will be there.  Grace gives us the ability to share Jesus’ love with the world.  Even if we are not able to tell it to everyone, we can show God’s love by what we do.

With Grace, Grace does without shouting it.  Grace doesn’t keep score. It isn’t some box you check off every day, it is just how you treat people every day. It is noticing that someone needs help and reaching out. Thinking about the heroes, when the deed is done, where do the heroes go? Indie goes back to his classroom unnoticed, Luke fades into the distance, Harry disappears to find Ron and Hermonie.  Spider man takes off his mask and becomes the unassuming Peter Parker.

As Christians we  don’t go around waving the “Holier than thou” flag.  We are ordinary people with ordinary struggles, who trust and extra-ordinary God.  A God who wraps His children in LOVE.  Christians become more when we share His LOVE with others.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Colossians 4:5-6 NIV

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Recently, I was reading about Martha and Mary and I had a new Epiphany.

I went further to the story of Lazarus’ death.  I learned that Martha and Mary are two sides of the same coin.

See in one part of the story Martha is busy with meal preparation and irritated at her sister for not helping.  I always thought perhaps Martha could have made a simpler meal.  I know with my family sometimes those meals where I cook a bit of meat, make some garlic bread, and then throw whatever else is in the fridge onto the table where better than the Thanksgiving meal I spent hours preparing.

I thought Martha didn’t have balance.  I was right to a point. See Martha had faith, she heard what Jesus said and accepted it at once as true. Martha’s problem was is sometimes she gets so busy taking care of others, she forgets to take care of herself. She forgets to study the Word, spend time in prayer, and just being silent listening to God. Yes, all the other stuff that we think of when we say self-care goes with it.  But the bottom line is if we don’t nourish our souls,  all the physical stuff doesn’t matter.

Now let’s talk about Mary.  Mary was the one that needed a bit more instruction.  I am not saying that one way is right and the other way is wrong.  It is just a different side of the same coin. Mary spent more time paying attention to her soul.  Maybe it helped her in the long run who knows. What Mary forgot is that sometimes people around her need help.  Sometimes we have to forget about ourselves and help others.

Both sisters have short comings.  Both need balance.  Previously, I missed that point. Previously, I only saw Martha’s shortcomings.  Maybe the fact that I am a Martha has something to do with it.  But it makes me feel so much better knowing that Mary has short comings as well.

Us, Martha’s we hear and say oh, that is logical, or oh that is not logical, where does it say that in the Bible? Mary’s on the other hand, (and I used to be a Mary) listen and listen and wait forever to develop an opinion. But when we do develop it, it is hard for Mary’s to see a different point of view.

Martha’s on the other hand tend to be open to seeing things in a different light.

Whether you are predominately a Mary or a Martha, you have a tendency to forget the other side of the coin.  Either you forget that you have to apply what you learned, or you forget to spend time learning more.

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