Downhearted or hopeful

When the things of life get us down, we know we should pray, but it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves as if we hacontrolve any control. We don’t have control because God is in control.  It is why so many of us like organization. It gives us a sense of control.  But when we leave everything to God and trust his directions; wonderful things happen.  Leaving things to God letting go of the control.

Life will still bring us down, but with God in control, we can rest knowing things will be alright.

Isaiah 45:22-24:

“Turn to me and be saved,                                  smiling sun
    all you ends of the earth;
    for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By myself I have sworn,
    my mouth has uttered in all integrity
    a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
    by me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone
    are deliverance and strength.’”

#LivingThankfully

Generally we think of giving Thanks unto the Lord.  But what about the people in your life?  #GivingThanks

And how do I start Living Thankfully?  #ThankfulLife

They say it takes 2 weeks to develop a habit.  Well, in my experience it takes two weeks just to decide if you want to put that much effort into changing a bad habit.

Then another two weeks to get started.  Then two weeks of practicing, two more weeks of concentrating of the habit being consistent.  Forgiving yourself if you miss a day. Then about 2 – 3 more weeks of thinking am I doing my new habit consistently?

the next stepEventually you stop thinking about it and doing it.

I am engaging in developing a thankful life.

The first step is to thank God for something once a day.

Step number two was to thank him for something twice a day.

Then we increase the number from one thank to two.

There were times when I had to ask God for forgiveness because I was just saying Thank You God just for the sake of saying it.

Next step is a bit harder.  You thank people around you for something. Starting with each member of your immediate family.  Thank them for one thing a day.

Learning to live a Thankful Life is probably going to take around 6 months to a year.

Each time you forget, then you have to ask for forgiveness and then forgive yourself.forgiveness

Don’t listen to Satan’s lies about how much a failure you are and PICK UP FROM WHERE YOU LEFT OFF. Don’t start all over again just start where you left off.  If you are at two thankful to God times and one thankful to each member of your immediately family; then you start right at that point. Going back and starting again just gives Satan a door to mock you.

Starting from where you were says “I made a mistake. I didn’t ruin all my efforts from one little mistake.  It works with changing your diet as well.

Walking on a picket fence, Even for 10

Hello,  Sometimes I find myself walking on a picket fence, knowing that something is wrong not wanting to hurt people’s feelings divided on how to handle an uncomfortable situation. Not wanting to sound as if I am judging someone.

Sometimes I see people walking in the gray area and God says that person is not one in your path.  Then it is easy, they hit my radar but I am not supposed to reach out to them.  I am to pray for them.  When this happens, I have learned to not sin by reaching out to them anyway.  I am not a super Christian able to reach every person that crosses my path.  Sometimes those people that cross my path are there because I need them.  God sent them to help me.

Our nation is standing on a picket fence.  Or at least that is how it seems to me.  One side seems to want complete control of our lives.  They are willing to do anything to get it.

As Christians we should beware of the untruths that are being spread.

If we don’t accept the side that is trying to control everything we are called all sorts of bad names.  They don’t accept that if I say okay you do that but I don’t approve; that is my right.  They want everyone to believe exactly how they believe.

The early church had that problem.  Deceivers everywhere trying to change the Salvation message, the word of God.

Jude: 17-23:

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

I guess I just jumped off the fence.  I am on the Lord’s side. The deceivers are wrong. Bring on your bad names you haters of God. God is my choice. I have been on this side for some time now, I just have been silent. Which is wrong. I hear people say there is evil afoot and no one can stop it.  God can if we believe if we ask. God Can. I understand that if the bowls have been poured there is no going back.

Remember Sodom and Gomorrah?

How about What Abraham asked God?

Genesis 18:

22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord.23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”

“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”

29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”

30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”

He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”

He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”

32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”

He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

If God’s people repent, if God’s people pray, God can stop the evil.

Proverbs Challenge Day 14 Helping Others

soup kitchen     31   Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,    but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

 

It can be hard to determine who are needy.  A few years ago in our town, there was a man that made it hard for anyone that might really be needy.  He stood at a corner day after day panhandling. Finally the news did a story. He had a nice home and truck.  He didn’t have a job, but he took advantage of people’s generosity. Does that mean that we should stop giving? Or stop helping others? No, the truth is most people that ask for help need help.  More often than not people don’t ask for help. Sometimes help is just a small hand.  Anyone want to help me get my yard cleaned? I have some volunteer trees that need to go.

 

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

Am I ever going to eat a meal by myself again?

Hebrews 13:16 tells us to do good, to share with others.  Many people share, the question is how do you share?  Do you share gladly?  Or do you share because the Bible tells you that you should?  There have been times in my life, when I shared because it was the right thing to do.  My heart really wasn’t in sharing or giving.

One time really sticks out in my head, it is silly, but it really happened.  My son was about 4 months old, already eating soft solid foods.  I had feed him, made a meal and sat down to eat. He wanted me to share my food with him.  I was rather irritated. I shared, but my heart wasn’t in it.  My thoughts were something like this: “Am I ever going to eat a meal by myself again?”  It is a thought many young mothers feel.

What do we do when someone asks can I borrow? especially if it is the person that never returns anything?  We are supposed to share.  I really think it depends on what you can afford to replace if you aren’t expecting to get it back.  There is a point when it is okay to say no but Jesus said that we are supposed to give to the one who borrows:

Matthew 5: 40-42: 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Why are we supposed to give like this?  Not because Jesus says, but because we love Jesus.  Because we love Jesus, we want to share His love with others. This is just one way we share Jesus.

Unconditional Love

As I sit here and pet my small dog, I think of how she loves me unconditionally.  No matter what, she is there ready to cuddle, play or give me little kisses.  She is so tiny yet has so much love.

It reminds me of how Jesus loves us, unconditionally. He does not care about our past only our future. He loves everyone even those who have not yet accepted him. Forgiveness is free we just have to accept him as our savior.   There are gifts that come with Salvation.  Gifts such as peace, everlasting life, hope, and everlasting JOY.

Does Jesus expect anything from us.  No he does not expect us to do anything but Love and Honor Him.

When we Love Jesus unconditionally, we love others unconditionally.  It is not something that we intend to do, it just happens.  Just like my little dog, who weaseled her way into my heart, with her unconditional love.  I found myself loving her back.  I bought her as a pet without any idea of how she would change our lives.

Through her, I have learned to be more open to people. See that is one of those things Jesus does, he brings people or in this case an animal into our lives so we can grow into better people.

Sometimes, he brings people into our lives so we can share His Love with them.

Like my little dog was an example for me, I have to be an example for others. He places people into our lives that don’t know him or maybe have heard of Jesus, but do not understand His way.

Unlike our pets, we have to learn to Love unconditionally.

Sometimes the people he puts into our lives are hard to love.

It would be nice if we could all love as a pet does. But there are days when I have to pray for grace. I have to pray and ask God to show me how to love those people. I ask God why are they in my life. And I hear because they need to learn how to love unconditionally.

Think of all the unkind people in your life.  Think of how much they need Jesus.  Think about how you will feel when you realize the tiny seed that you planted helped lead them to Jesus. Because you were a good example even when you did not want to be.  Even when you found the person disgusting or irritating.

See Jesus tells us to go out into the world. If we follow His example, we will remember that he associated with prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners.  He had very little time for the So called Men of God, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.  They did not share God’s love with their fellow-man.  Instead they walked around pious with an attitude that they were better than everyone else.  They were the men Jesus stood against.  They were also the ones that God used to make Jesus the sacrificial lamb for our sins.

Jesus puts us in place to share His love.  He uses crap that man piles on us to share His light in the darkest places. Something we can’t do if we think we are better or have not learned to love unconditionally as He does.

 

 

Living HOPE Unquenchable JOY

As I listen to the wind howl from this latest Nebraska storm, I think today is one of those days that I just want to stay in bed and cuddle up on my husband. It is Thursday so I can’t.

I look to the scriptures for some hope and joy; just to get me through the day.

Today might be one of those days when I have to keep looking at the app on my phone when I get a chance.

I might have to grab my lunch and warm up my car while listening to The message on my radio while I eat.

If I am one of those that can shut my office door and read the Bible, it would happen often today.

If the christian channel is on the radio at work, I might strain to hear the words and hum along today.

Today is a day to seek Jesus any way I can. Using whatever means available. Otherwise that wind would drive me mad.

1 Peter 1:3-9:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

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