By Grace

As some of you know, This spring God gave me a “reset”.  God had been telling me that I have been doing things wrong for sometime.  But I didn’t take the time to figure out what exactly he meant.  I kept seeing all this stuff about self-care.  I thought that it meant doing stuff for myself.  The truth never dawned on me.  I need to learn to slow down, relax.  I had this faulty thought process. I thought I needed to be doing something every waking hour.  I was always tired. I always felt behind. No matter how hard I worked; it was never enough things were not how I wanted them to be. If that sounds familiar, maybe God is speaking to you as well.

It has been a long summer as I learn the hard way how to slow down.  How to take time to read his word, pray, and be quiet listening for His instructions.

I have been changing habits and have come to realize that self-care has nothing to do with going to the spa and being pampered. It has nothing to do with making sure my outfit is just right, putting on make up, and fixing my hair.  Those things are what we do so the world accepts us. Sure looking nice can make us feel good. It gives us positive attention.  However, if you are reading this with baby and/or dog slobber all over you; just remember you are still the same person who was all dressed up looking sharp.

YOU ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL

Caring for yourself means developing your relationship with God, and the people he has put in your life. It means exercising and eating healthy.  It means telling yourself that it is okay the dishes are not done, I need to rest, read my Bible, or just be still.

It means on the day that you only get half of what you set out to do; that it is okay, you are not a failure. FORGIVE YOURSELF.

FORGIVING YOURSELF IS A HUGE PART OF SELF-CARE.

Accepting that you only have so many hours in a day and what gets done gets done and rest is important.  I know your in-laws are on their way, the house looks as if two little hurricanes hit it, there are dishes in the sink and you look as if you haven’t taken a shower in days. Oh and did I mention the meal is only partially started, you have to run to the store for a crucial ingredient like the meat.

Self-Care says oh well if my in-laws don’t like it then it is their problem. They need to accept the fact that you are not perfect. Only Jesus is perfect.

We get through each day by Grace.  God gives us the strength to do everything that is necessary. Everything else, well it will just have to wait until there is time.

One last thought we still need to organize and plan; but we must also pray about our plans.  God will say yea or nay.

Accept that there may be days when other things are just more important.

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Accepting Help – it is as hard as asking

Recently I talked about how hard it is to ask for help. What can be harder is accepting help. You’ve been there. Someone offers to help or asks if you need anything and you turn it down.  Claiming that everything is okay, when in truth; you are falling apart.

help

We don’t want to put anyone out. You are afraid they don’t mean it.  You are afraid that your friends won’t want to talk to you any more because you might ask for a favor. Sometimes it is true, when you ask for help sometimes it seems as if people are avoiding you.  Accepting help means dropping your pride.

It means accepting that you NEED HELP.

The next question is how do offer help? You know someone in need, you feel the Spirit prompting you to go help, but there is a fear that you will insult them. They will reject your claiming they don’t need it. Maybe it is not your mission to help this person. offering help

Have you prayed about it?  Is the Spirit prompting you to help this person?  It is not your job to help every need.  God shows us who we should help.  Say for example you see a person with a sign requesting help.  You wonder if you should, are they faking it, should you give money, food, clothing, or just pray with them?  Trust God to tell you.  God not only tells you who you should help, but how. If you do not feel the Spirit prompting you to help, don’t feel guilty.  There is a drive at church, I want to be a good Christian, but I am not feeling any pull to give this charity.  They came to our church; and I want to look good.  If that is your motivation, then don’t help.  Your motivation to help someone should not be about you. It should be about sharing God’s love with someone.  If you are hesitant about accepting help allow the help. You have asked God, Right? Then trust he is giving you the help that you have requested. Even if the person offering the hand of help is someone that you don’t like.

White as Snow

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There is nothing more beautiful than that first snow all white and clean.  You can be clean.

There is hope for eternal life

It doesn’t cost a dime.

By accepting Jesus as your savior, you have eternal life.

Your since are washed away.

Your are free of guilt and shame.

We still make mistakes but forgiveness is there and we are white as snow- blameless before the Lord.

 

God’s miracles are everywhere

For years I have been sad during the Fall. It only reminded me of how much I miss the fall foliage back East. But this year, I have been focusing on the positive and have seen an absolutely beautiful fall. fall
Philippians 4:8    tells us to look upon everything that is lovely and good.  Seek out what is good in the world.  When we look for the good, we see the world in a different light.  Our attitude  changes.   

 

 

 

 

 

 #freshstart #corageous #holdontothruth#followerofchrist #godismyrock

#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.

lift each other up

James 1: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. As I was reading this it dawned on me why we do works.  We don’t do works to earn our salvation, but to show our faith.

woman wearing grey crew neck sweater
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

The Bible encourages us to take care of each other.  To lift each other up.  When we accept Jesus as our savior, the desire to become more like him.  This is why we do good works.

But how do I lift someone else up?  How do I have the strength?  Trust God. When you hear of someone in need, do what you can to help.

 

One flesh

Genesis 2:24:   That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

currently I am in a Bible study of Genesis and one of the questions in this verse asked does this apply to women as well? Are women supposed to leave their parents as the man and woman become one.

family pictureeMy first response to answer this question was to think about families taking care of their parents.  Do they always take care of the wife’s family?  I found that this is not always true people take care of their elderly parents based on who is able.  Sometimes it is shared with siblings.  There does not seem to be a rule and the Bible just talks about caring for your parents. (but most always widowed mothers)

Next I explored did women of the Bible leave their family behind. Take Rebekah, she left her family to marry Isaac.  But Jacob left his home to marry Rachel and Leah. Ruth left her family to follow Naomi eventually marrying Boaz.  imagine there are people that married someone from the community and stayed in the community.  But I can’t pinpoint any except maybe Mary and Joseph who left their community together.

So what exactly does that mean?  because inheritance used to be through the oldest son. family picture

I think it frees the sons up to pursue their own family. To be responsible for their own family. Sure they have an interest in their birth families estate and welfare.

Think of this way, mothers and sons are often close but when a son takes a wife, he has to put his wife before his mother.  That does not mean that he forgets his mom.

Sons leave their parents home to increase the families holdings.  Dad farms this land and the son farms across the street.

Sons leave the family home so they can focus on their own family.

Daughters leave the family home for the same reasons to take care of their families.

The Bible is very clear about honoring your parents. It is also clear that families expand because sons join with a wife. Eventually Jacob returned to his homeland.

Not sure I have answered the question just listed more possible answers.families pictures

It works that way. God reveals to each of us what we need.

It never dawned on me to live close to my family, we aren’t close.  My husband is close to his family.  But he does put me first.

Multiplication

Mark 4: 13-20:  Who can understand a parable?  I imagine that if you told the parable of the Sower,  to one who lives in a city and has never seen a farm; they might be OK, whatever.  However, if we told it in terms they can understand then perhaps they will mature in Christ.  Wait a second, you aren’t supposed to change the word of God.

That is how you do it.  First you read the scripture and then you explain it in the language of the listener.  When we do this, we are increasing our audience, our sphere of influence for Christ.

Say my audience was a group of inter-city youths.  I would have to find out what is important to them.  And it would depend on a few things such as:

  • Are they targets for gangs or gang recruitment?
  • Are they interested in education?
  • Are they interested in the military?
  • Do they expected to be trapped in the intercity?
  • Are they part of the culture that believes going to jail is a right of passage?

I am sure there are many more comparisons and we have to understand that some may fall into more than one category. Giving us more ways to reach them. We figure out how to explain the message in their language.  This is not changing God’s word.  Think of it this way, do you feel that the NIV has changed the Word?  If we could all understand the Old KJV, then other translations wouldn’t be necessarry. Since we all come from different backgrounds different examples of parables are required.

My favorite is most likely to be shared with women who like to bake.

To make bread, you need flour, yeast, milk or water, and salt.

If you don’t mix in the yeast well enough then your bread rises unevenly, it may still be eaten but no one is going to like the heavy part.

If you don’t put in enough yeast, then your dough doesn’t rise it is useless.

If you put in too much yeast, then it becomes too airy and the outside bakes before the inside.

If you put in the right amount of your ingredients, and knead the yeast into the dough without over kneading then you get wonderful bread and everyone wants it.

Explanation: Every wants bread sometimes the baker doesn’t make good bread- the seed that  is sowed in shallow or thorny soil and they lose interest in the baker.

Some times the baker forgets the yeast and it is flat and tough (and your audience is not predominately Jewish) this is the seed that lands in the hard ground.

But the baker that mixes everything just right, ingredients, kneading; this is the seed is in the fertile soil.  Everyone wants it. (it being the message of God) See when we bake our bread just right, everyone wants it, our profits multiple.  The word about us is spread.  Translation to Christianity, the Good news that Jesus is our savior is spread.  The good baker (person that spreads the Good news about Jesus) knows how to knead enough yeast just right.  The person that fruitfully spreads the Word of God; listens to the Holy Spirit, so they are more effective.

When we tell the word of God to fit the audience, then our efforts are multiplied.  More people hear and understand; more people are duplicating the efforts and sharing the word of God.   Multiplication

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word.15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

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