Monday, 29 August 2016

Consider their end....

Recently I read Psalm 73 in my quiet time and it spoke into my heart about how we feel about those who have hurt us.  Particularly those who are not saved.

We see them prosper, we see them seemingly enjoying their lives.  They seem to get away with pretty much everything.  With regards to my own life there are those who hurt us badly, but over time, all they tried to do to us, came upon them.  But it only happened as God was dealing with our own hearts so when it seemed their lives were falling apart, we had sympathy for them.  We felt sorry for them.  There was no celebrating their downfall.  God warns us in His word that if we do celebrate at the downfall of another, He will turn His anger away from them (Prov 24 v 17-18:  (17) Do not rejoice and gloat when your enemy falls,And do not let your heart be glad [in self-righteousness] when he stumbles, (18) Or the Lord will see your gloating and be displeased, And turn His anger away from your enemy.)

The first part of Psalm 73 the writer is saying how hurtful it is to see how his enemies prosper.   Its in the moment, in the hurtful space, where we feel alone and vulnerable.   Where we feel the Lord is far from us,.... and "they" seem to be having it all, despite tripping people up, despite the lies and deception that spews out of them.  But then the writer says:  Ps 73 v 17:  Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood [for I considered] their end.

WOW!  What a scary thought that is!

I remember times when watching TV and seeing people, like politicians, some very crooked, super wealthy, etc and seeing them get away with stuff, we would say "Some people have their heaven on earth".  The point being, once they die...... then where do they go?!  When its someone super evil like Hitler, its easy to not be upset about where he might spend eternity, right?  But what if its a family member?  What if its a good friend?  A work colleague?  Someone you know?  And they do horrible stuff to you?  And you watch them get away with evil ..... sometimes for years?!


When one steps aside from the hurt, and you enter into time with the Lord, and you consider their end?   If you heart is right, it will reflect the sadness you feel for those who do what they do and do not know or do not want to know the Lord.

In our case, as far as we know, one of the people who turned on us has since become a Christian and that is great.  Took a bit of time for me to feel good about that (a post for another time) but truly I am happy for that person, happy they found Christ, and that their end is not eternity in hell.  The other one carries on as far as we know, doing what they always do... But, God instructs us to pray for our enemies.  At this point, 9 years in, its not as hard as it was to pray for them, but its still not easy.  More an act of my will really, but God rewards obedience!

My encouragement to you is that if someone is deliberately hurting you, and you know you are trying to walk a close path with the Lord, firstly, know that God has got your back and He WILL come through for you.  Secondly, consider your enemy's end!  You will think of them differently after that.  And you will think differently on your circumstances too.

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

What is in YOUR heart?

Recently I wrote a post addressed to "Dear Athiest" and one of the responses I received was that we could never chase God out of our lives as He is everywhere and in all of us.  My response to her was that God is in our hearts, once we invite Him in.  Her response was that He made us, so He is in us...

This got me to thinking....

God created us, each and everyone of us.  Yes, this is true.  And He wants to have relationship with us, each and everyone of us!  This too is true.  But He also gave us free will.  He has given us the choice as to whether or not we want to have a relationship with Him.

We as Christians know that to choose God is the best and only choice to make.  But others, who have not yet experienced Christ as Lord and Saviour, do not see this choice as the only one.
Rev 3 v 20: Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me.


We know that until we submit our lives to God and let Him fill our hearts with His light and love, His word and laws, His peace and grace, His mercy.... until then, our hearts are filled with all sorts of unfulfilling things.  Like religion, sport, academic achievements, professional goals, worldly persuits, worldly knowledge.  One thing is common with all these things.  They are not eternal, nor are they fulfilling, not for long anyway.  And as a result, the hole in our hearts demands to be filled, with something else.

Until,

We find Jesus!

And are filled because of salvation in Him and through Him!  Then we are filled with a love and a peace that confounds the worldly and is unfathomable.  It demands nothing, not even its own rights.  This heart, filled with Jesus, determines only to love...

So, let us examine our hearts on a regular basis, and spend time pushing out the old, and filling it with the new... Jesus and all He is.... and the light that is in our hearts, will spill out in our lives and touch others with God's mercy and grace, and more will choose Him, more will seek God and invite Him, through His Son, Jesus, into their hearts.
Ps 139 v 23-24:  (23) Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;  Test me and know my anxious thoughts;  (24) And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

God bless
Tracy

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Dear Athiest...

I've been thinking about the 10 Commandments monument that was removed from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds.  And all the crosses, and Christian symbolism that you are trying to have removed out of public spaces.

In God's word it says in Heb 10 vs 16:  This is the covenant that I will make with them.  After those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will inscribe them [producing an inward change].

You can remove signs and symbols of God from wherever you can.  You can remove Him from our schools, colleges, universities, governments, homes, shopping malls and highways....  But you will never be able to remove Him from the heart of the true believer.

You have seen how even the threat of death, followed through even to the death of the one threatened, has not, and never will remove God and His commandments from the heart of the true Christian.

It is the true Christian who will, however, pray for you, cry with you when one of your own is hurt, lift YOUR heart up before the Lord and call on Him for His grace and mercy toward you.

Once the truth of God is in you, its in you and removing visible signs of God and His Word cannot change that.


You may not believe in God, or anything else for that matter.  My belief in God does you no harm.  It can only offend you if you yourself are not sure of your own beliefs.

My challenge to you is simple:  Before you attack (verbally, mentally or physically) another Christian or His/her belief in God, or his/her monument to honour God, read the bible through, from beginning to end...  Its a book, it wont take you long!  I believe His word is alive and you will not be unchanged!  Prove me wrong.... I dare you!

God bless (I mean that sincerely)
Tracy

Footnote:  I base the above on the dictionary definition of an Atheist:  a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Poetic view on Finances

Lizelle Rohlandt

Lizelle is a new friend of mine. I hope to get to know her much better than I do now, because, well, I think she is awesome. At ladies bible study the other day she asked us to listen to her proposed poem, written by herself, that she was going to use in church soon, as she was asked to speak on tithing.

I thought it was amazing. She is very gifted with words and uses them to God's glory. I asked Lizelle if I could share her poem here with you all as I am sure you will appreciate her words as much as I did.



HERE GOES......

Finances & tithes
----------------------------

God gave you a job, and it pays good money too.
And all that He asks is that you give back what is due.

Malachi tells us to bring the full tithe to the storehouse,
The first fruits gathered by you ànd your spouse.

You don't cover expenses and tithe on what's left.
Let me tell you some truth, that's equal to theft! 

He will open the heavens and pour blessings on you,
Whatever your circumstances, He will get you through!

I know this, Yes! I can testify! 
When you want to give up, God helps you get by.

See, I've made mistakes that were spiritually wrong, 
Because I didn't take them to the altar where they first belong! 

Live by The Word, and receive His blessing.
You'll find that money is not worth stressing! 

It can buy you clothes, a house or a car;
Food, medicine, even a band-aid for that scar. 

It can't fix a broken heart or buy you love...
No one can provide better than the good Lord above!

Hand over your burdens and financial issues,
And you'll learn of His love, mercy and values.

If He can provide seeds for the birds,
He'll provide in abundance if you only pray the words.

If you don't ask, you won't receive.
Else, you can't tell me brother, that you believe?

Trust God with your finances it's not to late. 
Start paying your tithes, don't leave it to fate!

His plans for you is to succeed and prosper!
And there's so much more that He has to offer.

For there's a man that loves you more than life itself,
So focus on Him, not your earthly wealth.

My time is up, and I have to go.
But remember this... What you reap, you will sow.

                                                                                    - Elle Rohlandt 

                     


Such profound words from Lizelle.  Something we should practice financially, and practically.  If you are not a breadwinner, one can tithe one's time.  One can tithe one's abilities and creativity.  There are so many ways we can give back to God what God has given us. 

I hope this poem inspires you as much as it has me.  Please leave comments of encouragement for Lizelle.  I am sure she would appreciate it.

2 Corinth vs 6-7:  (6) Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].  (7) Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift]

God bless
Tracy

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Choices Review

My One Word for this year is CHOICE!

When the Lord brought this One Word to mind I was already set on another but this word hit me like a brick wall.  A lot of my day to day misery was due to bad choices.  Choosing to harbour resentments, choosing to think on people who had hurt me, choosing to think on my failures, and the list goes on.....

This word has helped me make a conscious effort to get my ducks in a row!

Firstly, I started thinking about the choices I was making!  They were not lining up with God's word.  It says in Phil 4 v 8 to think on good things, honourable things, etc (Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart])

I was not doing this.....

Secondly, I was not speaking positive things into my life.  In Duet 30 v 19 it says CHOOSE life: (I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants)

I was not doing this.....

Thirdly, my thoughts, oh my goodness, my thoughts!  They were all over the place, negative and in constant turmoil.  In Romans 12 v 2 it says to renew my mind daily:  (do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].)

Is it any wonder that I was constantly snappy, constantly on edge, constantly making wrong choices?


Now, I am not saying that I have overcome all the above.  I am working on it.  I have been spiralling into this negative mind set for a while now and fighting to keep my head above water by clinging onto the Word and the Lord has sustained me.  But I wanted more than sustenance!  I wanted growth, joy, deliverance and victory.  One blogger I have gotten close to reminded me that the Lord ALREADY has given me victory in an area, and that I was to act on that!  What a revelation that was.  I have victory in an area and yet I was wallowing in the mud of negativity because, well, I was choosing to.

It is a habit.  I think we all get into those bad habits.  It is a habit to choose unwisely!  But the consequences of those choices can really sting!  My focus this year is to start making good choices.  I want this deciding to make good choices to become a habit!  In some areas I am succeeding.  In others I am battling.  But I can say with honesty that choosing has become a more deliberate thing.

My encouragement to you is to make a cuppa tea or coffee, and sit down and write down those 3 or 4 major choices you make daily that are hindering your spiritual growth and choose to start working on them.  The rewards are humbling and amazing.

God bless
Tracy


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