Monday, 30 November 2015

L - Live

Have you ever thought about the really awful stuff many people go through and you see how they survive either amazingly well, or they really battle to overcome?  I have often wondered how I would react in those situations.

I have gone through a few storms.... They may not be storms that on a scale of 1 to 10 rate very high, although they certainly are not minor storms, and they are not storms where I have been physically hurt or have suffered physically.  They have been storms that have done great damage to my heart, my dreams, my expectations, my soul.... I have not anticipated or expected these storms (who does right?!).  

This morning I was driving to fetch someone and listening to my Christian music and I just felt this overwhelming sense of being broken and fractured inside!  In my mind I saw a shattered plate that had been glued together and although it looked complete and whole, one could not put much pressure on it or it would break again....

I felt sad...

I wanted to cry....

But then these thoughts came to mind, 
  • "I can work with the broken-hearted" and 
  • "My strength is made perfect in your weakness"
  • "I am your strength"
By the time I had collected my passenger and got home, I already felt encouraged and I felt the Lord was saying to me, "Live life to the fullest, IN ME!

Life can only be lived to its fullest, with healing and restoration, in Christ!  There is no other way!  No medicine, no counselling, no worldly solution will give you complete peace.  And the thing about the peace that Christ offers is that you can live in this peace no matter your circumstance or level of brokenness.

Ps 37 v 4:  Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Matt 6 v 34:  Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

John 10 v 10:  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Phil 4 v 13:  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

2 Tim 1 v 7:  For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

To live life to the fullest, is to trust God on His word and know that however fractured your heart, He is our strength and our refuge, our strong tower, our strength in our weakness!  It is His spirit in us that allows us to be gracious and merciful when we feel we just do not have the strength to give of ourselves.  He carries us, He is our everlasting glue, that holds our fractured lives together, He is our Rock!  He heals us inside and out!

God bless

#wisdom  - What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I believe the Lord is showing me He is aware of the condition of my heart and that He is my strength and my glue to hold me together until I have overcome.  He also says that He is able to do a great work in us when we are broken because pride is not present and He can touch our lives more completely in our humility.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

K - Kneel

The past few weeks has seen me have a few pity parties and when I finally took the time to sit down before the Lord and sort out my issues it pretty much boils down to my being discontent, not satisfied and generally kinda a little prideful.

Lonnnnnng sighhhhh...

In the last few days I have had a lot of sad stuff going through my facebook feed.  There is the ever present danger experienced in Israel.  There is Europe's new found fight against Islam... (not sure that they see it that way though....), friends of yesteryear going through some really TOUGH things....

I find myself ashamed of my self-inflicted misery.

I have so much to be grateful for.  By now you are probably wondering where does Kneel come into all this?  For the last week it has come to mind that I should get on my knees and pray.
  • To thank the Lord for all that I have
  • To thank the Lord for my and my family's health
  • To thank the Lord for my husband
  • To thank the Lord for my beautiful and talented daughters
  • To praise Him that He remains the same even though I am a constant changing emotional upside down inside out human spinning top
  • To ask His forgiveness for my lack of grace and patience with others
  • To thank Him for reminding me to un-harden my heart
  • To thank Him for His forgiveness
  • To humble myself before the Lord because without Him I am, and have, nothing
  • To tell the Lord I am grateful, thankful, content, satisfied, joyful and trying hard to shove my pride in my pocket....
There are so many reasons to kneel before the Lord, the above are all personal.  But what about the chaos our world is in?
  • Israel
  • Our government
  • Our president, he needs more than prayer
  • Conflict in the middle East
  • Conflict in Europe
  • Conflict in China
  • The African continent and all its poverty
  • Poverty everywhere

and closer to home:
  • Our friends
  • Our neighbours
  • Our schools
  • Our work colleagues
  • Our pastors
  • Our churches
  • Our children
The lists are endless.  There is no shortage of reasons to go on our knees.  

When contemplating the need to kneel I thought of how the act of kneeling is humbling, submissive, accepting of the One to Whom we kneel, our Lord and Saviour, our Father and Rock.  It is an act of humility, and of acceptance that there is One greater than ourselves and our need of Him is great.  Kneeling before my Father, reminds me of my need of Him... 

Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world  (1 John 4 v 4b)

James 4 v 7-8:   So submit to [the authority of] God.  Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.  (8) Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you.

To kneel is to submit.  I choose this day to submit my will the will of the Father and because I am human, no doubt I will have to do this daily.  But better His way than mine, any day.

God bless

#wisdom  - What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I believe the Lord is showing me that all my discontent comes from a place of pride and I need to submit myself to Him, humble myself and kneel and pray and choose His will, not mine.  This is the only way to true contentment and joy.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

J = Jealousy

Yup, the green-eyed monster!  Jealousy is not called a monster because it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Nope, its called a monster because it brings the worst out in a person.

The dictionary defines jealousy like this:
noun, plural jealousies for 4.
  1. Jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself. 
  2. Mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc.,as in love or aims. 
  3. Vigilance in maintaining or guarding something. 
  4. jealous feeling, disposition, state, or mood.
Ummm, nothing good there right?!

There are many scriptures in the Word that talk about jealousy:
  • 1 Corinth 3v3: for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?
  • Gal 5 v 26: Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
  • James 3:16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice
  • Proverbs 14:30:  A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.
  • Gal 5 v 19-21:  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Jealousy, human jealousy, is not of God.  It hurts the person who is jealous and leads only to more anger, resentment and dissatisfaction with their own lives and the circle just becomes more vicious.  The person to whom the jealousy is aimed is often not even aware of it.

There have been times (I'm ashamed to say) when I have felt resentful towards others but not because of what they have.  More because it "appears" they are sailing through their lives with smiles on their faces and at that moment, in my life, everything feels as if I'm on a sinking ship.  I have learnt that often that is not the case.  They are smiling through their own pain, fear, or difficult circumstance.   

It is much better to focus on the Lord, and not on how others appear to be doing!  Only they and the Lord know their true circumstances.  In focusing on the Lord... you start to learn the art of thanksgiving, letting go of stuff you can do nothing about, gratefulness, and contentment.  Another great way of dealing with resentments and jealousies is to help someone.  Ask the Lord to show you someone who you can uplift, encourage, share a burden with... Doing something like that often opens your eyes to what that person may be going through.

My encouragement to you is to examine your heart and make sure the green-eyed monster does not have residence anywhere in it!  Make sure it has no licence to be there!  And if it is, kick it out and replace it with the fruit of the spirit: Gal 5 v 22-23: (22) But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23)  gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

God bless

#wisdom  - What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I believe the Lord is showing me that jealousy must hold no place in my heart and in my emotions.  I need to fill every available space in my heart with His Spirit and the result will be love, joy, peace, patience, long-suffering, self-control, etc!  Complete opposites of the soul destroying green-eyed monster!


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