Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A REASON FOR SILENCE


Sometimes we have a reason for silence and quiet.  We have a cross to bear or a duty to perform, or just living.  This morning I came across something that is so true.  I picked up a book after moving, from a box.  It had been in storage a long time. From the time I was a young Christian this author has been a mentor.  Now I am an older Christian woman myself.  Her wisdom and knowledge of living a Christian life have given me pearls of thought about Christ and our Christian lives over the years.  

From "God's Guidance-A Slow & Certain Light"

The taking up of the cross will mean sooner or later saying no to self.  But it is also a resounding yes.  It means saying yes when everything in us says no.  To decide to do the thing that we (and it will seem everybody else in the world) do not want to do because it is not "natural."  And in our giving of wholehearted assent, we find to our amazement that the impossible becomes possible and the things we were sure were beyond us are now within reach, for God's command is his enabling.  Never has he given an assignment that was not accompanied by the power to accomplish it.

The cross entails sacrifice, too.  There is no getting around this.  Christianity has been criticized and rejected by many as an "unnatural" religion, a life that denies living, a negation and not an affirmation.  Jesus never tried to make it look easy.  The principles he taught cut across the grain of human nature: lose your life in order to find it; be poor in spirit if you want to be happy; mourn if you want to rejoice; take the last place if you want the first.  The corn of wheat must first fall into the ground and die if it is ever to produce anything.
  
What we must not forget is that he traveled this road before us. He himself endured a cross and thought nothing of its shame:--not because he had a particular liking for self-denial and suffering but "because of the joy he knew would follow his suffering.  Think constantly of him enduring all that sinful men could say against him, and you will not lose your purpose or your courage. 

Here is a poem she learned in college and what she says about it.

A few lines I learned while a student in college have come back to my mind, beckoning me when more immediate rewards were attracting my attention:


I heard him call "Come follow."
That was all.
My gold grew dim, my soul went after him.
Who would not follow
If they heard him call?
 by Elisabeth Elliot

Sometimes when we are called by Christ to do a certain thing, and we know some will not understand, we must follow his bidding.  He has a purpose for the future and the people involved that we cannot see.  We may or may not see the reason to take up such a cross.  What we can do is TRUST HIM, for he has the bigger picture in mind. We are but a piece of that picture, if we humbly hear his Call and Follow.   "Taking up the cross", as Elizabeth said, involves sacrifices that we may never have even thought of.  Thanks be to Jesus Christ our strength comes from him to accomplish these things asked of us.
Nana




Friday, January 29, 2016

RESENTMENT


Today I was reading a book that was suggested to me sometime back.  I have read it before and lined, highlighted, and circled areas that pertained to me.

In my 65 years I have gone through many circumstances that I considered good and bad.  One of the key things that have caused me problems is assumptions and resentment.
Looking at someone else's actions or non-actions I have assumed certain things about them.  I did not wait on the Lord to show me the truth, but listened to others who thought the same as myself.  I believe we call this "self-righteousness." 

Through certain trials in my life the Lord showed me how we all assume things by what we see or hear ourselves or from others.  We then act on those assumptions.  We become resentful of our lives or the people in them.  We can become angry, resentful, etc.

One thing I know is the Lord put these people and circumstances in my life to teach me.  Granted I have created some of these problems myself.  But God is always able to teach me when I am willing to listen TO HIM.  He did not forsake me even in my sin. 

If you read your Bible you will see over and over how sinful we all are and how many in the Bible did the same things as we do.  We can learn from that if we are willing, and do not continually think we have to be the right one.  Maybe we should ask the Lord-show "ME"  if I am wrong.
Below is a quote from the Book I read.

Finding God's Path through your Trials-by Elizabeth George
Page 113-114-quotes from

Resent:  Instead of getting onboard and marching forward into the trial in front of us, we resent the roles others play in our difficulty.  Although God is absolutely sovereign in our lives, we mistakenly think others have contributed to our coming to this particular place of pain and suffering. 
But God has a grand plan for our trials.
Resentment is a growth killer.
It is easier to resent our husbands, our job or his job, our children and the trials having them brings each day, or our singleness than it is to face our trials head-on.  It is easier to feel bitter about our in-laws, our parents, our bosses ( and on and on the list of resentees goes) than to grow up out of this immature practice. 
God is at work in life through people--with all their quirks and irritations, with all their shortcomings and sinful behavior.

Over the years I have come to learn that God's plan is for us to be servants to others, not ourselves.  I hope this helps someone today to go forward and not retreat from their trials.
Nina


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LIFE IS SO DAILY

vintage cleaning house photo: Persnickety Cleaning PersnicketyCleaning5_zps9a6acd05.jpg

Our lives involve so many little details.  Day to day we do the little things that are routine.  I often use to think is this the Christian life.  What ever happened to ministry, to that romantic thought of spiritual life we are suppose to live.


With the new year coming up I thought I would post on the way life for most of us is.


We get up and we fix breakfast, go to work, or stay at home and do are daily duties.  We eat lunch and dinner and rest a little in the evening and go to bed.  Get up and start all over again.


The one thing we forget is that during a day we have many opportunities to just be obedient to Christ.  To listen to a friend or family member.  Take care of our families.  Even clean the toilet or change a diaper.


It may seem insignificant but what is insignificant to us is not to the Lord.  He wants us to be obedient in the little things in life he has put before us, as well as what we may call spiritual things.

Even the little prayers we say during the day and leaning on Him are of significance to Him. 

As Elizabeth Elliot said in her book "Be Still My Soul,"


Our obedience may lead us not to the fulfillment of our ideals but to very unexpected and "unspiritual situations.

The Way of the Cross is an ordinary street in an ordinary city.  It is an ordinary life lived in the grace of God.

So when you feel the little things you do are not significant just remember the Lord considers your obedience to do them significant.



Sunday, October 11, 2015

FORGIVING PT. 2

healing of paralyzed man photo: CHRIST HEALING healing-card1.jpg


This is a reminder that Jesus has always had the power to forgive human beings for sins.  He has always know the hearts of people.  Often you hear others say of these verse, "I wonder what his sin was?"  

When I was a young believer I use to think the same thing.  Now that I have been a Christian for many years I realize that the man was a sinner from the moment he was born.  Jesus knew his heart.  Jesus was healing this man in more ways than one.  He healed the outside and inside and had the power to do so.

A person that condemns another does not know the reality of their own sins.  Yes, I mean sinS.  Until we realize our own sinS we have no compassion when another sins. We are quick to judge and condemn. We believe, we would not do what they did.  But we definitely sin in other areas, but do not call it sin. 

The Bible is very good at defining sin.  All we have to do is read it.  Someplace you will find your sins defined.  It is much easier to wonder and judge what someone else has done than ourselves.

Jesus is making a point that He has the power to forgive you.  If you are a believer and you humble yourself before Him, He will show you and forgive.  If you do not, He must humble you so you see those sinS.

Mat 9:1  And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 
Mat 9:2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 
Mat 9:3  And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 
Mat 9:4  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 
Mat 9:5  For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 
Mat 9:6  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 
Mat 9:7  And he arose, and departed to his house. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

FORGIVING

forgiveness photo: Forgiveness forgiveness_2.jpg
Have not posted on here in some time.  I decided I would do short topic series using scriptures.  The series we will begin with the Topic of Forgiveness.  

What did Jesus have to say about it in the New Testament? 
So lets start from the beginning with Peter's Question to Jesus.

Mat 18:21  Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Mat 18:22  
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 
Mat 18:23  
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 
Mat 18:24  
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 
Mat 18:25  
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 
Mat 18:26  
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 
Mat 18:27  
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 
Mat 18:28  
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 
Mat 18:29  
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 
Mat 18:30 
 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 
Mat 18:31  
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 
Mat 18:32  
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 
Mat 18:33  
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 
Mat 18:34  
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 
Mat 18:35  
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

FOOLISH BANTERING?

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I smiled and put a hand on his shoulder and said "Foolish bantering

makes fools of the wisest men.

No matter what you do, there are going to be some people that will

find fault in what you do or say.  They are going to criticize, nit-

pick, demean, and accuse you of things that you did not intend to

even do.
___________________________________

You cannot win an argument with these people. Why? Because

facts, logic, and kindness are not their intention. Their intention is a

fight. They don't care if you're right. Shoot, they don't even care if

they are right. They just want an argument.
They fight because they are hurt. Sometimes it is because they have

an over-inflated sense of pride to make up for their lack of self-

esteem. Other times it is because they are jealous or envious. And

still other times it might be because they are simply a jerk.
But if you call yourself a follower of Christ, do not engage in

meaningless arguments that only lead to strife and conflict. Just let

it go. The only way you can win is by not arguing. It's tough, but

you can do it.
23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments,

because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s

servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able

to teach, not resentful. -2 Timothy 2:23-24
"You've done nothing by besting a fool."

Monday, May 4, 2015

BEGINNING OF HEALING


Over 43 years you are bound to run into trials of various forms.  We all start our young adult lives with visions of what it should be, will be, and you want it to be.

More often than not life in no way will be as you expected.  The Lord is trying to conform you to his image, and lead you down a path that will forever make Him dear to you.  Sometimes that form takes you on trials you in no way want or anticipate.

As humans we get in ruts, we go to far, we are not balanced.  If shown a truth we run with it, add to it, stay in one place with it, etc. We read every book we can find on this particular truth. We associate with every pastor and brethren that believes as we do.  We shut out everything and everyone else for fear of disrupting our way of life as we see it.  The Lord allows this for a time. Then the Lord will allow the trials. These trials are so we are clinging to Him instead of all we thought was truth. Not that it was not a truth, but we cannot get beyond it.  We base our whole lives on it and what we have added to it. It has become our security and not the Lord.  He starts the process of sorting the truth from fiction in our minds.

A few years back I was given a book.  It has been a life saver when in a trial.  The name of the book is called "Deserts of the Heart," by Pamela Reeve"  It goes straight to the heart of how it feels dealing with these trials, the way and the outcome of them.

Deserts of the Heart pg 17

For most of us, life holds a few desert stretches along the way--some short, some long.  For others, the dry land stretch on and on for countless, stumbling miles.  Some deserts are forced upon us; some come of our own making.  The desert speaks of barrenness, helplessness, and aching loneliness.  It is a place of changeless deadness as far as the eye can see.  It is a place where you travel on and on with neither landmark, nor destination--and often no sign of God

There are many such deserts in life, places where the very things that gave life meaning and direction have disappeared under shifting, blowing sand.  And one of these situations can produce such desolate seasons:
A drastic change in family circumstances
A deep relationship severed....
An unwanted role imposed...
A debilitating illness
An awareness of fading abilities
A move into a strange new culture
A life plan shattered
An unyielding spiritual drought
A lingering dispute with one you had called "friend"
A sad, hopeless mood that won't let go

The Lord Lord has deep purposes in all such experiences, never doubt it!

Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The desert is the place where He woos us to Himself. "I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her" Hosea 2:14  There he shows us His deep, personal love.

There is hope in Him and Him only.  No system, method, person, place or thing.  His love is unending and he blesses us in our personal trials.


Nina