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



  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

FAITHFULNESS IN ROUTINES OF LIFE


As usual we find the Lord faithful.  All through my life when I am struggling over an issue I will ask for knowledge and the Lord has always answered.  
I went searching for a book in my stack of Biblical books (still in boxes) in my bedroom.  I could not look at every book and only had a few to choose from top boxes.
The Lord has my husband in a Theology Class using a book written by Charles Caldwell Ryrie. There in the top boxes was another book by Ryrie called" Balancing The Christian Life "Boy could I use some balance today :) 

I came right to a chapter called Routine Faithfulness. Below are some sections of this chapter that may help someone else as well today. It is not the whole chapter, just some important points. 

[Grey is the book and blue is my statements]

ROUTINE FAITHFULNESS

Too often messages on the spiritual life focus on crisis experiences in the believer's life.  The exhortations of such messages normally call for some crisis decisions. Admittedly we often need calls to decision and certainly spiritual principles should be applied in the crisis of life. But it is equally true that since most of our time is spent in the routines of life we ought to apply spirituality in these areas as well.

1Cor. 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

 Most Christians activities are comprised of routine affairs.  Therefore it is mostly in the area of the routines of life that faithfulness is requires.  Have you ever noticed that when Paul summarized the Christian's conduct he related it to the ordinary activities of life:  "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" [1 Cor. 10:31]. 

It is the routines of life in which a spiritual person will exhibit faithfulness to his Lord.  And these are often the most difficult areas.

There are few who cannot gird themselves for the unusual.  Most can produce when pressed.  This is also true in spiritual matters.  
But we all tend to let our guard down in the routine. And if the same routine is our lot for very long we inevitably grow weary and often disheartened simply because the routine "gets us down."  But if the Bible principles of spiritual living work at all, they certainly should work in the routines of life and they ought to work continuously.

FAITHFULNESS IN PROBLEMS

In this section Ryrie  explains some problems Paul had to deal with. He uses 2 Cor. 4:16  "For which cause we faint not [DO NOT LOOSE HEART]; but through our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

From these problems Ryrie says

"The example and teaching are clear.  A spiritual person shows persistence, not faintheartedness in the face of difficulties.  He will not give up when the routine begins to grind to his very soul.  Rather he will show consistent and persistent faithfulness to the task to which he has been called.

I found it interesting in one of the problems Paul had to wait 2 years under house arrest for his accusers to come forward and press charges.  If they did not it was dismissed.  The accusers, by pressing charges and not coming forward, kept Paul out of circulation (so they thought) for 2 years. They also kept him from being acquitted and his ministry vindicated.  

Paul had to be Patient and so did his circle of friends who were waiting it out with him.  It was to them he wrote 2 Cor. 4:16.  It would have been easy to get discouraged month after month.

If any man had a right to lose heart Paul certainly did in the face of such problems.  He said he would not do so.  If the grace of God can be seen through the lives of those who have been helped, then problems are a small thing to endure.  Paul assure himself with the promise that God renews the inward man daily even though the outward man is subject to all kinds of pressures and problems.

The rest of the chapter is Faithfulness in Prayer, Good Works and Witness.  

I love his last sentence (see below) in this chapter as I find it to be so true as we go through problems and then have to wait on the Lord and go on about our daily routines being faithful in them as our personal witness to others.

"The longer I live the more I am convinced that genuine spirituality is not really proved from the pulpit or classroom or Sunday school or board meetings; rather it is demonstrated best by consistent living before God first of all, and then before those closest to us in the home.  A kind of spirituality can be seen on parade; the kind God wants is cultivated and practiced consistently and persistently in the routine of life.

Nana





Thursday, January 29, 2015

PERSONAL TURMOIL


TRUSTING GOD IN A TWISTED WORD-Elisabeth Elliot
The Scriptures encompass the whole man, his whole world, and reveal the Lord of the universe.  In them we have not only a perfect frame of reference, but specific and practical instruction, reproof when it's reproof we need, correction when we've gone wrong.
I have found this to be true every time I have tried it.  

Recently I was in turmoil about some things somebody said to me.  I lay awake at night, mentally enacting whole scenes and conversations in which we would "have it out," dragging everything into consciousness, saying everything that was in our minds, pitting  what she said against what I said, what she did against what I did, defending, offending, complaining and explaining.  

I had heard this is what we were suppose to do--get it out, get it up front, express it.  But what a devastating business!  What a crashing experience!  What a way to consume time, not to mention emotional and spiritual energy!  The very process itself gives me the chance to add to my own list of sins against her.  "When men talk too much," says Proverbs 10:19, "sin is never far away.  Common sense holds it's tongue."

The Bible prescribes "turn from evil, Let that be the medicine to keep you in health' (Proverbs 3:7,8)
"Love is kind.  Love is never quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs.  There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance" (1 Corinthians 13:4,5, 7 NEB)
"Help one another to carry these heavy loads, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2 NEB)
"Let your bearing toward one another arise out of your life in Christ Jesus....He made himself nothing....humbled himself......accepted death: (Philip 2: 5, 7, 8 NEB)

The woman who had hurt me had plenty of heavy burdens to bear.  I knew that very well.  How could I help her to bear them?  Well for one thing, by being offended without taking offence," that is by following my Master

What a relief! I no longer had to plot and plan and cogitate (ponder) about how to handle my feelings or how to confront my friend or just what to say. My bearing toward her would arise out of my life IN Christ Jesus.  I couldn't do it myself.  He could and He would enable me.
To cut the straight path a good deal of the jungle of my selfishness had to be slashed through.  But it was a much shorter way home (to peace).