25 November 2016

a good reminder

as i was reading the scriptures God has given me for the situation we r walking thru, i came upon this encouraging reminder.

the following is taken from THE WOMAN'S DEVOTIONAL BIBLE (Zondervan)



It’s Not Fair!

Read: Psalm 37:1 – 11

Psalm 37:1 – 2

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

reflection

1

When have you suffered from injustice?

2

How did you react to the situation?

3

What do you need to do to learn to trust God more?

BEING THE VICTIM of injustice can test the very roots of our faith. Lori discovered this when her husband, Sam, was accused of animal abuse the winter several of his cattle died in a blizzard. Although autopsies revealed the animals had been well fed, a key defense witness wasn’t allowed to testify and important evidence was not submitted. Still, Lori and Sam trusted the jury to sift through the case and find him innocent. Instead, he was convicted and sentenced to five years probation and a large fine. They could have allowed bitterness and anger to cloud their lives, but instead they chose to hang on to the promises of God that David describes in Psalm 37.

Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced a situation where they find themselves saying, “That’s not fair!” The psalmist faced such a situation when he saw his enemies prosper while he suffered. David, however, turned his focus to God; he found hope in knowing that God would set things right. What was the path David took to finding peace in the midst of injustice?

• “Trust in the Lord.” Every event in our lives — good and bad — is filtered through God’s sovereign hands. We can trust God to use for our good anything that others intend as evil.

• “Do good.” Whatever happens, despite the injustices that we suffer, we are to choose the higher path that demonstrates God’s Spirit within us.

• “Dwell in the land.” Though we may feel like running away from conflict or trying to hide from challenges, doing so robs us of experiencing how God can provide a place of rest and safety: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

• “Take delight in the Lord.” Rather than getting depressed about our tough situation, turning our thoughts to God’s presence and singing his praise songs will lift our spirits.

• “Commit your way to the Lord.” We can decide to follow God, regardless of what others do or say.

• “Be still before the Lord.” We can afford a lifetime of patience, for we know that God will make things right. He is a just God who will one day rule and reign with complete fairness and impartiality.


question #1 is answered this way:

an accusation that can tear a family apart was done to us September 2015 and we r still dealing with it.

question #2 is answered this way:

at first we were shocked by it. then a sadness entered as we found out more about the accusation and the accuser.  the fight was then on to prove our innocence. and it has not been easy to walk this road.

immediately got people praying and interceding for us and the one accusing. it was important that God be right in the middle of all this.


i ran to God and He gave me peace. such a calming peace. i definitely was angry but i gave it to God and He has given me more peace to continue on the journey and to help my hubby get thru this.

question #3 is answered this way:

continue reading God's Word, spending time with Him each day, and inviting Him to be part of my day. the key is to thank Him and praise Him.


finding the ability to continue on each can be hard if i let the circumstances weigh me down. i have learned and stilling learning to just let God handle it. every time i start getting down about what is happening or hear somthing that shakes me, i have to remind myself that God is in this and He knows exactly what is going on and all i have to do is trust Him and believe what He has already told us about our situation.

one thing both hubby and i r learning is to be thankful for each day we have together. we both know that it could change in a heartbeat.

God has taught so many things thru this time of walking thru something that we really should not have to deal with. God has kept both of us together, growing in love for both God and each other. a love that is deeper than most people will experience. our bond is also stronger. only God Himself knows this kind of love and bonding.

walking with God thru this heart-wrenching situation has taught us many things about God and ourselves. our prayer together is that truth is revealed, grace, mercy, and forgiveness be given to all involved with this.




this just really struck me today



NIV365-DAY:

Isaiah 30:18 NASBS

[18] Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.


God’s Compassion


God invaded my breakfast with a holy moment today. I was helping my daughter study for her school spelling bee. I called out words from her flashcards, and she spelled them between bites of cereal.


Almost halfway through the list, I pronounced the next word: compassion.


She spelled it: c-o-m-p-a-s-h-i-o-n.


“No, honey,” I corrected her, “it’s passion, as in ‘a strong feeling.’ ”


“Got it,” she said, scooping another spoonful of Captain Crunch. “What’s compassion mean?”


“Well . . .” How do I explain it to a third grader?


“Compassion is when you see someone who’s hurting, and you want to help. For instance, when you’re sick and I take you to the doctor, I have compassion on you. I love you so much that my heart hurts when you hurt, so I help you.”


“Oh!” she said brightly. “Like how God had compassion on us after Dad left!”


She carried her bowl to the sink while I sat speechless. She was right, of course.


A year earlier my husband had moved out, leaving me with three young kids and no idea how we would survive. We were overwhelmed with shock, grief and insecurity.


Immediately God showed us compassion. He helped us not only with our needs, such as groceries and bills, but through God-winks as well: Christmas gifts for the kids. Meals with friends. Laughter and hugs and fun. Over and over the kids and I were amazed by and grateful for God’s loving compassion.


Our heavenly Father still extends us compassion daily. Sometimes I can be too focused on my circumstances to see God’s mercy. But when I look carefully, I’m stunned by the ways God graciously covers us with his compassion.


Jennifer Stair


Taken from Fulfilled


MY THOUGHTS

as i read the last paragraph, my youngest daughter popped into my mind. "Sometimes I can be too focused on my circumstances to see God’s mercy." this one statement is what did it.

i remember when my hubby and i were struggling with 2 small children. hubby did everything he knew how to provide for us. we stayed together and trusted God to provide. and God did. He provided everything we needed. was it easy? NO! but we made it, together as a family.

the last time i talked with my daughter, i got the sense she was lost, like she was sinking under the weight of her circumstances and could not see anything else.

been there, do not want to go back there.

trying to get her to see above her circumstances has not been easy. encouraging as i can be, even i am a bit discouraged that she does not seem to want to look above them. i can definitely relate to that. but i know that if she were to really look at those same circumstances, she would definitely see God's hand in them. and each time something comes up, she tells God about it and thanks Him for being with her and her family.

it's hard for me to tell others stuff they need to hear and be reminded of. in fact, i hurt that my child is going thru what they r going thru. i know God will provide and give them what they need so desparately. 

to learn to be honest with where u r and the struggles u have is not popular. my youngest daughter is learning that it is easier to be exactly who u r and not have to live a lie. i am so very proud of her!

my son-in-law is young in the faith but is growing in God. he is learning to lean on Him and trust Him, which is not an easy thing to do when u r used to making it happen. he is doing his best to hold his family together and provide for them. he works hard but also struggles with the circumstances the r in. i do not understand what a man goes thru in times like that even tho i walked thru it with my hubby. i see the outside. and God is doing a good thing in my son-in-law.


God is good! all the time!

all the time, God is good!


when we take the time to see the blessings in our circumstances and thank Him for each one, our faith is built up and we begin to see that God is taking care of everything. the key for us is to keep our eyes on God and not on our circumstances as we live it. reminding God, telling Him how u feel, and being real is not wrong. how u live after speaking with God is what matters. believing in your faith is what moves u forward.

1 Timothy 1:19 NASBS

[19] keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.







22 November 2016

practical benefits

there r many people, including myself, that r walking thru trials. some of those people look to the world for the answers. other people, do their best to work it out themselves. some people just totaly give up on life. and then there r those that run to God and hang on to Him with everything they have.
each of the theses groups of people call themselves Christians. which group do u fall into?

following Christ Jesus is not a bed of roses. it's a life changing relationship u grow. each day brings it's own joys, trials, and whatnot. how we handle them is how we grow our relationship with God. i know people that r in dire straits, some that need a place to call home, and still others that r "ok".

i have learned thru the years to trust God in everything. and learning this was not easy. i fought it and fought it. God was patient with me tho and He continued to gently lead me to Himself. i know i have a mother who has never stopped praying for me thus God was reminded about me every day. 🙂 i now am a mother of 2 grown children and i do not stop reminding God of them along with their families.

at this time, my oldest has caused such a heartache and has severed herself from her parents. my youngest is going thru a very trying time for just the basic needs.

my youngest is having a difficult time with trusting others. seems those that said they would be there didn't really mean it. i believe God is trying to get both her and her husband to stop looking to people and start looking directly to God among other things. this is not an easy thing to learn or do. it breaks my heart to see them have to walk this path with 2 small children and one on the way.

when u read the passage of scripture below, think about the practical reasons y u follow Christ. write them down and thank God for each one.

Romans 5:1-8 MSG
[1-2] By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us---set us right with him, make us fit for him---we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand---out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.
[3-5] There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary---we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
[6-8] Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

Are there any practical benefits to following Christ?

Paul lists three in these verses: peace with God, hope in affliction, a love that’s unconditional.

When Jesus said, “Whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25), he didn’t mean that our lives would become empty when we made the trade. Paul helps us see some of the wonderful blessings that fill our lives when we make that exchange.

Life is full of peaks and valleys. Christ-followers make it through both the good times and the tough times by clinging to promises such as these that God has made.

Taken from NIV The Journey Bible

20 November 2016

imitators of Christ

in light of what has been in the news, take a look at what Paul wrote...


1 Corinthians 11:2 NASBS

[2] Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.



Imitate Christ 


Paul’s life matched his words to such an extent that he could make this bold statement! And those who imitated his life became more like Christ. 


As parents, we should follow Christ so closely that we can say to our children, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” We are our children’s first and most closely observed role model. This does not mean that we have to be perfect. But our lives should be open before them to see all of what Jesus does in us as we rely on His strength for our obedience and His redemption for our failures. 


In his letter to the Philippians Paul wrote, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9). What have our children learned and received from us? What have they heard us say? What have they seen us do? If we are imitating Christ, they will have learned, received, heard, and seen Him. And the promise is that God’s peace will be in their hearts.


in Christ,

Sandi