The Importance of Being Steadfast

September 28, 2011

It seems to me that most of my friends are being tested, tempted, challenged just now.  I know I’m not having an easy time of it – and I know I’m not alone.  So, there are things we can do.  We can moan, we can shake with fear, or we can seek Christ.  Well, the first two aren’t working for me, so I’m getting back on track and finding out what I’ve always known.  Jesus is here with me and rooting for me.  Those who would try to distract us can drown out His voice if we let them.  We do not have to let them.  Here are some verses to uplift  you:

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

 

James 1:2-3

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

 

1 Timothy 4:16

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers

 

James 5:11

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

 

Galatians 6:9

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

 

Philippians 1:6

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Hebrews 10:36

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

 

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

 

2 Peter 1:5-7

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

 

Revelation 2:2 

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.

 

Colossians 2:5

5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.

 

Hebrews 4:14

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

 

1 Corinthians 16:13

13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

 

1 Peter 5:9

 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

 


Real Or Imagined?

September 28, 2011

I read the following quote and found it quite interesting:      

In his book Shoulder to Shoulder, Dr. Rodney L. Cooper defines stress as “The response of the sympathetic nervous system to a perceived or actual threat.” He adds, “This technical definition probably won’t mean much to you. Basically it says that stress is the way our body responds to perceived or actual danger. Our blood pressure skyrockets and our muscle strength increases. We’re ready to fight or fly. Stress isn’t the cause but the effect”* In essence, stress is a reaction to danger real or imagined
 
 
Now, to me the fact of the cause versus effect is a slam dunk.  Who doesn’t already know that.  I think the more significant reminder in Dr Cooper’s quote is the “real or imagined” part.  Come on,, do we not focus so much of our concern and so much unnecessary attention to “imagined” and far less to the “real” in life?  Don’t mess with me.  I know I’m not the only one.  Stress itself isn’t necessarily bad.  It can get us moving – drive us to work harder in a good way – as well as warn us of “danger” as Dr Cooper states here in his cause versus effect.  Interesting, just the same, that our body response to stimuli becomes our focus without our questioning it.  Thus, the stimuli makes imagined become real.  For Christians, this reinforces the  need to pray, discern, and surrender and thus get back to what’s real – and ultimately our life in Christ as He is real and lives in us. 
 
 
 

The Blessing My Injury Brought Me

September 27, 2011

I injured my leg and foot last week leaving me with a paralyzed lower leg and foot which is still healing – slowly.  Amazing how difficult life becomes when suddenly you either can’t walk or have to move slowly and think about every move so as to not fall and worsen the injury.  An apparent pinched nerve – amazing that one can be so restricted from something that isn’t painful. 

That being said I must add that a priest friend pointed out that I’d have a lot more time to spend with the Lord.  Quite true.  Okay, I admit I was stretching my leg and trying to force things to work again, but that was a mistake and was making things worse, so the Lord and I have been hanging out together a lot. 

Funny how things happen when you let go of what you can’t control.  Me, I’m seeking financial provision and have “known” for a long time that “time is running out” yet as I am forced into REALLY surrendering my life to the Lord, as opposed to what we usually do which is not quite that, I’m finding I have more peace in my heart and soul than I’ve had in a long time.  It’s not “logical” in a “this world” sort of way, but we are children of the King of Kings, and as such, are in this world but not of this world, are we?  One of the things I’ve read recently which touched my heart is:

Phillipians 4:12-13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Amen!  Thanks be to God!


Why Didn’t My Ancestors Smile More?

September 16, 2011

I love looking at old photographs just as I always loved listening to the stories my late father told me.  Thinking about my parents as I look at the tattered pictures that represent a past I know so little about, I can’t help but wonder how my happy and laughing parents, and thus I as well,  could come from such somber-faced lineage. 

In my Mom’s case there seemed few if any children in the many photographs.  Mom even now so late in life finds reasons to giggle.  I think perhaps she was just what they needed to break free.  In my late father’s family it was quite a different story.

 My Dad was my hero.  To this day if you ask me I’ll insist that he knew everything and could fix anything from a broken doll to my broken heart and it brings tears to my eyes even now when I realize that he’s not in the next town or the next room with his arms out ready to hug me and “fix it.”  He always could. 

 My Dad didn’t learn those things in school, though, because he wasn’t able to go to school but for a very few years.  He was tall for his age and strong.  He was needed to use that streangth and height to help support his family.  You see, the polio epidemic came to the country town he grew up in and nearly took his only brother and his Dad, my Grandfather.  Grampy was so young then and no longer able to work.  My Dad needed to work and help support his family at a time when he should have been grumbling about homework and playing ball or riding his bike.  He didn’t complain.  I wasn’t there but I knew my Dad.  I’m sure I’m right in saying he didn’t complain.

My Dad rarely complained.  He also rarely had any extra money.  There was always another bill to pay with every dollar he could earn.  With just an elementary education, though, he learned more than many with 16 years or more of classroom time.  How?  Because when he was with a person, he was interested in that person.  He focused on the person.  He cared.  Everyone he met was his “pal.”  I so ofteen heard him saying “hi pal!”  He met people down and out and people who were “big” name folks and they all were greeted that way.  They all loved him and called him “hero” just as I still do. 

He often spoke of the things he learned from these people.  He learned “simple” things, in his own opinion.  He could build a house, fix the plumbing, make a lamp, install a telephone when it wasn’t simply a wireless device.  He could fix breakfast or a broken baby doll.  Anyone who needed something fixed and was baffled knew they could call on him.  He’d fix it.  He’d always know just what to do.  He always smiled.  Those old family photographs betrayed how challenging life was “in those days” but not the ones with my Dad in them.   He always had a smile, a laugh, an outstretched hand. 

Funny, he would say he didn’t know much and that he learned from everyone around him.  I think he had it wrong and I know they’d all agree.  I believe they learned far more from Dad than he ever learned from them, and Dad met every challenge with a smile!


Seek Grace!

September 15, 2011

I don’t understand how people can go through life looking for the worst, focusing on what’s wrong with “everyone else” and never being satisfied. Don’t they realize you will only find what you’re seeking? If you seek His face and His grace all around you, that’s what you’ll find. The other things will always be there, but so will He.

Philippians 2:1-2

[Imitating Christ’s Humility] Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

‎1 Timothy 4:15-16:

 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Isaiah 57:10

You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint

Philippians 4:4


 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!


Is Cheap Really Better? Back-to-school Woes

September 9, 2011

So, by now you’ve done your shopping and the kids are back in school.  Where did you shop?  Was it the Mall?  Was it the designer shops?  Was it the huge discount chain store places that sell cheaply made stuff for cheap prices?  Will this stuff last?  This year many parents faced this challenge and dodged the “cheap” stuff and opted for outlet shopping malls and great discounts on quality merchandise.  Is this an answer for financially strapped parents?  Is it the answer for you?  Read my Technorati  article before you replace those torn and worn out “bargains” you thought you found.  You might be surprised. 

http://technorati.com/women/article/back-to-school-shoppers-race-to/

 


Can the US Survive Without Compromise?

September 9, 2011

75 percent of Californians believe the US is on the wrong track.  They also support our President.  The two major political party voters do NOT appear to support compromise to turn things around.  Can we as a nation survive?  What will bring this mess to an end?  How much longer can the recession go on?  Read all about this in my Technorati article:

http://technorati.com/politics/article/3-out-of-4-californians-believe/

 


Protect Your Unborn Child!

September 9, 2011

The life of your unborn child may be at risk!  Protect yourself and your child!  Read my article on Technorati for important details on your health and your baby’s health!

Click this link:

http://technorati.com/women/article/flu-shots-for-pregnant-women-really/

 


Waiting for a Blessing That Makes Sense?

September 9, 2011

I’m thinking about the lame man who hung out by the pool of healing waters for nearly 40 years until Jesus came along.  Did he not want to be well?  I’ve often thought perhaps he enjoyed the pity he must have received.  I don’t think that way anymore.  First of all, after all that time lying around by the pool, likely nobody noticed him there anymore.  That’s not all though.

It seems to me that inching toward the pool, which might well have worked for him, probably didn’t make sense.  We do seem to crave “sensible” things in life and I think we expect blessings to fit that same pattern, so when the Lord sends us his angels and other messengers and when He nudges us, speaks to our hearts and the like, we can perhaps think that what we’re hearing can’t possibly be right.  “It makes no sense.”  Possibly not.  Don’t let that stop you, though.

Much of my life in the last few years hasn’t made any sense and much of it still doesn’t, but at the same time I have to say I feel more blessed than I ever have.  I have come to know that grace is being poured over and through me always – if I quit over thinking and let my heart be broken into bits so that He can fill it and make it His own. 

Most of the things I was initially shocked at but tried anyway turned out to be AMAZING.  Yes, sometimes I wanted a quick fix, an instant miracle, a certain shiny new toy.  If I got a slight and incomplete repair, toy that wasn’t on my list, or an opportunity that seemed REALLY meant for someone else, and if I accepted these gifts anyway, I found He was perfect and through Him I was enabled.  I also learned more about my heart.

You see, He knows my heart better than I do.  Know what else?  He can make it grow, make it change, make me grow and make me change.  You can’t do that.  I can’t do that.  He can.  I’ve been that man by the side of the pool.  Maybe you have too.  When a toy comes your way that’s not on your list . . . when a blessing comes your way that doesn’t make sense . . . try it.  Take it. 

The whole concept of “making sense” is so overrated.  I’m no longer willing to settle for it.  The Lord my God is so much bigger than I ever allowed Him to be.  His blessings are amazing!   They turn up in places and on faces that you may never have thought to look.  Try it!  Say yes!  What have you got to lose?  Not sure about you, but my plan wasn’t really working as well as I’d expected, so I took a chance on Him.  I’m not turning back!  

 

 

 


“I Will Change Your Name”

September 9, 2011

This song really touches my heart and sums up my life in Christ so well!  Of late, His peace and love are just so constant and most important, I am in a place where I feel it!  Listen to this song by D J Butler and close your eyes and hold hands with Jesus while the words touch your heart.  “I will change  your name.”  He will!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct1goc_-t8w


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