Is your wanter broken?

quilts on clothes line snow

I am feeling pretty good about myself about right now.  I have done my civic duty to my community & graced the aisles of the grocery store to purchase my loaf of bread & milk.  It seems there are rumors of inclement weather (when I say inclement I mean, talks of possibly a snowflake or two falling).  When I say a snowflake or two, I mean that in a literal sense.  Northeast Mississippi rarely gets snow.  But when we do, you’d better watch out.  All the folks that have four wheel drives or a vehicle, will try to be out on the road.  And mind you, we can’t drive on ice.  There is lots of things we country folks can do- make sweet tea, drive a tractor, haul hay, cut wood, put out feed for our animals, talk to Jesus, & cook food so good it will make you want to slap your mama.  But drive on ice, not so much a dandy of an idea for us.  Back to my visit to the grocery store.  If you wanted to see anybody, in particular, you would have had a good chance of running into them today at the store.  Most of the people I came into contact with did smile when I met their gaze.  Unlike before Christmas.

When I was doing Christmas shopping, nobody was smiling.  I would walk along, meet the eyes of a lady, who seemed distraught, & smile.  No smile back.  I saw a man & his wife carrying packages outside a store.  I smiled.  No smile back.  I saw another older lady that looked to have a couple of daughters, my age, with her.  Smiled at all of them & they just looked plum disgusted!  What was going on?  I thought this was supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year?  Then, it hit me.  I get some of the same feelings come over me, perhaps that these shoppers did.  I get down & aggravated when I am spending a lot of time & money on things for people- that will probably be thrown to the side after a day or two.  It made me think, sometimes I think our wanters get broken.  We watch so much t.v. that has commercials of things we don’t really need, but want.  We go to stores & see things we just have to have.  Our kids go to school & see other kids with things that are a must have.  We go online & shop around on websites that have merchandise that you just can’t live without.  I will go even one further than that.  We may get so caught up in ourselves, we think possessions are the way to happiness.  That cars, houses, property, and anything else pricy you can think of, is of more value than relationships.

The apostle Paul addressed this starting in  I Timothy 6:6

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. v. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. v.8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. v. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which down men in destruction & perdition. v. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

I saw the other day on the news the founder of Amazon, was on vacation aboard a cruise ship.  Mind you this is a billionaire.  He got sick, had to be airlifted off.  Taken to his private jet, where he boarded the boat & flown back to the U.S. for medical treatment.   You know what was wrong with him?  Kidney stones.  Did having all that money save his health?  Nope.

We all have been appointed a day to die.  No matter how much money we have will not matter or how much money we don’t have.  What will matter is how we spent our time while here in this world.  Were we content or in a constant struggle to get more?  We know it will be left here, when we go.  Why not focus on our relationships, living for Christ, & serving God?  Peace & contentment cannot be bought.  We have to learn to find it from the Lord.  So, next time you are out making your rounds in town, smile.  Salvation is free. No purchase necessary.  Christ paid that price for you a long time ago!

I so hope you are having a good day.  I am anxious to see if we will get some bad weather.  I remember the ice storm of 1994.  They never did see that one coming!  I hope you are toasty warm inside your cozy home while you are reading this.  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

snowy clotheslinephoto credits – pinterest

Move over Miley, Phil Robertson’s takin’ center stage

phil

I just could not hold it in any longer.  I have not had a chance to sit down & write this post as quickly as I wanted to.  However, it gave me a chance to hear what other people are having to say about Phil Robertson’s comments in his GQ interview.

First I want to say to Phil Robertson,

“Phil, really?  You are doing an interview with GQ & did not expect this?  You are a smart man. How were you not on guard for this one?  And what really possessed you to do an interview with GQ?  You make duck calls & preach.  Not really what GQ is about.  What were you thinking? ”

There, saying that, people of this day & time have grown so tolerant of sin.  We are a society of not wanting to hurt anybody’s feelings.  Well, I’m all for not hurting feelings, but wrong is wrong.  And until people are called out on it, it won’t ever be any better.  Sexual sins seem to be one of the things people are more accepting of.  However, God wasn’t.  Remember Sodom & Gomorrah?  (Genesis 19) It was destroyed, with fire falling from the sky.  It was burned up because of their sexual immorality.  Not just homosexual activity, but all immoral acts of a sexual nature.  The word sodomy is referred to as sexual acts with a beast (animal).  Do you think there is any connection there?  It would seem so.  Just because God is not setting fire to cities & turning people into pillars of salt anymore (like he did Lot’s wife for looking back- when God told them to leave Sodom & Gomorrah & not look back) does not mean He’s become soft in his old age.  He’s not looking over anything.  He still does not like it.  A little over 2,000 years ago He continued to say that through the apostle Paul.

 I Corinthians 6:9-11

 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

And such were some of you:

but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Galatians 5:19-21

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Why do you think Paul was talking about this to the churches at Corinth & Galatia?  They needed to be given some instructions concerning it.  We need to hear it now, too.   Jesus said some people would not be willing to accept God’s word.

Luke 16:31

And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
And you know the rest of the story- Jesus was hung on a cross because crowds of people did not want to hear what he had to say.  So, this is not something that’s a big surprise or not expected from those of the world.  One thing that does help my feelings is the Cracker Barrel situation.  When they decided to pull Duck Dynasty from their shelves, people stood for right.  That lets me know the Lord still has righteous people here.  Things might not be as bad as the devil wants us to believe they are.

I don’t consider myself a hater, because I believe what the Bible says about homosexuals.  I know people who are openly gay.  I have worked with a man who was gay.  He was a truck driver & his friend would ride in the truck with him on runs.  I became quick friends with both of them.  They were easy going & had great personalities.  We always got along great.  But you know what?  They knew where I stood on their lifestyle choices.  I did not accept it, but I accepted them.  They knew what they were doing wasn’t right, however, chose not to address it.  It hurts me to think anyone would ever be mean to either of them.  Love the sinner, hate the sin.

My thing is you have all this sin out in the world.  The world wants us to accept it & not take away sinner’s rights.  How about my right to disagree?  Sin is evil in all forms.  And as Phil Robertson said, “it’s not logical.”  God created the family as man & woman.

Genesis 2:24

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 

God said this right after making woman for man.  We have a responsibility, as Christians to keep it this way.

It’s funny to me that murderers aren’t standing around saying,

“I know I kill people, but you should just accept that.  That’s how God made me.  And if you don’t you aren’t a Christian because God wants us to love each other.” 

Or plug into it a thief, “I may steal from innocent people, but this is what I want to do, so you just need to accept me how I am, a thief.” 

Or what about a child molester? 

You may say, ”wait a minute, you are getting off subject, now.”  No, not really sin is sin in God’s eyes.  Sins come with different responsibilities.  If I say I like your dress, but really would not wear it to the garden- the responsibility for getting caught telling such a lie, is not near what it would be for another sin.  Like if you decided to rob banks.  But lying is a deadly sin. too.

miley

And look at poor ol’ Miley Cyrus.  I just want to put some clothes on her & stripe her legs with a switch.  But you can’t say anything about her & all her antics, because she’s expressing herself.

The phenomenon with the reality shows with the likes of the Kardashian’s who can’t have babies or pee their pants without the camera right there for us all to see, has become as crazy as a Bessie Bug.  We can listen to these housewives in cat fights, cussin’, spittin’, & spattin’ at each other all in the name of entertainment.  Then, Phil can’t quote scripture without losing his job.

Bless our hearts. 

We would all be better if we would take that remote & hit the off button.   And pray for these people.  At the end of the day, I would rather gather my family around the table with the Robertson family than any other reality family.  roberson's prayingI really think A & E is just seeing dollar signs, when they look at the Robertson’s.  They are on a reality show, but A & E does not want their reality of praying, following Christ, nor offending others.  Newsflash, sin is offensive.  When you disagree with sin, you get more hurt feelings, because you aren’t supporting their sin.  And everybody loves their sin, don’t they?  Nobody wants anyone calling them out about it.  That’s why people don’t usually go to church unless they are ready to be held accountable for their sins.  As you already know, at church you hear all about what’s right & wrong.  Sometimes it’s not so easy to hear.

If you are gay, I don’t hate you.  I pray for your repentance & turning back to God’s will.  I don’t judge you because I sin, too.  But we can’t let sin rule our lives.  I think that’s what Phil was trying to say.  However, we need to read the Bible, see what Jesus says & don’t stand for Phil, stand for Jesus.  Because Phil is just a man.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  New Year’s is just around the corner.  I hope you are working on your New Year’s resolutions.  I am going to go back over mine from 2013 & see what I really did do.  We will visit again soon & talk about that.  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

***On a side note, I may have a tone that I don’t appreciate Phil & his preaching the gospel.  I do think it noble of Phil to spread the gospel.  However, we have to remember Phil is just a man.  There was only one perfect man, Jesus Christ.  Everyone else has flaws & sins.  My Daddy is a preacher of the gospel, as well.  One thing he has taught me is you don’t follow the preacher.  You follow Jesus.  Phil is a messenger, not the Messiah.  Always make sure what the preacher is preaching is from Bible.  Satan will creep in wherever he can.

30 Days of Gratitude

Gratitude-Jar-3

Have you heard of 30 days of gratitude? I have looked around on different blogs to see how this is done. Basically it is a series of things you are grateful for.  It takes you on a 30 day journey of what is important to you.  Some folks post a quote about thankfulness every day.  Some post their favorite scripture, pictures, whatever means a lot to them, that they want to thank the Lord up above for.  Kim at the writeshop has a wonderful blog about it.  There is even a Facebook page dedicated to this chalIenge.   Love this idea.  With November having the biggest gratitude holiday of the year, Thanksgiving, I thought this would be a wonderful month to try this out.  I am going to post, once a week, things I am so very grateful for.  I know this will be a blessing.  It will give me a chance to reflect & acknowledge God’s favor, that is in my life.  I encourage you to do this challenge.  Whether you post on your blog, write it in a journal, scratch it down on paper, or hold it all in your head- take time to be thankful to the Lord for one thing, each day, for 30 days.  I just know this will be a blessing!  Feel free to let me know what you are doing.   I would love to hear what you are thankful for.

 

Day one S__78C1I am so thankful for the Bible.  I have been in a wonderful Bible study with two sweet young ladies, for the past couple of weeks.  Also, our ladies group that meets every third Friday is great.  Sunday school, worship service, our church, none of this would be possible with out God’s word.  The Lord is working in mine & my family’s lives.  This is all through the Bible.  For that, I am thankful.

 

Day two

I should be washing clothes.

I should be washing clothes.

I am so thankful for this little blog right here.  God has blessed me so much with it.  I would never have met some of you without it.  I am proud of the friendships I have made through it.  It has been such a wonderful opportunity to reach out to others with it.  And with that some of you reach back in to me!!  That’s the best thing!!!  I love that this blog can be something fun & happy & maybe a thought provoking place.  I am so grateful for it!

Women of Christ

photo credit: righthandedreader.tumblr.com

photo credit: righthandedreader.tumblr.com

God never ceases to amaze me. I mean, Lord have mercy.  Just right when I think nothing good in the world is happening. That’s when He just comes right in & shows me He is still working diligently in our lives. Today I want to tell you about how I met with a group of young ladies, that has started meeting,-to support each other in their journey with Christ.
It all started out when my 18 year old daughter told me about this Christian ladies devotional at a friend’s house.

She said, “ I really want you to go with me. I think it will be fun.” Not to be the one to skip any fun, I decided to be her date.

The speaker, at this 1st meeting, was a friend of my daughter’s. She is young, married, & works as a preschool teacher. On Wednesday night, at church, I asked her about this gathering, she said, “It’s just a group of ladies that wants to study the Bible & I’m going to hold the devo!” She was so excited & nervous. She made me excited!
When we arrived at the hostess’s house, with our plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies, there were several young ladies, already there. We went in, introduced ourselves around, & had a seat in the living room to socialize. Some other young ladies were preparing spaghetti & alfredo sauce. My daughter’s friend told us she had cooked special noodles, especially for my daughter, since my daughter does not love spaghetti noodles (Even her friends spoil her, lucky girl!). A dining room table held a display of salad with lots of topping options & dressings. Desserts were plentiful, too. In the meantime, there was lots of laughter & hugging & “I am so happy to see yous” going on.
After enjoying a meal together, we all settled down in the living room, kitchen, & some down the hall way, to listen to what our friend had to talk about. She had a wonderful devotional about prayer. She talked about how we need to be praying for each other & with each other. It was so thought provoking. She let us give our insight & comments. She also shared some personal experiences with us. It was really a good time, with good company. I walked away with some new goals in my own prayer life & some much needed fellowship with a wonderful group of young, Christian ladies.
We have decided to meet every 3rd Friday of the month. For the next several months, some very dear ladies have already volunteered opening up their homes to us for this fellowship. I am so encouraged that with everything going on in these ladies’ lives, some with children, some with husbands, some working, some being stay at home mothers, that they have the desire to further their relationship with Christ. They want to make their homes stronger & become stronger Christians. What family would not benefit from a Godly, mother, wife, or daughter? I am so anxious to see what marvelous things God has in store for this group of young , sweet, Christian ladies.
I don’t know if it’s just a Southern thing, or if it’s because my Daddy is a preacher. It just means the world to me, to be able to visit with Godly people & share a meal. We did a lot of that growing up. It’s just right up my alley! Nothing is more Southern than Jesus & food.  I am so glad you came by to visit with me today. Come back anytime. I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.
On a side note***At this particular event, I expressed my concern regarding how I was the oldest one there. (From my view point the age range was 18-30 years old.) My daughter’s friend, was so kind about my apprehension. She said, “You are young! There are ladies here who are not going to all be at the same place in their lives, even if they are close to the same age. I’m glad you’re here.” Then, she added me to the group on Facebook. So, I guess I’m pretty obligated, now. (Seriously, I think they are just letting me come because the don’t want to hurt my feelings. Hey-whatever works.)

I

New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

Today, I am going to list my New Year’s Resolutions. Here goes:

1.Stay connected to God.
2.Remain a student of the Bible.
3.Lose 10 lbs FOR STARTERS.
4.Make my family healthier.
5.Be a better blogger.
6.Encourage others more.
7.Be more humble.
8.Love more.
9.Sew more.
10.Exercise more.
11.Walk weekly.
12.Do at least (5) 5k races.
13.Learn to let go of offenses. Because really, how important are they??
14.Read the Old Testament.
15. Less talk, more action, please.

Alright, that wasn’t too painful. I think I might could add- Be on time more & spend less. But good grief, let’s save something for 2014! I am hopeful that everyone at least attempts to make a list of resolutions (whether on paper or a mental list). The New Year is always a good time to take inventory of things that can be improved on. And, I can always make an extended list of how I am going to make these things happen, as well. All I know is, 2013 is going to be a wonderful year!
Thank you so much for stopping by today. I would love to hear about your New Year’s Resolutions. Comments are free & they make me very happy! However, I have to be going for now, because I should be washing clothes!
laundry help wanted

When God says apologies are not enough

Sometimes being sorry, for faulting someone, is just not enough. Let me explain myself. When you are hurt by angry words or when someone treats you unfairly, an apology can do wonders. However, forgiveness does not always put everything back together like it was before. Many people may feel that they can treat others with hatred & discontent-but should be put right back in good graces once they breath an apology. While apologies & seeking forgiveness for wronging someone is essential to mending relationships, sin in any form is at a cost. And yes anger & lashing out at others is a sin.

Let’s consider what the Bible teaches-

Ephesians 4:26 says this:

“Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”

On in verse 27 it says “ nor give place to the devil.”

Then on down in verse 31 the apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians,

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.”

What’s the cure for anger? Verse 32 says,

“And be kind to one another , tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

There is a price for sin & not listening to God’s teachings. Take for instance, one of the most remarkable men of the Bible- Moses. In Numbers 12:3, it states “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth. Verse 7 of the same chapter indicates God saying Moses was faithful in all his house. Verse 8 says that God spoke to him face to face. God must have had a really high opinion of Moses. In Deuteronomy 34:10 it says But since then there was not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” Now, with all the wonderful things the Bible says about Moses, there was an incident that happened in Numbers 20 starting in verse 7, which God did not approve of.

Numbers 20:7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying v. 8 Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.

Moses took the rod, as He had commanded. Moses & Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock. Then for whatever reason instead of speaking to the rock, he struck the rock twice with the rod. And you know what happened after that? The water came out in abundance. Enough to give water to the congregation and their animals. It looked like everything went well, until the Lord had His say. If Moses did not think God would notice he disobeyed him, he found out pretty quickly, He was not amused. The Lord said in verse 12 to Moses & Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore, you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have promised.”

Moses picked right back up & kept on following God. In Deuteronomy 3:23-25 he pleaded with the Lord to see the promised land. Even with the faithfulness & forgiveness He bestowed upon Moses, because of his sin, He would not go back on His word. Finally, the Lord got tired of his apologizing, & angrily responded in verse 26 to Moses“Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter.”

Moses was a great leader of the Bible. He wrote five books of the Bible. He was the deliverer of the Lord’s commandments which is thus referred to as the Law of Moses. This Law was what Christ lived under. However, because of his sin, he was not granted the gift of entering the promised land. Sin can be forgiven, however there is responsibility for those sin. Take for example someone who is a prisoner in jail.  They may truly be sorry for the things they have done.  God can forgive them.  However, they still have time to serve.  Somethings can just not be regained after sin. Many times things cannot ever be as they were before. God will forgive. However, people need to consider the damage, that can be done to others, before letting the devil have his way with their actions & words.

I believe we should all make efforts to right our wrongs. Especially in relationships. However, we should not be surprised when saying you are sorry does not put everything back together again. This is why we should consider the long lasting detriment sin can have. Perhaps this will be enough help us to bridle our tongues & be watchful of what we do. As a southern girl we are groomed to be mindful of someone else’s feelings. I can remember my mama teaching me to not say this or that or do this or that. Why? Because it might hurt a person’s feelings. Let’s do our best to be kind & tenderhearted to one another. That way, we don’t have to worry about making apologies.

 

I appreciate so much you stopping by to visit with me. I have to be going for now, because I should be washing clothes……….

Run for the Son

Recently, I have begun participating in 5k races.  Most often, on the last mile, there will be someone, that has already crossed the finished line, which comes back to encourage those of us, who have not made it, yet.  When I was racing Saturday there was a runner, who had crossed the finished line.  He then, came back into the race to give other reassurance, that they could make it to the finished line, as well.

When that guy came by me & said, “Good job! You’ve almost made it!”  It made me think of how Jesus cares for His own.  Even though we are out in the world, Jesus is there to cheer us on to the finished line of life.

 

He gives us comforting words in the Bible, to help us along.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

He cares when we have troubles.

Psalms 34: 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.

He mends broken hearts.

Psalms 34:18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

He wants us to have a rich & fulfilling life in Him,

John 10:10 …I have come that they may have life & have it more abundantly.

As Jesus waits on us, He keeps the avenue of prayer open to the faithful.  In that, we may petition Him in prayer & He will hear us.

John 9: 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will He hears him.

He wants us to be faithful to the end.

Revelation 2:10 …Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

As we keep running our journey of life, we can know Jesus is there.  He is in our hearts, cheering us on to the finished line.  Let us always strive to run our race of life, for the Son.

 

 

 

 

Happy Memorial Day

There are a lot of things to be thankful for on Memorial Day, as with any day of the year. Here are a few facts that I took from the History Channel website:

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

I have respect for Memorial Day, in the sense, that I appreciate the freedom granted to me & my loved ones because of our military. Without them, we would be in a lot of trouble. I have had friends & family, alike, that has served our great country with pride. One that is most important to me is my grandfather.

My grandfather was not only a wonderful soldier, he was an admirable example of what a man should be. He was an upright outstanding Christian, first & foremost. As far back as I can remember, I remember Papaw loving God & teaching us about Him. He always went to church. ALWAYS. If he were not in church, it was because he was physically unable to be there. He was one of the song leaders. To this day, each time I hear “O To Be Like Thee” or “Jesus Is All The World To Me” I think for a moment I can still hear him singing them.  And my mind drifts back to a man, standing in the pulpit of a little country church, keeping tempo with his hand, belting out the words with feeling.  He kept his “Testament”, (as he referred to his Bible) on top of the refrigerator.  It was not there many times when we went to see him & my Mamaw.  The reason why? He was reading it.  He worked hard.  He was in the mindset every day was a day of accomplishment, to leave something a little better than you found it.  Thus, days he spent in the garden hoeing, plowing the family mule Kate, & gathering the bounty are fond memories.  He let us play in the branch, that ran on his property.  Summers filled with trying to catch minnows & crawdads out of the sandy water were something we lived for.

He was a family man, but not always at home.  He served for several years in the Army, somewhere around 1940,  until later in that decade.  He missed his family terribly when he was shipped overseas in World War II.  He would write my Mamaw letters of how he loved her & missed her & what was going on in the war & how he loved & missed her.  Once back from the war, he took a job with the TVA.  He worked at Brown’s Ferry, Wilson Dam & other locations.  He worked on those huge electrical towers.  He would climb up on them & repair them.  He left home at 4am every morning.  However he never departed home without a thermos full of fresh brewed coffee & homemade biscuits with some sort of bacon, ham or sausage nestled in the middle of it. No wonder our family was one of the 1st people in our county to have a brick home &  a washing machine.  He loved a Chevrolet car.  He would trade ever so often & get another Chevrolet car.

He was always willing to help out a friend, to my grandma’s dismay.  She did not like him being late for supper!  When he was at church, he sang, prayed, waited on the Lord’s table & was a terrific Christian leader.  When he was at home, he sang, prayed & was a terrific Christian leader.  He loved his family to the end.  Right before he passed from this life, he told my Mamaw, “I don’t want to leave y’all”.  That was almost 30 years ago & I still feel the sting of loss from that day. That’s why I want to honor him today.  He was outstanding in everything he did. Especially, serving his country.

God bless anyone who has ever served our country.  And also, the ones who loved them.

I have enjoyed so much posting this about my grandfather today. I hope everyone has a safe & healthy Memorial Day.  I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes………….

Stumbling block inventory

Finding faults in others is a popular pastime.  Unfortunately, a lot of us find it’s easy to join the fun. Concentrating on the flaws of others can be a great way to feel better about ourselves.  That’s typically, the problem!  Avoiding the faults that need to be fixed in our own lives, not only dampers our spiritual growth, it too gets in the way of God’s work through us. God’s effectiveness through our lives is made better or is hindered by the way we live.

In Romans 14:13 the apostle Paul tells of the character we should have.

Therefore, let us not judge one another, anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

Back up in verse 10 he states:

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

We are all in this together.  Why be so petty about things?

If we want to be authentic & useful for the Lord, we must continually take a stumbling block inventory.  At times stumbling blocks are things that in and of themselves may be real.  Yet in certain contexts, may be inappropriate.  But sin is clearly a stumbling block to others.  Gossip, slander, boasting, bitterness, greed, abuse, anger, selfishness, and revenge all close the hearts of those around us to the message God sends through us.  Just to think, our lives, may be the only Bible some people ever see.  Now, that’s a big responsibility that we have.  To keep ourselves clean & unspotted from the world. (James 1: 27)  You may say, “but you just don’t know how mean this person is or how hurtful they have been to me.” I do know this, there is no problem too big that you & God can’t work out. Let God have His way with people.  In life people will be mean, rude, unfair, gossipy, hurtful, and greedy.  Pray for those people.  Don’t let their hatred consume your heart & make you the same things they are. We must be the bigger person.

In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus preaching his sermon from the mountain said this:

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. v.44 But I say to you, love our enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” 

Now, that’s a tough pill to swallow!  Pray for someone who has said bad things about me?  Pray for someone who has embarrassed me?  Pray for someone whose selfishness has caused me to hurt?  You may ask,”Why does that person deserve my prayers?”  If you look at it from God’s perspective- these prayers are for your benefit.  For you to keep a heart that’s willing to mention a person who does not deserve God’s graciousness.  Those people are the ones who need it the most.  And it’s hard to keep bitterness locked up in a heart full of prayer.  God does not want us to be angry.  He wants us to love.  And what better way to keep that love in your heart, than to lift up someone in prayer? It’s hard to be selfish or mad when you are asking a blessing over someone who’s wronged you.  Get the picture?  God loves us & does not want us to be someone who lets a situation eat at them.  He wants us praying for each other & not being someone with so much emotional baggage that His work can’t be seen in us.

I Cor 13: 4-5 says thatprov love is kind, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.

We should strive to condition ourselves to be kind, no matter what.  God says in order to love, we must be kind.  In the end, our kindness is what matters the most.  We have to be responsible for what we have done in our lives, how we have acted & treated people, not how they have treated us.  God will have His day with those folks! He even says so –

Romans 12:19…”Vengence is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 

Now, don’t you think God can handle these hard to deal with people better than you?  Of course He can.  A dear friend of mine has said her mother used to say, “Kill them with kindness.”  I think that is a very good lesson.  When someone hurts your feelings, just be kind.  When someone says mean things about you, be kind.  When someone is rude to you, be kind.  That way, they can see God living in you.  That will either turn them toward God, or just make them mad.  Either way, you have done your part by being what God wants you to be- kind.

So, let’s replace our faults with the wonderful ways of Jesus.  This will help others to see our Savior more clearly.

Some of this message was taken from an Our Daily Bread article written by Joe Stowell.  I have so many thoughts about this subject.  Maybe I will write more about it later.  But for now, I have to go because I should be washing clothes………..

Respect for Someone wiser

My 17 year old daughter, just recently, had the privilege of being a Page for the Senate of our awesome state! When she got back home, she told stories of how she met all different kinds of people, how she heard many opinions & witnessed bills being turned into laws. She got to meet the governor & have her picture made with him. She got to have a great experience learning about how our great state functions, in the heart of the capital. One thing that really made an impression to her was how the house of representatives & the senate conducted themselves. She said at times, there was yelling, squabbling, and even a representative doing a compelling depiction of a snake (to get his point across about how he felt regarding other representatives votes). It was very entertaining. However, she noted there was one senator, that had the floor when he spoke. She said it was as if everyone was in awe of him. That their respect for him was great & no one would fancy the idea of being anything less than attentive when he made his thoughts known. She said it was if when he spoke, he imparted wisdom.

Jesus is the perfect example of someone people wanted to listen to. In Luke 6, it is told how the multitudes followed Christ.

In verse 17, “He came down with them, and stood on a level place with a crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases.”

Can’t you imagine such a large group of people listening & hanging on every word of Jesus? Following Him around, just to see what He was going to say next? These people were hungry for the Lord’s words of wisdom. They fed on his righteous teachings. That’s why where ever Jesus went, there was always a crowd. Sometimes He would have to “withdraw” from the group of followers, just to get some rest. (Luke 5: 16) Those folks were longing for the love & saving grace Jesus had to offer to the lost & dying world.  It says in Luke 4:32 that Jesus’s word was with authority.  These people knew they had someone magnificent in their presence.

When did we quit wanting to listen to Jesus? Was it when we got that job that takes up so much of our time, that we hardly have a minute to spend reading the Bible? Was it when we bought that new car or house or boat, that we think we paid for with OUR money? We get too worried with what I can gain, what I can do, what I can be, to remember, we would be nothing, have nothing, or even be in existence without our Lord & Savior. Let’s take a minute to be like these multitudes, that followed Jesus around, in awe of His presence. We should respect Him, when He speaks to us through His word. By faith, we can be like these weary people, who’s main concern was listening to Jesus. In Luke 4: 42 it tells how the crowds sought Jesus & tried to keep Him from leaving them.  Their hearts were in the right place.  Is yours?