Monday, April 3, 2017

"I'm was wronnnnn....."

   
              














Fonzie was cool enough to understand that even though he was forgiven, he was still capable of hurting people's feelings from time to time and he didn't want to do that. His friends were important to him. 
We all have bad days, sad days and truly frustrating days; some of those days can give birth to cranky, or absentminded moments when we can say or do some rather thoughtless things.
Sometimes we know in our hearts exactly what we said or did that was uncalled for, and other times we are pretty much clueless unless it is brought to our attention by either the person we hurt, someone who witnessed it or God, himself. 
The next part is the tough stuff.  Admitting we are wrong, which is never easy. After we realize we hurt some one's feelings, we need to clear it up. Not just for them, but for us as well. 
That is when the apology comes in.
Apologies can mean being vulnerable and even exposing ourselves to the possibility of getting hurt, but that doesn't give us an excuse not to do it. 
The act of apologizing is likened to a smooth salve applied to the soul, which makes it totally worth doing. God takes pleasure in helping us obtain guilt free hearts and souls. 

"This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering when you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go and find the friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and make things right with God."  Matthew 5:23-24 
God loves us so much that he gave up his only son so that we could be sin and guilt free. 
Why would we want to challenge that guilt free existence by going against His will for our lives?
We ask that He forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Part of that forgiving and healing process includes the knowledge that we not only forgive but we are also forgiven. Complete the circle. Apologize and accept apologies freely from others... say "I'm sorry." 
Those two magic words can change your life.  


Blessings to you



Friday, February 3, 2017

Sanctuary of Tranquility: Reaction is Everything!

Sanctuary of Tranquility: Reaction is Everything!: A few years ago I had a very strange falling out with someone I cared a great deal about. It hurt my feelings and my pride and happened...

Reaction is Everything!




A few years ago I had a very strange falling out with someone I cared a great deal about. It hurt my feelings and my pride and happened at a terrible time in my life. For months afterward, I would see him out and about, sometimes alone and other times on what appeared to be a date.    It hurt my heart.                                                   One evening after such an encounter I cried out to Jesus, who through experience, I know to be totally sovereign, "Why do you keep making me see that, if you love me the way you say you do, you wouldn't want to put my heart through that." 
I was surprised by his near immediate response; a response that revealed a great deal to me about my precious Jesus. His answer was this, 

" My dear heart, it was not for you to see him, but for him to see  you." 

I have thought about that response many times. Jesus shared a part of his character with me that night that was much more important for my own personal growth than the temporary comfort for my hurt feelings that I was seeking. He taught me that HE is always looking at our reactions because those reactions reveal the spontaneous truth as it flows directly from our hearts and that is the knowledge he is seeking concerning His sheep. 

Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts 

After thinking about his response for some time I have come to understand that Jesus is not in the business of making people feel comfortable. He want's our hearts. He watches as we ignore the things we should and could do for others and the things we choose to do which only serve to harden our own hearts, and He takes note of our attitude about those things.

How do we react when someone we know is suffering; do we avoid them? Are we secretly delighted? Do we feel sadness in our hearts and try to help them or pray for them, or do we simply shrug our shoulders and go on with our lives? 

I shared my story and my thoughts regarding it with a dear friend, who's husband is a pastor. I explained to her that Jesus helped me to understand that he is always looking for reactions from us. She said it reminded her of a man she and her husband had met some years back. The man was one of sizable wealth, yet he had felt pressed to do mission work. He was having some difficulty getting responses to programs he applied for so he asked Jesus what the problem was; why was he being overlooked for something he was dreaming about?  Jesus told him that if he were serious about being a missionary he needed to give his money away. In the man's earthly thinking, the money would provide him the opportunity to help others more. But God had other plans, He wanted to see this man's reaction to his simply bringing the gospel to the table.
This account, in turn, reminded me of an incident I had heard of where a woman from the United States had gone to a third world country on a missions trip wearing her enormous diamond wedding ring and diamond earrings and it made me think of the famous quote by Carl W. Buehner; "They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel." 
Without knowing the circumstances it's difficult for us to know what any one's motives, thoughts or feelings are, but for Jesus, it is nothing, He knows.He always knows the truth.   


 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in an everlasting way. 


Jesus walks with us daily, listening in on our conversations with others. He makes note of those who feel convicted and those who do not. He doesn't care if we're rich or poor, handsome or ugly. if we look like a fashion plate or if we are dressed in garments that came from a bag of rags. 
He doesn't give one iota about big noses, fat bellies or stringy hair...what matters to Jesus is our reactions to life and the people around us. Those reactions show Him the condition of our hearts. 

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel  "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."


What's inside of your heart?



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

His Desire to Give Us An Abundant Life

2 Corinthians 4:13(MSG) 

13-15 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe.

How often do we speak prophetic words into the universe concerning our own lives? 
We speak of the plans we have for ourselves and we speak of things and people we want no part of. 
We make proclamations concerning our lives totally convinced that we know exactly what is best for us; what we should and shouldn't have, what we want and don't want. We believe in our hearts and heads that being alive gives us the right to make bold, important decisions concerning our futures with little to no thought to what our Heavenly Father planned for our lives before time began.

We arrogantly blaze our own trails until things don't go the way we hoped, and then we ask God why He is denying us happiness. 
We allow the disappointments we created for ourselves to incite bitterness and regret instead of the joy we should and could have experienced if we had only allowed Him to take the lead. It is our own stubbornness and arrogance that trips us up, not God, never God.  

As I reflect on my own life there were times when I charged ahead, ignoring the feelings of anxiety the Holy Spirit was giving me only to discover, down the road that my impetuous behavior had been responsible for my own dilemma, my own failure, my own heartache. 
Sadly those very impetuous actions spill over into the lives of other people; our friends and families...and of our children.  

I remember the anxious feelings I had before I got married. I have since learned that when He gives me that restless, anxious feeling in my heart and soul, I need to spend time with Him in prayer. 
All of His messages to us are passed along with great love, affection, and wisdom concerning our lives. We love Him because He first loved us, right? My love and gratitude for Him is so great that although it's difficult some days, I only want what he wants for me. If he wants me to move, I'll move. If He want's me to change jobs, I will gladly change jobs. He is forever working behind the scenes to improve our lives. Sometimes it doesn't make sense at the time but I know without a shadow of a doubt that He loves me so much that He wants only what is best for me. Through prayer I have come to realize that the man I marry has to love God more than he loves me because when God whispers to him that I am the one, he won't have even one moment's hesitation, he will want to marry me because it is what God wants for his life as well as mine. I remind myself every day that I am nothing without Him. He is my beginning and my end ...He is my first and last breath.  

Jeremiah 29:11(ESV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 


We have no right to deny ourselves happiness because of the poor choices we have made in our past. We have inadequate, clout to make decisions concerning our lives when the fact is, our lives actually belong to Him, the one who made us. Our Father in Heaven wants us to have a life filled with good days and an abundance of every good thing. 
So the words that challenge His marvelous plans for our lives must stop! Instead, we must boldly proclaim: "In the name of Jesus, I command blessings, favor, health, prosperity, protection, dominion and power to fill my life! God's words tell me that the good things are already promised, they are already here. I, therefore pronounce my life blessed. I pronounce my life prosperous. I pronounce my life great. Darkness and gloom, poverty and sickness, defeat and depression will not be in my life."

This will be ours when we give Him the power to make all things come together for our good....



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Fight to the Finish

"Let us Run, with steady and active persistence, 
the appointed course of the race set before us." Hebrews 12:1

When I think of all the moments in my life that God prompted me to do something and I didn't, it makes me kind of sad and a bit disappointed in myself.

 I missed out on something truly wonderful because I didn't  listen for whatever reason; embarrassment, pride, insecurity, or in some cases unsure of where the prompting was coming from. 

In any case I missed the chance...missed the opportunity...missed the boat. Will I ever get the chance to do some of those things again? Who knows, that would be up to God. 



Like so many others; and I do believe most of us are similar, I miss out daily on the Holy Spirit speaking to me. He speaks to us in so many ways...every day. Through other people, books, dreams, shows on television; nothing is impossible for Him. 
He loves his children and wants us to all have wonderful lives, lives  full of joy and when we don't listen, we do miss out on joy. Someone told me one time that if it is in your heart to do something it can't be wrong and I believe that with all of my heart and I try to follow that advice every day. When God prompts us to do something, no matter how difficult it is we must ask ourselves, is it is Biblical?  Is it kind? Will it be beneficial? 

 If the answer is yes, no matter how frightening it seems at the moment, we need to obey. For He is encouraging us to do something that will better prepare us for other things down the road. 

This video from Beth Moore is a wonderful example of God prompting us by overwhelming our hearts. Beth has a flair for the drama which is both unique and lovable. If you have ever experienced anything like this you will easily relate. Sometimes you have no time to think about if you should or shouldn't do something and other times, if we wait, it will be to late, and we miss out on the opportunity that our Father has given us.  



Ephesians 6:10-18(MSG) 

10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Blessings to you as you run your course.













A Fight to the Finish

"Let us Run, with steady and active persistence, 
the appointed course of the race set before us." Hebrews 12:1

When I think of all the moments in my life that God prompted me to do something and I didn't, it makes me kind of sad and a bit disappointed in myself.

 I missed out on something truly wonderful because I didn't  listen for whatever reason; embarrassment, pride, insecurity, or in some cases unsure of where the prompting was coming from. 

In any case I missed the chance...missed the opportunity...missed the boat. Will I ever get the chance to do some of those things again? Who knows, that would be up to God. 




Like so many others; and I do believe most of us are similar, I miss out daily on the Holy Spirit speaking to me. He speaks to us in so many ways...every day. Through other people, books, dreams, shows on television; nothing is impossible for Him. 
He loves his children and wants us to all have wonderful lives, lives  full of joy and when we don't listen, we do miss out on joy. Someone told me one time that if it is in your heart to do something it can't be wrong and I believe that with all of my heart and I try to follow that advice every day. When God prompts us to do something, no matter how difficult it is we must ask ourselves, is it is Biblical?  Is it kind? Will it be beneficial? 

 If the answer is yes, no matter how frightening it seems at the moment, we need to obey. For He is encouraging us to do something that will better prepare us for other things down the road. 

This video from Beth Moore is a wonderful example of God prompting us by overwhelming our hearts. Beth has a flair for the drama which is both unique and lovable. If you have ever experienced anything like this you will easily relate. Sometimes you have no time to think about if you should or shouldn't do something and other times, if we wait, it will be to late, and we miss out on the opportunity that our Father has given us.  



Ephesians 6:10-18(MSG) 

10-12 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
13-18 Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Blessings to you as you run your course.