Thursday, January 22, 2015
Mark Hall, from the Casting Crowns leads a tremendous Bible Study on the book of James. Marks studies are great, he easily understood and breaks things down making himself appealing to any age group. One of the comments Mark made during the study really resonates with me. He said something like this, "Wow, James must have gone to a church filled with a lot of gossips to come up with all of this." Sad but probably very true.
James 3:8 ESV But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
Think back to when they were small, to your reactions to the comments people around you made to others. Can you remember any that really stand out? How you understood the comment and how it made you feel?
We never loose that little child in us, or that initial reaction to things spoken. Shock, fear, pain, guilt and confusion are just a few of the things we may have felt.
I recall a baseball game I attended with my dad when I was about ten years old. I was sitting in the bleachers, innocently munching on some sunflower seeds or something while my father umpired the game. I was probably nervous to be alone in a crowd of adults in the first place and then my father made a call that evidently displeased the people sitting around me. Now, nearly fifty years latter I can still recall the a comment made by some stranger, "That ump should slit his throat, that call was b.s."
I do not recall the individual who said it, but I will never forget how it made me feel.
I remember asking my dad what it meant during the drive home. He may or may not have made an error in the call, that was not the point. His response was this, "People often say things they shouldn't. They are not always right but they do it. I am sorry you had to hear that."
It changed me inside and made aware of how people can hurt your feelings with their words. I went on in life to have this happen to me many, many times, as have we all. I can not sit here at this computer and say I have never hurt anyone's feelings with my tongue, because I am certain that I have and that makes me very sad. I wish that I could apologize to each and every person I have ever made an unnecessary or rude comment to. Unfortunately, that is impossible, but what I can do is think before I speak and pray that all of my words will be pleasing to God. I can ask him to help me guard my tongue, I can ask him to help me to be pure of heart and I can ask him to keep my lips closed when unnecessary words fill my mouth.
When someone comes to me with a heavy load in their heart, may God keep me from offering unsolicited advice or commentary. When our hearts are heavy with sadness, fear or guilt, it is common for us to seek a friend, a confidant, someone to hear us, someone to listen. Unless we ask for feedback, and even if we do, we are not seeking constructive criticism or even advice. We are seeking an ear. A friend. If words are offered they should be words of encouragement, not words laced with bitterness or haughtiness. Gentle words that will dry our tears, calm our fears and give us strength to move forward and handle whatever difficulties we are facing with grace and confidence. That is what God expects from us.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
May God shine through our words, as well as our deeds now & forever!
Click on MARK HALL to see the Bible Studies he offers on You Tube
Click on MARK HALL to see the Bible Studies he offers on You Tube
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I love this poster! It is exactly how I feel about my life and the people that God places in it.
I enjoy spending time with people who have humility, people who quietly step up and do things for others without needing a pat on the back. I enjoy people who can just hang out in their sock feet, drinkin coffee and playing cards or watchin a movie. I enjoy people who love God and enjoy learning and sharing... discussing his word and developing a better understanding and relationship with Him.
I enjoy real, sincere people who love to laugh and possess a great sense of humor. People who teach me things I didn't know, open my eyes to things that I didn't understand before. People who inspire me to research something new. I love to cook and bake new things, listen to music or just kick back and visit or watch a movie. When Friday night rolls around I am comfortable doing whatever, I don't mind just staying home and curling up with a good book, working on my Pinterest boards, or writing in my blog. Gone is that feeling that I am missing out if I choose to just stay home. I often opt to invite friends over to kick back and relax over a meal, enjoy some good music and conversation or a movie. It is that inner "Jesus" peace that has grounded me, and made me comfortable with myself. Thank you Jesus for that peace!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON!
Finding 'friends' we can enjoy and confide in is tricky. As we look around at work or church or even in our group, we may wonder how many of these people are truly our friends, friends who care enough about us to pick us up when we're a mess and be honest with us, or friends who would quietly, lovingly pull us aside and speak with us about something they have noticed we are doing that is just not o.k. What kind of friend are you?
I read an article recently that said that the number one most quoted scripture used to be John 3:16
16 “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
It is now Matthew 7:1-5
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.How sad is that? What about the part that says...
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Would you ignore the co-worker that is stealing or the buddy at church that is cheating on his wife? Would you walk out of a restaurant without paying for a meal because the others you are with are doing it? Would you be with others who would do that? Would you inform that gal that you don't really like very much that her dress is caught in her pantyhose or would you just sit back and giggle and enjoy?
Life is tough, why make it tougher you ask?
Well, Because God expects you to, that's why. He is watching. He is our heavenly judge, the one who makes all the notes in your book. The one who already made the final determination regarding where we go from here. Why annoy Him needlessly?
We can at any time pick up the Bible and read it the way we want it to be written, take the scriptures out of context and use it to our own advantage. This only serves to prevent people from facing the truth. It gives people an easy out. An excuse to say "Don't judge me, you have no right" or "A person doesn't really like having their Christianity questioned", as if saying something like that gets them off the hook, maybe it does, but only in their own mind.
It is a wonderful thing to have a positive attitude about life, everyone should have one. We can't allow what others say or think about us to define who we are. In fact, what others think about us is really none of our business. The only one who's opinion matters is the one who created us. It is His laws and His opinion that we should be the most concerned about living up to.
God is a gentleman. He never makes us feel bad about ourselves. Ask Him to open your eyes to the things about you that He would like to see changed. Tell Him, in all sincerity, that you want to be the person He created you to be and No One Else. Ask Him to point out any and all qualities within you that are not pleasing to Him. And then let the fun begin.
The things He can do for you if you only ask are incredible. He is gracious and loving and will provide mirrors with the intention of showing us how we look. And more mirrors that show us how we used to look so we can see what His love and mercy can do and has done.
It is He, and no other who has the ability to make us squirm when we feel shame or guilt.
He is the one who can make our world come crashing down if He decides we need to learn a few things. He is also the one who can pick us up and get us back on track, because, He is the one who loves us more than anyone else in this world possibly could. It is His thoughts about us that should concern us, not our boss, not to our friends, not even to our families. If you are in with God, you are in with the very best! There is no one, absolutely no one who loves you more than God.
No one who wants you to be the very best that you can be more than Him.
Be Blessed & Stay Blessed,In Jesus Holy Name.
Robert Henderson's 'Navigating the courts of Heaven' (ASK HIM) is an excellent, eye opening way to experience prayer. I recommend it, it will broaden your relationship with God.
Sanctuary of Tranquility: Being a better friend...: I love this poster! It is exactly how I feel about my life and the people that God places in it. I enjoy spending time with people who ...