Kindness Never Goes Out of Style

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And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

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This verse has sown my heart back together so many times I’ve lost count. But what is the context? Chapter 4 is the section of the Ephesians that talks about a believer’s walk. We start out as babes in Christ, not really knowing what we have and what to do with it. Then, we toddle along taking our first steps of faith with God. Soon we learn to fight off discouragement and error by standing for what we believe in. We start seeing results over and over. This verse is smack in the middle of all of that. It’s like a flower that blooms on the battle field of life. And sometimes even when nothing around us seems to be going right, there’s kindness. It melts, it soothes, it heals with that real deal love of God.

Try kindness it never goes out of style.

God Bless You Today!

What IS a Wonderful Life?

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“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” 

I’m not sure who that quote is from but I bought it in the form of a large printed board that hangs on the wall. I thought…”I need to hear that sometimes when my attitude slips.”  I also thought I need to hear that as a dose of reality when I have the wrong expectations of people or situations. I need to remember to enjoy life as it comes, and not strain to perfect every minuet detail. Life is wonderful, sometimes I just need to look for it. So I happily strolled away with my purchase. But…

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As I drove around with it in my car, I realized it has a negative side too. I realized it is also “not-not thinking” and an excuse. An excuse to never try to make things better, or check in with God. It might suggest to just take the drama, the turmoil, and the “lemons” when that’s not at all what God expects or asks of us. This thinking keeps us from setting boundaries with the wrong kind of people. Let me show you what I mean.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

Our standard and attitude should be what the Word says. When we apply a standard answer or “attitude” about life, we limit God’s working in us for his pleasure.

Here’s an example.

A friend comes along and says something horrible about you to your husband and a stranger she has never met before. It’s not unlike her to be opinionated about…well in her case most everything. But you are devastated by her words, tactics and manipulation. The sting of the fiery dart smolders in your veins. You have a decision to make. Do you take the punch to the gut and forget about it? Do you give it right back? Or do you walk in love?

Lets say you then walk into the bathroom and see that saying, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful“, hanging there. You emotionally decide, yeah, I just need to calm down and take this one for the team. Life isn’t always perfect but there are a lot of other things that are wonderful. Later, you think again about the dart, it works its way down into your subconscious undermining and eating away at your confidence. Your not sure of yourself, shaky and weak. You don’t know why but for some reason, even weepy. Your attitude slips and you start complaining about life all because something way down inside hurts but you don’t know why.

Let me ask you this:

  1. Did you, in the moment, ask God what He would do? No, you were manipulated by a worldly idea.
  2. Did God want you to be hurt, confused and punished over and over just for being nice to this woman? NO, you decided on your own to allow her to continue being in your life.
  3. When God would have had you stand up for yourself, you rolled over and did not walk in love towards yourself or set a very needed boundary with that friend who now thinks they can get away with saying anything about you behind your back.

Let’s read some more of Philippians 2.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.” vs. 14-18

It is not our job to appease, please, and make peace with every person that comes along. It IS our job to hold forth the Word of Life. When we conclude that a worldly idea seems “just right” for us, we limit the flexibility of God doing a great work in their life and possibly saving us from serious heartache and deterioration in our believing.

I realize this is a bit more of an advanced topic but, when it comes to the heart, God knows exactly what we need and how to keep us safe. He never wastes our time or manipulates us. He LOVES, so we should love. Love, agape love, has teeth too. Life IS truly wonderful when we trust and obey because we know God has our back, even if by the five senses something doesn’t fit.

Last week, we talked about truth intersections. I came to two of them that I’m aware of in the last two days. God gives us millions of chances, but the Devil and this world are continually trying to talk you out of what is truly wonderful about life; which is the abundant life and the Word of Life.

What does this boil down to? (This would make a great poster)

Just do the Word and let God sort out all the rest. 

I love you!

God bless You Today!

How Do We Change at an Intersection with Truth?

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Yesterday‘s post talked about what a truth intersection was. We also talked about the roads leading from that intersection. I promised to show you the error of heart.

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Let me show you an example in the Bible, then I’ll show you the five steps leading up to an error of heart.

1 Samuel 15:1-3

Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee [to be] king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

These were Saul’s directions straight from God. Saul did go and fight them. Later in the verse we see that he spared the best sheep, the king, King Agag and the best of anything good. Was that his directions? No. He was supposed to get rid of everything.

“10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul [to be] king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.” vs 10-11

This was Saul’s opportunity to obey God. When he didn’t, God told Samuel to confront Saul. (Important key there. Never charge into a situation without hearing first from God.) It mourned Samuel so much that he cried all night about it and tried to intercede for Saul to God.

“13  And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. 14 And Samuel said, What [meaneth] then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” vs, 13-14

This is the truth intersection for Saul. Here he has a chance to fess up to it and take responsibility. Which way does he go? (Keep an eye out for the road he takes.)

“15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” vs. 15

“For the people spared the best…” See how Saul denies any guilt?

16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou [wast] little in thine own sight, [wast] thou not [made] the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?” vs. 16-19

What does Saul say at this intersection?

20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. ” vs. 20-21

Wow, Saul is just not going to fess up to anything here. Did you see the swift side step? We did it so the LORD could have his sacrifices.

22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king. ” vs. 22-23

What is better the traditions or obedience?

24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.”

Saul essentially says, Yes, I’m guilty but, but, but. Excuses again blurt out of old Saul. It was because of them, not me. He still refuses to take the blame and confess.

“26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. 28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, [that is] better than thou. 29 And also the Strength of Israel (God) will not lie nor repent: for he [is] not a man, that he should repent. 30 Then he said, I have sinned: [yet] honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. 31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.”

 35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.” vs. 35

Did you see the five steps? 

Here they are: 

  1. Denied the guilt. Verse 13
  2. Belittles the error. Verse 15
  3. Justifies his error. Verse 15, b.
  4. Shifts the blame. Verse 21
  5. Admitted guilt but still tried to cover. Verse 24.

After this Samuel did not fellowship with Saul ever again. When you read the rest of the accounts of Saul’s life, you will see a dramatic decline, including devil spirit possession, jealousy and murder.

These five steps can be found when anyone who decides not to humble themselves before God. Like I said yesterday, everyone gets millions of chances to change. What they decide to do, is their choice. But what you must decide is whether you should continue fellowshipping with them. God can and will help you because you still have your own intersections, obedience opportunities and GREEN LIGHTS of change.

Make YOUR choice and God bless you today!

 

 

 

What is a Truth Intersection?

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What is the difference between cutting a relationship off forever and forgiving and moving on? How do you decide what a moment like that takes? It’s the moment you realize you’ve come to a truth intersection with someone, and they, or you, have to decide which way to go. Will you continue to travel with them? Will you let them continue to decide?

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How will you decide?

The first thing to do is ask God. Sometimes we are way too emotionally attached and involved to hear from God clearly though. That’s when you go to a Godly friend privately and ask them to pray with you in confidence. God cares a lot more about this stuff than we think He does. He wants to let you know what to do, so keep listening, praying and working through it till you know you have an answer from Him.

The second thing to remember is always, always, always endeavor to walk in love. You might think that is a hypocritical statement in light of a looming “forever friendship cut”, but love, as in agape love, is never an emotionally based decision. We have to step out of those in order to operate it. Which means, in the case of abuse, we must not allow the manipulation or the persuasion from the abuser to carry our decision. We have to do what God would do in the situation. God might give them a chance, He might say cut them loose or He might say hang in there, this is going to change. You just don’t know because you only see the five senses stuff. You also must be ready for anything God might say. (That’s a tough one I know.)

HOW DOES GOD KNOW?

God looks on the heart. The heart is a cavern of roving emotions, thoughts and motives. Sometimes it’s as black as midnight and filled with evil. He takes His loving understanding, like a candle, into that heart and shines it on what it is going on.

He might see one of these two kinds of error when He looks.

The Judgement Error

This is when a good person, and a generally obedient to God person, makes an error of judgement. King David did this in the Bible with Bathsheba. He saw her taking a bath, got excited and took action. When he was confronted by Nathan, he humbled himself and repented. (2 Samuel 11-12) David became more humble, more perceptive, and more obedient after he was confronted. That is very different from the other kind of error. At the “truth intersection” he took the humility road. It was after this point that God said David was a man after God’s own heart.

The Error of Heart

This is the kind of error that has become a habit pattern in the person’s life. When confronted, they stand at the same truth intersection but react very differently. In fact, the Bible documents a five step process they go through that leads to taking the wrong road. Tomorrow we will go over the five steps. If you see them in someone you know and love, as a habit pattern of behavior you need to go to God about it. You should note that in that person’s life God is putting up these kinds of signs. WARNING,WARNING, WARNING! CLIFF AHEAD! It starts with the small decisions/intersections, the small evasions, and the small opportunities to escape blame. Habits always start small. The opposite of humility is pride.

God Gives Chance after Chance

In either case, God gives people millions of chances to humble themselves and change the direction of where they are going. These truth intersections come along millions of times in a person’s life, even up to their very last breath. We all have a choice of which direction we take. Will we confess their error? Or will they continue on down the pride road?

In the case of you and your relationships, God knows what is going on in the heart better than anyone. You may not know why He says to change your course, but then you might be at a truth intersection yourself. Which way will you decide to go?

See you tomorrow and God bless you today!

 

Encouragement For Your Journey Today

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I read this amazing chapter in Psalms this morning and thought I’d share it with you. I added italicized words in parenthesis to help define some of the old English words.

Psalms 34

“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise [shall] continually [be] in my mouth.

2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear [thereof], and be glad.

3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard [him], and saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

8 O taste and see that the LORD [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him.

9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is] no want to them that fear him.

10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing].

11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear (reverence) of the LORD.

12 What man [is he that] desireth life, [and] loveth [many] days, that he may see good?

13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile (bitterness).

14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

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15 The eyes of the LORD [are] upon the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their cry.

16 The face of the LORD [is] against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17 [The righteous] cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

18 The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

19 Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

vs. 1-22

God Bless You Today!

1 Key To Starting Anything

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I wasn’t going to blog today.

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I have the time, but I just thought about doing something else instead. Then a question struck me, what does God want me to learn today? I always learn it faster when I write a post. I guess the secrets out. I do this for me. Haha…but you knew that.

So I grab my cup of creme’ de la creme’; which is creamer with a little coffee in it, sko-o-o-ootch up to my new office desk, sink my toes into my twice folded bath mat, I fold it twice so I can reach the floor, and then I go to work.

I pull down my worn leather Scofield Study Edition KJV and flip to my favorite verse. Okay ONE of my favorite verses. Ha. That would be impossible to choose.

Chapter 2 of second Timothy looks like a used telephone book from the old days. Yellow highlighting, running lines, circles, underlines in multiple colors, yup, this is the place.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Buried within that verse is the solution to starting any project, any blog post, any act of believing. Do you know what it is? I’ll give you a hint. There are three verbs, three actions for the workman to do.

YEP, “doing” is the key.

Just get started.

If it’s worth it, we must work for it.

So roll up your sleeves and get working.

The first thing God did when He put Adam and Eve in the Garden is put them to work tending it. The first thing Jesus Christ did after he was baptized was start working. The first thing he did after he died, was begin witnessing and working. And he is still working on our behalf. So just get doing what it is God wants you to do next. Which is, in essence, living the abundant life.

Action is the Mother, Guidance is the Father (and from the Father) and Motivation is their Baby.

I love you and now I have to go to work. ;)

God Bless You today!

 

Do You Know the Sweetest Thing About God?

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We’ve been taught from childhood that God has a large bat or maybe a lightening bolt waiting for any misstep so He can punish us. If that were the case, the devil would have already been history and Adam and Eve would have died when they only were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. But that isn’t so. God is Love, He is not just a God of Love, as I’ve heard so many times and said, God is Love. There’s a difference. In other words, He is the embodiment of love. You can’t say that an orange tree is a tree of orange. That could be interpreted in a million different ways. Like the picture below which is a tree of orange.

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GOD IS LOVE

God produces, applies and originates agape. He cannot BE anything else. He is love. The word Love, in this world, is twisted around, over-used and manipulated. It could mean many different things. In the Bible there are three different meanings and words for our one English word for love. In the Greek there’s Agape, phileo and ero’s.

  1. Agape, which could also be agapeo, means the love of God. It originates from God who relays it via our gift of holy spirit to our mind, then manifests into the senses realm. It is a spiritual love and we, as five senses physical beings, have to make a conscious decision with our mind to walk in agape towards others, God and ourselves. It is a spiritual love, which means it will know, perceive and understand one hundred times more about any situation there is. If you ever feel down, or get negative or depressed, try walking agape. You’ll be astounded as to how it takes care of your heart as well as those in the circumstance you’re applying it to.
  2. Phileo, is brotherly love. This has a quality of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Business partners, siblings, friends and family can all operate this love towards one another. It originates mostly from our emotions or hormones and physical body and then manifests through our five senses.
  3. Eros is sexual, or romantic love. It originates in our emotions or hormones and physical body and then manifests in the five senses.

Do you see the difference between these loves?

The last two originate within us. Agape originates from God. We have to reach up and ask for it from Him so we know the best way to handle situations. I forget so many times that it is a conscious question to God. I get going in my day and forget to stop and ask. God if you were me, what would you do to bless my sweet husband, child, or friend? I’m waiting for a sign, or a sensation. Agape is a spiritual love given by a spiritual being. We do not physically, by our five senses, sense it.

Over-sensationalize God’s love is one of the biggest tricks of the adversary. The devil tries to make it something we emotionally, physically or mentally feel. Do you see how that could trick someone? The devil gets us all worked up with worship music, a moving talk or emotional excitement. God says His still small voice comes in the quiet, not the storm. God asks us to stay our mind. Calm our mind. Quiet our minds. When our emotions are in control we are easily manipulated. If you don’t believe me interview some of the inmates in jail and ask them why they were motivated to commit a crime. 98% will say because they were emotionally upset, jealous, or incited to act.

One great tool of a woman or man is controlling our mind and emotions.

Control is the difference between a pro and an amateur and effectual results or patchy results. Especially when this world is designed to jam our emotional circuits full of promptings. As we age we must change the input and decide to take our input from God, not the news, not the world around us and especially not our emotions. Emotions, in my view, can’t be trusted. There is a place for them once they are trained and under control. God can move us with compassion, anger, or joy, but to let out emotions be the boss is just asking for trouble.

So what is the sweetest thing about God? When He acts or speaks, the agape causes His all-knowing love to wash over us. We can surrender to that truth with all our emotions, loves and mental prowess. Agape heals a thousand wounds in a moment, speaks the just-right words and the just-right time and manifests real eternal results.When that happens, in His perfect order and rhythm, it is impossible for our heart and emotions not to melt emotionally. When we act on what God tells us, we manifest that love to others. Others who operate by way of their five senses then “sense” something is different about you. Then they know that we are the Sons and Daughters of God.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

Go enjoy some of the sweetest moments with God because, His love is the sweetest thing about Him.

God Bless You today!

P.S.

I’m going to include the rest of Romans 8 below. As I was reading through it, I got so melted about all that God did to seperate us from the junk of this world and seal us forever with His love. If you have time and can read on with thankfulness, here ya go.

Love to you all!

 

 “15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].
26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth. 34 Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:15-39