It’s been awhile since I posted last and I’m happy to say, I haven’t been gone forever, just busy. Today, I’d like to invite you to join us. We’ll be doing our first 8 week Bible study/workshop on the “5 Basics for Growth” Book. As I’ve been preparing for this workshop setting, I realised that each chapter touches on a subject in a very simple way that could be studied in far more depth. We are going to have so much fun, and don’t worry there’s not a ton of homework, just a ton of learning. Here is a video commercial that I hope you’ll all share on your social media pages.
At some point in your life you hear this phrase. “Tough times build your character.”
Then you think, “Okay, I have enough character!”
God promised us the more abundant life. Should that be enough to set us on the right track? After twenty some years studying the Word and bumbling through mistake after mistake myself, I’ve narrowed it down to three possible ways a person can fall on hard times, and but there’s only one way to prosper.
We Get Hit With Temptations or Pressures by the Devil and Fall into Hard Times.
Our bodies and minds are very frail sometimes. We get tricked into thinking something is a good way to react to a pressure, or temptation and YAMMOAHH we are down for the count. Diseases, sickness, pleasures and temptations come crashing in and we are tossed around like a rag doll.
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” Ephesians 4:14
I had a time in my life in my late teens, early twenties when I’d go party with my friends. After a few beers you forget which one is the designated driver and things went down hill fast. This lifestyle can be a habit. Habits are hard to break. We can make a habit out of having hard times, but it really bites.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
In the end, the wages of sin is death. This is a principle. Death as in “corrosion”. It corrodes our heart, our mind, our life, our finances and our motivation. Life on this rock without abundance, blessings upon blessings and the wealth of understanding or growth that comes from getting God’s wisdom and input. The next way is…
We’ve heard the Word, but not enough to Believe on It
God has done a really huge thing for us. He gave us salvation but then he also asks us to renew our mind. God never does anything for us that He asked us to do for ourselves. It is on us to search out His wisdom. It is on us to learn His ways, His Word and His Will. He never forces it on us. It’s a personal choice to seek God and His truth.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16
What I’ve seen people do is this. God exposes them to a better way to live their life, a smoother way to operate or a “correction”. Some of you who are sensitive to these little corrections catch on quicker, but some of us slow ones need a few reminders. Let’s take these quick verses as an example.
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;” Ephesians 5:1
The word followers is the Greek word “mimētēs” which means to mimick. So we are supposed to love like God loves, act like God acts. How do we find that out?
We go over to 1 Corinthians 13. This probably the most memorized and read section of scripture in the whole world. Keep in mind that God is LOVE.
“Charity (Love or Agape) suffereth long, and is kind; charity (love) envieth not; charity (Love) vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh (calculates and records) no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This is a list of 15 characteristics of the love of God. God who is love is always longsuffering and kind. It or rather, God, is not easily provoked, nor does He calculate and record all our evil against us. If this is how He acts and we are supposed to be imitators of Him, it stands to reason that we should learn everything we can about these characteristics and try to incorporate them into our life.
When we know how we are supposed to act, but don’t do it. That’s on us. So we have to keep working on us. And really what would it hurt to work hard and do it? It’s not like we have to bleed and die on a cross or anything. Jesus Christ already did the hard part. We have the easy part! Lol…
Those kind of hard times make our prayer life a hit miss target practice. Our results are patchy and there are looming problems on the horizon.
The third way and the most dangerous way to mess up is…
We’ve heard enough of the Truth to believe, but choose not.
“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” Matthew 10:33
God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t judge based on what our status is at church or how long we’ve been a deacon. He sees if we have fulfilled the conditions of the promises in His Word. Of course there is mercy and grace by the tons. But when our actions are deliberate, conscious and against truth, we have tied His hands of blessing.
Reproof is the correction of error that has become a habit pattern or a doctrine in our lives.
Here’s the facts, we can’t possibly know everything about God. Either He is all-knowing and all-wise, or He isn’t and He fits in our man-made boxes of religion. I was told once that it takes a huge amount of spiritual maturity just to believe that God is good always. Ha! Imagine that one for starters. God is ALWAYS good. If that is true, we can’t blame Him for all the sickness and death in the world, we have to blame someone else.
There is only one right way to prosper, to seek Him.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
Seek and keep seeking. I know now that I have a long way to go before I get there. I’m always adjusting. In fact, just this morning I asked God who I need to apologize to and change my attitude towards. THERE was a LIST! Ha!
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
I think that’s why humility is such a big deal to God.
On that note, God bless you today!
It was a wild work weekend. I had so much to do and handle that I’m wondering what happened to it. Anyways, I’m so glad I’m back. I missed you!
I needed a little tune to get my heart softened, loved and blessed this morning, so I thought I’d share. 🙂
Sometimes when you’re sitting all alone, you need to know you’re special.
My son asked me this weekend, “Mom, why am I so special?”
I thought for a moment and was about to tell him that he is a rare combination of genes and DNA that makes him unique and special. More than any other kid alive.
He interrupted me and said, “Do you want me to tell you why?”
I replied, “Well sure! Why don’t you tell me why.”
“My pure heart.” He looked at me and then smiled. I knew at that moment, God had told him that truth. How could I argue with it? I can’t and didn’t. Ha! Out of the mouth of babes!
Do you know why YOU are special? Well, let me tell you. It’s your pure heart. You love God, like no one else in the world could. You do it with all your unique blends of heart, soul, mind and strength.
“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” 1 Peter 1:22
God Bless You Today!
“I’m a jerk with a Bible.” Shannon thought about the man, as she drove by his booming mega-phone of doom on the corner of the busiest street in town. He patted the air with gruesome pictures celebrating the death of Jesus Christ as he spoke. She shrugged down in her seat and tried to avoid his eyes. “Now, I’m the jerk…” she realized.
Christianity is our can of worms, we’re allowed to kick it once and awhile right?
How many times between Romans and Thessalonians did you find a single random guy out on a street shouting at bystanders? No! They held their meetings in an orderly fashion in a synagogue or school or home fellowship, even sometimes by a park, or by the river. There are always people around, why not learn how to be in the people business? Why not help them where and when they are in their life. Shout at someone once and see just how defensive they get. Do they come closer or do they run away? So if you are trying to push people away…hey…wait a second. That’s probably what these street preachers want. They want to push people away and around.
They also give Christians a bad rap. This almost sounds like a war tactic. If I were the adversary, I think I’d use this kind of media delivery system to offend people. Make them feel guilty and horrible about their walk. What’s the profit? What are people going to take away from that action? If they end up feeling sad, depressed, lonely and rotten. Which is nothing like the take-away from the one true God.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”1 John 1:5
Why not take that light around and let it shine on its own.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13
God works in us, not through us. He never possess us or takes over our freewill. He gave us freewill, why would He then take it back? No, that’s the devil, he possess people. Never God. So if God works in us, then we have to make the conscious decision to commit to Him. We’re not on a ride along. We have to be in control of our own mind, life and heart.
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Ephesians 4:23-24
So how should we speak the Word to people?
Take God with you! Go to work, school and dinner. Let the joy of God show on your face then stick out your hand and say, “Hi.” God is in the people business! He loves people! Let God work within you in situations you face. God is a big boy, He knows how to get a hold of you. All you have to do is put on your listening ears and have a heart to bless people where ever you go. We walk in the light, so walk in it. Be positive. Be bold and outgoing but also kind and loving.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
Own it baby!
A business acquaintance of mine asked me how life was going yesterday. I told him, as usual, things are going awesome and I’m excited about life. His comment back was,
“Ya know, you are scary sometimes Terri. Or you just have a really great attitude.” he chuckled and I smiled and cocked an eyebrow then replied.
“God gave us a great life. I’m just real thankful for it.”
It was a great opportunity to speak the Word. Maybe he’ll think about that, maybe not but we were given the light and love of God. Why not walk around in it?
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Colossians 1:12-13
“Hath translated,” is past tense.
We live here and now. Why not live and walk and talk in the light!? Why not edify people? Why not help them walk in it too, one by one?
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
God bless you today!
Friends are special. In my last post, we talked about koinonia, the full sharing kind of friendship. Koinonia is not safe to have with everyone. In fact, if you have one person in your life you can fully koinonia with, you are blessed. If you have more, you are spoiled! Koinonia is like the Rolls Royce of friendships. It has to be built over time and it is very rare. The world throws “best friend” around trying to describe it, but really, to really see incredible closeness and honesty, you have to do it God’s way. He did after all design it godly friendship.
Here are the five ingredients to koinonia and amazing friendships.
- “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship (koinonia) hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14. This verse is written to the Church of God. And is a very strong warning about who you koinonia with or fully share your heart with. Be picky. Your heart is a very special and fought over thing. The devil, if given the chance, would break it and break it and break it until there was nothing left. Make sure when you fully share your heart with someone, first that someone is trust worthy and a like-minded believer. Wearing your heart on your sleeve has never been a good idea.
- Stick to the Light. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship (koinonia) one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. Find a group of fellow believers who you can be real with. Who will take you back to the Word of God when you feel off your game. People who love and support you. That may only be a small group, but find them. If you are looking for a group that meets like that I suggest trying our Supporting Godly Women meetings, every Wednesday night. Friend me on Facebook and then sign up for notifications if you don’t live in Billings, MT. We send out a link to join us online, every week. We’d love to have you. Our meeting is about learning God’s Word, and loving each other.
- Work it out. Two people who come with millions of dissimilar thoughts, experiences, personalities and goals can live and grow up in the same family. All those nuances and differences don’t have to be a stumbling block. They can, instead, build on you as a person, because you can learn from them and they you. When these differences erupt into a disagreement, work it out. “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Eph. 4:26. Hang in there until it’s fixed. Communication is the key to great relationships. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29. Great communication, leads to great friendships. But there has to be boundaries and rules. If I know I’m going to call my friend and all she’s going to do is criticize how I’ve handled my life and affairs, I’m going to distance myself, and vice versa. You can’t always be 100% the cheerleader, but that’s where the Word comes in. Even if it corrects us, it edifies us. There has to be room for that in any friendship.
- These next two are usually missing from Christian friendships. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32. It’s so easy to let an old wound grow into bitterness than doesn’t get taken care of. Then, after a while, the friendship fades. Tender-hearted and kindly reaching out to bless a heart whether they appreciate it or not, heals even the deepest wounds.
- Make agape’ your standard. Agape is loving with the conscious decision to do, say or act the way God wants you to act. This includes adjusting your expectations. Ask God what you should expect from a friendship then re-adjust to what He says. Some people are really sentimental and supportive, others are not. If we know that ahead of time we can bless them just the way they need to be and love them up like God does. Agape’ is the true indicator of koinonia. And God is the most like-minded friend we could ever want to know. He gave us the gift of Holy Spirit so we could manifest His love in our friendships. Koinonia is only listed for the church of God. Never is it listed before the day of Pentecost, nor after the resurrection. It is a special administration just for this period of time. It can only be done with the access we now have as children of God. Learn what the characteristics of agape are. Agape means, The Love of God, in the renewed mind, IN manifestation. What better place to practice this then on our friends. It is a spiritual love, not an emotional human one. Which means checking in with God and learning what to pray for, or what to say, is exactly the best thing for each friendship you have.
I hope these bless you today. I know my friendships all mean a lot to me. Yours too. Koinonia is worth fighting for. It is the premier of all relationships. Strive to find someone today who you can have full sharing with. IF you don’t have anyone you always have God, who loves you like no one else could.
God bless you today!
Did you know that some buildings do not have foundations? Usually, they are called mobile homes. They are not held to the earth or supported by the ground with cement, unless you purposely add those on. On the other hand, sky-scrapers need their foundations many floors deep underground. The construction of the foundation alone takes half the time in the building of the structure. The bigger the building, the deeper the foundation must go.
How much foundation do we need in our lives? What should it be made of?
“47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great” Luke 6:47-49
The Word of God is our foundation, but not just in hearing it, we have to do it.
Our lifestyle is our choosing. Since the Word always produces results and all else produces consequences we can choose where to build our life and our foundation. We decide how much the Word lives in us. We decide every day how much results we want.
God bless you today!
I love this one. Here’s something a little different. I challenge you to go to God and ask Him what funny thing to do, say or bless someone with. Ha! You’re going to be amazed and, guess what, you’ll be using one of two things, that gift of holy spirit or your gift for bat crap crazy. Either way, hahahaha!
Have fun today!