Sunday, June 24, 2012

Act or React?

The true test of walking in the Spirit will not be the way we act, but the way we react to the daily frustrations of life.

~~Beverly LaHaye

Do you ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right or the way you planned? Unexpected problems, interruptions, and delays keep cropping up and testing your patience until it finally reaches a point of frenzy and hysteria! There are days when I feel like I have been “victimized” by a series of interruptions that are beyond my control, and if you’re like me, you can easily become irritated, exasperated, and frustrated with these unwelcomed distractions, and react to the situations with impatience and irritation.

.....Frustrated, anxious, angry, nervous, annoyed, distracted, overwhelmed, worn out…..

How are these feelings and your reactions affecting and influencing your behavior and how you feel???

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

Delays, distractions, and interruptions: those pesky irritations like a traffic jam, a long line at the check-out, a ringing telephone, an employee breaking your train of thought, etc., can pop up when you are least expecting them. Life in general seems designed some days to test our ability to deal with frustration, and we have a choice on how we respond and react to these aggravations. Frustration can lead to a poor and rash response and can cause us to be impatient with others and snap at them; treating them in “not so nice” ways. But how does God want us to react and respond to these interruptions that affect our schedules and patience?

"What we must do is to stop regarding unpleasant or unexpected things as interruptions of real life. The truth is that interruptions are real life, the real life that God sends us day by day. What we call our real life is but a phantom of our imagination." (C.S Lewis)

Perhaps God puts these frustrations and delays in our lives for a reason; they don’t have to be viewed as something that is taking away from our day, but rather opportunities that God is adding to our lives. Trials are His way of perfecting our patience and character. Interruptions are a real part of our life, and it takes constant prayer and awareness to behave well rather than react badly when facing an unwanted interruption in our schedule. We need to practice dealing with disruptions in a Godly way as they actually rise to meet us and pause before responding impatiently (which only leads to more stress, anger, and frustration!) We have the Lord’s strength to respond with patience, and we have a responsibility to react with complete trust, as He would have us react.

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)

Linking up this week with Joan at The Beauty in His Grip

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Missing Pieces

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!” (Psalm 34:18-20)

Have you ever tried putting a puzzle together, only to get to the end and discover that a piece was missing? It makes a big difference because the picture is incomplete! I will find myself searching and searching for the missing piece, only to become frustrated and give up. That’s how our life can be sometimes, it can feel like a pile of scattered puzzle pieces, and even when we try and try to put it back together again, it seems like there is always a piece of the puzzle missing. I know when I feel broken or scattered I’m not content, and I want to be ‘put back together’ again, to be whole again. Have you ever felt like you couldn’t get the puzzle of your life together? Is there always one piece missing? Our life is a work in progress always trying to complete a puzzle of mismatched pieces and always unfinished…until …we take hold of faith and keep Christ in the middle of our mismatched puzzle pieces; this is how the puzzle fits together perfectly!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)

When missing pieces exist in our hearts, we feel incomplete and we are always searching and looking for more. But the truth is; there is a peace that comes only from God who puts all the pieces together to make our lives what they are supposed to be. In the middle of all the puzzling storms of life He gives peace when we keep our mind on Him. We have to remember that we cannot find the pieces alone, and that we need to be patient and wait on the Lord, trusting that His perfect timing is the best. He is waiting and willing to help us find the missing pieces, and rejoices when we seek Him and believe in His plan to reshape and redeem us.   

We might feel that there are so many scattered pieces and fragments of our lives that can’t be put back together, but God knows what is heavy on our hearts, and cares very much about the things that cause us to be broken and hurting. God can keep us together, and if we allow Him, He will ‘put us back together’ again as something even better and more beautiful than before! 

Sharing His Beauty with Joan today at The Beauty In His Grip, and Wendy on Scripture Sunday at Each Card Tells a Story

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Vitamins For The Soul

"Don't lose sight of my words.  Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning" (Prov. 4:21-22).

We all want to enjoy good health, and people who regularly take vitamins do so because (like me!) they have been told that they will have a beneficial effect on their physical health and well-being. We have this one body, and we want to keep it strong and healthy, so we take our vitamins.

There are many benefits for taking our daily vitamins…

·         They keep our bodies healthy and our immune systems strong...

·         They help fill in the nutrients that we may not get every day...

·         Vitamins can help with weight loss and to control Diabetes...

·         Certain vitamins help with memory and make your bones stronger...

·         Vitamins can lower your risk for cancer and heart attacks...

Likewise on a day to day basis we ought to have a daily intake of the Word to feed our soul and provide the supplement that is necessary for strength, direction, and life skills. In order to serve God we need to keep our minds and hearts as healthy as we can. The Bible is loaded with healthy and nourishing tips to keep us disciplined and make us fit both today and forever.  

“That He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

A daily dose of God’s Word will…

·         Strengthen and exercise our faith...

·         Help us to avoid anger, anxiety, and depression...

·         Give us wisdom and knowledge to make us grow...

·         Provide joy and peace and comfort us in our sorrows...

·         Equip us for our tasks and every good work...

In the midst of our busy lives it is sometimes hard to stay spiritually healthy, and we need some discipline to stay on track. God’s Word keeps us focused, and is guaranteed to keep us healthier in mind, body, and spirit. God is definitely concerned about our physical well-being and gives us guidelines through His Word that when applied, can affect our spiritual health. We must feed on God’s Word daily if we want to nourish ourselves spiritually. Our good spiritual health is even more important than our physical health because eventually our physical bodies will die, however our spirits will one day live in eternity! A disciplined life in God will make us fit both today and forever, so we must remember to take our “daily dose” of His Word because our spiritual health depends on it!

“For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Linking up this week with Wendy for "Sunday Scripture", and Joan with "The Beauty in His Grip"

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dare to Change

“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.”

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2 NIV)

Making a change requires a giant leap of faith, and many people fear that they lack what it takes to make that change; taking that leap of faith is risky! When situations and circumstances are working in your life, why fix them, right? Why get out of your comfort zone? We typically have a fear of the unknown and we avoid what we fear. Many of us will come up with all sorts of reasons why it will never work, and besides, we won’t get the results we expected. But we need to commit ourselves and work on it anyway, because “when you are through changing, you are through” (Bruce Barton).  I think we are all aware of things in our life that need to be refined, whether it is a change in attitude, behavior, or work condition. The healthiest and most content people are those who are aware of where they fall short and are able to come to God in truth and humility and believe in His ability to change us.  A favorite story of mine is in the bible in the book of Acts where God changed the life of one of the most cruel and immoral Christian haters into one of His most useful and virtuous servants. What a wonderful demonstration of God’s power! And He can do the same in our own lives; it is His continuing grace that can change and transform us. Change is too hard when you try to do it without Him!

"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galations 2:20 ~NLT)

I believe that God loves me just the way I am, but He refuses to leave me that way and not grow! And if I am going to choose to invest my time and energy to make and accept a change, I want to make it a positive and meaningful one that will bring richness and value into my life. God wants to make all of us into a better and more holy people, both on the inside and the outside. He will bring change into our lives through His amazing love and in His own time and way and we must fight the urge to resist it. If we are going to grow in our walk, we must be willing to invite and allow change in our lives. We must manage and respond to change so that it will work for us, not against us. Life changes because we are part of it, and we can always make it change for the better.

“The healthiest people are those who are aware of where they fall short, and choose to believe in His love and His ability to change us”. (Unknown)

Linking up with Wendy on Scripture Sunday and Joan on The Beauty in His Grip

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