I wanted to share this video for anyone who may be hurting and dealing with some sort of tragedy in their life. Listening to Dr. Tony Evans and his family speak about their pain so candidly is touching. It warms my heart to see their vulnerability and their strength. My prayer is that someone is helped by the words in this video.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Matthew 5:3-11 NKJV
When I think about it means to be married I think about some of the things I’ve heard people say about marriage. One of which was that marriage will either save you or make you backslide. I don’t remember who said it but I think it can be applied to any relationship.
Dealing with people we encounter many personalities which can lead to disagreements, differences of opinions and differing viewpoints. Not everyone is going to agree with what we have to say. Honestly if they did that would create another problem but we all have a choice with how we allow the disagreements, differences of opinions and differing viewpoints to change us into someone we don’t like.
Conflict at its core is not a bad thing. Sometimes conflict is necessary to bring us to the next level, whatever that may be. Conflict becomes an issue when we seek it out at all costs. Every conversation or interaction doesn’t need to turn into a heavyweight fight. Learning what to say, when to say it and where to say it can be one of the most important lessons you can learn.
I said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle while the wicked are before me.” (Psalm 39:1 NKJV)
He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. (Proverbs 13:3 NKJV)
Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires]. (James 1:19-20 AMPC)
photo credit: Thomas Hawk <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/35891523910″>War and Bible</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
You are our written epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
This scripture was referenced on the wall at a writer’s conference I recently attended. It was meant to inspire us as we sat in different workshops and it did but it also got me thinking. What kind of message are we sending to the world? Are we showing the grace & mercy that God has shown us while still speaking the truth in love? Are our actions reflective of what we believe? It’s been said that sometimes we are the only bibles someone might read. If that’s the case what story are we telling? What story are you telling?
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do no be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
What does it mean to present our bodies as a living sacrifice? For me it means having the self control to resist the things that may or may not be good for me. Or having the patience to wait for the best that God has for me. It’s not always easy and I don’t always exercise patience or self control but overall my desire is be a woman after God’s heart. A woman who wants what God wants more than what my flesh wants.
As you read over this passage take the time to pray about what it means to you. Allow God to lead you as you try and walk out being a living sacrifice and trust that when you stumble God will be there to pick you up.
I believe that God is awesome. And because I believe He is awesome I know that He can do for me what He’s done for others. And because I believe He can do for me what He’s done for others I decided long ago that I would be a cheerleader for my friends and family and support them as much as possible.
So today I am doing something a little different. I am highlighting a business that has exploded over the last few years – Granny Littles Sweet Treats.
I admit I’m a little biased because the owner and baker is my sister but ya’ll the cakes are amazing. She can make any cake you can think of and they taste out of this world. I truly don’t know how she does it because I am so not creative in the way she is creative but I am extremely proud of what she has accomplished.
She’s made everything from princess cakes, to basketball cakes, to unicorn cakes, to wedding cakes and cupcakes just to name a few. Any occasion. Any event. She’s the man…I mean lady. If you are in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area I suggest you give her a try.
photo credit: Thomas Hawk Jets via photopin (license)
Finally my brethen, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may not be able to stand against wiles of devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Over the last few days I’ve heard two different perspectives on being the baby of the family. One perspective was from the side of the older siblings. They felt that the baby of the family was spoiled because they were able to get away with anything they wanted. The other perspective was from the side of the youngest child. They felt left out because there weren’t a lot of pictures of them and they didn’t get everything their older siblings got.
They all grew up in the same family with the same parents but they both had different experiences. Why? because of their perceptions.
One of the definitions of perception is “a way of regarding, understanding or interpreting something; a mental impression.” A mental impression. Those experiences you thought were not important. Those experience you shrugged off actually helped make you who you are.
It doesn’t matter when you were born or what challenges you were born with God can still use you. David was the baby of his family and he ended up being king. Moses stuttered and he was chosen to be God’s voice of freedom. Abraham and Sara were way past being able to have a child but God picked them to be parents to the child of promise.
Never underestimate how God can use the things that have been imprinted on you. Don’t let the perception of what you went through cloud God’s perception of who you were meant to be.
I was listening to a podcast recently where they were speaking about keeping God’s word close to you. The host mentioned that she has key scriptures referenced in her bible but her bible isn’t always with her. She said it never occurred to her to keep those key scriptures in the notes section on her phone.
Ok. Can I tell you that until she said that I didn’t think about that either? That statement was a mind-blowing statement for me. You know, the kinds of statements that are so simple but we make them difficult? How many other things have we seen or heard that on the face of them are ridiculously simple but we make them way to hard?
It’s like those V8 moments. Or when you finally get the joke that everyone else has gotten. Or when you’re dancing and you finally find the beat. Honestly how simple could it be. Our phones have become so much a part of who we are that it would only make sense for us to put those scriptures that have helped us in difficult times within reach.
So, my goal for today is to put at least one important scripture in the notes on my phone as a reference when I’m stressed, or angry, or feeling blah, or when I want to get close to the Lord.
There are many days when I don’t feel like praising God. Not because He’s not good but because I’m too focused on my problems. God’s word didn’t say we should praise Him only when we feel like it; His word says we should praise Him no matter what the circumstances or how we feel. When we praise Him even if we don’t feel like it our focus changes from our situation to our savior.
And inevitably we begin to feel like praising and then we can’t stop praising and then our lives become a testimony and then He is glorified. Praise His name in season and out of season. Praise Him when times are good. Praise Him when times are bad. Praise Him at all times and in the words of my Pastor “all means all”. Not sometimes. Not when I feel like it. But All!!!!
I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually by in my mouth. (Psalms 34:1 NKJV)
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in the heavens of His power! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to the abundance of His greatness! [Deut. 3:24; Ps. 145:5-6] Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with tambourine and [single or group] dance; Praise Him with stringed and wind instruments or flutes! Praise Him with resounding cymbals; Praise Him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! [Hallelujah!] (Psalms 150 AMPC)
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If any serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:11 NIV)