A little thought to carry you through you day. May you have a great start to the week.
A little thought to carry you through you day. May you have a great start to the week.
As I am getting older, my daughter tells me my stubborn streak is getting stronger. Do you consider yourself a stubborn individual? I think all of us are stubborn to some extent, we have limits we will not cross at any cost. As we start to age, some of those limits get hung onto harder for fear we lose something if we give in….like physical abilities, independence, self worth…and the list goes on. It’s hard sometimes especially if you still have things you are trying to get accomplished.
The Bible teach us many lessons of how to properly love on this earth and treat each other but sometimes, although we understand the stories, we often miss the point. Jesus was the greatest teacher ever, teaching us about the kingdom of God through his stories and parables. Some we have dedicated to memory because we have taken them to heart. But sometimes we miss the best teaching of Jesus…His loving example. The way he lived was the best example to show us how to be. And there are days when our humanness crushes that example, like today. Today…Gladys came forth. Gladys was my mother and bigger than life itself sometimes.
My family is loving, generous, respected and by all standards good people…but Christ is not at its center. And it makes an astounding difference regardless of how good you try to by yourself. If you had ever heard of the intensity, strength or “Don’t you dare” attitude of women from the southern US, I will be the first to tell you its a real thing. And while we now laugh about some of the stories and examples we were shown, I cringe from some of the borderline meanness I witnessed due to the misunderstand of who Christ was and what he really asks of us. When Christ was here, he knew what people had faced and what generations later would still face so he left us parables to help guide us along the way to a true and gentle heart. Matthew 13 tells the parable of the sower and the soils as an example of receiving the words from God.
As we go and grow through our lives, it is important to establish our center love “Rock” so that we can stand firm and radiate the love of Christ in all we do. Do we fall off that rock, yes, daily sometimes, but with Christ, we know how to get back on top.
Across the internet, there is a group called RAK, which stand for Random Acts of Kindness that promotes millions of ways to show kindness to others. For those of us who are Christ followers, we know that kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit. I love this picture from Beth Moore about Kindness…
Tonight I am posting an evening encouragement in the form of a reflection with a few of the Psalms written by David and others where they poured out their hearts in writings and songs with love to God. On nights when I can’t seem to sleep, I will turn to this book and just breathe in His peace and encouragement of the Psalms. This is just an example of the consistent love God has for us. In reality, this post could be really long as there are lots of good encouragement in the Psalms but I will pick out a few we don’t read as often and maybe sometime later, I will do it again. Tonight I will start at Psalm 1 and go onward. Enjoy and be encouraged. I took these pictures from christian websites.
Good morning friends. Today’s encouragement is straight from 2 Peter and reflects why I share what I read in the morning with you. We as Christians all understand who Jesus was, what the bible is but it does our hearts good to read the messages in His word and to share them with others to help us all feel the peace and love of God. The last section of chapter 1 in 2 Peter reminds us of the prophecy of scripture and these three pictures remind us of the core of His truths which allow us to stand firm on His word knowing the words bring us peace.
And even though we have not seen Him in the flesh, we have felt Him in our hearts and in the works He has done around us as He shows us He is always there.
So we must stay tight in His teachings so that we understand the directions He gives each of us individually to help encourage fellow believers and to show our light to others in hopes to help bring them closer to Him.
So I remind you to stay enriched by His words and share your light with others who need to hear it. Have a wonderful day and remember to always be kind.
The practice of lent goes back to the 4th century, 325 actually, so no, it is not mentioned in the bible…but…(don’t you just love(sarcastically) a but when someone seems to agree with you and then turns a corner)…the practices spoken of with lent are scriptural, just not called lent. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter. Why 40 days? It symbolizes Jesus fasting in the desert to prepare him for saving us. So now people associate lent with fasting from food.
From what I can surmise, in 325, Emperor Constantine and the Nicaea Church held the first Church council and created the Nicene Christian Traditions which is based on Christian ideology. And Lent was part of those traditions. In the 5th century the church ideology split, then it split again in the 11th century with the catholic church, then again in the 16th century with the Protestant reformation. I say all that historical gibberish to show how different we all do God, Jesus and church. It doesn’t make us right or wrong in how we do it as long as we truly follow scripture. To me you can boil down religion into two questions – Who Is God & Jesus to you and what are you going to do with that belief and information. The way you prioritize that information is the reflection of your heart.
If you look at lent’s true purpose, it is an inward reflection of your Christian ways. What am I doing that has become 1st in my life instead of Christ being 1st in my life. The second chapter of Joel explains how desperate the Israelites were. They had turned from God (which is a repeat pattern even with us today) and God allowed them to suffer to try to get their attention. A plague of locust has destroyed everything and they were literally starving. Vs. 12-13 says Even now, declare the LORD, return to me with all of your heart…Rend your hearts and return to the Lord your God.
Lent is a 40 day true inward reflection with fasting to get you back on track with God and Jesus. It does not have to be a food fast. It can be anything that you do a lot and when you reach for that food, item of entertainment or whatever you chose to fast from and it is temporarily gone, your focus can then turn to God and why you chose that item to fast from for 40 days. And hard inward reflection. Me, I am choosing emotional fasting from the list below. I have tried food fasting but with health issues, its just not practical – I am watching the clock too much and missing the whole point of why I am fasting.
The biggest thing I need to turn from with inward reflection comes from my mouth. I found a list online from a pastor and I revised it to better fit me and what I want my goals to be so that I can be a better reflection of Christ.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Its official name is ‘Day of Ashes’ so called because of the practice of rubbing ashes on one’s forehead in the form of a cross.
Jesus prepared for his mission of saving us by spending 40 days of fasting in the desert. Let us honor Him by fasting for 40 days in preparation for Easter by giving up all forms of negativity and turn our hearts toward the love of Christ by reflecting His positive beauty of hope.
So even though my church does not practice lent, that does not mean I can not have an inward look at how I am showing my Christian beliefs and see if I need some fine tuning. We should always look for ways of improving our spiritual selves. The practice of ashes on the forehead in the form of a cross reflects of the bible speaking of from dust we are made and to dust we will return. That is a message of truth for our bodies…BUT..our hearts, our mind and our souls – that’s what we have to rend to God because that is what lives forever to those who love God.
And the first item on the list is Be Kind…
I enjoy sharing the peace I feel when studying Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. She has a wonderful way in telling God’s story that really connects with me each morning to help me get ready for the day. Today she reminds us of the peace we have in Christ.
Come to Me and rest in my peace. My face is shining upon you in rays of peace. What a wonderful way to start the day realizing and feeling his peace envelope us as we begin the challenges of the day. We all have challenges, some small some large. So lean on Christ and let his peace comfort and shine all around you.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and cause his face to shine upon us. Psalm 67:1
Make your face shine upon your servant; save me by your loving devotion. Psalm 31:16
My personal favorite – The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. Numbers 6:25
As Philippians say in 4:7, May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I hope this day brings you the brightest of His light and the comfort of His peace. And as stated often in scripture, greet each other in love and kindness and reflect the love of Christ.
As our feet sweep from the bed and hit the floor, our minds begin racing to deal with our task or worries for the day.
If we would be still and quiet just for a moment and and feel His presence,we would also feel His joy. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us that “the Joy of the Lord is your strength.” And this strength can help you deal with all of those worries and tasks. Isaiah 42:6 reminds us he is always beside us “I will take hold of your hand”. Remember how comforting it was when your mom or dad held your hand, well our father in heaven always has our hand, we just have to believe it and trust it.
Sarah Young’s devotion in Jesus Calling today reminds us of the joy of God’s strength. “I, the God of hope, fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Me, so that you may bubble over with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
So, bubble over with joy and happiness today as you feel His strength to carry you through anything you may face.
Bubbling joy makes you smile, smiling makes you kind, so let your joy spill on others today and be kind.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of God. Eph. 3:17-19
In my devotion today, it reminded me just how much God loves us and just how much the father of lies deceives us in making us forget that love or not believing we deserve that love.
Resist the devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Draw near to Me and My presence will envelop you in Love.
Always remember God is Love and that he has a hand of love reaching down to you at all times. For while you may feel like you are drowning, reach up to His loving hand and hold on.
As you soak up this Love, remember to share it with others as He asks us to and to always be kind.