Compassion Encouragement

Happy Saturday Friends. I want to share some encouragement with you as we all need encouraging from time to time. Today I want us to think about how encouraging compassion can be for those who receive it as well as those who give it. It is a key component I believe of Christians, yet those who don’t really know Christ have the ability to have compassion as well. It is a gift from God.  I saw a video this morning that showed true care and compassion towards animals. For encouragement to our church family, my pastor’s has a daily devotion online since some are still on lockdown. This week he has been going through creation and how as creation was done, it was methodical. Each part of creation was essential to the next part of creation. For example the sun, moon and stars were created before much else was to establish the ability to mark time, and to give us light – a separation from all darkness. Plant life, which needed the light that was earlier created, was then created to sustain life that came after it as food supply and for the air we breathe. We breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, plant life breathes in carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen. It is all important for survival. We support each other. And later animals were created right before man and man was created to care for the animals. Of course that changed with the fall but the intent was care, compassion…and mutual love.

While Genesis 1:26 reminds us that we have dominion over animals, Proverbs 12:10 reminds us to do it with compassion.

I am always encouraged when I see people going above and beyond in caring for animals who find themselves in a no win situation. The video below shows the compassion of a group of men who found a dolphin that had been washed up by Hurricane Laura landing the dolphin in a pond 9 miles away from the ocean. They came together to safely capture the dolphin and take it back to the ocean. It was most encouraging.


https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/video/hurricane-lauras-storm-surge-traps-bottlenose-dolphin-miles-from-the-ocean

God made us all with compassionate hearts towards His creation, not only to the nature side but also to the human side. Where would any of us be without the compassion from others. WE all have struggles. The definition of compassion is a strong deep feeling of sympathy and sorrow for anyone or any creature who is hurting in any fashion. Jesus is our greatest example for us to learn by, as He was compassion for us and taught us how to have compassion and use it to further His kingdom.

When we think of the compassion God always has towards us, we should embody that compassion for others. We should always be on the alert to share His love in any encounter we may face. We all know many friends or family members right now who are fighting health issues, hurting emotionally, scared, wondering what’s next and we should always be ready to reach out to all of them to let them know we are here ready to help in any way we can and that we are to fervently pray for them. Tonight, I lift my heart out to all who are hurting in any way and hope this prayer below brings you a  moment of encouraging peace and compassion. 

And as sad or hopeless you may feel, know there is always kindness out there for you to receive and share wherever you can. Sometimes it needs to start from you first and then blossom to a beauty you didn’t know existed.

What Defines Us

We are defined not by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens to us.

In a Oswald Chambers’ devotion, he made a statement that I knew but he shed a different light on it that I had not thought about before now.

“Our Lord’s temptations and ours are in different realms until we are born again and become His brothers. The temptations of Jesus are not those of a mere man, but the temptations of God as Man.” Oswald Chambers  

When I look at it that way it makes me go – WOW. Temptation to me is an inner draw toward something we think we need but know in the end, if we really think about it, it will not be good for us.  It’s a trial, as it were, of free will in being faithful or unfaithful in a choice that affects you and possibly others. But James 1:13-18 reminds us that while temptations give into sin and sin gives birth to death, God’s perfect gift from above still shows how much he loves us…even when we fail.

But the statement that Oswald made that made a lightbulb come for me was this…

“satan does not tempt us just to make us do wrong things— he tempts us to make us lose what God has put into us through regeneration, namely, the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil.” Oswald Chambers

But we can take courage in whatever we face because of what Jesus did for us on the cross…  

WE just have to remember that and stand firm…knowing at times we will fail…but God also knew we would fail, yet still He gave us a chance for eternal life.

It reminds me of the TV show years ago called Mission Impossible and the opening statement of each show saying – “If you choose to accept this mission”. Following Christ to me is very much a mission and we are in a mission field. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose but we are always loved…and saved. So come on everyone…

Sing praises to Him who Gives us HIS grace and let that be what defines you.

And he does not care if you can sing or not, it’s all joyful noise to Him.

Ans as always we close with reminders of Kindness. Kindness definitely defines who you are by how you react, so be kind.

The images I use are random pictures from the internet when I type in scripture verses or themes.

From Frustration to Kindness

God reminded me today to “Sit – Breathe – Relax – Love – Be Kind”. We all have those days when someone just pushes all the wrong buttons. I don’t have those days often but they usually come about when someone…rather when I feel someone is being …no  I am not going to say that word… so I will say when someone does not use the intelligence you know they have. And when that someone is someone in your family…well family is different and can be more frustrating because you know exactly how they operate. But then I think about how I frustrate God and He definitely knows exactly how I operate. I am sure He does a lot of Sit – Breathe…well, you get the idea.

He teaches us how to treat others in any capacity that we encounter them, then He reminds us through the lessons of the Fruit of the Spirit how people need to be treated. If we are given a choice of being intellectually right versus allowing our heart to show kindness in how we behave…then being kind should always win out over being right.  And like my Pastor said in the bible study on Wednesday, it’s the trials and situations that we face that strengthens us so we can survive and hopefully bring others along with us who are watching us and how we behave and then they want to survive as well because with all the frustration we were still kind.

It is through His grace that we are saved and while we ourselves can not save anyone…we can show the benefits of God’s love and salvation by being kind, loving and supportive. As we are currently going through odd and difficult times, allow His strength to cover any weakness you feel as you breathe in His love. Then you can breathe out His grace for you and others around you. And together, you and God, will have all the strength you need for any situation.

I leave you with a little humor…that says a lot. Have a great evening and new day tomorrow.

Encouragement, All He said was “Come”

Good evening. I hope this finds you all well. I wanted to share some encouraging thoughts this evening that I read this morning from Oswald’s Chambers’ Utmost for His Highest. I bounce between that devotion and Jesus Calling each morning searching for my morning jump-start. This devotion reminded me of Jesus’ simple request to us…”Come”.
matt 11 28
 
“God intends for us to live a well-rounded life in Christ Jesus, but there are times when that life is attacked from the outside. Yet it is never God’s intention that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him.” Oswald Chambers
 
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But when life erupts on us we get scared, lost or unsure of what to do, who we really are and what we are really worth and we start a self examination of self awareness. This is a dangerous practice that allows the door of doubt to open and our inner thoughts take over.
“Anything that disturbs our rest in Him must be rectified at once, and it is not rectified by being ignored but only by coming to Jesus Christ. This [practice of self awareness] only serves to sap your strength and slow your spiritual growth.” Oswald Chambers
 
Coming to Jesus is what nurtures us and gives us strength. 
 
John 7 37 38
When we are refreshed through His living waters we then can stand firm…we then can remind others of His living water. We need to forget sometimes that we are adults and that we think we control things. There are times we need to come to Jesus like small children and let Him carry us. After all, we are His children.
 
Mark 10 14
 
We all know this in our hearts but sometimes our mind gets in the way. We have to allow Him to teach us His ways and let Him guide us along the path of His choice.
 
Psalm 32 8
 
As we “COME” to Him, lean on Him, learn from Him, we can then allow our hearts to prove to our minds of the love, grace and mercy God has for us and find peace and comfort to stand strong.
 
Hebrews 4 16
 
I pray you find comfort from these chaotic times by feeling His presence. I leave you with this prayer of encouragement so that you can know you are cherished and loved in His shelter.
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Evening Encouragement, Special

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.

I especially loved my pastor’s sermon on Sunday. He reminded us that we have to periodically regroup – even in our spiritual life.  Stop and focus on Him, Receive the blessing he daily gives,  and Believe he is always there for you. The hardest sometimes is to Stop…and then to believe…
The pressure we sometimes put on ourselves in trying to be the best…that “golden vessel” on this earth is not really what God is looking for. I saw a quote the other day that kind of puts this into perspective at least for me it does. 
 
“God is not looking for gold or silver vessels. He is looking for yielded vessels.” Kathryn Kuhlman, 1907-1976
 
Yeilding
 
Genesis tells us we are made of dust of the ground…that’s dirt. Not impressive at all, yet when He touches it, magic happens…
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We all have made things in our lives through the many things we do and we are proud of some of those things. Think how proud God is of you, His child. You are His creation. He is not asking for big things from you, just be yielding like wet clay and let Him mold you as His instrument…
Romans 6 13
Not an easy task per the world’s standards…but to God, it’s all he wants. Then he will take care of the rest.
Always remember how very special you are.
Psalm 139 14
I leave you with an oldie but goodie by Chonda Pierce, Potter’s Hand.
Have a blessed evening and always remember in everything you do…be kind.
kind right 2

Evening Encouragement, “WHY”

Good evening friends. I wanted to share with you something that I did not come up with by myself but was inspired by two fellow bloggers. These are their pictures, quotes that moved them and then I am adding my perspective to that. It flowed in with what my pastor was preaching about this morning…”what it really is all about”.

the-lord-is-my-rock

The photo was taken by Mitch and his post on The Rock. The quote at the bottom of the picture really rang true. Not sure if the quote was his or if it came from something that moved him, but it went perfectly with the above picture and scripture.

“We have two main purposes in this life: to climb up onto the Rock, and to pull others up onto it.”

The pastor’s sermon today was to remind us of the church being our home, not the building, but the members. We are a church family, and the members nurture and help each other onto the Rock, to stand steady and strong.

Cee’s photo of the rainbow after a storm was amazing and her quote by Mark Twain fell right into this theme as well, at least to me it did.

the-two-most-important

Each person born has a purpose set out by God. And even though he may close doors we think we are supposed to go through, He opens a window that better fits His purpose for us. We are not just idly created, well, yes, our parents did their thing, but God ALWAYS has a purpose in creation. We as humans spend a lifetime struggling sometimes trying to figure out our purpose, why am I here, how do I matter. We all matter because “God don’t make no junk”.

God junk

Remember how we have always heard of the story of a mustard seed, the tiniest seed growing into a huge tree. That is our “WHY”!

matthew25

The smallest thing we do that helps another person in any way, shape or form is our “why” – we do because He did it for us first. Don’t ever think what you do for Him is not important – It’s ALL important.

Have a blessed evening and as always remember, even the smallest bit of kindness can act like a rock thrown on the lake where the ripples grow in sized as they flow across it.

kind ripples

Nightly Encouragement, Laughter

Recently we started a new out-reach with our church to do evening encouragements. Normally people do morning encouragements to help get your day going but with Covid still among us and seeming growing for a second wave, we felt like all of our members could use some encouragement at the end of the day so yesterday we rolled out the Nightly Encouragements. The pictures are not mine but found on Christian websites that matched the message of encouragement I am trying to share. Tonight we are discussing the value of laughter. My hope is that if you decide to read on, that you are in some way encouraged to stand firm for another day.

In a time such as this, where we are weighed down with life around us…we need some laughter. We have been told laughter is the best medicine but laughter has many documented medical benefits as well.

laughter

But better than that, the bible tells us laughter is good medicine…
cheerful heart
The benefits of laughter make us glad….brings us joy…and make us smile..
Psalm-on-Laughter
When we are filled with joy, we are kinder people. When we are filled with joy, we reflect the love of Christ.  So, let us always be filled with Christ and reflect His grace.
 
God's love
Even when times are tough, things look bad, you can’t see a way out…remember God is always there. He is our rock that we stand on, our hope that we cling to and our peace that knows no other understanding except Christ alone. I leave you with this prayer in hoping a bountiful measure of blessing gets poured on you and your family.
God
sleep well
And as always…try to be kind
kind smile

Time for Christians to Pray

Good evening friends and welcome to a new month. My hope and prayer is June will be a more gentle and loving month than May seemed to be. We are jumping from the fire of Covid-19 to the frying pan of chaos right now in this country, a frying pan that has no business being used as its main focus is to divide and destroy. So much chaos, so much anger, so much fear and so much destruction even through the smaller towns. We will be under curfew until this meanness goes away and who knows how long that will take. In Davenport last night there were two deaths and 4 injuries. One death was innocent 21 year old bystander buying groceries for a friend at Walmart, such a waste.

In my devotion this morning from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald made a profound statement that is so relevant for today’s mindset in the USA.

“God’s Spirit continually reveals to His children what human nature is like apart from His grace.” Oswald Chambers  
Read that again and understand its meaning. Without God’s control, the devil runs amuck.
 

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The chaos is so far out of control from the original reason of the anger and has swelled to an ideal by those whose purpose is to divide and destroy. It has turned into a chaotic dragon and in my opinion the church on its knees is the only hope of this dragon being lassoed so that God will come back in and control that dragon. And by church I don’t mean the Catholic church or the Baptist church or the Methodist church…I mean God’s church. Those who loved the Lord, His word and follow His teachings.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
It is a fearful time but our faith in God proves who is ultimately in control.

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But we must do our part, we must remain strong. We are God’s church, His masterpiece of all things good.

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We can help spread God’s light to those who live in the darkness and those who do not understand the power of the darkness as it engulfs them into evil ways.

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So during this time of chaos, be strong in prayer and allow your light of Christ to shine brightly from you.

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And even in the midst of chaos, be kind when you can.
Kind breeze

The Guiding Spirit

Good morning friends. Hope you are all well this morning. Do you ever have those times where you have understood for a long time meanings of certain scriptures but then you read a verse and a new understanding shows itself…a light bulb moment as it were.

religion-cross-light-bulb-christianity-13180184
I think this is how God uses His word to keep us be refreshed and on track, always learning something new…that we already knew one small part of it. Today’s devotion with My Utmost for His Highest was concerning the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We know the disciples had to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit arrived but the dots for me didn’t fully connect on Jesus having to be Glorified first before that could happen. He even told Mary to not hold him as he had not returned yet to the Father.  I have always known Jesus was fully God and fully man and considered him our glorious Lord…but not at this point.  The Holy Spirit was not given because Jesus had not ascended and was not yet glorified. 
John 7 39
But Paul explained to the people during Pentecost what they were now seeing and hearing. The Holy Spirit was now being given freely to all of those who believed, about 3,000 that day, with growing numbers even today to where God’s love and Spirit covers the world to those who believe. We are reminded in today’s devotion that once the Holy Spirit was let lose into this world, it has remained forever.
Acts-2-32-33
Even Isaiah told us this was going to happen nearly 800 years prior to it happening.
Isaiah 44 3
“The attitude of receiving and welcoming the Holy Spirit into our lives is to be the continual attitude of a believer.”  Oswald Chambers 
 
Some think that when we die, we then live on in eternity but I think eternity is now and how we need to live day to day with the guiding of the Holy Spirit.
 
eternal life
So breathe in today his love and allow the Spirit to guide you as you go.
Gal 5 25
Remember as you follow this spirit filled direction that God’s love is leading you on, His love for you is strong, so bring in this love and share it with others and always be kind.
God love ocean
kindness 19

The Value and Power of Prayer

Good morning friends. I hope you had a good holiday yesterday. I was glad the rain held off here as I was able to play outside.

My Pastor has been doing a daily devotion on line where he is going over the Lord’s prayer slowly to help us understand the intricate details of its meaning. I want to piggy-back on that slightly as today’s devotion in My Utmost for His Highest was “Thinking of Prayer as Jesus Taught”.
“Our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it. The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; ”  Oswald Chambers
 
Therefore…
pray without ceasing 1 thessalonians 5 17

 

Prayer is not an exercise, it’s a valuable privileged. A privilege we do not use enough, at least I don’t. We need to be aware of the distractions that get in our way of praying and be fully aware of prayer’s power when released. I think we forget with the business of life, just how much power is in prayer.
seek

 

There may seem like times when God didn’t answer our prayer but scripture never says anything about unanswered prayer. God answers all prayer, we just may not understand His answer but we must believe in its truth. God sees what is best for us and His love is even stronger than anything we know; He only wants what is best for us.
His purpose

 

So feel encouraged today knowing that He listens to every prayer. Even those prayers  you can not mutter for the pain you may be feeling. He knows them before we say them. He just wants us to have the courage to ask for His help.

Phil 4 6 7

May you have a blessed day and as always, be kind.

Kind breeze