Recently my husband was upset with me about my paper accumulation! And, as an aside, his irritation may be justified, although I do try! Unfortunately, when I am criticized, I don’t respond well or express my point of view easily. Usually I turn the anger inward, get depressed, lose sleep and am slightly irritable.
When I did my personal devotions and listened to the Holy Spirit, he seemed to be saying the following:
In every marriage or relationship there are difficulties.
Some problems are very serious
and others are learning lessons.
Yes, you must learn to forgive quickly!
You see the damage it does
to your health and well-being when you don’t.
You don’t have a productive anger and can’t sleep.
I said, “Be angry and sin not.”
“Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.”
These are useful tools if you will put them into practice.
Do learn to talk calmly.
You might say
“The message I received is one that you are angry with me.”
Actually the next morning when we were doing our couple devotions, I obeyed the Lord and He gave me the courage to talk about the difficulty and I am happy to report it is resolved. My husband tries to help me by putting away some of our ‘stuff’ and I try to keep paper to a minimum. It feels much better to work things out together and be at peace.
Ephesians 4:26 (NIV): “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Psalms 4:4; Psalm 37:8; Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 27:4
Posted in Bible, Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Ephesians, Ephesians 004, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Proverbs 015, Proverbs 027, Psalms, Psalms 004, Psalms 037
Tagged Anger, Guidance, Obedience
My child, I do not have any words of rebuke for you:
because you are harder on yourself than I would ever be.
I love you.
My commandments are easy and light.
Learn to love and take care of yourself.
Know your needs and understand your limitations.
You cannot successfully minister to others
if you and your family
do not have your needs met.
Being brought up in a missionary family and seeing our parents care for so many people and needs, sometimes causes me to work longer hours than necessary. Perhaps it is also part of the Protestant work ethic. We don’t seem to know how to relax. And yet I know from personal experience that taking time off results in a better quality of help to those who come to see me. I am very glad we were taught to honor Sunday as a day of rest.
One pastor used the scripture Jesus said in Mark 12:30, 31 (NIV) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” He said if we would learn to love and take care of ourselves we would show our neighbor a healthier and wholesome love.
Loving oneself does not mean spoiling!! It means seeing you get eight hours of sleep, eat three nutritious meals a day preferably with family members, take personal time with God, exercise and pursue some vocation or hobby. I know many people who get ‘burned out’ because they neglect to take care of their body, mind and family.
Posted in Bible, Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Mark, Mark 012, New Testament
Tagged Burn Out, Encouragement, God's Help, Guidance, Helping Others, Rest, Self Care, strength, Work
In your own life you sought and found help
which enabled you to make better choices.
You learned, with that support, I truly loved
and cared for you.
Then you began by putting Me first in your world.
Many people do not know how much
I love and want to help them.
Children often do!
Sometimes as people grow,
they accumulate incorrect information.
People begin making rules and following traditions
which contradict My Word and My life on earth.
I came to set people free.
I give them many fellow Christians who will assist them.
My Holy Spirit teaches people to find and live out My truth.
Be a part of that great army of believers and helpers.
John 8:32 (NIV) “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Many years ago I suffered clinical depression and finally sought the services of a Christian counselor. Through weekly sessions and a year of counseling, I finally recognized a truth I had heard expounded in the pulpit for years since I attended church regularly. The truth was that Jesus really loved and cared for me. I don’t have the answer as to why I did not believe that before.
However, I do recognize it now. The therapist was such an inspiration, I decided to go back to school, obtain a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and become a mental health counselor and be part of God’s army of helpers who could aid in someone else finding the precious truths in the scriptures.
I am always here to help you.
At times, I do carry you as in
the beloved poem called “Footprints”.
Remember I am the only one who can truly help.
I may provide others with insight and knowledge.
However I am with you day and night.
In My Word you will find many words
of encouragement and guidance.
Through the Holy Spirit I speak words of support.
I love you with an everlasting love.
The gates of hell cannot prevail against My children.
I want you to rest in My love and peace.
Have you ever had a day when everything seems to go wrong? Today seemed to be one of those days for me. You may be experiencing very serious difficulties and wonder what you can do.
However, I trust the words that the Lord seemed to be saying to me will also help you as you take the time to read His Word and listen. He truly is with us during the long sleepless nights and dreary days. His presence can soothe our troubled minds and remind us of of His everlasting love and peace. Often the sun will shine from the clouds above and lift our spirits.
Matt 16:18 …”I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
Jeremiah 31:3 …”I have loved you will an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.”
Posted in Bible, Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Graceful Living, Jeremiah, Jeremiah 031, Matthew, Matthew 016, New Testament, Old Testament, Trust
Tagged Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, God's Help, Love, trust, Worry
My child, I have helped you many times,
In turn, sometimes you have
represented Me in helping others.
I have given you the gift of enjoying other people.
Sometimes you do things for the wrong motives.
But many times you are instrumental
in showing My love and
My truth to others.
I wish all people would
know Me and share with others.
However, to follow in My footsteps
is often a difficult and lonely journey.
I went about doing good.
I heard the cries of needy people.
Hear them and respond to them!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I tried to deliberately rest and be conscious of the Lord’s presence this week. His message to me seemed to say that relationships are most important to Him. Often I take my friendships for granted but I want to care more deeply and take the necessary time to cultivate those relationships. I want to be available to people.
Luke 15:12 (NIV) “My command is this:
Love each other as I have loved you.”
Posted in Bible, Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Luke, Luke 015, New Testament, Relationships
Tagged Be still, Devotional, Encouragement, Guidance, Helping Others, Obedience
When mankind is tired,
unfortunately he has not learned to rest.
It is as if there is a philosophy which does not allow
time to think and ponder.
If you have time, you keep busy
reading, cleaning, cooking or scrap-booking.
You simply do not contemplate
a simpler lifestyle with blocks of time
to do nothing or to meditate.
You do not deliberately decide
where you would like to go
or what you truly want to do
or who you want to see.
Therefore, you feel frazzled by the unimportant.
Consider the lilies how they grow.
They do not toil neither do they spin.
Yet, Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed as beautifully as these!
How much more important are you to Me
than the flowers I created
which only bloom for a short time
and then they are thrown out?
Sometimes I wonder how many times God will speak to me before I simply do what He commands. Today, I have set apart time to be still, to pray, to ponder what part in His body of believers He wants me to be.
The passage from the “listening” comes from Matthew 6:28-34. I am thankful to my mother who asked us to read the Bible through every year until its words became life-giving to us. Many well-known verses come to my mind as I pray and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Posted in Bible, Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Matthew, Matthew 006, New Testament
Tagged Be still, Devotional, Encouragement, Guidance, Peace, Rest, spirituality, Worry
My child, my child, allow yourself to relax.
Do not sweat the little things!
Material goods, daily routines and schedules
are not that important.
You need to put things into perspective.
Allow my love to show you priorities.
I simply listened and obeyed my Father.
I did not rush about without purpose.
The crowds followed me; I did not seek them.
I did not call for meetings.
Everything: my steps, my disciples,
yes, even Judas was necessary.
Ask me what I would have you do.
I love you!
As I pondered the words the Holy Spirit had given to me, I realized one of the most difficult things for me to do is to relax. I seem to have an inner voice always prompting me to do more tasks.
As I was praying for the Lord to show me what He would have me do, He brought to my mind a book called “Anonymous”. Jesus waited thirty years before He began to minister. This lasted only a very brief three years and then He was crucified. Sometimes, when Satan can’t get us to commit grave sins, he does entice us to keep too busy, and neglect time to earnestly ask the Lord what He would have us do. Perhaps He wishes us to sit quietly in His presence until we are filled with joyous strength and well-being from Him. My scripture for today is one that is very familiar to me in the old King James Version. This is from a paraphrase.
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Posted in Bible, Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, Matthew, Matthew 011, New Testament
Tagged Be still, Devotional, Encouragement, Grace, Guidance, Rest
Learn from both the good and bad experiences of life.
There are lessons which cannot be learned any other way.
However, I have promised things will turn out
for your ultimate good.
Many times the challenges of life
are difficult passages to travel
prior to seeing the sunshine on the other side.
David expressed this principle well when he penned the
Psalms under my inspiration.
The Twenty-third Psalm says
“Yea though you walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death, I will be with you!”
I will always be with you
though at times you do not feel my presence.
This is your hope and gives you faith and peace.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) “For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
There are many lessons we must learn from the past or we are bound to repeat them. I recall professors in history with the same admonition. Part of the problem in our country is that we refuse to see the decline of large civilizations in the past and realize the same things are happening in our land.
As I ponder my own past, I see some tragedies could have been averted. Others happened as the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet, I see where God’s hand has led me to healing and to usefulness in helping others.
As you sit and ponder my living Word,
it lights your pathway
in a world with many dark and evil temptations.
The race is not won by the most talented or the swiftest,
It is won by those who live by My Word
and keep My commandments.
Solomon started well by asking for wisdom.
He ended poorly because he strayed
and disregarded My commands
My commands help you live a better and holy life!
Psalms 119:105 (NIV) “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
Often as we sit with our Bibles, we are delighted with new and astonishing promises. This is especially true if we read an unfamiliar translation. God reminds us daily how much He loves us and cares for all the details of our lives.
We are probably all aware of the familiar story of Solomon, who started off very well. Yet later, he married many heathen women who were not brought up to respect the God of Israel. He even went to the extreme compromise by building temples to worship strange gods in the land God had set apart for the Israelites.
Even Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 warns us to heed God’s laws each day in our lives so that we might win the prize of that eternal life with the Lord. I know in my own life it is the times I spend talking with others about His love or letting the scriptures sink deeply into my heart and soul that I am strengthened and refreshed.
Posted in 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians 009, Bible, Devotional, Spirituality, Listening to God, New Testament, Old Testament, Ps. 119:105, Psalms, Psalms 119, Solomon
Tagged Apostle Paul, Commandments, Obedience, Solomon, spirituality
As the sun comes up in the morning,
meditate on my faithfulness.
I know at times, you long for the day
when all my loved ones are gathered home.
Yet, I have requested you to “occupy” until I return.
Use the talents and abilities I have given you
to tell others of my love.
Darkness and night are soon approaching.
Many people have not heard
of the great love I have for them.
Even religious people have not been taught
I desire to love them personally.
I want to sit at their tables while they enjoy their meals.
However, too few are conscious
of my presence in their lives.
I want to communicate with all my children daily
because I love them.
Luke 19:13 (KJV) “Occupy until I come.”
When I was growing up, that scripture was mentioned many times in sermons. Paul talks about being involved in the King’s business in Romans 13 when he asks us to consider the times in which we live.
Last May, we were in the midst of a project of Maps-RV at a Christian camp in Michigan and my brother had come from Ontario to visit. One Sunday he attended a different church and was invited out for the May holiday afternoon and dinner and they suggested we come too. Although they were friends of my parents and brother, they included us in their gift of hospitality and we thoroughly enjoyed their love and care.
We all have gifts we can use for the Lord! My brother plays for a nursing home once a week, my sister serves as a chaplain in a jail two days a week and my husband volunteers his services as a plumber for a month or so once a year. When we spend time with the Lord, I believe He shows us what He would like us to do before He comes to take us home to be with Him eternally.