Posted in Life Lessons

No complaining . . .

That’s what I told myself as I looked out the window at another cloudy, damp day. Specifically because this area is in near drought condition and it finally rained off and on all day yesterday, rained a little today, might rain some more over the next four days.

Not going to complain about a lot of things. Mostly because it is counter productive, and because it just  means I’m making comparisons and that is something not particularly pleasing to my Lord.

In fact, instead of complaining, I’ll rejoice. Listened earlier to a study on the power of the tongue and decided way too much complaining goes on, even when I don’t always recognize it as such, so now it’s time to do as we are instructed.

“Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things.”– Philippians 4:8

Learned a lesson the other day about giving up. Or I should say I learned another lesson about giving up. You know, you think you’ve finally got it, and wham something happens and you realize that there’s still more residue of that filthy rag deep down inside to be submitted to God for cleansing.

Giving up on unrealistic dreams held onto for years and are accomplishing nothing but creating hindrances. Ouch.

Giving up on a direction that is not bad, but in painful, honest moments you know deep down that it is not the best direction to focus on.

To give up some of the things you have created when called upon to do so.  Because the joy in the creation should be enough. Holding on for the wrong reasons speaks of pride, and greed, and even fear; things that become stumbling stones.

So, for today, and prayerfully for every day, I choose to give up complaining, and instead choose pure thoughts and praise.

 

A few ramblings from the rocking chair. Blessings. – Vicki

 

 

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Posted in Life Lessons

It’s going to be okay. . .

I’m a day later than my projected blog schedule, but yesterday got away from me. Here in northwest Missouri we were bombarded by high winds and then later multiple tornado reports, so my weather fascination kicked in and that was my late afternoon and evening.

God and I talked through the whole thing. Well, I did most of the talking, I knew several people in the forecast danger area, occasionally slowing down just long enough to get the sense of peace that enabled me to continue on with my amateur weather forecasting. I did step out into the hallway a couple of times to give the expected weather report (I guess I have a reputation) and some went downstairs “just in case.”

South of my home was hit hardest. But, praise the Lord, no serious injuries. Yes, serious damage to homes and businesses, and minor injuries, but the storm finally passed.

They do, you know. Storms come and they can be violent and then they pass. And, like today, the skies are clear and the air is fresh and clean. But there is always something left behind to remember, to have to get through.

From his experience of losing his home to a tornado several years ago, a veteran newscaster offered encouragement to any who might be going through what he had gone through. Gave them insight on what to expect. Not only in dealing with the damage, but how they would feel during the process. I paraphrase what he ended with, “What you can do now is pray for them. And if you can, go find someone and put your arms around them and just tell them, it’s going to be okay. Not today, or even tomorrow, but it will be okay.”

I don’t know if this newscaster is a believer.  I do know that what he said last night a lot of people probably needed to hear.

For believers, isn’t that what God tells us? That storms come, and havoc results, but He is there to put His love around us and show us that it is going to be okay. And He teaches us the importance of community, of supporting one another.

So whatever you’re going through, allow God to be the one who holds you up, who guides you through the storms. Offer support to and accept support from the people God puts in your life. Then, maybe some day, when something happens to someone else, you can draw on your experience and say to them, “it’s going to be okay. And let me tell you why. . .”

Blessings from the rocking chair.

Posted in Life Lessons, Scripture Study

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NASB): For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.  To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;  to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
   I love this passage. Sacrificing, putting other people first is a demonstration of love, commitment, loyalty, and faithfulness to God. But the last thing I want to do is diminish the wonderful truth in this by watering  down the Word of God, minimizing the law, by taking on the ways of the world in order to “prove” something. I don’t save people. Jesus does. But my life is a witness to what Christ has done in and for me, and that means I follow the whole Bible and do not take scripture out of context or reword it to fit something I want to do that does not line up with what God teaches me in His scripture. Either it’s all true as written, or none of it is true.
   Neither do I recite it like a mantra or chant to bring about what I’m seeking. It is the Word of God, not to be treated irreverently. It is my guide in prayer, in action, in thought. It is truth that guides me. But I need to know it. Understand it from every angle possible. From history to linguistics to definitions. It is a life long study that must never stop because what is to be gained is endless. It is priceless.
   I trust God to bring learned scripture to mind when temptation tries to lure me.  He has promised to provide a way to stay out of sin. However, in order to avoid sin, I need to understand what sin is, and that is what the law is all about. Not knowing doesn’t make it right.
   Notice Paul says he is free from all men. And then chooses to be a slave to all. My choice? To keep digging, growing daily in the Word in order to be fully convinced. To rejoice in the power of repentance and God’s forgiveness.  Then, with the resulting understanding, to exercise the freedom Paul talks about. Freedom to be who God created me to be, in service to others in service to Him, by the fruit of His Spirit, not my own. (Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.)
   The more I study, and the more I learn, the more in awe of God I am. We live in a world that needs to see all the fruit of the Spirit demonstrated. God’s people, his called out ones, His church, we have a big job in front of us. People are blinded by the half truths out there, they don’t really know what the true church is about. I wonder if it is because many in the church don’t know what church is really about.
   I’m learning everyday how short I have fallen, and I believe in my heart I’m one of the people that “get it” as far as I’m been able to “get it” to this point in my life.
  So I keep looking out for sin in my life. I keep repenting. I keep rejoicing in forgiveness, in God’s mercy and grace. And I pray to be shown those to whom I can demonstrate the truth of Christ, introducing them to a joy beyond compare, to accept Jesus by faith and join us in this incredible journey.