I have previously shared a global prayer request for victims of human trafficking. Today I am requesting prayer for myself. Yesterday, for the third time in the past four weeks I have injured my right shoulder while working, I am going to be seeing a doctor today thanks to workman’s comp. Something I would not be able to do if they were not providing the medical care. My request is not only for physical healing and for the extreme pain shooting through my right side which is now effecting my left arm as well, but for my mental state. Pain is a trigger for anger in me. When I am in consistent pain for long enough my thoughts and then my words go to a bad place that I do not like and the I repent a lot! As the saying goes ‘hurt people, hurt people’. Thankfully I am usually alone when I have one of these episodes, but I do not forget what Jesus taught about even thinking of a sin, is to have committed the sin, like hatred being equal to murder. I also think about what Paul said about doing what he knows is wrong and wanting to do what is right. I want to do what is right and not lash out because of my pain. As a woman who God saved from abuse and the long term physical effects that abuse left both my body and mind to heal from I do not want to go back to being the person I was before I let Jesus into my life.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
One thing told to me when I was growing up was, ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say then keep your mouth shut.’ I know this phrase is also said in other terms, but they all boil down to this message; Be careful what you speak, the damage your words can do cannot be undone.
People today are so quick to slander each other for such a wide variety of reasons, I won’t bother to start that list. I will talk today of my own self. As some of you may have noticed I have not been posting here for a while. This past year has thrown some painful pitches my way, and some of my earlier posts I talked about how pain can effect us. For me one thing it leads me to is anger, and not a righteous anger. It is an anger that can lead to mass destruction. I can do more damage with my tongue than with my fist.
So I had slowly been isolating myself, which is a terrible thing to do. Yet fear of what I would do in my anger helped me to justify becoming a hermit again. Since I had not had very many nice things to say, I just started shutting myself away from the world. Yet that did not keep me from thinking words of hate and destruction which in other words are curses. No sooner had I thought them or said them aloud, even though I am home alone, I knew that what I was doing was wrong and would have to quickly repent. Yet the thoughts and words still lingered in my mind.
So I have been having this inner battle, that if you saw me in person you would not see this struggle. I do know how to put on the right mask when necessary. I try hard to keep my dark battles to myself and only let those who I feel I truly can trust know of these battles. Which I thank God for blessing me with these close friends who love me unconditionally and do not condemn me when I falter, and so I can confide in them.
Yet this struggle has not left me blind to the fact that I how can I be of help to others if I am home alone licking my wounds, and living in fear? It is out in the fields where the laborers should be, and I have been hiding in my own little cave like David hiding from Saul, or Elijah hiding from Jezebel. Like Elijah hiding in his cave, God has reminded me that I need to get back out there and do what he has called me to do, and not stay hidden in the safety of my home. Which in all honesty is not so safe when you have to battle your personal demons alone because you have hidden yourself.
One assignment He had given me a while back, that I had put off on the back burner so to speak is to unite His body in prayer. I had one excuse after another pop up as either obstacles or rejection to this idea, for various reasons. Yet I have heard Him say it is not over yet, so get back up and keep trying. Now the most current obstacle I have faced is organizing a public gathering for people to gather in prayer because the current problems with the Covid 19. I was reminded that I still have a way to unite my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus in prayer here, and that this would actually reach more people, than if I had organized a prayer meeting for the area in which I live.
Our prayers are to include more than just our family, friends, church, and needs of those we are personally connected to, but to cover this earth with prayer, and for every need to be met and most important, for His will to be done. My next blog will speak more of this assignment and will include how I started making prayer boards.
I hope you will join me in this assignment, and if there are any prayer requests for anyone, ministry organizations, etc… please share those requests here and we can pray together.
P.S. I am sorry that this post started on one topic and led to another, but prayers are words that can do such good, and that is what I have to get back to. Speaking words of life.
I have been trying this year to get my thought life in order. Yet no matter how hard I try sometime during a day I have entertained some negative thought. Too often more than one is entertained. Then I vent over my frustrations and aggravations. So here I am thinking on the negative and being negative. This is not good at all. Scripture tells me that I am to take every thought captive. It does not say to entertain every thought. (2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,) So what should I keep my thoughts focused on? Scripture answers this question as well. (Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, 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 anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.)
Step one – Take every thought captive and submit it to Christ.
Step two – Choose to think about what is pure and true, and what ever glorifies Jesus.
Sounds easy doesn’t it? Yet we all know this is not an easy task. It is actually a battle we must wage everyday and keep ourselves in check.
Now while all of these thoughts rolled around my little head I thought of this – If I am to keep my thoughts in check, should this not include my conversations? Thinking upon this question I wondered when was the last time I had a conversation with anyone that did not include complaining, judgment (myself or the other party in the conversation), whining or anything that was negative. To be honest I cannot think of any conversation other than with the cashier at the grocery store. So I wondered would it be possible to have only positive conversations ( this includes both people talking)? I wonder if it would be possible for me to not only speak positively but only entertain positive conversations for even a day, and if I could do this could I make it three days? I laughed and thought I would have to not speak at all. This however is not something that is actually funny. So I am challenging myself to see if I can make it three days only speaking to others in a positive and life giving manner. God help me! Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV) Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Question: Could you for three days have only positive conversations?
Today I want to be able to feel the pain in my body without it effecting my mood.
This is not something new for me but my pain level over the last two weeks has been more than unbearable and it has worn me down to raw nerves. This how ever is no excuse for wrong behavior on mt part, and I also should not let it make me a less compassionate or loving person.
I read my Bible, I pray, and I sings songs of praise in worship which on any other day lifts my spirit, but in the last week I can really tell a difference in my attitude towards others. I am less patient, I tend to get offended easier than usual, and I am snapping at people I know God is forgiving and I know He did not cause my body t be in pain, but if this pain is the thorn in my flesh that I must bear then I want to do so with a spirit of joy and longsuffering. I want others to see the love of Jesus in spite of my pain.
Well it is time to get back to moving I have both packing and unpacking to do.
Do you realize how critical and judgmental people can be? I know I can be. It is not my intent and it is an area I am working on.I have to take the time to look in the mirror at myself or it is easy for me to argue and become less of a person than those who criticize or judge me.
Have you noticed that we all have some great reasons to pass judgment on each other? We are quick to criticize those in the world for how they live. We even turn on our brothers and sister in Christ. We spread hate and not His love by slandering each other and the we use the excuse of having wisdom and understanding and that we have to expose sin. Yet we do not deal with the sin in our own hearts.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a]but have not love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:12(NKJV) For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
The body of Christ is divided not because of the world but because of our own demanding ways and holding on to the small part of understanding we have. We cling to religion and legalism or we go as far as saying we do not have to obey the law.Jesus said ‘If you love me, you will keep my commands’ He added one command and that was for us to love one another as He loves us. I have been criticized and called a number of names and the sad thing is more than half of those who have done this call themselves Christians. Does this mean I am to hate them? Definitely not! /these people do so out of their own limited way of thinking and that I do not fit their mold of what they want me to be. I am definitely a unique individual. God has taken the broken parts of my life and transformed them into a working vessel He can use. My obedience is to God first. My life is to please God and I do this by living my life in love. I have learned that I will never learn everything there is to learn in my life on this earth. I know in part and I will spend my life seeking God and His instruction. Life can be compared to a puzzle, we all have a piece and we can only see what that piece shows. Then another comes and we are able to put our pieces together and the picture grows. This continues until all the pieces are brought together. What happens if a piece or more turns up missing? The picture cannot be complete. I like to think that Jesus holds those missing pieces waiting for us to work together so He can then finish what He started.
If you look only to find what you do not agree with you will find it every time. It is so easy to find the flaws and wrongs in others. It is even easier to justify your judgment. Remember this though Satan used scripture against Jesus when he was tempting Jesus in the wilderness.
Matthew 4:1-11 (NKJV) Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”[a]5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’and,‘In their hands they shall bear you up,Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”[b]7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”[c]8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you,[d] Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”[e]11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Here are a few things I am turning to work on my own self.
One learning to listen to ALL another has to say as well as how they are saying it because no two people communicate perfectly and even when they are saying the same thing due to lack of understanding and problems communicating they can still fall into a argument disagreeing over something they actually agree upon. If I interrupt or dismiss what they have to say before I have listen to all what they have to say. Another thing is by listening not just hearing I am validating the person and this does not mean I agree but accept that what they have to say is important to them
The next is acknowledging I do not know everything, that what I know is only a small part of all the wisdom God has. For His thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are not my ways. I need a spirit of humility and compassion.
Another thing I contemplate is 1 Corinthians 13 Love does not demand its own way. God gave me free will, who am I to demand another to see as I see and not allow them to have their own opinion.. What I mean is that I can say what I have to say and another can say what they have to say. If we do not agree I do not need to repeat myself or use every argument I can come up trying to force them into agreement with myself, or to make sure I have been heard. A term a friend taught me some years back is sand paper people and what is even funnier to me is that a majority of my friends fall into this category. The fact that we are friends is that we have learned that we do not have to agree but we respect each other and our different opinions. We all come from different backgrounds and have had different life experiences. Unfortunately the majority of us have lived through one form of abuse or another. How we have developed and healed has been different and at different times in our lives. I would be wrong to tell them they need to be where I am because I had already been there and done that and I know the right way, Yet I would be wrong. How I was hurt and how I was healed is not the same. Similar yes we have both been hurt by abuse but how my abuse effected me is going to be different than how they were affected. The time it takes me to heal is dependent on the degree of my wound and God’s timing.
God is our Judge, Jesus is our Advocate, the Holy Spirit is our Helper, and Satan is our accuser..I have to ask myself am I being any one of these.
Does this mean I do not call sin, sin? Sin must be addressed and not swept under the rug but I have to ask myself am I trying to help another out of the ditch or am I standing above the one in the ditch kicking dirt down on them burying them with my judgment. Do I get down on my knees with an outstretched arm and help them up. Think about the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’.
None of us are without sin and none of us is perfect but we hypocritically demand others be perfect and agree with us. Where is the love of Jesus in this. He did not choose the elite or highly educated. He chose men who were rough and ones who were even despised by their community. You even have women from backgrounds not acceptable by religious standards. Rahab the harlot,who hides and protects the spies Joshua sent into Canaan.Then Ruth the Moabite who becomes the grandmother of David. The woman who anoints Jesus is despised by those who are with Jesus. The Samaritan woman at the well would not have even been spoken to by the religious. She even tells Jesus if you knew who I am you would not speak to me. Jesus does speak to her and He speaks to her with love.
Man or woman. Adult or child. No matter your race or background or opinion, Jesus loves you. Can we learn to love each other as He loves us or we continue to justify our actions no matter who we may hurt or keep from coming to know the love and mercy Jesus has for all of us.
Is joy your choice?
3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Do no minimize how another is feeling.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Encourage one another.
Building joy, build people up and do not tear them down.
God’s Righteous Judgment
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.