A thought and a question continues 9/15/17

It does not take much to open the door without realizing that you have let the enemy in, and once he is in he is difficult to evict. I however have made the decision to kick him out and guard that door window and any other way he could come in. I remember living in a mobile home in the country and my daughter told me we had a rat in the kitchen. I told her it was probably a mouse but when I turned to look it was a possum! It was difficult to chase him out but when we finally got him out I yelled “I am not Ellie May and animals are not allowed in”. Later I found that it had eaten a hole in the wall behind my refrigerator and had a nest with its’ babies living there. Once we rid ourselves of these creatures I found the hole in which they had made to move in. I not only covered it up but bought steel wool and placed in in any place I thought they might try to make their way back in. I kept a watch out to make sure they did not return and thankfully they did not, but then a wood pecker decided to make its’ home in my bedroom wall. How I found this out was every morning I would be woken up by a knocking on what I thought was my door. I would get up open the door and no one was there. This went on for a number of days. Now I lived in the country and neighbors were not close. I never heard or saw a car drive away and I knew if it was a child playing ding dong ditch I would still see them. So every morning I became more and more annoyed. One morning I saw things going by my bedroom window making me believe that someone was on my roof throwing things down. So I storm out run around to the back of my home in time to see a woodpeckers head sticking out of the outside wall of my bedroom tossing out pink insulation. Once again I felt like Ellie May, but unlike her these were not welcome guests. Until I was able to have new siding put up, I would go to bed at night and bang on the wall and yell at the bird, “How do you like being woken up?” So why am I bringing up this old story? Well with this continued journey to get my thoughts right with God I was reminded of this time in my life. If I did not work at riding myself of these unwanted guests they would have made my home theirs and they would outnumber me and I would never had gotten them out and I would have been the one who would have to leave. It took effort and in order for me to train my brain to think on what is right I will have to put in the work and keep putting in the work. Every time I slack off  and let my guard down and even welcome these unwanted guests in it will be harder for me to get rid of them. If I catch them early it will be easier for me to deal with and rid myself of this poisonous way of thinking. I am thankful for those of you who have already left encouraging comments yesterday, including scripture on my first post regarding this topic. So I will fight the good fight and even if I stumble I will get back up.

Todays Question; What are some things that we do that allow the enemy to come into our thoughts?

Scripture to meditate on

1 Peter 5:8-9 (ESV)  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Matthew 12:29 (NKJV)  Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJV) “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Psalm 94:19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Prayer;

Father, 

I submit myself to your will. Asking for your help in taking every thought captive and riding myself of that which is offensive to you. I am choosing to focus on Your goodness and mercy. Thinking of ways that I can please and honor You. Thank you for loving  and forging me. Alone I could do nothing but with Jesus all things are possible. Thank You Lord Jesus I need you this and everyday of my life. Amen

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Being Broken

When you think of the term broken what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Here are some things that came to my mind.

  1. Ruined
  2. Trash
  3. Destroyed
  4. Unusable
  5. Worthless

I could easily list many more things and you might have some of the same things on your list. Yet these are only the negative thought about being broken. Do you like nuts? I love them. To get to the nut you have to break the shell. Some shells are easier to break open than others like sunflower seeds or peanuts. Walnuts or pecans are are not so easy to break open. You need a nutcracker to get to the good part of these nuts, and if you don’t have a nutcracker a hammer works as long as you don’t hit the too hard. It takes effort to break their outer shells to get to the good part that you can eat and enjoy.

So being broken even though painful can lead to something good for you. The process hurts and is not fun. Imagine you are the nut and you can see the nutcracker coming for you. Then you feel trapped in its grip till you crack and break open. Scary thought. Most of us would run from pain if we knew it was going to happen was going to hurt. Yet if we all ran away from the possibility of pain we would cease to exist. Women would not have babies because labor is pain! Life is going to have some very painful moments. Just as a woman who goes from the pain of labor to the joy of holding her newborn baby, life can take your pain and turn it into joy.

Look at the life of Joseph. his brothers hate him and throw him into a pit, and want to kill him. Thankfully one brother suggest they sell him to travelers passing by. Then he is bought as a slave and goes from slave to prisoner. He lived a life under pressure of attack and rejection. Yet in the end he was lifted above his circumstance and placed in a position where he was able to save not only the people in Egypt but his own people. (Look up his story in Genesis.)

Sometimes we have to be broken to get to the good part of ourselves that is hidden deep within.

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

 

 

What is haunting you?

It has been months since October and Halloween is over. Yet the things that truly frighten us and cause us to run or hide are still here. They hide inside each of us. Things that were done to us or things that we have done. The skeletons we try to keep hid in our closet. Unfortunately the door to that closet eventually is opened and a skeleton or two pops out. You can try to put them back. Hide even from yourself and pretend nothing was ever wrong. Being an ostrich with your head in the sand only leaves your rear exposed.

We can pretend and put on masks but the truth is always there even if it is hidden and buried. We may be deceiving the world with our masks and costumes, but the one we are truly trying to deceive is ourself.

If guilt is what haunts you have you done something or felt that you have done something wrong? You may hide behind the mask of justifying your actions. You had good reasons what ever they may have been. Yet something inside of you is screaming you have hurt someone, even if you did not intend to do so.

You can fear judgment and condemnation. We live in a world that loves to point fingers. Everyday you will hear about the wrongs someone has done. Even if the person is innocent they are found guilty by the majority and their lives are harmed.

Shame can hinder you from being the person you truly are. God made you a new creation when you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Yet because we lived a shame filled past we do not feel worthy. We do not realize that there is nothing we could do to win God’s love. He loves us because He is merciful and gracious.

This list can easily go on and fill volumes of books if I wanted to continue all the fears in this world but I am going to stop here. What ever fears may be haunting you and those fears are real. I know I have my own fears that I battle on a regular basis. What I want to do now is remember that I have a mighty God, and that He is my shield and strong tower. That no matter how many weapons are formed against me they will not prosper. Does this mean that I will never get hurt? Sorry the answer to that is no. I will get hurt again but nothing will separate me from the love of God. Nothing can take my life because I have eternal life through Jesus. Fear not is written 365 times in the Bible. I think God new we would face fear on a daily basis. It is in Jesus that we have hope and a future. Things will happen that may scare you and cause you to be afraid. Use these things as warnings to be on guard. Run to the Father and He will protect you. He loves you.

Here are a few verses on fear not;

Bible Verses About Fear Not (KJV) 

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Psalms 34:4 – I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

1 John 4:4 – Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Romans 15:13 – Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Numbers 23:19 – God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Exodus 20:20 – And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Habakkuk 3:2 – O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

find daily verses here on this website;

http://365fearnots.com/index.php/votd/

 365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day

  • Psalm 066:16

    Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.

    Psalm 66:16 (NKJV)

    Biblical Truth: The psalmist was given a heart for prayer, worship the Lord and encourage others by declaring the spiritual blessings God has provided to you.

    The post Psalm 066:16 appeared first on 365 Fear Nots.

 

Self Examination / How honest can you be?

If you are a woman you have more than like seen one of these breast self exam cards. A woman will examine herself to check for cancer but how many of us examine ourselves for the cancer of sin that slowly eats way the life of its’ host. We are quick to point out others flaws and report the wrong doings of others but how often do we confess our own sins? Publicly admit any wrong doings on our parts. Yet we publicly point out the wrongs others may be doing. Thanks to the Internet and social media opinions outweigh facts. People write what they want and though each of us can have our own opinion it is just that an opinion not fact. The best lies have a grain of truth. We can ‘t even believe what we see in the news any more. Yet criticism, and judgments are made and the ones doing this believe they are right and just.  The bible tells us that none are without sin.

Romans 3:10 (KJV)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

1 John 1:7-9 (KJV) But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

One of the Bible studies called Self portraits discusses how we see ourselves.

https://emotionalpeace.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/self-portraits-bible-lesson/

I have gone back to this lesson to dig a little deeper. To examine myself once again.

IMG_0007

So here is a self portrait that does not show my best side but it is honest look in the mirror. Each picture in this collage depicts a small part of me. It may be incomplete but as I made this and chose each picture as it reflected what I saw in my mirror. In the top row there is a picture of a woman who has a cap pulled down over her face with boss written on it. When I looked at it I saw how pride had blinded me. That I have been stubborn and let resentment and unforgiveness had bound me up like the straight jacket she is wearing. The pink boxing gloves represents the fighter inside of me. Yet why was I fighting and who was I fighting? The picture of a hunter with his bow drawn represents being constantly under attack. The train was my feeling of hopelessness. The ladder in the middle of the painting represents feeling like I am going nowhere. The shadow represents the darkness inside of me. The wolf howling represents like I am being hunted. The whitewater  canoe is me being tossed around by my own emotions. How turbulent they are.  The doll with the key in its back is feeling empty and like a puppet. The winding road is me getting off track. The picture of the woman drinking water is the unquenchable thirst. Looking to have my needs met by that which will never satisfy me truly. The man standing in front of the painting represents the mess my life is in. The scarecrow represents the empty fears I have. The woman hanging off the ledge is me barely hanging on. The black pig is the demons I wrestle with. Miss Piggy is that no matter what I do my past will always be my past no matter how I want to dress it up. The piggy banks in the soil being watered is all that I have wasted. A life of turmoil and under attack. Walking on the wrong road blind. Wasting my life, confused and hopeless. Bitter and filled with hateful emotions. Fighting the wrong fights. This is one part of me in a nutshell. Exposing my underbelly. Being honest with myself and the world.

IMG_2707

Sketch by Julie Sheppard

I don’t want to be a hypocrite anymore. Passing judgments on others while ignoring my own sins. So it is time to take the log out of my own eye.A self examination is not something to be done once, but like the breast self exam card says to do monthly, we need to do a self check on a regular basis.   Can you examine yourself honestly and then will you share your results?

Righteous anger or just plain anger?

How do you know if your anger is righteous or if you are just plain angry? I know of many who will justify not only their anger but what is done in anger, and some that will even use scripture to give just cause. Yet is this right?

Along with fighting depression I have a major battle with anger. I have been told I am right to be angry for the things that have been done to me. That they understand why I have reacted in anger and that it was okay because I was hurt. Something inside of me says this is wrong. There is no excuse that I can give for any outburst of anger that I have had. No matter how minimal the damage I may have done when I have been angry I have still caused damage. Even if it was just my words and that I shot off my mouth, Wrong is wrong. Almost everything I have ever broken when I have been angry has belonged to me, It dos not matter if I threw an object and it shattered or I tore up clothes or burnt pictures. The damage cannot be undone. This damage is not as bad as the words that have come out of my mouth, and the cursing that I have done. Even the hateful thoughts are wrong. For it starts as a thought, then comes out in either physical actions or words and both can do irreversible damage.

They say to be careful with a cornered animal because you do not know how it will react or how bad it can hurt you. I used to be that cornered animal, and all the pain that was inflicted upon me to make me cower in fear. To control and manipulate me would eventually back me into a corner where I felt the only way to survive was to fight back with all that was left within me. The saying dynamite comes in small packages was one I used quite a bit yet I out my own spin on it. I would say, ‘Dynamite comes in small packages but nitro comes in smaller and has a bigger bang. Call me Nitro.’ That was when I was proud to be angry. I had every reason to be yet the person who I hurt the most was myself.

I thank God that I am not that woman any more. Yet I still fight the anger that sometimes still boils to a rage inside of me. The difference now is that I know it is wrong and I can acknowledge that the words or even the thoughts I have when I get angry like this are wrong. One saying I can agree with today is, ‘Two wrongs do not make a right.’

So how do I know my anger is not righteous? For one reason is because a hatred begins to burn inside. Then condemning and hate filled thoughts fill my mind. No one even has to be around, just a thought of something that upsets me pops into my head and a fuse gets lit and the anger begins. Thankfully this is not an everyday occurrence but when my body’s pain level rises I have noticed my level of agitation lowers and I become more irritable. Why share any of this with anyone? I learned a while back that by putting things out into the light exposes the darkness hidden within me. Then the darkness has to flee. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive. I believe this is good because not every thought that passes through our minds are good. We are to rid ourselves of the damaging thoughts and keep the ones that keep us focused on Jesus Christ. I would like to say that the war on my anger has been won, but I still have my battles. There are battles I have won and there are battles in which I lost. I thankfully get a reprieve from these battles but then the war rages on and the fight begins again. The thing I am learning is that I do not fight anger with anger and I definitely do not fight it with hate. I start with myself and acknowledge any wrong on my part and then repent and ask God for His mercy and to help change me into a more loving person, that can be loving and merciful to those who seek to do me harm. Learning that these people are just being used as weapons and that the real enemy is not human, and is nor the terrible and painful events in ones life. The really enemy will wear any disguise that will help him do the most damage. He will twist your hurt and pain and try to make you his puppet. Something I have learned is that he only has the power over me that I give him. Will I still feel pain? Yes, I will. Can this body die? Yes it will. James told us to count it all joy when we face various trials and tribulations. How can we do this?We turn to God. We believe Jesus. We allow His Holy Spirit to help and comfort us. We cry out to God. We tell Him how we are feeling and we pour out our tears at His feet.

I have not yet reached the goal but I get up each day and press forward. There are days I lay down weakened by my body, my mind and this life. Then the nest day comes and it is back on my feet, even if I do not feel like it. Of course that is when I think God has a cattle prod and gives me a loving jab. Yet I know those jabs are because He loves me and He does not want me to fall to the wayside. So I do no fight like I used to. I am learning that not only do I need to turn my cheek but as much as it pains me to offer up the other one. The battle is the Lord’s, I need to just trust in Him.

Acceptable Loss?

When is loss of life acceptable and meaningless? The world treats life as it is expendable. Your life an my life mean nothing to this world. Drugs both legal and illegal taking lives everyday. Babies thrown away through countless abortions. Lives lost to murders. Fatal car accidents caused by careless drivers who are to busy on their phone or devices. This list goes on and you know of ways lives are wasted or destroyed everyday.

You can heard it said in our government and big business the term acceptable loss. It is usually a financial loss when it comes to business but not always. The bean counters calculate the costs of lawsuits to be filed against the company. If the pay out to the law suits is less than making the costly changes that may prevent the loss of life then they proceed and subtract the legal costs from their profits.Then there are casualties of war. Innocent lives of no combatant people, the nonmilitary residents of a war zone who are injured or worse killed due to battles happening where they live.Once again you can hear the term acceptable loss.

The unfortunate fact that lives will be lost and people will be injured and killed everyday is going to happen. Even people who live in peaceful areas still face death. Most hope to pass from this world peacefully.  Yet I do not believe that any loss of life is acceptable and I believe God feels the same. If He did not He could have wiped us out  years ago before He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins. Yet He is merciful and patient. He is not slow as we count slowness but patient that all call to repentance.2 Peter 3:9.

As frustrating as waiting can be, I am grateful God is patient, loving and merciful or none of us would have a chance. Your life and the lives of those around you, and not just the lives of those you like, all life is precious to Jesus. He died for you and for me so that we can live and not perish. Life is a gift and we should treasure all life. No loss is acceptable.

Matthew 18:12-14

John 3:16

Romans 6:23

John 6:35

I Didn’t Promise You A Rose Garden

Who remembers this song?

Life is not fair and it life is not easy but life is good. God gave to each of us life, love, mercy and forgiveness. For too long we have lived with a myth, that once you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior life will get easier. It is a better life but He tells us that the world will hate us. We are not hated because of ourselves but because Jesus is in us.

John 15:18-27 (NKJV) The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’[a]

The Coming Rejection

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

Footnotes:

  1. John 15:25 Psalm 69:4
New King James Version (NKJV) Jesus did not promise us a rose garden but He did go to prepare a place for us, and He did promise to come back for us.

Here are some promises God has made to us

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Romans 8: 38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

There are so many more promises God has given to us. He is faithful and true.