Agree to Disagree / A thought for the moment, Oct. 28, 2020

Agree to Disagree / A thought for the moment, Oct. 28, 2020

With all that is going on in our world, there is much hatred and fighting that nothing is really getting done. I am thinking about 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter of ‘Love’, and how one of the things listed on love, is that Love does not demand it’s own way.

There is a lot of yelling and screaming but nothing is being heard because of all of the noise. I see a world filled with a bunch of children throwing temper tantrums. Basically saying I want what I want, and you are going to give it to me! A good parent would not reward their child by giving into their child’s tantrums. They would discipline their child. Wrong behavior should not be rewarded. Just because you do not agree with the other does not mean that you can bully your way into getting what you want.

There is no true winner in any fight. Both parties get hurt one way or another. Listen to what each other is saying even if you do not agree on what is being said. I can hear a person yelling at me, but that does not mean that I am going to listen to what they have to say because they have screamed their demands at me. I am sorry I am not a soldier and you are not my drill sergeant where I have to do what you yell at me. I am a person who has free will to think for myself and just because I do not agree with you does not give you the right to yell or scream your demands at me. There is a saying you attract more flies with honey than vinegar. You have the right to have your own thoughts and desires, but you nor I have the right to make you think or do as I do. Fighting will never accomplish anything. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree.

I can respect you without having to agree with you. Respect does not mean I even have to like you. It does mean I can exist without doing you harm. I can listen to what you have to say without being offended and raising my voice and slandering you for what you have to say. I should not demand that you agree with me, but show you the respect that will hopefully have you show me the same respect. Instead of getting angry because I do not like what you have said, understand that is your point of view and that I do not have to cuss at you or call you names. Doing that will never get you to listen to me if I did, it would just lead to more fighting.

Jesus taught us to love our enemies. That does not mean we agree with them, but that we give them the love that He gave to us before we even knew Him. A love that none of us deserved. He gave His life to save us while we were His enemy. Through His sacrifice we were given grace, mercy, and salvation. Yet we withhold this grace and mercy from anyone we do not agree with. Forgetting that none of us are truly righteous and that we all sin and are far from perfect. Remember our ways, are not His, and our thoughts are not His thoughts. It is not our way of doing things that we should be seeking but His. He has so much better for us if we would only stop fighting, but listen to Him and love each other as Jesus has told us we should.

Well these are just my thoughts for the moment and you do not have to agree with me or even listen to me, but I pray that you open your hearts and ears to Him and listen to what He is saying.

God bless and keep you in His peace.

Call To Prayer / Praying for peace, when you cannot find it.

Call To Prayer / Praying for peace, when you cannot find it.

In the world today the subject of peace seems to be a foreign concept, that people cry out for, but fight against. Riots and violent protests, are happening so frequently, and at the same time these protests seem to be anything closely related to peaceful. I live in a rural community and protests even made it to a local town square. A group of bikers, stood guard and kept violence from breaking out, without interfering with the protests. A local church even prayed with some of the protestors. A small business was even threatened by ANTIFA. Thankfully do to community protection no harm came to the business owner. Who had been confused why she had been targeted. You will hear at some of these protests people yelling, ‘No justice, no peace’. Our land is filled with hatred and violence. Too many seem to care only for themselves, and do not care if anyone gets hurt. They make demands, but give nothing in return. It is like our nation is being held hostage by fear and hate. Peace seems to not exist here.

Psalm 35:20 For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.

Jeremiah 8:11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

Romans 3:17 And the path of peace they have not known.”

Only in Christ Jesus will we find true peace. The Ho;y Spirit is our Comforter and our Helper. We need to repent and return to God as a nation, so that He can heal and bring peace to this land and its people. Let us pray together for the Peace of our Lord Jesus to flow through out our nation.

John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 4:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Let the love and peace of God flow freely from us all.

PRAY FOR PEACE WITHOUT CEASING!

Call To Prayer / 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Call To Prayer /  1 Timothy 2:1-2

1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV)

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Let us pray for ALL men, this includes women and children. Praying for every person. Peaceful life, lives free from strife and hatred, healed from all illness and disease, filled with love, and joy.

Here is a scripture to think about during our prayer time.

Philippians 4:8-9  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. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Let us pray together for God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Leave any prayer requests in the comments so we can all pray together and for each other.

Thank you and god bless and keep you safe.

WORDS / If you don’t have anything nice to say…

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.

Criticism verses Loves

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. 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. 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. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”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]Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 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]Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”[c]Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 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.

 

How to stop or avoid an argument

Love does not demand its own way.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7New Living Translation (NLT)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

These verses describe what is and is not love. My focus today is on the sentence – It does not demand its own way. How often do we argue with one another? An argument consists of at least two people in a disagreement. Both feel that they are right. The arguing is each one demanding they are right. Yet once you have entered an argument you have already lost even if you may be right. The other person may hear you but they are not listening to you and vice versa. This is just one example of a person demanding their own way, so I am going to keep on this topic. Say I do not agree with you. Instead of walking away or moving on to another subject, I keep persisting on you agreeing with me. I finally irritate you until you are upset and a full blown argument takes place. I might have been right but the way I handled this conversation was absolutely wrong. I was not getting the response I wanted, so I kept nagging you and insisting you agree with me. You may have had something for me to listen to but I was refusing to hear you. Now both of us are upset and nothing more than irritation, hurt feelings, and anger are left. So what was the point? I was demanding my own way; I was not speaking in love.

It is not easy when you have something to say and the other person is refusing to listen to what you have to say, but at the same time how often do we really listen to the others need? Is it just about what I want? When we take the time to listen to each other, and care about the others needs and wants as much as our own, this is just one way to show love. I have not perfected this quality but I am working on this personally. Of course since I have decided to make this change in myself I have met many challenges. I regularly find people who want nothing more than to argue. So I have had to either move the conversation to a more positive conversation, or politely end the conversation. Neither is easy to do, and takes effort. Yet I remind myself of this scripture and focus on the sentence-It does not demand its own way. I also ask myself when I feel like an argument is about to begin, if I am trying to demand my own way. I cannot control how another behaves, but I can choose how I will act or react. I hope that there is someone else this will help.

Proverbs 15:1-2 (NKJV)

15 A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

The Day Says Goodbye The Night Says Hello

I was inspired to take a walk as the sun was setting and the moon was rising and this song came to mind.

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As I looked out my back door and this was my view.  So I went outside to capture the beautiful sky.

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Then I turned to go back into my apartment and I see that the moon is rising. I thought, ‘I say hello and you say goodbye’ beginning the song in my head.

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So I take an evening walk to get  better view. The moon is so bright I am even able to capture the water tower next to the moon.

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The moon is in the perfect place to see between the branches of a tree as I walk closer to the west. The view reminded me of lace.

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I turned back facing towards my home and this is the view I see in the sky to the east.

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The last traces of the sun on the horizon as the star first star shines bright in the evening sky.

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The streetlights come on as the sun disappears from the horizon and the stars come out.

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Goodbye day, and hello night.

As the day says goodbye and the nights says hello I can’t help but think about all the senseless hatred and strife that is going on today. We are missing the beauty of God’s wonderful creation. Not only in nature but in the people all around us. We are all different but all created equal in God’s eyes. Our Creator who has given to each individual free will. Does this mean each person will agree? Doubtfully, but that is okay. I do not have to agree with you and you do not have to agree with me. The only one who is every truly right is Jesus. For He is the Truth, the Light, and the Way. No one came come to the Father except through Him. No religion or doctrine can get me to my Fathers home. Only Jesus. I can argue with you until I am blue in the face and I will never be able to change your mind and guess what? It is not my job to make you do anything. I can share with you all of the wonderful things Jesus has done and continues to do in my life, but I will not try to force you to believe in what I believe. I do hope though when you look around this world and the mess it is in that you can see the beauty and His love despite what man has done to one another and to this world. It is still beautiful, and His love amazes me everyday. I am just thankful that He gave me eyes to see all the beauty and love that surrounds me.

Photography by Julie Sheppard/Bridgeport, Texas 2/10/2017