I have few but potent encouragers in my life and quite frankly, I was lost in either a damaged or grieving or pouting much in my life up to now, so sad to say but I confess it freely. I have been wounded much of my life and feel like a really slow learner in that now, after 43 entire, jam packed years of life, I finally get it. Humble plus prayer and Bible study equals health, peace, joy, forgiveness, love, wholeness, contentment, healing, blessings, provision and all good things. I have been missing that key and an encouraging friend opened my eyes with God’s help and pointed me down the right road. I thought I was on it but was still criss crossing the right road while meandering down my own. I realize my road was sometimes the right road and sometimes had that extra element of pride that produced ugly things sometimes. I felt rules were sometimes a gray and that life should sometimes go the way I wanted and God could figure out how to make that work well enough. I’m not making this up, folks, and I am pretty sure I am not alone. Lol But now! Encouragement from a friend breathed life into me and made me realize my stupidity in not getting it right so long. Most of my actions and about half my words were right and good and correct but my heart inside was as often motivated by my own foolish pride than God’s perfect loving will, His Word/Truth. And this encouragement was not what you would expect. It wasn’t pretty affirmations or vain flattery or tickling praises on a job well done. Nope. It was a reprimand made about similar heart problems in someone else not even meant for me. But it resonated and made me think and realize (and I am sure someone was praying for me, thank you!!!). I needed to have everything ripped from me to realize in my or any humble heart, God comforts, blesses, purifies, answers, restores, draws close, forgives, walks with, etc. Humbling your heart and talking to God opens the door to His throne room where instead of judging, He comes to hug you. Encouragement, I have found, is not flattery at all. It is truth telling. Flat out telling the truth. The truth of God is encouraging beyond measure when you are humbly walking and talking with God and caustic when you are away from Him. That is why evil doers seemingly happy in their evil pride and haughtiness like I was find truth unsettling and needing modification to feel better and some even fight truth tooth and nail. Say that five times fast. Lol So, my hearty thanks go out all who tell me the truth/encourage me. I hope to encourage you. That has always been my goal. And if you encourage/truth tell, may God bless you heartily. I love you much! I try to resemble that every day. My heart is growing in leaps and bounds with humility and frequent prayers. May yours be also. God bless you on your journey! ❤
“So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made you free from the law that brings sin and death. The law was without power, because the law was made weak by our sinful selves. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son to earth with the same human life that others use for sin. By sending his Son to be an offering for sin, God used a human life to destroy sin. He did this so that we could be the kind of people the law correctly wants us to be. Now we do not live following our sinful selves, but we live following the Spirit. Those who live following their sinful selves think only about things that their sinful selves want. But those who live following the Spirit are thinking about the things the Spirit wants them to do. If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace. When people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, they are against God, because they refuse to obey God’s law and really are not even able to obey God’s law. Those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God.” – Romans 8:1-8 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans8:1-8&version=NCV
There is an old hymn we used to sing growing up in church. Here are the words to the first verse: “Take time to be holy. Speak oft (often) with the Lord. Abide in Him always and read in His Word. Take time with God’s children. Help those who are weak. Abiding in all ways His presence we seek.” I took for granted those words, did not think much of them until just now. But I tell you the truth. If these things are all you ever do in life, you will have lived an amazing and very beautiful, impactful life! I wish we still sand the good old songs that guide and help and worship who God is and not glorify the person worshipping. Oh what a different church and life would be leading the world to revival. To lift the name of Jesus Christ to its rightful place at the top of every food chain, the king of every mountain, A #1 first priority in all of the universe, least of all our tiny lives! Lift Christ up and revival comes. We need to bring back monotheism! Throw out tech ads king, throw out us adds all important, throw out addictions as answers, throw out adssnything in God’s spot. Jesus Christ is Lord and King of All Everything!!!! May His name and reign be revered as holy, perfect, loving & glorious!!!
We are so busy lately with the pantry development and baseball for Zach and art for Kat and school for both of them that I cannot remember the lazy days that used to hand over our heads. Now it is purposeful work or meaningful appointments in between. There will be lazy days to be had in time, but now they are hiding and quite elusive. I see at the end of paint and cut and trim and plumbing, a waft of lazy appreciation of the hard work we are doing. And I am thankful all the while for these busy work days. I never feel more alive than when I am working with my hands or painting! Thank you, dear God, for the work and health to do it! 🙂
Life is fully available until we die. Think about that. Every second holds as much potential for action, encouragement, meaning, love, joy, peace, power, faithfulness, creativity, goodness, gentleness, magnificence as every second before it and every one after. The enemy’s greatest too lately (other than our pride) is distraction. If you can get someone to use up their seconds focusing on something unimportant or disconnected from reality or bad or slanderous or ugly or rebellious or fraudulent, that is that much less of the good stuff you can accomplish. Think about it. As I tell my kids, “God gave you a good brain. Use it.” You start to think that you don’t want to waste your potential for good on distraction of evil. It would be a waste of a life and we are not dead yet. That will come in due time. For now, we have a chance to carry good into eternity or be distracted and waste that chance. I choose to live. I choose to serve and further good and growth and mother whatever children cross my path and love whoever is put in my journey. I choose life forever. With God, this happens. He digs us choosing Him. I would rather be valuable for Him than useless for me now and happen save nothing to show for it later. I am not dead yet. I refuse to act like it. Been there, done that. It does not satisfy for long. I will live my potential.
Changes happen. They happen a lot. Sometimes for a little bit these changes are inconvenient or horrifying or some are small. But after prayer, growth and time, these changes are always for the best to grow and change and improve us into a newer, improved life. We are taken by surprise by some of these changes because we have a habit of going about life as if nothing would change. We walk around like we’re incapable of meeting with sudden changes, for good or bad. We take for granted our strength and blow off our fragility. We have both. We are very vulnerable. But we need not live in fear of change, we must set out souls up for the possibility of it and start looking immediately for the good benefit it can produce down the line. That is optimistic flexibility and is essential for a happy life that doesn’t fall apart at every change encountered. And the biggest source of help for this way of thinking is of course God because of both His great love for us and His knowledge and power. When living in prayer, He helps us live unwavering lives despite any changes we encounter. Change is good. It may or may not look good at the time, but I assure you our new life after the change has worn off, if prayerful and optimistically flexible, will be improved and richer.
Everyone screws up. That we know because it is just fact. We may not want to, we may try not to, we may even not realize it but we all screw up. We all sin sometimes, not proud of it or judging it, but it is real. It is what happens next that determines where your heart is. There are options at this point with consequences, either good or bad ones, attached. We can ignore our own wrongs and either focus on other peoples’ wrongs or lie to ourselves and reason how our wrong was right because of our motives being right or this or that and move on. Generally, the consequence of lying, sometimes in the form of denial, is more of the same. Lies nurture lies, feed them, grow over time, get more comfortable yet never peaceful, seep joy and purity from your life and eventually down the line (or sooner with drugs) is death. The other option is confession of said wrongs to God in humble prayer and asking His truth and help in not doing it again. The consequence is a burden lifted from your shoulders and feeling good, having peace and joy then Eve tually death. The thing is that everyone dies, sooner or later, a few my age that I know have passed already. And would you rather die in poverty of conscience and full of lies which steal joy and peace or rich in conscience in truth and joy and peace? You see, the answer to that question is a commitment to act accordingly. And it is ever so serious because there is a forever and however you die, which of those only two possible scenarios, is how your eternity will continue forever. You get to choose. You choose right now. Every choice is a purposeful choice to one of those outcomes and you alone are the boss of it. You may not be able to control very much of your life at all but you and only you fully own how your eternity and even life now will go. So I for one see much wisdom and importance I. Confessing to God in prayer every little thing I do wrong and humbly asking Him for help to not screw up again. I like peace and joy and truth. Feels great on. 🙂