Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Recently, there just seems to be an outpouring of hurt among the folks I know. Albeit, financial, physical, medical, turmoil, being hurt by family or friends, lies, manipulations, folks trying to "advance karma" - just a myriad of things which have hurt me or my friends.
Many have cried, including myself - from the hurt, the uncalled for persecution, the threats, the evil that others plan against you, the breaking up of families, friendships which have gone south, loss of job(s), or lack of job(s) - and many of us have curled up in a dark place to just cry.
I've heard crying does one good. It releases the tension and the anxiety. I also am told that tears are the only cure for weeping. You cannot weep inside and maintain a positive to one's self. We have to release the hurt - and tears help. I think recently my friends and I have cried enough to fill a river and more. If we combined all our tears, we could have helped the drought situation in Texas - whether we've cried for ourselves, friends, family or other.
"Jesus wept." That's the shortest scripture in the Bible. Jesus wept when his friend died and he weeps with us. (John 11:33)
In the days of King Solomon there were many ups and downs. Ecclesiastes, King Solomon wrote, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven . . . a t ime to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. (3:1-4)
I've looked back at some of my writings - I can tell when I am down and when I am up.
I've come to realize that we do ourselves a great injustice or disservice when we portray Christian life as peaceful and happy all the time. The Bible shows the believers' life as having ups and downs. Just because we are a child of God we all must have a time of joy or sadness, and each season will lead us to seek the Lord and trust Him more.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
God’s Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm.
We all go through valleys in our lives. Valleys so low that we don't think we can climb even to the bottom of the next mountain. It would be so easy to lay down, not say anything nor do anything nor be anything - but that isn't who we really are.
I think while we are in the valleys of our lives, that it is a time to read more of what God has planned for us, to listen more to what God has to say to us, to see what God's goals for us really are. There is strength to be gained.
Four years ago, Hurricane Humberto blew through Southeast Texas - to us it was just a good ol' East Texas thunderstorm. Then, Hurricane Ike blew through the following year. The storm left many homeless, especially in the Bridge City and Gulf coast areas of Texas. I've watched Boliver, Crystal Beach and Gilchrist come back to life - I've seen the works of Christians and churches praying and working. The valley has been low for them - but - they also gained strength and new understanding. God's word was the immovable anchor during those storms.
He holds us steady when our knees are weak. He brings us through the fire, the water, the fury unscathed - we may not realize it at the moment - but if not for God's immovable anchor in our life - we would have given up - just said "that's it - I'm done."
"I will never leave you nor fore sake you." He says. "I am with you always."
Some of my friends and even me are going through some valleys - we are worried about our health, our finances, our families - many things we are fretting over that we cannot do anything about. One of my friends I spoke to yesterday is working herself into a tizzy about some tests that she has to take this weekend. I asked her, "Didn't you give that to God?" She said, "Well, I guess I didn't give it all to Him." I asked, "Why not? You can't fix it, but He can." Our immovable anchor in times of the storm.
"I surrender all....all to Him I owe...." Give it to the immovable anchor in your times of storm - no matter how large or small the storm - God is our immovable anchor.
Monday, September 12, 2011
I've been working with several on an upcoming reunion for several classes. It's been trying at times - but it's also but extremely rewarding. I've been able to meet up with a lot of old (not in age of course! LOL) classmates - many I've not heard from nor spoken to in well over 40 years.
Of course, in every planning there are those who want to create destruction. There have been "rumors" and "lies" that I've been the center of. I've felt belittled. I have felt persecuted over things I did not say nor do. I do know who DID say them, but it wasn't me.
I have come to realize that when you are doing the right thing, making good decisions, you will not always be the most popular nor the most accepted. I have come to realize that there are trouble makers everywhere.
During this time, I've prayed for my enemies. I have tried to be grace under fire. I have deleted negativity from my Facebook page. I realize that I cannot control others' emotions nor beliefs, but if they are negative and wrong, I also do not have to condone nor listen to them.
I also believe during this time, I've gained a lot. I've gained strength in times of persecution, I've read my Bible more, I've prayed more, I've asked for forgiveness more and I think I've grown in spirituality.
I saw ugly at it's best and I want no part of it. I saw me several years ago - spewing anger and vile at people over rumors. I do not want others to perceive me as someone I do not want to be.
I was proud of how I handled things. I never cursed them. I was upset. I was stressed to the point my doctor said I was stroke stage. None of us wants to be lied about especially across the web. It hurt. I prayed that God would protect me from all their evil ways. And, I believe He did.
I also had time to ponder of all the times in my life, how many times have I disobeyed God? How many times have I fallen short in doing my part of my life? I'm trying to walk the path God has for me - sometimes I falter - but I do know when I do - that He is there to help pick me up.
We cannot control others' opinions of us. But we can have strength under fire - we can hold our heads up with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child. We aren't in elementary school any longer - some of us have grown up, and, others - well, somehow they are still stuck in school with the same mentalities.
I'm truly looking forward to this reunion. I'm looking forward to renewing friendships. And, I'm grateful for the persecution - because it has made me a stronger Christian - and for that, if no other reason - I am grateful to my enemies.
Read Proverbs 12 - I read the Proverb after I had originally written this. I am thrilled with the confirmation.
I thought of you this morning, and thought of the trials we all go through. I wanted to share these 2 scriptures with you - to remind you that God is carrying you through this time in your life - that He is your shelter, your rock and also to let you know - as a friend - I'm here for you.
Psalms 86:7 "In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee, for thou will answer"
Psalms 138:7"Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies. Your power will save me."
God also says "I will never leave you nor forsake you"
We all live in circumstances that we don't like. We ask God "why" and He doesn't tell us - so we have to deal with them. But we can deal with them through the inner strength God gives us.
Phillippians 4:11-12 Paul was in prison in Rome writing to the Philippians - "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on amost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want." Paul was in bad circumstances when he wrote this. I think we can learn a lot from Paul. You focus on Christ rather than the circumstances.
I want to focus less on the problems and put more focus on Christ. There are no circumstances in our lives that God cannot change if He choses to.
Paul focused on the sovereignty of God, not the will of man. Romans 8:28 "And, we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His will"
"For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants." Just because we do not see God's work - He is working for us. He knows our needs before we ever ask. But we can't work against Him with our fretting.
The difficult things, pain, hurt times push us to listen more to what God has to say. Let's focus on the POSITIVE results and not the pain or loss. Philippians 1:12-13 Paul had all those guards day and night and was able to witness to all these guards - who were able to go out and preach and they pointed back to Paul and talked of his letters and courage.
Strength under courage - Love you - and look forward to continuing to pray with you and for you. God is dealing with us - in major ways - our trials and tribulations are really small issues - God is strengthening us and preparing us for great things. The focus of our life is Jesus who is within us. I want us to all know Jesus in the most intimate way possible. That, I am sure will take care of us all.
So, do we continue to focus on our circumstances or do we focus on the sovereinty of God and let Him use us to be a witness in someone else's life. it's our choice. it's what we can do.