Challenges

 

 

I have had some challenging times and life being what it is I expect more challenges. In life, there are always challenges. One cannot escape the probability of challenges, we all have and will face any number of challenges and difficulties. Those challenges may be due to financial problems, job changes, marital, loss of family members due to death, health difficulties, difficulties with home repairs, automobile repairs, temptations, problems with completing school work or hard tests to take. There is always some sort of difficulty around the corner waiting for us. Some, so overwhelming that one cannot see how they could get past them, how they will be able to afford the cost, whether financial, emotional or physical. Facing challenges has costs that cannot be avoided. If facing a huge bill that they don’t have the money to pay. They see a pending loss of a loved one that they do not see any way they will be able to cope without that person in their life. I remember watching my parents as they slipped away from me. Praise the Lord, they are with Him now, but I faced those losses with such an emptiness that I could never have imagined being possible. There are some challenges that are smaller, less difficult to face and others so overwhelming that a way to overcome them is beyond the grasp of ones mind.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].                   1 Corinthians 10:13

After facing all manner of challenges in my life, before and after my salvation, but since my salvation I find that even the difficult challenges are easier, the hard times less so. Praying to help me see how He would have me react in those times, to see what path He wants me to take and of course, letting Christ carry my burdens for me.

28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  Matthew 11:28-29

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  Philippians 4:6

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Philippians 4:13

So. As I face new challenges in life, because life is full of challenges some worse than others, sometimes more frequent but I will face more challenges. I have His strength to help me be strong. I have Christ to bear my burdens. I have a Lord that loves and protects me in difficult times.

 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].  1 Peter 5:10

 

I will lean on Him in the challenges; seek His counsel when confused; ask or His comfort when dealing with troubling situations.

 

Lord, Praise You in all Your Glory. I thank You for the comfort You give in troubled times, for the strength to stay the course when I am facing struggles to continue on the course You have laid before me. I know that I will never be at a point that challenges do not come my way but I thank You for being there to help me through those times. I ask in the name of Jesus that others facing challenges, facing big decisions or difficult times, currently or in the future, be given the grace You have shown me and that You speak to their hearts and minds that they know that You are with them and give them guidance and understanding of their individual paths so they know what they need to do. Show them Your will in their lives and give them the peace when You speak to them so that they have the comfort only You can give. Thank You Lord for my salvation through the sacrifice of Your Son Christ.

Amen

Well, its cold in the Midwest and hopefully will warm up soon. I hope all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to someone else.

Knock. Knock. WHO’s there?

knock

I promise, no lame knock knock joke. During a conversation with a friend while discussing one door closing, finding other doors locked, uncertainty about even trying further doors as they didn’t feel any strong leading by the Lord in one or another particular direction. So, planning to wait for Him to unlock a door. I tend to be one that wants to be involved in things and I believe that Christ wants us to be active participants in our lives. He wants us to lean on Him but He also wants us to put some effort into things. He may unlock doors but He wants us to turn the knob and open the door to let Him into our lives or to give God the chance to do something for us.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  Revelation 3:20-22

He does stand at the door and knock, waiting for us to open the door let Him in. He won’t barge in the door but He will wait and knock again. He will make things ready for us but won’t force us to accept Him and His blessings. He will prepare a way for us but not force us to take that path but hopes that we will and even when we don’t He will still have that path waiting for us so that we can be forgiven and receive the grace and mercy He provides.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11

He has thoughts and plans for us and wants us to reach the expected end. He wants us to receive the blessings He has to give us but we to do our part. He has all ready and waiting if we have the faith to reach out and take it.

And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

Luke 12:47

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

 

If we hear Him and don’t open the door, if we know what He tells us and don’t obey and prepare ourselves to do His will, we deny ourselves the blessings He has for us. If we have the faith to obey when He speaks to us, the faith to open those doors, the courage to exercise that faith, we will be blessed.

So, if He is knocking on your door to offer you salvation; if He is there waiting for you to open the door to give you the blessing for which you have been praying; open the door, take that step of faith and receive the salvation and blessings He has prepared for us all.

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You that You will stand at the door and knock, that You will unlock those locked doors and prepare a way for me. I ask in Jesus name that You help me have the faith and trust in You so that I open those doors You have unlocked and step forward in faith that I may have all that You have prepared for me. I ask that You draw me closer, that You reach out to loved ones that they hear You when You knock and that all others that hear You knocking but are fearful for some reason have the faith and courage to listen to You and follow You. So all can know the redemption and forgiveness You have waiting for them.

Amen

 

Thanks again for your visit. I hope all are blessed today and are able to be a blessing to at least one other as well.

Hitch hiking.

hitchhiker

 

Well, not exactly but sort of, I was thinking about sometimes as one deals with the things life throws at them, they need a lift. Like a hitch hiker out in the middle of no where, thumb out and hoping for a ride to the next town, some place they can rest, get some nourishment and prepare for the next part of the journey. Maybe it is pouring rain and chilly, the hitcher is soaked, cold, and miserable. Waiting for a ride and a warm, dry place of shelter while getting to the desired destination. Maybe the last ride they had dropped them off at the wrong location and they are lost. Maybe it seems that there is no way to get to where they want to go from where they are currently.

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.  Isaiah 41:10

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

I don’t know about anyone else, but I know I get worn out dealing with various aspects of life, physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Life can be harsh and can drain a person. I’m not moaning about my life being horrible, it’s better than a lot have, but it’s not perfect. Who does have a perfect life? No person I know. We all have our own worries and challenges that take a toll on a person. We all have things that make us sad, tired, helpless or hopeless. We feel like we are out in a storm, life events dumping on us, we are drenched, cold, alone and may feel like we are at a hopeless location that we have no possibility of moving out of it. That can be a physical location, financial, emotional, spiritual or other type of situation, but regardless of the circumstances we need lifted out of that situation; we need some sort of shelter and protection; we need comforting.

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.  Romans 15:13

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.   John 14:26

Fortunately, there is Someone to whom we can turn for that ride to our destinations. Someone that will protect us from the storms that have been beating us up spiritually with the winds and rains of whatever hardship with which we are dealing, to the point we are soaked to the core. Someone that will give us that warm, dry shelter, help us dry off, feed us spiritually, carry us to where we need to be, which may or not be where we think we should go. If we let Him, He will do all that we need.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Unlike most drivers that see a hitchhiker and are worried about what possible dangers the hitchhiker may present, God doesn’t worry about that, He sees someone with their “thumb out” asking for help, asking for that lift, asking for that shelter and comfort and Christ pulls over, helps us into His vehicle and takes care of what we need. No matter how bad one may be, Jesus is more than ready to take them in, lift them up and carry them through the storms to His “truck stop” that gives us the comfort and spiritual nutrition we need. Regardless of where we think we need to go, if we allow Christ the control He will deliver us and be sure to get us to where we need to be for His glory.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, [and] a strong tower from the enemy.        Psalms 61:3

Our spiritual thumb is prayer and acknowledgement that Jesus is the son of God, if we confess that He is the Lord, that Christ is His Son who died for us. He will give us that ride we need, He will be our salvation and deliverance. What an amazing Lord He is!

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.    Romans 10:9-11

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the lifts You give me as I struggle through life. Lifting me out of sin and carrying me to forgiveness and salvation. I thank You for protecting me and comforting me in my times of need and for knowing where I need to go, regardless of where I want to go. For knowing better than I know what Your plans are for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that I remain sensitive to where You want to take me and not try to plan my own destinations and that I remember during the storms and hard times I remember to call out to You, to seek You for my deliverance and comfort. I ask that you draw my loved ones to You so they also seek Christ in times of need, when they feel lost so that He may carry them to the destination He knows that they need to reach. Teach them to be sensitive to what He tells them on ways they need to serve Jesus.

Amen

 

I hope all are well and that you are blessed today. Please, be a blessing to someone else today.

 

What keeps you from hearing?

listening

I am deaf in one ear. The day it happened I suddenly got loud, EXTREMELY LOUD, ringing and intense pain in that ear and after a few minutes, the volume of ringing decreased somewhat and the pain stopped. But, other than the ringing I could hear nothing. They call it sudden sensorineural hearing loss. They tried several treatments to see if my hearing would return but it didn’t. Hearing aids didn’t help because, well, if you are really deaf then amplifying it doesn’t help. It’s just louder sounds that you still don’t hear. Eventually it was determined that I needed a cochlear implant and they went through all the insurance issues to get it approved. Finally after a couple denials it was approved and I had the surgery and now can hear in my previously deaf ear when I am wearing the processor. I have to say that it is not the same as my natural hearing but definitely better than nothing and it is a gift from God. I believe that He gives people the ability to find ways to cure some conditions or to improve some diseases so they are at least somewhat tolerable. I believe so very much and for that I am thankful. God uses people and technology to help us.

BUT, the issue that I face is that I still have the ringing, buzzing sound in my deaf ear. According to the surgeon the brain wants sounds and if for some reason our ears do not pick up the sounds around us the brain will create something. The ringing is, at times, annoying to say the least and at other times, near maddening. It makes it difficult to try to focus and concentrate. It also makes it difficult to hear more subtle sounds in that ear. Thank God, my hearing in the other ear is still good so I am able to hear well with it. Sometimes, with just one good ear, I hear too many sounds, my brain quit filtering the different conversations so I hear them all. When I go out to eat, I hear bits and pieces of everyone talking and all the clinking and clanking of silverware on the plates; that serves to make it harder to hear the conversation at the table. It distracts me terribly. So, between the loss of hearing and the new inability to filter extraneous sounds, I have more difficulty than I used to have when trying to hear someone tell me something important.

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:          Ephesians 4:18

As I thought about my loss of hearing, I thought about how I have in the past lost my spiritual hearing. Life events resulted in me hardening my heart towards God and not listening to Him when He tried to speak to me. I didn’t hear when He would talk to me, I didn’t understand when He spoke because I allowed the ringing in my spiritual ears to drown out what He was trying to say. I became spiritually deaf and blind. I let life prevent me from knowing it was Him and allowed all the hurt, anger, bitterness, preoccupation with my career, concerns about other demands on my time, financial hardships and worries of life keep me from knowing what He wanted me to do. It doesn’t matter exactly what those distractions were, we all have our own distractions and worries that interfere with our ability to hear Christ clearly; we all allow life events and concerns to plug our ears and interfere with our seeing what He has planned for us.

7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.

Hebrews 3:7-10

 

 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  Matthew 11:15

In addition to having the surgery with the implant to help my hearing, I had to retrain my ears and brain to hear properly again; I had to relearn how to filter out the conversations and sounds that were distractions so I could focus on the one important conversation. I am still working on that as my ears still get all the stimuli coming in and I often have extraneous noises that overwhelm me and keep me from hearing the really important things. I also still have the ringing that also interferes. But, those things are getting better, rather I am getting better about filtering out the things I don’t want or need to hear so I can receive the information I need. Much like my spiritual hearing where I am learning better to hear His still small voice and not let the buzzing of human existence and the noises the enemy creates distract me when I want and need to listen to Him. I am not fully where I want to be in that regard, maybe I will never be as good as it as I want, but definitely much improved. I strongly suspect I am not the only one that way, truly I think we are all that way to one extent or another.

So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

 

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:13-15

 

I definitely need to hear Him better, to listen carefully and try harder to understand what He is saying to me.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:16-17

 

 

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.              Revelations 3:20

 

More than just hearing though, I need to learn to follow His instructions, do His bidding. Regardless of what my human nature says, in spite of the things the enemy tries to say to interfere with my ability to hear and willingness to obey Christ.

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  James 1:22

 

I have to remind myself that if I listen and follow the instructions He gives me, He will lead me in the path He plans for me and when I do, He will bless me for doing so.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

So, I shall strive to listen and to actually HEAR Him better, to take what He tells me to heart and do my best to follow His guidance, to learn to ignore the noises of life that interfere with my hearing Him, to block out the enemy’s taunts and attempts to distract me.

 

Lord,  Praise You and Your Son, Jesus, who died on the cross for my sins so I could have salvation. Thank You for helping me see my shortcomings and helping me to understand how I need to improve to better serve You. I pray in the name of Jesus that I learn to block out the things that interfere with my ability to see Your plans and hear You in my heart so I can do what I know You want me to do. Help me understand better Your will for me. Teach me to focus better on You, Your wishes for me and know when Satan is trying to work against me. Draw me closer that I can be the person You want me to be. Draw us all closer to You, help my loved ones know how to see and hear You in their lives that they may all come to know you and the magnificent blessings You hold in store for those who follow Christ. Help us all to be people who glorify You with our words and deeds.

Amen

 

I hope all have a wonderful day and are blessed as they go about their business. Please try to be a blessing to someone else today as well.

 

 

Is that what you want to be doing when Jesus comes?

 

 

I have heard this said in a variety of different ways since I was a child. Maybe phrased as: Would you want to meet Jesus doing that? How would you feel if Jesus saw you doing that? If Jesus came now would you be proud of how you are living? Or, any number of similar phrases uttered by my mother, grandmother and others. There was a time I would have not been proud of my life, of my actions and I would have been ashamed if Jesus had seen me that way. I am better now but sometimes, I slip a little, I get annoyed and irritated, I don’t always have as gentle of a heart and am not as quick to turn the other cheek as He wants, but I am working on that with His help. I want to be ready when He returns.

34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.         Luke 21:34-36

I posted about signs of His coming. I didn’t list all the signs but there are a lot of them in the scripture. While there are signs that the time is coming we don’t know exactly when He will come.  I always think about when there is talk of the end of the world, predictions made by people who interpret various hieroglyphs, the Mayan calendar and other ancient writings and then give specific dates for whatever apocalypse they say will cause the end of the world then suddenly, the date comes and no end of the world. Those are the ones that remind me that we will not know the time He is coming until He arrives. So we must always be ready for His return.

But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  Matthew 24:36

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Matthew 24:42-44

But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  Mark 13:32

 

No, we don’t know when He is coming, but when He comes what a glorious time for those who believe in Him and are saved. I fear for the unsaved but praise Him for those who will not be on Earth for the tribulations that will follow.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.                    1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

 

Lord,  Praise You and Your Holy Name. I thank You for my salvation. What a magnificent gift that is that You gave me. God, I both look forward to, and fear, the day that Christ returns. I look forward to rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus and worshipping at Your throne. But, I fear for those who continue in sin and who are not redeemed. I pray in the name of Jesus that You use me to help show others Your love and mercy that they may know the forgiveness and grace that await them if they confess Christ as Your son and ask for forgiveness of their sins. I pray that You help all know You and that You draw all my loved ones to You that they not be left behind when Christ returns.

Amen

 

Well, I hope something I said blesses someone, I would encourage all to take time and read about the signs of His return and what will occur when He does come. If you are not where you think you should be when He returns, then talk to God and get to where you feel Him lead you. Have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else.

 

Signs of the times?

danger sign

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Matthew 24:2-8

 

A friend and I were talking about the second coming of Christ. How some of the various signs that we were told to watch for seem to be occurring and that indicates the time is getting close. My grandfather said many years ago that the time was getting close; he talked about all the signs he was seeing that indicated Christ would return soon. Now, I can see that some of the signs that are in the Bible have occurred. Yet, there are a lot of other signs that have not yet occurred.

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

 

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.                                                                         Luke 21:25-28

 

SO, when will He come? When will the Rapture happen? Well, THAT is something that we just cannot determine. In fact, He tells us that He will come when we don’t expect Him.

But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  Matthew 24:6

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.  Revelation 3:3

What is undeniable is that regardless of exactly WHEN, that time is coming and is getting closer by the day. Will it be within a year? Two? Twenty? A hundred? A thousand? Well, as He warns us, we cannot determine when, but we must prepare as it will come. God’s concept of time as to what is soon is vastly different than ours, to God, an immortal, eternal being, time means nothing. A second, hour, day, year, millennia all are the same to Him. But, come He will and He will keep His promises to us.

8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.                                    2 Peter 3:8-10

 

Oh, the times will be difficult, but for those who believe in Him and are following Him we will be spared much of that which is to come. I am not a Biblical Scholar so I didn’t and won’t try to “over interpret” all the signs that we will see before His coming. I will address the Rapture and other aspects of what He tells us will occur when Christ returns in the near future.

 

Lord, Praise Your Name, I thank You for the blessings You give me, for the assuredness that Christ will return. I pray in Jesus name that we be ready that no one need suffer through the tribulation after Your return and that You draw us closer to You. Make us ready for the day that Christ returns and calls us up. Help us to be diligent and faithful until that time. Thank You for the mercy, forgiveness and redemption that Jesus earned for me with His suffering and death on the cross.

Amen.

 

Thanks for the visit today. Another winter storm in our area today, for the rest of you that are also dealing with the snow and cold, I pray He keeps you all safe and blesses you today and everyday. AND, of course that you have a chance to bless others.

Oh, and to those readers in warmer climates, I am jealous and so ready for the warmer weather.

Is not obeying as bad as sinning?

 

 

Sometimes, I get questions that I sorta think I know the answer to but wonder exactly how right my opinion is on the subject. Some of the questions that pop into my head don’t have a good answer. Such as, why is it a fine one pays for getting a speeding ticket? It aint fine, it is awful, why not call the payment an awful? Besides silly thoughts and questions I do sometimes have profound thoughts and questions, much to the surprise of a lot of people. But, thinking on times God has put a burden on me to do something; talk to someone about Christ; do something for someone, help them somehow, or other things He has made me feel lead to do. Sometimes I do them but other times, despite knowing that He was speaking to my heart and knowing that I should do something because He wants me to do it, I don’t and later I feel guilty and convicted for not doing so. At times, not listening to Him results in me getting into, or staying in, an unpleasant situation. Sometimes I get myself into spots, I may not have sinned, but something in me told me it was not what I should do (yeah, it was God telling me) and I didn’t listen to His still small voice, so I blunder on my own and even though He doesn’t stop me, He does not reward me either and allows me to deal with the consequences of not obeying.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.    James 4:17

AND….that is the question of the day. Is not obeying as bad as sinning? Is knowing what He wants and not doing so as bad as committing a sin. Well, intuitively I want to say, yes, not obeying is sinning. I can be doing nothing wrong, I may not be disobeying God’s will, I may not be doing contrary to Christ’s teachings, but then again if I am not obeying God then, well, sadly I am sinning. Like when I was a child and my parents told me to do something, clean my room perhaps, and I played dumb later when it wasn’t done and even though I didn’t misbehave, not obeying them was disobeying and that is misbehaving. The same applies to with what God tells us. If we pretend not to hear, or due to pride, fear, thinking we are too busy, or some other excuse/reason we fail to obey, we sinned.

But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.   Luke 11:28

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.    Romans 13:1

Well, so far, yup, He is telling me I am supposed to do as I feel He leads me and that not doing so is wrong in His sight.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  Luke 6:46

And, there it is, He tells us to obey Him and that if we know what is good but fail to do it, that is a sin. Seems to me I need to be better about obeying. I have been working hard on not sinning other ways but still through whatever stubbornness, insecurity, fear, pride, or what ever excuse I try to make up as an excuse to not obey when He speaks to me, I am not obeying and therefore I am sinning. If you hear or feel God speaking to you, do as He leads you. Such a simple concept, but sometimes, the simple things are not so easy.

 

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness and mercy You give me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me better hear and listen to Your voice and that I get better about obeying what I know is Your will for me. And that when I hear that I follow without trying to find excuses not to obey. I thank You for teaching all the things You have taught me and ask that You help me hold all the lessons to heart and incorporate those into my life. I ask that You continue to work with me to make me a better Christian. I ask that You draw all my loved ones closer to You that we all know You and the salvation You give us that was paid for by the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus who died for my sins. I pray You help me be a better example for Christ.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. I hope all are blessed today and have a chance to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

The Plan

battleplan

 

During a conversation with a friend recently the subject of plans came up. Human plans vs God’s plans. Part of the talk was about how sometimes we humans experience things that, as we go through them, seem hard to comprehend and at times seem to lead us away from where we think He wants us, but later as we look back and see the whole picture it makes more sense.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

We both made statements about God knowing so much more than we do and that His plan is perfect and if we trusted Him more, as in completely, we would end up where He
plans on us being much sooner and without the difficulties many of us encounter.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

As the conversation continued I commented on how it is similar to a military operation and how the privates don’t always understand a lot about what is going on, they have a mission and instructions on how to complete their mission but sometimes those instructions, the big plan, involves them going what to them seems like the long way around to reach whatever the objective may be and they decide they want to take a short cut but as they do so they run into a flooded fields, barbed wire, land mines or some other trap the enemy has laid for them and because of that they either have to move very slowly or they end up caught in a trap. How the enemy makes them suffer for not following the plan. But, if they persist, they can still reach the objective and after the mission is complete and they have seen the reason they were supposed to take the long route that in the end would have been simpler and safer, yet still would have resulted in reaching the objective without all the hardships they encountered because they took what seemed to be an easier, more convenient way.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

I reflected on how God often has a plan and we decide to take short cuts, remembering the objective, the goal, but not doing exactly as God leads us to do. Seeing and understanding His perfect plan for us, but in our simple human minds thinking that we can do it better than He can. So, we try and fail. Eventually we realize (hopefully) that we strayed from the path He laid before us, diverted from His plan. We are caught in the enemy’s traps and then trying on our own, just can’t seem to get out. So, we call on Christ to help us and He hears our pleas and gets us out of the mess we created and sets us back on His way for us. Reminds me of a movie I saw about World War 1, a soldier took a short cut while they were retreating and got caught in barbed wire and the harder he tried to get out by himself, the more tangled up he got. He didn’t have wire cutters with him to cut the wires and he was trapped. He called for help and another soldier heard him, made his way to where he was caught and cut the wires so the trapped soldier could escape.

8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9

 

He is our savior. He has given us the tools, the Bible and prayer, to get out of the barbed wire snares of Satan and God has a plan for each and every one of us, we must only allow Him control and follow His guidance. Using the tools He gives us, requires faith and obedience, without those we can easily fall into traps and by alone we cannot get out of the traps. But if we find ourselves caught in situations that we know are not of God, even though we pretty much got ourselves in those circumstances through our own poor choices, He will come to our rescue and loosen those traps and help us, sometimes carry us, away from the situation. He will deliver us from evil, He will take care of His children and if we believe in Christ as the Son of God, who died on the cross for our sins and was resurrected to defeat death and confess our sins and ask for the forgiveness we need, HE WILL REDEEM US. What an amazing Lord He is!

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36

 

Lord, I thank You and praise You that You have a plan for me, and each of us; that You have understanding of things far beyond my simple abilities and that only through seeking You and following You will I be able to escape the traps of satan and reach that place that Christ has for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me listen for Your voice and feel Your presence and hand upon me, guiding my steps as I live my life here on earth. I ask that You help me better understand You and Your plan for me and help me stay in the path that leads me to Jesus. I ask that You draw us all close to You and help us be lights in this dark world to help others see the true path. Thank You for the mercy, grace and redemption that was given to me because of the sacrifice and suffering of Christ.

Amen

 

I appreciate those who take time to stop by my blog. I hope something I said blesses someone and that you all have a blessed day and are able to be a blessing to someone else.

 

Fear Doesn’t Stand a Chance

 

no fear

I had the radio on while I was driving earlier and the song “Stand In Your Love” came on. The line that caught my attention was the start of the chorus where it says: “Fear Doesn’t Stand a Chance.” That got me to thinking about some situations where I have been fearful of something. When I was a child and a sudden loud noise startled me and I got scared; when I was in Iraq; times when change was coming and there was unknowns about everything; when money was tight and we were living paycheck to paycheck I was fearful about how bills would be paid; when I found out I was getting laid off years ago I was also afraid I would have trouble paying bills and many other times. Now, I don’t consider myself a coward but there are times when one faces difficult circumstances and it is hard not to be afraid. But, as we face the trials of life, the words of that song can give comfort, but more importantly is that Christ can give comfort in times of fear.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  1 John 4:18

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  Romans 8:15

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.  Proverbs 29:25

There are a lot more verses about fear, facing fear and finding comfort in His word and His presence.

Give a listen to the song when you get a chance, listen to the words, the verses and the chorus. “Stand in Your Love” by Josh Baldwin.

http://www.klove.com/music/artists/josh-baldwin/songs/stand-in-your-love-lyrics.aspx

Lord, Thank You for reassuring me when I face difficult times that cause fear and worry and for being my Comforter when I need comforting. I pray  in the name of Jesus that I and others facing challenging times regardless of the cause: changing employment, loss of employment, worry about finances, concerns about relationships, fear of any and all enemies that we face, fear about health problems and for all the other causes of fear, that You be there and strengthen us and make us without fear so that we can face them without the anxiety that comes with fear. Show us Your path and how we can best follow Your wishes for us. Teach us to face challenging times with courage and reassurance that You are with us. Draw us all nearer to You Lord that we may learn to serve You as You want us to serve.

Amen

 

Thank you all for taking a few minutes to read my blog. I hope all are ready for a new week and that you are blessed as you go about your days. Try to be a blessing to someone else as well.

God Sees and Hears ~

Sometimes the tears and pain are internalized but just as real as the tears flowing down one’s face. But, He knows our pains and sorrows.

thank you for the blessing

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

God sees your tears,
He hears your cries
He knows the sound
of sorrows sighs.

He sees your heart,
the pain, your break
He sees your frame
the tremble, the shake.

God hears your pleas,
the why, the hows
He hears your prayers
the what, the nows.

God sees your mind,
the fear, the fright
He sees  your thoughts
the shock, your fight.

God sees your pain,
the jolt, your shutter
He hears the words
you can’t seem to utter.

~~~~~

Psalm 42:3

“My tears have been
my meat day and night,
while they continually
say unto me,
Where is thy God?”

King James Version
Public Domain

Copyright 2019
Deborah Ann Belka

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