CONVICTED!!!!!

chain-gang 1

No, not that kind of convicted. I am referring to being convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Today I was driving down a highway, the morning was a little chilly and rainy. Not a hard, driving rain, but somewhere between a drizzle and rain. In places it was raining harder but most of the drive required me to use my windshield wipers to be able to see clearly. So, I am driving along, not really thinking too much about anything, listening to a Christian radio station, thinking about how the songs applied to me, what lessons I could learn from them. Some hard lessons that are less pleasant to think about, some were just uplifting songs. But, as I am driving I suddenly see flashing lights in my rearview mirror. I knew I wasn’t speeding as I had set the cruise control for the speed limit (FYI, sometimes that isn’t the case and I may on occasion set the cruise for 5 or 6 miles above the speed limit) and wasn’t driving carelessly so I really did not know why the sheriff was behind me. Maybe he needed to pass, so I signaled and pulled onto the shoulder to let him pass. NOPE, he didn’t pass, he pulled up behind me. I knew I wasn’t guilty of wrongdoing so I was a little confused but I did as I was taught, turned off the car, put the keys on the dash, rolled down the window and kept my hands on the wheel while he was walking up to me. I have a lot of friends that are in law enforcement and they all say if a person does that, they are less likely to give a ticket so I always do that. Plus, they say it makes them less uncomfortable about the stop as a lot of them, rightly so, are often a little nervous on routine stops since there have been a lot of police and such shot during what was thought to be a routine stop. He walked up and said good morning, then said, “Are you aware that when it is raining and you are using your wipers you are required to have your headlights on?” I said yes and that my vehicle had automatic lights so I had assumed they were on but that I would be sure to turn them on. He walked to the front, I turned them on and he came back to the window and said, “Well, they are on now. I can understand how you might think they would be on if they are automatic. Just be sure that you turn them on when using your wipers. I really would hate if someone couldn’t see you and hit you.” I thanked him, assured him that I would be careful to turn on the headlights in the future when weather was like it was today and told him to be careful and to have a good day. He wished me a good day and started back to his vehicle.

The interaction only took a few minutes and after it was over, when I was back on the road I thought about how, even though I was certain I wasn’t doing anything wrong I got nervous. Heart beating a little faster than normal, mouth felt a little dry. And, for no reason I could think of either. But, I felt like I must have been guilty, I felt convicted in a way. Well, that got me to thinking about how at times I have felt convicted by the Holy Spirit, perhaps while in church listening to a sermon, when I read something in the Bible or Christian literature or when the Lord spoke to my heart about things.

good-morning-quote-by-christian-poetry-by-deborah-ann-10-06-18

 

I saw this on another blog the other day and it spoke to me. Just like the sheriff today, he didn’t stop me to give me a ticket or do me harm, he stopped me to help me improve by being safer while driving. God does it so I see where I am not doing as He wants, and so I can make the changes I need to make to serve Him as He wants me to serve. Well, thinking about the times God has put conviction about something on my heart, and believe me, it has happened a lot, I thought about how some people will get angry about something a pastor says in his sermon because it makes the person feel convicted. They say things like the pastor has no right to attack them in that manner or they won’t go to a church where they are being preached at when there are others that are worse. Some people will quit going to a certain church because of the conviction rather than taking it as a lesson from God. I have felt convicted about things a pastor preached about, I have gotten angry with the pastor for “preaching at me” in front of the rest of the church. Except, the pastor wasn’t preaching at me, and at times had no knowledge of my life or the sin for which I was now feeling convicted. He was preaching a message that God had laid upon him. Now, I know God will do that to put conviction onto a person and while the pastor may not have known the situation I was dealing with at the time, God sure did, and He knew I needed reminded about it. I shouldn’t be angry at the pastor for preaching what God told him to preach about. Whether I thank the pastor or not, it was a needed message at the time and God was using the pastor to tell me that I needed to address this or that issue in my life. And, one should realize that God doesn’t convict us to make us feel bad, He does it so we can correct wrongs and do as He wants us to do.

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16

I have received messages from people, some I know, some I don’t, but regardless of that, things I had written obviously made them feel convicted as they were pretty hateful in their words, criticizing me for trying to make them feel guilty. Now, if I don’t know a person its clear that I wouldn’t know anything about why they should feel guilty about what I say and those I know that have done so have were not those to whom I was referring when I described different situations, yet they obviously felt guilty. If one feels guilty about something, rather than lash out at the one whose words cause that feeling, perhaps all those that feel like that should take time to talk to God and ask Him why they feel that way and see what they feel He wants them to do. Harassing the pastor, other writers or anyone else, or leaving a church to find a different one when one comes under conviction about something is obviously not the answer. Those who change churches trying to avoid conviction will find that God is there at the new church as well and sooner or later, God will use the pastor at the new church to preach a message that will cause conviction to return. If one quits church completely after coming under conviction about something won’t change things and God will use someone or something else to remind a person about things. Avoiding the truth, avoiding going to God about the conviction won’t help, it will still be there. Seeking God’s guidance is the answer. CHRIST is the answer.

I know this is true, the Holy Spirit will use anyone or anything when He is trying to speak to a person about something. I have tried to “dodge God” by not going to church, trying to justify my actions to lessen the conviction, but it never helped. I have gotten upset and angry with those God was using to tell me of my shortcomings. That did not change the truth, it didn’t correct my wrong behavior. It actually increased it by feeling as angry at those who were being used to try to help me. Only spending time praying, talking to God, confessing my sins and changing my behavior was I able to properly address the convictions.

9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10

 

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

John 3:19-21

 

Yes, God places us under conviction at times but it is to help us improve our walk with Him. Don’t hate the messenger, don’t run from the message, instead listen to what is said, correct what is wrong in your life and enjoy the benefits of a closer walk with Christ.

 

Lord, I thank You for all the effort to which you went to teach me the truth and bring me back to You. I praise You for all You are and for having the mercy, grace and forgiveness I needed, but did not deserve. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to work in me and help me improve. Help me remember that when you convict me it isn’t to shame me or make me feel bad, but to help me improve. I ask that You help all of us understand that fact and that hiding from the short comings by running from the truth doesn’t change the situation and keeps us from enjoying all the blessings You have for us. Draw us all closer and teach us the truth. Thank You Lord for the salvation You gave me and for the sacrifice Your Son made to make it possible.

 

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else today as well.

 

Advertisements

Sometimes I make my tongue hurt.

tongue

Did you ever have a time where you wanted to say something, and did so without giving thought to whether you should say it or not? Or, times you felt like saying something but bit your tongue as you wanted to wait and give it a little thought before saying it? Maybe give someone your honest opinion about something or tell them something true that they you think they should hear but may be hurtful or upsetting to them so you hold off and consider if you should say it and if you should you wish to consider options on how to tell them. Perhaps it is because of something they did to you or said about you or someone else. Maybe they did something wrong and you want to make sure they know. Possibly something they are doing wrong and sinning and you are wanting to help them by letting them know what they are doing is a sin. Or someone fixed you dinner but what they fixed is not seasoned properly and you want to help them by letting them know it has too much garlic or salt or was a little overcooked? The list of things one can find to criticize another is pretty lengthy. I know it sure wouldn’t take a lot of effort for someone to find ways to criticize me.

Sometimes, criticism is needful and beneficial but many times it is simply a way for someone to try to attack another. I have had people claim they were giving “constructive criticism” that was nothing more than a way for them to try to demean me and either make themselves feel better by making negative comments about me or simply to make me feel bad about myself or whatever it was that I had done. I have to admit that I have at times done that to others and said things that didn’t really need to be said out of anger or because I was upset. Regardless of the reason for my feelings, I thought I was justified to say something and at times I did. No thought about the real reason for saying it or what benefit it may have for others if I were to say what I was feeling. Maybe someone said hurtful things to me so I wanted to hurt them back during a conversation or argument so out the words come and words can be quite powerful but the words often impact the recipient and the speaker in undesirable ways.

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

 

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.  Psalms 19:14

 

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Proverbs 17:27

 

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1

 

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain. James 1:26

 

Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6

 

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29

 

Yeah, I know I started and ended the scriptures here with the same verse. Because, well the lesson for me is important. FIRST, I need to remember to NOT let corrupt communication proceed from my mouth. I need to consider if I am speaking the truth for the need of the one hearing it or if I am saying it to please myself because I am angry or have any motivation other than helping someone and glorifying Christ. I have in the past had no hesitation to speak my mind, often times not considering if it is right that I say whatever. Oh, it may not have been false or wrong, but it also may not have been beneficial for anyone that I give words to my thoughts. Christ has helped me with that. I am much better about pausing before I speak, biting my tongue until I have thought about things a little and often I find I really think it is better NOT to say something. Oh, I may REALLY WANT to say it, but that is the selfish human part of me and not Christ so I bite my tongue. He helps me hold my tongue and I do need help with that.  I have also come to better realize that those to whom I want to speak harshly or criticize about their actions don’t need to hear me. Those who have sinned, against me, others, themselves and most importantly against God, well, they already KNOW that they did so and me saying something to them is basically rubbing the sin in their faces and being judgmental. Neither of which benefits me or others so as such, the words are corrupt.

I also repeated the verse because not only do I need to make sure the words are not corrupt, but that they will benefit the one to whom I am speaking and me as well. That it will build them up, bring them closer to Christ and glorify the Lord. God has helped me be more careful to hold my words, pick the right words and I am thankful that He has done so.

 

Lord, Praise Your Holy Name. I thank You so much for helping me learn when I should speak and when I should hold my words, for helping me learn better how to consider the reason and impact of what words I would use. I ask that You continue to help me with this as I still have a long way to go to be where I should be with this and many other issues. In Jesus name I pray that You use my words, spoken and written, only to glorify You and to help others, to draw them to You. To show them Your glory, peace, comfort and the salvation You offer us all. That my words serve You and help others. And, to not say those things out of human desires of vengeance, anger or vanity. Give me the right words at the right time. I ask that You better help me seek You and that You use me for Your glory. Please draw loved ones to You and help us all see Your plan for us.

Amen

Thanks for your time today. I hope something blessed or helped another today and please, try to be a blessing to someone else as you go about your days.

 

 

History

history-image-1dh81eg

I have been asked on a few occasions why I dwell in the past. I must say, I don’t dwell in the past, but at times think about it because as it has been said, “those that fail to study the past are doomed to repeat it.” I consider things from the past, what I did right, and what I did wrong so I can learn about doing the right better and try to avoid doing the wrong again. As far as the wrong goes, I try to understand how I acted that was not right, or if I did not understand another’s words or actions, I try to understand how I misunderstood things. For some reason that I don’t understand, there are people who don’t give any consideration to their past mistakes and end up making the very same mistake again. Once is plenty, twice I am a slow learner, but if I make the same mistake 3 or more times, well, I am not trying to learn at all.  I gotta say, I prefer to make no mistakes. But, that would not be human but I sure don’t want to make the same ones over and over. So, I consider errors, mistakes, sins, some are only errors, others are mistakes and sins. I wish I could say I will never sin again, but there will be mistakes, unintentionally, but they will occur. I just have to try hard to avoid them.

History is important, it makes us who we are, good, bad or for most of us, somewhere in the middle. I want to use my history to be more on the good end of the spectrum and less in the middle.

God forgives us our past sins, all we have to do is come to Him, believe in Christ’s sacrifice, be repentant and ask Him to forgive. It is that simple. But, that doesn’t mean He wants us to blindly proceed into the future and repeat those sins because we forgot them. He doesn’t want us to dwell in the past, but He doesn’t want us to forget either. There are lessons to be learned so I try to look back so I can move forward.

 

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

 

The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

 

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 Corinthians 10:11

 

God wants us to learn from our mistakes, to become better people, better Christians. He doesn’t want us to LIVE in our mistakes, but to try to avoid repeating them.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy name and thank You for all the blessings you have given me. I thank You so much for bringing me back to You, redeeming me, forgiving my sins and giving me the salvation that Christ paid for on the cross. I ask in Jesus Name that You help me learn from my mistakes to become a better Christian and servant for Jesus. Help me learn how to seek Him and know Him. Help me have the heart and mind of Christ. Thank You for the lessons and the guidance from Your Word. Help me better understand how to apply those lessons to my life. I pray that You work in me and my loved ones to draw us all closer to You, show us Your path for us and help us better serve You.

If anyone of the readers has a special need, problem, concern or other issue in their life I pray You help them, comfort them and move in their life to help them with their problem.

Amen

 

I thank you all for stopping by today. I don’t normally say much on the following, but all have an open invitation to send me a message if they feel the need. Please, if anyone has a need, problem, or issue they want to discuss, send me a message. I may not have the answers, but I can do my best to help you find where to get the help you need with your issue.

I pray you all have a blessed day, and are able to bless at least one other person.

 

 

Shabby chic versus upcycling

dresser

 

I continue my work at my parents house and as I do so I have to try to determine if things have value so I will be able to decide if it should be included in the estate auction or what other options I have for those that will not likely sell.  Things like cracked mirrors, very old but damaged picture frames, antique glassware that is ornate but have little chips, vintage furniture such as china cabinet and many other things that aren’t perfect but may be of value to someone.  One cabinet is made well out of good wood. It’s sturdy but the varnish is cracked and peeling in places, there are stains on the shelves from who knows what. I was considering trying to refinish it or paint it in how’s it may be worth more. Then as I was talking with the auctioneer about dealing with the estate to get input how to better prepare for it I showed that cabinet he very quickly said, “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT REFINISHING IT! There are a lot of people that want the shabby chic items and if you paint it or something they won’t be interested.”  I hadn’t considered that.

We continued the talk and I mentioned the chipped glassware and I asked for his thoughts about those items and showed him a couple and asked if I should just toss them out. “NO WAY!” He said and went on to explain that there a lot of artists and others that love to use those kind of things to make something out of it to sell or for their own enjoyment. He showed a couple photos of things that people had made from items with more damage than the things I showed him.

I thought about that some after he left, and also thought about how we can either be shabby chic or upcycled Christians. Well, that isn’t accurate, because shabby chic pretty much one accepts the flaws and then tries to keep them present, not make them better. They may clean it up and perhaps touch up the finish, maybe try to keep them from getting in worse shape, but they don’t try to really improve things, just not get worse. So, while some people may be shabby chic Christians, they are not really good Christians if they are pleased to accept their flaws and sins, keep them, not change.

 

1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

Galatians 6:1-5

 

upcycle

 

God wants us to remove our imperfections and make us better. He wants to improve us. He will completely remove the imperfections, sometimes altering the person to give them a new purpose. He will grind, smooth and polish until the imperfections are gone and the person can serve Him. He will make us beautiful and perfect for His will and use. If we let him. He forgives us, completely, for our sins if we confess that Christ is His Son, Died for our sins and defeated death. That we confess we are sinners and through Christ, God forgives, redeems us and removes those imperfections. Just like that, He upcycles us.

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

 

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

Galatians  6:15-17

No, I don’t want to be shabby chic, I want to be upcycled. I want to be something new. I want Christ to remove the chips and imperfections, make me into something beautiful in His sight that He can use to draw others to Him. He did that already. I am human and have continued struggles but He has done so much and made tremendous progress. Oh, He aint done yet, but He continues to work in me and my life.

 

Lord, I praise and worship You. I thank You for the day, the little lessons You teach me and how You bless me every day. I ask You continue the work on me to make me into the servant You need. I pray that You work on loved ones as well. Draw them nearer to You, help they who do not know You to find You. I pray for those struggling with difficult decisions in their lives. Help them know what choice You want them to make. Help me with my decisions as well. Thank You for my salvation and the sacrifice Christ made so I may have it.

In Jesus Holy Name

AMEN

 

Thanks to all for your time. I hope something in this is a blessing to someone. Have a great day and try to bless at least one person today.