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.

Signs of Hope

hope

“My scars are someone else’s signs of hope.”

 

I saw this statement a while back, somewhere on the internet and had it tucked away in my list of topics. In a conversation with a friend the other day we were talking about hope, salvation, how Christ provided us escape from our sins and hopes through His suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection. All that was to allow that we, the hopeless and undeserving, would have forgiveness and salvation. Through His nail scarred hands we are saved.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.   Isaiah 53:5

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24

Now, I got spankings when I was a child. NO, I am not whining about how I was abused. It was punishment for wrong doings. I don’t hate my parents for spanking me. Children need disciplined and discipline needs to be sufficient to make sure a child remembers what they did, what the behavior brought and that they would rather avoid the punishment by not doing wrong in the future. BUT, this is not a blog about that, so as before I digress……let me get back on track………..

Yes, I did get spankings and they were painful. But that does not compare with the beatings Christ received when He was beaten before being crucified. The whips they used had bits of metal or bone imbedded in them so they not only stung, but cut and ripped flesh. He had nails driven into His hands and feet(still some debate on where the nails were actually placed during crucifixions, but this is not about the historical accuracy,) pounded through His feet and hoisted into the air to die a slow, painful death. All that suffering was so WE could have forgiveness. His suffering gives me hope.

I have had some tell me that when I write about hardships and difficult times they think I am whining. No, I have to admit, it isn’t always pleasant thinking about some things I have been through. There are not too many out there that enjoy thinking on unpleasant things, on difficulties I have endured. Talking or writing about them makes it even more unpleasant. BUT, God sometimes burdens me to share some things. Not to get other to pity me, not to moan and wail about poor little me. But, I was scarred; some are physical scars that are visible; others are emotional or spiritual scars. I had things I carried with me from my life experiences. Sadly, I allowed those things to become barriers between me and God. Instead of seeking Him I built walls to isolate myself emotionally. Yes, I had and have scars. But, as the quote above says, and the reason for some posts, is that my scars and difficult times, with the salvation and deliverance Christ bought for me is a sign of hope for others. Well, I hope so anyway. I hope that through this or that event in my life from which Jesus delivered me that others see some similarity and realize that if God will do that for me, He will do that for them as well. I hope that my scars show them that there is hope in Christ and that He is the only true hope for any of us.

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Romans 12:12-13

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

I pray that seeing my trials and tribulations reminds them that we all have suffered in life but more importantly that there is cause for rejoicing thanks to the hope we have in Jesus. I know that all suffer, many far worse than I, but we do all suffer and because of that we all have our own scars. But, hopefully someone will see what I have endured and have hope that if God can do what He did for me, He can do similar for them. All they have to do is believe in Him.

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.  Romans 10:9

 

Lord, I praise You and thank You for the salvation that was paid for through Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and resurrection. I know that I am not worthy of that, but You gave it to me anyway. I see my hopes in the knowledge that He suffered to deliver me from sin through the stripes He took for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You use me in some way to help others see that regardless of what scars they carry, You can heal their souls, forgive them their sins, give them salvation and give them hope of a blessed eternity with You. I pray that You draw each one of us closer to You that we may give hope to one another and help each other to find Your perfect peace and the true path and plan You have for each one of us.

Amen

 

I thank you all for your time today and I hope you each have a blessed day. And, as always, that you are able to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

Sometimes all you can do is pray. (BUT…THAT is a lot!)

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I think we all know people that go through hard times. I deal with a lot of people: family, friends, patients and others. It seems I have always been one that people feel comfortable talking to about a lot of things that they wouldn’t talk to a lot of people about. People I barely know would tell me a lot of personal things. Usually it seemed they were sort of either just needing to talk to allow them to think through things themselves but other times they were looking for advice. I am not really fond of giving advice because if it doesn’t work as well as they like, I end up being blamed and even if not blamed, I don’t like thinking I did something that caused them hardships of some sort. But, as it goes, I do hear things that sometimes I don’t really have a way to help them….well, other than pray for them. And, as I see it, that is way better than giving advice or helping other ways. Prayer is a powerful thing. Oh, I will share some scripture if I can, but sometimes, whether I tell them or not, I pray for them. I always hope they will pray for themselves too.

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

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Romans 8:26

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  Matthew 6:6

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

 

Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

There are so many verses that talk about praying. Whether for financial, physical, emotional or any other hardship, prayer and earnestly seeking God will help. God will help.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You that we can come to You in good times and bad. Praising You in good times and thanking You for the blessings, grace and mercy You give us. I praise You for being a God that helps in time of need also. Lord, I know there are so many people out there that are hurting: physically, emotionally, financially and in ways I cannot even imagine. But, You know their needs before they even speak of them. I know many people with so many different things that need Your hand in their lives. I know there are far more needs than I know about too. I pray in the name of Jesus that You reach those people and help them through the hard times they face. That You give them the peace of mind in knowing that You will help them. Help them find the strength they need to face the hardships and the strength and courage as You lead them through their hard times, showing them the way but not only the way out of the difficult times and situations but the way to salvation and the true richness of redemption and the blessings that are in store for them if they follow You and take the steps that You show them to take. Show them all the way to forgiveness, through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and paid for with His blood. Draw us all to You as You help us through life. Teach us how to pray as we should and how to be the people that You want us to be for Your Glory.

Amen

Well, I thank everyone who visits and I hope that something I say blesses you. Please, try to be a blessing to someone else as well.

God is a TAKER!

The last few years and especially the last year has brought a lot of changes in my life. I have had some good things and some bad things happen. I have lost loved ones which, while a part of life, is always difficult. I have had things happen I never expected. But as I was dealing with these things and feeling lost and alone I started talking with God and He answered my prayers.

As I reflect on all He has done for me I realize that even though I always thought He was a giver but I was SO WRONG! God is a taker! God took so much from me that it is hard to imagine. He took pain of loss. He took bitterness. He took anger. He took sorrow and grief. He took my sins. Oh, there are times that I feel sad about losses and that I get upset and angry about things but those things are very infrequent and the sadness over losses is less. There are times I think about my parents and others I have lost and I miss them. But, I am better about thinking about the happier moments.

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.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

 

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

Yes, God took and took and took. But, He gave too. He gave me peace, joy, comfort, and most importantly He gave me forgiveness and salvation. He took all the things I had earned and gave me more than I deserved. What an AMAZING GOD!!!

Lord, I thank You for taking so much from me. Taking all the things I needed out of my life and leaving room for the good things You offer. I praise Your name and ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to take from me, that You continue to work on me and help me become the servant Christ wants me to be for His glory. I ask that You draw loved ones closer to You, take from them all the things You took from me and teach us all the truths You want us to know.

Amen

 

Thank You all for taking a moment to read my blog. I hope something I wrote was a blessing to someone and that you can all find a way to be a blessing to someone else today as well.

 

 

A blessing denied but now to be delivered.

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I serve an amazing God. I had been promised something that seemed right in my hands and had suddenly been taken away from me. Something I felt I had earned and deserved, that it was to be mine and was part of God’s plan that I have. But, another’s pettiness and jealousy had interfered with what I expected. Something that seemed guaranteed seemed to be out of grasp and no longer a possibility. Exactly what it is, isn’t relevant for this discussion and rather than interfere with the message I won’t discuss as sometimes, He punishes arrogance and perhaps that was part of the reason I didn’t receive this particular blessing; maybe I had need to grow more spiritually first. I don’t know why, but it was delayed. He sometimes does things for reasons we don’t understand at the time, for that matter we simple humans may never fully understand until He is ready to reveal His plans and shows us the reasons He did as He did.

But, I received an email that caught me completely off guard telling me that what I had previously been promised I WOULD HAVE! God keeps His word!  He is so good to me, better than I deserve, merciful and gracious beyond belief. This is something that I had prayed for and was trying to be patient while waiting, but it had seemed less and less possible even though it once seemed definite it was not happening and as I said, other events occurred that it seemed not only unlikely, but almost impossible. BUT, nothing is impossible for those that serve God.

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.   Mark 10:27

Yes, with God all things are possible. Praise Him for being an amazing Lord.

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

Yes, He will add things and He will bless us with what we ask of Him. BUT, sometimes He takes His time and has lessons to teach while we await the answers to our prayers. Perhaps He is trying to teach us patience, humility, the need to put ourselves aside and focus on Christ.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them]. Mark 11:24

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

 

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  John 14:13

When I reflect about things, why I did not receive what I thought I had earned and deserved, I was confused, hurt, angry. I gave it all to God. I let Him take care of the details to make what I thought was to happen, happen. I stopped trying to force Him; worked hard to try my best to have the faith in Him I needed to have; then stopped worrying about what I wanted and worried more about trying to understand God, the mind of Christ and focusing on Him. When I stopped worrying about trying to make my wishes come true, Christ kept his promises and delivered which had been denied. He taught me a lot with this: faith, patience, proper attitude, need to put Him first and stop worrying about myself. I praise Him first for those lessons, they have helped me grow spiritually far more than I would have expected. I thank Him for teaching me what my priorities should be and when I align my priorities with His, He rewards me.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings You give, the prayers You answer, and the prayers You answer slowly. I thank You for my salvation through the blood of Christ, shed on the cross to deliver me from sin and to make me worthy as I am not worthy without Jesus. I pray that You continue Your work in me and that You help me better know You and Your Son. I pray in the name of Jesus that You draw us all closer to You and that You teach us how to better serve You.

Amen

 

Thank you all for stopping on my page. I hope you are blessed and that you in turn be a blessing to someone else.

 

 

Happy Birthday Mother!

Bday heaven

 

I mentioned that June is a trying month for me. Loss of my father and other things, one of which is my Mother’s birthday, just 5 days after mine. Just thinking about her, happy thoughts, sad thoughts, times I upset her and times I made her proud. Also thoughts of due to her wishes, she was Mother. Not mom, mommy, ma, or whatever other name, MOTHER! I didn’t understand the rationale, I still don’t, but I was raised to respect my parents, partly from church and partly from knowing failure to respect would mean a paddling. My mother definitely believed in spanking and despite what so many seem to say nowadays, I don’t feel I was abused, I didn’t abuse my kids, I like to think all in all that I came out pretty good. Of course, that’s due to God and my parents.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12

 

I praise God and thank Him for many things. Two of the most valuable after Him and my salvation are my parents. They raised me right. Even though at times I didn’t do right. I thank God for a praying Mother and Father who held onto their believes and concerns for me. And never stopped believing that God would take care of me and bring me back to Him. Her prayer were not wasted. I thank God everyday that she had to love and dedication to not give up.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

 

Lord, I praise You for all Your majesty and Grace. I thank You for the many gifts You give me, my salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ, Your continued work in my life and teaching me so much, and my mother and father without whom I would not have grown up knowing You at all. I pray in Jesus Name that I have been able to teach my children the valuable things that my parents taught me and that You help me know teach them what they need to know. I ask that You continue to help me have the love of Christ and that You help me know and serve You better. I pray for my loved ones that they be drawn to You and learn Your will and Your way for them. Help me better understand Your plan for my life and help me be sensitive to Your guidance.

Amen

 

I hope all have a blessed day. Remember Your mothers and take time to call or visit often. It will bless you and her both.

 

 

 

The hole in the clouds

sunbeam

The other day it was overcast when I got up. Not storm clouds, but lots of clouds. You could tell the sun was rising, but couldn’t see it. Then, a hole in the clouds. The kind where the sun shines through and it has like beams of white surrounding it. I see that and I imagine  Christ coming back. I probably saw a picture like that in Sunday school or something some time in the past. I don’t know, but that morning, the place where the sun was in the sky, the hole in the clouds and all, it shined straight into my window. I had been praying about work situation, life in general, concern about kids, grandkids, all the normal life things we all have to deal with most everyday. Plus, wanting to learn to seek Him better and have more faith. I am getting much better at both, but some days, it is more difficult than others.

Now, I don’t know exactly which area He was telling me this about, maybe all of them, but I felt that He was telling me, “Don’t worry my child, I have heard your prayers. I have it all in my hands. Things will be perfect for you and you will have all you ask for and more.”

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matthew 6:25-26

 

 

Then, after a couple minutes, the hole closed for a while and eventually, the clouds dissipated or the rest of the day. But, that moment, I felt Him reassure me all will be as He plans for me.

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

 

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 41:1

 

28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16

 

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:22-24

 

He will be there for me, strengthen me, bless me, protect me when needed. I have all the strength, blessings and comfort I need in Christ. He will magnify my faith, He promises so much, none of which I deserve, but I praise His Holy Name that He is gracious beyond human ability to comprehend.

 

Lord, Thank You for the reassurance that You hear my prayers and the promises that You will answer my prayers. I ask in Jesus Name that You continue to help me increase my faith and teach me more on how to seek You. Help me have the words to help others find You as well. I pray that You reach out to my unsaved loved ones and draw them too You. Use me to help them find the salvation You offer.

Amen

 

I truly appreciate all that stop by and take time to read my blog. I hope all have a blessed day and that you do your best to bless someone else.

 

 

 

 

Fitness Test

fitness

 

I mentioned being in the military. I was active duty for several years and have been in the National Guard for a several years since my active duty time. One part of military, active duty or reserves is fitness testing. We have to take the fitness tests a couple times a year that consist of sit ups, push ups and either running, walking or some other event to test aerobic and cardio fitness the Army physical fitness test or APFT because the military loves its acronyms. Well, years ago when I first had to start doing them, I could pass, but didn’t do as well as I would have liked, more on that later. But, I ran a lot, worked out more. Due to other events in life I was doing less working out so the tests were more of a hassle, my scores went down, I still passed, but not as easily and not as well as previously. I started working out more, losing weight, getting back into shape and we had a test at the last drill. Well, funny how it works out, but when one works out and prepares, if they work to get more fit, the fitness tests are much easier, you perform better.

I got to thinking on that, how I had evaluated my physical condition and fitness, realized I needed to get into better shape, so I did. I also thought about how much more important it was for me to evaluate my spiritual fitness. I also thought about how when I exercised in my spiritual life: with prayer, studying the Bible, praising our Lord, I was much more spiritually fit as well and that when I had spiritual fitness tests in life, I performed better, I responded better, to events in my life. Once upon a time, I was much more fit spiritually and things went well spiritually. When difficulties or challenges arouse, I dealt with them better and they were usually less stressful anyway. God looks out for us when we follow Him and are living the life He wants us to live. Well, since I returned to Christ, I am learning to be more spiritually fit. God does not disappoint, when I put the effort into things, the spiritual fitness improved and tests are easier to pass. Oh, just like the physical fitness tests, some events are more difficult at times. But, if one prepares, one passes the test. Praise the Lord for His help improving my spiritual fitness.

I also thought about how our physical condition and strength, if we train to a certain level, that is the level we reach. We do well at that level. Years ago I used to train for the APFT by doing the events. I ran the 2 miles, did the push ups and sit ups for 2 minutes each and such. Well, I would pass, like I mentioned, but would be finished physically by the time I was done, I had reached my limit. One day after the APFT a buddy and I were talking, well he was in better shape than I and didn’t appear exhausted like I was and I commented on that fact. He asked me how I trained for the test, I told him I ran the 2 miles and such. He then said something that really made me think, he said, “You know, if you train for the standards, you meet the standards but that’s all you can do and it is hard to do it because that is the max you can perform. But, if you train for more than that, do more push ups and sit ups, run 3,4 or 5 miles every day, the test is an easy task.” Simple concept, but eye opening. So, I started doing that, actually did at least twice the distance and other things and guess what, HE WAS RIGHT! The next time the APFT came around it was a piece of cake. I did better than I ever had and wasn’t exhausted when I finished. AMAZING!

Now, why does physical fitness have anything to do with my Christian walk? Well, if we spiritually prepare for normal events, normal life, work, home, etc then the more significant challenges one encounters will spiritually drain you. If you study the Bible and pray, seek God, just enough, then you are spiritually prepared for the normal day to day events, but the sudden, unexpected hardships will cause a set back. One needs to train for more than they think will happen, one needs to spiritually be ready for the really tough times. God will be with you either way, He just makes dealing with it even easier if we are ready before hand.

More thinking, if anyone has ever used a personal trainer, they come up with a plan to help you get physically stronger, they give you goals. Once you reach that goal you can stay there, just train to that level and that’s where you are with physical condition. But, if once you reach that goal, they set another goal for you, push you, get you to reach higher levels of physical conditioning and strength. God does that too. Sometimes, just by making one want to pray, study the Bible and seek Christ more, other times, like a physical trainer puts more weights on the machines, God puts more weights on us, sometimes He helps us get stronger by giving us a harder burden. Nothing more than we can endure, but more than we had previously. That isn’t always a punishment, sometimes it is a reward. He knows you have improved your spiritual strength to a point you can endure more, but Christ still wants more from us. He wants us to continue to grow as Christians. He doesn’t want us to get to an okay level and remain there, He was us to excel and, if that means putting more burdens or hardships on us for a while, He will do so. If we respond to those challenges as we should, by seeking Him, praying, looking to the Bible. WE GROW STRONGER as Christians.

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Yeah, I think I want to start training above the standards, I am going to work even harder on my spiritual growth, more time in prayer, more time reading the Bible, more time seeking God. If I have challenges, I will be ready for them, if they seem to be too much, I know He will be there to help me get through. He will never leave me or forsake me. He won’t give me hardships I can’t endure and when the time is right, I can give those burdens to Christ. Praise Jesus what a wonderful God we serve.

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

 

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

 

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

 

The LORD [is] my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he [is] my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

There is so much more on how God is our strength and salvation, with Christ I can do all things. Such powerful words.

Lord, I praise You for all You are. I thank You the lessons You are teaching me and how You do strengthen me and help me when things get tough. How You have helped me get through difficult times, even when I wasn’t serving You, and how now, You make it so much easier to deal with any adversity. I pray You continue to work on me, work in my heart and help me train more for the future challenges. Help me grow spiritually stronger that I can be the Christian warrior You wish me to be in my life. I ask You to strengthen loved ones in their walks with You and draw those not serving You to Christ that they may know the salvation You have given me.

Amen

 

Thanks again. I appreciate the readers and folks that are following my blog as well as the likes and comments. Please pass this on to someone if you believe they could benefit.

Remember, whatever you do, be a blessing to someone.

 

Be a blessing to someone.

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Well, I usually make this comment at the end of a blog, but a friend of mine years ago after I thanked him for  helping me out when I needed to fix the brakes on my truck said, “It’s my privilege, I try to be a blessing to at least one person a day, hopefully more.” Amazing concept and way to approach life. I was impressed, but as I thought about it, yeah, that is how he lived. He did try hard to be a blessing to others. He wasn’t Mother Theresa, but he would go out of his way to help out a friend or a stranger. One day, we were supposed to meet to head out of town. We were going to drive separately, but at the same time, stop for a bite on the way and such. He called and said he was going to be late so I should go ahead and he would meet me at the destination. He got there about an hour after I did and was telling me he was on his way to meet me and a car was broken down on the side of the road, so he stopped to see if he could help. Well, this family was travelling through the area, and got a flat so they needed a new tire as the had no spare. So, he helped the husband remove the flat tire, took him to the tire shop, while the husband was getting the tire fixed or replaced, my friend walked across the street to a chicken place and bought a big family dinner to take back to them as well.

That’s a pretty awesome way to be. I was impressed, he said again, that he tries to be a blessing to at least one person, this time, it was a family, and, it cost him about an hour’s time and $20. He figures, its worth it as he knows it pleases God.

I managed to be a blessing to at least one person today so it was a good day!

 

So many people are so wrapped up in themselves that all they think about is doing for them. Worse are sometimes people not only worry about only doing things that please themselves or, if it pleases someone else they will do it if they get something better in return. Even worse than that type are the ones that will act terrible to some, but gracious to others. None of this is what God wants of us.

So, Yup, I try to be a blessing to others, sometimes I fail, other times I succeed.

 

Lord, I praise You and worship You. I thank You for the many blessings You give me and bless Christ for my salvation and the sacrifice He made for me. I thank You for the chance to be a blessing to someone today and ask that You make me more open to opportunities in the future. I pray You work in the hearts and minds of others that they seek out the chance to be a blessing to others. Draw them closer to You, work in their hearts and minds to show them Your truth and Your way.

Amen

 

Thanks for stopping by and may God bless and keep you all safe.

Qualified forgiveness? or, “I forgive you because Jesus says I have to.”

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A minister friend of mine and I were talking the other day about various aspects of Christianity and he asked my thoughts on what is the most important thing to be a good Christian, other than acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God and confessing our sins to Him. Well, as we discussed things I suggested loving one another, humility, service to others and a few more things, he finally said, those are all important, but forgiveness is the most important. As we spoke more, I got to thinking about how as a child my brother and I would get into an argument or fight about something, my mother would intervene and tell us both to apologize and then after we did she told us to forgive the other, since we were both at fault. She felt if two were fighting, both had part of the blame. We would hem and haw a bit, then, knowing we were probably already going to get spanked, and not wanting further punishment we grudgingly forgave each other, but not REALLY. Saying the words, but not meaning them. After mulling those thoughts over and talking about that with James, he quoted this scripture:

But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:26

And, said, “over and over in both the Old and New Testament God commands us to forgive.” I agreed but then had thoughts of times I have heard people say, when forgiving someone, “I forgive you because God tells me I must.” We discussed that some, and if told as part of a teaching moment, then it has one meaning, and one person is explaining part of Christ’s teachings. However, if someone apologizes and the other forgives, saying it is because God commands, is it really forgiveness? Totally different implication when said in some contexts. Somewhat an incomplete forgiveness as it seems to be saying I am forgiving because I HAVE to, but not because I want to do it. Just like when my brother and I were children.

I don’t recall ever actually saying those words, but, Oh, have I thought them. I was giving qualified forgiveness and not genuine forgiveness. My heart wasn’t in it if my mind was where it was with thinking it was because I had to do so. Thinking or saying that, when forgiving means one will offer the words, but not honestly mean what they say. They want to hold on to the anger, they want to bear a grudge and if they give full, unconditional forgiveness, that won’t be able to do that. It is false forgiveness.

We as Christians are supposed to have the heart and mind of Christ, not an easy task for humans as we want to hold on to things of the flesh. We sorta want to be like Jesus, but not quite, we want to hold grudges, we want to be able to have cause to be upset and get angry.

As I said, I have thought the words, even though I never said them out loud, but that doesn’t matter, the intent to not fully forgive was there. Because of that, I owe apologies to many people for the qualified forgiveness I pretended to give, and to the many I am sorry that I did not give you what you deserved, forgiveness, complete, without any reservations.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:36-38

 

Lord, Praise You for Your Glory. I am so grateful for the gifts and mercy You provide me, for the instructions I need to improve my walk with Christ. I ask You to help me remember that forgiveness needs to be full, complete, unconditional and not to forgive grudgingly. I pray that You continue your walk with me and help me walk as a better servant and example of Your mercies. Draw me closer to Jesus and give me the guidance and understanding of Your plan for my life. I pray You work in the hearts of loved ones to bring them to You or draw them closer and that You show them Your mercy and unconditional love and forgiveness.

Amen

 

Thank you for taking time to visit this blog, please share if you feel it would be helpful to someone. I again, wish blessings to all and hope that each can be a blessing to others today.