It’s flu season. Did you get your Vaccination?

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It is now flu season and, given my profession, I have to deal with vaccination concerns as well as those who contract influenza. Please bear with me as I try to wear two hats today. I promise it will in one manner or another tie in for what I think are valuable life lessons. I am at least hopeful that I am able to do so adequately.

fluvax

As I said, it’s flu season and while only seeing a limited amount of cases now, that number will rise of that I have no doubt. And despite what some hear or read a few myths need to be dispelled: the influenza vaccine DOES NOT and CANNOT cause the flu, PERIOD END OF STORY! The flu shots are made with a killed virus that is incapable of causing influenza. Oh some may get some mild body aches, joint pain or headache and perhaps a slight increase in body temperature or as some call it a low grade fever (FYI medically there is no such thing as a low grade fever, a fever is a fever and if you temperature is not 100.4f or above you DO NOT HAVE A FEVER. Next: influenza vaccine has absolutely NOT been shown to cause autism in children (not have any other vaccines) the one publication that indicated that has been proven to have been totally fabricated and very loosely based on highly inaccurate, misinterpreted information. That was compounded by some uneducated celebrities and others jumping on that bad information and spreading the inaccurate information and creating situations where we are now seeing increases of measles, mumps, pertussis and s host of other diseases that only a few years ago were extremely rare. There are individuals that should not get vaccinations but those are a small number. Some will say that they know someone who’s friend’s, neighbor’s, third cousin’s mailman said had a severe reaction to a vaccination. Unfortunately, there are very rare but serious reactions to vaccinations and people have died from those adverse reactions but if one looks at the real numbers the less than 1 in 100,000 severe reactions to vaccines compared to the known complications of any of the diseases we vaccinate for is extremely, extremely small. Simply stated tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands are alive today because they avoiding contracting certain diseases by getting vaccinated. I hate that anyone die but if looking at the big picture far, far more lives are saved than are lost.

There are years where the flu that is present is not exactly the version for which one was vaccinated and, yes, there are time when someone still gets influenza however there is benefit in the form of cross immunity from the strains in the vaccine that one gets decreased severity of symptoms and usually recover much quicker than an unvaccinated person. So that even if the flu isn’t prevented for all at least it’s not as bad as it could be for those who get vaccinated.

Yet another issue about flu, there is no “stomach flu” and flu like symptoms is not nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Flu or flu like symptoms are: fevers, chills, runny nose, cough, body aches and if severe difficulty breathing and possibly wheezing. The same symptoms as a common cold and most people with flu only need the same medicines we use for colds as we treat the symptoms and try to help people be more comfortable as their body fights the flu.

Final comment about flu is that the flu medicine (tamiflu) provides minimal benefit and will slightly decrease severity of flu symptoms and decrease duration of symptoms by 1 or 2 days and that only occurs if it is started within 48 hours of symptom onset preferably before 24  hours has elapsed since symptoms started. I do not use or recommend that it be prescribed except in limited circumstances. The benefit is minimal and the adverse (bad side effects) reactions are likely enough and severe enough that in my mind “the juice ain’t worth the squeeze” in regards to taking it.

Well, obviously I believe in vaccinating against diseases. One can decrease the risks of contracting influenza by washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, avoiding close contact with those who are sick and through good nutrition which helps keep immune systems strong. Massive doses of vitamin C or other vitamins does not cure or prevent the flu or colds. And can cause more problems than they may help. The only definite effect of taking mega doses of vitamins is one has expensive urine since the majority of vitamins are water soluble so are excreted by the kidneys if one takes more than the body needs.

SO…..in order to minimize the risk to get the flu this year one needs to get good nutrition, plenty of rest, practice good hand washing/hygiene and get a flu vaccination. Even then, one cannot be absolutely guaranteed to not get influenza. BUT, doing those things make it much, much, much less likely (YES, I used 3 muches for emphasis!)

 

Okay, great you’re thinking by now. You are saying to get vaccinated but you can’t guarantee we won’t get sick. So what good is it?  And. FINE, we get what you are saying about the flu but what does this have to do with a Christian walk? And, here is where I try to be clever and make analogies. I hope that what makes sense to me actually makes sense to others as well. No one thing will guarantee us to be able to stay on the right path, serve Christ as He wishes we do so and help us avoid sin. BUT, by doing all of those things we can significantly decrease the likelihood that we will have difficulty in our Christian lives and what tools do we have to help us in that process?

The first step is to wash ourselves, rather to ask God to wash us of our sins by confessing to him that we are sinners and asking for His forgiveness.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.  1 John 1:7

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

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.                         2 Corinthians 7:1

After we are clean we need to maintain nutrition by studying the scripture, learning what God has in the Bible to teach us how to live. He does this with straightforward instructions, parables, example (both of how to live and how not to live) and explaining to us how we can maintain the forgiveness and redemption He has given us and to teach us how to life for His benefit and glory.

16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.     2 Timothy 3:16-17

We can also maintain a balanced spiritual diet by spending time in prayer, talking to God, telling Him our issues and problems, our needs, and seeking His wisdom and guidance.

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

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

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

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6:16-20

 

More important than that, since He already knows those things anyway and even though He knows, He does want us to tell Him those things, is that we praise and worship Him.

1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalms 150:1-6

 

The other part of the of maintaining our spiritual health, the vaccination if you will, is making sure to spend time with other Christians in praise and worship and fellowshipping with our Christian brothers and sisters by going to church.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  Matthew 18:20

And, not only congregating with other Christians for the praise and worship, but to hear His word. I know that people learn through a variety of methods: reading about something, seeing something, doing things and hearing about something. How we learn about Christian life is the same, and if we try to learn the same material using more than one of these methods, or even better, ALL of these methods, the lessons are reinforced and better remembered. So, HEARING is a critical part as well, time sitting in the church pew LISTENING to the pastor, LISTENING to the message He is teaching from the scripture as well as listening to the messages in the songs.

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

 

SO, just as in needing to do multiple things to help decrease and hopefully avoid catching influenza we need to do multiple things to help avoid “catching sin” rather falling back into sin and thereby falling away from God. It isn’t hard to maintain your Christian life, but doing one or some of these things, while helpful, does not give you all that you need as a Christian. There are a lot of Christians that think by praying, maybe reading the Bible once in a while, they will be able to be strong and spiritually healthy Christian. I know, because I was that way. Some believe all they need to do is go to church on Sundays and then live the rest of the week in whatever manner suit them. Still others believe that once saved, always saved and all they have to do is confess their sins and ask Christ to forgive them. It doesn’t work that way. I, you, WE ALL, fail God daily and sin in some way. Maybe not big sins, but I doubt there is a person alive that doesn’t slip at least a little every day. None of these things by themselves will keep us spiritually strong; doing one or two is not enough, sometimes doing all the things He tells us to do is barely enough and it is only by being diligent in doing all of them do we best insure that we do not get “spiritually sick” and that we instead are spiritually healthy.

 

Lord, I worship You and I praise the name of Jesus who You sent to die and suffer so that I and all of us could live. I thank You for the lessons and the ways You help me see how daily life and spiritual life have parallels so I can better understand what You expect of me and how I can be a better servant for You. I pray You help me keep my immunity intact, with spiritual washing, getting all the spiritual nutrition I need and getting spiritually vaccinated. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to work with me and helping me to grow in Christ. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones also and draw us all closer to You. Help us all see Your truths for us and how to better resist the temptations of life so we do not become spiritually sick and lost. I pray for several different friends who have issues with which they are dealing and that You help them through the troubled times. Give them the comfort they each need and show them Your path for their lives, how they can correct what they can correct and how to move forward with their lives in the way You have for each.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bad times for a friend.

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Today I heard from a friend that, despite what I had heard they were saying, I knew things were not as fantastic as they would lead people to believe, and my friend is facing a very difficult personal time. What they thought was to be a good time, with things going according to some plan, suddenly turned bad. I have had significant concerns for their wellness (physical, emotional, spiritual) and while I wish they weren’t facing such trying times, it appears my worries were obviously valid considering what I learned from them today. In some prior posts, I had mentioned about feeling a sense of concern or dread and had been praying for them.  I am hopeful that the Lord is gracious and merciful and answers the prayers and delivers them from the situation. Of course any deliverance requires effort and sacrifice on their part and I hope pride doesn’t keep them from doing what they must do and result in further problems.

Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished. Proverbs 16:5

Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6

I worry further that they have hardened their hearts and will continue down the path they are on and ignore the message He is trying to send.

13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.
14 Happy [is] the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
Proverbs 28:13-14

Another question that occurs is if this is God’s way of punishing people? Is He not only allowing, but sending to them, the hardships they now encounter? If they had done right all along would the situation be occurring? If they sorely His forgiveness will He stop the hard times they are facing? Even if they do ask forgiveness but don’t walk away from a sinful situation will He still allow them to suffer until they do turn away from those things? I don’t speak about my friend or anyone in particular but rather any and all of us who have sinned. We all have sinned and we personally and Christ know how we did so. Is asking forgiveness enough to stop the consequences of ones sins? Or, is there still a price to pay until we truly and completely repent and turn our backs on all things associated with our sins?

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, He will forgive our sins, He promises that in many places and God is faithful and keeps His promises to us. But, we have an obligation to not only confess our sins, but to repent as well. Forgiveness is for past sins, but failing to repent keeps us from God. Asking for forgiveness, then returning to the same sins, or to other sins intentionally is blasphemous to God.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:26-27

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.  John 5:14

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.  John 8:11

In order to serve Christ and have salvation, we must confess our sins and repent, turn our back on sin and not sin further. Not doing all three will not give us true salvation. Thinking we can sin, then confess, then go sin again, confess again, again and again, is not what He teaches us. He teaches us to turn away from sin as part of repentance.

I still don’t know if hard times that come upon people are punishment from God for those who call themselves Christians, but continue to sin. But, I think that is the case, but more than punishment, I think it is God trying to teach us and get us to do as He wishes.

 

Lord, I praise You for the forgiveness, grace and mercy You give and for the salvation from those blessings. In Jesus name I pray for my friend, that You give them the wisdom to know what to do, give them comfort and peace during trying times. Give them the strength: Physical, emotional and spiritual, to face the challenges ahead. If these times are being used by You to teach them and draw them to You and show them they must turn their back on sin I pray that they see and know and that their heart isn’t hardened. I pray that whatever hardships are encountered are not as difficult as they could be and that Your will be done in their life.

I ask that You work in my heart to keep me in the path that You plan for me and give me the strength and wisdom as You walk with me through life.

Amen

I appreciate those who stop by and hope all have a blessed day and while doing so, somehow are blessings to someone else.

 

 

Fear for a friend

 

I was praying this morning, mostly just thanking God for all He has done for me. Asking Him for continued guidance. And, just enjoying being in His presence. When, I felt a burden and fear for a friend’s well being, not physical well being, I do not think the friend is in physical danger, but concern for their emotional and spiritual well being. I haven’t heard from them in months, but I had this overwhelming feeling they are or will be going through a very difficult time emotionally and spiritually. Sometimes, I get that sort of feeling for one person or another. I may or may not speak to them about it,  but if I feel that, I pray for whomever the Lord lays on my heart. So, I pray for the friend. If it happens to be someone reading this and you need someone to visit with about things, send me a message. At least spend time in prayer, seek God’s wisdom, hope and help.

 

Lord, I praise Your holy Name and worship You for all that You are for us. I ask in Jesus name that my friend feel You in their life and that they know that You are there for them. Protect them from whatever emotional or spiritual danger they face, show them Your perfect will for them and guide them back to the path You want for them. I pray in Jesus name that You provide the protection for us all from physical, spiritual and emotional problems. That You guide us in Your will and way and lead us to the perfect plan You have for us and show us how to be perceptive to Your wishes in our lives.

 

Amen

 

Thanks for the visit. I will continue to pray for my friend and for others. I hope that God blesses all and shows us what He needs of us that He may bless as all.

Sudden Concern?!?!?!?

I published this a while back, but got the same feeling of concern for a friend that I know is not in a good situation. I pray that God works mightily in my friend’s life and gives them exactly what they need.

 

 

Have you ever been just going about your business of the day, not really thinking of anything other than work issues and SUDDENLY get a sense of worry or impending doom for a friend that you haven’t heard from in quite a while? No idea why, exactly what they have been doing, just that something suddenly made you have concern, worry, fear, how ever you wish to explain it. Just that whatever is going on, they may be in some sort of physical, emotional or spiritual danger. A sudden, inexplicable, undeniable burden to pray for that person? No idea what to pray about, but the definite need for prayer is present.

I had just that happen, I don’t know why but it suddenly hit me to pray for them. I say hit because it was like a ton of bricks being dumped on me. Well, I tried to shrug it off. They are fine, it’s just a weird notion and they are not in any type of danger. I tried to not think on it, but I could think of nothing else for a few minutes. SO, I prayed for their safety and protection from whatever it may be that caused my feeling of concern.

I sometimes worry about this or that, but have never had that type of feeling about someone or something. And, well, I dunno. I may or may not hear about some sort of close call, some spiritual battle, some very distressing emotional event, but I followed what I felt to be Jesus telling me I needed to pray for my friend.

I have been praying gifts of the Holy Spirit, the other day, I felt much more faith than I have ever had, but this was different. I had no vision or idea of why I felt that need so the gift of visions still is not what I think the gift is but maybe another gift is just an increased sensitivity to His will and leading in my life. I don’t know for sure, I just know I could not shake that feeling and until I prayed, I just started to get worse and worse feelings about the situation, whatever it may be.

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4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

I Corinthians 12:4-12

 

And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. Isaiah 14:30

 

Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.  Proverbs 3:23

 

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.  Proverbs 18:10

 

Heavenly Father, I pray in the name of Jesus that You put a ring of protection around my friend, send guardian angels for safety and protection from whatever harm may be on the horizon. Send a spirit of peace and comfort regardless of what may be going on, so that no harm befalls them. I praise Your Holy Name and stand on Your promises that they will be protected.

Amen.

 

Thanks, just had that feeling and I had to pray. Hopefully someone derives some benefit from this post. Be sensitive to His Spirit and guidance.

 

 

 

My cards were maxed out, my credit score was shot!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

No, not that kind of credit cards or that credit score. I am minimalist on credit purchases. For the most part, I have always preferred to hold off until I had the money. Part of that is how I was raised. But, there was a time, shortly after I was married that my wife got several cards. Thankfully, none had high limits, but she shortly had them maxed and with the limited income, we had a mess. We eventually paid them off and closed the accounts, but there were issues with my credit because she had put my name on them and that takes several years to get fixed. Now, I only have 2, one for work that has no balance and another that we use for travel only and I think it has little or no balance. I prefer it that way, not owing a lot of people money.

No, I am not talking about Visa or MasterCard. I mean my spiritual credit cards and Heavenly Credit score. I was not horrible wicked, but I sure wasn’t living right. There were a lot of things going on, finally got to the point that I was spiritually bankrupt. I had been making promises to God, but not following through. Not going to church, not trying to change, despite promises being made, I was not keeping them. Then, it got to that point. And, let me tell you something, I went to God, spiritually bankrupt, full of hurt, bitterness, anger and many other negative emptions. My balance was so negative that by myself, there was nothing I could have done to get out of that spiritual debt.

But, when I went to God, prayed to Him. Surrendered all my spiritual debts, confessed that I was a sinner and that I recognized Jesus as His Son who died for my sins. I asked for forgiveness and mercy. AND HE GAVE IT! What a merciful and loving God we serve.

Spiritually, my credit score was made perfect, all the debts forgiven, written off, immediately. I praise Christ for the mercy and salvation He made available to me, to us, through His death and rise from the grave.

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. Matthew 18:27

 

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10

 

Praise Jesus for my salvation from spiritual bankruptcy. I thank You Christ for the mercy and forgiveness as well as all the blessings You give me. I pray that You reach out to those that are still spiritually in debt. Give them the blessings You gave me, draw them to You. Give them the yearning that You have given me. Lord, I pray that You work in my heart to not only remain out of debt spiritually, but to enjoy all the treasures You have for me. I ask You to work in the hearts and minds of family, loved ones and other to draw them to You that they seek salvation or if saved, that You bring them closer. Work in their hearts and minds to show them they do not need to worry, suffer or fear. Give them all the drive to serve You completely. Show them all Your plan for their lives.

Amen

 

Thanks for your time. I hope that this speaks to someone else as well, feel free to share as you feel the Lord leading you. Blessings for all, and I want to remind you to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

 

The Beatitudes

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I remember learning the Beatitudes for Sunday School, more than a couple years ago (okay, okay a lot more than a couple.)  I was skimming places in the Bible the other day and stopped to read them as I hadn’t for a long time, not REALLY read them at least. You know how it is, you read something, but don’t take time to think hard about what it means? But, I read with purpose and intent and WOW, powerful words and promises from God!

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

THIS IS AN AMAZING PASSAGE! The Beatitudes promise us that we have a place of comfort, peace, riches, will never hunger or thirst, will receive mercy and life in peace. WOW, Some pretty wonderful promises. Such rich spiritual rewards.

But, the rest of the chapter is pretty good too!

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

We all have doubters. I am thankful that God recognizes truth and that despite what same think and say, that He knows me and my heart and will reward me for my efforts here. There are times I let other people’s negative statements bother me more than it should but God tells me that He wants me to let His words shine through me. Verses like 14, 15 and 16 tell me this. The Lord sure uses the Bible to teach us, strengthen us and help us grow spiritually in Christ. What an AMAZING God we serve.

 

Lord, I glorify You and thank You for Your words to help strengthen me in my purpose. The words that help me see Your plan on how You wish to use me to help reach others. I ask that You continue to teach me, continue to use me and give me guidance on the words that You would have me use to draw others to Jesus. I thank You for my salvation and the gift of eternal life. I pray you continue to help me grow in You. I ask for Your hand in my words, my life, my future that You be in control and lead me in Your desired path for me. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones that they yearn to come to You and follow Your plan in their lives as well. I ask that You help me be a blessing to others as I work and encounter others throughout the day, today and everyday.

Amen

I do appreciate all that take time to read what He leads me to write. I hope it is helpful to at least one other person, but better yet, MANY. Please share as you see fit and feel God leading you to do so. As I have said more often than not, have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to at least one, hopefully many today.

 

 

The Calm Before the Storm

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I love watching lightening storms! So much power, so beautiful and terrifying both. Thunderstorms fascinate me, as do tornadoes. Seen lots of thunderstorms, a few tornadoes and they are something to see. Again, so much power, the capability for destruction. Yet, I know that God will protect me. But, tonight we have storms in the area, tornado warning earlier, haven’t heard much about the warnings for about 30 minutes, so maybe it is now gone but the tornado watches continue. I stepped outside a few minutes ago and there was hardly any breeze, just still and that made me think about the calm before the storm.

Many times in my life things have been calm with no big issues, things seem to be going great, no huge turmoil, just living. Things seemed to be going well. Then, suddenly, the storms hit! Sometimes was a total surprise. Things happen I can’t control and without warning a lot of times the “winds” started blowing, thunder, lightning, torrential downpours of financial, emotional, work problems, whatever, I have had most all of them. Sometimes, of my own creation, but often nothing within my control brought on the storms, just life.

I know there were times when I was younger that one or the other of my parents knew that a storm was heading my way. There were times they tried to warn me and usually I didn’t listen. Other times they knew, but didn’t say anything because they knew that saying something would have been received poorly or not at all and that I would try to blame them for the storm somehow. Humans are funny in how we sometimes blame the storms and problems on the ones that care and try to help us avoid them. I have seen it happen with my kids. And, like my parents, tried to warn to no avail at times, and yes, at times received the same hostility from my kids that I had given to my parents and others when they were trying to help me avoid issues. I am sure I am not the only one that has experienced such things, the storms, and the blame for trying to help others avoid storms.

Now, we all have storms, but before I came back to Christ I did not weather them well. I had no safe harbor when things got bad. I did not have that comfort and protection. Being Christian doesn’t keep me from having storms, but it sure makes them easier to weather.

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall. Isaiah 25:4

 

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

 

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.  Proverbs 18:10

 

I have figured out that the really calm times, the truly peaceful, still moments very often are because there is some sort of spiritual storm coming. Maybe because I was sinning in some way and Satan was leaving me alone, but a price for the sin was coming. Perhaps it was because God knew a storm was heading my way and he wanted me to prepare. No matter why the storm, I have learned that the calm sometimes means a storm is coming and I should prepare myself. Spend the peaceful, calm time with the Lord, strengthening myself spiritually for the storm. And, the great thing is, if no storm appears, well, maybe by spending time seeking Christ I avoided the storm, or maybe it was just an unusually calm time but either way, I still benefited from the prayer and study of the scripture. Win, Win I would say.

 

Jesus, Thank You for Your protection in the storms. Thank You for the peaceful, calm before the storms. But mostly thank You for showing me that the time to seek You is before the storm, to prepare for the things to come. I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for the blessings, protection and my salvation, for the sacrifice You made for me. You are my rock and my salvation. Help me improve my walk with You, help me have more faith, understanding, give me more tenderness in my heart. Help me show You in my daily walk. Please draw loved ones to You and show them what they need to do to get closer to You, to better prepare for any storms that come their ways.

Amen

 

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope someone else gets benefit from it as I did from thinking through things and looking to the scripture for understanding of God on the storms and how He protects us. Please, have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to at least one other person today. We can all use a blessing here and there as we go about our lives.

 

 

And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Matthew 27:12

jesustrial

Has anyone ever been falsely accused? I have. And, I hate to admit, but have done so to others. But, the me that ever did so is gone, replaced by a new man. Unfortunately, I still get accused falsely. Now, I used to fight, argue, protest my innocence. But, I finally realized that there are a few things i need to remember: if I am really innocent, but the other is trying to persecute me for some reason and I try to argue my innocence it falls on deaf ears. They have decided that I am guilty. They may KNOW I am not, but still have the attitude that I am and treat me as I am, regardless of any information I try to provide. And, the second big thing is that those that TRULY KNOW ME, will know it isn’t true, they also may not admit it, but they know and not listening to the truth they know is a sin they will have to live with themselves. Finally piece, and the biggest one of all, is that if Jesus will not defend Himself against false accusations, knowing that even if He successfully did so, the Pharisees and high priests would have made stronger, louder, more aggressive accusations.

Christ left the decision on His own innocence to those that KNOW HIM. He suffered the pain, torture, punishment and execution that I, and the rest of us, deserved. WOW, what a gracious, loving God we serve.

11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
12  And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
13  Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?
14  And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

Matthew 27:11-14

Now, I am not Christ, not by a long shot, but I am trying to live as He would have me, trying to be more Christ like. That being said, I have no reason to argue against false accusations. True accusations, I must admit and ask for forgiveness. But, if standing before false accusers, knowing they will not only persist in their attacks, but likely increase those attacks if I say I protest and swear my innocence. So, all I can say is, God knows the truth, I know the truth, and those that really know me, know the truth. And, the others, well, to be honest, their opinion is of no concern to me.

 

Lord, I thank You for the example of how to behave when falsely accused, that sometimes any answer will be taken as wrong and increase anger against one, such that no answer is sometimes the only one. I praise You for Your courage, sacrifice and mercy to save one such as me. I thank You for my salvation and forgiveness. I pray You speak to the hearts  of loved ones that they see that You are their hope and salvation. That You have a plan and that they find your way for their lives.

Amen.

 

Thanks for stopping by, have a great day and be a blessing to any and all you can.