Sunday, December 20, 2009
I'll tell you the truth about love.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not rude. Love is not puffed up. Love does not seek it's own (good). Love does not rejoice when it hears of other's shortfalls but rejoices in the truth. Love endures all things. Love believes all things. Love hopes.
Love looks like the friend that stays up until 3 in the morning talking to, and praying for the discouraged friend.
Love puts aside it's own feelings to help their friend who is grief stricken/broken hearted.
Love cares for the least. Love reaches out to the workplace outcast. Love talks to the person who no-one talks to. Love loves the unlovely.
Love forgives the "unforgivable".
Love protects. Love puts himself/herself between you and trouble.
Love defends a friend who's been shot.
Love doesn't leave when things get hard. Love doesn't leave at all. In fact love says, I don't care what you do or say, you can't make me stop loving you.
Love doesn't betray.
Love doesn't lead someone on. Love doesn't go around seeing how many hearts they can break.
Love is a refuge and a haven.
Love lays down it's life.
Love gives, and gives, and keeps on giving. Mostly in secret, but it can't be hidden, because love just keeps giving.
God is Love.
Love never fails.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Love the least. - You never know what affect your actions will have. You probably won't see results immediately, and sometimes you may never see results, but do it anyway.
John 13:35 (NKJV)
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I just want to remind you all that even though you probably can't see any results from praying for someone - especially if they aren't in your life at the moment, your prayers can be having an affect beyond what you would think they are. It can get discouraging to pray for someone and not be seeing results, but don't give up!
An example of this: Many years ago, when I was still a child I got quite upset about something, and was crying to God about it. (I don't remember what - just that I was pretty distressed.) While I was still crying and praying, He opened my eyes, and I could see and hear the worship leader from church praying for me...
Now she probably had no idea why God put on her heart to pray for me, and I never said anything about it to her for years, but God knew...
You might not have any idea why you get woken up at some rediculous hour to pray or why God suddenly drops in your spirit that so and so needs prayer, but they probably need it. ;)
Personally some time ago there were a few months where the Holy Spirit kept telling me to pray for my future husband - there and then. I have no idea what he was going through, but God knew what he was facing.
On the flip side, I know that there have been times that he has been praying for me when I needed it. I know that there have been times God has acted on my behalf as a direct answer to his prayers, and I've very grateful for that.
While I may not know who I'm going to marry yet, at least I know I'm gonna marry a praying man. :D
Saturday, October 31, 2009
When you have placed your trust in God you will stand stronger than those who are counting on their own will-power and the walls they have built around themselves to "protect" themselves.
The best way to explain this is to give another personal example.
Just a month ago my family was facing a bit of a mountain - we were getting our kitchen renovated. (Anyone who's been there will understand the pressure.) All the family was under extra pressure, some had assignments in before leaving the house for a week and a half, music exams were coming up... etc.
Some of the family were going to visit friends three hours away, and the few boys that needed stay in town were staying with Grandma. Everyone knew where they were going except for me. Because of my work situation I had no idea whether or not I needed to stay, and if I did stay, who with? Work messed me around, not giving me an answer until the last week, and well after they had said they would. I was also in the final stages of applying for a Bible college by correspondence.
With less than a week to go I found out that the course program had been changed, and if I wanted to enroll I would be two weeks behind. (Starting that day of course which couldn't happen!) The set up was completely different to what it was previously making it much harder. I went back and forth a bit. (Can I actually pull this off or is it just impossible/improbable?) I'm not someone to not try just because things look hard, and I knew I make it work, but at what cost? Particularly; what cost to my family? To make the decision harder different family members took sides as to whether they thought I should or shouldn't enroll in the course. (Talk about meat in the sandwich!)
After praying like mad and wishing for a lightning bolt from heaven which never came, I made a choice, and I knew from past experience that I would have to really firm on it, as I would be living with everyone's reactions to me not going with their idea for possibly months afterward. So I mentally prepared myself for the onslaught, determined that I was doing the best thing. - Not necessarily for me, but for a particular other family member who probably wouldn't cope with me studying from home like that. And when I made the choice something in me died.
Suddenly I went from knowing what was doing until I graduated (1-2 years) to being in total limbo. Anyone who has been in that place probably knows it's not pleasant. It's certainly not where I wanted to be.
So, I truly had to be unmoving and firmly convinced that this was where God had me next, therefore I had to trust Him completely and not waver. And trust Him I did.
At first almost everyone was telling me that I was mistaken, and trying to push me to change my mind. However, the day before I left to stay with friends for the two weeks (yes, God provided somewhere to stay), my mother said to me, "We're all falling apart and you're going on strong. I applaud you."
Now you have to understand a couple of things:
A) I was expecting the biggest opposition from my mum. This was a complete 180.
B) That was huge praise from her. She isn't liberal with her compliments.
So I felt a bit blown away. . .
Anyway, the only reason, I repeat; the ONLY reason I was able to be steadfast when everyone else was pulling their hair out was because I was trusting God. I wasn't passively trusting Him. I made a decision to trust Him regardless of circumstances and I didn't waver. That is how you are strong.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
1 Peter 3:3-6 (NKJV)
3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
When you have that sweet attitude in adversity it's that same incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. (See, it's a quiet spirit. Not stressed and agitated, but at peace.) The holy women trusted in God. You can't be quiet in spirit if you don't trust God. You can sound quiet on the outside, but be a churning mess inside. God doesn't want us to just hide our feelings, and bottle them up, but to trust Him. If we trust Him we won't be a churning mess.
I remember a time in my life when I went through quite a bit of hurt. It was probably one of the worst times I have ever gone through. (Ranks in the top 5) I felt like almost everyone I knew (my family, my friends, my church, etc.) had abandon me to whatever came my way, and I was drowning in fear and hurting badly.
After a few months I got tough. I didn't feel the pain as much. I didn't cry anymore. I hardly flinched at pain. My heart was all bricked up. Somewhere after this God told me I needed to soften my heart and let the barriers come down. I told Him I couldn't do it. When I said I couldn't do it, I really meant it. So God broke them down for me. It was like He destroyed in one second all the walls I had built over the months... and turned up the heat on my emotions. I cried so easily for the next few months. Anything would make me cry. I couldn't help myself.
The strangest thing I found was I had been proud of the fact that I was finally a tough girl. It was something my older sister seemed to be good at, and was always criticising me for not being tough enough. However God did not want me tough. He wanted me soft hearted, sensitive, vulnerable. I couldn't understand it at first. Why, why why?! When all of the culture around me said that the tougher you are the better? That was my silver lining in all the grey clouds, and God took it away from me because He didn't like it?
I remember crying to God one day during this stage saying that I felt like no-one cared about me. No-one would protect me. No-one would stand up for me. Not to mention that I felt incredibly vulnerable - more so than I had been before the whole mess had started.
Merriam-Webster's defines vulnerable this way:
1 : capable of being physically or emotionally wounded
2 : open to attack or damage
I didn't want to be any of that... and I don't know anyone who really likes being hurt.
Anyway after I had finished my spill, and started really crying God told me that He would protect me, He would vindicate me, He would provide for me, and take care of me, He cared and He loved me, etc. (A promise I've held on to many a time!)
God did keep His word to me. He has protected me, and after He pulled down the walls I had built around myself He did guard my heart and keep me from further pain. Over the next few months He healed the pain and dealt with all the problems that had arisen physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
This actually had some interesting "side affects". I used to be a very happy child. (Well... my name says it all!) However over the years I had gotten more and more serious, and it was like I had forgotten how to laugh to some extent. I just didn't have much reason to be happy. Once God healed my heart I was able to laugh - and laugh at lot. I'm one of the happiest people I know now!
God had to teach me a different sort of courage. It was several years before I was able to reach the point I have now, where I can truly say I trust God despite circumstances. I can only be at peace because I've put my trust in God completely.
It takes more guts to trust God to take care of you, and to love when it hurts than it does to be tough as a man and fight your way to the top. (And God bless the men with their strength. We need them like that, but that isn't how He made us.)
So, that is why I've come to the conclusion that God doesn't want us women to be tough like the men. He didn't make us men, He made us women. He made us gentle and breakable. That doesn't mean that our only emotions are those that fall into these categories, but that we shouldn't trample our emotions, and try to be tough like the men.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Now I don't want to be accused of putting words in God's mouth. So I'm going to pull things straight out of scripture. If you think you have a valid argument as to why I have taken the scripture out of context you can say something, but I'm not here to have a debate... I'm here to challenge your thinking - to think more like God.
Example One: Marriage. One of the reasons God gives that he wants marriage is that He wants godly offspring. Malachi 2:15 Ouch... I bet that stepped on a few religious toes. Don't children hinder your ministry opportunities? God thinks not.
But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
Which leads me to:
Example Two: Divorce. God says He hates it. So much so that He says He will not receive your offerings if you have "dealt treacherously with the wife of your youth". Malachi 2:13-16 Jesus says that God only permitted divorce "because of the hardness of your hearts". Matthew 19:3-9
Jesus also said in Mark 10:11-12
So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
(Do I need to send you back to the ten commandments here?)
Example Three: Global Warming (Oh whoops... this isn't pet doctrine - it's pet ideology.)
In Genesis 8:22 God says,
While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
Don't we believe that God means what He says anymore?
I could give many, many other examples, but those who will get the point understand. Please, if you haven't already, read your Bible and actually believe what it says. God and His Word are one. (John 1:1) Some people think that God changes - particularly from the old covenant to the new one. Yes, we are under a new covenant, but He is the same yesterday today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I also have friends that speak wisdom occasionally. - Especially if they are male and I say the word advice.
Anyway between reading Piper, and talking to some friends... well maybe brothers in Christ fits better, but whatever the creatures were, I talked to them. *ahem* between reading Piper and talking to them I had a few things to think about while waiting in the airport for two hours and on planes three weeks ago.
And think I did. I have one life. Only one. I don't know how long that life is, but I do know that I said it belongs to God. What I do with my time now is what I am spending the one life I have to give on. Is what I am spending my life on worth it in eternity?
The more I thought about it the more I realised, "If I don't want to waste my life I need to be brutal with everything in it. If it does not bring God glory, if it is not edifying me and building me up in my walk with Him, then it should be removed immediately."
"Wow! Isn't that a bit drastic?" I have heard.
I suppose it is a bit "extreme" but really, Jesus said if your eye causes you to sin pluck it out. He wasn't joking if you haven't noticed... What ever is not leading you closer to God is drawing you away from Him - directly or indirectly. If we want to live in such a way that our short time on earth will not leave us regrets for the rest of eternity, than we need to live every moment of our lives for Him.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you can't ever have a break, or take a holiday, and you should be a miserable Christian that never does anything happy or fun. I'm on holidays at the moment. When I was in Townsville, I commented to someone about it, and they looked at me sideways, but I went on to point out that I was greatly blessed and edified because I had been able to relax I had gotten in a lot more time than I usually do to pray uninterrupted. I felt like I was close to heaven. (And no it wasn't the sun, pool, and ice cream that did that even though some of you may beg to differ with me on that.) It was the presence of God that surrounded me and made me to be at perfect peace. But things in the physical allowing me to draw near without distracting or interrupting made it very easy to do so.
So here is my challenge to you: Get rid of anything - absolutely anything (relationships, games, thoughts, habits, etc.) that is not leading you closer to God. It might hurt a little bit now, but you will reap the rewards if you are willing to pay the price now.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat it's fruit."
Uh, God, isn't that a bit drastic? Can't you just make it a bit nicer?
What sort of Christians are we anyway? Do we believe what God says? (If we don't - why be a Christian - He might not have meant it when He said He took away your sin.) If we do - Why don't we live like it?!?
So what is He saying? That what we say has power to give death and life. If you love to talk you will eat the fruit of what you say.
Some verses to look at about things to do with the mouth:
1LORD, WHO shall dwell [temporarily] in Your tabernacle? Who shall dwell [permanently] on Your holy hill? 2He who walks and lives uprightly and blamelessly, who works rightness and justice and speaks and thinks the truth in his heart, 3He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbour; 4In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he who honours those who fear the Lord (who revere and worship Him); who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
Proverbs 12:3 He who hides hatred is of lying lips, and he who utters slander is a [self-confident] fool.
Proverbs 26:22 The words of a whisperer or slanderer are like dainty morsels or words of sport [to some, but to others are like deadly wounds]; and they go down into the innermost parts of the body [or of the victim's nature].
Proverbs 31:26 "She opens her mouth in skilful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]."
Proverbs 31:27 "She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat."
Psalm 37:30 "The mouth of the [uncompromisingly] righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks with justice."
So for all the maths people:
Slander = death
Gossip = death
Wisdom = life
Kindness = life
Truth = life
And so on.
In James 3:2 "For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature."
Last night coming home I was feeling rather cranky. I had a heavy headache, and I had nearly an hour's further drive home by myself at 10:00.
So I started complaining to God about it. Pleading with God to get me home sooner. Somehow...
After praying (yes I was praying) for a few minutes I had the guts to pray something real and I thanked God for what He had done for me. Then I spoke to my body. I commanded the headache to leave. And told a few other things to be right. (I can't remember what.) But afterward I felt so much better. The heaviness was gone.
Now note that while I did pray, I did not ask God to take away my headache. I just commanded it to go. And it left. Why? Because I have power in my mouth, and it had to obey.
So if that is what I can do for good, what is all this complaining, finding fault, gossip, slander, etc., doing to us?!
James 3 gives us a lot of instruction on the effect of our tongues. I suggest you go read it now. :)
And next time you want to say something bad - about yourself, someone else, a situation, etc., remember you have power in your mouth - power to change that situation.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thus I have been thinking about contentment, and peace in the middle of storm. So I thought I would ask you if you know the answer to the question, "What is peace?" God's peace.
Jesus said, peace I leave you, my peace I give you - not as the world gives.
So why is God's peace different to the world's idea of peace?
Peace is an absence of aggression, violence or hostility. (According to wikipedia)
The article goes on to say,
"[Peace] also represents a larger concept wherein there are healthy or newly-healed interpersonal or international relationships, safety in matters of social or economic welfare, the acknowledgment of equality and fairness in political relationships and, in world matters."(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace)
So that is what the world thinks peace is. So now what does God call peace.
"Be still and know that I am God."
By the definition of the world around us you can not be at peace if you are in the middle of a war. But by God's definition you could be in the worst turmoil ever known to mankind, and have perfect peace because God promises us,
"[He] will keep in perfect peace him who's mind is fixed on [God]."
So next time you start to worry think about God. Don't just think about Him though, fix your mind on Him. Fix your thoughts on Him. (Remember, "His burden is easy and His yoke is light.") And know peace.