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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How NOT to act like a fool!

I can always tell when I'm catching a cold. I've been known to catch my fair share and the same symptoms seems to manifest - the itchy throat, lethargy and the running nose. The good thing about symptoms is that once you notice them; you may be able to ward off the full-blown condition with a little vitamin C or echinacea.

The Bible gives very clear symptoms of foolishness to look out for in our own lives and to avoid in others.

Symptom 1: "There's no God!"

Sorry, but Scripture explicitly says in Psalm 14:1 "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." This is a true indication of a nutmo wrapped in a nutcase. Creation [itself] cries that God exists! Man has all the proof he needs and is foolish to deny the Creator in the complexity of the universe. Check out this site for more info:

Symptom 2: "No one can tell me what to do - not God or anyone else!"

The second sign of catching a case of foolishness is found in Proverbs 1:7. Being above discipline, advice or wisdom is one of the most dangerous indications of foolishness.

When someone gives you advice, do three things: 1. consider the source, 2. determine whether their advice is in perfect alignment with God's principles and 3. Pray before you act, if you can.

Applying these three "tests" may help you decide what is wise or just some advice from a well-meaning "fool". I have also learned to compare some advice with a few other sources. Depending on the topic, I may ask my brother Donnie, my mom or my best friend.

Also, the fear of the Lord referenced in this scripture is not about tormenting fear, but more about reverential or respectful fear. When you repeatedly ignore God's laws, precepts and teachings you are in a fool's path. Be careful, Godsy Girl.

Symptom 3: "Talking Crazy - Like a fool!"

When you get a moment, check our Ecclesiastes 10: 12-14. Just because you know something about someone (whether good or bad) doesn't mean you have to share it with others. What pleasure is it to speak of someone's personal business? None!

Yesterday, I had lunch with my wonderful cousin Eileen. Our conversation sauntered toward the multitude of challenges pastors face. We began to speak of a specific pastor overtaken in a fault. I love the way that conversation went. We spoke of praying for all our leaders and specifically that pastor. The entire reference was about seven seconds long and we never discussed the what, when and where of the brother's shortcoming. We didn't even go there and I love the integrity of that conversation. We all must learn how to season our words as we we do our food - sparingly! (Read Colossians 4:6)

Finally, verse fourteen speaks of a fool multiplying his words. Be careful how much you say, how you say it and to whom. During tense times, fewer words are always a sign of wisdom, Amen?

Sometimes, we all get a case of the foolishness; but prayer, apologies and the Word are all great remedies!

Matthew Henry's Commentary says:
"Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Your Lot; Your Portion is His

Some of us expend far too much energy stressing about attaining and retaining life's blessings.
For instance, a new job opportunity sparks anxiety because that "little" voice in your head says, "but what if I don't get it?" Or an insecure (or wounded) woman is tormented because she is afraid another woman may swipe her great guy.

Whatever the reason, it is fruitless to hold too tightly to the earthly blessings of this world. Have you heard the proverbial example of the little girl clutching her baby chick so tightly that she ultimately smothers it and kills it? Sometimes that happens to adults when insecurity smothers loved ones. How? By unfoundedly questioning motives, wrongfully accusing, secretly searching pockets and other personal items for signs of infidelity. You know what I mean. That brand of love quickly becomes bondage and no one wants to be in bondage.

You know, the truth of the matter is that we cannot protect anything ourselves. God who sees all, judges fairly and knows the hearts of men (and women) is the perfect all-powerful guarding Protector.

Psalm 127:1
"...Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain."

God is best qualified to protect our lot and our portions. Even if people choose to leave us, or our job is eliminated or the child decides a negative path in life - understand that they things were not probably within your complete control anyway. They, and their destinies, are in God's hands. Release and thank God for what is coming...for what is your perfect portion! I love the way the New International Version puts this concept:

Psalm 16:5

"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure."

Check out how The English Standard version expresses it:

"The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot."

So, in the end God is ultimately our Portion and our Protector. He can handle an enemy much better than you ever could; and he can keep your husband, children, social standing and victory better than you can on any given day. Take the pressure off, Godsy Girl.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3 Ways to Have a Blessed Drive

1. Maximize the Moment! For many of us, the only time we have peace and quiet is during our car rides. Instead of returning those telephone calls, focus on praise and worship. Put on a song that will reach down to the tippie toes of your soul and stimulate a spritual encounter with the Lord!

2. Prayer, but not the only. I'm not a big fan of limiting my prayer time to my car ride, but I do pray while driving. I've found that while I'm communiting, I'm unable to completely focus on the Lord and hearing His voice. Jesus gave us a perfect example. Remember how he would always "steal" away to a mountain or get alone for prayer. Protect your quiet time with Him. But at the same, time I do often use my car trips for communication with God. I'll chat with Him about what's on my heart; pray for other drivers or practice His presence. However, the "meat" of my prayer life is when I'm alone.

3. Blessings, not Curses. Now you know as well as I do that other drivers can work your nerves and pierce your spiritual fruit! That being so, I'm teaching myself to bless those that cut me off in traffic or drive agressively. Trust me, it can be tough, Godsy Girl. Nevertheless, it keeps my heart clean and hopefully blesses their life in some small way. I usually pray something like:

"Lord, bless that person with your peace today. I pray that good things come their way and that they prosper in all they do as they rely on you. If they don't know you personally, please send someone their way to introduce them to a relationship with you. In Jesus Name...."

By the time I'm finished praying, I'm usually not angry anymore!
What do you do during your rides to build your spirit?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reach, Girl, Reach...

This evening my husband and I launched our church's respite (called "Gethsemane") by spending some much needed time together. We watched Jefferson Moore's movie "The Perfect Stranger".

The movie depicts an unbeliever during an unexpected evening with a real, modern day Jesus. I've seen the movie several times now, but each time it reminds me of God's availability during and empathy for my Christian walk on this earth.

This world can be cold. Relationships grow dull, age steals what was once taken for granted and death decays our views of mortality and personal security. At times, life is an uphill battle for your joy.

Jesus is very aware of our strains and stresses in this world and provides an olive branch of strength and comfort by way of the Holy Spirit. We only need to accept the help and trust Him with the big stuff (and the little stuff) of this earthly journey. Sometimes, we make that more difficult than it need be. Trust, that's all we have to

Also, hang your spiritual hat on the fact that Jesus has already knew you'd have a difficult time in this life. He warned us a long time ago. But the good news, Godsy Girl, is that He also gave us a winning hint of victory. How? He said that although the world is a rough place to live, HE overcame the world for us! Isn't that good news? Every problem, every sickness, every battle and every temptation has been overcome by the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. We simple need to walk in His strength and remember the victory He won for us long ago!
Grab hold to your present help today. Remember, you're not along in this "thing" call life and your Help never tires of delivering you and bringing peace.

P.S. thanks for the prayers and emails during my journey. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone for your emails and prayers for my mom. She's home and growing stronger because of those prayers to a faithful God.

Have you ever thought about that fact that people that you may never meet could be praying for you?

Sometimes, when I see an auto accident or a person walking I ask God to "touch" them. I often pray for their day, their work, their families - all in about two minutes. Those people will never know that I prayed for them, but God knows and He heard that intercessory prayer uttered in faith.

Today, thank God for those people that have prayed for you; and those that are praying for you now. People that you don't even know love you and are praying for you often...I know I am.

Thanks for reading, love ya...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trust is all you need...

I was just thinking. Life moves in swoops and strokes. Sometimes life can be calm - or at least calm for us - and then [SWOOP!] it can change in a moments time.

The other day, my mom was rushed to the hospital on a heart attack scare. Praise God she didn't have one, but she's remaining for a battery of tests. Several years ago, this very trial would have tossed me into a tailspin of worry and anxiety. You see, most of my immediate family died suddenly of heart failure. So you can understand why fear would grip my life at the very thought of losing my remaining family members.

But God.

Jesus Christ has shown me time and time again that He's in control of my life. He's handling my destiny. Nothing, absolutely nothing, takes Him by surprise. Isn't that wonderful?

When troubles arise, God is not in heaven running around with His hands in the air screaming "What are we going to do???" No, He's resting on His throne protecting us, guiding us and comforting us by the power of his Holy Spirit. Our job is to simply trust Him and stay close in times of doubt, pain and weariness.

So, I trust Him.

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you" Psalm 9:10