Monthly Archives: February 2015

CAN EVERYONE HEAR ME!?

Pr. 27:14:  “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him.” 

I’ve always been a ‘morning person.’  I have no problem being loud first thing in the morning.  I used to walk in to work having already been up for 2 1/2 hours, so I was peppy, singing, etc.  Not everyone appreciated that, though.  ha!  We’re all wired differently.

This verse is talking more about “blessing” someone for the sake of others.  It speaks to making a show of blessing or praising someone, so that all will not look at that person, but rather at you.  As if you’re saying to everyone else, “Please listen to me as I praise this person!  I am 1st in line.  I am so eloquent.  I am compassionate and wise.  I am a wonderful human being.”

If that is the intention of the praise, then has the recipient truly been blessed?  Nah.  The one who we claim to be blessing will probably understand the true motive and therefore count it as a curse.

We should bless those around us, but not so that we can receive the credit or attention.  Instead it should be from a heart of true thanksgiving, understanding, and gratitude.  It should be for the other person’s sake, and not our own.

Look for a reason to bless someone.  We all need that.  But make sure that it’s not done so that you are actually the one receiving the praise.

Trying to whisper,

jamie

 

 

 

Are your walls secure?

Pr. 25:28:  “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.”

This verse causes me to think about Jericho.  The reason destruction of Jericho was amazing was that it’s walls made it basically impenetrable.  The walls were made of thick stone.  They were high.  They were well-guarded, and Joshua 6:1 says the gate was securely shut because of the children of Israel.

When a city is securely protected in this manner, it takes either an act of God or a well-planned attack by a heavily-armed battalion to get over or through those walls.

This verse tells us that when we have no rule over our own spirit that we are like a city broken down, without walls.

What happens when a city has no walls, or walls that have been broken down?  Invaders can enter and take over.  The defenses of the city are weakened.  Those inside the city are vulnerable to any type of attack.  Anyone or anything can come in to the city and do what they please.  Unwanted guests can make themselves at home or even take charge.

How is this like us?  When we have no rule over our spirit, we are vulnerable to attack.  When we are allowing ourselves to be ruled by our desires, passions, emotions, or those of others around us, we make openings for the enemy to attack.  He can make himself at home or even take charge of our lives and our decision-making process.

Boundaries in our lives are walls of protection.  Examples of boundaries:  refusing to watch movies with nudity; not ‘playing around’ with black magic; guarding ourselves against worldly teachings that exclude Jesus or His grace; deciding never to be alone in a bedroom with a member of the opposite sex (who is not our spouse); making a pact with ourselves to tell the truth no matter what; making time each day to read God’s word; only listening to songs that remind us of Christ if we have found that songs about worldly passions cause us to veer away from God.  The list could continue, but you get the point.

If we don’t have walls/boundaries in place ahead of time, we leave ourselves vulnerable to any type of attack that may come our way.  We do not have to give in to attacks, invasions, or temptations.  We can guard ourselves, and secure our gates so that we are not allowing just anyone or anything to take over.

When we rule our own spirits, we take charge.  We decide what we believe, do, say.  We do not allow whims to blow us about like the wind.  We stand firm on the foundation, which is Christ Jesus, and we stay put.

I feel the need to remind us that prayer, praise, and time in the Word are the things that fortify and strengthen our walls the most.  Without these our walls will crumble.

Fortifying my walls,

jamie

The creativty of God!

Today upon my town The Lord has said to the snow, “Fall to the ground.”  (Job 37:6)  Watching the snow do just that, I started thinking about the treasury of snow.  (Job 38:22)

I went out and sat in a chair while my kids played.  Sitting still, I began noticing the shape of the snow.  It was interesting, so I took a picture:

Slivers

Slivers

A few moments later, the snow grew in size and changed shape.  Wow.  “Cool!! I wonder how many shapes of snow you have stored up, God?”  So, I took another picture:

Balls of snow

Balls of snow

Now that God had my attention, the next thing I saw was snow in the shape of these little stars:

Snow stars!

Snow stars!

Seriously?  Stars!?  Unbelievable.  I always heard that no 2 snow flakes are alike, but seeing all these different shapes in the span of minutes just felt like a huge privilege, and vainly I still want to believe God was showing them off just for me.  He had my complete, undivided attention this morning with that snow, and I was stunned and in awe of His amazing creativity and majesty.  Only God can make such an amazing creation even more amazing!

Before going inside, there was 1 more shape.  This one was a bit more watery, and I was cold:

Time for me to go inside

Time for me to go inside

Currently I see huge flakes falling.  There is no telling how many shapes He is capable of or interested in telling to fall today.  There is no end to God’s creativity and unbelievable might.  If He can do all of this with frozen water, how much more can He do with your life and your current situation?  As I said, there is no end to His creativity!

I pray that He can grab your attention with His might, as well.  He is just amazing!!!

Marveling at His greatness,

jamie

Praising my God!

Since the point of my life is to glorify my Father, I offer praise to Him now:

The doctor reiterated that most people with a tibial plateau fracture like mine are unable to put weight on their legs for 10-12 weeks.  My 7-week x-ray today caused the same doctor to tell me that I may now begin putting FULL weight on my leg!  This can only be God’s work!  Thank you to everyone who offered up a prayer on my behalf.

Giving Him all the glory,

jamie

To find read about how I worked through my anxiety about this morning’s x-ray, click on the blog link below:

https://consideringtheword.wordpress.com/tag/restlessness/

Worrying about those riches

Pr. 23:5:  “Will you set your eyes on that which is not?  For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven.”

Solomon was telling his son not to overwork to become rich.  With our citizenship being in heaven, and the fact that riches will fade away, there is a time to cease.  There are many types of “riches” on which we can set our minds.

Until 4:00 a.m., I was lying in bed for an hour or so trying to “be anxious for nothing.”  I had recited Ph. 4:6-7 several times, offering thanksgiving to God and praying, in order that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, would guard my heart and mind.  Sometimes I guess I expect that the peace will fall heavily upon me and I will no longer think about my anxieties, but it didn’t necessarily do that this time.  I do believe; however, that it is guarding my heart and mind, and the moment a forceful attack comes, the protection will already be in place.

I am anxious because at 8:45 this morning I will be having the x-ray that will let me know how the fracture in my shin has healed.  This could go 1 of 3 ways, and after 7 weeks of putting no weight on my leg, I feel ready to get back to “normal life.”

Will I set my eyes on that which is not?  That’s what anxiety is.  In Ph. 4:11, Paul writes, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”  Anxiety is me not being content in my current state.  Anxiety is me worrying about the future, when I’m still in the present.

Now, I recall Jesus in the garden the night before His betrayal.  He said that His soul was deeply sorrowful, even to death.  It does give me peace in knowing that even Jesus became sorrowful and asked that the cup be passed from Him.  Understanding what He faced, I am not comparing my level of sorrow to His.  I do, however, take comfort in the fact that He truly does understand what it means to want an impending event not to take place.

I do not want to hear the doctor say that I am not healed.  Even before I go; however, I must decide, if I will set my eyes on those uncertain things?  If I am not healed, will God still supply my needs?  Of course.  The “riches” I desire do not ensure a perfect life.  Jesus gave Himself to God’s will in order to glorify His Father.  That’s the point of our lives, and if I cannot glorify my Father with on crutches, then perhaps I never can.

I am a child of God, and no matter what state I am in, He will still provide.  Setting my eyes now on things above, reminds me that peace comes from knowing and trusting in God.  With Him, I am complete, and can now cease over-worrying about my riches.  It’s God’s riches I’m counting on!  🙂

Resting in Him,

jamie

Oh those tests….

Pr. 20:30: “Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart.”

Trials and pains in this life can certainly hurt, but as this verse reminds us, that pain can cleanse away evil if we allow God to remain the One to which we turn. Instead of pulling further away from Him during our trial, we can turn TO Him and find the help we truly need. There is always room to grow in our lives and in our faith.

The following blog speaks to this and since it spoke to my heart this morning, I felt it appropriate to share.

Looking to Him,
Jamie

The ONE THING

Genesis 22:1-2 (NKJV) Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham… 

Don’t be thrown off by the use of the word “test”.

God is not like a school teacher who gives a test in order to discover what you know—God knows whether or not you know the answers. God doesn’t give test for his benefit; he gives them for other’s benefit.

First of all, the tests God gives you are for your good—they give you a look into the health of your own character.

Just like skating on a frozen pond, you first tentatively test the integrity of the ice by putting pressure on it before trusting the ice with your full weight.

In the same way, how we respond to the pressures of life gives us an ideal of the strength of our own integrity—not God’s.

Now let me take you on a quick side-journey by mentioning…

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When the moment seems bigger than eternity

An unfavorable doctor’s report, betrayal by someone we trust, the loss of a loved one, uncertainty that our needs will be met…all of these things can sometimes make our lives her look so big, and so overwhelming.

This morning I was reading one of my favorite Psalms…103.  I received a few good reminders that I thought I might share:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”  Sometimes, when faced with something new, we can forget all the blessings we have previously received or seen from the Lord.  It’s important to remind ourselves of all His benefits.

“As a father pitied his children, so the Lord pitied those who fear Him.  For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.”  God doesn’t expect perfection of us.  🙂  He knows us better than anyone.  He created us!  He will provide for our needs.

“As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.”  Our days on this earth do not last for eternity.  This is not our final home.  Before we know it we will be home with our Savior in heaven.

“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.”  He is still the Lord of all.  His throne is still established.  His mercy never ends, and is ever-available to His children…to those who trust in Him enough to try to keep His commands.

Bottom line…This is not our final stop.  With God on our side, we will make it through.

Don’t give up!

jamie

Grieving the one who is lost

Pr. 15:8:  “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”

My friend’s mother passed away yesterday morning.  She was a Christian who had lived a full life.  She was ready to go home to be with the Lord, and what more fitting day than Valentines Day to go home to her true love.  

Even though her family has some peace in her passing, she is now very absent from their lives, and there is still grief in loss.  When someone we love dies, we are keenly aware of the fact that they can never be replaced.  We experience a void that can never be filled.  There is no one who can step into the place of anyone who has passed and fill their spot.  The person we have lost will always be lost, and that brings us very real pain.

There are also families who have a loved one who is missing.  The family has no clue if their loved one is alive or dead; they just know they are gone.  The void that’s left if palpable…unrelenting.  The grief they experience is never-ending.

This made me think about God and how He must feel when we are lost to Him.  Sin separates us from the Lord.  He is Holy, which means He cannot tolerate sin.  Even as Jesus hung dying on the cross, the Lord could not look upon Him.  The sin upon Jesus separated them.  When we live our lives in sin, and are separate from God, do you think He grieves the way we do when we lose the one we love?

In the parable of the lost son, Jesus illustrates what happens when a sinner, who was lost and dead, comes back.  When the father saw his son, he ran to him, fell on his neck, and kissed him.  He was overjoyed and called for a celebration.  He said, “for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”  Isn’t that how we would feel if we could possibly be reunited with the one we love who was lost or dead?  Imagine the joy we would feel!

The Word tells us that when someone who was lost comes to the Lord there is rejoicing in heaven.  I truly believe that being created in God’s image means that our emotions are not unique to us, but are part of His own make up.  This brings new meaning to the fact that the prayers of the upright are His delight.  If our loved one, who was lost or dead, comes back to us, wouldn’t we delight in their words, as well?

This makes me look at living a life separate from God very differently.  If, in understanding grief, we can put ourselves in His place…imagine His grief for one who is lost…could we more understand His love for us?  We are His children.  He desperately loves us!  He wants us to be with Him—forever.

His,

jamie

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”  John 15:13

Who in your life has ever loved you this much?

Jesus

Why did He lay down His life for us?

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

He took our sins and sickness upon Himself so that He could spend eternity with us.  He wants to be with us forever.

Now THAT is true love.  😉

Falling more in love with Him each day,

jamie

Enjoy this song about His love.  “How He Loves,” sung by John Mark McMillan:

Doing good for your own soul

Pr. 11:17:  “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”

Well, I could walk around kicking puppies and stepping on people’s feet, but with an already fractured shin, I would not only hurt them, but further hinder my own recovery and possibly injure myself even more.  The same is true for any cruelty.

Showing mercy is like this heating pad on my knee…not only does it keep me from hurting others (since I’m sitting in one spot, minding my own shortcomings), but it brings warmth, comfort, and relief as my body is healing.

Just thinking out loud,

jamie