Friday, August 28, 2015

Anger Shouldn't Stop the Loving

My husband grew up in a home that today we would call "dysfunctional". What an innocuous word when you consider the depth of destructive behavior that occurred on regular basis! The children were given daily examples of bitter emotions acting out between husband and wife, but all the world saw was a jolly and sweet man with a strong and aloof woman. Inside the walls of their home was fear and distrust and deep pain. 

No matter the dysfunction that you may have grown up with, it doesn't have to carry over into our adult lives. We can choose to reject the bad patterns that we may have learned early and choose healthy behaviors instead. My husband made a decision that he would not behave in the ways of his family, but when he and I have disagreements and become angry we quickly forget our promises to one another. This is when we need the Holy Spirit to remind us to obey the Scriptures and lean on the Savior for help.

1 Corinthians 13 has the perfect instructions for treating, not only those we know and love, but everyone.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. 

God is Love. God is faithful. And God never fails. That's why we can trust Him with our failures and weaknesses for help. I pray for strength and help every day
to handle all my weaknesses. Sometimes I still fail. But my Savior is always there to lift me up and set me back on the right path. He takes good care of me.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

It's A No-Brainer

I've been reading some of Leviticus this week. I know, right? God help me!  It's interesting how in Old Testament times God made stipulations for every kind of sin. He had it all worked out for them right down to the last detail how they could atone for their sin. And the people, who always had to go through the priest and his sons, had to know exactly what to do in case of every different sin. What a headache (especially for the bulls and sheep) to have to know and go through all that! And smelly! All that blood and entrails! How could they tolerate it?
And then God made One sacrifice that covered every sin. If we accept that gift of sacrifice and repent, it's done! 
So tell me, is this too simple? Why wouldn't anybody want this gift? Why would you want to live each day thinking, "Oh, I have to be good, do good things, say the right things, or I will have to go through all that bloody process (no pun) to pay for it and then clean up all that mess." Why would you live like that when you don't have to? Just take the gift......Jesus! You'll be so grateful that all you'll want to do is please Him. And the only sacrifice you'll need to make won't be a sacrifice anymore. It'll be a pleasure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Pain of Betrayal

I met a lady today who was in terrible pain, her heart broken by someone that she has spent her life loving, but who has hurt her over and over beyond belief. She has no hope for this relationship to ever be different, and her tears just won't stop. These words for her flowed from my heart, but Jesus gave them to me.

"Carol, I am so sorry. My own son hates me and wants nothing to do with me, so I can share your pain. But, think of this. Jesus felt just as we do, hurt and abandoned and betrayed. His own people turned their backs on Him and sent Him to the cross. But, people are still doing that every day, and imagine His pain. Allow Him to comfort you, and pray each day for the one who is causing you pain. Love them anyway, just as Jesus loves us, and remember that He can penetrate any hard or wicked heart. No one is a hopeless case as long as he is alive. In the end it is their choice, but Christ will do everything He must, except making that decision for them, to change their heart. You are blessed to know the Savior. Pray the same for those you love."

People will hurt us because there is sin in this present world. Still, there is One who understands and shares our grief and pain. Never give up hope! Jesus is a miracle worker, and He knows how to heal our wounds and their souls. Ask the Father daily for His help, obey Him in all things, and He will honor it with His faithfulness.

Monday, August 17, 2015

I Don't Want To Hear It

It's been more than 30 years, but I have no problem remembering how nasty my mouth was before I accepted Christ. Nevertheless, I am still stunned when certain words come out of a human's mouth, especially when those words are directed at me. Rudeness and ill-treatment still make me lose my temper quickly if I'm not careful enough to check it. But, the filth that some people can verbally spew will pretty much leave me speechless. 

Yeah, I did it, and I am not oblivious to that fact. It's just that the vileness of it is pretty shocking when you are no longer use to hearing it. I wonder how some of you do it out there in the work force every day. And, if you've never talked that way, it would be even worse for you. Please tell me that you don't get used to it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dealing with the Monsters

Satan comes to us every day of our lives in the form of major "monsters". Some "monsters" are bigger than others, but there is not one single "monster" that is big enough to overpower Jesus Christ. If Christ is living within us, which happens when we invite Him in, there is absolutely nothing that we cannot overcome with Him.

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

He Decides

"But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases."  Psalm 115:3. 

When the Father decides our time is up in this world, it's done. If He decides, for whatever reason only He knows, that we need to not be protected, and we suffer hardships or pain or incapacity, it's done.

God is faithful to protect His children who love Him and obey Him. We see that throughout the scriptures. He is faithful, but He also knows all, is the wisest being, is totally in control of me and you. Why would I complain if I am stricken when He is in control and knows and allows it? If it were bad for me spiritually, for my soul, He wouldn't allow it. If it is allowed, then I have something to learn from it. 

It ain't easy. but He didn't promise easy. He promised strength, and comfort, and light, and wisdom, and His infinite love, and we should obey Him in all things. And that's enough for me.