Thursday, January 31, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 68

Last evening, I picked up my 16 year old son at this bible study group and we headed home. On the way, he courageously asked me for advice on Valentine’s Day saying this was the first Valentine’s Day that he wanted to do something for someone. My son has a girlfriend that he met through his church youth group. I gave him my suggestions and we talked about how he has gotten a boost of confidence because he knows someone likes him. I had to tell him that there are probably other girls that like you but just haven’t had the courage to say anything. I remember having a crush on a boy starting in 5th grade and never did I say or do anything about it. Fear of rejection is so very real for all of us. We have to choose to let go and know that we are loved by our God who gave himself so that we might live. There is a road ahead for my son that will have rejection and heartache but I will be praying that he will draw closer to God and be filled with His love.
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 68

Last evening, I picked up my 16 year old son at this bible study group and we headed home. On the way, he courageously asked me for advice on Valentine’s Day saying this was the first Valentine’s Day that he wanted to do something for someone. My son has a girlfriend that he met through his church youth group. I gave him my suggestions and we talked about how he has gotten a boost of confidence because he knows someone likes him. I had to tell him that there are probably other girls that like you but just haven’t had the courage to say anything. I remember having a crush on a boy starting in 5th grade and never did I say or do anything about it. Fear of rejection is so very real for all of us. We have to choose to let go and know that we are loved by our God who gave himself so that we might live. There is a road ahead for my son that will have rejection and heartache but I will be praying that he will draw closer to God and be filled with His love.
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 67

My team lead walked in yesterday from meeting with our office manager and started saying in this down voice how she has never in all her years of working been written up for anything until today. What?! Apparently, there are too many mistakes being made and everyone has a negative attitude. Wow, and they are going to blame our team lead for that. Well, we ended up all having a meeting with our office manager along with someone from the payroll company because she wanted to here our concerns but not our complaints. We all agreed those were the same. She is now trying to work with us on figuring out what we need in terms of more man-power. We had a person that was brought back on a part-time basis but was let go a couple of weeks ago. That’s when I got all the mail duty. So, as I sat there in the meeting listening to everyone else voice their “concerns”, I said a prayer to God for peace and the right words to come out when it was my turn. I can’t say all is well but I feel at least I got to voice my concerns and now it us up to them. I really am at peace about the whole work load thing now. I am learning to let it go and just be thankful for a job and do the best I can within the 8 hours I put in.
Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 66

As I worked away on the 700+ pieces of mail I had to open, sort and count, I began thinking of how I have a college education and here I am opening mail. I was feeling pathetically angry with myself being in this situation. Needless to say, it is the hormones talking as I normally know that I am where God wants me to be for now and I am working on equipping myself for his calling.  I can’t say I was filled with peace my whole day but I got little micro bites of it when I caught a glance of my prayer cards and stopped to read one. For just a minute, I felt a smile on my face and in my heart. I know the hormones are not done with me yet this month so I am arming myself with my headphones and I-phone to listen to the Christan music that inspires me today and will pray for peace to reign in my heart just as Jesus reigns over the world.
Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Monday, January 28, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 65

How dependent on God are you? I am betting not as much as you could be only because that is where I am at too. I am finding that being dependent on God, relying on God takes away the worries of life and brings peace. But can I be relying on God more? Yes. The goal is to be relying on God 24/7, all the time, every minute of every day. Imagine feeling that peace that passes all understanding every day. It is possible with the Holy Spirit’s help and doing our part in asking. Lord, we ask that we see the reminders in your creation today of how well you take care of us all and ask you to take away our worries and bring us the peace that only you can give. With you all things are possible. Amen.
Matthew 6:25-27 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 64

Peace is one of those things that have duo connotations. There is the inner peace within our mind, soul and body and there is the outer peace among us and the world. Jesus made it clear he didn’t come to bring peace, this is the outer peace. He said their will be wars and strife in the days to come. This outer peace will only come when Jesus returns. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for the outer peace but we must know that it won’t come without Jesus. The inner peace is something that we already have within us if we are believers in the one and only son of God and savior of the world. The Holy Spirit is in us waiting for us to call upon him to bring us the inner peace we so desire. We can’t change what is happening in the world but we can change our hearts and have peace regardless of the circumstances of the world. Our inner peace will help others turn from evil and find the truth. Our inner peace is our sword to fight the evil of this world.
Matthew 10:34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 63

Maybe I am a slow learner but I am still learning about myself at 47 years of age. The more I learn about myself the more I feel everything balancing out and the more peace I feel. I struggled after taking the Meyers-Brigg assessment several years ago and finding that my personality type was extremely rare, like 1% of the population. It created more disturbances in me rather than giving me any peace. But the more I am in the word of God and learning about the temperament he created in me when I was knit together in my mother’s womb, the more at peace I feel about myself and who God created me to be. It is my own real-life example of how looking to man-created therapy, assessments, etc doesn’t work and how seeking the real truth in the Word of God will lead you to the peace and all that you need. May the Lord lead you to his truth and bring balance and peace. With God all things are possible. Amen.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand.

Friday, January 25, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 62

A co-worker and I connected yesterday when I said I like to have my work look stellar. We were talking about the increased mistakes of all of us because we are so overloaded and we looked at each other with that “aha” we are the same expression. I told her it is in my nature to want to have my work look awesome and when it is not I am frustrated and angry at what I consider the cause, our boss. But it is time to let it go and know that God is in control, not my boss. I do the best I can do with what is given me and that is all anyone can ask. So, the peace of knowing that God is in control will pull me through. Thank God for helping me to see my weakness and give it to him.
James 1:19-21 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 61

Peace. We see the peace signs, we here the talk of peace vs war on the news but do we know the real meaning of peace. Some definitions I found may help guide me in discovering what peace is: freedom from disturbance, state of security, state of balance and understanding of self and others, calm, contentment in obedience to law, tranquility of mind, harmony, to be quiet, to be silent, to stop.   This last one, to stop, really made me pause. Stop trying to do it on your own, stop trying to be God, stop over-analyzing everything, stop letting the world dictate your actions and on and on… Peace cannot be attained on our own. God is the only source of true peace and it is through our belief in Jesus that we can obtain this peace. CS Lewis said it well, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. If you are searching for peace, I pray you will be lead to the one and only that can give it to you.
John 14: 26-27 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 60

In my studies, it talks about getting back to that faith-moment we had when we first accepted Jesus as our savior. The point is to get back to a child-like faith that is not complicated by all the teachings, study and whatnot that you get into as you go on your faith journey. The more we know the more we realize how little we know is the main point. It is a humbling experience to realize how small we really are when we start to learn about God but we have to go back to the beginning and just have faith. Trust that God will provide for all our needs and take care of us. David says it well in this Psalm when he asks for God to restore the joy of your salvation. That is what we need to be praying for everyday so that we keep our faith and do not let all the complicated aspects of learning about God block us from God. There is a reason Jesus loves the little children because they do not complicate their faith, they just fully trust and believe. We told my daughter the truth about Santa after Christmas of 2011 but she wanted to maintain her child-like belief in Santa and acted like he was a real for this last Christmas. At first, I was a little daunted by it but in the end I think she has a natural affinity towards faith and that will serve her so very well in this life. I pray we can all have such a faith.
Psalm 51: 10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 59

Faith is a crucial part of being fed the fruits of the Spirit. Without faith, we are trying to go it alone. I have considered my faith to be strong but it can be stronger, it can encompass every part of my life. If I have faith that God will provide for me all my needs in body, soul and spirit than I can be truly walking in the Spirit. The only way to do that is to be in the Word everyday, praying everyday because without daily relationship with the Lord we will forget and try going it alone again and again. God is God and I am not. I have to be dependent upon God for everything. He is my provider, protector, counselor, friend and Father. I pray we can all start looking to God for our every need and have complete faith in Him.
Psalm 90:1-2 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Monday, January 21, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 58

I actually love when I come to a word in the bible that I don’t know the meaning of. I get on Google and find all kinds of word bible studies, commentaries and definitions. I read this verse from James this morning and the word ‘firstfruit’ caught my eye because of the challenge to ripen the fruits of the Holy Spirit within me and because I wasn’t sure about its meaning. The firstfruits were the best of the crops that God had produced for the Isrealites and they gave those back to God to show they understood that all the crops are from God’s labor. This makes me think that in working on ripening the fruits of the Holy Spirit that I have to be mindful that these fruits are created in me by God. I cannot let the sin of pride take hold of me when a fruit has shown itself outwardly from within me. These fruits are all God! Being loving to my husband, patient with my child or joyful with my co-workers is all from God. It is never a “me” thing. That is why it is important to take the time each day to thank God for the fruits that were demonstrated within you and let him know that these firstfruits within us are all because of him.
James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 57

I like this quote from Joel Osteen: You have a choice; you can either keep your joy, or you can give it away.  Choice is by far one of the biggest factors in becoming a believer of Jesus Christ and in our Christian walk. From the moment we make that first choice to believe that Jesus is the son of God and died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead so that we too might live we have the Holy Spirit within us. But everyday is a new day and so everyday we have choices to make. Not just the physical choices of what I am going to eat for breakfast or pick to wear today. Not just the mental choice to have a positive attitude or figure out the bills to pay but the spiritual choices of do we rely on God today, do we pray for the Holy Spirit and the fruits he can ripen within us or do we go it on our own. I for one have seen the power of the Holy Spirit working within me and it motivates me more. It is much like going on a weight-loss plan. The first week you are motivated by the idea of losing weight and feeling better about yourself, etc and by the third or fourth week the motivation comes from the very real reaction to your action. You get on the scale and see you have lost 3lbs and are thrilled. I have felt that same way every time I experience the Holy Spirit has given me what I needed. It makes me want the Holy Spirit working within me every moment of my life. For each day in the rest of my life, I am going to choose to pray in the morning for the Holy Spirit to ripen the fruits of the spirit within me, to help me love, to remind me that my joy comes from knowing I am saved and have the love of an awesome God.  And each night, I am going to pray and thank the Lord and confess my sins and what I could have done better and thank him for all the blessings, help, guidance, protection, inspiration, love and fruits of the Spirit that he gave to me for that day. I made a choice a couple years ago after a dentist visit with the typical talk about needing to floss. I made the choice to do it everyday and have only missed maybe two days in the last 2 years. If I can floss everyday, I can certainly pray everyday and so can you.  It is your choice.
2Thessalonians 2:13
But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 56

What joy is was well said in this book called Taking Your Soul to Work-Overcoming the Nine Deadly Sins of the Workplace by R Paul Stevens and Alvin Ung so I will leave you with this expert from the book for you today and pray that you and the Lord connect throughout your day which will bring you joy.
Joy is God-connection, God-infusion, whole-person exhilaration, blissful well-being, a spiritual transcendence. Noted Bible teacher William Barclay says that joy is “the distinguishing atmosphere of the Christian life.” Scripture is full of joy—people who are exhilarated by having God as No.1 in their lives.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by mean.

Friday, January 18, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 55

I am dealing with a head cold so will keep this short. Our response to God’s provision, love, blessings, everything should always be to rejoice in Him. Its not enough that we rejoice over the obvious things like when our football team wins or we get some very much needed encouragement at work or you are sick and healed quickly but it has to be in everything. Rejoicing just for waking up to a new day, the sun rising and shinning, your kids smiles and laughter, your cupboard full of food, your cat that just puked a hair ball you now get to clean up, this computer I get to write my thoughts on to you and so much more. Our joy comes in rejoicing in our God for everything he does, is and gives us. May you find yourself rejoicing for the little things, the big things and the blessings in disguise things today and everyday to come.
Psalm 66:6 He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot—come, let us rejoice in him.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challege-Day 54

As I was reviewing my email last evening down in my studio, I heard upstairs my daughter laughing. It was a rip-roaring kind of laughing, the kind where you get physical. I could imagine her up there rolling around on the floor. She was watching one of her Disney shows on TV and was laughing with such abandon. I had to pause what I was doing just to sit and listen. I think there is an old saying that laughter is contagious. I don’t know about that but it definitely spreads an effect over those within the hearing range. I think the same can be said with a smile or kind words. They can make a sad or angry person feel, at least for the moment, happier. I am sure the joy the Holy Spirit fills us with can lead to outward effects. Though laughter and happiness are not what the Word is showing us about joy, it is an example of what joy can do. True joy comes from the Holy Spirit, not by him cracking jokes or giving us every heart’s desire but just the knowing that we are His. The joy comes in the relationship we have with our Father. He wants us to ask, vent, worship, be grateful and love him in prayer. We may not get what we ask for, we may vent and be lead to solutions, we may worship and love and already we know we are loved by Him beyond measure and we may be grateful in all things which brings about an attitude of contentment but the joy from the Holy Spirit is just because we are doing those things: asking, venting, worshipping, loving, thanking and praying this all to Him. Like a parent that tells a child, I just want you to come talk to me, such is how or heavenly Father feels about us. Talk to Him in whatever way is right for you and do it often and joy will find its way into your heart.
John 16:24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 53

This verse in Luke had me imagining all the angels and people that have gone to Heaven up there just cheering super loud and enthusiastically like the Broncos at a football game. The Broncos go nuts when a touchdown happens. Heaven is rejoicing in the biggest way possible every time a lost soul is redeemed. I just smile when I think that they were up there cheering mightily the day I sought forgiveness for my secret sins and accepted that I truly needed God. The truth is we all need God but like I was blind to the truth, others are having that same struggle with their need for God that they probably don’t even realize is there and their desire to do it themselves. I was this way last evening going through my mind what possible solution can I come up with to do my new task at work without it creating pain in my shoulder which is slowing the progress of healing. I finally sought refuge with my one and only who will help me. “Okay stop analyzing it to death and give it to the Lord”, I told myself. I asked the Lord to figure this out for me and than I went peacefully off to sleep. Just because I am a believer in Jesus Christ does not stop the evil one from using whatever he can to keep me from the Lord, including my own God-given temperament. I am an analyzer which has kept me awake on many nights. It can be a weakness in my temperament when I let it keep me from going to God. But the truth set me free again. I don’t know that the cheering in Heaven is as loud as when I first acknowledge Jesus as my savior but I am sure that God was smiling.
Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 52

Everyone turned and looked up from their desk when I came in and said my cheery good morning. I imagined the mountains singing and the trees applauding and before opening that door to my office prayed to the Lord again to fill me with His joy and peace. It was so awesome to see the difference in the others when you come in with joy-filled and peace-filled eyes. But my rejoicing over being filled with joy was misplaced slightly. I was glad to have that joyful and peaceful attitude as I worked but the real joy is in the reason that I was filled with that joy and peace in the first place. Jesus is my king, savior and everything. Because of Him, I have been adopted into the kingdom of Heaven and am a child of God. My name is written in the book of life. There is much to be joyful for but the reason I have this joy is because of the one and only Jesus. I will rejoice in Him.
Luke 10:20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

Monday, January 14, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 51

I love the imagery that you can find in the Word. It can be visually so inspiring. I read this scripture this morning from Isaiah and it conjured up a scene in my head like something from the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings. You just can’t look at trees the same again after seeing them walk and talk in Lord of the Rings. This is the way we want to be walking into every situation. So filled with joy and peace that the mountains are singing and the trees are applauding. God gave us an imagination so why not use it to help set the stage. I will pray for joy and peace today as I walk into my office for work and imagine the mountains singing and the trees applauding. It brings a big smile to my face just thinking about doing it. With the Lord’s help we can be shinning examples of his love, joy, peace and all that He brings us.
Isaiah 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 50

We had such a great time watching the Bronco game yesterday. It was a bummer that it didn’t end well for them. I just hate it when a game comes down to a field goal and you know there were mistakes made along the way that could have made the outcome different. But that is what life is all about. Making mistakes and hopefully growing from them. I woke up early this morning and got up to go to the bathroom and get a drink and my mind ended up thinking about stuff at work. I was thinking on this stuff for just a minute when I realized I was worrying about it. So, I began to analyze why I was worrying about it and figured out that it was because of my need for approval and to show that I can do it all. I wanted to make sure that what the boss, owner and my co-workers thought of me was that I am the best and most capable person to do this job. I realized I was being selfish and immediately started praying to God asking for forgiveness and thanking him for helping me see this for what it is so I can grow. From what I have learned about temperament theory so far, there are weaknesses in every temperament. God designed us this way so that we would have the need to reach out to him. These weaknesses in our temperament can be overcome with the power of the Holy Spirit within us. One of the weaknesses within my temperament is worry and/or fear. I have come along way with my fears in this past year and now it looks like the Lord is showing me my worries need to go to Him too. After praying to him about this worry over work and asking for forgiveness, my mind was at peace and I was able to get back to sleep. I have not overly thought of work since. I am certain the Broncos will be re-playing the game they just lost over and over again to analyze what they could have done better, what choices could have been better, what mistakes need to be worked on. They will work on these and hopefully come back a stronger and better team next season. Mistakes, sins and their outcome aren’t on my list of pleasures but the end result of these can be growth in our relationship with the Lord and in becoming more and more as he wants us to be. That in itself is joy. Knowing that God is working on us, molding us, helping us become more like Jesus is the joy in the midst of the mistake or sins we do.
Psalm 43:4 Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and delight.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 49

I did it! I have applied to Colorado Theological Seminary for the Masters in Clinical Pastoral Counseling. The moment I clicked the submit button I felt such joy and peace. It was time to get the ball rolling. There is so much to learn and I am excited about this journey. It feels much like what Peter says in 1Peter 1:8 (see below). I have had the faith to step out and get this going and I know that I will reach that end goal of having my own Christian Counseling practice. All things have a process that has an end result. Faith in Jesus = salvation and eternity in heaven. Evil desire leads to sin which ends in death. Applying for school leads to learning which gets you to a degree. I am just tickled pink with starting my journey that will end with a degree and a future in which I will be equipped to help hurting people find the joy that the Lord can bring us.
1Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you live him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Friday, January 11, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 48

I am finding that the fruits of the spirit are very much interconnected at least when it comes to joy. Joy is definitely connected to peace and love. And I am betting it probably associates with the other fruits as well.  The fruits of the Spirit can be like a fruit salad rather than individual fruits. The truth is when the Holy Spirit is within us, we do have all of the fruits and the more we call on the Spirit to ripen this fruit within us, the more we are growing and our fruits are getting peeled and cut and are turning into a delicious fruit salad. This is much like the analogy of the potter and the clay; God molding us into a beautiful pot. Everything is a process. We grow and change and get closer and closer to being what God intended for us, to be more like Jesus. This goal of becoming more like Jesus will give God so much joy. When we truly love God, we will have that motivation to do and be all that He wants us to be and we will be making Him joyful. Relationships are a give and take kind of thing. How well am I doing at truly loving God?
3John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 47

Yesterdays’ awakening has showed me how the evil one is playing on my fears especially in times of trouble like when I am in pain from my shoulder. The antidote to fear is faith. My faith wavered and that let in the evil one to use my own temperament weakness of my emotional self against me. Recognition of the issue is the first step in turning my weakness into a strength, my fear into faith. I see now that faith is not only about believing in Jesus; it is trusting in Him in all things, everything, 100%. That is not something I am doing. We are all works in progress and so for my continued growth I have to learn to trust God in and for everything. I have to fix my eyes on Jesus and let Him work on me and give me what I am lacking. Despite all this trouble that my selfish sin created of wanting my camera found and my joy back, I am feeling glad in that I am learning that I can overcome my weaknesses within me with the Lord’s help. Joy in the Lord is what the Holy Spirit can give us.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 46

I awoke several times last night due to my shoulder. In that last waking, it came to me that I had no idea where my camera was. My new camera I got for my birthday in November. I fretted over it and tried to think of the last time I saw it and could only remember seeing it in the suitcase at the hotel in Sterling where we were that last weekend of December. I couldn’t remember if my husband may have taken it out to charge the battery or not. So, I prayed that the camera would be found. I thought about the scripture about the woman who has ten silver coins and loses one. She searches everywhere and finds it and calls all her friends and neighbors to celebrate and rejoice with her over finding the lost coin. My focus ended up on wanting my joy to come back in finding my camera that when I asked my husband about it this morning, I ended up coming across accusatory. He found the camera where I had put it in the glove box in the car and told me in no uncertain terms that I was wrong in how I came across. My joy at seeing the camera and having it back turned into grief for the wrong I did towards my husband. I mumbled out a sorry but he was in no mood to hear it. My emotions definitely take hold of me and I do or say things that should not have been done or said in such a way. I was just reading about this idea of emotions ruling over us yesterday in a book about temperament so I am sure there is a lesson for me in all of this from the Lord. I have often said things in not the right way due to the emotions running through me at the time. It is a weakness in my temperament that I apparently need to work on.  But I think I am finally seeing that it is the emotions that are causing the issue. My temperament makes me an emotional person and I have to call on the Lord’s help to make the weaknesses of letting my emotions control my actions to letting the Holy Spirit guide my actions.  Lord, please help me to let go of any emotions that can turn out to be hurtful and anger-inducing to others when instead I can ask the Holy Spirit to fill me up with peace and please help me find a way to make this up to my husband who found my camera. Amen.
Luke 15:10 In the same way, I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 45

I am slowly but surely learning to be joyful through everything. My team lead came into the office yesterday handing out to us all paperwork regarding a non-compete clause which basically said we can’t go out and get a job with any competitor. Our team lead proceeds to tell us that the company that handles our pay checks, etc said it isn’t legal and wouldn’t hold up in court so just go ahead and sign it. Instead of being frustrated with another thing that our boss/owner is doing that is so controlling in nature, I laughed at it. I took joy from it because it really was funny. I also got news that I am to be trained on a couple of other things because the permitting process is going to become once a month. I really had to laugh about that one because I really don’t think my boss knows what he is doing but I was told right off the bat not to worry about it, that our office manager would be handling all the details so worry is not going to be something I will do. I am going to try, try, try to be joyful in this place of work that is down-right frustrating, depressing and all around a not-so-great-place to work. God is telling me that I need to face this all with joy in my heart that shines out to others. So, if I am to be here for who knows how much longer, I am going to do it with joy because God has asked me to.
1Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Monday, January 7, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 44

The news has been depressing with all the talk about the government and budget crisis. I have often heard a politician say we have to be thinking about our children because what we do today will affect their lives. This made me think about what am I teaching my children, how well am I preparing them for their lives, are we laying a good foundation in faith so they will stay the course with the Lord as they grow up and become adults? By far the greatest blessing you can give to your children is a solid foundation for their faith. My foundation ended up cluttered with weeds that tangled with any real growth and overcame it. It wasn’t until my mid thirties when I went through the clash of my past sins with my current desire for a second child. This challenge led me to weeding the personal garden of my soul. I had to clear out all the weeds of sin and have since continued to go back in and pull those weeds that pop up so that my growth in faith continues. The Lord says we are to be talking the talk, walking the walk and communicating all that we know of Him to our children. These years when they are young are the times we as parents can prepare the soil and plant the seeds. A good garden will always do better when the soil has been prepared well. So no matter what may happen with our country or our physical life here on Earth, my children will hopefully have good soil and those seeds will blossom and I will teach them how to go to God for forgiveness and keep the weeds in the garden out. My children are such a blessing and have given me such joy and it is my hope and prayer that God will equip me to be a good gardener and keep preparing and richening their soil so the seeds being planted will blossom. Lord, help me to show them that you are the Way, the Truth and the Light. For their joy in you will be my joy too.
Proverbs 10:28 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 43

Yesterday I drove my son to Guitar Center and dropped him off and than took my daughter over to Toys R Us to shop with her Christmas money. When I picked up my son, he told me how he had never been in there before and he was a little scared and intimidated about going in but he did it and said he got over that pretty quickly. He found a used guitar he really wanted to get but was short about $80 so we set off heading home and stopped for lunch at Panda Express. After talking it through and confirmation from my husband we knew Tristan had enough money based on what he had in his savings account so we headed back to Guitar Center to buy the guitar. Unfortunately, when we arrived we did not find the guitar displayed and inquired about it. It turns out someone was buying it right than. We had missed it. My son took it so well and was willing to look over his second choice and any other guitars. I was so proud of him in how he handled it all. He ended up buying his second choice and was so thrilled to be getting a new guitar to replace his old cheap starter guitar we bought for him many years ago that wasn’t playing very good anymore. It is moments like these that bring joy to me as a parent. What a gift that is.
Proverbs 10:1 A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 42

I got this book for Christmas from my hubbie where you read the scripture and than write it out and on the other side of the page you write notes about the scriptures. It is a method of learning that has been used for ages but in our digital busy lives we don’t do much writing. The first book I am working in is James. He says in verse 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. A couple of days ago I was a mess, emotionally,thanks to raging hormones and physically because of my still healing shoulder and the hot office I was working in. I had no joy that day and I wanted to change that. I wrote about it on my blog and prayed and God led me to the scripture that says …for the joy of the Lord is your strength. God’s word inspired me to not only put it in writing up on my desk at work but to use my creative talents and truly make it look joyful. In seeking God for help, he gave it to me. My hormones shifted back to normal, my shoulder soreness has lessened and the heat issue in my office is getting worked out with open communication. God turned my whining and complaining back to joy. James was right in saying we should ask God for wisdom but we should be asking for everything we need, all those fruits the Spirit can give us and more. I was reminded about a time when I was a young teen and I raided my mom’s closet and took something to wear. When she found out she was mad but  not about me taking the clothes. She was upset because I didn’t come to her and ask. Like I did to my mom, are we hurting God’s feelings when we don’t seek and ask him? Thankfully, I know I am forgiven by God just like I knew my mom forgave me. I never took without asking her again because I wanted her to know that I do love her and I can show that love by seeking her and asking her. It is the same with God. This has really opened my heart to seeing how God truly wants for us to be in an open honest relationship with him as our Father, the authority over our lives. For as he tells Job in verses 38:8-13 who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed the limits for it and set its doors and bars in place. When I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? Read chapters 38 and 39 of Job when you need to be reminded of who God is. He is our Loving Father, Holy King and Ruler and authority over us and will give generously if we ask.
Psalm 30:11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

Friday, January 4, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 41

My mind has been in turmoil lately with all the medical bills coming in and more physical therapy needed in the weeks ahead. I had hoped to begin my studies to become a Christian Life Coach and Counselor at the first of the year but my current circumstances are telling me that it is not the time. Without the money to get started and the right frame of mind, I am fighting with the idea that it’s not about my timing but God’s timing. I have to have faith and the patience to wait for God’s will to be done. The money will come, my shoulder will get better, my attitude will be ready to learn in His time. He’s trying to tell me it’s not never it’s just not yet. So I have been calling on the Holy Spirit to help me with my struggle, to give me the faith and the patience to wait.
Colossians 1:10-11 We pray that you will lead a life that is worthy of the Lord. We pray that you will please him in every way. So we want you to bear fruit in every good thing you do. We want you to grow to know God better. We want you to be very strong, in keeping with his glorious power. We want you to be patient. Never give up. Be joyful as you give thanks to the Father.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 40

Unfortunately, we all have bad days. I am only human like everyone else. My mood was sour, very sour. The only time I had a smile on my face yesterday was when I read one of my prayer cards at work and the thought of God working on me like a sculpture put a smile briefly to my face but than my current circumstances took over. I think we should make it a law that when women are in the midst of PMS they should be allowed to just be at home and pray. This is by far one of the greatest struggles for all females; those days before the blood flows when your hormones take control of you. I have found the peace I needed in those kinds of days in the past in the Word but alas I cannot read the bible all day at work so I am sucked into it. You throw in the almost constant aches and pains from my shoulder and an office where a person who is cold just turns up the thermostat up towards 80 degrees without any regard for anyone else in the office. Let’s just say my mood started sour and turned hostile. I had to get up and out of my office several times just to get out of the room and into the cooler hallway. I am still feeling the anger over it. Can you tell? Today I am going to write one word “Joy” on a paper and post it right where I can see it all day long. In this I will be reminded that Jesus is my joy and strength. With Him I can conquer all things. Yes, even a hot office with PMS and shoulder pain. There is much to be thankful for and I will focus on the one who gives me such great blessings and find in Him the joy, peace and strength to endure.
Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 39

I read somewhere that joy is peace dancing. It is part of our love relationship with Jesus and God. When we abide in Him, Obey God and live for Jesus, we will have that peace and that dancing peace called joy. Joy is not like happiness which is dependent upon circumstances. True joy is only achieved through our loving relationship with Jesus. Oh Holy Spirit, I am not worthy of this joy or peace that only you can give but I am willing to abide, obey and live my life for you. Help me to maintain and cultivate this willingness into my everyday life. With You All Things Are Possible. Amen.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy will be in you. I also want your joy to be complete.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 38

I got newsletter in the mail from a ministry called Voice of the Martyrs. It shared about their ministry of getting people to write letters to Christians that are in prisons around the world. It shared one story of a man who was imprisoned because he was selling bibles in China. He ended up getting bags of letters and cards from Christians around the world that gave him hope and strength. He was filled with joy at receiving such a gift when he was in prison. This gift gave him the hope and strength he needed and he brought several fellow prisoners there for murder to accept Jesus Christ. Finding joy in such circumstances is almost unfathomable to consider but we are never alone in these struggles and that is the joy of it. This man prayed to be freed from prison as he was being tortured hourly and heard the voice of Jesus tell him “my grace is enough”. He wasn’t freed at that point but lived on knowing he was not alone and that Jesus was with him. I think the ultimate joy that we are given is in knowing Jesus Christ.
1Peter 2:21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

Happy 2013!