Tuesday, April 30, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 155

My bible study group is studying the book of Hebrews which I have read is one of the books that seem to be avoided because it makes you really face yourself and your walk with the Lord. The latest section we have studied is about how Jesus is greater than Aaron the High Priest. I never have thought of Jesus as anything but above us all in everyway so reading this you begin to understand a bit of how difficult it was for early believers especially those who grew up with the teachings of the Old Testament. All they knew is they would go to the High Priest to offer their sacrifice for grace to be given. One of the things that distinguish Jesus from other High Priests is how we can go to him anytime and anywhere and receive both mercy and grace. The Israelites couldn’t do this with their High Priest. This definition from the commentary by Warren W Wiersbe is so revealing: “Mercy means that God does not give us what we do deserve; grace means that He gives us what we do not deserve.” How awesome it is to have a Priest and King we can approach anytime and anywhere in every circumstance who will give us the grace and mercy we need because he loves us so.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Monday, April 29, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 154

I love how God works. I learn about certain things and than they are reinforced with a sermon at church. I liked how Pastor Graham explained how we often perceive ourselves negatively but what God thinks is we are wonderful. We have to take that negative sketch of ourselves daily and toss it in the trash and hold up the beautiful sketch that God created. Our perceptions of how others will react to us is determined by our temperament; about who God created within each of us. If we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit filling us each day, than we can see each person as a child of God. When we see others and ourselves through God’s eyes, our behavior will become that which God intended for us. Moses questioned God and his calling for him but God saw Moses for who he really was and who he would become. Moses perception of himself was negative but God only saw the inner man and knew he would lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to the promised land. Did Moses know he would become the greatest figure in all of the Old Testament? No, but God knows the plans he has for us and when we trust in him he will take us through them no matter how equipped we are for them.
Exodus 3:8-12 So I have come down to rescue them up out of the land of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? And God said, “I will be with you.”

Sunday, April 28, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 153

One very important point in my recent studies is that because we are triune beings with a spirit, soul and body each of these parts needs to be fed. Without food our body would wither away and die. It is the same for our spirit and our soul. Our soul is the place where our temperament lies and is where our intellect is. We feed our intellect with books, conversation, television, etc. Without daily feeding to our soul, we will become out of balance. The same is true for our spirit. It needs to be fed regularly to ensure growth and maturity. We need to be in the Word and prayer fostering our relationship with God the Father and Jesus, our King. All three parts are interconnected and if one part suffers the other parts will also. God created us to be in balance but sin knocked us off balance. We are cleansed from our sin thanks to the gift of Jesus. He has cleared the way for us to be in relationship with God in ways we could not before we accepted him. If you are not using the gift that Jesus gave in clearing the way so you could have a relationship with the One True God, than your faith is stuck. We need to turn away from the temptations in this world that draw us away from God and our relationship with him. There can be no more excuses because our lives are too busy. Like Jesus did often when he was with us on Earth, he went off to be alone with God. He was intentional about it. He didn’t worry about the time or what needed to be done. He took the time and walked off alone to be with God. I find that my own relationship with God is not that intentional. Aside from my blog writing time, I am an opportunistic praying Christian which means when I find myself in a position to pray like alone in my car. Perhaps with the warmth of summer heading our way, I will get myself intentionally out of the house walking with God; feeding my body and spirit at the same time.
1Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 152

Praising the Lord because I know I aced the test. There were probably only 3-4 questions that I wasn’t 100% sure of but all the rest I knew like the back of my hand! Now, I can relax and enjoy this beautiful day. Hope you are too!

Friday, April 26, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 151

My thoughts are deep into my studies right now as I prepare to take a test tomorrow. Cramming is the term. I get all the concepts but trying to remember the names and what concept or thing they are related to is another story. I may be up late tonight like in my young college days drinking coke and eating chocolate bars to stay awake. NOT! But I will study and get the rest I need and cram some more in the morning. Let this day be one filled with kindness, patience and love.
Proverbs 16:20 Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers; and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 150

I think there is a misconception that when you choose Jesus and become a Christian you are saved and that is it; nothing else needed. Yes, we are saved and that doesn’t change but God calls us to grow in our relationship with him through Jesus. I have grown more in these last two years of being in the Bible everyday than in all my years before that combined. We have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit within us but must enable the power of Holy Spirit by fostering our relationship and knowledge of Jesus. This is when you will start to see the power of the Holy Spirit changing you from the inside out. All those bad habits and negative things that we learned can be weeded out of our soul. We can also pluck the sins we will commit everyday from our hearts with God’s grace and draw on the Holy Spirit to sin no more. It is all a process that will keep going until you go home to be face to face with our Lord. Be in the Word, pray, meditate and take action for God everyday and this growth will bring wonderful blessings.
2Peter 1:3-8 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness; knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 149

Everyday at my job is a struggle to be patient and to not fall into the complaining mode that is so easy. It is so easy to fall into the trap of complaining right along with the crowd. Thankfully today is a new day and another chance to get it right. Complaining is really just anger at not being in control and complaining with the crowd is just trying to be on their good side. So no matter the rules at my job, the lack of communication or direction, I have to let go of it all and know that God is ultimately the one in control, not a boss with too much on her plate or an owner who doesn’t really understand. Humbly, I must do my job with joy and thankfulness.
James 5:9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 148

Everyday is a new opportunity to be better, to live out a Christ-filled life. Ask God for forgiveness that night before you go to bed and get up in the morning washed clean, starting fresh and new. Habits are to tough create but with some motivation and reminders this would be a very good habit to get into.
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Monday, April 22, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 147

I am so proud of my husband. He took action and drove up to Sterling to talk with his brother and mother. Someone needed to see first-hand how things were going in that house. He came home early the next morning because he couldn’t sleep there. The smoke and televisions on all night long were just too much. He was so thankful to be home and for the blessings of his family. It was tough to go into a hard place but it needed to be done. He was encouraged about his brother but did not anticipate how bad off his mother has gotten. She is an alcoholic and is spiraling into a very dark place. We need prayers for her that the Lord will lead her out of this darkness.  Sometimes the only action we can take is prayer. That is the place I am in with this situation so I ask everyone of you who read this to pray for Susan that God will bring her out of the pit she has made for herself. Our kindness for others can be in the form of prayer for someone we don’t even know. It doesn’t matter that we don’t know them. Every human being is loved and valued by God. We have to have that attitude of love in our hearts as well. Take a moment and pray for a human being whom God loves who is hurting and needs help. http://www.christianprayercenter.com/
Hebrews 13:1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 146

I have been absorbing the chapter on kindness in Gary Chapman’s book Love As a Way of Life. One of the things he said which I learned from my first Basic Christian Counseling is about needs; “Kindness means noticing someone else and recognizing his/her needs.” Our office admin assistant was out on Monday this week due to what we were told was a migraine. On Tuesday and Wednesday, she was very non-responsive to “good morning” and seemed very down in the dumps. On Thursday, I felt there was something going on with her and wanted to see if I could help. I sat down at her desk and she ended up opening up to me about her boyfriend who had decided he wasn’t her boyfriend anymore nor ever was. She had gone into a rejection depression and wasn’t eating or drinking and ended up fainting on Sunday and was taken to the ER. I hope the words I said to her were encouraging and helpful. I left her desk with a final remark, “you are loved”. She yelled back Thank You Janine and was transformed back to her more cheerful self.  Sometimes, it is difficult to recognize what the need is but communicating words of kindness can be the start to finding out and really lifting someone up. Taking the time to sit down with her was the act and sacrifice of my time that I technically should have been at my desk working but in the end it was such a great feeling that I had done it. The next day I headed to work early and stopped at Chick-fil-A for some breakfast. Waiting in the drive-thru, it came to me to pay the bill for the car behind me. We have all heard of this being done but I had never done it. I went back and forth in deciding to do it. I worried about how much longer it might take and I really needed to get to work. I feared what the cashier might think or say. I thought I don’t have the money to be doing this right now. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, I conquered all of these fears and worries that Satan thrives on and did it. The cashier responded like people do it everyday. It didn’t make any difference in my getting to work and although I am still broke until Monday I was not charged the co-pay for my annual exam at my doctor visit. But the greatest blessing was just the smile it put on my face and imagining the reaction of the two people in the car behind me. It energized me all day. Just do it is my new motto. Thank you Lord for helping me recognize the needs of others and being kind no matter what. With You all things are possible.
1John 4:9-10 This is how God showed his love among us; he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 145

My mind is all over the place right now. I got some news about in-law family that I am trying to process. Suffice it to say that prayer is needed for my brother-in-law and mother-in-law. They are so deep into their issues that it is going to end up being only divine intervention that can help them.
Psalm 25:15 My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

Friday, April 19, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 144

Forgive me for I have gone into the hormonal funk. My mind doesn’t want to even put two thoughts together. This scripture is my prayer for today and all days. Let it be yours too.
Acts 17:28 For in him we live and move and have our being.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 143

My daughter and I have been reading a book called The Ark, the Reed & the Fire Cloud by Jenny L Cote. It is a story about the flood and Noah’s ark in a really fresh new way. There are two main animal characters Max and Liz who are called by the Maker to follow the fire cloud. They obey and start their journey towards the ark and pick up other animals along the way. The story takes you all the way through the flood, the 40 days and nights of rain and the year long time spent on the ark waiting for the waters to recede. It has been fascinating to read and than wonder what must it really have been like. It is hard to imagine 16,000 animals all coming to the ark, let along living on the ark and than emerging from the ark to a whole new world. I don’t think people put a whole lot of thought into the story of Noah’s ark, perhaps because it is unbelievably amazing to consider but this author imagined it. How did all those animals get to the ark? See if you can imagine how those animals came to the ark and both male and female too!
Psalm 9:1 I will praise you, O Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 142

I am in search of songs with scripture. So many times, the songs I hear on the radio come to my head and a lot of times, it is what I need to hear. I thought there has to be songs with scripture that I can get since memorizing words to a song seems to be so much easier. So far in my search, I have found this group that does songs in parody, ApologetiX. Check this music video. 
Psalm 100:2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 141

I can’t begin to think of the number of times I have thought to do something in my head but the action did not follow. When it comes to expressing love, my lack of action is pathetic. I now understand that it is the way God made me. I have a very high need for love to be expressed to me but have a low need to express love to others. It is due to my high fear of rejection that is also part of how God made me. You might be thinking why would God make you with these negative things but they aren’t negative if you have the help of the Holy Spirit within you. If you have chosen to believe in Jesus, the God-void within each of us is filled up with the Holy Spirit. With God all things are possible. So, yes, a person like me who does not feel the need to express love can do it and have the attitude of love. In Gary Chapman’s book Love As a Way of Life, he explains how kindness is the first key to making loving a way of life. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. It is an action part of loving. A thing he proposed to do, in order to become more aware of kindness in your life, is to write down every kindness that is done by others. In becoming more aware of the kindness of others, you will become appreciative and will be motivated to act in kindness as well. Kindness begets kindness. It is like a smile. It is contagious. We just have to smile and act. I am starting Project Kindness this week and will become more aware of all the kind acts around me and cultivate the desire to be kind and show it.
Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.

Monday, April 15, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 140

I picked up a book at the library this week by Gary Chapman called Love As a Way of Life. He expands on the idea of our love languages with 7 keys that each us should do no matter what our love language is. I found the way he defines authentic love to be very insightful. He says, ‘Love is not an emotion that comes over us or an elusive goal dependent on the actions of others. Authentic love is something within our capabilities, originating in our attitudes and culminating in our actions.’ This definition really hit home after listening to the sermon from church yesterday. It is not our words that make a difference but our actions. We can say we love someone but without actions it is not truly heartfelt, not truly authentic love. Actions require sacrifice. We have to take the time or the cost that will show the proof of our love. Chapman says, ‘We cannot love authentically if we are not willing to sacrifice’. But authentic love has to start with calling on the Holy Spirit within us to make us capable of authentic love. And we need to cultivate our attitude to be one of service. Just as Jesus served so must we. So here is my affirmation and prayer to help prepare me for living a life with authentic love: I am capable of loving others authentically with the Holy Spirit within me and my attitude is one of service to others no matter the sacrifice.
1John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in

Sunday, April 14, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 139

We watched the re-make of the movie Red Dawn. The classic movie with the late Patirick Swazy in which the US is invaded by enemy countries and the stand they take. My husband found out a tidbit about the new movie that was kind of disturbing. The new movie had the invading army as the Chinese but they digitally changed it in post-production to be North Korea. It is no coincidence with all that is going on with North Korea currently. In the movie, a group of youth, escape up into the mountains. They are led by the older brother named Jed and choose to stand up and fight for their home. But not all of them make that choice to fight. It was said well in the movie when they showed an American wearing a black uniform with a red band on it. They were the collaborators.  The main character Jed said it well, “that always happens”. There will always be people who will stand and fight and those who out of fear will choose to take up sides with the enemy. It is the same in our spiritual fight against the forces of darkness in our world. We can choose to fight or we can choose to be apathetic and let the darkness invade “our” world. Unfortunately, for many, they will go the route of apathy or ignorance simply because they do not truly believe in God or in the battle that is being waged for our souls with Satan. But there will be a day when not believing won’t be an option. The evidence of God will be fully revealed when Jesus comes again. In the final battle there will be those who will choose to collaborate with evil. It is part of who we are. God gave us the free will to make our own choices. But those choices for some will be made out of fear. “Do not be afraid” is said so many times throughout the bible. God is for us. He is the good guy. And it is for Him and the love he has shown us through Jesus that we must stand and be firm.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 138

I watched a show I have never watched before last night called Undercover Boss. I heard from my co-workers that the CMO of ADT was going to go undercover. Since I deal with ADT a lot in my job, I thought it might be interesting. So the CMO went undercover as a reality TV show contestant who could earn money to start his own security company. He basically trained with several different people in the company at various jobs. All of the people were passionate about their job and shared with him some life struggles they were going through. In the end, he talks with them as the real him and lets them know some plans that are being set in place based on what he learned from them and they all got rewarded with money to help in their struggles. This was certainly a marketing idea to be on this show as it only showed ADT in a good light. It was very comforting to see the reactions to the rewards ADT was giving these employees. The last one was the most touching. He was a technician who had mostly to work on the weekends keeping him from his family but it was a must just so they could make ends meat. He was passionate about his job, respectful and courteous. He said he knew good things would come if he just kept going. Perseverance will be rewarded.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Friday, April 12, 2013

365 Days of Spirt-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 137

I think everyone is aware that people are unique and complex but I am not sure people really understand how unique each of us are. As I was studying temperaments the other night at the library, I thought, God could have created us all with the same temperament. My next thought was the answer; we would all be the same, like robots. God made each of us unique and special and put us in a special part of his grand plan for the world that only we can fill. All this uniqueness is complex which is part of the reason we find it hard to love one another. We have to figure out ourselves, which some people never do. The more you understand how God created you, the more you will be able to let the Holy Spirit within you, guide each of your steps, decide each of your words and give you all that you need. With the patience and kindness only the Holy Spirit can give, you will be able to truly love. And love is what it is all about.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 136

Consider this image: you are a walking, talking, doing example of Jesus Christ. Can I say ‘yes I am’? No, and none of us can.  Being an example is not something totally foreign to us especially if you are a parent. We all know that parenting 101 is to be the example for your children of what you wish to teach them. We are called as Christians to be the example, not a perfect one to be sure but always striving to do it anyways. Our example should spur others to noticing a difference in us, a light that shines outward. Think today on how you can improve your example to those you are with everyday and ask the Holy Spirit to help you with this new goal.
Titus 2:7-8 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 135

My daughter and I are reading together a book about Noah’s ark. This story is written with the main characters as the animals. One of the animals, a Scottish terrier named Max is afraid of the wolves because of a past experience with wolves when he was young in which he lost his mother. His perceptions of the wolves on the ark are distorted because of his fear. In actuality it is a lone snake on the ark named Charlie who is causing all the trouble. There are many things that can distort our perceptions; anger, depression, grief are just a few. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can put on those rose-colored glasses I mentioned before; the ones that Jesus wore. Through the eyes of Jesus, we can conquer the distortions and clearly see and perceive. And with this new through the eyes of Jesus perception, we will behave and act as Jesus. How do we get anything we need; we ask. Pray, pray, pray everyday for the rest of our lives and start to see everything as Jesus did.
Lord Jesus,
You saw people through the eyes of God, the eyes of love. Because you are within me, I know that I can have these eyes of love. Help me to see people as you did, to understand and serve them, to perceive them with the eyes of love. All things are possible in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Isaiah 6: 9-10 He said, "Go and tell this people: 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 134

As I was driving home from my bible study group meeting last evening, I was on a dark two-lane road of hills that go through a dark forest. Everything is dark but the little bit of light from my headlights but as I look out on the dark horizon I see the edges of light shinning upward from an approaching car. It reminded me of a sunrise the way it looked. My thoughts turned to our dark roads that we inevitably get on during our lives. The dark roads are the trials and troubles that come to our lives. That light out at the horizon is Jesus. If we drive straight towards the light, we will get through our trials and troubles with hope in our hearts. Hope brings comfort. That light out on the horizon gave me that same comforting feeling of I am not alone out here. We are never alone when we have Jesus on our side and the Holy Spirit within us. The next time you are feeling alone, feeling like you are on a dark road, look straight ahead and see the light of Jesus leading you forward and through the darkness.
2 Samuel 22:29 You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.

Monday, April 8, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 133

My thoughts have been on control and releasing that to God so it doesn’t surprise me that I am seeing this in and around me. My daughter and I went to see Jurassic Park 3D this weekend. It has been a top ten favorite movie of mine that I have seen too many times to keep count. My daughter had seen it only once so I knew it would be scary but she could handle it. The best part of the movie was feeling her jump in her seat beside me in the abrupt frightening moments of the movie. The main theme of the movie is about control. The owner and creator of Jurassic Park was delighted by all that he had created and was admonished by the other characters for his lack of humility. Releasing control to God requires humility but humility requires understanding the scope of who God is. And though you read and understand who God is, you have to feel that in your heart for it to really take effect and give you the humility required to submit to God fully. Like all things, it is a process we must go through and a daily regiment needs to be done to continually move forward in progressing to full submission to God. Jesus was perfect in this and is our example. We won’t attain this state of perfectness in this life but it is and will be a blessing to our lives here if we keep marching toward that goal.
Romans 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 132

Oh Lord, you are so amazing! To you I give myself. I woke up this morning from a dream. I haven’t dreamed for the last couple weeks because I have not gone through the sleep cycle to get to the point of dreaming. I also realized I slept all night long without waking once to go to the bathroom. I am so in awe of my God, I want to shout and sing and dance. God brought me through it, healed me and showed me that he is in control of all things and I have to let him have them. I feel renewed and it is all because of Him.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 131

I long for the day when menopause is finally here. I haven’t been sleeping well for the last 10 days and it is driving me nuts. On top of that, I have a fibroid on the outer part of my uterus that has reared its ugly head again and is putting pressure on my bladder. I did the search this morning on the internet for natural remedies and came up with little to nothing except lose weight, meditate and get soy in your diet. So, I finally cracked open my bible and looked under the topic of health. I am trying to be in control of the situation and solve the problem but I should not rely on my own wisdom but look to the Lord for his. Again, it is a control issue. I have to release these things to the only one who can solve the problem. I am raising the white flag. I surrender all to you, all to you.
Proverbs 3:7-8 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Friday, April 5, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 130

The Holy Spirit has guided me to the topic of judging. In a negative office environment, with issues out of our control, it becomes very easy to judge individuals in the scheme of what’s happening. But the Lord is telling me to stop the judging and set the example of righteousness. I need to put on the rose-colored glasses of Christ each day that will help me view those that I work with in the way Christ viewed us. We are humans who make mistakes and we should forgive them. We are all uniquely designed by God and we must celebrate this uniqueness rather than put it down. And lastly, we all have a special place that God has designed for us that fits into his big plan for all of us. What is happening at my work or yours, in our homes and everywhere is being used by God for his big plan so we shouldn’t be judging but asking God to guide us in his special plan. So along with the armor of God, I will put on the rose-colored glasses of Jesus and view others without judgment but only with love.
James 4:11-12 Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 129

God led me this morning in my bible to my concordance and the word, submit. I chose to look at the verse in James since it has been a focus book for me at this time. In reading the verse, I found I needed more so I looked up the definition of submit. The main definition is accept or yield to higher authority or the will of another. In the secondary parts of the definition, I saw the word surrender and that grabbed my attention. I am a rebel. I want things my way. I want the control. I accepted God’s will back in 2000 after suffering from the secondary infertility issue for 2 years and I was at peace but this submitting to God’s will has to be daily for me because it is part of my temperament to want control. The song by Chris Tomlin, White Flag came to mind so I pulled it up on my ITunes library and played it and sang my prayer. It felt so good to let go like that. I will be singing my prayer every morning and anytime during the day when I feel like I am trying to grab back the reins on my life. My life is God’s.
James 4: 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will fee from you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 128

Have you ever seen someone do something to someone that was disrespectful and as soon as they left the room, you reacted with negative words about the person who just left? That was me yesterday. I have talked to God about this one as it is an issue I have had all my life to react to something before thinking about it. It is the control part of my temperament that is leading me in this. I have to let go of all control and give it all to the Lord. This will have to be a daily commitment to let Jesus put the yoke on me and guide my steps, actions and words. For a more contemporary feel, I get a visual of squeezing lemons into a colander sifting out the seeds so we can make lemonade. Lord, be my colander today and let all things go through you.
1Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 127

We were given Good Friday off at my work which is unusual but we were thankful. Unfortunately, the rest of the alarm industry was working away on Friday so come Monday morning our work was piled high and a power outage over the weekend created some trouble to work through. I was busy working away when I was called to the operations manager office. It’s either I did something wrong or they have something they want me to do. So, as she started to tell me it was about a customer who was given a permit but turns out is not in that jurisdiction, I started to feel the defensiveness kick-in within me. I immediately went into explaining how tedious the task is and how a mistake could be made. I had to go and re-check stuff and found no other mistakes which thankfully made me feel good and my office manager was happy to have that information to pass along to the jurisdiction. The jurisdiction contact is a very nice lady and responded with a nice email that basically said the same thing. We are human and with all the addresses and details we have to deal with, it is understandable that mistakes will be made. This seemingly instinctive defense mode I get into when someone is criticizing me or telling me of mistakes I have made is part of my temperament. It will be something I will be looking further at within myself and looking to the Holy Spirit to help me overcome this weakness and give me the means to be gentle in my response to criticism and not become defensive but have the confidence in who I am and what I do.
Proverbs 3:26 For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

365 Days of Spirit-Filled Fruits Challenge-Day 125 & 126

Our Easter message from our pastor was so simple and yet had so much meaning in our world today. With our busyness and all the complications that come our way in life, it can be difficult to remember that our faith is not busy or complicated but simple. Our pastor quoted from a well-know theologian Carl Bart who was asked if you had to just say one thing about Christianity what would it be? He started to sing the beloved song
“Jesus Loves Me This I Know”. This was in my recent class that I took on Christian counseling. Many of us get wrapped up in the complexities of life and religion. To stay connected to the Lord and really grow we have to be centered in that original belief of Jesus loves me, this I know. I have said this before and will say it again and again because it is the truth. All is because of one thing, love. He loves you, me, the gunmen who slays children, the husband addicted to porn, the woman wrapped up in her self, the lonely, hurt and poor. He loves us all no matter what we do and all we have to do is believe in him to have all the sins of our past, present and our future washed away. Keep your child-like faith in knowing that Jesus loves you.

1John 4:13-16 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him.