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Friday, July 13, 2018

It Only Takes a Spark



So many problems in life could be alleviated if they were taken care of when first noticed, rather than waiting until something blew up into something much bigger. As a parent, if we don't take care of disobedience in our children at the first sign of it, it will develop into something much worse down the road - then we will be left wondering how to fix the problem and it will often be too late.  Nip it in the bud from the beginning, instead of ignoring that little spark!

Whether it's a problem in the workplace, in a relationship....anything, it never is helpful to let things go and not take care of the problem.  Peacemaking is not ignoring problems.  Avoiding conflict only makes things worse.  Conflict, tension, irritability comes from not taking care of things that need to be taken care of.  Nothing good comes from procrastinating.  Being a true peacemaker is taking care of things within your control, not leaving them to fester and build up.

 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 
Hebrews 12:7-15


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Walk Your Talk!



It's interesting how children grow up to be influenced by the world around them, isn't it? Parents strive to do their best to teach and train them, and hopefully instill God's Word in them to where they make good decisions. They will make mistakes. They will make bad decisions. They will do things to damage their reputation. They will do things that dim their light that is shining for Jesus. They won't always realize it at the time, though. Looking back they will see and understand.

Parents, let's pray that our children remember the truths they've been taught. Let's pray that the example they show to others not only honors you as their parents, but also one that glorifies the Lord. It's really easy to fall into what the world believes is okay. It's even harder to be different when brothers and sisters in Christ may be participating in the very thing that you've realized is not wholesome and holy and God-honoring.
So pray. Pray that they will have the knowledge of God's Word instilled in them where they will stand up to what is not good. And pray that they'll be strong in the faith - strong enough to say no when they need to. 
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity,” 
1 Timothy 4:12.
Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright. Proverbs 20:11

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Modesty....It Matters!

I am always so impressed with moms, and especially dads who are caring about the subject of modesty and the affect of it on their children's hearts and minds. In following several Christian Facebook groups, there are always a lot of "shoulder to knee" modesty comments. Many Christians follow this rule simply because the Bible refers to covering the "loins to the thigh" as God's instructions for the linen trousers (NKJV) or “breeches" (KJV) which were part of the priests' garments "to cover their nakedness" in Exodus 28:42. The thigh is the entire area from above the knee to the hip.

When you research the tunics worn during these times, they were a garment that covered from the shoulder at least down to the knee. Also in Isaiah 47:2-3, uncovering the thigh is again referred to as revealing nakedness.

As Christians, we are priests!
We are Christ’s ambassadors!
How are we representing ourselves as such?

In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve sinned, they realized their nakedness and covered themselves with fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). God then made them "tunics of skin and clothed them" (vs. 21 - NKJV). Apparently the simple coverings Adam and Eve made for themselves were not enough to adequately cover their nakedness. If it wasn’t enough clothing for God’s original people in the garden, why would it be enough clothing for His children today?

These two thoughts from scripture put a whole new perspective on modesty for me, even though I always believed it to be important.

I did try to teach our children to "DIVERT THEIR EYES" and look away when people were dressed immodestly. People in the world think modesty doesn’t matter. Christians should know better because scripture teaches these truths. We mustn’t cave to the world’s standard of what is modest or not. It’s pretty apparent that the world doesn’t have a standard.

Many years ago my high school FHA chapter was going to tour a state penitentiary. I wasn’t able to go due to dental surgery , but I still remember one of the of the rules we were told. No one could wear sleeveless shirts.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the requirements for pension visits now. Guess what? Thirty-plus years later, sleeveless shirts are still not allowed. Interesting, huh? Check out the other dress code requirements below. Crazy how big of a deal it is to have schools or other places enforce a strict dress code, yet a prison is stricter and sees the issue of wearing immodest clothing more than in our free society. That speaks volumes, doesn’t it?!

As followers of Christ, our bodies are temples. We must respect our bodies and not defile them in any way. Through the way we dress and by how we appear, we can show that we know how precious our body is. We can show that we are a disciple of Jesus Christ and that we love Him by how we dress. Our dress and grooming influence the way we and the way others act around us.

We must never lower our standards of dress. We must not use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When we dress immodestly, we send a message that is contrary to our identity as a son or daughter of God. We may also send the message that we are using our body to get attention and approval from others. We mustn’t seek approval from the world, from social media, from those who desire to harm our influence as a child of God. Modesty in thought, word, appearance, and behavior keep us in step with the Spirit. It will also show others that we are different than the world, giving us the opportunity to tell them more about Jesus and His influence on our life.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 
1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Integrity

I came across this quote a few days ago:  Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.  It's a great life quote that we can all take to heart.

There are many things I hope my children have. One of those things is integrity.  They'll only have integrity if I have modeled it, trained them in it, and taught it.  My example is huge.  If I do the things I do to benefit ME, then they will do the same.  If I bend rules, make plans, and hide things on the basis of "for others", yet it's actually to benefit myself, they will see through my fakeness and I will have failed to teach them to have integrity.  It's easy to see when others don't have integrity. It's much harder to see it in myself.

Want to check to see if you have integrity?  From Carey Nieuwhof's website, check yourself!

Five signs that show your integrity is in question:

1.  It’s all about you.
2. Your self esteem rises and falls with the opinion of others.
3. You’re hiding things.
4.  You fail to do what you said you were going to do.
5.  You make too many compromises.

How did you do?  Could you make some improvements? Start today! Don't delay!

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Proverbs 10:9

The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.
9 Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
    and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,
    O righteous God!
Psalm 7:7-9

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Power of Prayer

This week I have been preparing to speak for a ladies day in Weatherford, Oklahoma.  In the midst of that preparation that has been going on for more than a month, there have been so many things that have been going on.  Things that have been distracting.  Things that have been serious and not so serious.

Prayer is something that comes easy for me when doing with my children, but has never come easy to me for myself.  I have always wanted my children to have a stronger and deeper prayer life at their ages than I had in mine at those times.

Prayer is still something that I struggle with, I think because of my independent personality.  I don't always think to pray like I should.  I do pray, but not as often as I should.  I pray prayers of thankfulness in all of my prayers and the most often.  I pray prayers of repentance, but not as often as I need to.  I certainly need forgiveness often!  And I'm not always good at praying for my needs or for God's guidance/strength, etc.  I rarely, if ever, pray for my wants.

So this week some things were troubling me. I decided to pray bold prayers.  I told God exactly what I wanted.  I prayed that God would either take care of the trouble or calm me.  Which taking care of the trouble WOULD calm me, I wanted peace if the trouble stayed.  Another thing going on is still ongoing, but I'm continuing to pray about it, as well.  The first trouble was taken care of by God.  Even before I knew that I was calmer.  I knew that everything was going to be taken care of by God, no matter what.  I had faith that He was going to take care of the problem in however it needed to be - whether it was what I would have wanted or not.  Either way, I knew God would help me to be calm.

I kept reciting the last sentence of this verse as I prayed fervently:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he quoted scripture back at Satan.  I try to do that. I just tell Satan he is not going to tempt me in that way....tempt me to worry, become stressed, get upset, etc.....well, on certain things. I need to do it with some of my food/Sonic drink things!!!  But I have found if I do that, it really works for me.  Of course, in doing that, I totally believe it's the Holy Spirit of God working and helping me in those ways as I pray about them.  But I do believe that's how we can resist the devil - by telling him to GO!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

There's definitely power in prayer.  We may not always depend upon it as we should, but this week, once again, I can know that it does work.  And so when I'm upset about something that I can't control or shouldn't control....or really even when I can control it.....I need to pray, "God, if it is your will, calm this storm.  If it is not your will to calm it, then calm me."  Maybe you need to pray that prayer, too.

Depend on the power of prayer.  It will get you through whatever comes your way.



 
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