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Friends are great, but…..

I’ve learned over the past 4.5 months, that what God needs from us, when we are down and out, is to draw closer to Him, than our friends.  He wants ALL of us, He wants our focus on Him, so we can learn how beneficial it is, to know our Savior.  To trust that He has our back, that we can lean on him during the incredibly tough times.

I’ve been dealing with ovarian cancer since late August.  I’ve had body parts removed, including a big tumor, I’ve experienced chemotherapy; and it’s AWFUL.  I’m starting to have more good than bad days, but through it all; even a few pity parties, I’ve been in very close contact with Jesus, I’ve never looked forward, only today, believing that He is with me every step of the way, through every decision that was made, to every time I curled up in a ball and wanted to die from pain.  It was then, He was with me the most, I literally felt the spirit of God, wrapping me up in His love and compassion.  And for that, I will always be grateful.

What has been difficult for you lately?  Are you complaining to your friends or expecting them to be your “soft place to land?”  They cannot ever be that, because your Heavenly Father is the only one with those powers.

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Psalm 25:1
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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Pieces of Discernment

Oftentimes we are given a scripture or thought to spend time figuring out.  Maybe it was easily understandable — but other times, we can’t make heads or tails over the meaning, or if it’s even a message for US.

This is when spiritual discernment steps in.  Find a trusted advisor, someone who is spiritually sound, they do not have to be a minister, sometimes a good friend can help sort it out WITH you, not for you.

As a wise friend recently told me — it’s my seeking/understanding that matters most.  But sometimes we all need a little help!

Proverbs 2:3-5  Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you and knowledge of God himself; you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him.

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Journey to Redemption

Easter Sunday has arrived in many parts of the world; where I live, it’s tomorrow.  The past few days have been incredibly moving for me.  Having grown up in a rather sedate Lutheran church, there were no “stations of the cross,” Good Friday services or much reflection on the sanctity of Holy Week.  We recognized the birth of Jesus, His Resurrection on the cross, the day He rose from the dead, and the Ascension.

Did these events take place so that we could affirm our faith?  The disciples were given the task of sharing Jesus’ word with the entire world; it may have been “mere Christianity” without the the death & resurrection of Jesus.

What does Holy Week, the heartache of death, the miracle of Resurrection, the Ascension into heaven to sit with God the Father Almighty, mean to you?  Mean FOR us?

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I encourage you to find this video on YouTube.  The words are incredible powerful.

Wonderful, Merciful Savior

By: Selah

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
Oh you rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
Oh, our hearts always hunger for

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne

Songwriters: WYSE, ERIC/RODGERS, DAWN
Wonderful, Merciful Savior lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

 

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Scripture Pieces

Matthew 5:6-10 spoke to me in my morning bible study.  It is half of the Beatitudes (the beginning focus on humility, mourners and the meek and lowly).  It continues on to “those who are happy.”

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The entire book of Matthew seems to be a guide — how to live a life that is pleasing to God, and how to be a light in dark places for others to find Christ.  We are often the only positive example of Christianity a non-believer might see.

I, myself have overreacted in various life situations, I have hurt others with my words and I have been hurt by the words and actions of others.  We are human, we are not perfect and imagining a life that is; sets us up for failure.  I see each day as a new start, a new beginning, a new opportunity to change the heart of another.  We are not put on this earth to merely live and exist, we are ultimately here to share the kingdom of God with all people, to live righteously (not perfect) and to love God with our heart and soul.

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Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’

Romans 1:6-7 And you, dear friends in Rome, are among those he dearly loves; you, too, are invited by Jesus Christ to be God’s very own—yes, his holy people. May all God’s mercies and peace be yours from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Pieces of Love

1 Corinthians 13  If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.

Love is the ultimate gift, when we profess our faith – share it with the love of Jesus.  The heart of Jesus; we are for many — the only bible they will ever see.

Let your life reflect that love.  Go in peace, live in harmony.

It is not our place to judge or demoralize, I am no better than you, I do however, have a heavenly promise – my fate is sealed, nothing I can do or say now or ever will remove me from the love of my Father.  Having a relationship with God is like no other.  It guides my life, refreshes my spirit, gives meaning to the ordinary and brings out the extraordinary in many circumstances.  I am blessed.  I am loved.

Romans 3:21-22  But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like.

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Pieces of Conversation

How we communicate and to whom is not easily mastered at any age.  As a young child, we tend to point and garble our words.  School is where we learn our language, how to express feelings, the incredible hardship of learning where an apostrophe goes and how to spell it.  Why one word can have so many meanings, etc.  Eventually we master language.

But to whom – isn’t always easy either.  We speak differently to our family and loved ones, than we do, say – our  employer, or waitstaff.  We tend to speak down to our children and pets, and sing-song like when happy or joyful.

Put these two concepts together — and there the trouble begins.  We may have a particular “tone of voice” which is impossible to translate on text.  Our attitude may be front and center, instead of what we are trying to accomplish (what is on our mind).

1 Corinthians 14:7  Even musical instruments—the flute, for instance, or the harp—are examples of the need for speaking in plain, simple English rather than in unknown languages. For no one will recognize the tune the flute is playing unless each note is sounded clearly.
Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be gracious as well as sensible, for then you will have the right answer for everyone.
Not only speak kindly to others, but YOURSELF.  We can become our own worst enemy with negative self talk (and thinking).
And always spend time in prayer, this is the ultimate conversation!
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Confusing Pieces

Usually at least once a week I am mystified by a situation in my life and confusion sets in.

Our first instinct is to fix it ourselves.  BIG mistake.  The more we try to fix, the bigger the problem becomes.  It’s as if we are taking one small hill and overnight turning it into a mountain.

Philippians 4:8  Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

Psalm 71:15   I cannot count the times when you have faithfully rescued me from danger. I will tell everyone how good you are, and of your constant, daily care.
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We do best when we don’t go it alone.  Put your faith and circumstances in God, He will never lead you astray.