life experience

Complicated Pieces

Do you have someone in your life; with whom it feels very complicated?  Perhaps a son-in-law, manager, neighbor?  It’s hard isn’t it, to be mindful of gentleness when around these people?  I like to think that it’s a reflection on our own self, how we treat this person.  If we are begrudging, then that is a character flaw, it is also NOT the way Jesus expects us to live.

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Turning the other cheek or being extra nice (fake) is an ineffective path to choose, because Jesus wants us to be like Him.  Compassionate, forgiving, peaceful and kind.  It’s a test of our faith isn’t it, to love someone that is similar to a sour lemon!

Ephesians 4:32 [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Leviticus 19:18
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
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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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Blessing pieces

2 Peter 3 reminds us that all happens in God’s time; not ours.

Paul was in jail during this time, he remembers people in his prayers, he thanks God for his situation (do we EVER do that???) and he encourages others.

Until recently I haven’t grasped the concept of thanking God for the hard times.  However, I see that gratitude isn’t just for the “good stuff,” if that were true, we’d only be happy when life was happy.  Even in our deepest sorrow or pain, God is there, his desire is that we lean on him.  By doing so, a small piece inside our heart grows; pushing the sorrow and pain out.  How can we possibly have room for love and happiness if our heart is stone cold and black?  We can’t.  That’s where being grateful for all of it, comes into play.

It’s not easy to be grateful for the pain. I know.  But if it brings us out of something harsh and cold into the loving arms of Jesus, what better path to love?

Be a blessing.  Be blessed.

PS “The Pieces” is not currently available, it is going through a 2nd editing.  It will be back on the shelves at Amazon by November 5, 2015.

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Pieces of Support

Oftentimes (usually) we are unaware of those who pray for us, or our loved ones – due to the many prayer circles we belong to and friendships we have (and those of the people we know and don’t know).

I received in my email today, a note from someone I don’t know – that encouraged me with this scripture:  “I have loved you, with an everlasting love and I am constant in my affection for you.” Jeremiah 31: 3

The timing of this beautiful quote couldn’t have come at a better time, the irony (although this begs to God’s timing, not ours) is that it had been sitting in my email box since September 11th.

Do not be glib when you say you will pray for someone; make an effort.  Pray with intention.  You may not know what they need (and probably you don’t!), but God does.  Let prayer become as natural to you as breathing.

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Pieces of Self Care

We are complicated beings.  If you have faith in God, you have one less stressor than most, and it’s a great comfort when in pain; emotional or physical.

However, it’s important we know when to care for ourselves, by letting others know — hey we need a break, or a nap, or I just require an hour to read.

Other human beings generally can’t read our minds, so if we don’t ask for what we need, they simply will not know.

Be kind to yourself.  Do some deep breathing, stretch, nap, read a book, decompress.

James 2:8 Yes indeed, it is good when you truly obey our Lord’s command, “You must love and help your neighbors just as much as you love and take care of yourself.”
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Pieces of Sharing

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Philippians 2:1-3

Imitating Christ’s Humility

2 “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves….”

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Pieces of discontent

There are many times in our life when we are annoyed with others.  We feel justified.  The world keeps spinning on its axis no matter what is going on with us.

God expects us to be patient and kind and loving.  ALL, not most of the time.  We are not justified, and we all too often rely on ‘how we feel’ instead of living and breathing in faith.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

2 Kings 20:3  Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.