Pieces of Renewal

Something just happens to our spirit when Spring is near.  Warmer and longer days, more sunshine, bluer skies, and the opportunity to cast off the weight of old man winter!

Isaiah 25:1  O Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God; you do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them, just as you said! 

Finding a new church, a bible passage that speaks to you, having conversation with a trusted friend – that can give another outlook, these are all tantamount in our walk with Jesus.  Sometimes we need to breathe fresh life into our life — just as we accomplish, taking a deep breath.  Out with the old, in with the new.

May you be blessed, experiencing new life; in your own and those around you.

 

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.

Pieces of Physical Pain

There are two schools of thought when dealing with chronic pain.  1) Deal with it, internalize, tell everyone you are fine when you are not and 2) Deal with it, find other avenues for venting (journaling, pain management, psychological therapy, etc.) and acknowledge your pain when asked.

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What is the biblical take on chronic pain?  Is there one?

One thing I discovered is that there are plenty of verses relating to physical pain:

Oh, that God would grant the thing I long for most—to die beneath his hand and be freed from his painful grip.
He complained about a headache and soon was moaning in pain. His father said to one of the servants, “Carry him home to his mother.”
I am worn out with pain; every night my pillow is wet with tears.
When Jesus arrived in Capernaum, a Roman army captain came and pled with him to come to his home and heal his servant boy who was in bed paralyzed and racked with pain.
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I have lived with chronic pain since 2008.  My sacroiliac joint was acting up.  It never got better and seven years later it brought me to a pain management doctor.  I was not gung-ho about medicine to relieve pain; I still wanted to live; which meant being able drive, work, function as a human being.   And it did, finally.  Eight months later we found the solution.  It does take trial and error and a doctor who ‘gets’ you.
In my opinion, it also takes lots of prayer; your own and those of others.  What are we to lay at the altar?  Only the minuscule things?  I think not.  I believe the bigger the request, the more power lies in the prayer and ultimately, EVERY ANSWER TO PRAYER acknowledges our relationship with God.

The pieces of mystery

God is omnipotent.  What does that exactly mean?  I found so much good information online, I am posting a link for your further reading:

Click here!

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We do not have to struggle with the hows and whys, just know that your heavenly Father is now, and ever will be.  The Omega, the beginning and the end.  All you ever need.

No where in the bible is the word “trinity” but this verse in Matthew sure spells it out:  Matthew 28:19  “Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit….”

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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.

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 Childhood

If you grew up in a family that attended church every Sunday, you will recall in your childhood, having to memorize bible verses.  Granted, they start you out with very short sentences when you are small, but by the time junior high rolls around, you are memorizing paragraphs plus having to remember all the verses you’ve already memorized.

Now at age 51, I realize that my memory is pretty much shot and were it not for the scraps of paper I keep, I wouldn’t know any bible verses!

Zechariah 1:5-6  Your fathers and their prophets are now long dead, but remember the lesson they learned, that God’s Word endures!
Hebrews 5:14 You will never be able to eat solid spiritual food and understand the deeper things of God’s Word until you become better Christians and learn right from wrong by practicing doing right.
We can adhere to God’s word without having to memorize scripture, but it sure comes in handy in times of need.

Pieces of Pain

Pain; whether physical or emotional can be incredibly exhausting.  Both take from us what we normally are able to handle.  We can pray through most of our heartache, we can take medicine that heals our body or mind, we can even crawl into a cave (literally or figuratively) and hide for a few hours or days, but what we cannot do is hide from our Father.

In the depths of our despair, at the bottom of our pain tolerance, there He is.  He is always there, no matter.  Why do we turn away?  Do we think we aren’t worthy when we are filled with the many feelings produced when we are down?  It’s when we feel most unloved, that we are most loved.

Hebrews 7:25  Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Luke 12:28  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
You matter.  You always have.

Pieces of Sharing

heART

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….”

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.