He just hung on

The scripture for today, July 13 (7/13), is in Job 7:13ff in the Old Testament of the Bible:

Pearls Cover-Palms-300dpi-Thumbnail“When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions, so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning.”

Job was extremely depressed. It happens to everyone sometimes. His depression was certainly valid ~ he had lost all his income and all his children in a recent storm. Now he had what the Bible translated as “boils” but the symptoms indicate he had a form of leprosy called Elephantiasis.

This particular form leads to nightmares in addition to the physical problems. Job had every right to be depressed. So depressed was he, that he no longer wanted to live, for his life no longer had meaning.

But, as miserable as Job was, he hung on. Patiently he hung on during the bad times. Sometimes during your bad times, the greatest thing you can do is “hang on” ~ be patient.

Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. Job loved the Lord. Even in his misery and desire to die,  he continued to love God and trust Him.

And, although at such times you may believe your misery will never end and you will never even smile again, it will happen. The misery comes to an end. It did for Job. He got his health and wealth back and more children to comfort him. God will see you through too.

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My heart opens like a flower in sunshine

0-BK 2-DreamMaker-cover-kindle-medium-newI come to you on bended knees as your subject and your child. I come to you with limited words, limited thoughts, limited wisdom. Take what I have, Lord God, and use it. Take my hands to work for you. Take my feet to walk for you. Take my lips to speak for you. Take my songs, my prayers, my life. You are majestic sweetness that leans low and embraces me. You keep me working, and walking and speaking. You keep me singing, praying and living for you, as you live for me. You are the lover of my soul. You are all glory, all wonder, all holy. Praised be your very name, the self-existent one, the I AM.

It is summer. The flowers are blooming, the birds are teaching their young ones to fly, the early crops are beginning to come in. The rains are gentle, the sun is lazy, the breeze floats easily through my hair. The snows on the mountain are melted for a while, the deer and bears are roaming the forests for berries, the waters are slowing to let the fishes play. Your world is so beautiful. And you made it all for us as our garden. My heart opens up like a flower in sunshine and blesses you with my thanksgiving.

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The Boomerang Effect

0-REV-Cover-No Logo-KINDLE-thumbnailThe scripture for today, June 23 (6/23), is 2nd Chronicles 6:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

“Then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, repaying the guilty by bringing down on his own head what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty and so establish his innocence.”

Did you notice here that God brings down on our head what we do to others? It includes how we treat him too. If we don’t have time for God, God doesn’t have time for us. If we put God last, he puts us last. If we refuse to forgive others, he refuses to forgive us. This is the boomerang effect. Here are several scriptures that reflect God doing to people what they do.

  • “The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.” (Psalm 9:15-16)
  • “In his arrogance, the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.” (Psalm 10:2).
  • “The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts.” (Psalm 37:14-15)
  • “Let the heads of those who surround me be covered with the trouble their lips have caused.” (Psalm 140:9)
  • “He mocks proud mockers.” (Proverbs 3:34)
  • “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?” (Proverbs 6:27)
  • “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it; if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.” (Proverbs 26:27)
  • “Woe to you, O destroyer, you have not been destroyed! Woe to you, O traitor, you have not been betrayed. When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed.” (Isaiah 33:1)
  • “According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes.” (Isaiah 59:18)
  • “I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices.” (Ezekiel 7:8)
  • “As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.” (Obadiah 1:15)

In the meantime, we’re to leave punishment to God. And, if you are falsely accused of anything, God will declare you innocent. His is the important judgment.

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I’d die if I had to do that.

00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailThe scripture for today, June 17 (6/17), is Matthew 6:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face.”

This is interesting because Jesus did not say “If, you fast,” but rather “When you fast.” It was as though he was teaching us to take for granted that we would fast ~ it would be second-nature to us. In a sense, it is, for when most people go through a sudden tragedy such as loss of a loved one, they often cannot eat.

But what about voluntary fasting? The early church sometimes fasted. Acts 13:2 says a congregation in Antioch, Syria, fasted and worshiped, then chose men to go out as missionaries. Queen Esther fasted before going to the king uninvited with a request he might not like (Esther 4:16). Isaiah 58:3 says people fasted in order to humble themselves.

Some people respond, “I’d die if I had to fast.” Perhaps that’s kind of the idea. We know we would die if we went without food long enough. So perhaps one day of fasting is a way of saying, “God, I would die for you if I had to.” Yes, fasting is a humbling experience and frightening to some people. But perhaps that is the point.

Is something important coming up that you know you will be urgently praying about? Once you skip one meal, you will have conquered your desire to eat. Then, with your brain not having to concentrate on digesting food, it will be able to focus more on that important thing happening in your life. Your prayers will be more focused. You will be more focused with your eyes more clearly on God.

So, take a shower, comb your hair, put on some nice clothes, and look like you have something important to do. Then fast.

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00-Stephen-Cover-Kindle-ThumbnailSTEPHEN: UNLIKELY MARTYR did everything he could think of to convince people his religion was good.  He recruited help.  At night they would sneak pages of scriptures under rocks, inside people’s houses, nailed to statues of the gods.  They met in secret and worshiped. Then publicly they would march.  And they fasted as Queen Esther had done.  If it worked for Esther, surely it would work for Stephen and his zealous friends. Would it backfire? To BUY NOW, click a book cover or paste this………. https://bit.ly/2XBFXvJ

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Besides, why should I?

The scripture for today, June 2 (6/2), is Galatians 6:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Applied Christianity“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

In case you’re thinking people should take care of their own problems, you are right. But the term “burdens” here refers to overloads.

The main reason this is hard to do is that taking on someone else’s overloaded burdens upsets our daily routine and our peace of mind which we have worked so hard to achieve and maintain. It is inconvenient.

Just remember, it is always inconvenient for those people to have an overload of burdens. They don’t want them. Many times they didn’t ask for them. But, even if they did ask for them with foolish acts, can we not roll up our sleeves and help them out a little while (not forever)?

We do not have to take on all their problems. But we can give them relief of some of the basic problems so they can concentrate on the more serious ones.  If they need a babysitter, find one for them. If they don’t have decent clothes to go to work, take them to Goodwill.  If they’re behind financially, buy them a tank of gas. Wash their dishes for them so they can have a clean kitchen at least until the next day. If they’re behind on their laundry, take the dirty clothes and linens home with you to wash and dry yourself. If they haven’t written their parents for a year, sit with them while they write that letter. Take parts of their overburden from them.

What if Jesus had said, “Hey, it’s not my problem! Those people on earth mess up their lives all the time. Why should I leave the comforts of heaven to live among sinners and misery?” But he didn’t say that. Thank God he didn’t say that.

Inconvenient for him to take our overloaded burdens to his cross? Yes. Did he want to do it? No. But he did what was necessary to rescue us. Do you really and truly want to be like Him?

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