Friday 6/1 ~ How to make an argument stick

The scripture for today, June 1 (6/1), is Psalm 6:1 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

04-Isaac&Jacob-KindleThumbnail.jpg“O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.”

This is not only a good request to God, but it is a good request to each other ~ family and friends alike. When you disagree with someone, do you “back it up” with loud yelling or throwing or hitting things? Do you believe that your point cannot be understood and will not be accepted without a “tantrum”?

This scripture indicates that it is indeed possible to rebuke someone without the tantrum. In fact, it is more effective. When you calmly tell someone you disagree with them, it does not raise their blood pressure and put them on the defensive. With tantrums, they may react like you want on the outside, but you drive them farther from you on the inside.

Calm rebuke does not mean you don’t mean it; it means you are convinced enough, your point of view does not need reinforcement. In that case, the other person is likely to be convinced too.

Today, practice saying calmly what you normally back up with a tantrum. Practice in front of the mirror.  Practice when driving. Practice when cooking or mowing the lawn or combing your hair.  Then, next time you disagree with someone close to you, you will be ready ~ ready to not rebuke in your anger.

~~~BUYLINK to eBOOK & discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/2LacnWf

 

Friday 5/25 ~ How in the world am I going to love my enemies?

The scripture for today, May 25 (5/25), is Galatians 5:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

05-Joseph-KindleThumbnail“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

When someone is better than you in doing something, do you pick fights with them as punishment, or spread gossip about them in order to get others to quit respecting them?

Perhaps you don’t do this all the time. But what about times when there is something you feel you are really good at, but another person not as talented gets the honor? That’s when it’s hard to “keep in step with the Spirit.”

Whenever you envy someone, deep down you consider that person your enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a).

To many, loving our enemy is the most difficult command in the Bible. Perhaps one way to love your “enemy” is to realize that Jesus loved his enemies. Every time you sin, you become one of his enemies. But Jesus keeps right on loving you, even when you don’t want to stop doing whatever you shouldn’t.

Jesus demonstrates the love of the Son of God. And here he says, if you love your enemies, you are demonstrating what the children of God do. And that is far more important than honor that goes to those you envy. Leaving behind conceit makes it much easier to love everyone.

~~~BUYLINK for EBOOK or discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/JosephInEgypt

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Wednesday 5/23 ~ Is it a good idea to be mad at God?

The scripture for today, May 23(5/23, is Exodus 5:23 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-Bk3-HeartsAfire-COVER-Kindle.thumbnail-new“Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your [God’s] name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

This is Moses talking to God, and Moses is very angry. Is it a good idea to be mad at God? Deuteronomy 34:10 says there was never a prophet like Moses “whom the Lord knew face to face.”

Getting angry [not violent, that’s different] sometimes is part of a healthy relationship, as long as we are willing to stick around long enough to understand the other person’s point of view. Moses did not desert God. He spoke his mind, then waited to see how God would reply.

It wasn’t that God didn’t want to rescue his people from slavery in Egypt. God was not quite ready yet. And he probably did not rescue his people in the manner Moses had in mind. But eventually ~ after a little patience on Moses’ part ~ it happened: God rescued his people.

Are you angry at God over something? Tell him so. Then stick around and wait for him to express his point of view. It will happen someday. Maybe it won’t be your point of view. Probably it will be better.

~~BUYLINK for eBOOK or discount PAPER:  http://bit.ly/Hearts-Afire

 

 

Monday 4/30 ~ Let go, or it will take you to hell

The scripture for today, April 30 (4/30), is Ephesians 4:30f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-Mefiboset-KINDLE Thumbnail“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

Do you think God has no choice but to let you into his heaven because you do not steal, cheat, or murder? Think again.

There’s more to it than that; it’s called sins of attitude. Are you bitter about something? Let go of it, or it will take you to hell.  Do you have a problem with rage and anger? Do you enjoy a good mental or physical brawl? Do you slander people who have done you wrong? Do you harbor grudges year after year? Let go of them. Please. They are taking you to hell.

The average person does not have trouble with bad actions. The big problem is with bad attitudes. Let go of them. God will take care of the problems. Let go of people you consider your enemies and wish them well. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Do not grieve yourself.

Live in sweet inner peace. Live at peace with God. Make God smile.

Wednesday 4/4 ~ You’ve gotta be kidding! That’s impossible!

The scripture for today, April 4 (4/4), is Psalm 4:4 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-HS-592 VersesExamined-COVER-Thumbnail“In your anger do not sin.”

You’ve gotta be kidding!  That’s impossible! When people get angry, don’t we lash out at other people? And yell and call them names? And show our temper? Maybe even throw a few things? After all, that’s the only way to get across to the other person that we are really angry.

Hold on. If, for instance, you told your child not to do something for their own safety but your child did it anyway, of course you would become angry. Why? Your child put himself in danger because of his action.

You can choose to lash out at your child wildly so that your emotions mask your words. Or you can choose to talk calmly and explain the dangers your child was put in because of that action. Maybe punishment is in order.  You can calmly but firmly tell them what their punishment is. You can calmly punish your child without losing your temper.

It is the same way with adults. If you lose your temper and shoot daggers with your eyes and rant and rave, all your actions distract people from your words. Aren’t your words of explanation more important than the emotionalism and yelling? If you were hurt, just say so. If they hurt themselves, just say so.

While we’re at it, not all words help. Name calling does not help. Name calling is done when you choose not to explain how you feel. Name calling such as, “You’re irresponsible,”  locks the other person in and sets them up for future failures between you and them. Losing your temper during anger gets you off the issue and into sin.

Next time, try to remain calm and then explain the problem in tones that the person who has angered you ~ whether child or adult ~ can truly listen to and learn from. If you have trouble doing this, practice when you’re alone. It will come to you in the right way. It will teach you to remain calm when you’re angry.

Anger is not the same thing as sin. What you do with it can be. Choose a calm anger.  Thereby, you will have a peace that passes understanding.

Scripture for Sunday 12/17 ~ Fighting the Good Fight

The scripture for today, December 17 (12/17), is Revelation 12:17 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-PAUL COVER-Medium-“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring ~ those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Verse 9 says the dragon is also the serpent which is also Satan.

There are some people who seem to be enraged all the time. We may never be able to change that person. But we can direct their anger. If they want to be enraged at someone, let them be angry at Satan. Let them go to war with Satan. Let them rage at everything he is doing. Let them lash out at everything he stands for.

So, think about the people you know who are extremely angry at the church or at God. Tell them that Christians must be spiritual warriors and they could become a Christian soldier of the Lord.

Some people just cannot get rid of anger in their life. They may mellow in their old age, but that mellowness is a long way off. Show them how much Satan is enraged at them and how much God loves them. Show them how to get on God’s side, enroll in the army of the Lord, and use their anger against Satan.

Does it work? Paul said in 1st Timothy 1:13, “I was a violent man.” Yet, he converted people all over southern Europe, as he “fought the good fight”.

Scripture for Friday, October 6 (10/6)

The scripture for today, October 6 (10/6), is Jeremiah 10:6 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 2-DreamMaker-cover-kindle-medium-new“No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.”

The word “name” here is from the Hebrew word for “renown” ~ shem. This same word is sometimes translated fame. Sometimes we say someone “has made a name for himself” to indicate s/he has become successful and possibly even powerful. Sometimes, just the mention of a name gives us authority and power.

Just think. We do not have an impersonal God. The gods of the Bible era were made of stone. They were depicted as basically being giant humans who could throw down thunderbolts if they were angry.  Sometimes they were angry at humans and sometimes they were angry at other gods. Seldom were they ever depicted as pleased. 

Worship consisted of appeasing them so they would stop being angry at the much smaller humans on earth. Priests would claim any natural disaster was the result of their particular god’s anger, requiring even more sacrifices which lined the pocket of the priests. The priests had the real power in each country, even more than the throne.

Sometimes worship consisted in indulging in vices such as fornication, drunken orgies, and fights to the death. The priests could get even more power by catering to the baser desires of their “followers”. 

Still other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism whose god is the essence of the universe such as Nirvana or Shamanism whose gods are the life force of objects in nature. 

The prophet, Jeremiah, and all the other prophets of the Holy Bible depicted the Lord of the universe as being the greatest power in existence, but with the greatest love in existence. He was a personal God and no imitation god could come even close to that.

Think back over your life. In what way has the Lord used his power to cause amazing things to occur in your life just at the right time? That is our God. The real God full of mercy, truth, love, and yes, power.