Thirsty Thirsdays – Git R Done

I’m a reformed Put R Off’r.  As a young girl I just naturally waited til the last minute to do homework or chores or whatever and I was usually pretty good at last minute accomplishments. I was blessed. Not everyone is like that. As I grew older and learned how my procrastination could be a problem for someone else or even affect my own performance, I learned how to set goals and accomplish them in a more timely fashion.  To be fair, my studies in psychology and counseling in college had a lot to do with me learning how to change my behaviors.  I took it on as a personal challenge to complete a task before the deadline. I became a Git R Done girl.  What I find now is that I also have to increase my patience with those who procrastinate. Oh, I still put things off from time to time but it doesn’t irritate me in myself as much as it does when others put things off. Pretty typical of human nature, isn’t it?

March of this year I started having severe stomach cramps, fever, chills, and fatigue and the first 5 times I put off going to the doctor because I just figured it was a virus. Finally, after eliminating some possible causes, I was scheduled to get a colonoscopy in July.  Cancer, Crohn’s etc. were ruled out and the doctor said it was probably diverticulitis.  He put me on some strong antibiotics and said it would hopefully take care of it.  It didn’t. Three weeks ago I had my 9th attack and this time I did not put off calling the doctor. More antibiotics and a CT scan.  When I went for the results I was quite shocked when he started talking surgery. Right away.  He said I could put it off but I was risking a perforation. The doctor said it was a good thing I didn’t wait. I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened between my decision and the surgery other than I was at total peace.  No fear.  I took care of some obligations, went about my business. I had already gotten a head start on the week’s Thirsty Thursday blog, so I completed it the day before surgery and thanks to modern technology, scheduled it to post on time.  That’s it. Done. Off my mind. Peace to concentrate on my recovery. Nothing hanging over me.

Matthew 25-1-13 is a parable of ten virgins that await the arrival of the bridegroom and the commencement of the wedding feast. Five of the virgins were prepared for his arrival; five did not attempt to prepare until it was too late, and they were left behind. Jesus calls the unprepared virgins “foolish”. They put off their preparations and missed the feast.

How about you. Have you been putting something off?  Forgiveness? Changing a bad habit?  Getting into good habit?  Confessing and repenting?  Are you feeling the pressure of needing to do something but just keep putting it off? What is something you know you need to being doing? Now?  Git R Done!

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

Prayer Monday

Prayer for health!

God you are the source of our health.  God fill our hearts with faith in you.  Lord, I pray you give a calmness within our hearts as many face health issues!  Lord, I pray you place your healing hand upon those who need you to do so, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Jehovah Rapha the mighty healer !!

Psalm 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Exodus  15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

 

Reminder ~~~ Sisterhood is Tuesday night October 28th from 6:30-8pm at Pope Drive Baptist Church. Please Remind ministry wives and women’s ministry leaders in your church!

Thirsty Thursdays – Knowledge

After 30+ years in the education system, I’ve come across a lot of people with a lot of knowledge. I’ve seen people with doctorate degrees that didn’t seem like they were playing with a full deck (I say that in the most loving way :) ). Many times I have come across people with very high SAT scores and impressive educational degrees but were not successful in their chosen field. I’ve watched Jeopardy in awe at how those people have so many facts stored in their brains. Not only that, they can retrieve that information quick enough to beat some else to the buzzer. They are often called exceptionally smart. I’m a slow processor.

There’s a lot of knowledge in today’s world.  We’re living in a time when we have the greatest access to all the knowledge we need or want. But knowledge isn’t everything. Neither does knowledge equate to intelligence. Intelligence is the ability to perceive and retain knowledge or information  and apply it.  Just knowing doesn’t make you smart. You must apply that knowledge in the correct way.

A lot of people read the bible and have a lot of biblical knowledge and still don’t believe or just don’t get it. How can this be?  Ephesians 1:17-18 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Their problem is not a knowledge or intelligence problem.  It’s a heart problem. We think of the heart as the center of our emotions.  But God tells us it is more than that.  It is the center of our mind, will and emotions. (Thanks to my associate pastor Tim for expressing this from the pulpit) Mark 8:18 Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? And do you not remember? They cannot see or hear or understand. They don’t have the Spirit. The Spirit of God from the beginning of all creation. The Spirit of God that gives wisdom, understanding, knowledge and all kinds of skills.  A divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will. 1 Corinthians 2:13 We don’t speak about these things with words taught us by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, as we explain spiritual things to spiritual people. As a believer, I can understand spiritual things.  It may take a while for me to process, but I can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truths to me and He will.

Unbelievers do not have the Spirit and simply cannot understand spiritual things.  The Good News is they have a choice!  Believers that do have the Spirit don’t always walk in the spirit, though. The Message translation of Galatians 5:25 says Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. 

Are you living today as an unbeliever, letting your mind, will or emotions control you?  Trying to live the Christian life instead of drawing on the supernatural, inexhaustible resources of the Holy Spirit?  He is there waiting for us to rely upon His strength, His comfort, His wisdom so that we can fulfill God’s calling for us. We don’t have to be exceptionally smart or quick on the buzzer, we just need to surrender control today. Every day.

Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Criticism

Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting. -Emmet Fox

I tend to be a critical person. When it boils down to it, the root of my criticism is usually because you don’t do things like me.

There are so many subtleties in this area. There’s times when I believe it’s actually wrong, based on truth (not the same as criticism). There’s times when constructive criticism may be needed (with a genuine motive to be constructive), but there’s other times that I judge and get “irritated” just because someone lives, does, looks, etc differently than what I would do.

How prideful. How sinful.

I’ve realized my key word for “I’m getting ready to judge or be critical” is “irritated”. That is, someone irritated ME. I’m the victim here and it’s just my responsibility to share why! :)

No, when I’m “irritated”, most often I’ve not been wronged, I’m doing wrong.

So I’ve been thinking of some practical tips to help stop this behavior. Would love to hear yours as well! Please share if you have a word or a phrase that indicates that what you’re about to say is criticism. (A lot of times I’ll say, I not trying to be critical but . . . )

Good grief.

Here’s a few tips:
- Wait until tomorrow to share it. Criticism has an urgency to it. (At least for me) I want to tell someone about it now. Whether it’s telling the actual person or a second party, wait overnight and give a chance to be removed from the situation to gain perspective and allow the Holy Spirit to give His perspective on it as well.

- When the urge to criticize strikes, imagine someone criticizing me in the same way. How would I feel?

- Find 5 things you love or can be grateful for instead.

- Pray for eyes that see the positives and a heart that is loving and compassionate.

Prayer Monday

PSALM 19

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

I learned yesterday at church that the word of God is perfect the way it is!! We don’t need to adjust it to fit our lives.  We need to trust it and live by the truth it teaches.  We need to let the word of God be our passion!! Verse 7 says the law is perfect and trustworthy!!  Allow it to be refreshing to your soul today !!! Please Continue to pray for Deanna and Meredith.  Continue to pray for WLF to have passion to serve Christ and to share Gods truth!  Thank you for praying for this ministry!!

Remember ~~ NO David Bible Study this week!!

 

Thirsty Thursdays -Knowing Why

A well-known, local upstate radio and talk show personality died over this past weekend. Listening to some of the tributes to him, one person said that when you called in to his show you better know what you believe and why you believe it. This radio host had clearly identified his view on issues and had a defense of his position ready. He felt he had the truth on his side and on clear cut issues never felt he had to back down. If you had a differing opinion on something but could cite the reasons for believing it, you were respected. But I have heard him verbally take someone to the woodshed when they could not clearly give credible reasons for what they believed. The caller on the other end would often stutter and basically throw back verbal insults, thinking he had really made his point, when all the while his arguments and assaults were deflated like a balloon. This really caught my attention because it is so applicable to believers.

I think a problem in the universal church today is that there are a lot of people who believe, they just don’t know why. Many have grown up in the church just believing and are around a lot of other people who just believe but they would not be able to tell anyone the basis of their belief.

Ladies, we do have the truth on our side. In a day and age where popular opinion is against Christian principles, we have to not only know the truth but be able to defend it. There is a whole field of Christian theology called Apologetics that helps people understand why they believe what they believe. The Greek word apologia means defense. We must be able to defend our faith.

So how about it? Have you thought about exactly what you believe and why? Does it line up with scripture? Has someone questioned your beliefs and you got defensive or felt like a deer in the headlights?  What do you say when people say you are narrow-minded? Has someone ever asked you about evolution vs. creation? Can you answer the question “why would a good God allow suffering?” or “why does the Old Testament God seem different than the New Testament God?” or “why does the bible seem to contradict itself?” Tough questions, but just a few that come up often. Are there other issues that have come up and you would like to be able to be better prepared to have an answer?

I Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Tackling Old Issues

Prayer Monday

Do you pray for your kids ??

Lamentations 2:19 says, “Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children,  who faint from hunger at every street corner.”

Being a mom is the hardest job but yet the best of jobs! It can be fun and exciting then exhausting and overwhelming.  Parenting can bring you from the lowest emotion to the highest  in a matter of minutes!  Parenting can be tiring and sometimes a struggle.  Would you like to start making a positive influence in your child’s life? It doesn’t matter their age! At any age our children can benefit from our prayers.  It’s good to start by taking one step at a time.  We should start by praying for one detail at a time.  We should pray for details and concerns for the present as well as those for the future. You may want to write a personalized list for each child.  One may have needs that another might not have.  Take quiet time and ask God to show you what you should pray for your children.  HE  reveals things to us when we ask.  Write it down and pray as often as you are led over the next year.  I believe it’s our job as a parent to keep the details of our children’s lives covered in prayer.  John 16:23 “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”  When we pray for our children, we are asking God to make His presence a part of their lives and for Him to work powerfully in their lives.  All that needs to happen in our lives and the lives of our children cannot happen without the presence and power of God.   We just need to be willing to pray for our children!!  Let’s start praying for our children today young and old !!!!

Picture Perfect View

Thirsty Thursdays – Compromise

Although not as bad in these midterm elections, political commercials, yard signs and town hall meetings are plentiful right now. I saw a commercial where a political candidate is bragging about being moderate.  Not too far left or too far right. Able to work together with everyone. Kumbaya. Compromise is a badge honor during political campaigns.

The definition of compromise as a noun: an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. As a verb: accepting standards that are lower than is desirable. In order for someone to compromise, they must first have a set of standards. There is a firm set of standards set forth by God.  If our standard, for example is set to “thou shalt not lie”, then a little white lie is a compromise. In many of our relationships there must be a spirit of cooperation. Compromise in certain instances is not always a bad thing. But when it comes to compromising the gospel and God’s standards it is ALWAYS a bad thing.

By nature, compromise weakens a position. We form our positions through the lens by which we view the world. What if everyone had a biblical worldview lens to look through? We as Christians have to be ready to stand firm and not compromise on basic doctrinal issues like these:

  • There is one and only one living and true God, the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal parts of one God.
  • Man is the special creation of God, but Adam’s sin affected all mankind and now we are incapable of regaining a right relationship with God through our own efforts.
  • God provided a means of having a right relationship with him through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, fully man and fully God, born of a virgin. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross.
  • The Holy Spirit lives in every believer from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right.
  • The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God, written by men, without error, completely true, and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It reveals the principles by which God judges us and by which we can be saved.

A word of caution though.  In areas of that are not so specific we must ask ourselves “what does God want of me and how can I avoid being legalistic?”  Before we start judging someone else on what we think they have compromised based on our own convictions, read several translations of chapter 14 in Romans.

How do we not compromise the gospel but show love to others when they have differing opinions on topics not specifically commanded or forbidden? How about we make this our campaign slogan?  “I promise to love God with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my neighbor as myself.”  Everything else should fall into place.