Thirsty Thursdays – Food for thought

I don’t know exactly where I got this but when I was a little girl I used to imagine a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.  Simple but accurate to some degree. I now know that the devil is not just a figment of my imagination and represents my fleshly desires. I also know that non-believers can have a conscious, the angel so to speak, but it is more than that for the believer. It is the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

There is and always will be that constant battle between that old devil and our angel.This illustration may help.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”  The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”  The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Consider who you are feeding. The devil? If so, you are in sin. Think you are getting by with it? Sin always has consequences. ALWAYS. It is ALWAYS dangerous to be in a state of disobedience. Mocking God is never a good thing. We are clearly told we will suffer the consequences. Or maybe even worse, someone else will have to pay for our sins.
Galatians 6:7-8 ESV Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

What can we do if we have been feeding that devil? Stop. Ask God to forgive you. Go and sin no more.  Then feed the angel by feasting on God’s word.
Jeremiah 15:16 Living Bible  Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me. How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord.
1 Corinthians 5:8 Living Bible  So let us feast upon him and grow strong in the Christian life, leaving entirely behind us the cancerous old life with all its hatreds and wickedness. Let us feast instead upon the pure bread of honor and sincerity and truth.

 Thanksgiving, a holiday centered around food, will be here soon. Even after a big holiday meal, my body will be hungry again sooner or later.  It doesn’t have to be that way with my soul.  John 6:35 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

Let’s feed our souls and starve that old devil.

 

Prayer Monday

Ways to Pray When You Have a Hard Time Praying!!

Pray Anyway.

Choose to Listen.

Just say HIS Name.

Pray a Prayer of Praise.

Pray for Someone Else.

Pray for a Heart of Prayer.

Have Someone Pray for You.

Pray Different Prayers in Your Bible.

Pray Scripture Daily.

 

Seminary Lite

Thirsty Thursdays – Happy Holidays?

Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas. With happy and merry as descriptive adjectives, these holidays are obviously a joyous time to celebrate all that we have to be thankful including the birth of Jesus Christ.  I know however, from personal experience, it’s not always the happy, merry time we would like.

A survey I found listed some causes of holiday depression:

  • Unfulfilled or unrealistic expectations.  I certainly have expected or hoped for a certain gift under the tree only to be disappointed when it wasn’t there.
  • Glorified advertising of dreamlike celebrations.  I don’t know about y’all but those sweet family scenes in those Publix commercials look like there is so much peace and tranquility around the Thanksgiving table.  Just never happened quite that way at my house.
  • Overexertion.  Who hasn’t overbooked themselves at Christmas, fought traffic, battled long lines and crowds and exhausted (and frustrated) themselves trying to put up all the decorations?
  • Added financial pressures. Seriously, has anyone ever underspent during the holidays?
  • Memories of lost loved ones.  No one is exempt from this. Holidays have a way of triggering memories and making grief fresh.
  • Loneliness. Even in the hustle and bustle of crowds, we can sometimes feel lonely. Isn’t that odd?
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder – Who else has experienced the effect of not enough sunlight? Not a fan of these shorter days.

Does any of that describe you? Are you feeling hopeful, happy, merry, joyful or as we head into this season are you being filled with a sense of dread? I suspect that even if we are feeling happy about the approaching holidays, most of us will experience some type of anxiety during this season.

Here’s a great quote by Lysa TerKeurst from her book Unglued:  “Feelings are indicators, not dictators. They can indicate where your heart is in the moment, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to dictate your behavior and boss you around. You are more than the sum total of your feelings and perfectly capable of that little gift . . . called self-control.”

“that little gift… called self-control” WOW. That means that we can take charge of our feelings.  What a great gift to unwrap before Christmas. It’s a gift we can give the guy who cuts us off in traffic or the lady who shoves ahead of us in line.  It’s a gift we can give our loved ones. It’s a gift that we can give to our own hearts.  In the midst of our loneliness, or grief or weariness or stress, we don’t have to let our emotions be our master.

Let’s be different this holiday season. There is no room for sadness when we are filled with thanksgiving for God’s perfect gift.  Anxieties and loneliness can only melt away when we feed on the perfect truth of God’s word and focus on the glad tidings of Jesus’ birth and the good news of our salvation. Feast on the joy of this season. Gobble up God’s goodness.  Stuff ourselves with cheer and not downheartedness.  Choose to have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas.

Proverbs 25:28 (ESV) A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Our Prayer Life

Thanksgiving Challenge Week 2

So today’s thanksgiving challenge is a little more involved. I’m wondering who will find things throughout their day to be thankful for that correspond with every letter of the alphabet. (And no, I don’t mean apples, balloons, cats, etc. :) )

Keep it in mind all day and see if you can come up with specific things that apply to your life for every letter. Would love to hear your results in the comments! Post even if you didn’t come up with every letter in the alphabet!

I’ll be on the lookout today too. I can’t wait to see your answers!

Prayer Monday

Prayer for Wisdom

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

Have you ever struggled with a decision?? How did you go about finding a solution ?? Did you ask your spouse, your friends, co-workers, or parents ?? What about God? Are you going straight to the source for wisdom ?? Or are you seeking advice elsewhere?? We need to be wise and seek wisdom by praying and seeking God directly as well as reading Gods word and seeking wisdom from scriptures!  I am currently praying for wisdom on how to be a more supportive spouse.  God has shown me a few scriptures and ways for this to happen!  I am thankful for a faith and a God who provides me with wisdom when I seek and ask Him!!! I am Praying for you to have wisdom in your heart and life as you seek to follow Christ in all of your decisions!! I would be glad to pray specifically for you if you would like, just leave a comment below.

Prayer reminders:  Pray for Deanna, Meredith, Life guides, Finances, Sisterhood, December Link Event, and Our 2015 plan for WLF.

 

Thirsty Thursdays – God is in control

Psalms 22:28 - For the Lord is King and rules the nations.

As I write this, the November elections have not happened so I do not know the results. I used to be a political junkie and fret over election outcomes. I still follow politics to some degree just so I can be an informed voter but my approach has been very different for about ten or more years now. God revealed to me in a painful process that change does not lay in political reform or in a political candidate or party. Regardless of political affiliations, I am sure that at some point we may all be troubled by election outcomes, but no election results have surprised God.  He is the Creator who directs all His Creation. Romans 13:1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Even though the politics and stances of both major parties in this country have been troubling and hard to stomach sometimes, we cannot ignore our system. It is our responsibility as citizens of both our country and the Kingdom to be informed and active in the process. It has bothered me that so many people claiming to be Christian don’t get involved because they think it is too complicated or that they really can’t make a difference. God does not specifically say we have to vote but it is a right and a privilege that many people do not have.  1 Peter 2:13-14  Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do goodA lot of people don’t vote because they don’t want to choose between two evils. That’s no excuse. We are all evil. Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. We are always having to make choices this way. We are not commanded to choose the better of two evils. It’s not the outcome of election or whether our guy wins or loses.  It’s about our obedience. We obey, the Holy Spirit is responsible for results and we trust God’s Word. Now that’s true freedom.

I no longer fret over elections,I just do my best to obey. Nobody said obedience would be easy but God has given us clear direction. Be subject to governing authorities, render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s, and pray for our leaders. 1 Timothy 2:1-2  First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

 By the time this is posted, election results will be in and God is still in control. Regardless of the outcome, will you commit with me to do nothing less than pray for all our leaders?

Knowing God

Thanksgiving Challenge

Let’s start November off with a Thanksgiving challenge, shall we?

It’s a two minute thankful challenge. Watch the clock and start posting in the comment section everything that randomly comes to your mind for the next two minutes that you are grateful for. Move past the normal things and look around and notice the things we take for granted every day!

Here goes!

Heat, thumbs, computers, baby video monitors, socks, photos, family, Jesus, Bible, Bible studies, lotion, soap, hot showers, indoor toilets, toothpaste, electricity, yogurt

OK – I feel sure I could have done better than this, but that was my two minutes. :) Can’t wait to see yours!