Accepting Limitations – Israel – Day 5

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IMG_4427GALILEE TO DEAD SEA -After breakfast at the luxurious hotel (foyer size of our two story home) we drove south to Beit She’an, the largest archeological site in Israel. We were read the passages in the Bible telling us about the battles between the Israelites and the Philistines on nearby Mount Gilboa – a battle ending with a tragedy to the royal house of Saul, but paving the way for the rise of David.

So many places, so little strength. I’d tried the first few days to keep up with the younger ones and realized if I didn’t accept my current limitations, I would be creating new ones!  My attitude improved not to face constant failure of impossible goals I’d set for myself, and my knee appreciated the new plan.

I got to spend time with one of the gals who wasn’t feeling well and that was sweet.  How easy it is to forget that our limitations can serve a good purpose too.  Enjoying instead of accomplishing, sharing where I was at instead of struggling to be who I was not, savoring what I saw instead of regretting overdoing, I was blessed continually.

The ancient Roman portion of the city with the amphitheater and reconstructed streets and a cart to move those big stones.IMG_4302 IMG_4316 IMG_4301 IMG_4288 IMG_4268 IMG_4273

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South through the Jordan Valley we viewed Jericho and the Mount of Temptations. We visited the Qumran Caves area, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and explore the Dead Sea region’s war histor

We also climbed and explored the oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul. You can see how much higher some chose to hike to  high up the canyon.

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Baptisms in the Jordan River. Loved the white dove showing up!

 

 

 

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I felt like royalty walking down the green runway to the dead sea. We finished the day with a float in the sea, a dip in the whirlpool, dinner, and overnight at our beautiful luxurious hotel on the Dead Sea.  With a new attitude, limitations allowed for more relaxation! 

The Best is Yet to Come -Israel – Day 4

Day 4 in Israel – the best is yet to come

I’m sure many of you heard the story of an elderly woman who wanted to be buried with a plastic fork. The reasoning was that much of her life had been spent at church socials and at the end of every meal as the plates were cleared away she was told to hold on to her fork because “the best is yet to come.”

 

Each day of our journey I, or some of the 45, would say this was the best day yet. Cliff often replied, “The best is yet to come.”

 

Several boats were on the Sea of Galilee. One group was singing praise songs as they approached the pier. Next it was our turn!

 

Here is video of us on the boat on the Sea of Galilee.

Dancing the Hora

Day 4 in Galilee – with #goodbattletours.com

It was surreal realizing I am in Galilee!

We’d been surprised to view the “beach” on Galilee because there was no beach -just rocks!  Very rugged land.
Wonder if it looked different when Jesus cooked fish for his team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several boats were on the Sea of Galilee. One group was singing praise songs as they approached the pier. Next it was our turn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was great after the previous days walking to relax on the boat for a few minutes – a few minutes because I saw one of the ladies whispering to one of the boat staff – turned out she requested we be taught to dance the Hora!   Wonder what Peter would have thought of that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cliff videoed our fun exercise and then read to us from the New Testament some of the stories of Christ and the Apostles that happened  on this water and in this area.

We also drove through the Golan Heights to Caesarea, Philippi and the Banias, one of the water resources of the Jordan River. Itai and Cliff taught extensively about the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur war, the two conflicts in the 20th century that most shaped modern Israel, then we stopped at the “Valley of Tears” and heard the amazing story of that four day battle.

Back to the Sea of Galilee area, we visited Capernaum, walking among the ruins of this Biblical village, including seeing the remains of the Synagogue where Jesus preached.

Then we drove up to the Mount of the Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount and saw a video about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

finding the remains of a 2,000 year-old fisherman boat, known as “The Jesus Boat” since it dates to the time of Christ, which is now in the museum there.

 

 

Walk with Me in Israel

Day 2 – was about arrival and the  Ancient Words that formed this land, this people, and this trip.  Ancient Words still alive and speaking to us today.

Day 3 – Ancient Israel – Stones of RemembranceDay – Everywhere in Israel you see stones – mostly this white stone Jerusalem stone. the statue carvings, the buildings, the sarcophagus, caves, everywhere are stones. One of the guides told me they had to make rules such as not stopping excavation for new buildings for everything (though they still do when they find human remains) because new discoveries are a daily occurrence.

One of the books that made a great impact in my early faith life was Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The main character who starts out as “Much Afraid” (and later receives the new name of Grace and Glory) has a habit of piling stones of remembrance after each victory.   Each day, or more like each hour of each day in Israel we saw stones of remembrance as we also heard the corresponding scripture story and history behind each site.

Drive to Caesarea by way of the famous highway known in the Bible as the ‘Way of the Sea’. Explore the ruins of the Roman and the Crusader city, reconstructed Roman portions, walls from the times of the crusaders,  the prison area where Paul was held in captivity before being sent to Rome.

We saw the remains the Hippodrome (Roman horse racing theater), remains of a Roman aqueduct, Mount Carmel, the site where the Prophet Elijah fought with the prophets of Baal and won, a breathtaking view over the whole Valley of Jezreel, better known as the Valley of Armageddon, the famous Tel Megiddo— a city that was fought over continually.

At Megiddo, we saw the remains of King Solomon’s Stables, an altar from Abrahamic times (around 4,000 years old), and the magnificent water tunnel, and across the valley viewed Mount Tabor, where Deborah and Barak met to plan their wars against the Canaanites, and the springs where Gideon selected his army and discuss why it was done in that fashion.

Then it is arrival at our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading down the path (now stairs) the women took daily to scoop up water to carry back on top of their heads!

It was amazing to stand here (or near) the place of the beginning of civilization.  To watch and listen to Cliff and Itai read the scriptures and realize that those words were written for all of God’s family for instruction, correction, and tender encouragement

Zech. 9:16 And the Lord their God will save them in that day

As the flock of His people;

For they are as the stones of a crown,

Sparkling in His land.

 

 

 

 

Walk with me in Israel!

Old and new. It began at the airport in New York just before we left for TelAviv.  We were invited to join a Purim celebration!

We were given noisemakers.  We watched the reading of the whole Megillia – the entire book of Esther – in Hebrew –  about 15 minutes (!) and participated with groans and noise every time Haman’s name was read.  Whew.

Little gift bags were shared that contained Haman’s hat cookies and candy.  We were instructed to share them with others, so everyone exchanged.  That’s when I noticed.

We eager foreigners, were, of course, taking pictures with our phones and cameras, but I had not expected the Rabbi’s standing nearby to pull theirs out too!  It just seemed incongruous for these gentlemen in ancient regalia to have a modern iPhone in use 🙂

That rather set the tone for the entire trip.  Day One was mainly arrival but also some introductory scenes – the airport, the bus ride to the hotel, Tel-Aviv (not a tourist town), the little grocery store, the lego-like construction going on everywhere, people in costume for Purim and the Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure what was with the death warning – probably a high voltage pole. I felt safer here than in Milwaukee or Chicago.  Walking on the beach at sunset again we saw old and new – always and constantly new construction going on – sometimes the new on top of the old, or seeing the old view through plexiglass on floors.

First meal in Israel – plate was my selections from about 20 choices set up buffet style.

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the Schindler elevator

 

And the journey began – Lessons on the bus on the way to new adventures – tomorrow Caesarea and many other stops – usually 7-8 a day.

We traveled with Cliff Graham and the Good Battles Tour group. Itai and Marla were our Hebrew guides.

For more info:  http://www.facebook.com/cliffgrahamauthor

The trip’s Instagram account is http://www.instagram.com/israelbattletours

Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cliffgraham

In any of those services, you can also click on the hashtag #goodbattletours and see where travelers are going to be tagging their posts.

It was amazing to stand in these places, to realize I was where all civilization began and in places (here or near as they say) where Jesus, apostles, warriors, and ancestors were. It was remarkable to hear scriptures read at varied sites and to view what was being spoken.

Old and new – Ancient Words.

Still true and still changing me and bringing new life and hope.

Walking like Jesus

The more you think about Jesus, the more you will think like Jesus

 

This week I’ll be focusing on Jesus, thinking about Jesus, and pondering how Jesus walked

 

I’ve been particularly entranced with the idea since 2001 when I found Bruce Feiler’s book and dvd Walking the Bible.

 

Feiler had a learned, religious man as guide through the historical places where Jesus lived and walked.

 

I will have a learned godly man, leading me and others through some similar territory, but with a special emphasis and perspective from one who walks with God.

 

Walked in the Bible means more than to propel oneself forward on foot

 

1John 2:6 says: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (original word meaning behave or conduct)

 

And how did Jesus conduct or behave himself? In such a manner that the Spirit of God was recognized in Him.

John 1:36 tells us how John perceived this man walking toward him:

 

and he looked upon Jesus as He walked, and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”

 

What do people see where we walk? How we walk? When we walk?

In what manner do we walk?

Is the Spirit of God recognized in us by the manner in which we walk (conduct ourselves/live?

 

Will walking where Jesus walked cause me to think about Him? I’m sure it will. Will that experience also make me more like Jesus? I hope so.

 

Pictures coming. In the meantime, let’s focus on our walk – more important than how many steps we walked, what did we notice? Were there people with a story to tell? People who want us to listen to them?

What or who did we notice? What did Jesus do when he noticed someone?

 

Here are a few examples of what Jesus saw and how he walked:

Matt. 8:18  Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side.

Mark 9:25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.”

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Mark 12:34 And when Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.

Luke 13:12 And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.”

John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”

John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?”

 

What can we learn from things Jesus said?

 

When Jesus looks at me, he sees that I too, have a “condition” and have been a long time in it.  Jesus knows that and asks me the same question.

 

I know there have been opportunities before the moment when Jesus asked, “Do you wish to get well?”  Jesus saw the people. Jesus listened to them. Jesus observed their needs and weaknesses.

Sometimes I play/try to get out of the condition on my own, but Jesus offers freedom with His authority.

 

I hear Him asking: Do you really want to get out of that habit (condition) that you’ve been in a long time? Do you want to be free of it’s enslavement?

 

Yes, I do.

Do you?

Nourishing Me so I can Help You

I’ve been meeting with a wonderful group of supportive friends discussing food and how there are often spiritual needs (or lacks) behind some of (most of?) our physical habits.

It’s refreshing to encourage one another to develop healthy habits and a healthy life. without condemnation.

Sometimes I feel too busy to take the time to plan healthy snacks or meals, or when out doing errands to choose to find healthy and exceptionally delicious foods, or to even eat at all. I married a good man who stops me in my tracks and asks, “Have you had lunch yet?” When I start to whine that I have so much to do, he reminds me that I will have little strength and “thin attitudes” if I allow my body to get dehydrated or weak, and that I am cheating those I want to nurture if I don’t nourish myself physically.

It is also vital to nourish our souls so we have something to feed others spiritually too! Ken is awesome at scripture memory and I taught our kids to have quiet times when they were toddlers. I’d give them a book, and let them observe me across the room being quiet for a minute reading and praying. Gradually I upped the time to five minutes, then seven minutes. Those practices helped them and helped me too.

All of those things are habits we develop bit by bit, day by day. Nourishing ourselves, strengthening others, and allowing others to nourish us.

God has a lot to say about nourishing us too!

“The LORD will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring” (Isaiah 58:11, NLT).

So, I need to make it a habit to go to the well, and sit for a while, allowing God to guide, and refresh me.

We’re not to make the matter of food a way to impress God. What is that saying – eat to live don’t live to eat. Food was made as a temporal thing with a short life – to sustain our bodies for a short time. Food rots. Why would I go to something that rots before going to God for ever-lasting nourishment?

Matt. 6:25 “If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.

Then there are emotions. I know I often eat emotionally – sad, glad, or rushed – they are all excuses to grab chocolate, or curl up with a bag of potato chips. None of those things are bad – but eating just that can be a very bad habit affecting every area of our lives. When I don’t eat well, my body doesn’t run well, and I get more tired and crave more junk.

Do I eat differently when I go out with someone who will treat me to a smorgasbord of elaborate foods?  I still forget sometimes that it takes 20 minutes for food to settle, and if I eat until I feel full, I’m likely to also feel sick. The last 3 words of this verse speak of another habit:

“When you go out to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners: Don’t gobble your food, don’t talk with your mouth full. And don’t stuff yourself; bridle your appetite” (Proverbs 23:1-3, MSG).

Several days of this week I will be at speaking engagements – and they are all at meetings that involve eating!  On the way there and back and in between I’ll be spending time with some delightful people and we will also be eating together.  I’m sure I will have a lot of temptations before me.

I’ll be praying this prayer for those in my circle of outreach in life and praying for myself too – to let this awesome week be an example and an encouragement – and the strengthening of good habits!

3John 2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Did you get that last phrase? It gobsmacked me! – When I turn it around (don’t you just love reconstructing sentences) Here’s what I read:

Just as (how) your soul prospers

May you prosper to the same degree in every work and ministry you do

And

May you be as healthy physically as you are spiritually!

Now there’s my thought for the week

 

I pray it nourishes you too.

Delores

Nobody Loves Me…

Nobody Loves Me… Please notice me!…

That’s the way a majority of the world feels today. Not everyone will be getting a bouquet of roses, a box of candy or even a valentine. The “Commercial Holidays” as my hubby puts it, makes many singles, widows, widowers, orphans, feel sad, so let’s notice them tomorrow!

There’s familiar (a neighbor, a clerk where you often shop or get service of some kind)

unfamiliar, (saw a fellow pushing a bicycle through the slush today),

 

A small gift card or a little gift useful to male or female can bring joy by lifting some hearts that they were noticed. If you have time, they may even want to chat with you.

 

Be prepared to answer why you are giving them a gift –

I am so cared for and want you to know God cares for you too

27 days to Spring – Sunshine is on the way!

A little gift from the one who created hearts

In memory or honor of a loved one (often share my Daddy’s love for people  or how Mom loved surprises and ice cream!)

 

 

How easy can it be with a day of hearts!

 

Grab some baggies

Insert some color (heart or flower cut outs or cardinal pictures – or a drawing your kids made)

Insert a little message – a verse, a proverb, a song, a random picture of a flower or something that evokes hope,

Insert a treat – something individually wrapped and decadent like a Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut Chocolate Candy, or something useful like hand lotion, a pair of dollar store mittens, or a small gift card to get a hamburger, sandwich or coffee, ice cream cone, some quarters for laundry/parking meters, rummage sales, etc..

 

How many smiles will you get tomorrow giving out your baggies that say You Are Noticed?

Phil. 2:1 If therefore there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,

Phil. 2:2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself;

Phil. 2:4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Phil. 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Put on Simplicity – Body and Soul Healthy Lifestyle

2Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

 

Simplicity, in my experience, is usually found in Single Servings – One at a time.

There is a very profound ongoing growth principle in the Bible. It is the Put On – Put off principle.

 

To put off complicated put on simplicity

To put off overscheduled, put on a single focus – one at a time

To put off indecisiveness, put on a single decision

 

  • First single serving – Breakfast

Breaking the Fast has long been described as the most important meal of the day. Yet I often skip it as I have so many plans to accomplish

 

Relating that to my spiritual life, the first thing I need to do daily is to fuel the spirit with healthy life-giving fuel.

 

Start with 7 minutes (1 min for thankfulness (I look at yesterday) – 2 min to read a verse or three – 1 min to write down any directive to do, not do, start or stop – 1 min to pray for someone else this makes you think of and 1 minute to pray for yourself, 1 min. to write out last thing first (if nothing else gets done today – what was one most important thing you to accomplish), and close with 1 min. to praise God for what He is going to do today

 

  • Lunch!

 

Mid-day refueling is something I also often skip – too busy with the day’s plans, too involved with others plans for us, or too tired already from trying to complete an impossible list for the day. Too busy to nourish, or snacking on quick unhealthy and often unsatisfying tidbits.

 

Hydrate body and spirit – Take 1 minutes to drink water, 1 minute to stretch, 1 minute to review a scripture verse and 1 minute to remind self that because I am in Christ, wherever I go and whatever I do, I am bringing Christ into the situation.

 

 

  • Dinner (or Supper whatever you prefer to call it) This is –or should be – a time to relax, unwind, review the day or plan the next, as well as to have the lightest meal of the day (largest meal at lunch gives the body more time to digest and process it). But of course, if I’ve skimped through the earlier parts of the day, the body now wants to consume anything in sight, and if I’ve not stopped to pause at all, I’m so tired – or wired – I’m not likely to be productive physically or spiritually.

 

Rather than vegetate on the sofa, overeating by the television, too tired and then to full to get up, I need to plan my next day’s ‘bites’ so I can enjoy a peaceful evening time.

 

Make a menu of all three meals, preparing what I can in case I have to run out and do errands, I can grab a healthy choice in my Bento and fuel while on the go. Similarly, write out my memory verse in large print on a card I can pocket and glance at throughout the day.

 

I don’t foresee my life slowing to a lounge-by-the-pool pace anytime soon, if ever.

Can you relate?

 

Simplified living is about more than doing less.

 

It’s being who God called us to be, with a wholehearted, single-minded focus.

 

It’s walking away from innumerable lesser opportunities in favor of the few to which we’ve been called and for which we’ve been created.

 

It’s living life in Single Servings.

 

Are you dishing up at least three times a day? Keep it simple, body and soul.

 

A Sabbatical Heart

God longs for us to have a sabbatical heart. But we are often more concerned with having a fruitful heart. Being fruitful.  So to get a vision of the sabbatical heart, let’s start there and see

What fruit is NOT

 

 

Fruit is not success

Fruit is not busyness

Fruit is not financial or material wealth

Fruit is not popularity

I believe fruit is the result of a fallow heart!

Fallow ground appears to be unproductive and lifeless, but while it is resting it is receiving nutrients and being built up in preparation for new seed which will bring fruit.  But before that can happen it must be fallow (resting) for a time.

Hos. 10:12 Sow with a view to righteousness,

Reap in accordance with kindness;

Break up your fallow ground,

For it is time to seek the Lord

Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

This verse was written after the sabbatical year (the 7th year in which they were instructed to let the ground go fallow (unplowed and unplanted)

John Wesley explains the fallow year’s purposes:

  1. Public – To show what a plentiful land that was, into which God was bringing them, that so numerous a people could have rich maintenance out of the products of so small a country, without foreign trade, and yet could spare the increase of every seventh year.
  2. Personal – To teach them a confidence in the Divine Providence, while they did their duty, that as the sixth day’s manna served for two days meat, so the sixth year’s increase should serve for two years subsistence.  (That is also what the Sabbath  – the weekly day of rest was created for us to experience)

If you look at the fallow ground you see hard ground, unplowed. It looks very inactive, unproductive and dry. It looks to be without life.  (Haven’t we all had periods of life like that)

Do you see any fruit? No, obviously not, but there is something important and unseen that has occurred as a result of allowing the land to rest for a time.

The land, while resting, is being rained on and built up with nutrients to develop, nourish and support the new seed.

Without the time of rest and building up, the fruit would be inferior, weak, and more sparse every subsequent crop.

Similarly, we need to be sure not to work the soil of our creativity, the soil of our bodies (God’s temple) or the soil of our spirit-soul without periods of rest.

We need to periodically stop, listen and take in nourishment that builds us up in preparation for the new seed. The new crop of fruit/maturity in us.

When I went on missions trip much time was occupied with planning, preparing and sometimes rehearsing the works we would do. We prayed for fruit (evidence of our prayers and efforts). The church expected us to come back and share what God had done through us.

When I’ve gone to conferences I’ve found that my work and my heart flourish more if I take a day or a particular time allotment and use it to “Sow with a view to righteousness” – where I rest and instead give, water, plant. During that time of rest from marketing my own work, I seek instead to encourage others, asking how can I help you, or how can I pray for you.

Whether on a mission, at a conference, or in everyday life, God has shown the need for a sabbatical heart. He has left me in awe to realize he is more concerned with the nourishing and maturing He does in me than what ‘ministry’ can be done through me. Sometimes that means a period apart – a quiet time – a rest from striving.

The more I can rest in Him, be in the Word, receive the spiritual nutrients, the more he can build up his fruit in my heart and life. The more I accept those periods of rest, I see now, the more God is enabling me to be strengthened and instructed to “Plentifully pour out the fruits of his goodness and mercy.” That comes from a sabbatical heart.

As Hosea said, God wants to rain (water, teach, instruct) righteousness on me and on you –

God wants to develop your sabbatical heart!  Are you resting in Him?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RENEWED! A Spiritual Wardrobe

Forget resolutions. They are so temporary. Trust me, I’ve been trying for months to reduce – me, my closet, my spending, my clutter, when what I needed was a renewal. Have you felt that way – two steps forward and four back? Just wanting a fresh start and the power to make it last?

 

Instead of relying on promises to yourself, you’ve decided to rely on God’s promises to you! I especially enjoy the The Message translation:

 

Deut. 26:17 You’ve renewed your vows today that God is your God, that you’ll live the way he shows you

 

Imagine – a makeover, by God – The Original Designer!

 

He has the complete plan for you – from the inside out.

 

It will make you shine no matter your hair, skin, weight, or circumstance of life. Check out your new inner wardrobe:

 

Col. 3:12 So, chosen by God for this new life of love,

dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you:

compassion,

(understanding others are where you have been or where you were headed)

kindness,

(re-living God reaching out to you when you did not deserve it)

humility,

(astonished that our holy God considers you a treasure)

quiet strength,

(secretly celebrating the promise that God is with you and will never leave you)

discipline.

(activating God’s promises to let them lead/correct/instruct/light my path)

 

Col. 3:13

Be even-tempered,

(running to God first so you respond with His love instead of reacting with your feelings)

content with second place,

(satisfied to know you have first place in Christ’s heart)

quick to forgive an offense.

(making the choice not to accept and nurse the offense, but to refuse/deflect it, and give it to God to resolve)

Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.

(Putting it in the Father’s hands for only He can completely and justly deal with it anyway)

Col. 3:14 And regardless of what else you put on, wear love.

(and all day long, practice the presence of Christ, letting HIM be seen in you)

 

LOVE

It’s your basic, all-purpose garment.

 

Never be without it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going on a Grace Hunt!

2017 may be gone, but its effects are still with us. Do you still have your 2017 calendar or appointment book?

 

Take a look – Review the year and go on a Grace Hunt!

 

Was there GRACE in

Good times?

Life changes?

Appointments?

Sickness or injuries and healing?

Desperate prayers?

Answers to prayer?

Faith challenged or activated?

Goals or resolutions set and completed…or not

Journey or adventure somewhere?

Plans made for 2018?

Lessons learned?

Did some of your calendar’s months look like our crazy year?

 

Whether all those appointments meant bad things happened (we had some) or that good things were in the planning (we had some of those too) and/or, most importantly, if you can recognize

God was there with you – through whatever you went through –

Highlight it.

Write yourself a note looking at the situation from the other side

Document what God did in your life that you can apply to or use in 2018

 

Have a time of prayer and celebrate surviving and being “more than a conqueror” – for bringing something with you out of and because of the circumstances

 

Romans 8:36-39New International Version (NIV)

36 As it is written: (the apostle Paul had just listed some of the sufferings he endured and he says):

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Conquerors come home with

arms raised in victory, carrying trophies of victorious service (most times unseen and hidden deep in their hearts).

Sadly conquerors also often also come home with hidden scars and PTSD, but even those can be used to heal and bring glory to God.

So what did life as you lived it in 2017 bring to you? What trophies can you recognize through your calendar that turned out for your good and to God’s glory?

I hope you can see them. If things are still tough ask 3 good friends what you are missing. God doesn’t waste anything – no joy, no pain is without purpose.

The pictures are a few of my moments of Grace from 2017 as I review my year.

I hope you will share with me at least one grace you experienced – either here or in a personal message.

Faithfully, Delores

5 Ways to Give Grace to YOURSELF!

 

First what is Grace? Strong’s Concordance (1656) reveals grace as: to compassionate [as a verb – my note] (by word or deed, specially, by divine grace): — have compassion (pity on), have (obtain, receive, show) mercy.

 

Now who is to receive this Grace?

 

Those who hear

All of you (believers to whom God directed the apostles to write)

All who are beloved of God and called as saints

The humble

Those are just a few of the descriptors of those to whom we are to “give” grace / to show or demonstrate grace

I know you realize that includes you, but have you known that YOU are involved in receiving grace not just when others are giving and showing grace. Look in the mirror. That is God’s child – she needs grace from you too!

How to do that? A few examples:

  • Self Talk – Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Do you listen to yourself? Sometimes I have to tell myself to stop it! Stop vocalizing the enemies lies that I am not enough, that I am still guilty, shamed, condemned. Vocalize the truth. Only such words that will bring life. Stir in grace to what you serve yourself.

  • Speak/pray for YOURSELF in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs

Eph. 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord – put your name in the psalms and in the hymns and pray Grace over YOU.

  • Give yourself permission to LET/ALLOW the Word of God to dwell (live – make its home) within you – memorize scripture, teach yourself by quoting scripture and accepting correction, instruction and wisdom from those verses. 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Do this for the specific object of you! And the specific objective of being prepared to LET the Spirit show grace to YOU as needed.

  • Look within for a list of thankfulness and praise – just as you thank God for others, and what He has done for others, thank God that you are His child, and for the changes he has brought about in your heart and life, and for those He has placed within your influence, and guided you to reach. Write out that list and thank God for the evidence of His presence in YOU!

 

 

  • Pray with confidence for YOU, a beloved child and heir of Almighty God. 4:16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.  You know better than anyone on earth what your needs are – God’s throne is like your bank of Grace – stay close with a humble heart and ask for mercy for YOU. Ask the Spirit who prays only in God’s will, to pray for you. Let Him make your temple a place of refuge and hope.

 

If you haven’t thought of it before, add your name to your prayer list! Realize all that Christ has sacrificed for you – all the treasure (See Ephesians 1) that He has allotted to you, and how very much He loves you, the temple of His Spirit.

 

Read the verses again and replace you, your, those, one another, etc. Then give some Grace – again and again –

 

To YOU.

 

Grace to you

and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Faithfully,

Delores

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