Tag Archives: relationships

Stripping Strife from our Life

 

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Gen 13:8  And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Stripping Strife from our Life.

Let there be no strife between us for we are brethren. Abram and Lot are living in the land south of Egypt and between Bethel and Hai.  Both of them together have too much for that area to support.  Those responsible for the herds of cattle are fussing and fighting over the water, places to graze the cattle and numerous other issues.  At this point, Abram makes a decision and gives Lot an opportunity.

“If you go to the Left I’ll go to the right, if you go to the right I’ll go to the left.” Lot looks out at the land and chooses the plain of Jordan for in his eyes the land was well watered everywhere.  Basically he chose the best and left the rest.   Before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah it was a lovely place.   Later in the story we see God tell Abram of his plan for him and gives him some directions and promises.  All the land is for him and his seed forever plus his seed will be as numerous as the dust of the earth.  Abram made the right decision to remove strife at all costs.

Jesus said in Matt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers:  for they shall be called the children of God.  Making peace and removing strife is very important.  Many businesses, churches, communities, homes, the news, and the list goes on of places that are plagued with strife.  It isn’t seen as the destructive force it is.  We all know or have seen how a person under the influence of strife and an instigator of negativity can tarnish the workplace, church, home or a nation as we have seen of late.   Abram and Jesus both knew the importance of peace and to remove strife.

We may not be able to change the world, but how about our area of influence.  I have a friend that is an author and she is a genuine gift.  The only thing I’ve ever heard said about her is “You know she is the nicest person I know. She hasn’t let her success go to her head and I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say a bad word about anyone and she absolutely loves the Lord.”    Yep…she’s known as a child of God.  She works very hard at keeping the peace and she’s been very successful and blessed.  To know her she is a peaceful person and has a soft presence.  It’s really odd…you would never know the success she has had or the trials she has faced.  She is just a normal every day kind of godly person living life at its best with God in the center and peace at her side.  You know those people that have been through so much and survived by the grace of God that they just can’t help but be happy? They are choosing a life of gratitude instead of having an attitude.

Let’s Pray:  Dear God, help us to be mindful of our words and actions. Let us be peacemakers among our friends and family.  Where there is strife, give us direction on how to bring peace. Help us be a light in our area of influence and give us wisdom on how to strip strife from our life.    In Jesus name, Amen (so be it.)

Daily Scripture Reading:  Genesis 12- 14, Matthew 5: 1-26

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Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalphotos.net

an2g@2015

 

 

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Happy Anniversary to my best friend/spouse!

Well tomorrow will mark 21 years of spending my life with my best friend. The nice thing about roller coaster rides is they keep you young and full of life.   There are ups and downs plus the times that take your breath away. A few of you have asked so here Is my top ten list for hitting that 20 year and more mark.

  1. Leave your spouse alone. What drew you to your spouse was their uniqueness. If you try to change them, then what you were attracted to in the first place gets lost in the shuffle.
  2. So you’re right… Does it matter?   Which is more important peace or putting one over on your spouse? Proving you’re right may win the skirmish but the battle you’re losing is lifelong happiness and friendship with your spouse. Forgiveness after a skirmish is a good thing.
  3. Take a nap. We all get tired and when you feel Mr. or Mrs. Cranky pants coming on just tick a lock and go take a nap.
  4. Take your solutions to your spouse and problems to God.   Sometimes there are just things you can’t talk about. Doesn’t mean you have a bad marriage it’s just wiser to take some things to God. It’s much more fun to see a situation change after you’ve prayed about it rather than put pressure on your spouse. Pray for solutions… listen… then do what God says. You might be surprised at the results from just hearing from God on a situation without talking to your spouse.
  5. Find out what makes your spouse feel accepted, affirmed, and appreciated.   It’s different for every person. Sometimes finding out is half of the fun as it changes over time.   My favorite thing to receive is something spontaneous that required a little thought and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Same thing with hubby he likes it when I’ve been paying attention and surprise him with something he’s talked about for this or that.
  6. Alone time… The one thing that gamers have over the rest of us is the ability to have fun alone.   Give your spouse some alone time to play games, go shopping, hunting and fishing, hiking, running, biking etc. Find something that you can do alone that makes you happy, reduces stress and let your spouse do the same.   Just because you think it’s a waste of time doesn’t mean you’re right. (refer to #2 above)
  7. Date Night.   Go out or stay in but have fun just the two of you. Sports games on the Wii can be fun and economical. Or bring home pizza and watch silly movies that make you laugh.   MST3K movies can be funny especially the older ones.   My favorite scene was when 2 Guys in Greek costumes rounded a corner and tapped their spears on the Ground. I think it was Crow who said “Pizza! Pizza!”   We laughed so hard.
  8. Say “no” to others.   With everyone pulling everyone in different directions sometimes you just have to say “no” so the two of you can rest, relax, and refresh.
  9. Be united:   Don’t let your kids or other family members divide you as a couple. Make a decision as a couple and stick with it.   Trying to be a best friend to your kids at your spouse’s expense probably isn’t the wisest decision as kids grow up and move away but your spouse is still there and may not be too happy with you. (refer to #3 above)
  10. Probably the biggest and most important thing is to spend “God Time” together. Praying, reading the Bible, Devotions. Whatever you two can do to grow in God together.    Along with that thought is remember who you committed to on your marriage day.   You committed to God and your spouse. Having faith in God to help when you don’t know what to do is critical. It is much better to turn to God and unload than to unload on your spouse.     People say dumb and mean things when they are mad. Refuse to allow yourself hurtful words that can scar a person for life just for a moment of selfish pleasure. It doesn’t mean you are weak or a pushover if you walk away to pray. It just means you are turning over your situation to a higher authority who really does know all the answers for your situation.

© sgan2g2014cwp

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What does your life shout from the Rooftops?

What does your life shout from the rooftops?

I was worshiping along with the song Rooftops by Jesus Culture during my worship time this morning. During the lyrics, “So I shout out your name. From the rooftops I proclaim that I am yours. I am yours!”

That’s when I was impressed with a question. What does your life shout out from the rooftops?

Wow.   What a penetrating question.   Would my life shout out the name of Jesus? Does my outward appearance proclaim that I am a child of God?

Do my actions hinder or help people have a better relationship/view of God?    

I’ve often heard Dr. Jesse Duplantis say “The only Jesus some people will see is the Jesus in you and the Jesus in me.”   What do people see in us? Do they hear us laughing at someone that experienced a bad thing? Do they see us purposely do things to hurt or embarrass others? For example:  “I told her oops I didn’t mean to spill that water all over her but it was so funny to see her reaction.” Or maybe you were mad at someone and you confide in a “friend” that the vase of flowers you accidentally knocked of that desk and broke really wasn’t an accident but you purposely knocked it off just to hurt the person at that desk. What exactly do you think the listener will think of you? Is that action shouting out “I’m a child of God”?   And the unsaved who overhear your conversation with “friends”, do you think your actions will affect their view of God?   What about the people who saw you knock off the vase and then turn around and smile/giggle at your deed.   Do you think that “I’m yours Lord Jesus!” was just shouted from the rooftops?

I’ve often thought about baby Christians who start out full force with a love for God and serving Him. They get around those “older” in the Lord and possibly join a very immature church in spite of its age. What they see and what they hear probably turns their stomach and since they are babies they do not know from the Word who God is.

They view God based on his kids’ actions.

They don’t know that many people who call themselves Christians are no more like Christ than a person sitting in a garage is like a car. So they like other hundreds of people quit church and for all practical purposes quit on God too. Remember, they don’t know who God is and they don’t know the word. All they know is what they see and hear is making them sick and doesn’t seem right. I know that’s hard to hear but the lost and the babes in Christ are seeing a very sick and wicked Church community.   Why don’t we wake up and see the truth too?  The Church as a whole needs a desperate awakening to stop hurting and start helping.

Let’s play “What if?” What if just before we enter heaven we were made to look at a list of all the babes in Christ that decided to turn their back on God and quit serving Him because of something we have said or done? Wouldn’t that be horrible? Can you imagine the pain that would cause knowing that you were the reason why someone quit serving God? Selah!

Each person we encounter in life was designed with a purpose from God in the womb.

What would have happened if John G Lake would have paid any attention to his mentor for years told him that he would never be anything without him? Horrible words from an elder who was respected and trusted. Can you imagine how devastating that would be? Fortunately John G Lake went on to surpass that critic and people are receiving God’s healing though new generations of his ministry today.  As for the critic, well he went down in history as a man who once knew God and performed many miracles then through pride and listening to ungodly voices went insane.   The lesson here is just because somebody is “older” in the Lord doesn’t mean they know what God has in store for you.

Fortunately, today we can drop to our knees thanking God for his forgiveness. We can also pray that messengers be sent across the path of those we have hindered or prevented from serving God to encourage them and restore in them hope.  We can also change our ways and stop being ungodly to those around us.

We are to lift up, encourage, and show the love of Christ.

There is a big difference in telling others how Godly we are and what our life shouts from the rooftops.   How about we become the type of person that others can view (especially the ones closest to us) and say “you know…when I think about such and such their life just screams that they are a child of God and they really show the Love of God to their family and everyone around them.”

Thanks to all the ministries that are trying to help people find God, restoring the saved and bringing the unsaved into a right relationship with Him.   Keep up the good work.

And for those of you that have been hindered and abused by immature Christians, Joyce Meyers has often said that “hurting people hurt people”. Even the people who try the hardest to live a godly life still make mistakes.   Don’t let unforgiveness imprison and stop you from fulfilling what God has planned for you. You are called with a purpose to fulfill. Who knows who you will become.   Be like the John G Lakes of history and ignore those who try to hurt you and go on to become the man or woman God has designed you to be. Just today I saw a tweet from Riley Stephenson that said.

“Obstacles can temporarily detour you, but only you can make you stop.”

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What are you Thinking? Is it Stinking?

ID-10081437Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.

Now, that is a scripture to ponder on.   If we do well, follow the Lords commandments and give our best to him shall we not be accepted?   If we stray from the commandments and give God our leftovers, sin is just outside waiting for an opportunity or a crack in the doorway to wedge its way through.

Let’s back up a bit to the story of Cain and Abel and refresh our memory.   

Gen 4:3-5 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

They often say you need a good theologian to get people confused.  Just sticking to what the Bible says (Yes it’s the KJV) shall we look at it again.    In the process of time, (that’s important to note) Cain brought…. an offering unto the Lord.   And Abel he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof.  And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.   Notice the difference?   Abel brought the firstlings and the fat.    It’s probably true, that the fruit of the ground may not have had any fat in it but that’s another message.    

Abel brought the firstlings or the first fruits.  Cain didn’t.  Did you ever wonder why? What was wrong with Cain?  Why didn’t he want to give God the best of the best from his first harvest?   Could it have been some thoughts like?

“Doesn’t matter what I do it won’t be good enough?”

“God likes Abel better than me anyway; my offering will never be as good as his.”

“Able has a flock; I just have fruit of the ground. I can’t give as good as offering as him.”

“I’ll wait until my offering is perfect and then give it to God.”

I suppose we’ll never know what was running through Cain’s mind. Whatever it was, it prevented Cain from doing his best or even wanting to do well.  God knew that and even commented on it.   “Hey Cain if you do a good job and give me your best you’ll be accepted. If you keep falling away, sin is lying in wait to take you out!”

Isn’t that the truth?  If we know what to do and do it well, things go better for us.  For example, the scripture that encourages us to “take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ.” When we can capture negative thoughts at the beginning we can keep our emotions harnessed and be victorious.  If we dwell and think on things we probably shouldn’t be thinking about… (Shouldn’t take a Prophet or a sign from God on that one… You know what you are thinking about that you probably shouldn’t.)  Well sin lies out there just waiting for a crack to open at the doorway and Booya!!!  You’ve sinned and in some cases like Cain might lose it all.    

Now let’s stop and think for a minute.  Since this whole episode with Cain and Abel happened, Jesus came on the scene and we now have a new covenant.   If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord, he has already redeemed us from the curse of the Law and paid for our sins. Today, we do not have to worry about God not loving us or banishing us if we do wrong.   What we do have to think about is this…

I think the 1965 Bible in Basic English Version of this next scripture said it best.

James 3:16 For where envy is, and the desire to get the better of others, there is no order, but every sort of evil-doing.

That’s what happened to Cain, like the word said and God warned him.  Every sort of evil-doing crept up and took control of Cain and he chose to kill his brother Abel instead of following God’s suggestion to try and do a better job of following Him. 

Probably the thoughts that were giving Cain the most trouble were associated with envy and we see where he failed in taking those thoughts captive and he was banished instead.

What about you?  What thoughts are giving you the most trouble?  What do you find yourself thinking about too much?  If anyone else knew what you were thinking about, how would it make them feel?  Do you find yourself being drawn to certain thoughts?  What triggers those thoughts? Do you secretly enjoy daydreaming about things others would find appalling?  If so….. Now is the time to start taking those thoughts under control.  The Devil is always waiting for an opportunity or “door” to get through to destroy individuals, relationships, marriages, families, Churches, Ministries, and anything else.  He’s not picky he just likes to destroy things.   

Ok I hear you out there moaning  …”OK already you’ve made your point. Now what do I do about it?”

One of my favorite fathers of faith is Jesse Duplantis.   I like how he puts it.  “Admit it, Quit it, and Forget it.” Now depending on your situation you may not want to admit what you were thinking about to anyone but God.  Use wisdom.  If Eve would have kept her mouth shut and not mentioned to Adam what she was thinking… we literally would be living in a different world.    

Use the following scripture to help you defeat the thoughts that are preventing fellowship with God, leading you to sin, or both. 

Php 4:4 Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here.  Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.  Finally, my friends keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

 In a nutshell, rejoice because the Lord has delivered you.  Don’t worry about not thinking about something.  Instead pray about what to think on that is good and have God show you what the original problem was that made you start having stinking thinking.  Then trust God to give you peace.  Finally, keep your mind on good things, don’t let your mind wander and if certain television shows, movies, songs, video games, books, websites, or magazines are hindering your progress.  Don’t watch, listen, play, or look at them.    

We may not have the same devastating effects that Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel had from not being able to take thoughts captive.   However, some thoughts do lead to some sins and those sins can change our whole world.   Just like Adam’s family, what they had was gone and they were never able to recover what they had lost.   Abel was gone, Cain was banished and…well you know the rest of the story. 

Get rid of your stinkin’ thinkin’ and let Philippines 4:4-8 be your guide. Choose to think on good things this year…God Bless.

 

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2014©AccessN2Grace

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Abusive churches: When it’s time to move on.

Mat 10:14  “If someone won’t welcome you or listen to your message, leave their home or town. And shake the dust from your feet at them.” CEV.

Some versions of this scripture say receive you instead of Welcome.    It’s pretty easy to tell when you are not welcome nor received.    Don’t think of it as rejection think of it as redirection.   Move on to where God is moving you. Don’t pitch your tent when the Cloud or Fire of God are moving.    Don’t waste time in the desert, keep on following God and he will lead you to your promised land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting your day started right…Boot Camp day 1

Still having challenges knowing how to get your day started??   The one thing I also like to do in August is get back to the basics of FLYing.

It goes hand in hand with Boot Camp.  By the end of Boot Camp and getting back to the babysteps of Flying  a brand new person emerges ready to take on the challenges of Fall.

Check out flylady.net    I once prayed to God….   “God I need help!!!!  How in the world am I ever going to do anything for you? Help me take care of my home and take care of myself.”  Somebody posted on a yahoo group something about a Flylady the next day.

I googled it and have been a flybaby since 2006.   It works.  You will not believe how much time you will have to study the word and be available to minister to friends and family.

Oh one more thing…. You’ll get your weekends back.   All you need to do on Saturday and Sunday is spend time with your family having fun.   Sundays be prepared to minister or be a student of the Word and really enjoy time resting and renewing yourself.

No need to do any preparation. Click the Getting Started tab on the Flylady home page.

Use the link here to find Joyce Meyer Boot Camp Season 3

For the next 31 days  enjoy renewing your spirit, soul and body by getting back to the basics with Boot Camp, and  watch your home day by day practically clean itself taking one BabyStep at a time with Flylady.

31 days from now you are going to either be 31 days older stuck in the same old rut or a brand new you.  It’s up to you.  Choose Life!

Oh start day 1 whenever you find this.   Doesn’t have to be on a Monday or Sunday and then follow one Boot Camp Video and one BabyStep daily for 31 days.    Take it slow and just watch how taking one step at a time can make a lasting change.

Day 1  “Getting your Day started right”  pt 1 Boot Camp Video &  BabyStep 1 Shine your sink with Flylady.

Is Sickness your Friend? Improving communication skills.

“You know I just don’t feel like it today.  Maybe some other time.”   How many times have we heard people say that?  Sometimes it may be true but how many of us have said that and were not thinking?   Few hours later hmmmm…I don’t feel very good.

How many times have you used sickness to bail you out of a situation?  In that instant. Sickness became your Best Friend.  I know it is a difficult thing to just be honest and say…”You know…I’m just not interested in going to that.  We can find something else to do later but I want you to go ahead and enjoy that activity with someone else who likes to go shopping at 4:00 am.   Have fun… let me know all about it.”

“You know I just bought a fresh steak and I just want to stay home cook a great meal and read a book tonight.”   Yes I have literally said that… and you know my friends survived a night without me.  They know I’m a great cook so they understood although they were disappointed.

Just being honest with people will set the stage for being a healthier person.  When we lie to people it has a tendency to cause stress in our own body.  The truth will set you free and in this case keep you free from making yourself sick.

Need to improve your communication skills.  Dr. Gary Chapman (Five Love Languages…etc) Website is a great place to start for learning the art of communication for any relationship.

Let’s keep ourselves healthy by NOT using sickness as an excuse when we would be better off communicating honestly with people.

AN2G