Category: Scripture

You CAN Survive! And have God’s Peace

I was reading a short article from DaySpring today titled 6 Ways to Find God’s Peace in Difficult Situations. (link at the bottom) Along with myself, so many of my friends and loved ones are living with some kind of difficult situation right now…How about you?

pexels-inzmam-khan-1134204Is there some physical illness or condition you are living with? 

lady-g97a8d38b3_640Has there been emotional turmoil in thinking about your present situation? Your future?

Do you have any relationship issues with a friend, family member, or someone you work or minister with?

Have you been in a spiritual desert?

As I read, I had a bit of a different take, but found some very encouraging take-aways:

1 – Define PEACE – What does peace mean to you? I define it as Possessing Equilibrium Amid Chaotic Events. Not just the absence of war or stress. But feeling a balance in my spirit even when all else around me is in turmoil, whether in circumstances, in relationships, or just in my spirit.

2 – TRUTH – Remember that God is with you!  And has a good plan for you!  Don’t go to the “worst case scenario” or entertain your fears. See the truth of the situation before you, asking God for His perspective if you can’t see it yourself.

3 – SURRENDER CONTROL to GOD – Stop thinking there is something you can or should do to be in control. Even if you think you see something to do, and do it…your sense of control is not real. God is in control. Let Him do the driving!

4 – Read, Recite, Recall SCRIPTURE – Maybe even keep a list or journal of scriptures that become meaningful to you on your journey through marriage, parenting, grand-parenting, caring for others, or dealing with difficulties.

5 – Worship with MUSIC – Listen to it, sing it, recite the words, write it – let the music lift your heart and refocus it on God.

6 – CREATION  – Take walks or just sit somewhere you can see or feel and experience God’s Creation. Delight yourself that He created all this to be the perfect world for you! And again, let it refocus your heart on God, your Creator.

bible-ga71615e85_640Philippians 4: 6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I am so relieved to KNOW that I CAN SURVIVE my circumstances – and so can you!  WE ARE ABLE to have God’s peace in the midst of it all – any and every uncomfortable, humbling, frustrating, disappointing, demanding pressure! Knowing He will show me how to balance my life in His truth when I surrender it to Him. That when I turn to scripture, worship, music and His creation instead of worry and trying to control, He will bless me and lead me.

But it is incumbent on me to listen and follow.

So I offer you a challenge:

people-2604834_640Sit with God for 5 minutes each day this week. Read aloud the Philippians 4:6-7 scripture above – or from your favorite translation.

Tell God about the situation or difficulty and surrender your anxiousness to God. 

underground-885206_640 (2)Pray, asking, requesting that He act on your behalf. Surrender whatever control you think you have, placing the outcome of the situation or difficulty in His strong and capable hands.

Thank Him for listening to you. For taking your anxiousness away. And for acting on your behalf. 

clef-593912_1920And then take another 10 minutes and choose worship music or His creation to refocus your heart on God.

clouds-872143_1920If you can – take a walk or sit outside or inside and look at, take in His creation. Or instead, sing or play, listen to or write a brand new melody to worship the Lord!

 

jaque-handsraisedI am praying that God will speak clearly to you. That this week you will sense God’s presence with you in real and tangible ways. That you will see that God has already prepared you to meet whatever challenge you are facing.  That you will receive that peace that God offers when you focus on Him. And that you will be empowered by a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. God bless you!

Link to Dayspring article 

Scripture Advice from a Guitar

guitar-gc472442ca_640We all play guitars at my house. I learned unofficially by watching other people from about the time I was 10 and went to Girl Scout camp. We sang around the campfire with a guitar to guide us.

As a teenager in the late 60s it was the coolest instrument to play. I had taken years of piano lessons and my parents didn’t understand my wanting to switch. So I stayed with piano but taught myself a little guitar. You can play a LOT of songs with just 3 chords!

guitar-gf156b3194_640It was still cool in college and I really admired those who could play well enough for us to sing along with.

Even though all 3 of my sons play really well and have written their own songs, I don’t pick it up too often. But I can say I’ve learned a lot from guitars.

Here’s my:

 Advice from a guitar with scripture accompaniment

guitar-g29e665e21_640Don’t fret the small stuff

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

Don’t be high strung

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Luke 12:25

guitarplayKeep a song in your heart

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Don’t string people along

All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37

musician-g4a3eeb929_640Play well with others

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

Pick your friends carefully

Do not be misled: “bad company corrupts good character.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

music-g6bb34219c_640Keep on strumming!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord! Psalm 100:1  ESV

Bottom line…Sing and make music to the Lord.

Do it today!

Songs in the Night

Where is God my maker, who gives songs in the night (Job 35:10)

moon starsHave you ever been in the dark? Literally? Figuratively?

Not a fun place to be. I believe God created us to want the light, to seek the light. So even in the night time, He gave us the moon and stars to light our way. Even a little bit of light draws our attention and dispels darkness.

jesus-g46521aded_640I believe that He IS the Light that can guide us in the “dark” times of our lives. Those times of  disappointment, doubt, and discouragement, we don’t need to despair because God is with us and can teach us lessons in the dark. Even give us a song!

In the 1800s, William Taylor was a missionary for decades, traveling around the world; preaching and writing books. In a letter to a suffering friend he wrote: “The strength of the vessel can be demonstrated only by the hurricane, and the power of the Gospel can be fully shown only when the Christian is subjected to some fiery trial. If God would make manifest the fact that ‘He giveth songs in the night’ He must first make it night.”

guy guitarI have been in such fiery trials that I consider dark times. It’s easy to sit down and have a pity party. But when I have turned my attention to the Lord, He has responded by giving me songs. And hope.

I pray that whatever darkness you’re facing, you will call out to God and receive His comfort. That you will recall His faithfulness to you in the past. And be encouraged that He has a plan and purpose for you.

guy listening

May your eyes be open to His Light.

And your ears be attuned to the sweet song He sings to you.

Here is a song He gave to me at one of those times:

clef-g79de2a29a_640He Gives Strength

All was dark and dreary I could not see the light

            Sadness all around me, nothin’ was goin’ right

I picked up a Bible and tried to hold it near

            There I found a message I really needed to hear

Chorus

He gives strength to the weary and increases their power

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

He gives strength to the weary

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

I began to take those words He said to me to heart

Started feeling hope from God, He had done His part

I thought what I’d been feeling was hidden from the Lord

            But He knows every part of me and I have His Word, that

Chorus

He gives strength to the weary and increases their power

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

He gives strength to the weary

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

The Bible has a promise for those who hope in the Lord:

            He will renew your strength and help you learn to soar

You will soar like eagles and run but not grow tired

That is God’s own promise, He will lift you higher

Chorus

He gives strength to the weary and increases their power

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

He gives strength to the weary

He says “Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

“Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed!”

Isaiah 40:29-31; 41:10

©1989 Laura Fail Shaffer

How do you Shine?

Philippians 2:15 Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 

jesus-and-worldGod made the universe and He made you. He made different kinds of heavenly bodies. He made the earth. The earth is a planet and it does not shine. It can be seen in space because of the light that shines on it.

He made the moon. It is a satellite, and it does not shine. It can be seen because of the light it reflects.

moon starsHe made the stars. Stars shine.

They have the ability to be seen because of what God put inside them. That which is in them allows them to shine. It’s the same with you! What God has put in you allows you to shine.

How do you shine?

We can look at each letter in the word SHINE.

box-159630_640S stands for Spiritual gifts. If you are a Christian God has given you at least one spiritual gift. These gifts are given to individuals in the body of Christ for the purpose of edifying the body. The more you use your gift the more it will be developed and when you use your gifts you will feel like you were meant for that purpose. It’s very fulfilling as opposed to doing things that just drain you and you feel like you’re not good at.

You can google spiritual gifts and find a Christian website that will help you discover what your gift is and then ask God to show you how you can use that gift in a local body of believers – a church.

cardiac-gc09e0931a_640H stands for your Heart. Each one of us is created differently. And we each have specific interests that we are passionate about, that our heart beats faster when we think about or talk about them.

Can you think of one or two things that you’re passionate about – that you have a “heart” for? Something you would stay up late to talk to someone else about? Or get up early for? It doesn’t have to be a spiritual thing it could be an activity or cause. Write down things that come to mind and seek ways to connect with other people with similar hearts.

sunset-2535751_640I is for your Inner self, your personality, how you’re wired. You probably have a good idea about your personality, it helps you understand how you best relate to others. You don’t want to force yourself to be an extrovert and entertain a large group of people if God created you as an introvert and you relate best to one or two at a time.

Have confidence in the strengths God has given you in your personality and use them. Be willing to stretch yourself but don’t feel like you have to become a different person. God made you the way He did for a reason. And He is pleased with how He made you.

to-learn-g3a51bf6d4_640N – and this is a stretch, but bear with me here – stands for your KNowledge. Is there something you have been schooled or trained to know how to do? Is there something you’ve researched, or learned about growing up? Maybe you have skills or abilities that you never had to work at to learn. Or maybe you took lessons – Cooking? An Instrument? Voice?

Identify some of your abilities and skills and look for an opportunity to share with others who may want or need this information or skill.

E stands for Experience. Sometimes positive and sometimes negative experiences will connect us to other people. Something you’ve been through will help you identify with the needs of someone else because you can relate to what they’re going through. Much better than someone who has not experienced it.

star-gdc410a202_640God made you to shine in a specific way

like no one else on earth.

No one else can be you.

Don’t try and be someone else.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Accept yourself as the star that God created you to be

and SHINE !

Do you want to bless and be blessed?

I believe we all want to be blessed.

detective-1424831__340But I don’t know that we really understand what that word means?

Merriam-Webster says it means having a sacred nature, holy, or connected with God. Or very welcome or pleasant.

A Greek word I learned for blessed is “makarios” translated as being supremely fortunate. I remember it because it reminds me of that happy dance that became a craze in the 90s – the macarena.

macarenaBut that too has a connotation of just being happy. And like the difference between happiness and joy – with the one being dependent on your circumstances, and the other being an inner emotion based on something deeper and more meaningful, I think “blessed” means more than just happy.

Several places in the Bible tell us about those who are blessed, or how to be blessed. I want to start off the year focusing on being blessed and blessing others. I’m asking God to help me be attentive to how I can bless those He brings across my path, and to be sure I’m doing what I should to be blessed by Him.

praying-hands-on-bibleYou are invited to pray Psalm 1 with me to step into His blessing as well. Based on Psalm 1:1 from The Voice translation and the Amplified Bible:

Heavenly Father, do not let me follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes, who plan harm to others or act with evil intent. Regardless of what the culture tells me or encourages me to do or think, I want to seek Your wisdom for my life, my actions, my decisions.

Don’t let me hang out at places where people mock You, are judgmental, rude, or sarcastic, belittling others. Guard my speech so I don’t join in with them or even enjoy their company.

And keep me from taking the easy way that temptation and sin offer so I can grow the way You intended…with all I need to be fruitful and hardy, regardless of the circumstances I face.

Thank You for Your blessing on me and on my life. Help me see when You are helping me and blessing me. And show me how to share that blessing with others. Amen

So I may not feel like dancing all the time, but I do want to be blessed. And learn more about being intentional and consistent in blessing others.

SPRINKLE_Prayer-Blessing_COV_RB_10-21-2021 (1)Check out my book, it’s a 40 Day Prayer Guide  – Praying a Blessing for Others: Powerful day-by-day prayers inviting God to forever change a life

In 1 minute a day, you can bless others with the written prayers, or pray them for yourself.

Psalm 1:1-3 The Voice; Psalm 1:1-3 Amplified Bible

Macarena photo by the Australian Paralympic Committee