Tag: 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!

What a season!

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What a season we are in! And I don’t mean winter.

question-mark-5470199_640human-5480043_640We are in a season of media frenzy and we have been for some time. Stories pop up on my phone constantly, and call for me to read them. Many inflame and upset my heart and my mind and bring confusion to my thoughts. So many issues seem unjust, unfair, just plain wrong. And they offer no solution.

My solution, is to be still to listen for God’s voice. I take a walk and lift my eyes to the mountains or to the sky. I watch the clouds, or the pine trees bending in the gentle wind. I watch the geese wintering here from Canada.

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I sit quietly and read scripture. Some I read out loud, looking for the truth of who I am, created by God; and who He is and His love for me and every individual He created in the world. And I let the truth wash over me.

praying-5406270_640From within the truth I look out onto the world with compassion and I pray for it: its leaders, its people, the issues that so perplex and confuse us because of the false news and misinformation being propagated.

I pray for the hearts of men and women and children to be turned to the Lord. And for God to speak to those in power who control governments, the media, the militaries, the corporations, the churches, synagogues and mosques, and the field of entertainment – and for those people to listen.

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For me, it has become a season of prayer.  And of listening more intently for God’s Voice.  He does speak.

And especially now, I’m listening.

Fall – a time for Reflection

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

For several years I met with like-minded friends and we studied Torah.  As Christians we hungered to understand the Bible more deeply, especially gaining insight into the Old Testament from a Hebrew frame of reference.

Open_Torah_scrollWe began to read and study the Jewish weekly sections of scripture known as parshas.  Just as some Christians have discovered the One Year Bible where in daily scripture readings you read the entire Bible in a year, practicing Jews read the Torah in one year in weekly scripture readings.

We also found several teachers on line who contributed to our enlightenment as we dove into looking up Hebrew words and cultural references. One particular teacher who calls himself The Rabbi’s Son prepares 5 lessons plus an introduction to each week’s parsha.  His lessons became the framework for many of our weekly discussion sessions. 

In addition, my Precept Ministry Bible Studies had taken me through a deeper understanding of the Feasts of Israel.

Today ends the 10 days of the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah – the New Year.  Rosh means head and hashana means year.  Instead of large parties and staying up till midnight, for practicing Jews it is a time of deep reflection.

shofar-5170508_640

It begins with a trumpet sounding, a blast from the shofar to call us to examine our lives and see if there are broken relationships which need to be mended.  It also calls us to recognize and repent of any sin in our lives so we are right with God, to prepare for the 10th day, Yom Kippur.

In Hebrew yom means day and kippur means to cover or hide, to atone.  In English it is the Day of Atonement.  This is a most holy day in Judaism and Israel.  All business close.  It’s the one day when the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle and then later, the Temple in Jerusalem to make the offering to atone for the sin of the nation and all Israelites. 

All their sin is forgiven and they start the new year with a clean slate.

For Christians and Messianic Jews, who are Jews who believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, there is a prophetic meaning in each of the Feasts or Holy Days.  The Feasts held in the Spring, we believe, have already been fulfilled by Jesus coming to earth.  He was the Passover Lamb sacrificed on the cross for the sin of the world.  He was the First Fruit, the first to be resurrected to eternal life. 

shofar-4518107_640The trumpet blown on Rosh Hashana is considered to be the “Last Trumpet.” Historically trumpets or blasts from the shofar, were used to announce that the people were to assemble into the presence of the Lord, or to sound the alarm for war or judgement.  In the New Testament, it is said Jesus will return with a trumpet blast to call believers to Himself and the earth will be gathered for judgement day. 

2020 has been quite a year.  Are you ready for a new start?  A clean slate?

Any time is a good time to come before the Lord in a time of reflection.  Ask Him to search you and know you and show you any sin that needs to be recognized, and ask for forgiveness.  For a guide in this area, click on my blog on confession called When Hearing is Blocked.

pomegranate-4611435_640During this time we eat apples and honey to signify our desire for a sweet new year.  We eat pomegranates as a way to say “may my good deeds multiply like the seeds of a pomegranate.” And round breads denoting the circular cycle of the year.

And speak a blessing: “May your name be inscribed and sealed in the Book of Life for a good New Year.”

I also pray, Father, help us make time to be silent to hear Your voice.  Let us hear with open ears and open spirits all You would say to us about this past year.  As we confess any sin You bring to mind, forgive us and turn out hearts back to You.

Father, educate and direct us in this new year.  Empower and enable us to act on all You show us to do or be.  Where we are weak, make us strong.  Where we are fearful, lead us to act boldly in faith.  Cover us with Your protection and let us walk in the truth of Your entire Word, empowered by the Holy Spirit.  Amen

I highly recommend www.precep.org for Bible study and www.biblicallifestylecenter.org/the-rabbis-son to study Torah

 

The Battle of Jericho

Is there a blessing you believe God wants to give you: one that you cannot achieve or get on your own? A “Jericho”?

Joshua_Jericho_1024

Though Joshua was unable to get it for himself, God delivered the blessing of the city of Jericho into Joshua’s hand when he was obedient to do what God asked him to do. Your obedience to God could bring the wall down so you too can “go up and take possession” of your blessing!

praying-hands-on-bible

At a prayer retreat I was directed to Joshua 6:1-20 for a quiet time of meditating on God’s Word. The directions were to read it through one time to understand the events and people, and then a second time to ask for God’s personal message.

As I read about the events of the conquest of Jericho, I believe the Lord was also speaking to me about my own life. Telling me there are things in my life that He wants to give me, blessings He wants me to have, that I have not been able to take possession of.

These are “Jerichos” in my life. And God was telling me He was ready to break down the walls keeping me from these blessings, if I would be obedient.

ring-179693_1920Think about your own life. Is there something God wants you to have, a blessing that you can’t make happen on your own? Is God wanting to bless your marriage and make it all it could be, all that He meant marriage to be? Is something standing in the way of the happiness and unity God wants to give you; something that you can’t remove on your own?

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Is there a child who has wandered away from God, and try as you might, there is a wall that stops your words and actions from getting through to them? Is there a broken relationship that God wants to mend and bless, but something stands in the way of reconciliation?

Is there a job, a goal, a ministry, something you feel God has shown you and is calling you to be a part of, but you have no idea how to make it happen? And there are obstacles that seem insurmountable in the way?

Kneeling-in-awe

 

Maybe there is something you have been praying for, and you believe God is saying “Yes,” but you don’t have the knowledge or skills yet.  And you can’t imagine how it will actually happen.

There are many ways God desires to bless our lives that come with challenges or obstacles that we are not capable of removing in our own strength. This is when we’re to call out to God, our Father, who can and will act on our behalf. He can and will move heaven and earth, for nothing is too difficult for Him.

So I ask again:  Do you have a Jericho?

*Read Joshua 6:1-20 twice. The first time, get a clear picture in your mind of what is happening in the passage. Before reading it a second time, ask God to speak to you, to teach you, to show you what He has for you in this passage. Is there a Jericho, a blessing, a gift He wants you to have? How do you need to be obedient, trusting Him to bring the obstacle down? Are you prepared to go straight up and take hold of it?

*If there is something He shows you, ask where you should walk. What can you walk around that is the equivalent of taking the ground that He is giving you? For me it was a nearby lake.  It might be a neighborhood, a house, a school.

*Make a decision to be obedient, and begin walking! Don’t put it off for long.

*While you walk in silence, pray. Ask God to speak to you during your walk. This is a time for communing with God, for listening, not just talking.

*Write down whatever He tells you. What God says is important. You don’t want to forget it.

*On the seventh day, it’s not about speed or personal accomplishment. It’s about spending time with God, and rejoicing in His power and His blessing. Revel in that when you give a shout!

*The wall has come down! Ask God how to go up and take your blessing. Follow through on what He has told you. Rejoice in your victory!

In the next post I will share about my Jericho walk and what I learned.