Tag: wisdom

Weeds? in December??

Probably not growing in your yard right now…but how about in your relationships?

christmas-gd3db77893_640As the holidays are upon us, many people are reminded that all may not be well on their lawn of life. And as we plan to gather, some family or social interactions may be less than ideal.

Weeds of bitterness, jealousy, shame, anger and fear can ruin your enjoyment of relationships and get a stranglehold on your sense of peace and joy during the holiday season.

pulling-weeds-samanthasThey can show up as ugly, undesirable feelings, cross, unkind words or unloving attitudes. But you can tackle and remove them!  Just like in your garden, you just need to

Prepare the ground and Prepare yourself.

1 – Prepare the ground

blur-1867402_640Spend time in prayer asking God to go before you and to be at work in the situation causing you pain. He may choose to change the circumstances, but He may also choose to change something in you. Be willing to accept what God tells you is needed. Ask Him to work in the circumstances and in the lives of any people involved.

If you need to go to someone and talk to them, ask God to safeguard the time set aside for the meeting and prepare their hearts to help you remove the weed between you. Also ask God to send the Holy Spirit to be in control of the interaction and guide both your words and the other person’s responses.

2 – Prepare yourself

Go forward in the full armor and protection of God. To be cleansed by His perfect forgiveness, confess any sin in your life. Be especially specific involving the “weed” situation you are working on. Ask for and accept His forgiveness, cleansing you from your sin and removing guilt and shame.

armor-of-godNext prayerfully ask God to give you His perspective on the problem. He may want to teach you something through this difficulty. Ask for His will to be done in the situation. Ask God for wisdom to show you how to get a grip on and remove the root of the issue. Pray on every piece of the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-18 to protect you from anything during any interaction with the other person, and anything that might keep the “weed” alive in your life to defeat you.

You may discover that the biggest, meanest looking weeds give way easily when God has prepared both you and the ground.

Don’t be afraid to tackle the weeds! Keep pulling on them and working the ground till they give way and are gone! In this way, you can be victorious and enjoy the holidays with healthy, positive relationships growing unencumbered in your new, weed-free life!

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God is with us!

I believe you and I are in a new season. And I don’t mean Fall.

Our lives have been so radically changed over the past 2 years that we are finding ourselves in situations we don’t have any reference for, or know how to cope with.  We’re anxious to get on with all the things we’ve put on hold…

The leaves are turning colors and falling off the trees so it seems things should be changing. And yes, we may have added pumpkin spice to our hot drinks, but we’ve been enduring the new “normal” and so many things have stood still, like travel and social plans, while our bodies have continued to age! Wrinkles, aches and pains!  We’ve gotten older, but are we wiser for the time we’ve circled the sun twice?

Covid has had an impact on our jobs, schools, travel, finances, and personal relationships. Some of us have lost loved ones and are dealing with grief, financial strains, or new health challenges. We don’t have solutions to these problems yet … we can’t see an end in sight.

And quite honestly, may not even know how to pray.

But here’s the constant: God

God IS with us, wherever we go. Joshua 1:9

AND He will provide all that we really NEED – spiritual gifts, support, encouragement, direction – if we can remember to look for it.

2 things may confuse us though:

1 – it will be what we NEED, not necessarily what we want.

2 – it will look different than how He’s provided in the past because we are in a different place now.

I’ve been singing the words to a worship song by Jenn Johnson and Ian McIntosh  lately…

winner-4912049_640God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed

give me vision, to see things like You do

God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from,

give me wisdom, You know just what to do…

Click HERE to sing along

My prayer for you:

May you sense God’s presence that He has promised, in real and tangible ways.

May God give you vision and wisdom to deal with your life and circumstances.

May you see with clarity all that God brings to you – even if it looks different than you might expect.

And may you accept and act on His direction.  Amen

Geese: Silly or Smart? Part 2

Still seeing and hearing the geese around – even in this below-freezing weather!

Here’s 3 more lessons to add to the last post about what I’ve learned from these silly/smart birds:

canada-goose-3190675_640#3   Communicate with those around you

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other.

Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions.

I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

wild-geese-1148985_640#4   Circle before you land

Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

goose take off#5   Travel light

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially over long distances. So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward? We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high. Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, and whatever else entangles you.

Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

canada-geese-826022_640We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world.

But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created.

Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.  And be a little Silly…or Smart!

Geese: Silly or Smart? Part 1

Here in Colorado we get a huge influx of Canadian Geese this time of year.  They have migrated south for the winter from Canada.  And will be here till spring when they make their return flight.

Pomona GeeseGoose interaction with people usually leaves something to be desired. But observing the geese relating to each other and watching their behavior together can teach some valuable lessons to Christians.

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#1     Travel in a group
Not only is there safety in numbers, but the principle of flying in a V shape in the wake of the bird ahead has been proven to save a lot of energy. This allows the group to go much farther than the individuals could travel on their own.

When we pray together, encourage one another, mentor each other and work together, we can accomplish so much more than we can being loners. The Christian lifestyle is hard enough in our world today. With all the pressures and temptations, we need one another to stay on track and accountable.

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# 2     Take turns leading.
Because the lead goose literally pulls more weight than the others by being the first to break the air resistance, it tires out more quickly. So as they travel, the lead position is rotated.

The lead goose drops back to the end of the V and another in the line takes the lead.

Because of the energy conserving benefit to the other geese in the V, this allows the group to go farther, faster than they could go alone.

We tend to go till we drop, burn the candle at both ends, wearing ourselves out. Especially in positions of leadership, share the responsibilities. Sure there are some things we need to do ourselves, but knowing when to simply say “no” or delegate is great wisdom.

To maintain this balance in your life, learn that there are seasons for the flow of activity. Balance refueling with expending energy to stay effective. And training up others to take our place should be part of our plan. Even if we continue in a ministry, sharing the load teaches and enriches others.

goose-1391251_640More lessons next time, but try these in your life and ministry. 

God has placed wisdom all around us, in all shapes and sizes.  We can learn from everything He’s created. 

Try out some wisdom from a “silly goose” and then decide – silly?  Or smart?

Googling God part 3

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I believe God is speaking all the time. Are you willing to listen?

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When you have tuned into God’s frequency, (see last 2 posts) and invited the Holy Spirit to silence other noise and lead you into hearing Him; be prepared to be blown away!

I also believe when He says something, it’s important enough to write down.  First, so you don’t forget it.  Next, to check to be sure what you heard is really from God.

hand-453220_640How can you know if what you hear IS from God or some other voice?

When you believe you have heard from God regarding a situation in your life, or direction you should take, or a decision you have to make, put the answer to these 3 tests:

question-mark-40876__3401 – Does it agree with what God has already said in His Word?

question-mark-40876__3402 – Will it produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life and those around you?

question-mark-40876__3403 – Will it draw you closer to God in your relationship with Him?

 

You are looking for 3 yes answers to confirm what you have heard is from God.

If you hit a no, I would urge you to go back to God and ask again, making sure you have invited the Holy Spirit to guide you into truth.

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Do you know what God already has said on the subject, and does it agree with what you think you are hearing?  God will not contradict Himself.

For instance, if you know that God has said “do not steal” then you can be sure that the voice telling you to steal what you need is not from God.

solution-2480514_640So, look in the Bible.  Again, God will never tell you something contrary to what He has already said in His Word.  You can use a Concordance – a list of words used in the Bible and where they are found.  There’s one in the back of many Bibles, or online.

If you need help, a Christian friend or pastor can help you find scripture dealing with your topic. Be sure you find what the Bible says, not just what you think it says.  For instance, “God helps those who help themselves” is NOT in the Bible.   Neither is “Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

If there is nothing on your topic, or you are unsure, ask God to reveal the truth of your matter to you.

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

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Is the anticipated result in the situation the Fruit of the Spirit?

 

James 3:14-17 tells us the wisdom of the flesh will produce envy, selfish ambition, disorder and every evil practice.  And that the wisdom from heaven is pure, peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit.

Galatians 5:19-23 also outlines what is produced.  The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control.

solution-2480514_640You are looking for how it will affect your situation, the people around you, your relationships. Of course, you can’t predict the future, but you can usually be reasonably sure which way the outcome is leaning.

So, what will be produced by you following what you believe God is telling you to do?

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Will it draw you closer to God asks about the condition of your heart.

 

I believe EVERYTHING we do either benefits your relationship with God, or weakens it.

solution-2480514_640Ask yourself:  Does this benefit my relationship with God?

Will it help me become more like Jesus?

If the answer is No, pray for the strength to say “No” to whatever you have heard.  It is not from God.

Philippians 4:13 God has promised “You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”

If all 3 are “Yes” then commit your way to the Lord and thank Him for direction.

 

YIELD  sheet

Here’s a worksheet to get your thoughts down on paper and see how what you are hearing lines up with scripture, what it will produce, and how it will affect your relationship with God.

 

 

My concern

 

 

What I think God is telling me

 

 

What Scripture says

 

 

What will it produce

 

Will it benefit my walk with God?