Friday, November 7, 2014

Study—A discipline/RJD November 2014

Journal entry April 14, 1997

Today’s scripture reading, Philippians 4:8-9, causes me to stop and think.

“Whatever is true:” I shared some information ‘as I saw it’ yesterday evening about two different situations that I was aware of. One concerned an elderly lady who kept violating confidences and reacting to her surroundings. The other lady only came to God on her terms and as long as it didn’t hurt her to worship God, if she felt she had to change then she {stayed away and} came back in times of crisis and only on her terms (looking at the problem, not to God.)

Were these things actually true?

Whatever is noble:” I looked up a scripture for a close friend; I gave her an interpretation that helped me understand the fact of our being commanded to love one another. She thanked me for the note.

Did God think these thoughts noble?

“Whatever is right:” As a Christian, I want to do the right thing and I want the right words to come out of my mouth. I also want to see the right thing come to pass for those whom I pray for as well as my family.

I don’t know if I always follow through, only God knows.

“Whatever is pure” I know God is the only Pure One. I strive to be pure in thought, word, and action. I know that God will forgive me when I fail.
   Have I failed God on this point?

“Whatever is lovely:” I strive to be kind, gentle, patient, loving, friendly, and joyful.

               Does God see my strivings and does He approve?

“Whatever is admirable:” Admiration is not something that is negative. Envy and coveting are negative. Admirable thoughts and words are uplifting and they stay with us and always make us feel better.

“–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–:” These qualities have to come from God. He is the One who deems us worthy of praise.
               Have I done my duty as a Christian to merit these descriptive words?

“think on these things:” We have to have our hearts in tune with God before we can get our thoughts together on these qualities of heart.

               I wrote this seventeen years ago. I still believe I have to ask these questions as I go through the process of trying to grow in the LORD.

               As a part of my striving to grow in the LORD, I am spending part of this weekend at a                simulcast of a retreat for women.

               Sometimes, we find ourselves ‘stalled out,’ not growing, with everything feeling stale. Nothing seems right. We can’t get interested in things going on around us. It is then we need to take the time to go to the LORD and ask Him to help us through these ‘down’ times.

llinking to:/enthusiasticallydawn

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Eucharisteo: Christian Community

As I sit here on a drizzly November day, what does God want me to write about? Thus far this year, He has given me 895 gifts and blessings that I know of. I recently joined the church I have attended since its creation in 2006. We attended one of the forerunner churches for almost four and a half years before the merger of two existing congregations.
            I have been impressed with the way Christians accept others into their fold. I recently saw this at a writing conference. Everyone was there for the same purpose—to learn how to better present God through their writing. The people were warm and hospitable. The faculty was outstanding. Even one of the speakers, with whom I didn’t see eye to eye, had some good points for us.
            On Tuesday mornings, a group of us meet for prayer. One of the women still has both parents living. This daughter faces one of her parents having his health fail. When I was at that writing conference, I attended a workshop, given by a man who happened to write a book about his experience of watching and caring for his mother as she went through the dementia process. I purchased that book, thinking I could read it myself and then donate it to the church library. I found myself telling this dear sweet Christian daughter that I would let her have it first.
            When someone has a need and the community knows about it, people pray, for however long it takes, for that person or family to get through the need. When someone has praise, we all rejoice with them. One particular Sunday, we heard two women give testimony that someone in their families was cancer free. Another one said she experienced freedom for the first time in a long time.
            I participate in the church’s visitation ministry. Today, we saw five people, one nursing home patients, three retirement home residents, and one Alzheimer’s home resident. All but one of these is in their nineties. My visitation partner and I try to go every other week. I enjoy hearing them talk about their families, stories of their youth. One gentleman writes about his past memories, a history of his family, and about the paw-paw fruit.

            God was good to me when he led me to our church. He always has something special for me each week. He calms me as I worship Him and makes my journey smoother as I follow Him. For this, I am thankful.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Eucharisteo: Jesus Saved Me

(Eucharisteo comes from the Greek. It means "He gives praise.") 
As we enter the season of Thanksgiving, we spend time reflecting on what God has done in our lives, what he has given us, and we express our gratitude. Where would I be if Jesus hadn’t saved me? All I know is I would not be where I am nor who I am today.

Jesus spoke to an insecure teenager and said, “I can take care of those worries and fears you have.” But she really didn’t understand.

The LORD spoke to a young newly-wed wife and said, “Come back and learn of me.” She followed His leading. He spoke to a new mother and said, “Give your child to me. I will help you two take care of him.”

He spoke to a tired, depressed, and confused thirty-something woman and said, “You need to come away from there and get your life and your family in order.” Christ spoke to a worn-out, still depressed wife and mother and said, through His Word, “Choose life; let me handle that circumstance with him.” She learned that there was a side of life that wasn’t so dark. She still had worries but they became different.

The Lord spoke to a fifty-something woman. “This is how I want you to serve me.” He reminds her of this when He needs to.
God told a frustrated mother, “I am your God. I will take care of you.” She had to hear this one several times, as her family went through several difficult times.

Along the way this woman developed compassion for others, re-learned how to laugh, how to be a friend to those around her. Jesus has also taught her that, while she may experience ‘bumps in the road,’ He would always be with her.

I am that woman whom the Lord has spoken to and guided all these years. This is my testimony of His faithfulness. While I didn’t always hear Him audibly make these statements to me, He led me to see what I needed to do and where I needed to go in my life.

Dear Lord Jesus: I know You did this out of your grace for me. All I can say is “thank you” for all you have done for me. I praise Your name. Amen 

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...