Friday, February 26, 2016

When Disappointment Stings Your Heart

Do you ever struggle with disappointment or a feeling of not wanting to do something or waking up in a bad mood? How is it one can wake in a foul mood when he/she has been resting and dreaming the past hours? I don’t know, but I manage to do it. Anyway. And what causes disappointment, exactly? Is it my expectation I have placed on something? If so, that would not really be fair to the person, place, or thing on which I have placed my assumptions…right?

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16. ESV.)

I always have to remind myself of two things, #1 Jesus understands my struggles, He came here in the flesh and experienced it for Himself…temptation, sadness, pain…all of it. #2 There is nothing happening now that has not taken place before. As God’s word says,
9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after. (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11. ESV.)

God knows my heart. He knows everyone’s heart. There are many times I wish I could see a person’s “heart”. Especially, to be sure whether or not someone is lying to me. Have you ever experienced that? To have a person looking you in the eye and pleading with you that they are telling you the truth only to find out later it was all a lie? It’s frustrating, huh?

But, Jesus went through this stuff, Himself. He had someone He loved dearly betray Him…though it was no surprise to Him, with Jesus being able to see hearts and all. He knew what Judas was up to…choosing money over their relationship. Jesus felt disappointment, I believe. How many times did he express it to his disciples? One example springs to mind when Jesus is praying and tells His disciples to pray and finds them sleeping instead.
37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” (Matthew 26:37-46. ESV.)
Maybe He is disappointed here? And He certainly felt sorrow, not only here but also when His friend Lazarus died.

Anyway, I should not feel bothered. But, when and if I do, I am in excellent company. Thank you, Lord.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11-12. ESV.)

(Photo information: public domain.)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mind Your Own Affairs

Here I sit, desiring to be in God’s word, when I still have a ton of reading to finish for my university classes. But then I ask myself, “Which is more important?” God’s word, of course!

11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. ESV.)

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out. (Proverbs 17:14. ESV.)

It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling. (Proverbs 20:3. ESV.)

Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. (2 Thessalonians 3:12. ESV.)

For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. (2 Thessalonians 3:11. ESV.)

But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. (1 Peter 4:15. ESV.)

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. (Romans 13:13. ESV.)

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. (Colossians 4:5. ESV.)

When you look back on your life, are there ever any moments when you wonder, “Why did I do that?” Or, “Why did I do things that way, then?” Maybe you see an old picture and think, “Why does my hair look like that?!” Or perhaps when you watch old home movies you cringe at the clothes your children had to wear or how unkept they seem…though healthy looking and happy. Perchance you were not present for a very special event in the life of a loved one. Do you ever ponder, “What was I thinking?”

I feel the same can be said when we look on the life of another. It is so easy to wonder, “Why is he/she doing that like THAT?” The answer in both circumstances is the same: there were/are contributing factors that cannot be seen. When gazing at the past, those “factors” are forgotten. When looking on others, it is of no one’s business than those involved.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10. ESV.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Whatever was Written in Former Days was Written for Our Instruction

My mind is screaming at me that I should be doing my school work, right now. I have a lot of reading to finish before my next quiz or test. But for the past few weeks the Holy Spirit has been whispering that I need to spend more time with God. Which is very true, of course. I, undoubtedly, do bible study with my kiddos every morning before they go off to school --- which we have been doing since they were very young and I was homeschooling them. Always bible study first. I want them to be accustomed to putting on the whole armor of God first thing each day! --- but MY time with God has been wanting. I have been filling my days with school work, reading, studying, books, discussing books with others, etc. that I have been neglecting the time, with God, I need to stay focused on Him. Yes, I pray, every day! But, I still need to keep the main thing, the main thing…you know?

This semester I am studying sociology, again, and the diversity of marriage and families in America. About a month ago I came across the following quote,
Marriage is about knowing God, worshiping God, depending on God, displaying god, being made like God. (Segal, Marshall. “Five Pieces of Outdated Dating Advice”. 16 January 2016. Desiring God Ministries. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/five-pieces-of-out-dated-dating-advice.
And, I really need to remind myself of that regularly! It is so easy for me to get all wrapped up and tangled in the day to day marriage stuff that I forget to step back, be still, take a deep breath, and look at the bigger picture.

My diversity of marriage and families in America class has been very inspiring and helpful in some ways. It has hammered home pieces of scripture for me and has assisted me in understanding why…just “why”. As a parent, one of my favorite responses to my children is, “Because I said so!” God’s word is, most definitely, complete and sufficient on its own! Without doubt! Yet, there are times when God shows me things in the most unlikely of places. I took this class to benefit me when I work with children in dependency court, who have been removed from their family of no fault of their own. Or perhaps protective services is involved and trying to keep the child safe though the young one may not have been removed. These are the families I will be working with in a few years, again, and I want to be well educated when the time comes.

What I did not expect was to have God point out, “This is why.” I’m not saying my class goes hand and hand with God’s word…it is a secular course. However, the important stuff rises to the top. It actually makes certain things in God’s word clearer for me. And now I can focus on those with my children so hopefully they will discern situations better and wait on God instead of try to manage and sort everything out themselves. I hope that makes sense without going into too much detail.

4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4. ESV.)

(Photo info.)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hello, My Name is... Blog Hop/ Comment Day

Here we are once again...blog hop time!!! (Loud cheering).

Side Note: If any of these do not open in your current browser (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) please try opening it in a different one. Thanks!

Also, if you are not sure what to do: 1. Visit some blogs. 2. Leave a comment. 3. And, leave a comment on this post. Peace out, word to your mother!

1. The Writing Life
2. Scribbles from Emily
3. Lucy Mills: On Faith, Writing, and Life
4. My Incredible Lord
5. Sweet Jeanette
6. Wholistic Woman
7. The Skinny on Staci

If any of the blogs listed do not have a comments section, please feel free to "share" them instead!

(Photo Information.)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Why Did You Doubt?

As I sat reading a bedtime story to my children tonight, about Jesus walking on the sea, it suddenly occurred to me that earlier today I had fallen into the same doubt as that of Peter in Matthew 14:22-33.

22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
(ESV.)

Many times I have read this story over the years and each time judged Peter for not trusting in Christ, but now here I am a hypocrite! I have failed to trust in Christ, too. I can recall numerous times when I have reached out, cried, and said, “Please help me. Save me, Lord!” All the while Christ was standing right there looking at me as if I had gone mad, probably thinking to himself, “What little faith you have!”

I stand before people and claim to have given all to Christ, but have I really? When a little incident is able to shake me to the core, is that really having complete faith in the Lord and in my Father? How am I supposed to set a good example for others when I stumble so easily?

Psalms 46:10 (NKJV) tells us,
Be still, and know that I am God…
How often does that seem easier said than done, yet that is what we are called to do? Has there been doubt in your mind this week, perhaps when faced by tribulation? Do you generally stand firm in Christ or lose your footing in the face of what seems to be defeat and/or disappointment? Are you in the word everyday? That is where we need to be when we are shaken so Jesus does not look to us and say, “Why did you doubt?”

1 Timothy 6:12 says,
12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Will you be able to say as the apostle Paul did,
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV.)?

(Photo information: Bing Images)

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

More Random iPod Playlist

It is time once again for "Random iPod Playlist"! I'm going to hit shuffle and see which songs come up. Here we go!

1. Rockin' Robin by Bobby Day


2. Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson


3. Rudie Can't Fail by The Clash


4. Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye


5. Another One Bites The Dust by Queen


6. Istanbul by They Might Be Giants


7. Wild Wild West by The Escape Club


8. Send Me An Angel by Real Life


9. Fix My Eyes by For King And Country


10. Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5

Monday, February 08, 2016

Book Review: SNAKES


SNAKES
by Rachel Firth & Jonathan Sheikh-Miller
Designed by Cristina Adami, Nickey Butler, & Neil Francis
Illustrated by John Woodcock
Consultants: Chris Mattison & Kevin Buley
Published by Usborne Publishing


From the bright pattern of colors of the Milk snake, to copy those of the Coral snake (p. 23), to the trickery of the Grass snake "playing dead" (p. 25), this book is chock-full of intriguing information for the snake enthusiast or one simply looking to write a paper on the subject!

Usborne Discovery takes us into the desert, prairie, rain forest, burrows, sea, and along the banks of rivers and lakes to get a sneak peak of these creatures in their natural habitats. From their movements to eating habits, we get an up close and personal view thanks to the writers, artists, and photographers!

The photos and drawings vibrantly illustrate the text in a clean, non-cluttered layout. Fun facts also pepper the book with interesting trivia! For example, did you know: "The New York Zoological Society has offered a cash reward for anyone finding a reticulated python over 9.14m (30ft) long. So far, no one has claimed the reward." (p. 30). Further, an internet URL directs readers who would like to do further research, view more photos or watch videos, etc. to the Usborne quick links site where they will find website links on the topic.

Test your snake knowledge! Where are snakes most commonly found? Are snakes dangerous? What does it mean when a snake has cloudy eyes? Do all snakes look and behave the same? What is the largest type of snake? How are some cobras able to "spit" venom?

Don't forget to check out the "snake facts" in the back of the book, near the glossary! Happy reading!

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