Christian

Daily Scripture, 2/24/19

12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

Photo by Ashley Schulze on Unsplash

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Bible, Christian

You Have a Ministry! Do You Know What It Is?

There have been moments when I literally began to panic. Thoughts racing through my mind … God didn’t tell you to write a blog! You shouldn’t be doing this! This is all you!

Have you ever experienced this deceitful kind of attack on your mind? God didn’t send you here! God didn’t say …

Do you remember what the Serpent said to Eve? Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

This is the Deceiver in action: making you question what God has said. It is nothing new.

The devil even tried his tricks on Jesus. But what did Jesus do? He said, “It is written …” (Matthew 4:4)

So the first thing I did was to look in God’s Word to see what He says about ministry.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

 

My Pastor’s job is to prepare ME for ministry. Your Pastor’s job is to prepare YOU for ministry. The entire Body of Christ is being prepared for ministry. We all have a job to do.

“6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8 NIV

Next, I took a spiritual gifts assessment on my church’s website. This confirmed what I already knew. It reinforced my understanding of what God is asking me to do.

Then, I heard the often-quoted verse: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

Do we know what it really means? Or, do we interpret it according to present day psychology?

Psychology says, “Vision goal setting is goal setting with a grand purpose. It begins with a dream based in your passion and inspiration in your work. From the dream comes a clear vision of where you want to be and what you want to do …” Jim Taylor, PhD (Psychology Today)

Is that what God meant in Proverbs 29:18 when He says “Where there is no vision, the people perish …” ? Let’s examine the second part of the verse (that is usually not quoted.

“Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained;
But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God].” Amplified Bible

The Living Bible translation says, Where there is ignorance of God, crime runs wild; but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep his laws.” 

If the “vision” we speak of is the  “…  revelation of God and His word” then maybe our “vision” for the Church should look more like this:

A world where …

  • All Christians show a kind of love that gives them a reputation for kindness and mercy, patience and unselfishness.
  • All Christians ministering in the capacity that God has gifted them, edifying and building each other up, and praying for one another.
  • All Christians showing mercy and compassion toward their fellow man. 
  • All Christians forgiving their enemies, their neighbors, and each other.
  • All Christians sharing the Gospel with a lost world. 
  • All Christians seeking God with all their heart, unconcerned with fitting in with the world.  

Now that’s a vision! What can we do? I can do my part. You can do your part. God has the plan. Our part is obedience and surrender.

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

References

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other” Ephesians 4:32

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

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Bible, Christian, life

The Care Giver

The first 11 days I was running on adrenalin. I arrived in town the night before he came home from a 6-day hospital stay resulting from complications of a severe bout with the flu. Extreme coughing had broken a vertebra in his back and caused a huge hematoma that resulted in a 40% blood loss. All this left him too weak to even stand up. It’s amazing how sick a person can be and still be released from the hospital!

Sleeping on a couch right outside of his bedroom, I heard every cough, every stir, every sound he made. I feared that we could lose him. He was very, very ill. For almost 2 weeks, a heightened seriousness griped my mind that I could not allay. I could not quell the adrenalin rush. I was afraid. 

I have always had my dad on a pedestal, the man in a suit who always knew what to do, the smartest man in the world. It was a new experience for me to see him in so much pain, vulnerable, and needing 24/7 care. 

It’s been an honor to be caregiver to my 83 year-old dad. It’s been a privilege to take care of him. After all, he took care of me my whole life! He has given me some of my best memories … catching my first fish … getting a hole in one … rocking me when I was broken-hearted … and teaching me about life and the things that are important, like honesty, integrity, and truth.

I put myself in his place. How would I feel if I was dealing with these health issues? How would I feel if suddenly I became dependent on another person in order to live in my own home?

What would it be like to depend on another person for everything? (to go to the bathroom, find things I need, prepare my food, make sure I got the correct medication at the right time, get a blanket when I’m cold, get me a drink, or monitor my blood pressure)

Would I be stressed out? Would I feel frustrated? Would I be depressed? How would I feel if I knew my care giver’s life was being disrupted because of my illness? 

Would I be angry because my life had been turned upside down? Would I be grumpy and irritable if I was in pain? How would my health problems affect me emotionally? These are the questions that motivated me to do the best I possibly could – to be loving, kind, and patient.

It’s hard to be those things when you’re sleep-deprived and feeling so much responsibility on your shoulders. Sometimes it was hard to be focused because I was so tired. But I had to get it right. I administered his medication and recorded the times in my computer along with blood pressure readings and notes.

One day ran into another. I just kept going. But after 3 weeks, he was much better and well enough to be alone at night with only wellness checks during the day. I returned home, 450 miles away.

This experience taught me something. The most important thing needed by a caregiver is the empathy that flows from love and respect for the one receiving your care. Caregiving is a gift of love. To me, there is no better reward than knowing I have had the opportunity to give it to someone I love.

With Love, Cindy

This is, My Journey Unscripted.

PS: On January 7, I celebrated Christmas with my 3 adult children, their spouses, and my 3 grandchildren. It was a very special Christmas, indeed. All the decorations were still up, we exchanged presents, and I was deeply moved by the sweetness of all the love shown to me. I am exceedingly thankful for the blessings God has showered upon me. 

Scriptures for Meditation

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

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“Treat men exactly as you would like them to treat you.” Luke 6:31 Phillips

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“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:34-40 NIV

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 “In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:30-37 NIV

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“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8 NIV

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“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

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 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

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Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

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Bible, Christian, women

Why We Must Not Judge Others

Maybe there are Christians that have never stumbled. I just know that I’m not one of them! When I’m judged, I hope that God takes into account the hurts and circumstances that led me down wrong paths. I have plenty of excuses. I could explain it all. I don’t want God or anyone else to expect me to be perfect. But, do I expect others to be perfect? Do I forget to take into account all the hurts and circumstances that may be in their lives? Even worse, do I judge a person based on how they look?

Jesus said, “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged.” Mathew 7:2

I don’t know about you, but I want to be judged with abundant mercy! 

Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Mathew 7:3

“For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 AMPC.

I work in a large and very diverse middle school. I have an opportunity to ‘love and not judge’ everyday. God has reminded me that many of these kids have not had the advantages in life that I have. 

When I get impatient with a student and inwardly roll my eyes in disgust, Jesus speaks to my heart, “And you’re perfect? Do you even know what’s going on in this kid’s life?” Then   I am reminded of things I do know. He could be falling asleep in class because he slept in a car last night, or maybe he doesn’t have a bed of his own, or maybe he was left alone with a crying baby all night while his mother was out.

When a student tells me to shut up, do I get angry and take it personally? God, remind me that maybe this child is never spoken to with respect and love at home. Maybe he is being abused and is lashing out at authority.

Maybe this child is apathetic because he hasn’t eaten since lunch at school yesterday.

Maybe he is apathetic because his mom died this weekend.

Maybe he acts out because his mom never shows up for visitation and he is disappointed over, and over, and over again.

Maybe, maybe, maybe ….

If only we could see God’s plan for those we tend to judge. If only we could see them with God’s eyes of love and mercy. I am not special or better because of what was given to me.  If anything, more is expected from me. More patience, more love, more understanding.

One morning on my way to school, I prayed “Father, I don’t know how to make a difference in the lives of my students, but you do. That very day my principal posted an article, The Judgement Cure. The author said, “You cannot influence anyone as long as you are judging them.”

How’s that for a quick answer? Wow! That was almost a year ago and I’m still trying to learn this lesson. I believe it is the key to influencing others.

Because I have worked in 5 different public schools, I have seen abuse that the average middle class person may never be exposed to. Examples of abuse, neglect and suffering that break my heart. May God soften our hearts and teach us to walk in love.

“if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. … Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”   I Corinthians 13: 2-8

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

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Bible, Christian

Love is Patient

“Love is patient.” I Corinthians 13:4

Slow to anger toward others: this is patience. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is a characteristic of God. The Greek word for patience is makrothumia. It is also translated as patience in 2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord … is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” We are exhorted to “be patient, bearing with one another in love.”Ephesians 4:2

We say we want others to see Jesus in us. When we are patient with others, even when provoked, they will see Jesus. The opportunities will arise when you can show God’s love through patience. When we love, they will see Jesus in us.

Righteous Anger: There may be times when our anger is justified and it is not wrong to be angry. After all, Scripture tells us that God can be angry, yet He does not sin. But what we do in that anger is important. The Scripture says, “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. … Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. “Ephesians 4:26, 27, 29-32

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

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