Christian

This Christmas Celebrate God’s Peace

“For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Christmas is the time to celebrate God’s unfailing love. Even if circumstances have left you in deep despair, you can know the love, comfort, and peace that only God provides. If you will turn to the Lord for help, He will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds.

I want to tell you about a family who, in the darkest hours of life, did just that. In 1873, the ocean liner Ville de Havre sailed from New York for Europe. On board was Anna Spafford and her four little girls: Annie 11, Margaret Lee 9, Bessie 5, and Tanetta, age 2. Anna’s husband, Horatio was detained at the last minute, by important business. He promised to join them as soon as possible.

About 2 am the sleeping passengers were awakened by a loud crash. The ocean liner had been hit broadside by another ship. Panicked, the passengers scrambled to the deck. Trying desperately to hold on to the hands of her two youngest children, Anna was separated from Annie and Margaret Lee in the terrified crowd.

Because the lifeboats had been recently painted, they were stuck to the ship and could not be pryed away. With only a few lifeboats most of the passengers drowned in the icy ocean waters. It took less than 12 minutes for the ship to sink.

Anna was found lying unconscious on a floating beam from the ship’s wreckage. Her four little girls were nowhere to be found. Anna alone was rescued.

It was nine days before Anna was able to send a message to her husband back in Chicago. Horatio left immediately to go to his grieving wife.

On his journey, the ship captain showed Horatio the place where the ocean liner went down. As he stood on the deck, looking out at the deep waters, Horatio reached out to the Lord for comfort.  He penned these words, still sung today, as he passed over his children’s watery grave.1

VERSE 1
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

CHORUS
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

VERSE 2
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And has shed His own blood for my soul

VERSE 3
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul

VERSE 4
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

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. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Fumiaki Hayashi on Unsplash

1https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/americancolony/amcolony-family.html

2https://www.pbs.org/video/it-well-my-soul-8dzfrb/

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Christian

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Are you ever too hard on yourself? When confronted with our failures or weaknesses, we can feel like we’re not good enough, not measuring up. I struggle with this sometimes, especially when I have been too harsh with my middle school students. Why can’t I be more patient?

When we’re too hard on ourselves, we get discouraged and feel like giving up. Nothing could make Satan happier! Remember: Satan is “the accuser of the brethren.” and “a liar” (Revelation 12:10, John 8:44) But the promise of God is this:

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV

Sunday in church, I was feeling discouraged. We sang the song His Mercy is More. As we sang, the Holy Spirit comforted my soul like only He can. The lyrics say, “Our sins they are many. His mercy is more.”

I felt the love of God embrace me. God is not a hard taskmaster. He is loving, merciful, and kind. No matter how many times we mess up, He still loves us more than we will ever understand. Let the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, speak to your heart through God’s Word.

“Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

His mercy and love are greater than all our failures, mess-ups, and shortcomings.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

The Apostle Paul wrote, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power …… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV   

“Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.” Psalm 86:5 NIV

This is our God. If you need His encouragement today, I urge you to listen to and sing, this beautiful song. I pray that it will comfort you as much as it comforted me. God’s love is reaching out to us every day.

Lord, may we have a deeper revelation of your love.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Friday’s Verse, 7/10/20

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:18-19 NLT

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Daily Scripture

DAILY SCRIPTURE, 7/24/19

“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them,” Nehemiah 9:17 NIV

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Alexandra Kirr on Unsplash

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Daily Scripture

DAILY SCRIPTURE, 7/23/19

The LORD your God is with you,
    he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
   he will quiet you with his love,
    he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

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Christian

Are Some People Really Toxic?

According to Psychology Today, the way to deal with a difficult, aka “toxic” person, is to “limit your time with this person or end the relationship—and don’t look back.”

Is there someone in your life that you would like to be done with, and then never look back? You can find justification for this attitude in pop psychology, but not in the Bible.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28 NIV

I have a student like that right now.  You might say he really knows how to push my buttons! It’s like he wants me to dislike him. After repeated insults, disrespect, and defiance, I said to him, “I’m done with you!”

The Lord has not let me forget it! He says, “That’s not an option.” He reminds me that it’s a good thing He didn’t feel that way about me when I was (let’s just say) sowing my oats. No, God never left me when I left Him. He still loved me when I was rebellious and sinful. And He was faithful to bring me back to Him, even though I did nothing to deserve His great love, mercy, and forgiveness.

This is why I love Jesus. He loves me unconditionally! Isn’t that what we all need? – what the whole world needs – TO BE LOVED?

I believe God puts certain people in our path for a reason. There may be someone in our life that is difficult to love. It might not be forever, but while they’re around, we must show them God’s love.

Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them ….. Love your enemies ….. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-36

If God puts an “unlovable” person in our path, we’ll know it. He’ll make sure of that. We may think we aren’t strong enough to love that person, but we can count on the Lord to give us the grace we need. He said,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you want to become a Christian? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

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Christian

Quieting Our Minds to Listen

In a busy, loud, and stressful world, where we live by notes and to-do lists, phone messages and electronic calendars, and where racing thoughts are accepted as normal, God wants us to stop and take time to listen to His voice.

For me, that has meant quieting my mind, and that’s not easy to do. I am learning to do this by observing nature (especially birds) and listening to the sounds from my porch (pictured above).

God is teaching me to listen to Him. He is doing this by taking me outside to watch the display of His creation. He is speaking to me there as I focus on the wonder of what I see.

It was hard at first because, you know, I had so much to do. But it is getting easier as I realize the rewards.

Something special happened this morning. The Purple Martins darted about excitedly, swooping and turning on a dime. I wrote a thank-you for the “bird show” in my prayer notebook.

I got up and moved the small bird bath I had set out. The birds refuse to drink out of it, so sometimes I move it, hoping they will accept it in a different location. But after two years, I haven’t seen a bird drink out of it one time.

At my previous home I had so many birds drinking from my bird bath that I didn’t even need to put out seed. I considered praying for the birds to drink from the little bird bath here. I picked by my prayer notebook to write this down,  but I didn’t. I thought, “This isn’t important enough to write in my prayer notebook.”

A few minutes later, a tiny wren flew to the bird bath and drank! I couldn’t believe it! God spoke to my heart, “Even when you don’t ask, I know what you desire.”

Am I special to God? Yes! Are you special to God? Yes, you are! He will speak to us if we will listen.

It will still be difficult for me to take time out of my morning to sit and listen, but God has shown me that He will meet me there. In fact, I’m already looking forward to what I will see and hear as fall and winter approaches!

I’m not going to lie. When school starts back on August 6, it will be much harder to start the day like this. I’ll let you know how it goes.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

“You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;” 
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.

Psalm 139:1-4

How have you learned to hear God? Have you found it difficult, like I have, to stop and be still? Any suggestions? Please share. I would love to hear from you.

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Illegal Immigrants: What To Do

I used to be a “News Junkie”. I kept my TV on cable news for hours each day – Not any more!

Every news channel spins the news to fit their agenda. Information is “leaked” to make political opponents look bad. Neither side tells the whole story. So I quit watching.

I can’t fix politics, but this I know: There is a world of hurting people out there. They are our neighbors whether they are citizens or not. There is one thing I can do, something that will actually make a difference. I can love.

We have endless opportunities to show God’s love right where we live and work. Where there is opportunity, I have a responsibility to demonstrate the love of Christ.

Paul said, “Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious]. Let your speech at all times be gracious and pleasant, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how to answer each one [who questions you].” Colossians 4:5-6 AMP

As I meditated on this verse today, I thought about salt and what it does. Salt makes things taste good. It also makes us thirsty.

How I interact with those around me makes a difference. Am I salty or bland? Do I make people thirst for more or do I make them wish I would shut up? (Ouch!) If I’m preachy or judgmental, well that’s not good. Somebody pass the salt! If I’m loving and kind, it might just make somebody thirst for more.

Scripture References:

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 (Read Luke 10:25-37 for the whole conversation.)

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog

Photo by Siddhant Soni on Unsplash