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, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

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

realchristianwomen.blog 

Photo by Ashley Jurius on Unsplash

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, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

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

realchristianwomen.blog 

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?

realchristianwomen.blog 

 

 

 

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, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

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

realchristianwomen.blog

Photo by Siddhant Soni on Unsplash

Christian

How To Have a Powerful Ministry (No Matter Where It Is)

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” – Corrie Ten Boom

Imagine Jesus going with you out the door every morning. Wherever you’re off to, it’s a place God wants to spread His Love. We never know what opportunity may come our way. Where are you sharing God’s love? in a church? a school? an office? among the poor? the homeless? a foreign country? a prison? This is your ministry, your opportunity to show God’s love.

The most far-reaching component of our ministry, by far, is spending time in God’s Word. Not only will the Holy Spirit give understanding about what we are reading, He will bring it to our remembrance when we need it later.

Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it is a good thing for you that I should go away. For if I did not go away, the divine helper would not come to you. But if I go, then I will send him to you.” John 16:7 Phillips

That is a remarkable statement Jesus made! How could it be better if he went away? It is because when Jesus walked this Earth in bodily form he was only available when he was physically with them; but now the Holy Spirit is always with the believer and ready to guide us. Today, the believer can truly walk with Jesus and He is always present with us through the Holy Spirit.
This message is simple, but not effortless, and it is essential to effective ministry. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you today.
Scripture References

In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 AMP

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26 NASB

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

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

realchristianwomen.blog 

1st Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Christian

How to Pray Effectively For an Unbeliever … When You Don’t Know What to Say

Whether I feel defeated or victorious, strong or weak, praying God’s Word is always effective. I wrote the following prayer so that I could remember to acknowledge God’s promises when I pray, regardless of how I feel.

Lord, I pray that you will send your workers into ______’s life to plant the seed and water it, for You, O Lord, will make it grow.

I pray that You will open _____’s heart to pay attention to what is said. Take out his heart of stone and give him a tender heart toward You. Lord, make your light shine in his heart that he may know Christ.

I pray You will grant him repentance and lead him to a knowledge of the truth. I pray he will come to his senses and escape from the trap of the devil.

I pray You will rip away the bondage that holds him away from You.

I know You are not slow in keeping your promise, but you are patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Father, help _____ see his need for a Savior and to know he must confess his sins, repent, believe, and live a fruitful life. Help him choose Your mercy and Your gift of grace, to believe with his heart and confess with his mouth, Jesus is Lord.

Heal his heart and heal his mind, O God. for You heal the broken-hearted. You bring rest to the weary.

I pray you will guide me and use me to show the love of Jesus to _____. Give me opportunities to be Jesus to _____. Help me to be loving, kind, and forgiving, showing compassion and patience.

Help me to be persistent in prayer daily and to never give up or become discouraged. Help me to pray with faith and trust, knowing you hear my prayers.

I pray Your will be done in _____’s life, just as it is in heaven. I pray that You will be glorified through his salvation.

I pray with confidence, knowing that Your Word says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Keep teaching me how to pray and make my ears attentive to your voice.

And I pray that _____ 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—that he may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Taken from Ephesians 3:20-21)

I ask these things in Jesus’ precious name. Amen

***************

Are you praying for someone who is openly rejecting Jesus as Savior?

With little observable evidence that my prayers have been effective, I will pray in faith. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrew 11:1

Even though it has been almost 3 years, I know God is working.   If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7 (He doesn’t say when.)

I pray God’s Word because the Word of God “is living and active and full of power. “ Hebrew 4:12 AMP

God’s says, “(My Word) will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

And so, I wrote this prayer based on my faith in God’s Word. While still seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I will pray it everyday for someone I love. You can pray it, too.

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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Scripture References

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-6

” … in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:25-26

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19)

 “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:14).

“… the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”                       2 Corinthians 4:4 

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”                 2 Corinthians 4:6

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”     2 Peter 3:9

“Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).