Christian, women

Friday’s Verse, 9/24/21

“Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

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

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian, women

A Shepherd’s Perspective on Psalm 23

“I have concluded based on my years of experience that sheep are stupid. Not just stupid but mind-numbingly stupid— sometimes I wonder how they manage to breath and eat.” Glenn Brunkow, Rancher¹

Somehow, that quote from Brunkow gives me comfort. God wants to lead us, feed us, and guide us. Our responsibility is to just obey.

*********

I’m re-reading a fascinating book by Phillip Keller called A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.² Keller was a shepherd for years and explains many things about sheep that most people don’t know.The book is eye-opening and provides a deeper understanding of our relationship with the Lord, the Great Shepherd.

I memorized Psalm 23 as a young child and received a glow-in-the-dark cross for a reward. I can still recite it after all these years! I am thankful for my Sunday School teachers who required it and my grandmother who helped me learn it. I consider it a great blessing in my life. (If you haven’t memorized it, I highly recommend that you do!)

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23 KJV

The shepherd watches over his sheep day and night. They cannot take care of themselves, and they get into all kinds of trouble. They will drink polluted water, wander off and be attacked by a wild animals, get stuck in the same fence repeatedly, etc.

” … he who watches over you will not slumber” Psalm 121:3 NIV

Sheep are fearful, timid, and skittish. A rabbit hopping by suddenly can send them into a panic. But they calm down when the shepherd walks into view, and they are comforted. So many times in my life, when I was in a panic, the Lord has comforted me and calmed my fears. That’s when I wonder how people who don’t know Him get through tough times.

We do “not want” because Jesus is always with us, in good times and in bad.  Our joy and peace comes from His presence in our life, not in what we have or the way life goes. We are content to be led by Him, doing His will.

One thing I found interesting is the fact that like humans, some sheep refuse to follow the shepherd and instead do their own thing. (Ouch!) This can result in lots of serious problems for the sheep, problems they would have never experienced – if only they had followed the shepherd. (I could write a book about all the times I did my own thing instead of following the Good Shepherd. It never turned out well!)

Without a shepherd, the sheep blindly follow other sheep. When one walks over a cliff, the others follow right behind him!

Keller tells how he would lead his sheep to a clean, clear stream and a stubborn ewe would go off and drink from a polluted, parasite-infested puddle instead. Isn’t that what some people do? We choose the unclean ways of the world instead of the ways of God.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38 NIV

A good shepherd provides good forage for the sheep, lush green vegetation, so that the sheep can have plenty to eat, grow, and thrive. However, some sheep will wander off and eat from barren, dry brush instead. Many times, we prefer to feed on the barren ground of the world around us instead of the peace and comfort that comes from dwelling in His Word and walking in His steps.

The final parallel I want to share is the most extraordinary. Sheep must have plenty of pure clean water. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to lead them to a lush green field heavy with morning dew.

The sheep can keep fit and hydrated for months just by grazing right before dawn when the field is heavy with dew. The sheep feed heavily and are most content at this time of day. A good shepherd will make sure his sheep have this opportunity to drink in the “still waters” of dew.

“In the Christian life it is of more than passing significance to observe that those who are often the most serene, most confident and able to cope with life’s complexities are those who rise early each day to feed on God’s Word.” (Keller)

These are just a few of the many insights from A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller.

I don’t know about you, but it gives me great comfort to know that I don’t have to be smart to thrive. I need only to follow Jesus, the Great Shepherd. He leads us by His Word.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Isaiah 53:6 NIV

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 NIV

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

¹https://www.agupdate.com/midwestmessenger/opinion/columnists/glenn_brunkow/the-questionable-intelligence-of-sheep/article_69540f07-7577-5559-bfde-a31ea95acc0c.html

²ISBN 0-310-26790-0 available on Amazon

realchristianwomen.blog  

Bible, Christian

Does Complaining Make You Feel Better?

That’s why we complain isn’t it? To feel better. “After all, I’ve got to get this off my chest! I need to vent!”

But does it really make you feel better? I decided to do an experiment. What would happen if, instead of complaining, I thanked God.

Here’s what happened. The more I complained about my situation (to other people), the angrier I got. But when I thanked God for the positives in this situation, the more at peace I became.

What does God’s Word say?

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIV

When we complain, it has a negative effect. It isn’t healthy. A person who doesn’t complain is refreshing to be around. One who is always complaining, not so much. The Israelites complained about everything after God brought them out of Egypt. We think, “How can they complain after God so spectacularly brought them out of slavery?” But are we any different? Hasn’t God brought us out of bondage to sin, and yet we complain about every little thing?

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “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.”

I chuckle every time I read the following passage written by Beth Moore from her book, Breaking Free. She states the exact opposite of Philippians 4:6-7 to drive home a point.

“Do not be calm about anything, but in everything, by dwelling on it constantly and feeling picked on by God, with thoughts like, ‘and this is the thanks I get,’ present your aggravations to everyone you know but Him. And the acid in your stomach, which transcends all milk products, will cause you an ulcer, and the doctor bills will give you a heart attack and you will lose your mind!”

It’s funny because that’s what we do!

Next, I did some research. And there’s plenty of information on it. Consider this article from Penn State University.

“Complaining is also bad for your health. When you complain, your body releases more of the hormone that shifts a human into fight-or-flight mode, the hormone known as cortisol. This directs oxygen, blood, and energy from any system that is not crucial to survival. Frequent complaining results in extra cortisol being released, which puts a person more at risk for high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and strokes.

So what can we do to stop ourselves from complaining? Every time you find yourself making a negative observation, make a positive one instead. It is recommended that a person takes time to think about what they’re grateful for. Doing this can reduce cortisol by 23%, according to research at the University of California, Davis. Decreasing the amount you complain will have an overall more positive impact on your health. So why not start today?”¹

So now science is saying what God said thousands of years ago! I’m convinced. It’s time for me to stop complaining.

With Love, Cindy

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

realchristianwomen.blog  

¹https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/10/21/what-does-complaining-do-to-your-brain/

Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash

Christian

Worry Is Like a Rocking Chair

Corrie Ten Boom was a prisoner and survivor of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. If anyone ever had an excuse to worry, it was her. Corrie, her sister, and their elderly father were whisked from their home and sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, “the deepest hell that man can create”¹ because they were caught hiding Jews during WWII. Following are some quotes on worry from Corrie.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. It does not enable us to escape evil. It makes us unfit to face evil when it comes. It is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.”

“Worry is like a rocking chair; it keeps you busy but does not bring you farther.”

Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, had a profound effect on me as a young adult. Her faith and trust in Jesus Christ will encourage you through any trial you may find yourself in today.

Corrie lived her life, before and after Ravensbruck, serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Philippians 4:6-7 AMP

So many times, people say, “I’m a worrier. I worry about everybody.” It’s as if they think it’s a badge of honor. It’s not! To worry means we are not trusting God. To please God, we must have faith. We must trust Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 NIV

If I have learned anything on my Christian journey of 60+ years, it is this: Seek God with all your heart. Love Him with all your heart. Trust Him with all your heart. Obey His Word with all your heart. If you do that, He will take care of everything else.

With Love, 

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fullsizeoutput_576.jpeg

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

realchristianwomen.blog  

Photo by Cassandra Ortiz on Unsplash

1The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom

Christian

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 3/21/21

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

With Love, Cindy

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

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Bible, Christian

Does Complaining Make You Feel Better?

That’s why we complain isn’t it? To feel better. After all, I’ve got to get this off my chest! I need to vent!”

But does it really make you feel better? I decided to do an experiment. What would happen if, instead of complaining, I thanked God.

Here’s what happened. The more I complained about my situation (to other people), the angrier I got. But when I thanked God for the positives in this situation, the more at peace I became.

What does God’s Word say about it?

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIV

The Amplified Bible makes it crystal clear: ” … in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness], 16 holding out and offering to everyone the word of life.”

God knows that when we complain, it has a negative effect on us. In other words, it isn’t healthy. But more than that, a person who doesn’t complain is refreshing to be around. That person shines like a star in the darkness holding out the word of life.

The Israelites complained about everything after God brought them out of Egypt. We tend to think, “How can they complain after God so spectacularly brought them out of slavery?” But are we any different? Hasn’t God brought us out of bondage to sin, and yet we complain about every little thing?

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “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.”

I chuckle every time I read the following passage written by Beth Moore from her book, Breaking Free. She states the exact opposite of Philippians 4:6-7 to drive home a point.

“Do not be calm about anything, but in everything, by dwelling on it constantly and feeling picked on by God, with thoughts like, ‘and this is the thanks I get,’ present your aggravations to everyone you know but Him. And the acid in your stomach, which transcends all milk products, will cause you an ulcer, and the doctor bills will give you a heart attack and you will lose your mind!”

It’s funny because that’s what we do!

Next, I did some research. And there’s plenty of information on it. Consider this article from Penn State University.

“Complaining is also bad for your health. When you complain, your body releases more of the hormone that shifts a human into fight-or-flight mode, the hormone known as cortisol. This directs oxygen, blood, and energy from any system that is not crucial to survival. Frequent complaining results in extra cortisol being released, which puts a person more at risk for high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and strokes.

So what can we do to stop ourselves from complaining? Every time you find yourself making a negative observation, make a positive one instead. It is recommended that a person takes time to think about what they’re grateful for. Doing this can reduce cortisol by 23%, according to research at the University of California, Davis. Decreasing the amount you complain will have an overall more positive impact on your health. So why not start today?”¹

So now science is saying what God said thousands of years ago! I’m convinced. It’s time for me to stop complaining.

With Love, Cindy

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

realchristianwomen.blog  

¹https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/10/21/what-does-complaining-do-to-your-brain/

Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash

Christian

Tuesday’s Verse, 2/9/21

How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
    “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 NIV

With Love, Cindy

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

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 1/17/21

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT

With Love,

Cindy

My Journey Unscripted

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

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 12/20/20

“In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NIV

With Love,

Cindy

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

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

Photo by Cris Saur on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog