Monday, January 28, 2013

Half Empty or Half Full?

Most of the time when we hear the phrase half empty or half full, it is in regards to how we are to look at life in a positive manner. It goes right along with being thankful to God for what we have and being content.

The other day it came to me in a new way. For a long time I was taught to look at other Christians as half empty and unexceptable to God. God has, is and will be, teaching me to look at other Christians as half full. If I am to see my own life that way, shouldn't I look at others that way?

No, I don't believe in people or myself claiming religion or belief in God yet living a life without any "fruit" or choosing to live any sloppy way we want and expecting God to just forgive our lousy choices.

Yet for too long I didn't try people's spirits as the Bible tells us to, I just looked at outward appearance and where they went to church and judged them guilty. Thankfully, I haven't been too old for God to teach an old dog new tricks :)

And I have realized that some people are really strong in areas I'm weak. Each one of us has things we've conquered and things we are still working on and things we haven't even started on yet. And we're all working on our individual weak areas and hopefully admiring others strong areas and getting tips from their life on how we can do better.

I love God and the good things He is doing in my life and have faith in Him working behind the scenes on what I'm praying for.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Who Receives God's Message?

Still reading in Luke. This morning beginning of chapter 3.

Luke lists who is ruling in Rome at this time, Caesar....Pilot was the governor...Herod and his brother Philip were tetrarchs (rulers of a portion of the country). This was the government officials.

In the religious realm....high priests were Annas and Caiaphas

Luke didn't say anything about God speaking to any of these government or religious rulers.

The fact is we have to "Know God" and be in touch with Him and listening to Him before He is going to make an effort to talk to us. But I'm getting ahead of myself or ahead of the scripture. :)

Luke then says, after listing the government and religious rulers,........"the word of God came unto John in the wilderness."

Are you or I in a wilderness time of our life? God speaks to us there. Praise God!

Friday, January 25, 2013

How Would Someone Go About Looking For Me or You?

Reading Luke 2 this morning. Pondering some of the scriptures anew instead of just reading through quickly. Jesus was 12 and went to Jerusalem with Mary and Joseph. On the way back they discovered Jesus was not with the crowd. They went back looking for him. When they found Him, Mary said "You worried us. We've been looking for you." He said "How did you go about looking for me. Didn't you know I would be about my Father's business?"

That made me start thinking. If someone were looking for me or you, where would they think to look? Where are we most likely to be found? What are we most likely to be doing?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Looking at How We Handle Inevitable Conflict

Well, my DH was able to go out some on Sunday and we journeyed to Journey church again. The congregation takes several minutes to worship God in songs and then a second message in the series of My Crazy Family Life.

By the way, I understand this congregation offers smaller group studies through the week. That might be good to have more input from group members that share with one another. I have always enjoyed Sunday School classes that were full of participation.

But back to the notes from Sunday:  "Conflict is inevitable but combat is optional." If someone says they have a relationship without conflict they're not being honest. DH and I have been married for almost 40 years, love each other, but are not always in agreement, not always happy. But we talk and pray, forgive and cherish the positive.

A lot of scripture was shared from Proverbs because it gives a lot of advice and wisdom....
Pro 11:29 "He that troubles his house shall inherit the wind....
Pro 13:3 "He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction"
Pro 15:1 "A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger"
Many times its not what we say but HOW we say it. We've got to stop and think before we speak.  I know for me, when I'm real tired or not feeling well, my tone of voice can come out wrong when I don't mean for it to...or sometimes I give in to grouchiness at these times.
Pro 18:19"A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city and their contentions are like the bars of a castle"
Pro 19:11 "The discretion of a man defers his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."
Overlook minor offences. Sometimes offences are not worth pointing out and getting upset about. We can handle some minor offences and enjoy peace. Everyone, including ourselves, are not always going to have the same opinion. Or we can stop and realize, hey that person is having a bad day and we should lay aside our anger and not make a big deal over a minor offense.
Pro 26:21..."A contentious man kindles strife" Are we one that likes to argue and keep things stirred up all the time?
A couple of funny stories were also shared. 1.The speakers wife was known to talk in her sleep. One night husband woke up to see wife staring at him and then she said to him "You just shut your mouth"....oh my, what a contentious phrase! The next day husband was angry and wife said what's wrong? He said "You ask me what's wrong after what you said?" Wife still clueless.. he tells her she told him to shut his mouth which causes her to laugh...that doesn't make husband feel any better. Then she said she didn't remember that at all...she was talking in her sleep with her eyes wide open. They both had a good laugh! 2. True story speaker heard about revenge: Wife getting ready for an important interview, dressing in her best dress. She asks husband to zip her up, which he does, but he plays with the zipper, up and down, till it accidentally breaks. Wife has to change clothes, is steaming about the broken zipper all day. When she comes home her husband is laying under the car fixing it. For revenge she zips his zipper up and down and then goes in the house. She sees her husband standing in the kitchen. She says "What are you doing in here? You were just out under the car!" No he says, that's our neighbor under there fixing the car. Point is don't try to get revenge, it can get you into all kinds of trouble.
Psalm 32:1 "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."
Summing it up:  There is going to be conflict in our life. But how do we handle it?  And as we learned last week, every conflict is not going to immediately be gone, but we need to keep trying and hoping and turning it over to God to work where we are unable to.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

"My Crazy Family Life"

Journey is the name of a church in Morganton and I visited there today. I saw that they were starting study series on family relationships. The message was very encouraging: titled "My Crazy Family Life". Several thoughts caught my attention. Scripture was from Jeremiah 29:11 specfically, but generally the whole chapter.

Everyone wants to appear so normal and "fine" as the speaker said. When really, there are hurts and problems going on in life. He said people always answer the question "How are you?" with "I'm fine".  He heard that fine means:
F   freaked out
I    insecure
N   neurotic
E   emotional

High points of the lesson:
1.  There is hope...for each situation...don't give in to statements or thoughts of hopelessness.
2.  "For I Know"  God knows everything that's going on...He knows
3.  He does have plans for us.
4.  He wants peace and well being in our lives... not misfortune
5.  Go after God for you and your family. Stop acting like everything is ok when you need to seek God with all your heart for your family.
6. When we are seeking God with all our heart He promises that He will respond.
7. Failure is not final.
The Israelites were in exile. No, this lesson does not mean that the family problems will go away next week or next may go on for some time.

I hope to hear the rest of the series. Thankful for a planned series built on helping with specific needs.  Thank you Lord for your guidance today.