Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Will they know we are Christians by our love?

There is an old song that goes 
"They'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love." 
Brother or sister in Christ, 
WILL they know we are Christians by our love??

Are you kind to others? 
"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." Romans 2:10 

Are you kind in your actions? In your words? In your tone of voice?  Would your brothers and sisters in Christ say that they know you "prefer" them? - Do your actions show that you have affection for them? That you do indeed prefer them?

 Do you put the needs of others, whether they be physical or emotional, before your own?

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." Philippians 2:3

Would your brothers and sisters in Christ say that you "lift them up"? -esteem them better than you do yourself? Do your actions show that you value others more than you value yourself? Does your tone of voice show a peaceful, loving, humble attitude or does it show strife and vainglory?

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." Luke 6:45
By the standards of this verse, are your actions, words, attitude, or tone, good or evil?

The way we treat others is a direct result of what is in our hearts.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25

Christian, are you walking in the Spirit? Would your sisters and brothers in Christ say, they know you are a Christian by your love??

Note: I do include myself as part of the pronoun "your". This is a post of self examination for myself as well.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Throughout much of the spring and summer of this year, for nearly 8 weeks now, I have been dealing with vertigo, which at times has been debilitating. Many times it has felt as though I lived inside my own little tornado, spinning round and round. It has been a long journey. I am now on the road to healing, still have a bit of a journey to travel but am trusting that soon I will feel like my old self.  (I am so thankful to be able to say that as of this update - August 10- the vertigo has been gone for over 2 weeks! Praise!)

[~~ I would like to preface this post by saying that I know many people deal with much worse conditions than this each and every day. What I experienced can in no way compare to what they endure. However, God is teaching me a lot during this time of illness and I feel compelled to share...]

1. When I think that I "can't take anymore" or that I have fully reached my limit, I can indeed push on.
 For most of the better part of 2 weeks my world swirled around at a fast pace and my ears/face hurt so badly that at times I couldn't help sobbing. Several times I thought, I can not do this anymore... well... I did do it and am now on the other side. ~smile
The really awesome truth is that while I was tired and weak, I didn't have to do it in my own strength.
 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ~Philippians 4:6-14

2. Although I hate to, there are indeed times to say, "I need help" and "I need prayer."
 I, like most people, hate admitting there is a problem. Even writing this post is not easy for me. I hate to be seen as weak or sickly in any way. There were times, though, when I did need help- physically couldn't do what needed to be done and am thankful that others were here to help! I admit to feeling like a bit of a failure for doing so, but if the meal was going to get made, the floors washed, dishes done, etc - someone else had to do it.

At one point I had reached an all-time low and I knew I NEEDED others to pray for me. I sent an email to a friend asking for prayer. Later that night God did a great work in my heart. During this trial I was doing my best to "accept" this as a time of learning from God. However, God made it clear to me that night that He wanted me to REJOICE in it. Yes, that is right. While everything was spinning around so badly that I had all I could do to walk from my couch to the bathroom, while the pain was so bad in my ears/face that I thought my ears would explode... during this He wanted me to live a life of rejoicing in Him. A life of passion, fullness, and richness in Christ my Savoir!
 "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." ~Philippians 4:4

"Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually." ~1 Chronicles 16:9-11

"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." ~Psalm 5:11

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience." ~Romans 5:1-3

3. God is REAL - He is here with me.
What can I say? He has proved Himself time and time again to me. While having an MRI the pain in my head was extreme - I thought it was more than I could bear. As I was about to push the little "get me outta here" bulb, I felt His presence in an incredible way- nearly physically, as if He held me. I can't adequately explain it. God is so good!
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." ~Psalm 46:1

4. Life will go forward and events will happen, even while I'm sick.

During this period of time, my oldest son and daughter in law were married. It was a time I had been looking forward to and praying about for years...yet I don't remember a time that I ever felt so sick. It was really hard for me not to help out more than I did, not to walk around and chat with people at the reception...  God blessed wonderfully though, He allowed me to light the candle during the ceremony without even a wobble and I would hazard a guess that the average person attending probably had no idea what was going on with me (I hope!).Yes, He is an awesome God!

The wedding went off without a hitch and was truly beautiful...

What JOY...
I have another daughter-in-love!!!

5. I can sit/lay on my couch for the better part of 2 weeks and I will not die of boredom...

Hours and hours of sitting and spinning around, not able to read, hardly able to think. I enjoy spending my days working in the garden, taking walks in the woods, reading, writing, visiting others, keeping busy... to sit like that and not even be able to read.....So thankful that is past. ~smile.
All I was able to do was call out to Him in prayer much of the time. I called upon Him and He heard me- I knew I was not alone. At times I would get discouraged (yes, very discouraged more than once) and doubt my ability to go on but I never doubted His presence (although, a couple of times I did ask "Why?").
 In this time as well, He taught me that when I have a limited window of time to read, the only thing truly worth reading is the Word of God. When I could only read in snippets, nothing else would do.

 I learned much, much more as well, but I won't bore you with all that. ~smile
 Instead I'll leave you with the one most important point God has made clear to me:

Each day contains a blessing... 

each day IS a blessing...

live it with passion .... 

for Christ!

Monday, August 6, 2012

All I desire

"Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee."
Psalm 73:25 

I used to read this verse and wonder... is such a thing possible? Is it possible that ALL I would desire is God? Is it possible that I would desire NOTHING other than Him? Can I train my mind to focus 100% on Him, giving up all my earthly desires? Are others able to do this? And if so, will I one day be able to say the same?

A few weeks ago I was studying this passage again and I realized something for the first time. Finally, I understood! All this time I had been missing the point.

The point isn't that I won't ever desire anything other than God, what I needed to realize was


yes, ALL

 that I ever could desire...

ALL that I think I need or want ... 

IS fulfilled 

in HIM

An awesome thought and a wonderful truth! 

I may indeed still struggle with my earthly desires. As much as I would love to be able to say that I will not struggle, I am afraid that I always will in one way or another...



I truly need is provided for in Him. 






      It's all there. 

      Isn't God good?