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Posts Tagged ‘Attitude’

Even before I got pregnant I knew that we have a lot to be grateful for, but since getting pregnant I am just so much more aware of all the things I’m grateful for, and I’m not lying to you, but my prayer life has changed to mostly praising God and thanking Him for all the blessings we receive from Him.

Every single day I thank God for our pregnancy and our baby. I cannot tell you how much I love being pregnant, and to feel our little boy kick, how much I love him already and how much I’m looking forward to meeting him. Last week at the water birth class there was one lady that said she absolutely hates being pregnant and she is so glad it’s almost over. I can honestly say that I don’t have that problem at all; as a matter of fact it is difficult for me to understand it, because it’s been such a wonderful time for me. I am so grateful that I’m not in her shoes…

Yes, I’ve had most of the symptoms and sometimes I didn’t feel well, or sometimes I have pain, but it doesn’t affect my joy. I still remember the constant nausea and fatigue of the first trimester, and I remember I wasn’t able to do much during that time, but I would willingly do it again and again, just for the joy of being pregnant. I know I’m going to miss being pregnant once our baby is born, but we will definitely try again!

I am also so grateful for the wonderful husband that I have. He is so attentive, and loving and interested in what’s going on in my body and with our baby, and he just loves to have his hands on my baby bump to feel our darling little boy move and kick.

I just know he will be an awesome, wonderful dad. A lot of the time I think he will be a better dad than I could even dream to be a mom. He just loves our nieces and nephews and he takes time to play with them every time we see them, and they absolutely adore him! I just cannot imagine how he will be with our boy – if he is so good with children that isn’t his, how wouldn’t he be with his own! I know he will not be a distant dad, or someone who’s job is more important than his kids, or more interested in his social life than his kids, I know he will make our little one the most important part of his life.

Then most importantly I am so grateful to God, for being there and helping me, guiding me, comforting me and blessing us so richly! We have had some really incredibly difficult years behind us and only when I turned to God, did it feel like I was able to cope, to overcome, to get hope and finally to have our dreams realized. And even now He is still there giving me strength, health and joy, even though we are still going through a difficult time.

The other day I realized that this has been the best and simultaneously the worst year ever. The best because I got pregnant with a healthy baby and we will give birth to him, but the worst because I had to lose my mom. But thanks to our Almighty Lord He is giving me strength and He is helping me to not just concentrate on the sadness, but still experience and enjoy all the wonderful stages of this pregnancy.

I am also incredibly grateful of how much I’ve grown spiritually, and that my idea, or concept of being a child of God, a Christian has changed. I see God so very different than even a year ago, I know Him so much better – I know He loves me unconditionally, that even if I disappoint Him, His love for me won’t change, and that He doesn’t want to punish me for every wrong thing I do – it’s not necessary anymore because the punishment has already been borne by Jesus. I have no more guilt and condemnation hanging over me, making me feel less of a Christian, or a bad person, because I’ve been made righteous by Jesus, and yes, I know I don’t deserve it, but it’s already been done, so I can just as well accept it! God wants me to receive it! And the same goes for everything else that’s been covered by the atonement. Like health and healing, deliverance from evil and prosperity.

The way I feel from day to day has changed – from being sad, and feeling lonely and that nobody understand my pain, to being happy, and joyous and expecting just good things to happen from now on. I cannot tell you what a burden has been lifted from me. God has changed me so much and I am so grateful! When I think of all these blessings, I just feel like bursting out in tears of happiness (and I often do)…

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Last week Saturday I went with 3 other people on a street outreach.  What we do is go into the inner city of our town and hand out tracts, Bibles and speak to people in the street and try to help those who need help.

We came across some people who were in terrible circumstances and referred most of them to the shelter in our town that is managed by a group of churches from different denominations.  It is from this same place that we have the feeding scheme, they hand out food packages, there is an overnight shelter for the homeless, facilities to bath and wash your clothes, they hand out clothing and blankets to those who are in need of it, they shelter women and children who need to get away from abusive family members and they have people who draw up resume’s and they try to find work for all the resume’s they have.

I want to talk about the last couple we came across just before we went home.  They were both elderly, but how old exactly is difficult to say because they really looked bad.  Like beggars, or bums, but they were not entirely homeless.  They live in a wooden hut in the back of what was once a normal stand with a house on it, but the house has been converted into a commune and a lot of small rooms have been built on the stand and there must be at least 20-30 people living there, if not more…

I came to them a bit later than the rest of our group as I talked to a young boy of about 8-9 years first, but when I came closer all I could hear was a lot of screaming, shouting and swearing.  All coming from this couple and they were shouting at the other 3 people of our group. 

“I don’t want to hear anything from this God of yours!  I don’t believe in God!  God is not good, how can He be good if He caused the Tsu.nami in Ja.pan!”  They kept shouting things like that, on and on.  Eventually I was able to get a word in edgewise just to say it wasn’t God that caused all these bad things.  That got their attention, when I said it was all caused by the devil, the man started shouting louder again.  They were upset and mad at God for being in their terrible circumstances.  They were blaming everybody they could think of for the situation they were in, God, the president, the government, us, Christians in general, everybody except themselves.

It was obvious that they were drunk.  The man more than the woman, and it was just before noon.  Eventually we were able to talk a bit with the woman, but the man kept on swearing and shouting.  We women just ignored him, and the man in our group said later he was standing there praying silently.  We asked the woman if she knew about the feeding scheme as they said they were hungry.  They did, they were there once, but they are mad because they say one of the men who volunteer there said he would pick them up and bring them every day as they think it’s too far to walk as they both have problems with their feet, but he never came.  I don’t know what the situation was, I know this man, I haven’t spoken to him about it, but I cannot imagine he would promise that as he is not there every day.  He is a business man who volunteers when he has a chance.  The other days of the week he attends to his business. 

After speaking to this woman for a while one of the ladies with us (H), realized she knows this woman.  H has been helping out the people in our inner city for years now and it was her idea to start the shelter, and with the help from some other people and different churches they were able to get it started less than a year ago.  She was involved with other Christian organizations years ago and this woman used to work for one of these organizations that used to hand out food packages to those in need.  She was fired though because she stole the food packages and sold it to buy alcohol.  This woman did not admit this, H told us about it later.  She and H talked about people they used to know and we eventually left promising to bring them food and some shoes.  H took it to them about 30 minutes later.

All afternoon I kept on thinking about these people.  They were in a terrible situation, I agree with that, but they weren’t the worst off I have ever seen.  Both of them receive a small state pension, and they should be able to pay rent for the wooden hut with it and buy some food and clothes at least.  I have seen a single mother with 2 children live in similar circumstances, and the only income she received was the same small state pension, that this couple earns, but because she is one person she gets half of what they do, and with that she had to pay rent, buy food and clothes for 3 people, and pay school fees.

The husband kept shouting at us, “Why don’t you go buy me some bread, I’m hungry!”  He is expecting others to give things to him.  He doesn’t ask, he demands, and I wasn’t with when H took them their food and the shoes, but I wonder if he even said thank you.  They live about 1 kilometre from a place that will give them food and clothes for free, but they do not make use of it, because they refuse to walk there.  I looked at their feet, and to tell the truth I could not see much wrong with them, except for them being dirty… 

They have an income, their rent should be less than half of their income and they should be able to afford food, but they are hungry, and drunk.  The closest shop that sells alcohol is further away than where we hand out food, and I wonder how they get hold of their alcohol.  It seems alcohol takes preference above food and clothes. 

It may sound like I’m being judgemental here, but I’m not – I’m stating what I saw and heard.  My heart aches for these people that they are in this situation, but the thing that is the worst for me is that it is all so unnecessary.  They don’t have to live like that, but to change it they will have to stop blaming everyone else and start to take action and responsibility for themselves.  We can try to help them, but somewhere they must try to help themselves too.

I think it’s because their situation was so bad, and how much their lives that have been messed up, that made me see how we give power to the devil to do bad things to us.  It’s not so easy to see your own mistakes.  It felt like my eyes were suddenly opened and a lot of things that I have learnt just suddenly came together.  I could see clearly how these people’s sins, their attitude, the words they say, their actions, their drinking, their unforgiveness, their fear, strive in their lives, how all of that gave power to the devil and how they allowed the devil to do a lot of bad stuff to them. 

All they think off, is that God is doing it all to them.  They don’t know God and that He loves them, but that is something I have learnt.  God just wants what is good for us; He wants the best for us.  God loves all of us, so much, that He paid the ultimate price, so that we can come to Him.

John 3:16 (NIV):  16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):  11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

They don’t know that God does not punish us, because Jesus took our punishment upon Himself on the cross.  They don’t know that God is not like a human parent – who is fallible.  Humans punish each other, to teach someone a lesson, but God does not work that way.  God does not even allow bad stuff to happen us, we allow it!  That is what they did – by her own actions this woman lost her job, and probably by their own actions of drinking they also can’t get another. 

I wrote a post a while ago about fear and how that give the devil power to do things to you.  But we give the devil power in other ways too, like I mentioned earlier.  God has given us the 10 commandments for our own good, not just because He wanted to impose rules on us.  All of those commandments are there for a good reason.  So the reason God does not want us to sin is because it is bad for us.  Through sin we allow bad things to happen to us.  It not so that God can punish us when we sin.  

Even other things like forgiveness are there for you and not for the other person.  If you have an unforgiving heart you do yourself damage, most of the time the other person doesn’t even know you are mad at them!  Jealousy and envy make you feel bad, it eats into you and can make you a nasty person no-one wants to be around.  It doesn’t do any harm to the one you are jealous about, unless you act upon that jealousy.  But most of us don’t act upon it – we just let it simmer inside us. 

I still haven’t worked out exactly how it works in my own life.  I don’t have all the answers yet, for instance, I still haven’t figured out how I gave the devil the power to kill our babies and cause my miscarriage, like I said it’s not so easy to see your own faults, but I do realize that it must have been my fault.  I know it’s not God’s fault because God wants to bless me and love me.  I have learnt so much about who God is and what He wants for us, that I know it cannot be Him. 

Actually the opposite of what I’ve told you is also true.  If we live obedient lives it cannot go bad with us. 

Colossians 3:12-15 (NIV):  12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.   15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-4 (NIV):  1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.    2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: 3You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.    4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock— the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.”

Psalm 91:9-15 (NIV):  9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.   11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

Isaiah 54:17 (NIV):  17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

Psalm 37:4 (KJV):  4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Now, don’t you rather want what the last 4 scripture’s promises?  I know I do, and now since I’ve seen this situation, it’s much easier to resist temptation.  I just think of the bad things I might be allowing, and the blessings I’ll be losing out on…

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Here is some more on Joy.ce Mey.er’s message:

Colossians 2:15 (Amp):  15[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].”

The cross – to the world – looked like a terrible defeat, but it was the greatest victory this world has ever known.  Jesus carried all of our failure, all of our sin, all of our sickness and disease, all of our misery to that cross and put it to death.

It no longer has any power or authority over us except what we give it.  God gave Adam and Eve authority and they gave it away – you can also give your authority away if you want to, or even worse you can spend your whole life not even knowing that you have any!  That just makes me so mad!  All the people that march off to church every week and go back home no different than they were when they came in.

You’ve got a bumper sticker, you’ve got a crucifix, saying, “Praise God, Hallelujah!”, but you can’t even get along with people, going around hurt and offended all the time, insecure and afraid of everything.  “Life is just too hard!”

Well you know what?  You don’t know – you really don’t know what happened on the cross.  You may believe that Jesus died for you, but you really don’t know what He did for you.  You don’t know the kind of person you are now – you don’t know who you are in Him, and if you did you would stop all that stuff.  There would be no whining, moaning and groaning and complaining and self pity and pathetic attitudes…

How can you feel sorry for yourself?  You are a person that is not going to hell!  I mean come on, get a grip!  Do you have any idea the condition lost people are in? 

Colossians 1:13 (Amp):  13[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,”

The Father has, not would, could, maybe, delivered and drawn us to Himself.  Everybody say, “I’m delivered,” not I’m trying to get delivered, “I am delivered.”  Jesus has the keys of hell and death and guess who He has given them to?  Keys represent authority.

Matthew 16:18-19 (Amp):  18And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros–a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra–a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it].  19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven.”

Do you understand that you are the church – the gates of hell shall not prevail against you if you believe in Jesus Christ.   “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven…”  I like keys!  I’ve got 1 key to our ministry that fits every door – I love that key.  I don’t ever use it but I love having it.   “Whatever,” Whatever includes whatever…

Maybe you have heard a sermon on binding and loosing, but you know I heard a lot of them a long time ago, and I’m telling you I was binding the devil and losing the Holy Spirit, and you know the Holy Spirit was already loose; He didn’t need to be loosed.

The amplified brings out what we have to do is bring heaven into earth.  What heaven would allow, we can allow and whatever heaven would not permit, we should not permit here.  Would heaven permit unforgiveness?  No!  Then guess what – You have the authority over all that anger and bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness.  You have the power to bring heaven on earth.  You have the power to have heaven in your home by operating in these principles that are so beautifully portrayed in the Bible.

The promises of God do come with conditions but God has given us the power to meet those conditions.  You don’t have to get mad at everybody.  You might get mad but you don’t have to stay mad.  Why?  Because you’ve got a spirit of self-control.

You have the power to override your feelings.  You have a will, a free will and the power of the Holy Spirit.  “Well if the devil would just leave me alone!”  He is not going to leave you alone!  How many times do I have to tell you that?  “Well, if I just wasn’t tempted!”  You will be tempted!

The power that we have does not give us a free pass to avoid everything that is difficult.  It gives us the power to head into it, go through it, defeat it, overcome it, and then apply these same victories in other people’s lives. 

Matthew 18 talks again about binding and loosing.  Jesus is having a conversation with Peter and it goes right into talking about, “if any two of you an earth agree…”  There is power in agreement.  “Well, I just can’t get along with my husband.”  Yes, you can.  You might say, “We are not alike.”  Well, Da.ve and I are not alike either.  We are not alike at all.  We don’t think alike on a lot of things, but we have learnt how to.  If we are going to disagree, how to disagree agreeably, and we stopped trying to change each other a long time ago.  It’s amazing how much peace you would have in your home if you would just stop trying to change the person that you are married to and make them be like you.  Da.ve and I get along so good now it’s almost scary, and when I think about all the silly things that I used to get upset over, and I didn’t have to live like that.  I had authority over that.  I had power over that, but I let my feelings rule me.  Is anybody hearing me? 

You can live in agreement and if you will make a decision that you are going to live in agreement, that you are going to find a way to get along, then you will start having some answers to your prayers.  It doesn’t mean you can fight all week and then pray about a miracle you need and then get that miracle.

Then Peter brings up the issue of how many times do I need to forgive my brother – how about 7?  Jesus said, “how about 70 times 7?”  In other words you have the power to just keep on forgiving, keep on loving and keep on loving until the love of God just drowns out all the evil in that other person.

Do you know what the truth of the matter is?  Some of us enjoy being mad.  You know when God told me, “Look, you can be pitiful or powerful, but you can’t be both,” I had a hard time giving up my pity parties because there was a part of me that enjoyed them.

1 John 3:8 (Amp):  8[But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].”

Well, guess what.  We have to continue where Jesus left off.  We have the power to be whatever God asks us to be. 

You know I will not put up with bitterness in me, when I get mad I’m going to get over it, one way or the other.  If I have to get on my face and stay there for an hour; I will come out of that room until God gives me the grace to go out and act like I’m supposed to act. 

But, “I feel, I feel, I feel….”  And, “I think, I think, I think…” and, “I want, I want, I want…”  “I want, I think, I feel…”  That is all the soul.  That’s carnal Christianity.  You have authority to bind on earth what heaven binds and loose on earth what heaven looses.  You can say, “This is not what God would have in heaven, and I’m not going to have it here.

Acts 1:8 (Amp):  “8But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.”

You shall receive power, ability, efficiency and might!  You shall be My witnesses…  Not just do witnessing.  I was on the evangelism team at my church and I went out every week and knocked on doors and told people about Jesus but I did not have the power to go home and act like Jesus.  Doing is not all that difficult – it’s being…  It’s being, because when you are something then you just are that all the time.  God is love, so He doesn’t turn it on and off, that’s just what He is, so whatever you are, that’s what you do.  See, we like to do something to prove that we are something, what God wants us to know is who we are, then we’ll do it just as a result of what we know.  Then the doing just becomes fruit of who you are.

Colossians 3:12 (Amp):  12Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behaviour marked by] tender hearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].”

By putting on behaviour…. Just like you put your clothes on in the morning you can also put on behaviour.  You can put off bad behaviour and you can put on good behaviour.  If you put something on in the morning and you look in the mirror and it doesn’t look good on you, then you’re going to take it off and put on something else…  Well, there are a lot of people wearing behaviours that don’t look good on them as Christians.  They don’t fit, they don’t look right; they’re not attractive at all.  There is nothing attractive about a rude Christian.  You can have your whole car plastered in bumper stickers and your whole Bible can look like a colouring book and there is still nothing attractive about a rude Christian.  “Well I’m just irritated and I had a bad day at work.”  So?  That’s an opportunity for you to shine.

Clothe yourselves by putting on behaviour marked by tender hearted, pity and mercy, kind feeling, a low opinion of yourself, which is humility, it doesn’t mean you think bad of yourself, and patience – uh-oh!  Which is tireless and looooooooong-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper.

I’m asking you to start fighting the good fight of faith and instead of spending all your time trying to resist your problems, why don’t you try resisting acting like the devil while you have those problems?  See I used to think that submit to God resist the devil and he will flee meant that every time something was going on in my life that I didn’t like or didn’t seem to be in line with God’s Word, I needed to rebuke – I rebuke that, I bind that, I’m not going to put up with that…  I finally got this lesson from God.  “It’s not doing you any good to resist the problem, the Bible says that in the world you’re going to have tribulation, what I want you to do is have some of the same problems the world has, but live above them.  I want you to have some of the same situations but respond in a totally different way.  That’s the resurrection life that lifts us out from among the dead even while we’re in the body.  You cannot know what tomorrow brings, and you don’t have to spend today worrying about it.”

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Well, I survived the baby shower and I think without 1 jealous, envious or self pitying thought. But I must add with the help of the Lord. For the last few days I prayed about it constantly, asking God to help me. I knew if it was left up to me alone I would have failed the test again. I hope I passed the test though…

Why am I not sure? Because I didn’t stay all the way through. It started at 12h00 and I made plans for something else from 14h00. I thought almost 2 hours would be enough for a baby shower. Well it turns out the expecting mother’s own mother was late. By the time I left at 13h45, she was not there yet. They were waiting for her and didn’t want to start opening the presents until the other granny was there. So I missed out on that, and I’m not really sorry I did…

It was still not easy though, because there were little toddlers of about 1-2 years old and they were so cute! Also the mommies all loved to chat about pregnancy and having babies, etc, and off course the other pregnant neighbour was there too (her baby shower was last week and I was not invited to that one, so I dodged a bullet there!) Most of the ladies I did know however wanted to chat about other stuff, so I think it went well. There was a lot of joking and laughing going on and I must say I enjoyed it thoroughly! Laughter is definitely the best medicine…

It turned out that because it was this neighbour’s second baby, they decided to make the baby shower a family affair. Children and husbands were also invited and they planned to party until late at night. I think that was also a reason they did not really worry about opening the presents early. I wouldn’t say that we are really friends, more friendly neighbours and I thought initially that it would be OK to plan something for later.

I hope my effort was good enough in the eyes of God. I hope my attitude was acceptable and that He found me obedient to His will…

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This past weekend was a difficult one again.  I was under attack from so many different angles.  My post of yesterday dealt with some of it, but it actually got much worse yesterday after I posted.  Mostly because Shumi’s nose bleeds got even worse, but the devil tried very hard to upset me with lots of other lies too. 

Today his nose bled for at least an hour at one stage.  I think he lost a lot of blood.  Thankfully it stopped again and amazingly Shumi still looks fine.  We are trying to keep him quiet because it seems that the bleeding gets worse if he walks around, runs or plays with KT (yes, he still tries to do that!) compared to being kept quiet in one place.  I am scared to take him to the vet, because he might suggest that we need to put him down and I cannot do that.  I still have hope that God will heal him completely.  Amazingly it seemed his blocked nostril was quite open when it bled, because Shumi was blowing the blood out of that nostril.  It does not look like he is in pain; it just looks uncomfortable to have the blood coming out of his nose like that.  He cannot lie down with his head when it’s bleeding, and you can see he would love to lie down a sleep a bit at times. 

Here is a picture of what he looked like at one stage today.  It looks horrible and it breaks my heart to see him like that, but that was the worst he looked and he looks much better now again:

Yesterday afternoon I got out my book the Bat.tlefie.ld of the mi.nd, again and I must say it helps to seek God in these difficult times because I get a helpful message every time.  The message I got this morning was about:  “Please make everything easy; I can’t take it if things are too hard!”  Joy.ce says the following:

“The Helper

John 14:16 (NIV):  16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever—“

Things get hard when we are trying to do them independently without leaning on and relying on God’s grace.  If everything in life were easy, we would not even need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us.  The Bible refers to Him as “the helper”.  He is in us and with us all the time to help us, to enable us to do what we cannot do – and, I might add, to do with ease what would be hard without Him.

The easy way and the hard way

Exodus 13:17 (NIV):  17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

You can be sure that anywhere God leads you, He is able to keep you.  He never allows more to come on us than we can bear. [1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV):  13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”]  Whatever He orders He pays for.  We do not have to live in a constant struggle if we learn to lean on Him continually for the strength we need.

If you know God has asked you to do something, don’t back down just because it gets hard.  When things get hard, spend more time with Him, lean more on Him and receive more grace from Him.  [Hebrews 4:16 (NIV):  16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”]

Grace is the power of God coming to you at no cost to you, to do through you what you cannot do yourself.  Beware of thoughts that say, “I can’t do this, it’s just too hard.”

Sometimes God leads us the hard way instead of the easy way, because He is doing a work in us.  How will we ever learn to lean on Him, if everything in our lives is so easy that we can handle it by ourselves?

God led the Children of Israel the long, hard way because they were still cowards, and He had to do a work in them to prepare them for the battles they would face in the Promised Land.

Most people think that entering the Promised Land means no more battles, but that is incorrect.  If you read the accounts of what took place after the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and went in to possess the land of promise, you will see that they fought one battle after another.  But they won all those battles fought in God’s strength and under His direction.

God led them the longer, harder route even though there was a shorter, easier route because He knew they were not ready for the battles they would face in possessing the land.  He was concerned that when they saw the enemy, they might run back to Egypt, so He took them the harder way to teach them Who He was and that they could not depend on themselves.

When a person is going through a hard time, his mind wants to give up.  Satan knows that if he can defeat us in our mind, he can defeat us in our experience.  That is why it is so important that we do not lose heart, grow weary and faint.

Hang tough!

Galatians 6:9 (NIV):  9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Losing heart and fainting refer to giving up in the mind.  The Holy Spirit tells us not to give up in our mind, because if we hold on, we will eventually reap.

Think about Jesus.  Immediately after being baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested and tried by the devil.  He did not complain and become discouraged and depressed.  He did not think or speak negatively.  He did not become confused trying to figure out why this had to  happen!  He went through each test victoriously.

In the midst of His trial and temptation, our Lord did not wander around the wilderness forty days and nights talking about how hard it was.  He drew strength from His heavenly Father and came out in victory. [Luke 4:1-13]

You and I have the mind of Christ, and we can handle things the way He did:  By being mentally prepared through “victory thinking” – not “give up thinking”

Success follows suffering

1 Peter 4:1-2 (Amp):  1SO, SINCE Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], 2So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.”

There is a suffering “in the flesh” that we will have to endure in order to do God’s will.  There may be an individual in your life who is very difficult to be around, and yet you know that God wants you to stick with the relationship and not run away from it.  Your flesh suffers, in that it is not easy to be around that person, but you can prepare yourself by thinking properly about the situation.

Self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency:

Philippians 4:12-13 (Amp):  12I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want.  13I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”

Right thinking “arms” us for battle.  Going into battle with wrong thinking is like going to the front lines in a war without a weapon.  If we do that, we won’t last long.

The Israelites were “whiners,” which was one reason why they wandered around forty years, making an 11 day trip.  They whined about every difficulty and complained about each new challenge – always talking about how hard everything was.  Their mentality was:  “Please make everything easy; I can’t take it if things are too hard!”

I realized recently that many believers are Sunday warriors and Monday whiners.  They talk a good talk on Sunday – in church with their friends, but on Monday, when it’s time to “walk the talk” and there is nobody around to impress, they faint at the slightest test.

If you are a whiner and a complainer, get a new mindset that says:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)

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Yesterday we watched another program of Joy.ce Me.yer and she talked about attitude again and how we must learn to be happy for others that have what we don’t have.  She said something about: “there is a reason why you’ve been a bridesmaid 16 times and never a bride.  Until you learn to bless those that have what you have and be genuinely happy for them, and not be jealous or envious, only then will you get your breakthrough.”  She said we must learn to be happy with what we have and not to think that we can only be happy if we get something specific (i.e. a baby!)

Guess what I was thinking about when she said that.  My attitude towards other pregnant women, because I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately!  Well I heard the message, deleted the episode when it was finished and we were just wondering what to watch next when we saw how someone pushed a piece of paper underneath our front door.

I jumped up to open the door, not looking at the paper, to see who it was.  The door was locked and I had to scramble to get the key to open it and when I got outside it was my one pregnant neighbour, her husband and their 1 year old daughter.  The piece of paper was a baby shower invitation.  It’s for next Saturday.

I have mentioned her before – she is the one that had a miscarriage just before me and exactly 6 weeks later she was pregnant again, and 6 weeks pregnant at that!  And before you think she is a fertile 22 year old – no!  She is at least 35 or 36 years old!  Not much younger than I am.  So DH and I chatted a bit with them and they went on handing out some more invitations.  My first initial reaction was – there is no way I’m going to that baby shower!  I’ll buy her something and give it to her separately. 

Later at night, just before I was getting ready for bed and I was saying some scriptures over Shumi I realized that I was upset and tearful suddenly.  At first I thought it was about Shumi, because his nose has been bleeding quite a bit lately, but then I realized that it is not only that.  I remembered that just after I spoke to them I went to the loo and I saw some spotting.  Not much, only a drop or two, but still spotting.  I was hoping, praying and believing for a miracle pregnancy and here on CD 24 of my cycle I get to see spotting again…  I’m reminded that my body does not always work perfectly…

I was struck down by doubts again, not just doubts of ever having children, but also whether Shumi will be healed.  And that is why I got upset.  I just got down and prayed to God to help me.  To help me to get through this test and pass it with flying colours this time.  I am so sick of wandering around in the wilderness and walking around the same mountain time and again…  Like the Israelites that wandered around the desert for 40 years in what is an 11 day journey on foot.

So I have decided that I am going to that baby shower.  I am going to bless that family.  I am going to be happy for them.  I am going to admit to God when I’m sad, I going to try to not be jealous or envious, and the only way I’m going to be able to do that is to ask for strength from God – continuously.  If I am envious or jealous I will ask for forgiveness immediately…  I will not complain or be unhappy about it.  I am going to enjoy that baby shower!  And I hope that it will be good enough for God.  I am not going to dread our other neighbour’s baby shower.  She is about 3 weeks behind this one, so I might even get another invitation soon, but I will do exactly the same should I get an invitation to hers as well. 

Please God let me pass this test!  Give me strength to do what You want me to do!  Please help me to die in the flesh and not act according to my feelings, but act the way You want me to!  Amen

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I want to share another message of Joy.ce Mey.er with you on healing.  It’s a long one so I’m going to split it up again:

“If you are negative, grouchy, sour puss, hard to get along with, critical, jealous you are probably also going to be sick…  Somebody was telling me the other day about a relative who was just diagnosed with very serious situation with cancer.  Talking about the treatment, what to do and how to handle it and again to tell me that this person has just been so negative their whole life.  It is just so hard to be around them.  And he began to tell me how this person who is so negative was telling him about sitting next to somebody that was being so negative.  And how they got so tired about hearing this other person’s negative talk…

It’s like:  “Hello!”  You know what?  We need to look at ourselves honestly and we need to stop blaming everything on everybody else.  We need to ask ourselves sometimes:  “How easy am I to get along with?  How easy is it to offend me?  How easy do I get my feelings hurt?  What am I doing to make someone else’s life better?  How many days out of a year do I waste feeling sorry for myself?  Am I jealous of people who have more than me?  Am I judgmental?  Am I critical?”  You would be amazed what would happen if you would just have one 10 minute meeting a day with yourself. 

Proverbs 17:22 (Amp):   22A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”

If you get happy you might get healed.  You need to laugh more, not be so deep and intense…  Jesus is a healer and if you look at Isaiah 53 it says and it says he forgave our sins and He took our sicknesses upon Himself. 

Isaiah 53:4-5 (NIV):  “ 4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.    5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Now I’m going to say a few things that I’m going to try to explain less anyone get confused because I don’t want that.  Sickness is a result of sin.  Now it may not be your own personal sin, but sickness was not in the world until man sinned.  Man was so healthy that it actually took the devil about 900 years to teach him how to die.  That was not in our DNA.  We were supposed to be happy, garden life people, who fellowshipped with God, ate the fruit, loved everybody, had a good time…  But no, Eve had to have the stupid apple.   

We all know that sin entered, man died spiritually, and God made a plan right away to redeem us.  But the sin principle is still working in this world and where the sin principle is working there is disease and germs and all kinds of wretched stuff.  And so there is going to be times, just because you’re here in this world that you are going to run into some germ on a day when your immune system is kind of off or whatever…  So we can’t all avoid ever having any problems with anything out there because we’re in the world, but we can expect and believe God for healing and we can do everything that we should do to make sure that we are not just an open door for any kind of sickness or disease that Satan wants to load on us.  Amen? 

You know I feel pretty good for an old gal.    We have guys that work for us that are in their twenties who can’t keep up with me and Dave.    I’m telling you the truth – they are like:  “This is not normal!”  Well you know what? It is not normal.  It’s not!  But a lot of it is your mindset.  Don’t begin to think old, don’t think old people thoughts.  Amen?  Think strong; think positive, the more negative you are, the worse you are going to feel.  The less you laugh the worse you are going to feel. The more you judge and criticize other people the worse you are going to feel.  The less you do for other people, the more selfish you are, the worse you are going to feel.  I’m telling you that our joy is connected to our health. 

How many of you needed a reminder today that He is your Healer?  How many of you agree that sometimes we just get into the habit of putting up with stuff, and really just trying to handle in the natural?  And I’m not putting down anything natural, I’m not going to stand here and tell you not to take your medicine, I’m not going to tell you not to go to the doctor, If God tells you not to do that, you do what He tells you to,  but you know, I’m not going to tell you that.   I mean if I need that, I do that.  I take medicine, I go to the doctor, but I have also been corrected by God if I start leaning on that kind of stuff too much and not making it very plain that I trust Him as my Healer and that I’m expecting Him to keep me strong and healthy and well.”

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