As gratefulness flows from your heart and touches the lives around you, it becomes a blessing.
Flip a switch, and there is light. Turn a knob for warm water, cold water, drinkable sweet water. Simple blessings, luxuries that millions do not have.
Not one day is like the other. Each day is a gift to appreciate. With our eyes, we see the world. With our hearts, we feel life’s vibrations. A life filled with gratitude is a sweet awareness of the day’s blessing.
Don’t let hate, disappointment, or a grandiose sense of self-importance steal your joy. Do not covet what others have, be thankful for who you are.
Piglet noted that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude. A. A. Milne.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk in Him, having been firlmy rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith,... and overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 2:7
What type of movies do you watch? I don’t watch horror movies, R-rated movies, movies filled with foul language or nudity. Besides, who wants to pay 20 bucks to be cursed at and insulted. How often have you said something and someone’s snickers because of an inappropriate reference that you are unaware of?
How do you live above the fray?
God said I can no longer strive with man to Noah and commanded him to build an Ark. God said to Moses, ‘I will destroy these people and make a nation with you.’ Moses prayed for God to change his mind. Those people didn’t enter the promised land. They wander in the wilderness for forty years. God would have saved a whole city for ten righteous but found none, so He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. How did Lot live above the fray in such a city?
I pray for the end of drug and sex trafficking because of what little I see. My husband commented on the underbelly of illicit activities. When he said that, I envisioned a black mass with tentacles stretching out, sucking the life out of people, hidden in the darkness. But today, people are flaunting their actions as if it is their right. A vast and black underbelly of sin flipped over for all to see.
God the Father turned as God the Son took the weight and depth of sin upon Himself.
I think of the line in the movie Blind Side, when asked how did he make it through. He replied, “I close my eyes.”
How do you love people, love the sinner, hate the sin and live above the fray? We are to close our eyes to sinful acts because of how it affects the soul. Joseph had his robe torn off him running away. Proverbs 1:15 Do not walk in the with the sinner, Keep your feet from their path. v. 30.
Proverbs 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, discover the knowledge of God and wisdom will enter your heart.
Jesus is the name above every name and through Him, peace will come.
A mind free to think
Imagines, reasons, then decides
to act with forethought.
Haiku by RL Brown
CS Lewis said that imagination is key to reason. But your mind must be clear, lucid; looking beyond instant gratification to see a reasonable danger. Reason trains the mind, imagination helps you see beyond what you know. Reason will test, decipher, and separate subtleties that snare. You are ready to think -to act beyond just yourself.
The drug trap. A mind clouded by dreadful need. The loss of love for others and cherished memories turns to disdain. Careless attitude of life that drags you down into the depths of despair. Despair, so great that it takes you over an unimaginable cliff. Drugs trap you in a body and steal your life and freedom.
To imagine means to explore possibilities, reasons is to weigh actions with consequences with a depth of understanding and proceed with full knowledge, ready to bear consequences. Marx was an elitist fool who lived off others and yet abandoned his children to starvation. Marx was a type of man who celebrated the death of his uncle, so he could live off his Uncle’s wealth without producing any of his own. China and Russia only pulled out of poverty because they allowed for free enterprise. Our country is not perfect but it allows for everyone life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… and all that goes with that, great success or great failure.
A mind free to think will imagine, reason, and then decide to act. R L Brown
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
As a teacher, my first thought when I saw the word teach was Bloom’s Taxonomy which is very applicable to the Christian life.
Knowledge is remembering, discovering, naming, and labels. Hearing the Word is the first step. Matthew 28: 19 & 20, Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. (This is the church’s directive now and will again be Israel’s directive after the rapture with the 144,000 Jewish men.)
Comprehension is understanding and discussing. I Peter 2:1-2 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy, and all slander (judgmental attitude) like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the Word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
Application or applying is your testimony, young and immature but yours. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life to change the desires of the flesh. 2 Peter 1: The whole chapter. As you grow in God’s Word, expect a more profound understanding, but you must move away from things found in I Corinthians 3:2-3.
Analysis or analyzing is to break apart the whole to grasp a deeper meaning. Inspect God’s Word compare scripture to scripture, don’t rely on others to tell you what to think. Romans Chapter 5 illustrates this progress or growth beautifully- Peace, introduction by faith, tribulations produces endurance or perseverance, to proven character to hope. And hope does not disappoint. Also, read Romans 5:8-9
Evaluation- measure what you know by God’s Word with understanding, with application to your heart and soul by standing on the solid rock of God’s Word, not being an ignorant doormat—calling sin a sin. It’s adultery, fornication, murder, and it’s a lie, it’s is a depraved mind, it is witchcraft, etc. It is a deception, subtle and insidious. John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the LIfe, no one come to the Father but through Me.” Time to measure scripture by scripture, if you believe there are many ways to God; know that it is not so. Scriptures call for you not to be subtly deceived by the empty philosophy of this world. God calls for the renewing of your mind by faith and understanding will come. Hebrews 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who have their senses trained to discern good and evil because of practice. (Ouch!) Colossians 2:8.
Synthesis. Go and tell the world with full meaning and understanding, no longer babes on the milk of God’s Word but dine on the meat of God’s Word with full awareness, able to stand against the winds of empty philosophy.
I moved this paragraph to the end instead it being the first paragraph because blaming teachers for what a student isn’t learning is just wrong. Kids must come to school with basic skills. I will say teaching children to be quiet on Sunday morning is a skill that kindergarteners need. I agree that a teacher is full of knowledge but may not have excellent classroom management skills. Management skills comes with experience. Today, teachers are not allowed to discipline students, fail students, and are mandated what to teach. But that story is for another time. But even an inexperienced teacher can teach what they know, they may not manage a class well at first, but they can still teach. What a student learns is always up to them, not the teacher. The rate one learns is always depends on the individual: willingness, ability and determination. Teachers know this. So does God.
Accountability rings with drudgery. It comes with duty, work, follow through, keeping your word, task after task, get it done, then go play.
Everyone loves summer fun: swimming, picnics, vacations, family visits, etc. Everyone loves the leaf turning green, flowers in spring, the return of summer fruit and vegetables. Everyone loves the colors of fall and the first snow flake.
When I look at those spring bulbs in full bloom that I planted last fall, I smile and think effort well spent. When I take out a package of sweet corn that I put up this summer for Thanksgiving, I will smile and remember the taste of summer. When I am raking up leaves, I will remember that I planted that tree and how I relish the shade it provides in the summer heat. In the depth of winter, I will remember the seeds planted, steps taken, tasks finished, things still to do, and know that God is good. When I looks at things accomplished and see smiles, I will think this was time well spent.
From there to here, here to there, God’s Presence is everywhere.
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.4The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, 6Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
The uniqueness of creation is that God’s fingerprint is present from the tiniest of molecules to the vastness of space. Sometimes we lack perspective to see the whole picture.
In Job, God rebukes Job’s counselors by saying, “Who is this that darkens counsel by word without knowledge (of ME)? (Job 38:2) Have you ever in your life commanded the morning and caused the dawn to know its place? (v.12)
I stop here thinking the science behind that statement is immense. God set boundaries for the sea and made a cloud its garment. He binds the chains of Pleiades and loose the cords of Orion (v. 31). Is it by my understanding that a hawk soars or nature fulfills it course? Of course not.
Then God asks Job (paraphrase) Do you condemn me to prove yourself right?
Job’s reply: (paraphrase): Whoa, I shut my mouth!
The book of Job is a lesson in perspective from heaven to earth, earth to heaven. God’s Presence is everywhere.
There is calmness in God’s order. Step out early in the morning to watch the sunrise, hear the birds sing, enjoy the stillness. In the morning, I will lift up my voice to the Lord. (Psalms) As I watch the sunset and the moon rise in the evening, I must admit I reflect on the beauty of what I see and try not to remember the chaos of the day.
Peace brings order, a calmness to one’s soul.
When peace like a river attendeth my way When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well with my soul.
This song was written by the author after watching a ship sink with his wife and daughter. God provides an order, a calmness that our souls desire. Even in the depth of sorrow, God’s word offers comfort that goes beyond human comprehension. And I will admit beyond my comprehension and level of trust at the time. Even though I leave my troubles and burden at Jesus’ feet, I often pick them up again.
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.
When I pick up my burdens again, I repeat this verse. Even though the seas may rage (at times my troubles) surround me, I can walk in peace. God can order my steps (and tongue) to speak out His Truth in peace. A kind word turns away anger.
(Dichotomy) When you speak a kind word in God’s Truth, you will incite others to anger. No one likes to be confronted by their hate for God. It will create a sea of turmoil. Trust God’s word.
I exist in God’s order and live in the turmoil man creates. Understanding this, I rest in God’s hand, I can walk knowing God orders my steps, I can be a peacemaker by a kind word in Truth, I can put my faith in God’s Word (the engine) and not my feeling (the caboose), I can let God be the fixer and trust in HIs plan. I can trust in His well-ordered plan. This well-ordered plan is based on a relationship with Jesus.
Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 That is the first verse that came to mind along with the song. But real strength, Christ-centered strength is a hard calling. First, it does not call you to be a doormat. You must speak the TRUTH. God tells us how.
Let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead. 1Peter 3:8
Do you ever have trouble with ANTS: Automatic Negative Thoughts?
Does it come out when you’re driving? How about a neighbors junkie yard? How about when you see an unruly child or parent? How come there is never anything good on TV? Why are they dressed like that in public? (I have more but I will stop.) Ant bites sting. Too many bites, then a volcano of emotions are likely to erupt.
Being strong in the Lord means so many different things. It takes strength to trust the Lord with your wayward child. It takes practice to turn a kind word when you feel angry. It’s hard not to desire that evil gets repaid and wait on the Lord to be the judge. It takes prayer to walk humble with our God. It takes a powerful amount of trust, when you are blinded and cannot see the way.
For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and HIs ears attend to their prayers. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. I Peter 3:12
How are you Strong in the Lord? It comes in so many different ways.