When hope is missing

hope 3 We all have those moments when situations don’t allow us to see more than the mess that it’s in front of us. It’s very easy to get discouraged when we go through something difficult that doesn’t seem to resolve. Sometimes those in who we rely to encourage us are the first ones to have negative things to say. God tells us to not dismay.  Isaiah 41:10 tells us, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” hope 2If we read Exodus, we read how God provided water and food for the Israelites in the desert. He also provided a cloud by day and fire by night to show them the way. The same God of the Israelites is the same God we serve. Exodus 3:14, God tells Moses, He says I am, not I was or I will be. He is still the same God that helped Moses part the Red Sea, and that provided for them in the desert. What is your Red Sea? Who is your Egyptian chasing you down and frighten you? It doesn’t matter. As long as God is God, he will make a way out to provide for you, guide you and comfort you. Until next time;hope Be blessed

Do we honor God through our praise?

This past weekend I went to get my nails and feet done. This is one of my once a month guilty pleasures that I’ve learned to keep up as my to do thing for myself. While I was waiting for my “nail guy”, someone else had started my pedicure. In the meantime I was reading a bible study on my phone and I came across this scripture…

Mark 7:6-13 NLT “Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”

Some twenty minutes later my “nail guy” and we were carrying on a conversation. He pointed out to a guy who looked a lot like him. It was his younger brother. The young fellow didn’t look happy. He explained that the guy had been at home without a job or schooling and their mother, the owner of the shop, had made him come work with them. The guy was not pleased, but didn’t feel like he had a choice, so he had been coming to work.

This narrative reminded me of the scripture I had just read. And there’s so many things that I got from this scripture.

  • The religiosity in our world, where “believers” operate by religion and not love
  • The ideas and doctrines that we see that stray from the teachings from the bible.
  • The disrespect that we see against the older generations
  • The lack of respect that we see in our younger generations towards their parents

My mother lives in an independent living place and when I visit her she tells me the stories of many of her neighbors who are sick or in need of help and support but there’s nobody to attend their needs. My question to her always is do they have family? The sad answer is always yes.

The way I saw the last part was when people go to church, are very involved, but do not have time to tend to their elderly parents. Those who help every charity, but their parents are in a home without anyone who would buy them toothpaste or a soda.

How does this relate to my nail salon experience? I’ve seen teenagers and young adults snap at their parents when given a directive. This young man, although he didn’t want to be there, he respected what his mother asked of him. Even more, the one telling me the story has been working in that shop for 6 years, although he’s licensed to do something else that he eventually wants to pursue. But he always tells me that he will be there while his mother needs him. He plans to train his brother to see if that would be his opportunity to move on, but until his mother is covered he will not move.  And he does his job with excellency even though its something he doesn’t care for.

It makes me reflect on the following questions:

  • Have I honored God by properly honoring my parents?
  • Do I honor what God wants me to do? Or do I follow my wishes?
  • How is my worship? Is it heartfelt or do I just follow the tradition and customs?

I think is a lot to digest but a great food for thought

ABVCheck out my new book, A Brother’s Vow… availabe on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords

Just $3.99 See how this family dynamics worked together and how honoring or dishonoring each of these characters were to their parents and to the will of God.

Also remember that the book giveaway is still open, read more about that here.

Spiritual Abuse

I wrote this post last year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and thought it was worth reminding ourselves that this does exist and it’s something we should be aware of.  Be blessed!

Researching information for this month’s articles I ran into something, that yes, I’ve seen but it had not clicked in my mind when I thought about abuse and it’s the term “spiritual abuse” in a relationship. This relates to when a spouse uses God to control or manipulate the other spouse with the Word of God or an alleged spiritual gift or “power”

These abusers use their spouses faith and a legalistic vision of the Word of God to manipulate, control and undermine their spouses. With this behavior the enforced their authority and the victim submits to avoid consequences not only with their perpetrator but with their higher power, as they believe this is coming from God himself.

The fact that the victims are being abused will make them be more submitted as they think that they must be doing something wrong, as they continue to be criticized or chastised by their abuser. On the other hand this can hinder their faith as they would have trouble understanding why God would allow them to live in such conditions, when it’s not God, it’s the other person’s free will that is attacking them.

Jeremiah 23:16 says “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” But if this is your husband or boyfriend, how can you tell?

  • Study the Word yourself.
  • If your spirit says something is not right, it probably isn’t. Look it up before you agree to do something.
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for clear direction.
  • Read the Word in context and not singling out scriptures. Sometimes just reading a few more sentences can bring clarity to the context.
  • In doubt, research. Sometimes just reading different versions of the same scripture will bring clarity to our notions.
  • Talk to other Christians (be careful about this one, you don’t want someone who is misguided as well)

If you want to identify a potential spiritual abuser, read Matthew 23:1-39 ESV Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long”

Be safe!

Related articles

Places in the Body of Christ

I ran into this scripture the other day and let out a chuckle. Not because it’s funny but because we all know someone who needs to be reminded of this part of the bible.  Have you ever ran into someone who says, but I’m (insert churchy title and their name)? My thought is always, is that the name your Momma gave you? So let’s go ahead and make sure that we are all reminded.

Romans 12:3

[Humble Service in the Body of Christ] For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

As leaders in the body of Christ we have to remember that we should be the first ones to be of service and not to be served. That the leadership position is just a call to serve and it’s really more responsibility than prestige. A title given to organize our responsibilities doesn’t give us status. Jesus being God humble himself washing the feet of his disciples.

Jesus said in Matthew 23:1-13  The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Yes, we are to respect, follow and honor our leaders. But for those of us who are leaders, we need to remember that we are all part of the body and nobody is more important in the eyes of God than other.

Until next time, Be Blessed.

clip_image002Aimee is a constant positive influence in Desiree’s life, gently demonstrating God’s love and mercy. Mary Anne Benedetto

Very well written. Emme

I would recommend The Road Home to any romantic, any lover of books, anyone struggling with forgiveness, anyone. Cynthia

God First

When God spoke to Moses in the desert about the things he required from us, the first thing he sais was for us to always consider him first. God wants our love and our affections without competing with anything else in our life.

The scripture says, “You shall have no other gods before me” Exodus 20:3 We may think that as Christians we are already serving the right God, therefore this is already covered. Think again.

Jesus tells us in Mark 12:30 ” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

David shows us in Psalms 73:25-26  what that love would look like. When we realize that God is all we need. “Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

A love so powerful sometimes is hard to comprehend. Do not give up. If we allow God to take over our lives he will show us how to live that love.

Let’s pray today that we can have our heart after God, that we can surrender from our selfish ways, shedding all our other passions for a passion for him.

Talking about passions. Check out my new book, The Road Home and learn how Desiree went after the wrong passions in her life and her struggles to find the right passion to follow.

 

clip_image002Aimee is a constant positive influence in Desiree’s life, gently demonstrating God’s love and mercy. Mary Anne Benedetto

Very well written. Emme

I would recommend The Road Home to any romantic, any lover of books, anyone struggling with forgiveness, anyone. cynthia

Spiritual Abuse

Researching information for this month’s articles I ran into something, that yes, I’ve seen but it had not clicked in my mind when I thought about abuse and it’s the term “spiritual abuse” in a relationship. This relates to when a spouse uses God to control or manipulate the other spouse with the Word of God or an alleged spiritual gift or “power”

These abusers use their spouses faith and a legalistic vision of the Word of God to manipulate, control and undermine their spouses. With this behavior the enforced their authority and the victim submits to avoid consequences not only with their perpetrator but with their higher power, as they believe this is coming from God himself.

The fact that the victims are being abused will make them be more submitted as they think that they must be doing something wrong, as they continue to be criticized or chastised by their abuser. On the other hand this can hinder their faith as they would have trouble understanding why God would allow them to live in such conditions, when it’s not God, it’s the other person’s free will that is attacking them.

 

Jeremiah 23:16 says “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.” But if this is your husband or boyfriend, how can you tell?

  • Study the Word yourself.
  • If your spirit says something is not right, it probably isn’t. Look it up before you agree to do something.
  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for clear direction.
  • Read the Word in context and not singling out scriptures. Sometimes just reading a few more sentences can bring clarity to the context.
  • In doubt, research. Sometimes just reading different versions of the same scripture will bring clarity to our notions.
  • Talk to other Christians (be careful about this one, you don’t want someone who is misguided as well)

If you want to identify a potential spiritual abuser, read Matthew 23:1-39 ESV Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long”

Be safe!

Remember to check out my new devotional Growth Lessons, and obtain a 10% discount the coupon code PN34W

Just for today

Since creation God has been trying to relay our purpose and how our life was designed to be lived and enjoyed. Our pride, trusting issues and misuse of our freedom are the root of our inability to grasp this concept, in my opinion. From the beginning God intended for us to live in the present. Yes, our past can teach us lessons to not repeat and the future gives us hope, but both are intangible and out of our hands and all we have promised is what’s in front of us, this moment.

This doesn’t mean to be reckless with out present as the next moment is not promised. If history has taught us anything is that our daily decision impacts how our future would look like. At the same time, if our past has impacted our present, then we still have a chance right here and right now to make the necessary changes to affect where we are and where we are going.

I was listening to someone preaching about the concept of one day at a time. The person said that God only provides for us for one day at a time and it just resonated with me the emphasis that God had placed into this to show us the order that our life should have.

Let’s look at some examples in the Word where God is trying to teach us the concept of “One day at a time”

  • Creation

During the passages of creation the first thing that God did was separate the day from the night and call it a “day”. He could have allowed us to live in lighted days or darken days for eternity, but from the creation he wanted us to have designated blocks of time to deal with.

  • The Dessert

When Moses was in the dessert with the Israelites God gave them provision for just one day. Manna and quail was provided for them, with the instruction to not save any for the next day and just take what they needed. Did they listen? Of course not, and the next day the food was filled with worms. The only exception was on the sixth day to save for the Sabbath, which in our modern times would be: run your errands one day, but do take a day to rest and meditate on the Lord.

  • The Savior himself (Jesus)

All over the New Testament we hear Jesus telling us not to worry about tomorrow but to focus on the day at hand.

  1. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 5:33)
  2. And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life” (Matthew 6:27)

Personally, I have been challenged by this concept. I tend to be a planner. I like to have plan A,B,C and D just in case. In my walk with Christ I’m learning that only JC plan works. Yes, the plan that Jesus Christ and his Father have laid out  for me and that trying to work against that concept is not only contra productive, but very exhausting. I’m not going to claim that I have mastered living just for today, but I get better as I see that things work so much smoothly when I do nothing but trust God and let him lead the way.

So I invite you to join me in casting all our worries about our future to our Lord Jesus Christ and start living like God intended for us to live from the very beginning. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we are cared for and that God’s way is the best way?

As always I like to hear from you, have you had experiences with having to change your perspective on how to live your life? Come and share with us…

Until then, be blessed!