Waiting – What’s it all about? What does it look like for me?


The topic at hand was inspired via this bible study I recently (slowly) started reading. It’s been “waiting” on me to begin it for sometime now! ūüôā I read one chapter then put it down for another week until I awoke super early on vacation. It was staring at me – creating guilt within, even though it was tucked away inside my bag.

Bible study by Sharla Fritz

Ask any of my immediate family members and they will tell you that waiting is not my virtue. That I like to know what is going to happen prior to it even being formed at times. When watching shows or movies I will figure out the next “act” around the corner. This drives my husband crazy because on more than one occasion I am correct.

In my mind though, I like to think that with age I have become a tad more patient. Of course my employer had me take one of those “hiring” tests last week that reflected patience was not my strong suit. ūüôā It did reflect some really good things about me though too! ūüôā

The bible study today was on Anna, it brought about feelings of things I had been keeping in the back of my own mind. Wondering what my next “act” would be myself, what purpose do I have in this life.

For a few years now I have been grampling with a few different things and in the chaos of my mind I’ve let doubt prevail. I’ve always wanted to see myself as a strong woman but in honesty not so much in recent years. The feeling of being proud of myself has lingered. All while jumping from one thing to another wondering why I can not master one thing.

Did I mention waiting isn’t my strong suit? I know I used to heavily be the type of person that had to hurry up and get to the finish line so I could start the next thing to conquer. At least that is what it felt like in my head. Placing my “worth and value” in what I could get done. (This is probably why it drives me nuts to have quilt tops not quilted and ready to present!)

Along the way though and I need to give a shout out to my hubs here because he is not a rushy person. He has brought a sense of slowness to my life and that it is okay to ENJOY the journey so to speak. For instance he always says “it’s not about the killing (insert your favorite animal to hunt), it’s about the hunt.” The time he spends with his friends each year in Colorado. Oh sure he LOVES to snag one for sure and he will share the story, probably more than once, but I know in his heart, it’s about the actual time spent there.

Vacations used to be more stressful and it was probably me who created the turmoil. Thinking we had to have a schedule and keep to it and so on. Although I do believe a “plan” is essential there needs to be room for flexibility. Otherwise I might miss that golden sunset or my daughter and her Dad enjoying a game or memory to etch in my mind. Now, that being said I still must have some sort of plan but I am more lax in it! Baby steps for sure!

But this post isn’t about my vacations, it’s about my journey and the act of waiting to know what my purpose is here on earth. To know that the next act is one that can be doable and if not learning from it will be character building.

While I wait to see what my next act is perhaps I need to take a few clues from Anna in Luke 2:3638. This woman only had a partner for seven years, then lived the rest of her long long long life praying, fasting, and thanking God. As a widow she was alone but in reality she wasn’t. She had God, just as I do and you do.

My journey is happening right now. I need to stop rushing to the next accomplishment and look at what is around me right now. In prayer and quiet asking the Lord to show me what he would have me do now.

The key thing…… I need to WAIT.

Thanks for stopping by and it felt good to be inspired and write once again.

Julie

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Relationships


I created this graphic after going through session five of the bible study Sip, Savor, and Drink Deeply by Deb Burma.  You can purchase the study a few different places if you are interested.

Encouragement

Now that I am finished with it I would recommend it to anyone, even if you do not drink coffee.¬†¬†It includes recipes, craft ideas, tidbits about coffee drinks, and a great many other things about God’s Word. Lucky for me I was able to walk through it with a group of other ladies but it could easily be done on your own!

Now back to that graphic and why I created it for myself.¬† I wanted to have easy access for a reminder from areas of the Bible.¬† Some of the relationships in my life are stagnet, not comfortable, flourishing, open, comfortable, or have just gone by the wayside. But today I’d like to talk about one of the most important relationships I have in my life.

The one with my spouse, my husband of 14 years.

When this session was presented before me it was a good thing.¬† At the time I wasn’t so sure because things were stressful in that very important relationship I mentioned before.¬† No need to air my dirty laundry or share more than my hubs is comfortable with.¬† Just know that reading through creating something in me to focus on changing my responses.¬† I’m still a work in progress and so is he.¬† To date, I have not been able to sit down and visit with him about this session.¬† The farmer is too busy and it’s okay, we will when time allows. I have it on the top of our “to do” list! ūüôā But I see the help it has given our relationship already, without him evening knowing what it’s about! ūüôā

When I walked out of the Monday night bible study the night we did this session I saw things differently. One thing I realized is that it’s a duty as a Christian to have those difficult conversations with others.¬† Am I scared?¬† Yep.¬† Will I pray on it?¬† Yep.¬† Have I strayed from my faith before?¬† Yep.¬† Do I still struggle with things today?¬† Yep. Have I repented?¬† Yep. Am I forgiven?¬† Yep.

Psst….. you can too.¬† Jesus loves you.

Now, feel free to save the graphic or print it off for personal use.  I plan too.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

 

Chosen. Helping Others Know That.


the-lord-your-god-has-chosen-you-to-be-a-people-for-his-treasured-possession-out-of-all-the-peoples-who-are-on-the-face-of-the-earth-deuteronomy-7-6
Feel free to save or print for your own personal use only.

Mondays are the day of the week when I meet with other sisters in Christ to hear the word, share the word, learn the word, and fellowship. ¬†I look forward to Mondays because of the opportunity to be with these ladies. ¬†I’ve chosen them and they have chosen me, well that last one may be that they are just stuck with me cause I show up! ūüôā

You may have guessed that the topic for this week’s session was “Chosen”. (Mirror Mirror by Susan Senechal) ¬†We made our way through 1 Samuel by visiting chapters 16, 17, 18 while in Exodus, chapters 4 and 7. ¬†There were others too but Deuteronomy 7:6 is the mirror message for the week and it ¬†reminds us that GOD CHOSE US!

Our Lord chose us although we are sinners.

We tend to ¬†forget Him daily, weekly, and 40 seconds after worship on occasion. ¬†We talk of others, complain about our life, envy the neighbor’s nice things, and forget those in need while we drink our Starbucks coffee.

But still.

The Lord continues to choose us and love us as we ask for forgiveness. Just as He forgave Aaron in the bible.  He sent his Son to die for our sins, even though we were not worthy.  He cares for us even when we do not deserve it.

for-consider-your-calling-brothers-not-many-of-you-were-wise-according-to-worldly-standards-not-many-were-powerful-not-many-were-of-noble-birth-but-god-chose-what-is-foolish-in-the-world-to-shame

Although it’s about our salvation, being chosen is something that brings a good feeling to my life. Whether it’s in bible study group, on the playground, at our workplace, in a club, or even in our own earthly family, it creates a security within us. Who wouldn’t want to feel secure? The ultimate security is the fact that our Lord has provided for us eternal life!

I challenge you (and myself) to extend to another this week the feeling of being chosen. No we can not give what our Lord did but we can lead others to the same rea

Allow the Lord to guide you and bring the Word into someone else’s life. ¬†It can be done casually or structured. ¬†Don’t close the door on feeling chosen. ¬†God chose us, let’s share that with others, shall we?

Grace is a  gift,

Julie

 

A Work In Progress: Cooperation – Session F


A Work In Progress

Do you ever find yourself in the midst of someone who isn’t cooperating? ¬†Say for instance, a toddler that isn’t cooperating while Mommy shops in the afternoon on a busy day. ¬†How about that co-worker that won’t do their share and makes for you to have more stress? ¬†Sometimes we find ourselves in times of turmoil when you can not do anything to make the other individual “join the team” or calm down long enough for you to grab that dozen eggs you desperately need for the potluck dessert you need to make.

How about us, do we find ourselves being the ones that are not cooperating?  Honestly Рyes.  There are times that I have not cooperated when I should have.  I am ashamed to say it, but its the truth.  I am only hoping that I do not do it on a regular basis!

When God created us, he created us all to overlap one another in various aspects of our lives. ¬†When we work together different parts become a whole. ¬†The Lord asks us to cooperate, even expects it.” (page 63) When we cooperate it builds unity! ¬† This is a gift for us to share.

Galatians 3:28 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† “You are all one in Christ Jesus.”

There are quite a few instances in the bible where it took more than one individual. They needed cooperation from others and luckily received it. ¬†One that we reviewed in the study was Exodus 17: 8-13, which talks about Joshua, Moses, Aaron, and Hur’s unity. I encourage you to read it and see how they worked together.

Our study then moved into the following topics where cooperation is essential. ¬†Let’s take a look at how God would like us to cooperate in these instances.

Cooperation in our marriages 

Women/wives were created to be helpers to their men/husbands.  The author of the bible study used the example  that each is a toolbox but neither has enough tools in it to succeed.  They each have a different set of tools and it takes both sets to make unity occur.  This can be done with cooperation from both.  It is not easy and those of us that are married know this to be true. Yet using cooperation and being a unified couple, we can make a difference in the world that God has created you for.

Bible references: Proverbs 21:9, Proverbs 31:10-12 and 1 Peter 3:7 or Ephesians 5:25.

Cooperation in our families

“A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.” Proverbs 19:13

Being a family unit has it’s blessings and it’s struggles. ¬†Although one can be related by blood, they still have differing personalities. ¬†This can cause people in the midst of the opposite of cooperation at times. ¬†We must remember what God states in His word about cooperation.

The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out. ” Proverbs 17:14

Sometimes taking the high road is so very hard but much-needed.  For tattered relationships bring no good to life.  God wants us to end our battles with loved ones, share the word, and bless others with love.  This will take cooperation and unity from all. Being the first to make the connection of repair is what God is requiring.

Unity: Cooperation in Life

So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.  Romans 12:5

Body isn’t talking about family but all of the believers in Christ. ¬†As we believe in the one true Savior we are to work together to share the Word. ¬†We are to work together to grow in faith, learn more about our Lord, and share it with others. ¬†When bickering and finger-pointing prevail it isn’t cooperating.

I was shown just yesterday how well things go when there is an abundance of believers cooperating.  The end result was a very clean parsonage.   Although all congregations and members have their times of strife, (ours included), we know it comes from the sinful nature in us, it is important to not dwell on those but the blessings of cooperation!  The unity of believers in Christ making a difference!

So, to end our study today I’d like to encourage you to think of that person in your life that you ¬†have a personal relationship with that is a bit strained. ¬†I’d like you to pray upon how you can find unity and cooperation in your relationship. Reach out and extend a hand of Jesus’ love today. Take the first step, although it may be uncomfortable, you are not alone. ¬†God is with you.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

 

A Work in Progress – Session D – Peace


A Work In Progress

 

 

 

 

Peace. ¬†We all long for it in our lives, don’t we? ¬†The essence of calm, harmony, quiet, and so forth. ¬†We want the tension, strife, and turmoil to slip away from us. ¬†This week’s topic was interesting to me because we found our way into the bible and it showed us the seven types of peace. ¬†God asks for peace from us and He also offers it through His grace to us.

I will list out six types of peace within the Word.  The topic of peace as the opposite of war was not included very much.  It is the seventh.  I will name the topic then list out one of the bible verses.  This particular session brought new things to mind for the group and reminded us that peace is offered and peace is expected.

Peaceful relationships

“And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:18

Peaceful rest

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ¬†Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” ¬†Matthew 11:28-29

Peaceful security/safety

“May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless His people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

A Peaceful heart

” These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you, but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to you remembrance all that I have said to you. ¬†Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. ¬†Not as the world gives do I give to you. ¬†Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ” ¬†John 14: 25-27

Peaceful reconciliation

“For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. ” ¬†Ephesians 2:18

A Peaceful conscience

“But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.” ¬†Isaiah 53:5

In each section the author further explained and brought to the forefront the meaning of each. ¬†She provided examples. For instance the peaceful reconciliation section ¬†stated the “the battles we find ourselves fighting are of this world. ¬†The big fight has been fought and won for us already.” ¬†We need to keep this in the forefront of our minds no doubt!

The bible verse for peaceful rest we often see the first section shared.  But taking a further looking at it, the second part is just as important.

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, ¬†and you will find rest for your souls. “

We are unable to do things alone.  We need a partner to aid us through the good times and the bad times.  God is extending to us his help and also expecting us to do the same with others.  If you read only one section out of this bible study book, I hope it is this particular section on page 46.

As we strive for that peace we long for, I pray that we all can settle into the peace offered from our God.  The world is full of sin and peace will not truly come until the return of Jesus Christ.  We should strive to help others and provide peace to others.  Let us pray.

 

Our Lord, the peacemaker of life we thank you for the opportunities, the expectations, and the challenges of this life on earth.  We pray for peace for not only ourselves but all others.  Those struggling to make ends meet, grieving a loved one, dealing with illness, or just feeling alone.  Those that lay upon our hearts we lift to You for Your will to be done.  May we be a reflection of Your love and the peace you bestow on us, to others.  In Jesus Name we pray, Amen

Grace is a gift,

Julie

A Work In Progress – Respect – Session B


A Work In Progress

 

 

Raise your hand if you agree with Aretha! ¬†That was the first line we read as we entered into our second week of this study. ¬†Who doesn’t love that song! ¬†I currently am listening to it on youtube while I write this post! Let’s get started!

After we answered a couple of questions about who and what we are to respect we headed into another set of categories. But first let’s take a look at a significant bible verse. ¬†This verse let’s us know who and what we are to respect. ¬†It’s simple, straight forward, and true.

“Honor everyone. ¬†Love the brotherhood. Fear God. ” 1 Peter 2:17

The categories we take from that bible verse,  Matthew 19:18-19, and Genesis 1:26 are the enviroment, others, and self.  Everything we should respect falls into these three categories.  The one about self kind of took me back a moment.  We had some good discussion in our group on this section. What are your thoughts on this section?

God expects us to respect him as well. ¬†“You shall have no other gods before Me.” ¬†Exodus 20:3 Holding him at the highest and most ultimate place. ¬†( Deuteronomy 6:13 and Psalm 33:8 will aid you in reading further on this.)

The section I found very interesting and that made me see things clearer was when we were to unscramble four words.  The words we unscrambled are the things we should respect in every individual.

FEELINGS.

OPINIONS.

RIGHTS.

VALUES.

“Respecting these things in others makes it possible for humanity to work together, live together, and grow together. ” (Page 27)

A quote from an unknown author says it all.

“We need to respect others to collaborate; we need to collaborate to live.” (Page 27)

I truly found this quote inspiring.  I love it.  We then wrote out what we thought it meant.  Perhaps you could take a few moments now to do just that.

We then touched on the people we respect, how we came to respect them, and then onto taking God’s name in vain. ¬†One of the things I really like about this particular study is, it brings the Ten Commandments into the study. ¬†It’s the basics that give us foundation to move forward, so it’s a great way to be reminded or learn them better.

The final section talked about that name that was given to us that are baptized.  CHRISTIAN. When I read the paragraph it made my chest feel full and my face found a smile.  It made me feel something incredible that I sometimes forget in daily living.  The gift of Baptism. My name is Julie, but one of the descriptions upon my life is CHRISTIAN. I am blessed for this reason alone if not for any other in my life.

This study has turned out to be a delight and it’s just the simplicity of it that helps me in this busy life I think. ¬†This week we delve into compassion, which is something I love. Be sure to join me next Monday here at Pushing Forward with Grace to discuss that key component in life!

If you have questions or want to just share and do not feel comfortable with commenting here, feel free to email me at betweenthesunsets@gmail.com.  I would be happy to listen or guide you to someone with more knowledge than I in regards to the One True God.

Won’t you pray with me?

God,

Thank you for giving us the opportunities you have in our lives.  The gift of salvation and the chance to lead others to You.  May we take the time to see where you are leading us, may we help others, and respect them as well.  May we give respect to not only others but ultimately to you on a daily basis.  Please forgive our sins and we sin against you daily.  May the peace of all understanding be with those reading this.

 In Jesus Name, Amen

Psalm 119: 1-8


A recent daily devotion included Psalm 119: 1-8.  It brought to the forefront of my mind one particular verse and it stuck with me.

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,” ¬†Psalm 119:2

That last section really struck me. ¬†I kept repeating it in my head, wondering if I truly am loving Him with my whole heart. ¬†I do believe my “seeking” has grown over the years and my desire to be in the word as well. It causes me to really examine my heart and be sure I am loving Him with my whole heart.

I’m not sure if it was placed in front of me to make me analyze or to stop and truly look at myself. ¬†All I know is that Psalm 119:1-8 spoke to me not only in this line but in my study bible section as well.

As I studied the Psalm there is a section in my Lutheran Study Bible that states:

“By this very act (of prayer) they declare that they cannot get those things that they ask of God from their own natural powers.”

We can not get anything without God.  All things come from Him.  What are your thoughts on loving him whole heartedly and receiving his gifts.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

The God of All Comfort – Lesson 8 – Unshakeable Hope


God of All Comfort

 

” Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. ” 2 Corinthians 1:7

Our final lesson is about a woman who has a father that battles the disease of alcoholism.  Addiction is not an easy subject to talk or write about, but  Donna Pyle gave some wonderful insight into how to find comfort through difficult times like this.  No one can stop the care that our God wants to provide, can provide, and does provide for us. But we struggle with allowing Him to comfort us.

We hurt when those we love hurt. ¬†Those words are so true aren’t they? Whether it is their addiction or their grief, mental or physical state we long to comfort them. ¬†Sometimes placing our own hurt aside to comfort them. ¬†We need to allow the One True God to comfort us when we feel lost, unsure, and just plain down about it all. ¬†Many children of alcoholics tend to be “fixers”. ¬†I am one of those children that have that tendency, although at 43 I can say that I have let go a lot more than I used to. Speaking from my own experience, one wants to fix things that they are in charge of and even things they are not. ¬†So it sometimes causes issues generations down the line.

Our hope should not be in what we can fix, it needs to focus on the hope we have in God and the gifts he has given us.  1 Peters 1:13 tells us

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. “

When we are in need of comfort our goal should be to turn to God and focus on the grace and comfort he has offered us, but I personally will turn to my own coping mechanisms before Him. ¬†It’s a change we all need to probably make.

Admitting that you are not responsible for fixing or correcting problems that are not yours to do so, is the first step to letting go of the control issues that bind us so very much. ¬†It’s hard and I find myself struggling at times, especially with my children and parents. ¬†Jesus authority is above all else, we must abide in him. ¬†We can love our family members that are addicted, but odds are we will not be able to fix them. ¬†That is where prayer, heavy and often done prayer comes into play in our lives.

“Search me O God, and know my heart. ¬†Try and know my thoughts.” ¬†Psalm 139:23 ¬†

Perhaps memorizing this bible verse would aide us in being able to let go of some of the control.  If we feel that old habit coming into play, stop and say those words to remind us that He is here.  That He will help us, comfort us, and has control of all things.  Spending time in the Word is also key and surrounding ourselves with other believers makes it a not so lonely road.  There are others in similar situations, that have dealt with family members addicted, lost loved ones, and deal with depression.

We all have free will, that was a gift from God as well.  So, as we, begin focusing on the release of controlling from our lives, let us remember that just as those we love that are struggling, we too can choose to let old habits change to new ones.

On Page 243 you will find that Donna wrote the following and I think it holds much truth.

Hope and comfort arrive when we come to a place of fully surrendering our entire will over to God.  Every day. Sometimes, every hour.

Let’s end with Matthew 6: 24-34, it happens to be one of my favorite sections in the bible.

‚ÄúNo one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.¬†25‚ÄúTherefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?26¬†Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.¬†Are you not of more value than they? 27¬†And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?7 28¬†And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,29¬†yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30¬†But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31¬†Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‚ÄėWhat shall we eat?‚Äô or ‚ÄėWhat shall we drink?‚Äô or ‚ÄėWhat shall we wear?‚Äô 32¬†For¬†the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33¬†But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,¬†and all these things will be added to you.¬†34¬†‚ÄúTherefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

As we finish this final lesson in The God Of All Comfort I hope that you enjoyed this series. ¬†I pray that we can come together again in the future. ¬†I encourage you to share you thoughts and anything you liked or disliked about the blog posts. ¬†It’s a time of learning for me and I accept all respectful advice.

 

May God bless you and keep you.  May we allow Him to comfort, guide, encourage, protect, and love us as He intended to.  I pray we can take our old habits and the control issues and put them to bed.  Bring forth a loving more delightful response to our struggles in this world.  Praise be to God.

In Jesus Name,

Amen

 

Grace is a gift,
Julie

 

The God Of All Comfort – Patient Endurance- Lesson 7


God of All Comfort

“If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.” ¬†2 Corinthians 1:6

The author, Donna Pyle, wrote this lesson in regards to her own personal experience of her marriage ending.  I commend her for sharing her experience and for the opportunity to share this lesson.  I, myself have been divorced and it is not easy no matter how well the two people get along.  My own personal faith grew during that time and after reading this lesson, I so wish I would have had this lesson in my hands at that time.  Join me in learning how to cope with betrayals of this world, showing new Christians a welcoming way, and as always placing Christ at the center.

Have you ever experienced the broken trust of someone close to you? ¬†I’m not talking just in regards to your spouse, ¬†people lose trust in others daily I’m sure. ¬†That is part of the brokenness¬†of this world we have now. ¬†There is something that looks better, feels better, and gives us a satisfaction that normally doesn’t last long. ¬†Our sinful nature is always seeking for that one thing that will bring us wholeness isn’t it? ¬†When someone travels that path to the “oh so beautiful thing” (whatever that thing is) we often don’t stop to examine it fully. ¬†Unfortunately, we don’t see that us getting the “beautiful thing” could disrupt the core of our current life and bring others to destruction. ¬†

That’s why our trust needs to be in the Lord. ¬†It’s not easy I know, I still struggle on some days. ¬†The bible gives us reminders of who we are to trust, here are just a few.

Psalm 4:5

Psalm 9:10

Psalm 20:7

We place our trust in the Lord and we receive comfort from him in all disturbing incidents.  Donna states on page 195, But guarding our hearts also guards them against receiving comfort from God and those around us. One must allow forgiveness to begin if they have been betrayed.  God will give us the tools to move us along if we place our trust in Him.  

Have you ever heard it stated that being angry and bitter towards someone else only hurts you? ¬†I have, and I find that true. ¬†It is hurting the one that is angry and bitter way more than the other person, in fact a lot of times it sucks the life out of you. ¬†Being negative and angry, when we are in this state, especially for extended periods of time, do others want to be around us? ¬†The answer is plain ol’ NO.

Once again we come back to the bible that gives us key verses to remind us about forgiveness.

Colossians 3:13

Luke 6:37

John 20:23

All of these verses remind us that if we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven by the Lord. ¬†It’s not easy, I know I am one that has had a hard time forgiving many traumatic things, and the people who have created them. ¬†But we must, we need to gather together and spend time in the Word to build our memory of these verses and stories. ¬†We need to be taught by those that are educated in the Word, and we need to pray. ¬†We need to get down on our knees and ask the Lord to encompass our hearts and minds. ¬†To remove the bitter anger that lies within us and help us to forgive our offender. ¬†

 God will rescue us.  He will take his grasp and hold us tight to endure, to forgive, to move forward.  We only need to open our hearts and minds to Him.

Now that we have reviewed the broken trust, forgiveness, and the Lord’s mighty help, let’s talk about new Christians. ¬†In this section, ¬†I could relate as well. ¬†I didn’t become a Christian until I was in my twenties and then I really wasn’t practicing like I should. ¬†But I recall being new, wondering things, feeling like I knew very little about the Lord’s Word, and didn’t want to be asked anything! ¬†Sometimes I still feel that way, which is silly. ¬†Our bible study is to learn, and I would trust anyone of those ladies with a child of mine. So,¬†I need to let go of my pride and worry of embarrassment, say what I am thinking, and get their response. ¬†I probably would learn a great deal, huh? Have you ever felt this way? Whether you are new Christian or not, you might feel this way now.

As Christians, let us extend our hands in worship when we notice a new family or individual. ¬†Let’s send a card welcoming them or invite them to sit with us at the potluck. ¬†Why do we make this so hard? ¬†My goal is to get better at this, and I need accountability. ¬†So those of you that attend with me, be sure keep me on my toes!

Do you find it easy to greet new attendees of Worship or Sunday School?  What about in just everyday life? What are some suggestions you can offer to us how you handle greeting others? I think it would be great to share ideas!

Centering our life around the Lord and making him the foundation will make all our lives better. ¬†Our sinful nature keeps us from doing that, so it’s a battle we must conquer each day. ¬†Taking the Word, delving into it daily, praying often, and surrounding yourself with a support system is essential to staying strong in this fashion.

Won’t you join me in praying to our Lord.

Lord,

Today there will be betrayals in this world.  The debris left will be broken hearts, tear-stained cheeks, swollen eyes, and low mental states.  We pray that those that are betrayed will fall to their knees, lift their circumstances to you, and allow you to encompass them.  To hold them tight and take them down a path of pure comfort and strength.  Gracious Lord, those that are the ones that betrayed, we ask that they find their way to you and request forgiveness for what they have done.  That they begin anew and become stronger against the evil of this world.  May the new Christians find a family to hold them close, teach them in their journey, and welcome them into this life of joy and comfort and strength we find only in You.  In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

 

Grace is  a gift,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

The God of All Comfort – Lesson 6 – Afflicted For You


God of All Comfort

“If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.” ¬†2 Corinthians 1:6

Welcome back my friends, I hope you find the lesson today to be inviting and worthy of your time.  I know I enjoyed this lesson more than I thought I would and I took away some good things to pray and ponder on.

The lesson focused on a marriage and the struggles that one couple endured together. If you are married, ¬†I’m sure you will be able to relate on one level or another. ¬†To name a few of them, financial, church attendance, and submission. ¬†Did you catch that last word? ¬†Yes I typed submission and I will be honest when I hear the word submit the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. ¬†At our bible study I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. ¬†I must admit right now though that after being with my husband eleven years I find myself submitting more and it comes with our relationship growing, me personally growing, aging, and learning more of what God requires, I believe. ¬†Where do you stand when the word submission is related to your marriage?

Let’s recall that our husbands are to “love us like Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25) and we (wives) are to submit to our husbands (Ephesians 5:22). ¬†The word submission in today’s world has a negative reaction most of the time. ¬†It was mentioned among the ladies that perhaps the issue with submission now is due to the fact that alot of the marriages have both spouses working outside the home and equality is evident in this world. ¬†I don’t know the reason for submission getting a bad rap, but I am still somewhere in the middle.

The author points out that ultimately it is God we have to answer to. ¬†We sometimes have to submit to save the marriage, find a new path that brings you closer to God, and although it may be hard to swallow, we must endure. ¬† Your submission honors God. (page 165)¬†This really hit me. ¬†It’s true. ¬†For example, what if Jesus had not chosen the path God led him on? ¬†What and where would we be today?

In regards to the financial struggles the couple were different types of spenders.  Financial situations are one of the most stressful things in a marriage.  In the bible we find that in Deuteronomy 28:12 it instructs us how to live financially.

The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. ESV 

Sharing this verse the author opened up to me a better understanding of how things are to be.  I think that all young couples that are considering marriage should focus on this verse and visit together about it.

The last couple days of the study brings us to a place of care and comfort and honor.  On this days lesson was restoration though disability brings a mother and daughter back together.  The granddaughter was autistic and although they had not spoken for sometime God used this beautiful vessel of a human to bring them back together.  That is offering care and comfort where needed.  Just as David honored Jonathan by caring for his son Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9:1-13.  This story was lovely as well, I encourage you to take a moment to read it.

Bringing us to the last day of the week’s lesson I loved it. ¬†We are to be still with God. ¬†Praying to God without ceasing is a good habit. ¬†Scheduling devotion time with God is essential in living the life He wants for us. ¬†But what about just being STILL with God? ¬†How often do we just sit, in his presence without the tv, radio, family, or laundry interfering? ¬†For me, rare is the right word. ¬†After reading this I think I will start out with 5 mins a day. ¬†Hopefully build from there and see what transpires. ¬†Who is with me? ¬†Who wants to bask in the glory of our Father and become even closer to Him?

There were four routines that the author does.  I plan to begin one of them soon.  It was a wonderful idea, and I would encourage you to check out page 186 of the book to see them.

Taking a marriage that could have ended in divorce and creating a new life via submission, growing together, and prayer. ¬†This week’s lesson can shine light to many of us and take us to new levels if we allow it.

Please pray with me.

Gracious Father,

As we come to find we are creatures of sin, we pray for your forgiveness in this tattered world.  We pray that we will allow you to lead us to submission and comfort those around us.  May we bask in Your word and learn that life is better when we do.  We lift up to you the hurt, fragile, lost, and hurting people, while we rejoice with those that know Your gifts and rest in the fact of the resurrection.  We praise our Holy Father.  In Jesus Name, Amen