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All posts for the month June, 2014

Wrong Assumptions Can Lead to Destruction

Published June 27, 2014 by birdieklh

www.jesuit.org.sgYou know, my hubby and I don’t watch cable at all . . . we watch local news and some programs/movies through Netflix. Over the past month we watched a series from BBC called “Luther” about a ‘non-conventional’ but very smart detective who had faced MUCH adversity. There was one, then two other officers who got completely the wrong impression of this man and instead of taking the time to get to KNOW him they drew very wrong conclusions about his character and as a result almost destroyed him. One of them died, and the other severely wounded, although she finally realized that her assumptions were not based on reality at all. Wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions which can lead to wrong accusations and wrong actions taken against another person or persons . . . we MUST tread very carefully!

That show on top of our study in the book of Job these past few days really got me to thinking how horrible things can become when we make decisions based on assumptions of someones character or status in life! Yes, even as Christians! Many of us, like Job’s friends, tend to ‘assume’ when someone is hurt, very sick, going through bad times, etc. that they must have some how fallen away from their faith and God had turned His back on them. First of all, God does NOT turn His back on His children! Secondly, if / when He allows some tragedy to befall one of His children, He will use it to help shape, mold, and grow that person to be even greater than before. Giving them a testimony out of their time of testing!

As Job’s friends came to be with him when they heard of his circumstances, they sat in sackcloth and ashes, mourning with him silently for seven days . . . then . . . their accusations began to flow! Every one of them fully believed that Job had somehow fallen from God’s grace and needed to repent so that he could be restored. Job held his ground, proclaiming his faith was still intact, but did start allowing himself to get into a ‘pity party’ (although, we can all pretty much understand why he felt the way he did-wishing he had not even been born) . . . Job had ‘reason’ to be down – he had lost absolutely everything; his body was being attacked with sores; his wife wanted him to curse God and die; then top it all off with ‘friends’ who bombarded him with accusations based upon wrong assumptions. Talk about destructive!

Job cried out, through this time of testing by his friends, saying of God, “He is not a man like me that I might answer Him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.”  Job 9:32-35 (NIV)

The good news is this . . . there IS Someone like that for us . . . Jesus, Christ!

So, next time you feel yourself in the midst of some extremely difficult situation, or false accusations, remember that you DO have an advocate – Jesus.

And, next time you begin to feel yourself drawing conclusions about someone else, stop – take a few moments to ask yourself if you’re absolutely SURE the information on all the circumstances, the person’s true character, are correct or if you’ve drawn upon what someone else has said or what something ‘looks’ like. If you have not taken the time to get to KNOW that person, don’t jump into assumptions . . . things are not always what they seem. It is too easy to draw quick assumptions and follow them up with false accusations which can destroy a person, their family, their position (at work, at the church, in the community), their very lives. They, too, have an advocate  in Jesus, as believers. WE will be accountable to Him for what we say and do to others!

The best (and only) way to truly avoid the trap of falling into wrong assumptions is to always walk in Christian love (Agape – unconditional, pure) towards all people.  After all, Paul tells us in Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm to his neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”  This reiterates what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 22:37-40, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”

© klh 4Given Ministries

 

 

 

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TODAY – Starting – Fresh & New

Published June 25, 2014 by birdieklh
from ecosalon.com

from ecosalon.com

The past two days my hubby and I have been assisting another couple with some personal paper work and things, thus we’ve been a bit too busy to do our usual ministry outreach via blogging. Also, on top of this busyness I’ve had some (slight) trauma to my own mind due to words heard from doctors, and choices I have had to pray about making.

This morning, appropriately we are in the book of Job in the Old Testament readings, and some of the footnotes were like beacons from heaven right into my soul. I have the choice to wallow in the negativity or to rise above, keeping my faith strong in the ONE Who is over all and in all – my Savior, my Creator, my Abba (Daddy).

The result of this morning’s study time is simply this . . . Today, I am starting fresh and new. Yesterday (last week, last month, even hours ago) is behind me and LIFE is ahead of me. Life full, fresh, new, full of promise!

I choose this day to rejoice in this day which my Lord has made.

I choose to look to Him to rain down His faithful love and blessings, just like the natural rain is now falling from the clouds, I know His holy rain is pouring down into my innermost being even now as I type these words. I can feel it entering in and begin to saturate the dry areas. I can feel the freshness begin. Hope is rising up one more. I do not care what the words of others spoke into my life or about my life – it is NOT their call – it is God’s call! He IS in full control, and it is to Him that I cling.

I am boldly singing this old hymn today:

ON CHRIST, THE SOLID ROCK, I STAND


My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

2

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

3

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

4

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Source: http://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/298#ixzz35ewnUF4m

© klh 4Given Ministries

 

He Who Is Without Sin . . .

Published June 23, 2014 by birdieklh

man repentancein submission to God

When one hears of someone they once were very close to having fallen from their faith in a devastating way, it tears at the heart. Cuts to the core. We wonder how in the world could that person have done such a thing?! What about their spouse? What about their children? What about their church family?

It seems so very easy to start pointing fingers, asking questions, speculating . . . and yes . . . judging.

The Christ-given, mother-nurturing side of me wants to take these people in my arms and love on them. Let them know that they are still loved, that they can be restored through Christ – true repentance always brings forth forgiveness and restoration.

The other “human” side of me wants to demand answers. Answers to the “Why?”, the “How could you?”, and “What now?” And to speak “if only . . . ” into their situation. But I do not. I’m biting my tongue. What good would it do, anyway?! None. When one sins, they are fully aware of what they have done. To God, to themselves, to those close to them. It would be adding ‘fuel to the fire’. It is not my place to do that . . . that job is Holy Spirit’s, 100%.

One sits and contemplates the relationship . . . do you remain friends with this person or persons? If we turn our back on them, how can they understand the depth of love and compassion Abba Father has for them? If all they feel is rejection, ridicule, shame, blame, etc. wouldn’t that push them even farther away? Deeper into the pit that the enemy of their souls has already pushed them into?

Instead, I am choosing to contemplate ALL that the Lord, by His loving, grace and mercy, has forgiven me for. All He has brought me through. All He has restored in my own relationships and wrong choices that I had made along the way.

I focus on His character instead of the flawed human character of my friend(s) / loved one(s) who chose to make wrong decisions and sin. I remember Jesus, as he saw the people about to stone the woman caught in adultery – how he simply knelt down and wrote in the sand, saying “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” – well, of course no one could throw that first stone, and soon no one was left but Jesus. He COULD have, for He genuinely was without sin, but His character is pure love and forgiveness, backed by the desire to see people whole and reconciled.

I focus on His conversation with the woman at the well – He KNEW her – He knew she was living in sin, yet there was no condemnation in His words towards her.

If I truly consider myself to be a Christian – an imitator of Christ (which I do), then how in the world can I even begin to propose thoughts of accusation, blame, downgrading, humiliating, etc.? Truth is, I can not. I refuse. To do so would be dishonoring to my Lord!

What do we do, then, once the shock and hurt lessens?  Pray,  P R A Y, &  P R A Y some more! Present the Truth . . . in LOVE . . . and allow God’s Character to flow through you to them, through the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to do His work. If they refuse, keep on praying, but do not allow any bitterness to take root in your own heart.

Loving others through the consequences of their wrong choices is not an easy task. It is a spiritual battle, but one more than worth fighting – fighting to keep your own peace as well as fighting for the restorative, healing your friend(s) need to receive as well. They are not in a place where they can do battle . . . we must take up our armor and fight for them . . . trusting God that the battle will be one of victory . . . for His glory and your friend(s) good.

 

© klh 4Given Ministries

 

Beyond Frustration

Published June 20, 2014 by birdieklh

Okay . . . I confess . . . today I am posting a blog late . . . didn’t even ‘feel’ like posting one, to be honest.

Why?! FRUSTRATION

I can hear your thoughts . . . “that’s not very encouraging” – “isn’t this the gal who always exemplifies positive?” – “Oh NO! I come here to be uplifted, nudged along in my faith . . . if she’s having a bad day . . . who’s going to help me now?”

All I can say is “I’m sorry.”

I have to be open and honest. I have to speak truth.

God’s Truth is constant – He never changes. Me, on the other hand,I  have not yet arrived at that “perfect all the time” stage.

If I were to come and post another “everything is beautiful” blog on a day like today, where there have been more ‘sighs’, more ‘tears’, more ‘attitudes’ (like throwing something, although I have not) and full to overflowing with frustration after frustration, then I would not be speaking truthfully.

Yes, I still believe and KNOW that God IS in control.

Yes, I know that His joy is my strength.

Yes, it is still true that He is my refuge, my shelter in the times of storm, and . . .

yes . . . I am going to Him (have gone to Him quite often throughout this chaotic day) – my faith is consistent even in the middle of such storms, but it doesn’t mean that I am exempt from the lightening strikes that sometimes hit me hard.

Anyway . . . I know that blogs are expected of me, and I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially my Lord . . . so here it is.

I am speaking to myself – as well as you – to “not lose heart” . . . God has not left, has not abandoned, has not taken away His hand over our lives. We will have moments in this life where things don’t go according to plan. Jesus told his disciples that very thing in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” ( NKJV)

Now, we KNOW these things will happen from time to time – these things being various ‘bad’ days, frustrating moments, shattered dreams, loss, etc. So, we boil back down to choices. The choices of how to deal with these things when they happen. Jesus answered THAT also . . . see His words, “be of good cheer”? S I G H . . . yep . . . I certainly didn’t get that part of today’s lesson right, that’s for sure. Oops! Like I said, I’m not to that perfect stage yet, are you? If you are, please, enlighten me!

Okay, so here I am . . . encouraging myself, trying to still be positive for you . . . needing to repent of not ‘being of good cheer’ today, ouch! Hate when that happens. Why do I allow myself to get there? In that frustrated state? It snuck its way in and I guess I opened up the door and played welcoming hostess to it today somehow.

Abba Father, I am SO very sorry for allowing the attitude of my heart to be other than what You desire it to be. Forgive me for dropping my guard an allowing the enemy to get in. Frustration is NOT in Your plan. I honestly do not know how or when I let my defenses down, when I lowered my shield of faith today, but I have it back up now, and am praising You for that Helmet of Salvation and the Breastplate of Righteousness that saved my bacon today. Thank You for Your Word which has my feet ready – it’s in my spirit and it is active, that Sword of the Spirit, cutting away the wrong I’ve done today with my thought patterns and emotions, guiding me now, leading me back into the way I am to walk with you. In joy and peace, not in frustration – thank You for forgiveness. Thank You for restoration. Thank You for loving me, holding me close, and bringing comfort to my wounded soul. I exult Your Name on High – I give You praise – I honor You, I pour out my love and gratitude upon You, in Jesus Mighty Name – all glory goes to You – amen and amen.

© klh 4Given Ministries

 

Warning – Danger – Be Alert!

Published June 19, 2014 by birdieklh

It’s kind of funny. I was looking for an image to use for a blog idea “walking backwards”, because that is how I am feeling today (complicated). Anyway, I found this image and simply HAD to grab it and blog about it.

Most of us take many, many steps every single day without even casting a thought as to what we are stepping into, onto, or by. Sure, we are somewhat aware of our surroundings, but since most of our days are fairly routine, we tend to do most of our step taking almost by rote – subconsciously.

This sign really got me to thinking about our faith walk.

How many of us truly take the time to get to know our spiritual surroundings?

How many times do we walk right into an enemy trap matter-of-factually because we don’t “see” it?

Perhaps we feel safe and comfortable with the steps we have taken for so long that we tune out any possible pit-falls and keep marching ahead.

Or, conceivably we just don’t believe that they even exist on our journey because things have gone well for a while.

Naivety gets us nowhere fast – or should I say –  it may get us somewhere very fast, depending upon how we may step . . . straight into one of those “deep shafts” this image portrays!

Maybe our eyes are so focused on how things were that we are daydreaming about them instead of paying attention to what lay ahead of us (right smack dab in front of us) on our path.

Whatever the reason, we blindly do not see it – we take the plunge. We trip, we slip, we stumble, and we tumble down, down, down . . . we hit bottom . . . wondering what in the world happened!

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”  Matthew 7:15 NIV

“Be on your guardstand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV

These are only a very few examples of the Lord’s reminding us that we must be mindful of our spiritual surroundings. Whenever we allow ourselves to let our guard down, even briefly, the enemy of our souls is quick to entice our feet to walk right into one of his traps! He is a sly, subtle ole’ fox . . . he has a way of making some of his traps not even look like anything dangerous at all. What may look like a tiny puddle could swallow a whole car – an example most of us can comprehend due to the flooding across our nation that we’ve observed on TV or even personally. The same principle applies spiritually. We MUST stay alert. We MUST have our hearts, minds, emotions focused solely upon the Lord. Fully following the guidance of Holy Spirit every moment of every day. If we change our focus onto ourselves, onto our perceptions of the ‘problems’ in our lives instead of on Him – how fast we can tumble!

How, do you ask, do we do this? It all boils down to a continuing, deeply rooted relationship with the Lord. Opening up your Bible – every day – not just on Sunday. Having the lines of communication always open with Him – be in prayer, praise, worship – and LISTENING ♦  for His guidance. It’s not about your being a church member. It’s not about how good you are. It’s not about giving to charity. No, those things are great, but it is about a heart to heart knowledge of your Savior as your Friend! It is taking time to crawl up on Abba (Daddy) Father’s lap from time to time, allowing Him to hold you and sharing with Him all of your cares and concerns – as well as speaking to Him of your love and gratitude for Who He IS in your life and all He has done and is doing.

As we keep our eyes on Jesus,  He lights the way – His Word IS the lamp unto our feet and the light onto our path (Psalms 119:105). And . . . as we LISTEN ♦ Holy Spirit will  directs our steps and we will be able to see the traps and avoid them!

© klh 4-Given Ministries

On The Fast Track?

Published June 18, 2014 by birdieklh

from govcentral.monster.com

from govcentral.monster.com

Let’s face it . . . we live in a world today where everything seems to move at high speed.

We rush to get ready in the morning.

We rush to get to work, school, the store.

We rush to get meals prepared.

We even try to rush through the fast-food places, often grumbling that they are taking way too long – mercy, what is wrong with us?

We rush to get things in order for the night; homework done, dishes done, laundry, bathing, house straightened, clothes laid out for the next day.

We even rush to try to get to sleep faster – isn’t this kind of an oxymoron?

I know that last night, tired as I was, I could NOT fall asleep. Nothing was on my mind, I was very much at peace, completely relaxed, but I just could not get into that lovely sleep mode. I tried sitting up . . . I prayed, I sang worship songs . . . just had a precious time with the Lord. The more tired I got, it seemed, the harder it was to get my peepers (as I like to call my eyes sometimes) to close.

As I finally started to drift off to sleep it was just after 3:00 am, so needless to say, someone had a very hard time getting up out of bed this morning! But I eventually did, not too terribly late, praise God, an hubby and I did our usual first thing in the morning routine – we jumped into God’s Word. Our time of study, prayer and devotions is the highlight of our day – it sets our course – it reminds us to stay on the right track.

By the way, the right track is not necessarily the fast track! Sorry to burst your bubble, but our “Burger King Mentality” (that attitude that demands “my way right away”) does NOT cut it in God’s Kingdom.

Good things take time. Great things take time, blood, sweat and tears. Tremendous accomplishments take a colossal effort. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING lasting in God’s Kingdom happens fast.

Our spiritual journey is one of constant growth. When / If we are put into ares of service before we are truly ready we will crash and burn. This not only causes great harm to our own lives, but also the lives of those of whom we have within our circle of influence. We will not always make good choices because our maturity level has not reached much beyond the toddler stage.

It is difficult to sit back and wait . . . believe me, I KNOW! Been there, done that (unfortunately more than once).

But, you know that saying, “Good things come to those who wait.”? The Bible calls it something else – FAITH. Hebrews chapter 12 is full of these faith giants – regular people who loved God, walked with Him, had dreams/visions imparted into their hearts, believed God WOULD fulfill that which He said, yet did not see it fully in their lifetime. That did not mean they quit, gave up, or stopped believing – that is what faith is all about. We KNOW that God is not a man – He does NOT lie. We KNOW that He is FAITHFUL to complete that which He starts. We know that His word does not return void, but that it WILL accomplish that which it has been sent to do!

With those things in mind (as well as MANY other promise filled, power packed scriptures) we can live in His Kingdom, now. Doing His work, now. Sharing His love, hope and grace, now.

If we continue to rush through everything – the fast track that so many of us have been on – we miss out on the most important thing of all. Our purpose for living. Our RELATIONSHIP with God the Father, through His Son, empowered by His Spirit! That is something that can NEVER be rushed!

It is like savoring a good meal. We sit down, say . . . Thanksgiving or Christmas . . . we take our time and enjoy every savory bite as well as the company of good friends/family. We choose to set aside our busy, fast paced life for a few hours. Why can’t we do that EVERY DAY with our Lord?! He is far more worthy of our time than anything else we could possibly be trying to rush through!

Abba Father, forgive me for my fast paced attitude when it comes to my walk with You. Forgive me. I know that You desire a relationship with me, to have us know one another intimately, and I have put you on the back burner too many times, rushing ahead with MY plans for the day. The things I ‘feel’ that I must accomplish. It is a heavy load, and yet, I know if I slow down and make the time for US (You and me) that You will lighten that load more than I could ever imagine. You have this beautiful way of stretching time for all things as long as I put You first . . . Holy Spirit, quicken this to me every day, lest I forget again. Amen.

(c) klh 4Given Ministries

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