character traits

All posts tagged character traits

Being Obedient, Even Unto Death

Published September 21, 2016 by birdieklh

Jesus made the choice to come to earth, to take the form of man, Whom He created, to take our sin upon Himself and die a most horrible death – on a cross. Now, most of us will not have to face such things as death on a cross . . .

jesus-on-cross
image from http://www.reasons.org

but . . . There comes a time (often, many times over the years) that we must press forward in obedience to that which Christ calls us to do even when it means there might be consequences of death.

Death of dreams.

Death of relationships.

Death of ______ (fill in the blank).

 

The questions we must ask ourselves are:

  1. Is the above ________ worth more to me and my life than serving my Lord wholeheartedly?
  2. Am I quick to forgive (even though it HURTS)? Matthew 6:15, Matthew 18:21 
  3. Am I walking in the unconditional love of Christ? 1 John 3:16, 2 John 5-6
  4. Am I extending grace to others regardless of what may be said or done to me or to my character? Romans 15:5, 2 John 3
  5. And, speaking of character, am I truly exemplifying the character of my Lord by my responses?  Ephesians 5:1-2

It all boils down to choices – we cannot choose the words and actions of others, but we CAN choose how we respond to them. We can lash out, we can throw tantrums, we can argue the facts, dwell upon the negativity and possibly grow a strong root of bitterness, anger and/or resentment . . .

OR

. . . we can choose to allow the Love of God to permeate our being, and allow it to spread to others.

. . . we can choose to forgive and to pray blessings over the people, circumstances or situations involved. Matthew 5:44

. . . we can stand upon God’s Truth and allow Him to be our defense. Psalm 72:4 Jeremiah 50:34, Isaiah 51:22

Abba Father, I pray your blessings over those whom I love so dearly. Sometimes wrong choices are made, choices to listen to false lies, accusations, and the like. I choose to forgive and continue to love as You love us – unconditionally. Lord, God, pour out Your love, Your peace AND truth into the lives of my beloved friends and family. I thank You and praise You for the gift of each and every one of them in my life. I pray for reconciliation and for unity among us, for Your glory and the furthering of Your Kingdom, in Jesus Mighty Name, amen and amen!

©klh 4-Given Ministries

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SO Much . . .

Published July 11, 2016 by birdieklh

So much anger.

So much pain.

So much grief, Lord,

Help me to remain

At peace with others, and walk in love

Your Perfect Love, sent from Heaven above.

Show me how to help them release

Their frustrations, their angst,

And grab a hold of  Your Peace!

It is only through You that we can find rest

In this land of turmoil and strife

Let us learn to walk in LOVE with others

4c9EK7oyi

image from incolors.club

As we face each day of life, for

Until Your return when all strife

Will CEASE . . . we can walk with Your Spirit

In Your PERFECT Peace –

Peace with You, by accepting Your Son

Peace with each other, Lord, make us ONE!

We need Your love,

Your grace,

Your peace,

Your wisdom, direction,

Lord, let it increase

Within our hearts and teach us to PRAY –

Pray with passion, with ferver, with tears

Over this Nation, once great, now filled with fears.

Let us use our voices before Your Throne

As well as speaking out here and now

To make Your Truth known!

The answer is YOU – for You are LOVE –

But we’ve neglected to show it

Oh, Father, forgive . . .

May we rise up and THROUGH YOU – LIVE!!!


Dear ones, we have wasted so much time NOT being on our knees before God on behalf of our Nation – our World! We have wasted so much time focusing on the things around us and allowing the enemy of our souls to dim our view of the VICTORY that is already ours through Christ’s finished work on Calvary!

We have forgotten who we are in Him and Who He IS in us!

We have forgotten to share the Hope we have – in fact, we have actually begun to speak gloom and doom along with the world around us!

SHAME ON US!!!

The time is NOW – Christian – ARISE! Wake-up! Speak out (in love) God’s principles! Take a stand (in love). We can be BOLD in our faith as long as we temper it with God’s Love remember it is His Kindness that leads to repentence!  Romans 2:4

 

 

The Precious Blood of Jesus was shed for EVERYONE! 

 

What Are We Offering?

Published May 1, 2016 by birdieklh
images

Rotten  Fruit     VS …

A-fruit-bowl-007

Good, Fresh, Nutritious Fruit (image from http://www.theguardian.com)

It has been said that a picture is worth 1,000 words . . . so in a way, my blog today doesn’t need much to be added . . . BUT . . . I do wish to give you some scripture references to help you ponder the meaning behind todays subject and the photos here.

Malachi 1:6-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Polluted Offerings –  “A son honors his father,  and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’  “You offer defiled food on My altar, but say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ by saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’  And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts.  “But now entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, will He accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts.  “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, so that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” says the Lord of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.  For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you profane it, in that you say, ‘The table of the Lord[a] is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’

Questions – is our worship “lip service”? Or, is it genuinely from the heart? Do we sing the songs at church with our complete focus on the Lord, or on people around us (or circumstances that our brains are trying to process from things happening during the week)? Is our praise and worship to our King sweet? Or is our offering a plate of rotten fruit?

Are we walking the walk or just talking the talk? Not only in our worship to the Lord, but also as His representatives here – how are we living our lives? What kind of fruit are we offering not only to God but to those around us?

⇒   SO . . .

If we truly love the Lord, are we conscious of what it is that our lives are offering up to Him? Or, are we going along day to day with our actions not exactly reflecting His love and His glory? Sure, we may ‘say’ the right things. We may even ‘do’ some acts that may appear to be those of a good strong Christian . . . but . . . REMEMBER . . . God looks at the inside of us! Our hearts! Our innermost being. Our inner attitudes. The good, the bad . . . He sees and knows how we really are and who we really are INSIDE – when no one is watching us, observing our behaviors, monitoring our speech – He ALWAYS sees!

2 Samuel 16:7 NKJV   –    But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Another very important ‘fruit’ issue is our inner attitudes. The Lord addresses this point very plainly. Read and contemplate if/how you see yourselves in the two following passages:

Romans 12:3  NKJV     –   For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (then the Apostle Paul goes on to say WHY in the following verses).

Luke 14:7 – 11  NKJV    –   So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Dear ones, when we see ourselves as more important – we are NOT walking according to God’s Word! We need a different heart attitude – a different perspective – HIS!!! My prayer is that I may have God’s eyes to see, His heart of compassion, His understanding, His ears to hear the cry of the people’s’ heart! Only then can I get my attitude to line up with His Word and truly walk in His love towards others. Then and only THEN will the fruit my life offers be fresh, inviting and full of nourishment to those around me!

©klh 4-Given Ministries

With ALL I Am – I Worship

Published March 10, 2016 by birdieklh

Yesterday I did something I very rarely do . . . I placed a post on FaceBook that was sharing my heart (although it did have a wee bit of negative connotations) . . . One thing most people that REALLY know me will verify – I am ‘real’ – the good, the bad, yes, even the ugly – as the Lord takes me through things, I am open to share the fact that I have had some hurt, some doubts, some questions . . . BUT . . . they can also verify that I am first and foremost a worshiper of my King, Jesus. It is to Him I turn to . . . I worship Him with everything I am, with everything I have. I am His completely – in His presence is my strength, my joy, my encouragement. It is when I am in The King’s chambers that He downloads into my spirit His plans, His purposes, deeper revelations of Who He IS! That, my friends is where I belong – that is where I desire to remain.

On Tuesday morning, during a time of corporate worship with other pastors, ministers and leaders, the Lord gave me a very simple phrase that has stayed with me – I was actually about to sing it out when I felt lead to be quiet and speak of it later. This is what He gave me:

No matter what has gone before – regardless of what the future has in store – we are in Your presence, Lord, we want MORE! (I want more!)

worship in dance

image from oslchurch.com

In response to the ‘negative’ post from yesterday (here is what I posted – “I don’t usually post negative things, but these past two weeks have been building up a lot of ‘stuff’ … out and out attacks from people I really care a lot about … it is SO strange! How can my brothers and sisters in Christ allow the enemy to use them to attack one another?! We are to be working towards unity, harmony and sharing God’s love and support and encouragement with one another … I am, quite frankly, at a loss as to what to do next. Praying and trusting and seeking is where I’m at (along with lots of worship, of course).) – there are some follow up Scriptures He reminded me of . . . I wish to share those with you here as well:

Philippians 4:4-13  J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

Delight yourselves in God, yes, find your joy in him at all times. Have a reputation for gentleness, and never forget the nearness of your Lord.  Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.  Here is a last piece of advice. If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good. Model your conduct on what you have learned from me, on what I have told you and shown you, and you will find the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 2:14-16  The Message (MSG)

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.”

Colossians 3:12-17 The Message (MSG)

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”

The whole point of my being open, honest, and upfront with my post yesterday was twofold. One, how can you know the victories, how can I testify to the victories if there were no struggles – if people think we always have it “all together” how can we encourage them?! and Two, how can we keep our spirit eyes open, our hearts open to the possible words, actions and attitudes that we may be placing on our brothers and sisters if we don’t take time to reflect once in awhile. Sometimes, we need reminding. dear ones, none of us is perfect. We wound one another – mostly (I believe) unintentionally. But what we DO with that wounding, how we react to those things – that is wherein our victory or defeat lay.

For me – when attacks hit us hard out of nowhere; when doubts arise; when conflicts happen – I have to put on my dancing shoes, grab my flags, and WORSHIP Him with everything within me. And then cover the other people in loving prayer, and seek reconciliation as The Lord leads – be quick to forgive! Do NOT let the enemy get his stinking little foot in the door!

©klh 4-Given Ministries

Are YOU in The River?

Published February 23, 2016 by birdieklh

A precious sister-in-Christ recently posted some photos from a trip she took, with her full permission, I am using three of them. Thank you, Sandy for your generosity!

My church has quite often spoken about God’s River. How it is present all around us and yet we don’t all jump in and receive Its blessings. Well, today I wish to address some new aspects of rivers that I myself had not meditated upon before. (Thank you, Pastor Vera Segundo, for your awesome message on Sunday!)

1 – The river (a river) will flow where it wants to flow!

task river3 by Sandy Garland Blaser

Task River photo by Sandy Garland Blaser

2 – It makes a path for itself, cutting out places for itself as it twists and turns through reeds, rocks, etc.

task river1 by Sandy Garland Blaser

Task River photo by Sandy Garland Blaser

3 – It will make even the roughest rocks smooth as it flows steadily along its route!

task river2 by Sandy Garland Blaser

Task River photo by Sandy Garland Blaser

So it is with our lives . . . IF . . . we allow ourselves to get in The River of God’s Love. It will lead us to the destination He has for us, shaping us as we go, smoothing out our rough edges, creating vessels that will allow His Beauty to shine through. But we DO need to – by faith – not only take a step into The River, but to completely immerse ourselves within Its powerful flow. It has a planned path, a planned destination, a planned purpose. It brings forth energy, power, LIFE – healing flows within Its banks! Mercy overflows its banks! Are YOU ready to jump in? Are you still dangling your feet? Ah, my friends, the water (God’s Living Water) is marvelous – come on in! You will never be the same!

[ The River of Life ] And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
My heart is overflowing with worship to my King for the flow of His River in and through my own life! I can not keep silent – I must praise Him with every ounce of my being! Singing from the depth of my spirit to His Throne . . . blessing, honor, glory and power, be unto The Lamb, forever and ever. Have Your way in my life, Lord – shape me, mold me, use my life for Your glory – this is the cry of my heart. Amen.

©klh 4-Given Ministries 

 

Thank You, Lord, for Laughter!

Published September 16, 2015 by birdieklh
image from blog.francedc.org

image from blog.francedc.org

Oh my goodness! I can not remember when I have laughed so hard! What a joy that God created laughter to lighten a bleak situation, to help break away ugliness, to pierce through dark moments!

LOL, my sides hurt!!!

I tell you what . . . this morning during our devotional time, in the Word, prayer, etc. one of our readings was about Joseph and his brothers – after their father had died, they went to Joseph trying to be sure that he wouldn’t punish them and turn on them they concocted a story that their father had (supposedly) asked them to share with Joseph . . . really?! Like he wouldn’t have approached Joseph himself before about it?

Anyway, my precious hubby confessed to me that whenever he has thought about Joseph’s brothers over the years he always saw in his mind “The Keystone Cops” . . . well, dear ones, I lost it!

I laughed, and LAUGHED AND LAUGHED some more . . .

Quite a few minutes had passed with me holding my sides, tears in my eyes, and my laughter continuing that my hubby said, “are you done”, to which I shook my head and replied with a voice broken up by more laughter, “no!”

Anyway, I had to blog about it because it really made me think . . .

How we must LOOK to God! The silliness of our actions, of our words when we try to ‘fix’ things instead of simply confessing our wrong and trusting in Him to work things out!

Something we all need to think about today, my friends! Blessings!

© klh 4Given Ministries

 

Living a Sappy Life

Published September 4, 2015 by birdieklh

One of my favorite reminders from the Lord is His story of the Vine (Himself) and the branches (us). It always gets me to pondering if I’m really staying firmly connected.

When in the process of digesting this word picture yesterday I said to my husband . . . “Honey, I want to live a ‘sappy’ life! I want to be not only connected, but dripping with the good stuff flowing out of me to others.” To which he said, “sounds like a blog”…so here it is:

When we really think about how a branch functions as it is connected to the tree (or vine), we know that it is gathering its nutrients from the tree itself – the tree is getting its nutrients from the roots that go down DEEP into the earth. It receives water and minerals, and from the air it gets the oxygen it needs as well. From the richness it receives, the fruit (some trees produce ‘sap’ which can become maple syrup, and that is what I am thinking about right now) which becomes so heavy that it oozes out of the bark. People, animals, birds, bees, etc. can come and partake of its goodness. These branches need not ‘do’ anything – except – stay connected!

If a branch breaks off it falls to the ground and it dies. It can not jump up and say, “oh no – put me back” . . . it just withers away and becomes dry bark good only for fire.

If we happen to stumble in our Christian walk, our fruit dries up and dies – our sap disappears, but we can cry out in repentance to our Creator and He, in His great mercy, can graft us back in. I for one do not want that cry to have to come out of my mouth! I want to be so firmly connected, so deeply en-grafted, that  He literally oozes out of my being. When people are around me they KNOW that they have been in the presence of one who has been in the presence of the Lord. I want to live a “sappy” life – one that drips out His Love, His Grace, His Mercy, His Compassion, His Healing, His Encouragement, etc. to all I encounter.

How about you? Do you want to be dry and brittle or full of rich sap that can sweeten the pallet of others? Have you ever tasted fresh maple syrup from a maple tree? YummmmmmYummmm!  It is amazing! I used to work up in Lake Geneva Wisconsin and they had a festival every year where people would go and tap the trees and make the best maple syrup ever! The sweetness is something that I can still taste even though many years have passed.

I want to have THAT kind of impact on the lives of others – be so firmly connected to Christ Jesus that His glory emanates from me every day!

© klh 4Given Ministries

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