Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Virtuous

Oh to pick the words myself instead of letting RNG (Random Number Generator) do it! This word is not an easy word. It has the ability to get me in trouble... there are so many ideas of what this word "means". What I mean is one person's idea of what is virtuous is different than someone else... So how do we get to the TRUTH of the word! Lets consider the definition and then look at it in light of God's word. I mean isn't that the way Christians should view things, in the light of God's word.

Definition of virtuous


1a having or exhibiting virtue

b morally excellent righteous 
  • virtuous decision

2chaste
I think that the major problem with man's idea of virtuous is the "moral" part of the definition. We "assume" (and you know what happens then) there different levels of morality. At least as we look at the lives people live, it would seem there are. What one person sees as a "sin", another doesn't.

Even my life would attest to the fact that I believe there are some things that are ok, that other people think of as sinful. Example, I have tattoos... I have a lot of friends who think having them are wrong. We both have valid points we can make from the Bible to support our views. So who is right? Or does the Bible contradict itself? Here is my answer to those questions.... We both are right, and the Bible does not contradict itself....
"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." Acts 17:11
The people spoken of here were in Berea... They did not take what Paul and Silas said as truth. They studied and searched the scriptures for themselves and decided the truth. I believe the Holy Spirit, helped them with this. As a result many came to know and love Jesus. It is or should be the same for us... we should not just take the word of those in authority over us, blindly. We should look for the truth for ourselves.

God has some strict laws He set forth with Moses and the people of Israel, but even the Bible says that those laws were a guide. They were to be a measuring stick. God knew that we could not keep the law and that we would fall short of it...
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:21-24
That is why when we allow Christ to be our Lord and Savior the Holy Spirit comes into our lives. The Holy Spirit gives a new level of "morality" if we allow Him. He will help us interpret God's meaning and words, which may look different to different people. We need to remember first not to judge, and second that we will be held accountable for our lives, no one else.

So what is virtuous? What do you believe is your morality? How will you live your life? Based in the light of God's word and your interpretation or allow other people to tell you what is truth? The Bible says
"for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)       Romans 2:14-15 
"Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." James 4:17 
Gentiles were considered laws and "heathens" in the eyes of the Jews. Yet, Paul says they live the law without knowing the law. We know how to live and know right from wrong... that was the whole point of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.... In the garden before take the fruit of that tree, Adam and Eve were innocent! They didn't know there was evil in the world, it was not part of their being. They were like God, made in His image.... One bite changed the whole world!

So what is virtuous? It is being moral, who is to say if you are wrong or right in your morality but God. And when you have to ask yourself the question, "Should I do this?" or "Is this the right way to act?"  then maybe it isn't and that is the spirit in you wanting you to stop and think before acting. We have it in us to be moral, and immoral, it is our decision on which we will do... we are the ones that make the choice... and we will pay the consequences.

Not sure if this makes any sense at all! Thanks for reading! God Bless You All!

from the post on May 5, 2013



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lagniappe

Today you get 2 for the price of one.... and another drawing also...


After finishing this just a few minutes ago I wanted to write about it... it's creation, the problems... etcetera (etc)! So lucky you... Lagniappe!

I have drawn something like this before and had it on this blog...


I had forgotten how hard it was to draw a hexagon and as I searched for photos to inspire me the more I realized just how awesome our God is. The intricate pattern of a honeycomb is not easily recreated... God created the honey bees to be the masterful creators of this pattern... they create it with no issues; they don't measure out the details or ponder the lines... they just create it. It is their nature, it is who they are! God created them, they are masterful at honeycombs because of their Master! 

It took me three days to get the pattern right for the journal drawing at the top... 3 days and it is nowhere near what a real honeycomb looks like... I want to do this as a Bible journal page... I am really scared to... I will mess it up, I just know I will.... There is the self-esteem issue raising it's head again.... God created me... He is my Master.... He gave me a "talent" (cough, cough...) 

I want to honor God with my art, my words, my song, and my life.... if I mess it up will it be honoring. Or is this just another way to let my low thoughts of the abilities I have been given keep me from attempting. Probably... I hope you like the drawing and I hope that you get my point! 

Thanks for reading. God Bless You!



Esteemed

This is another one of those words that I need to make bad to see the good... bare with me if you don't understand my meaning. Maybe, I can get the point across.


Mostly, when I think of the word esteem it is in context with a persons self worth. The way they feel about themselves. If you are reading this and you know me personally, you know I struggle with self-worth most of the time. I have a low self image and berate myself a lot. I have gotten better about it, I think, well I don't do it out loud as much, maybe! It is unfortunate that I (we) do that to myself (ourselves), in my case it is learned and hard to unlearn....

Let's move on... in the Bible there were groups of people who walked around like they owned Jerusalem. They were the Pharisees and the Sadducee. And in a way they had a "right" to be highly esteemed. They were the teachers, the doctors, the lawyers, and the politicians of that time in Israel. They had memorize the Bible (the Torah), they kept all the laws, they prayed and gave to the temple like they were supposed to, and they made sure everyone knew it. So why did Jesus have a problem with them?

In Matthew 23, Jesus has basically had enough of the way these groups were acting. They were not seeing Him for who He was, they were trying to get rid of Him, and they were trying their best to get Jesus' followers to stop following Him. Yet, in His love for them, Jesus told them what would happen if they did not listen, if they continued on this path. He is not angry at them in the sense that we would be angry at someone for being prideful and arrogant, esteeming themselves higher than they should. He wants them to turn from the path they are on and realize what they are doing. His love for them is immense, He wants them to believe Him. So, Jesus tells them just who they are and what will happen if they don't stop living, acting, like they are.

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." Matthew 23:25-28
The Pharisees and Sadducee looked really good on the outside. They dressed in the finest clothes, they kept the laws, the lived life in high esteem, yet on the inside Jesus told them they were filthy and dirty, full of dead men's bones. That they were hypocrites of the worst kind, because they knew they were hypocrites and didn't care. They had esteemed themselves higher than they should and Jesus was putting them in their place. So, in this case esteem, is bad or not useful for anyone. Jesus knew if they didn't clean the inside up, the outside would never be as good as it could be.

So when is esteem good, humans seem to mess it up one way or another... either we are down on ourselves and have low self-esteem (like me) or we are cocky and better than everyone else.... Where is the happy medium? Here is my idea...

When we learn to do what Jesus says and to take Him at His word then we will have the esteem we deserve. In Matthew 22, Jesus had been answering the questions of the Pharisees and Sadducee, and one question was "which was the greatest commandment?". To the Pharisees this was a question that was meant to trip Jesus up, to get Him to speak heresies. He knew this and gave a very simple answer...
But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40
Here is my idea.... If I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind, and then use that love to love others, all the while giving God the glory for it all, then I will have the esteem from and be esteemed by the only one who really matters.... God! My self-worth should come from the fact that I am a child of God! My self-worth should not be determine by how I look, or how others see me. Unfortunately, it is hard to not let other humans give us our worth. I can say, all the time, sure I am ok, my esteem is good... but I know deep inside I am letting "others" steal my self-worth, and not allowing God to proclaim my worthiness to be called His child. God doesn't make junk, so why so I act like I am??? My silly human nature... but I also don't want to go the other direction and think that because I am God's child, I am all that and a bag of chips (sorry, couldn't help myself)! There has to be a place in the middle where I feel good about myself but not so good that I am conceited!

Think about this....
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Philippians 2:3
Thanks for reading. If you like what you read here in these blog post, please give God the glory.... I could not do this without His love and guidance. I hope that I am telling it like He wants it told. God Bless You All!



Monday, June 18, 2018

YES!!!!

Back to the 100 positive words... today the word is YES! I am sure we all want to hear this word more than the opposite most of the time. I mean in life, yes is better than no.... mostly. In the case of sickness you want to hear no more, I would think... like no cancer, no heart issues, no sickness. 

As I was deciding how to approach this word I looked up the word yes in the Bible. In the New King James Version (NKJV) it is found 213 times. None of those times really had anything to do with the approach I wanted to take with this.... so I looked up ask... that word is found 286 times in the NKJV. The verse I want to focus on are mostly in the new testament. I want to talk about prayers, questions, and life situations that are answered with.... Yes!

"Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." Matthew 5:42

This is from the same passage where the beatitudes are found. It is near the end of the chapter where Jesus is speaking of going the extra mile... even if it hurts, say Yes if it is in your power to do so. In other words even in the face of persecution, turn the other cheek and give unconditionally.

 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." Matthew 6:8
In this verse Jesus is about to teach the disciples how to pray, but before He did that He told them to not be like the people who give charitably, and pray to be seen by people. God knows our hearts and whether we are praying, asking, and giving with the right intentions or not. We as humans are selfish, it is just the nature of the beast within us. Even when praying for sick friends we are selfish, asking for them to be healed or for miracles. Don't get me wrong, I believe God wants to perform healing miracles, He wants our happiness. We also have to realize that His healing may come through flood, fire, and death. Some times the best healing a person can get is to be taken home to heaven, to end their suffering here... God knows our needs and His will, pray like you believe that, His yes may not be exactly the healing you thought it would be.
 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:7-12
This is still part of the sermon on the mount, Jesus is teaching His disciples more about God's character and the character that every christian should show. God will give us what was ask for... but we always need to be careful what we ask for. I can remember hearing this example in church growing up, when a man prays for a "nice" car so he can get to work. He is offered a car for free but turns it down because he wanted a "nice" car. God sent him a car... He answered the man's prayer. Another example I heard was this....
A man is ship wrecked in the middle of a storm tossed sea and prays Lord Save me! He sees a life jacket floating near him. He let's it pass by because he prayed for God to save him. He sees a man in a boat rowing toward him, the man offers his help. The ship wrecked man says no I am waiting for God to save me, I know He will! A little while later, a helicopter lets down a ladder and the man waved them away. Shortly after that the man drowns and goes to heaven. He asked God... Why didn't you save me? God answered, son I sent a life jacket, a boat, and the helicopter. You refused them all.... 
Many times, we pray expecting the YES we want... God knows what we need and His Yes, may not be the same as ours... I guess I need to go to the old testament here...

"For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.        Jeremiah 29:10-14
These verses are about God's plans for His people, the Jews... we can use it as a promise for us today... God knows His plans for our lives... His yes is yes, and His no is no... We have no way of knowing how His yes and no will change what happens to us in the future... God sees the full forest, we see a few trees.  So remember, a no is not bad always and a yes isn't always good. Trust God, ask what you will with the right intention and then except God's answer.

Thanks for reading. God Bless You All!

This picture is from my prayer journal, sometimes when I pray I doodle or write about the requests I am making... today this was the 'Heart" of my prayer...




 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Fathers


Today is Father’s Day! Today was also the day for me to read Proverbs 17, because it is the 17th of the month. That chapter of Proverbs speaks about children, fathers, and grandfathers in a verse or two. So, I feel it is only fitting for me to do a post about fathers and children.

"Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father." Proverbs 17:6

Grandchildren are the crown of old men…. Grandfathers are an important part of life. I loved the one I had growing up. My mother’s father died before I was born, but my father’s father was around. He was able to even see my child. I would spend hours with him in his shop when we visited in the summers. He was always willing to tell me about the tools he was using and things he was doing in the shop. Once he built a little canon from old parts he had, he shot it on the 4th of July. It put a fairly large hole (to a kid anyway) in tree trunk, which I thought was cool. Those days were and still are important to me. I miss him.

All people aren’t lucky enough to know their grandfathers, or they have grandfathers that are not willing to spend time with their grandchildren. I think that not only the children miss out on a vast part of wisdom and knowledge, the grandparent misses out too! Children’s children are your crown grandpa…. You can and will, whether you try or not, shape the lives of these little people in your life, you get to choose what influence you will be.  

Children look to their dad’s as heroes! Father’s are so important in a child’s life. They are their defense, shelter, protection, or they should be. They should be someone a child can count on in times that are good, bad, and when they are in trouble. Some fathers don’t get that, and some are only fathers through genetics. They do not know the joy they could know, in being a part of their child’s life.

Here is the thing I get from this… a father is the person who is an example to his children! Not just for this life, but also of who God the Father is…. Do you get that? That is VERY important. Your child will see God as a father just like you. So, if you are absent, or are not a good role model, and do not love unconditionally, then your child will see God like that too. That is if someone better doesn’t step up and show them different. Dads be there for your kids, show them a loving father because that is who my God is, and I know that is who He wants to be to our children.

There is one more group that I want to honor…. Mothers who are the only father their children know. It is hard to play both roles… and in hind sight I will say, I wish I had found someone to take on that role for me. Not in the form of a step-father but as just a Father figure, who could have shown my daughter about the right kind of relationship with men and God. I did the best I could in the roles I had… Moms if you are in the daddy role, for whatever reason, to you deserve kudos! If you can find a male role model for your child do it, your own father could be that. If that isn’t an option, find a friend, an uncle, a deacon or elder at your church, or a “Big Brother” who could help. Don’t let an absent dad be their only way to know who God is, because that is not who God is.

So, in closing…. fathers, grandfathers, and mothers you have a big role to play in the lives of your children. You have a choice in how you do that and in what influence you will be… Will you be there or not? Will you love unconditionally, and guide them to know who God is? It is Father’s Day…. Make a choice today!

Thanks for reading…. God Bless You All! Enjoy the videos!







Saturday, June 16, 2018

Honored


And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.                          I Corinthians 12:26

I am honored that you are reading this blog. I look at the stats on any given day not because I want to pat myself on the back, but so I can see if people are actually reading. I am amazed that people would follow this blog or read it once much, less multiple times. So I am honored, thank you! Since, I speak of God and spiritual things most of the time, I also hope and pray that all the people who visit are being blessed for God's honor and glory. 

Writing this blog gives me the opportunity to say things that I might not say out loud. At times the things I write may lead the reader to sadness, happiness, self-reflection, or anger. I am ok with that. Today may not be any different. When I started writing today, I didn't think I had much to say about this word; but as I wrote a thought came to mind so here it is....

I think it is important to give honor were honor is due, and to "call a kettle black" when it needs to be done. I think here in the United States were honor the wrong things at times. We put people or things on pedestals that should never be put there. I am not saying we should not honor the accomplishments of others, or hold them in high-esteem because of their position. We just go overboard at times. 

This action of honoring can cause many good and bad issues. Some people will take the honor and it will cause pride in their lives. Some will go the opposite direction and the honor will cause them to spiral down because they can not handle the attention or the spotlight that honor puts on them. And some people will except the honor humble and use it as they should.  

Many times we honor things without realizing it. When we put more attention on something, than is deserved, we are giving honor to it. And the things and people that really should get honor, like God, don't! 

I don't know if any of this makes sense, it is just what crossed my mind as I started this blog. I don't want honor, I am not writing this for my glory, I do it for God's glory and honor. I want everything I do to be to the honor and glory of God. I couldn't write this blog or do anything else for that matter if it wasn't for Him! Please give God the glory today and everyday for this blog when you take time to read it! 

Thanks for reading. God Bless You All!



Friday, June 15, 2018

Soulful

I did not want to do this today... but I really would like to not skip either so..... Today's word is soulful!

Full of feeling or emotion; expressing feeling or emotion. Today, I am soulful... I am full of emotion. I have a lot on my mine. I have a lot of prayers that I am praying. I am worried and peaceful at the same time.

I have a close friend battling cancer, she is a warrior having won this battle before! I pray daily for her and I want her to be healed, I know God can do it. I also know that sometimes that isn't what He needs to happen, for whatever reason. It could be to make her stronger, or to make those around her more compassionate. He might want to provide a miracle and then again He might have other plans. God is sovereign and I know He has a plan, and whatever that plan is we will except it. It might be hard, but He will get us through it. If you think about it, please pray for her and her family....

I have to say I would like to think that the word soulful has another meaning.... That meaning would be "a full soul"! God wants us to live an abundant life....
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
He really wants to have a relationship with us that allows us to not experience pain, hardships, and troubles... He wants our souls to be full of Love, Joy, Peace, Happiness, Grace, and Forgiveness. He wants us to know who we are in Him, that He is in control and has our back. He wants us to be full of Him and allow that fullness to pour out to others around us. I pray that in this day, right now, I can do that instead of being fearful.

Thanks for reading. God Bless You All!

Oh and here is one of the photos I promised yesterday... He is the last page I was working on in my journal.... there is a song video too that means a lot today!