Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, Jesus, love, redemption

Philippians 3-Following Paul’s Example

Paul says in Philippians 3:10:

I want to know Christ–yes to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

Many Christians want the first half of this verse. They long to know Christ and his mighty power. But seldom do they think about the second part of the verse–suffering as He did. They don’t want that part.

But to know Christ…..to truly know Christ is to know his suffering. He suffered a bloody death on the cross for US! He was persecuted and shamed and rejected by men. He was mocked, abused and hated by many.

And still……he went through all the torture and abuse for who? Yes, that’s right. FOR US! Because His love is so great for us. His unconditional love for us will never end.

Are we going to suffer the way Christ did? Maybe not. But there are people in the world who ARE tortured and killed for their belief in God.

Paul tells us further in chapter 3 of Philippians to follow his (Paul’s) example:

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Did you read verse 20? Our citizenship is in HEAVEN! We need to focus not on earthly things but on things above. Things of God. We are temporary citizens in this world. One day we will be in heaven, living with Christ forever. And ever.

When we get to heaven, our “lowly bodies” will be like his “glorious body!” Our worn down and falling apart bodies will be brand new! There will be NO pain, NO sickness, NO tears! Praise the Lord!

The Lord is coming back soon, people! We need to be ready? A quote I found sums it up:

Live as though Christ will return TODAY!

How is your relationship with Christ?

Are you walking with Him daily? 

If you don’t know Christ as your Savior, please feel free to contact me so I can share with you the Good News! God loves you!

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Posted in adhd, bible verses, bipolar, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia, mental disorders

Ramblings

Although I will not apologize for being sick (because it makes no sense to apologize for something you have no control over), I will apologize for my rant yesterday. I was angry and upset and just needed to vent.

People have told me to “change my mindset.” I’ll admit, it angered me at first but maybe they’re right. However, changing my mindset doesn’t change the fact I suffer from a chronic illness and need help.

I will do my best to be more positive about my situation. I want to be positive. I really do. It’s just a struggle sometimes.

I don’t understand why I must have fibromyalgia and all these other health problems but I know that God is in control and will help me fight these battles.  Perhaps He’s allowing me to go through this so that I may grow closer to Him, reaching out to Him always. To learn to depend on Him always.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you

I Peter 5:7


My disability hearing is June 27th, at 9:15. I am very, very nervous. Because of my age I’m afraid I won’t receive a favorable outcome. I’m afraid the judge will look at me and figure I’m too young and that there are jobs out there I can do. But….there aren’t.

I can’t work retail anymore because I can’t stand on my feet for long periods of time anymore. And in retail they don’t let you sit down.

I can’t work in an office setting because I can’t sit down for long periods of time either. It’s a constant battle. I sit down for long periods of time and I get stiff. I hurt. My knees get totally stiff. I go to stand up and can barely walk.

I’m constantly tired. I actually take naps almost every day because it helps.  I have to remind myself that it’s NOT laziness. I am resting my body. I know what my body needs.

I have a very hard time focusing on tasks. I get distracted very easily and end up getting up and finding something else to do. Then I get bored with that and move on. It’s a never ending cycle. It’s frustrating. But I’m trying hard to fight through it.

I guess what I’m saying is that I will try to change my attitude. It doesn’t change my situation and my problems but it will help get me through the day. I will rely on God more. I will lean on Him for support and trust in Him that He will get me through this.

A verse I’ve been reading nearly every day is found in Mark 11:24:

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,believe that you have received it and it will be yours

Another verse that has been helping me is found in Psalm 37:4:

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

I’m praying hard for a favorable outcome at my hearing next Wednesday. But no matter what, I’ll keep trusting my Lord.

GOD is in control! He is with me in this storm and He will see me through. I don’t know the future but God does and He knows what’s best for me. I will praise Him in this storm!

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The maker of heaven and earth

–Casting Crowns, “Praise You In This Storm

 

Posted in adhd, bipolar, fibromyalgia, mental disorders

A Few Thoughts…

I’d like to take the time to share something that’s been on my heart the past few days. I am currently down with the stomach bug so between binge watching Netflix and reading I’ve been doing some thinking. It’s more of a rant so I’m warning you now. I just need to get this off my chest.

Most of you know that I struggle with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes widespread body pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties (“fibro fog”) I also suffer from bipolar disorder, ADHD, PCOS, anxiety and depression.

I physically and mentally CANNOT work at this present time. I have applied for disability and have a hearing next Wednesday, June 27th. My lawyer thinks I have a very good chance at winning due to all my health issues.

However, most people look at me and think I’m just being lazy and think I just don’t want to work.

“Change your mindset” they tell me. “You’ll feel better”

It’s not about my “mindset.” I physically cannot work. Don’t you think I WANT to be able to work and provide for myself? Don’t you think I feel ashamed that I can’t provide for myself? That I can’t help out more around the house? It’s downright embarrassing.

You know what though? I shouldn’t feel ashamed about any of this. I have health problems. I didn’t ask for them.

I want people to know how badly it hurts when I’m called lazy.

It’s not laziness. I just wish I could get people to understand this.

The pain is real, folks. And words hurt.

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, grace, love

Loving the Unlovable

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen

1 John 4:20

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves…….Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Romans 12:9-10, 14

beach coast island landscape
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

We’re going to encounter some people in life who are just hard to love. Maybe they are constantly complaining about life. Maybe they live in a state of anger all the time. Perhaps they just hate life. Perhaps they have hurt you in some way and loving them just seems impossible.

1 John 3:15 tells us that

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

Jesus calls us to love everyone! Including our enemies! Including those who persecute us! Including those who are unlovable!

I’m going to be honest here. I struggle with loving a particular person in my life. This person has hurt me and has hurt others way too many times to count. Loving this person just seems impossible! They MAKE it impossible! But the longer I continue to harbor ill feeling towards them, the longer I am hurting myself. The longer I continue in my “inability” to love this person, the longer I’m straying away from God.

So this is something I am struggling to work on but if I just give this struggle to God, I can start to love this person. Because with God, ALL things are possible!

1 John 4:8 reminds us “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God is love!

God loves us!  And can’t we be unlovable from time to time? Yet God loves us despite that! I know that *I* can be unlovable at times. Yet God still loves me. His love is  merciful! It’s faithful! It’s unconditional!

But you, Lord are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalm 86:15

With God’s help, we can love those who seem incapable of being loved.

Is there someone in your life who makes it difficult to love them?

Give it to God. God is love. God loves you.

 

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, Jesus, love, redemption

Until the Whole World Hears

Lord I want to feel your heart
And see the world through your eyes
I want to be your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads

sky earth galaxy universe
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I love this song by Casting Crowns. It reminds me of the passage in Romans 10.

13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Last night in church, we were reminded that we are all ministers of the Gospel. We are called to serve and to preach the Good News.

I don’t know about you but I am constantly thinking about the Second Coming. I long for the day when I can see Jesus and live with Him for eternity.

But when will this happen? When will the end come? Well according to Matthew 24:14:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come

I take that to mean that only when the last person has heard the Gospel, only when the last person has had the opportunity to make a decision for Christ that Christ will return for His children.

God longs for everyone to turn to Him. So let’s do our part and lead others to Him! Let’s have a heart for God’s people!

Posted in bible verses, Our Daily Bread

Humble Yourselves

Photo by Utah Jack on Unsplash

Today’s devotional in Our Daily Bread spoke on the topic of humility. The Scripture reference was found in Philippians 2:1-11, focusing on verses 5-7

 

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.

We are called to serve. To love others. But living in a “me first” world can sometimes, if not most of the time, prevent that. We have the tendency to want everything for ourselves.

Aren’t we to be thankful for the fact that Jesus was humble enough to die on a cross for our sins? He took OUR sins, OUR mistakes, OUR failures and was nailed to a cross so we won’t have to spend eternity in hell.

Talk about humility!

Jesus demonstrated the greatest humility of all

In verses 3 and 4 of Philippians 2, Paul tells us to

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to you own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

I’m not going to lie, I can be a very selfish person. I’m not proud of it by any means and it’s something I’m working on changing.  I’m just being honest here. I think we can all be selfish from time to time. We may not mean to be but it does happen. It’s our human nature!

 

Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

 

But the Bible specifically tells us to not be selfish. We are to devote ourselves to others and serve in any way that we can.

Concentrate on putting others first.

How can you serve someone today?

Posted in bible verses, medications

New Medication

white blue and purple multi shape medicine pills
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So my doctor put me on a new medication for my ADHD. The one I was taking, Strattera, just wasn’t doing its job. So now I am on KapVay, which interestingly enough is also used for blood pressure.

Isn’t it amazing how certain medications can be used to treat a whole plethora of illnesses that aren’t even related?

Isn’t it also amazing that God gave man the ability to create a drug to treat illnesses? I know I’m very thankful for it.

Some people believe medications aren’t necessary.  Especially medications for mental health. “Oh but if you would just have enough faith, you wouldn’t need to be on medication.” Or better yet, “If you just had enough faith, you wouldn’t have this illness to begin with.”

Oh how statements like that infuriate me. Why would God give man the ability to create medications if the medications weren’t necessary? And illnesses don’t discriminate. People of all ages, races, religions are hit with illnesses every day. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I won’t have problems in this world, including health problems.

It’s not a faith issue.

If I didn’t take my medication every day, especially the medication for my bipolar disorder, you wouldn’t recognize me. My bipolar disorder is controlled heavily by my medication, Abilify.  I once went off my medications just because I was so sick and tired of taking them every day. Big mistake. My moods drastically changed and I was not the same person.

I learned my lesson and also learned that I will be on these medications the rest of my life.

And I’m okay with that now. Because the medication stabilizes me. It keeps me in check.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

You know what else keeps me in check? My relationship with Jesus Christ.  When I’m struggling with my health, with my moods and with my anxiety (because even though I AM on medication doesn’t mean I won’t still have issues from time to time) I turn to God who gives me the strength to get through the issue.

 

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!

John 16:33