6 Aspects of Biblical Reconciliation — For ღ of God ✟ & Country 🇺🇸

Christians need wisdom in choosing friends. We should treat everyone kindly (Romans 12:9-21), but we should choose friends who are not rude, critical, ungodly, or selfish (1 Corinthians 15:33). We don’t, however, choose our family relationships. God does. And He wants us to do our very best to get along.  Reconciliation is a high priority in any […]

6 Aspects of Biblical Reconciliation — For ღ of God ✟ & Country 🇺🇸

Where Were You?

Where were you when I needed you most? Why weren’t you there? Why didn’t you care?

I’ve reached out time and time again but never do you reach out to me.

I’m tired of fighting for a one sided friendship

Tired of the tears shed when I needed you most.

Tired of you not caring enough to see if I was okay

Where are you?

Why am I wasting tears over this? I’ve been dealing with this drama for over 15 years.

I cried tears then, it’s time to stop it now.

You know what hurts the most?

Knowing you’re oblivious to all of this. You don’t even see it, do you?

Where were you when I needed you most?

Journal Excerpt: Letting Go

I’ve been doing a lot of journaling lately…which is very beneficial to my writing. I am able to pour out my emotions and to let my vulnerability play out.

Well today I’m letting you, my readers, into this world of vulnerability. I’m not going to share everything, obviously but here’s an excerpt….

September 26, 2021

Life goes on, I suppose. I let go of something today. A friendship. It was necessary. It was necessary for my mental health. I had to let it go and I don’t believe I’m going to want it back. It’s just not worth it anymore. I’ve been playing this game far too long. Am I going to miss it? Probably for a little while but it will pass. It will pass. UGH! IT HURTS SO MUCH THOUGH! WHY must I be so dependent on someone who is absent from my life? This friendship has been one sided for quite some time now. I guess I just keep holding on to the possibility that our friendship could survive. But I continue to be the only one reaching out. The only one making an effort. So it’s time. It’s time to let go. Even as the tears fall, I know I will get through this. I came across this quote the other day:

Heal, so you can hear what’s being said without the filter of your wound.

Unknown

It’s time to let go….and heal.

Have you ever had to let go of a friendship?

Remember to Smile Pretty!

In a world driven by technology and platforms where you can alter the way you look to make your life seem perfect…it’s a lie! We have defined ourselves by the filters used to alter your appearance….we’ve fallen into the comparison trap. But there is so much more to life than altering appearances to make life seem like no problems exist.

We’re told to be ourselves. We’re told “you do you.” But at the same time…we’re told we must fit in.

I wrote something today that….well I wasn’t sure I was going to post it. It’s vulnerable. But I guess at some point we must share our innermost thoughts and wonderments. (wait, is that even a word? LOL) Sometimes we must open ourselves up even if it’s just a little piece of ourselves. So here goes….

Confidence

Esteem

Worth

Who am I?

Who sees me?

Who does God see me as?

I’m tired, I’m exhausted, I just don’t know….

how to survive in a world full of comparisons and the demand to look perfect.

“You do you, just be yourself but make sure you fit in”

In a selfie centered, filter creation world, how does one compete?

How does one compare?

How does one truly find out who they are…..

When they are told they must fit in?

Be yourself but remember to fit in

And remember…..to smile pretty.


Romans 12:2 tells us:

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

1 John 2:15-17 says:

15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Be yourself. But make sure it’s the “self” God created you to be.

Write That Book!

***Okay before I get started, I KNOW I’ve posted several times in the past about writing and why I do it. But honestly. it helps me….***

Why do I write? Why do YOU write? When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

I realize I’ve explored this topic several times but I feel it’s helpful, at least for me that is.

I came across this quote a couple of months ago and while I’m sure I shared it with you all I’m going to share it again.

If there’s a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then YOU must write it.

Toni Morrison

So. Why DO I write?

I’ve been writing off and on since I was about 9 years old. So about 30 years. (wait, hold up…30 years??? 30??? There’s no way. (*does the math*) Ummm…so yeah…I’m officially getting old. GETTING? Nope, I’m there. LOL LOL

In high school writing was so therapeutic for me. If I had a bad day, I’d come home and bang out a poem in like 10 minutes. It came so natural to write when I was feeling down and depressed. Good days…? They were few and in between. I was suffering from severe depression and, though we didn’t realize it at the time, bipolar disorder. I didn’t have a lot of happy days in my senior year.

If you want to write, you can
Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent.
Who am I? What right have I to speak?
Who will listen to me?
You are a human being with a unique story to tell.
You have EVERY right

Richard Rhodes

So write that book, write that essay, write that research paper. Whatever writing project you are working on….keep writing.

I keep an article by Neil Gilliland at my desk and refer to it anytime I need inspiration. In his article he mentions several different reasons why he write. Please…click on his name and it’ll link you to this article. It’s very good.

“Why do I write?–I have no idea but I will probably keep doing it. You should, too.”

Neil Gilliland, One Magazine

I keep saying I’m going to write a book. And who knows? Maybe I will. But right now I’m just writing….whether it ends up into book form I have no idea. But I’m going to keep writing.

And you should too.

When Did It Become All About the Likes?

or….has it always been about the likes, comments and follows?

Once again I feel like I’m focusing too much on what people think and whether or not I’m measuring up to their standards. It shouldn’t be this way. It shouldn’t be me trying to be like others. It should be ME being the person GOD created me to be. I’m trying so hard to fit in when I should be listening to God and remembering that He created me in His own image. He loves me and He longs to have that relationship with me. And here I am, pretending to be someone I really am not.

It’s always been about the likes, if I’m being completely honest. I have this feeling deep down inside that craves the likes my posts get. A feeling that craves the views, the comments….and it’s wrong. All of it. It sickens me that I find myself checking WordPress to see if anyone “liked” my latest post. To see if anyone “commented” on my post. Or I’ll log onto Facebook to see if I have any notifications.

Social media. In the age of technology it seems like there is always a new platform being created. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok (still haven’t really grasped the point of TikTok, lol)

Social media. It can become a harmful addiction.

According to AddictionCenter.com, psychologists estimate that as many as 5 to 10% of Americans meet the criteria for social media addiction today. Social media addiction is a behavioral addiction that is characterized as being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it impairs other important life areas.

Honestly? I think we could all use a digital detox once in awhile! It’s healthy. We need to start spending time with our loved ones in person, if possible! We need to start living in the present, physically talking to others instead of having our face buried in our smartphones. And I’m just as guilty of this.

Social media use becomes problematic when someone views social networking sites as an important coping mechanism to relieve stress, loneliness, or depression.

AddictionCenter.com

So how are Christians supposed to use social media? How do YOU use social media? To spread God’s Word to a fallen world? Or to gain tons of followers and “earn” plenty of likes?

What should we do?

  1. Spend more time in our Bibles rather than on Facebook.

    “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)
  2. Focus on what truly matters in this world.

    “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of Heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 (NLT)

3. Remember to not conform to this world.
 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

How are we to spread the love of God to the world when we are distracted by the same world?

Commandment #4: Remember the Sabbath

*****I have to be honest on this commandment….I had trouble with this one. Not because I don’t understand what the Sabbath is….but my words seemed to fail me this time around. I know in my head but couldn’t seem to get it translated on here. ******

20 And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”


What does remembering the Sabbath mean?

The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word meaning “day of rest.”

When God created the world He finished it in 6 days. And on the 7th He rested.

So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

Genesis 2:1-3

In order to follow God’s example we must remember that God rested on the 7th day and we should too. Resting on the Sabbath should remind us of our Creator.

What does it mean that God rested? It means at least that he was satisfied that his work of creation was complete and was “very good.” His rest means that he wanted to now stand back as it were in leisure and savor the beauty and completeness of his creative work. —–John Piper

Remembering the Sabbath as it says in the commandment means that we are to…well, remember it! Always. We must realize that God rested on the 7th day so we must too!

“God gave His people Israel a day of rest each week to rejuvenate their bodies and minds. It was to be a time of rest, feasting, and enjoying family. More importantly, He gave it in order to break the day-in, day-out cycle of life, so that Israel would not forget their God and would worship and give thanks to Him on that day.” ( Pastor Kevin Sadler)

What does it mean to “keep it holy?”

“The Sabbath is more than just a day for sleeping and doing nothing.—it’s a day for doing something different; refocusing on God, worshipping and fellowshipping with Christians of like mind.” (Mike Bennett, https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/10-commandments/sabbath/

We must keep it holy meaning we are to set it aside as a day of “God-centered rest.” (John Piper)

It means to “set apart” “consecrate” or “sanctify”

It must be a day where we, as Bennett says , worship the One True God and fellowship with others who also are there to worship the Lord.

When we worship at church we are keeping the Sabbath holy. We are expressing our love for our Creator.

Sunday Rest Initiated by Constantine

For the first three centuries of the church, there was “no expectation that on the Lord’s Day one is to rest from one’s labors”). Roman slaves had to work on that day. Not until Christendom shaped commerce did Sunday become a day of rest.  DAVID SCHROCK

Christendom initiated by Constantine led to the practice of Sabbath-keeping on Sunday.

David Schrock, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/a-brief-history-of-sunday/

Rest is a gift from God—more, a commandment, the practice of sabbath.

Carol Holbrook

In Whom We Have Redemption

Redeem: to buy back, to save by payment of a ransom, to free from the consequences of sin.

Redeemer: one who frees or delivers another from difficulty, danger or bondage, usually by the payment of a ransom price.

Redemption.

In biblical terms, redemption refers to the deliverance of Christians from sin.

In Colossians 1:13-14 it says, “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Jesus Christ is our Redeemer. He rescued us from spending eternity in hell.

Let’s face it….we are sinners. We don’t deserve God’s love or grace. We don’t deserve to live eternity in Heaven alongside Christ. Sin has messed this world up so much and yes, we are born sinners.

We need a Redeemer and Christ came down to earth to save us from a life of damnation. He suffered and bled on that cross FOR US! Because He LOVES US that much!

Colossians 1:21-22: “This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. YET now he has reconciled you to Himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result He has brought you into his own presence and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”

When we come to Christ our debt is cancelled. We are citizens of Heaven!

Colossians 2:14 says “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

“It Is Well (With My Soul), Horatio Spafford

The Lord loves you with an unconditional love.

Our chains have been set free.

20 Years Later…..

8:46, September 11, 2001.

Life changed forever. (though we didn’t know it at first)

It was a peaceful, sunny Tuesday morning until….well, until it wasn’t.

After the North Tower was hit, an accident was believed by many.

Then….

Then at 9:03, another plane….this time hitting the South Tower.

This…

This was no accident.

On this day 20 years ago

Our nation was attacked

Our freedom was threatened

No time to react

Cries of “help me” heard all around the world…silent tears flow all the way down

They thought they’d attack us

They thought they’d get away

Well guess what you terrorists

Our freedom is still here to stay

It’s been 20 years since that horrific day….but sometimes it feels just like yesterday.

Why God would allow this to happen, it’s something we’ll never understand

But God has a plan and He holds the world in His hands.

Where Were You?

Me? I was 18, a recent high school graduate taking classes at my local community college. I didn’t have my first class until 11 that Tuesday morning so I was trying to sleep in…..then the phone rang. It was just about 9:00, it was my mom calling from work and telling me to turn the TV on immediately. At first I was annoyed with her for waking me up but I did what she said and when that TV came on I watched in horror as the second plane slammed into the South Tower.

It was 9:03. It was Flight 175

I was horrified, I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Who?….What?….How?…Why?? Why was this happening? Who hated us this much??

I slowly got ready for class.

The professor stood up and attempted to speak. He dismissed us, saying “There’s no way I can teach when our nation is under attack. Class dismissed.”

This country we lived in, the land of the free and home of the brave was under attack.

It’s been 20 years but I will never forget….

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

Spurgeon: Would you “bleed Bible?” — Knowing God through His Word … Day by Day

Very good read by Pam Larson!

Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to […]

Spurgeon: Would you “bleed Bible?” — Knowing God through His Word … Day by Day