“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
It does not say to not get angry. We all naturally feel anger when someone is cruel, thoughtless or selfish. It says, when you are angry, do not sin. So being angry is not the sin. But what we do with that anger can be. Holding on to anger is like tying an anchor around you neck. It will only get heavier , dragging you down as long as you refuse to let it go. It really seems stupid if you think about it. I watched another movie the other night. I am sure you can see by now that I love to watch uplifting movies before I fall asleep at night. And I have had some really good nights of sleep lately. The people had some bad things happen to them that should have caused great bitterness , but instead they tried to find love and acceptance for the one who hurt them. Oh, it was not easy. One woman was shot by an attacker who became a very close friend. It turned his life around. Then when he was killed in an accident by someone who was mad at him his father had to learn how to forgive the man who killed his son. But in doing that he built a friendship with this man and his young daughter that was so special. Each person had to come to a place where they could see this anger was only hurting them and that it was giving the devil control. They had to make a decision to forgive. To forgive does not mean you forget, but gives you the peace to move forward. To think of someone with anger is the same thing to God as murder. It harms everyone involved. Anger and hate are wrong and they damage everyone. The devil loves it when we are angry because then he is in control. Whatever you do as long as it depends on you, be peaceable with all people. This is something Jesus said while he was alive and it is very good advice. The world we live in has enough hate and anger and we don’t need to add to it, we need to make this ugly world better and love, love freely. The attitude you hold onto does make a difference in yours and others happiness. Be a difference maker.
Do you need to forgive someone ?
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful because he cannot disown himself .” 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV
We are flawed and sinful. But God is perfect. He cannot sin, it’s not his nature. We can trust that he will be faithful to do all that he promises. His promises are so good that it seems too good to be true. At one time I knew of his promises and believed they were true, but I had doubts. But now I have such a good relationship with him and I know him. He has proven true time and time again throughout the years. Being 61 years old he has always taken good care of me. I still have pain, heartaches and trials but I know he is there with me through it all and is helping and encouraging me through it all. He also teaches me so much about his ways through it. I no longer just believe, I have seen with my own heart his goodness for myself and he is faithful. Lately I have been so easily touched by him. I hear a song or someone says something good about God, and I get all choked up. I just get so blessed because he’s not just good he’s awesome. You can get to know him better for yourself. He promises as we seek more of him he will give it. But we need to make the first move to get to know him better. Pray! To get to know anyone better you need to talk to them. Read God’s word! We need to read all about him. His ways and his character. Why he does what he does. You can only get to know him by reading about him every day. You can read the same things over and over and always get something different out of it. That’s why the word is alive. The spirit shows you something different each time. Listen to praise music! Hearing others sing about how great he is rubs off. I hear myself singing in my sleep and I do sleep peacefully. Go to church! Being around other Christians and hearing them talk about his goodness inspires and relationships are strong. Pray and intercede for others! Praying for others needs encourages you when you hear answers to their prayers. He will also take care of your needs. I have come so far in my walk with him in just a short time. I find myself excited for each new day of his blessings. He is so very good.
Do you know the one who is always faithful?
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
I have learned to be grateful for everything. It is very important for your happiness to see the good around you. The world we live in can be very hard and negative, but I have found that the more I focus on the positive and ignore the negativity, or at least downplay it, the better it is. Life has a way of taking over and purposeful thoughts make a big difference. I want to enjoy life. To make the best of every moment. The very first thoughts out of my mind are deliberate and matter so much. I say God, this is the day you have made just for me. I choose to rejoice and be glad in it. This is first because I believe in the power of positive thinking. I choose the outcome I want and reinforce it in my mind. I know that God already has this day all planned out for me. And it will be the best for me. I may have trials and trouble but I believe they are for teaching me and making me stronger. I believe my God is always with me, and will help me. He really loves me. He has divine appointments for me. I will do my part and he will do his part. I take every opportunity to thank him for every good gift. I may really like what’s for breakfast, the eggs are just the way I like them. Or I love raisin toast, thanks! It may not be great, but I always thank him for hot coffee, which I love. I do think he puts ideas in people’s minds when they are planning their menus or their day. I also say it is good because everything coming from God is good even if it’s not great. As I pray each morning I thank him for everything because he has been so good to me and my family. I have a great life but it helps to be truly grateful. I love to have fun with everyone. They may do something I don’t like but I ignore it and find something to laugh about or share that’s good. I compliment others and thank them often. I like to play scrabble a lot and when I play a good word I say thanks. I believe he gives me words. I may be simple minded but it works for me. I will do whatever it takes to have the best day possible. Also help everyone I can to have the best day they can too. To be all I can be. That needs to be intentional to make a difference.
How is your day?
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move on the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 NIV
I have been learning so much lately about the creation of the world. So many things were explained so clearly. Things I hadn’t really thought about but now made so much more sense. God is awesome. I am so excited about these new incites and just had to share what I have learned. I believe the Bible is 100% true but I had missed so many details, I guess I just never pondered them. Now that I have I can see the whole picture more clearly. As a child I was always questioning things that I learned in school. They just did not always make complete sense to me. And now some scientists are seeing that the Bible really does make more sense. Holding more truths than we thought possible. Well God should know, he was there through it all. Science tried to tell us how things happened that made sense to man. But man is far from perfect and doesn’t understand God’s ways. I believe in a perfect creator that planned everything precisely ahead of time and doesn’t make mistakes. Because I’ve seen him working mightily throughout my life and I believe. He says he made man in his image. That means we are perfect and have everything we need to live an abundant and good life doing all he made us for. We can think and reason even create things with the intelligence he has given us. If we follow him and his commandments I believe we are unstoppable. He did create many animals for us to enjoy and rule over. But did you know at one time we were all herbivores. We all lived in peace together. Animals were for us even dinosaurs could be ours. The weather was moderate so we didn’t really need clothes. We had everything we needed. Water seepage from the earth watered everything and gave us water. It wasn’t till sin came into the garden that things changed. God had to kill one of the animals so he could make clothes for man and the climate changed causing different weather patterns. Animals had to change and adapt to the new climate by growing more fur. Man began eating animals and animals began eating each other which caused them to fear humans. They grew sharp teeth, claws and fangs so they could defend themselves. God still cared for his creatures but life was no longer perfect and hard at times. God gave them defense mechanisms to help them survive. But everything is here that we could ever need. God thought of everything.
Can you see how big God is?
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures for eternal life, which the son of man will give you. For on him God the father has placed his seal of approval.” John 6:27 NIV
Why do we feel that we need to strive for all we need. We have a loving Heavenly Father who knows what we really need and wants to give it to us. He does a really good job of supplying needs for billions of people every day. All he asks is that we love him first and best. He wants a real relationship with us. He has also asked us to love others. We don’t need to worry or demand what we want. God has promised to give us our daily needs. This world has created people who are consumed with their needs or wants. To have more than everyone else. We are very self centered and self absorbed. Do we really need just to be happy? I have met homeless and poor people who are very content and thankful for what they have. I also knew a very wealthy man who lived poorly because it was more than what he needed. I don’t need a big fancy car, fancy clothes or a mansion. I have all I need and that makes me happy. Just having more does not make you happy. Things will not make your life. We should be going after things that truly bring happiness like peace and joy. God gives that freely to those who seek him. These are not worldly things but things that he has told us in his word that we need. First and foremost is a relationship with the one who has everything we need and can give us eternal life. This should be our top goal because everything comes from him. Then if we follow his commands and his ways he will meet our needs. There is something so rewarding about caring for others. Loving others is fulfilling. As we help to meet the needs of others we receive love in return and our needs are surprisingly being met. I am still so amazed every time I shower that my shampoo is always enough and never runs out. It has been that way for months. Praise God. Miraculously I don’t need much. There is so much joy in not thinking about it but seeing God provide. Do you know that God, the creator of the universe, has told us that Jesus has his stamp of approval and that he will be our everything. I can tell you how great Jesus is but who am I? God, the main guy, now he is everything and has everything. He wants us to know his son. He has given everything to him and he wants to give everything to us.
Do you want to strive or know the one who has everything you need?
“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few will find it.” Matthew 7:14 NIV
Jesus has promised life to any and all that would but ask. So why is it that only a few get it. We live in a world of billions of people and billions have traveled this earth before us. They have come, made their mark, and left. It seems that with all the churches around the world that the numbers would be large. So many people say that they are Christians and I believe they truly believe it. But what are we not getting? All you have to do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved, right? I think that is where we have gone wrong. Churches are leading people to the altar, but where do we go from there? We can’t just change ourselves over night, especially on our own and with our own power. What does it mean to be a Christian? First being a Christian is being like Christ. We should look at ourselves every day and see that we are becoming more like Jesus. In everything we do we should see through his eyes. When he was here he was setting an example for us. First and foremost was to do what his father, God, called him to do. He spent many hours in prayer talking to his father. He also spent the sabbaths in his fathers house. I saw a quote this week that touched me. ‘God gave his life for you, but you can’t get up Sunday’s for him.’ That says it all. Where does our devotion lie? I know I’ve been going out for church for years and I can’t wait for Sunday’s. Even though Covid has me locked in now I never miss on line. Now I will admit that all snuggled in bed it’s hard to get up but I know it makes my day so I just do it. Discipline is just doing it when your flesh says no. Learning to discipline yourself is actually freeing. I read the Bible first thing in the morning and know what God wants me to do. I have made his will a priority. If Gods word says to do it, I’m going to do it. That settles it. Period. There is no room for discussion. It is set in stone. This way I don’t make it about me. I am happier doing want God wants than just whatever my little mind wants. I know I believe that so I don’t change it. When I was younger my dad had us in church whenever the doors were open so it’s habit for me. The next thing he did after honoring his father was to honor all others. He loved people and had compassion for them. I’m a fixer, every minute I see people around me with needs. They may be tiny or they may be large. I try to fix everything. God has shown me I can’t do it all. Others need to help and I need to let them. But I like to be in control. I can do it. I hate seeing needs around me. I know it’s an honor to help and gratifying. That’s why I volunteer often. I have an electric wheelchair so I get around easily where others can’t. I’ve been here a long time and I know routines. I also have a great memory and remember names. When God leads me to help I jump. I want to be a just say the word and I’m there kind of Christian. We all should be but we tend to put ourselves first. We should always trust God.
What can you do to be more like Jesus?
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16. NIV
I heard something very wise yesterday. Those who always see the glass half full don’t realize that the glass is refillable. This says so much. Each morning when we wake up we have a chance at a brand new start. This new day we can be who ever we choose to be. The past is just that, the past. We can’t change our past but we can go forward differently if we want. I deal with many people who have behavior problems and little or no memory, from moment to moment, and it gets frustrating. These people don’t know that anything could be different so they will be the same because they can’t help it. But if you have a working brain you can make it react how you want. There is a lot of things that my body just can’t do anymore. I have many physical limitations but I try hard to have a good attitude. Attitude is everything. Many people let each circumstance rule their day. If they don’t like breakfast then watch out. Their morning is set. Complaining really doesn’t get you far. If you let any and everything control your emotions then they probably be messed up. I have a glass full mentality. But each morning I do remind myself that God gave me a brand new day and I will enjoy it. I can get silly at times but I will enjoy my day. I take extra enjoyment in little things. If breakfast is so so well at least I enjoy my coffee and lunch is just four or so hours away. I won’t get too hungry. It is very important to enjoy little things. At any moment you should be able to think of one thing that will make you smile. I know the Lord and that’s enough for me. But that doesn’t mean my life can’t get better. I can read and learn more. Exercise the body parts I can because that can make me more relaxed and stress free. Watch educational shows. Stimulate your mind and you may use that someday. God is always waiting for you to come to him and change. Let go of that old person, ask for forgiveness and let him know that you want to be a better happier person. He is willing to help and always forgives when you ask. He will take that slate and wipe it clean. You just need help changing that attitude. Lean more on him to show you just what you need to move forward. But I know gratitude will get you farther.
What are you thankful for today?
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4:10 NIV
God loved us, each and every one of us. At any given point in time that would be several billion people for many years. The God who created this wonderful planet and everything on it. He thought of each and every one of us, before even time began, and he loved each of us with a perfect love. It doesn’t matter if you ever return that love or not. He still loves you. He is the great creator and the creator of love. Propitiation means being reconciled with God. I have been redeemed and nothing can separate me from the perfect love of my father. No one or nothing can ever love us like God. No one is perfect but God. We will all fail to love perfectly because we are not perfect. When men separate themselves from God, thinking that they are better or all they need, they are missing out on the greatest life has to offer. Saying, basically, I don’t need it. The mercy and grace my father has for us, as well as the hope for eternal life, forever perfect life, is not to be missed out on. I can wake every morning with a joy that is unbelievable but it is mine through his great love for me, his daughter. I never ever want to lose that. I have listened to so many people talk about their endeavors for that perfect life without God. There is so much striving and turmoil after perfection. Happiness isn’t really an option. It’s just making sure you are better off than the next guy. Having more on your own is supposed to make you the winner. It doesn’t matter that it might never make you happy. So many people go through life this way and it is so sad. I don’t care if I have the most toys when I die. I don’t even care if I have toys. I can have nothing but the love of my Heavenly Father and a life with him forever. That’s all I want. I have learned during my time at this nursing home that our earthly bodies are failing. We can not know for sure that we will always be in the race for success. But all I need to do is keep his commandments and love him all I can and all others too. That is simple to me because he gives me all the help I need. In myself I can’t do it, but with God all things are possible. This makes me happy. When someone asks how my day is going?, I just smile and think of all I have. I may be wrong but I don’t care. It works so great for me Gods way. I have a future and a hope that will carry me through anything. When I face my final days here on earth I have an eternal faith that God is waiting for me at the end with dessert. His Glory.
“Sow righteousness for yourself, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 NIV
When serving the Lord we need to always be sowing good seed. Letting God use us to impact others for his kingdom. We need to do things to prepare the soil of our lives also. So we can grow and bear more fruit to share with others. First of all let us look at the parable Jesus taught us about sowing. We are all soil and some of us have good soil that has been prepped and ready for planting, and it will produce a crop. Some soil is not prepped and it is hard and dry. But plants pop up quickly but can not last when the sun beats on them. Some soil grows plants but problems of life like weeds come and choke out the plants. It is important to always work at your soil making it richer by doing things that help like praying, reading your Bible, reading other books about God and devotionals. Listening to praise music, going to.church, and fellowshipping with other Christians. These all will bring God’s blessings to our lives and more fruit for us to share with others. This is God’s will for us. Look to help those who can’t help themselves. Those that are homeless, hungry, and handicapped. Orphaned and widowed. God is looking for people who want to be used to help these people. When you let him use you, even if all you can do is pray for them, he will bless you and your soil will be rich with nutrients. As you step out and meet these needs, God steps in with financial blessings that you never thought about and others lives are affected and their soil is being tilled also and they are growing. God can and will make the world go around but there are so many blessings to be had for us who do their part.
Will you start sowing?
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord you are serving.” Colossians 3:23 NIV
How do you know if you are where God wants you? It’s more how you react to where you are than really where you are. I know my brother always says there are no women in his town. “ Maybe I should move.,” he says. Well if you are following the Lord and keeping his commandments then he will bless you right where you are. If God wants you in a relationship then that person will cross your path. I do believe we can position ourselves where good people are. Like a church, a class on something you enjoy, or just getting yourself out where people are. I know myself, I never thought I would be living in a nursing home at 59. A friend of mine overcame a hard past, met God and then his past life got him in prison. It was not where he wanted to be but God still has a plan. I became a writer, yah who knew? I never liked writing as a teen. It was hard and I struggled. Now I know what to say and can’t type fast enough. The words I write are God’s words. They inspire me just as much as others. My friend always liked to encourage people and who needs more encouragement than a prisoner. I’m sure God can use him too. Last night I watched a movie about a teenage boy dying from a bad heart. He was waiting for a donor heart. His church, best friend, and girlfriend were doing everything they could to raise money and awareness of his illness. He got a heart and his body rejected it. Things were bad and his friends wished they could do something, anything because he only had two more days to live. That night there was a terrible car accident and maybe a possible heart. It proved to be a perfect match. The hard thing was that it was his girlfriend who died. God used her in death and God used her life. God only knows how we can make a difference in the world. He can and will use us wherever we are if we will let him. We don’t always necessarily decide where we are but we can always decide to let God use us. Right where we are and just how he chooses. We just need to be willing. The girl that died was in an accident. But with God there are no accidents, he knows the day and hour that you will die and he can use that to greatly affect people in your life. Both families were very close and were blessed to see this young man live even if their daughter got to go to heaven.
Won’t you give God your life to use in his way?