The Temple of God

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple; God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV

We are made in the image of God. Therefore we have everything available to us to be holy. This is not something we can do on our own though. It takes God’s help, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us guiding and leading us. When we let the world lead us that is where we go wrong. The world cares more about meeting and fulfilling our sinful nature rather than God’s desires. We need to remember that God is watching and knows our every thought. Do we want him with us in everything we do. If you are a born again Christian he is. He promises to never leave you or forsake you. Before my stroke I was living a worldly life. Doing whatever I wanted. I look back on my life then and wince. God was right there with me. I ate whatever I wanted. I drank and partied whenever I wanted. I hung out with whomever I wanted. I know my behavior hurt God and was not good for me. Living for the moments gratification is not good. People eat too much, drink too much, and don’t generally take very good care of themselves. Our physical bodies pay, but our spiritual bodies pay even more. I was far from God. I thought I was living. I now know that it was a shallow life. It would satisfy for a few minutes, or help me to forget my problems temporarily, but they weren’t gone just hidden. People who get involved with many addictions can tell you they help for a time. But your life is still there and the addictions can spiral. They get stronger and you get weaker. You have less and less control over your life. I also worked a lot. I would feel the need to work even on the weekends and would miss church. You think you are doing the right thing. It’s my job right? I have responsibilities and bills. I worked with my husband so I felt I needed to be there for him. These were all deceptions of the enemy. I believe my stroke was a wake up call. I almost died and I was not where I should have been. I didn’t die though because God knew just where I was headed and he knew the best was yet to come. And he knew all I would do for him. He didn’t give up on me and he won’t give up on you.

Are you living a life worthy of all you have been given?

Be Still

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 NIV

If you are following the Lord there are times you need his input. The most important place to be is in his presence. So many times when I go through changes and trials I just need to know that he is there. He is always with us but I can deal with anything when I feel he is with me. Life can get busy and complicated and at times I know he is saying, be still.

A couple of years ago I had to have a planned surgery. It was just supposed to be a couple of days but I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and I got really sick. It was touch and go and I ended up in the hospital for two weeks. When I got home I was very week so I spent a lot of time in bed resting. It also was a very dry time because I was too weak to pray and read my Bible.

I was just sleeping so much. I don’t really remember a lot of it. What I do remember is the enemy attacking my mind and trying to convince me that I was dying and even God couldn’t help me. I was on my own. Well that is not true but at the time he had the upper hand and it was tough.

I was in and out of it and really just wanted to sleep and not feel anything. When I started feeling better I managed to start praying and reading a little of my Bible . I had missed that sooo much. The words brought so much peace to my soul. But I really just liked to lay there and feel him reminding me of his love for me. Verses came to mind. Telling me how much he loves me and how much I can do for him.

When I got back home after what seemed like a month. I still slept in till 10 or 11 am every day but always spent the last hour or two in prayer over everything that mattered to me. I would just lay there listening for a while and resting, but I really started to like these times with God. When we are busy crying out to God. Whether well are trying to get him to give us just what we want or disagreeing about how to handle an area of our lives, God can’t get a word in sometimes.

We need to just be quiet. Time to hear just what he has for us. He is the supreme and mighty God of all the earth. He knows all. What he has to say is very very important. It may be as simple as, “trust me”. We usually want more info but we don’t always get it. Those two words remind us just who he is. He has told me in his word that what he wants, he gets. Nothing is impossible for him. He also promises to work everything for my best.

I know he’s got my back. I know he is very trustful. Sometimes he will give me a verse and my mind will dwell on it. So many positive thoughts will run through my mind and get me excited. Something to write about. He might remind me of things I need to do that day. Something I can do to help in a certain situation. Something I may have been worrying about.

Last week he said get your earphones out. I put them in when I got up and turned some music I had been listening to before on. While I was playing games I began listening to the words and ended up praising and worshiping for a while as the words sunk in. It was a great time really uplifting to me. Awesome morning. Thanks God.

He can encourage so much in such simple ways but we have to give him time in our busy schedules to just “be still”. It’s hard to just sit there. My mind has a tendency to wander but he still speaks when I’m not speaking. These times are becoming more and more special every day. At times I can’t sleep in the night and I will get my praying over so I can just rest in his presence.

The more you do it the more enjoyable it becomes. Do you remember how much it meant to just hit the snooze button when you just wanted a few more minutes before work? Well that few more minutes with him in the morning is a hundredfold better.

Will you take time today to let him talk to you?

Fear

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

F. False

E. Evidence

A. Appearing

R. Real

Today at church the pastor spoke about fear. This is something I would have sworn I had taken care of in my life. I had answers for how to deal with fear. I knew God was in control and always was taking care of things. Well God spoke differently to me this morning.

The pastor talked about several things we do when we are fearful. Procrastination. We tend to ignore what we fear hoping it will go away. Avoiding it just like Adam did after he had a bite of the apple and didn’t want to face God. So he hid. We ignore something we don’t want to deal with.

Well that hit home. Several things I have been facing just hit me in the face. Things I had not seen as fear but I had been pushing aside and trying not to think about. I told myself I was not going to worry about them. Whatever happened happened. Whatever God wanted.

The problem was they were not going away just because I ignored them. They just came lurking into my life more each day I ignored them. Things I wanted to do but felt I couldn’t do of myself. Things that might get better if I just sought the help of a professional. Just doing what God had called me to do because I felt inadequate.

The only way to overcome these fears is just to confront them head on. Ask Gods forgiveness for doubting. Ask for help overcoming and understanding these fears. And finally wisdom for how to proceed.

First thing was trying something I knew was going to be difficult for me. I had prayed believing God could help me do all things. But I had doubts. Doubts that he might not want that for me. But how could I actually succeed if I didn’t at least try it.

Another thing was a health issue. I saw myself getting worse in a couple areas but instead of seeking medical help and seeing if there might be a cure or a quick fix to my problem I assumed that I would just have to live with it and the negative side effects that came along with it. God showed me things I could do to help. After I realized I needed to face it.

Lastly he had called me to write a book and I was having doubts that I could do it right. So I was procrastinating. But then I felt writers block. Trying to fit everything in a certain design I wanted that just felt awkward. So I kept finding other things I needed to do first.

God showed me I needed to give these things up to him and he would help me get on with dealing with them. In his ways. Not by myself and in my ways. His help would help me do just what he wanted in each area.

Hadn’t he helped me write three successful books already. I didn’t even struggle to write them. Just the opposite. Words just flowed out of my heart. It wasn’t hard it was blessed.

Then I tried what I wanted to try doing. I got a little frustrated and set it aside. I decided to do a puzzle instead. As I was zipping through it enjoying myself I felt God say, you are enjoying yourself a lot. And you are really good at it. Yah, I thought. Doing something i love and enjoy and am really good at describes several hobbies I’ve been doing lately since my stroke.

I don’t need this one thing like I thought I did. He’s given me other things I can do and do well. These things aren’t bothering me anymore. God opened my eyes to see that they aren’t really problems after all.

Trust

Do you haves worries, fears, anxious moments, stress, frustration and doubt? This life we live can be tough at any time. But the reason we feel out of control is just saying, “ I do not trust the one who is in control.”  God, the one who made everything just the way he designed it. All heaven and earth. He knows all. He knows all before it ever comes into existence.

That God loves you. He wants only for you to love him in return. But even still, when we are at our worst, he loves us more than we could ever imagine. He knows us better than ourselves. When we have doubts and fears He knows just what we are capable of. And what he wants for us.

He wants us to enjoy this life and wants us to be successful in our eyes. To be fulfilled and happy. He wants to lavish us with all good things. But he will also discipline us just as any lovin’ father would when we stray from what is good for us. Discipline is not done out of anger or hate but out of pure love.

A love that does not want to see us run out in front of a fast moving car or swallow a dangerous substance, something harmful for us.

In my life as I grew up my father expected certain behaviors from me. He wanted to see me have fun and enjoy myself but he also raised me to be responsible, respectful and to be of good character. I had limits. He loved to reward me for trying harder. Doing things that were good for me and helped me grow.

As I was busy living life and raising a family I never worried, “Oh God I don’t want to have a stroke.” It never even occurred to me. But as I was busy enjoying my life I had a massive stroke. It nearly took my life. Leaving me totally unable to speak or move at all.

I lay in the hospital totally helpless and unable to do anything for myself. Over the next few years I had lost everything that seemed to matter in my life. My husband, my home, my job, my favorite car and my airplane. All the things I had acquired in this life I thought I needed.

It was a very tough time and it tore me apart. I wanted them back. I know I had done things wrong in my life. Things that I was not proud of. Things  that I would do very differently if given the chance. But I had a new life I had to get adjusted to.

Thirteen years later I can say with zero doubt in my mind that it was the best thing that ever happened to me. God knew what he was doing. I love my life now. The people in my life now are wonderful. I love who I have become and enjoy the great relationship I have with Jesus. Each day is sweeter and sweeter.

I know people who worry about things everyday that could change their lives. What if this happens or that? Who is to say what really is good or what really is bad in my life.

Only he who knows the beginning from the end Knows what is best for me.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they.”   Matthew 6:25-26. NIV

Have you ever seen a worried crow? No, they don’t worry about their day. It just happens.

Can we really say something is bad in our lives? I love to see bad things happen just to see how God can turn it around. I get so blessed by his unusual answers to our prayers.

Over the last thirteen years I have read my Bible thru many times and seen God’s faithfulness time and time again in his word and in life. So many people I know have gone through so much but God has proved to be trustworthy. I now can pray your will be done good or bad. I can really mean it.

I do not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow in the palm of his hand.

Praise

“Give praise to the Lord, praise his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”  1 Chronicles 16:8-10. NIV

David knew one thing was very important. Praise! He set up certain people to just be praisers. Leading the armies of David, singing in the temples and in the streets. Wherever they went the name of the Lord was to be praised. They were to tell of his excellent greatness to everyone.

We were created to praise. We are at are best and life is at its best when we are praising our creator. He is so worthy of all our praise. Sunday mornings I have a front row seat for the worship service. I sit up front next to the stage during church. I absolutely love worship time.

The worship leader and the backup singers have so much love and passion in their eyes when they sing. The songs are full of his wonderful love for us. I can’t help but get excited over all he is to me. I hear all of his greatness being proclaimed and it does so much to lift my spirit.

Our times of worship are so fulfilling . It is the best part of my week. Have you been in church lately? It is important to be among other Christians. The time we spend together is so uplifting. I never was one to complain about going to church. I will admit that I didn’t get a lot out of it in my youth, but now that I have a good relationship with God I can’t get enough.

He is my best friend so when I sing praises I am feeling such love and honor for all he does in my life. Bringing praise before the Lord should be a big deal. He has told us to do it . He also blesses us when we are doing his will. I like to be blessed by God.

I love doing something that feels good and getting blessed by doing it.

Fear Not

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “. Isaiah 41:10. NIV

Fear Not. This is harder to do than it sounds. I have learned over my fifty-nine years that there really is nothing to fear when you know who you are in, Christ. All my life I struggled to read God’s word making excuses because life always seemed hectic. Being a good wife and raising three daughters to be Godly women always seemed more than enough.

When I had my stroke at the age of 45 I suddenly had all the time in the world. I knew only that God was in control and he was good. I had a friend come to visit me that offered to read the Bible to me. I remembered how much comfort it brought and decided to read every day.

That was in 2005 and I may have missed only a few days since. They were always rough days so I learned not to forget. I put it first. Through it I learned more of my fathers love and righteousness. He became so real to me.

I learned that there is no need to fear. My God is right there always holding my hand. I used to fear the pain of dying or being hurt badly but when I had my stroke I almost died but I felt great peace. I knew I had to be strong for my family. I also knew He was able to help me in my weakness.

One day at a time I got my life back and through many trials since I have seen his had on my life. I no longer worry, he’s got it. I don’t need to have the answers but I know who does. I know he loves me and is working everything out for my best. Not what I see is best but what he knows is best.

He created this whole universe and has kept it going for thousands of years. He knows what he’s doing far better than me. He knows everything happening before it happens. My God can do the impossible and has more times than I know.

I have a picture of my granddaughter that shows how I feel.

She is walking alone in the woods this summer on her vacation. Her dad said it first but it really resonated with me as I looked at it.

She is one lone little girl heading out against a dark and often scary forest but she walks without fear she is strong, headstrong, she can take on anything. I feel the same way now. I know I am not in control but I know who is and that makes me strong.

I have learned so much about the one in control and trust him with my life and when it’s through I’ll be with him forever and can’t wait so what should I fear.

Complete Joy

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:11. NIV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”. James 1:2. NIV

Joy! The Lord wants us to have a full and abundant life full of joy. In everything. The good and the bad. And he says he has told us how. None of us wants to struggle in this life. What Jesus is saying in John 15 is that if you keep my commandments you will remain in my love. Just as Jesus kept his father’s commands and so remained in his father’s love. Then his love will remain in us. It’s there for us to have we just need to accept it in faith and live in it.

The problem is we have learned to accept our feelings and they are not always true. We need to take every thought captive. To do this we need to make our mind do what we know is true and change our patterns of living. We need to start forming new habits.

In life we have control over our happiness. The first thing I do in the morning when I wake is thank God for the new day he has given me. Then I start my prayers. The first declaration I make. Sets my day into action. “This is the day you have made for me and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I don’t care how I feel. I first agree to make it rejoicing.

My mind already is set on joy. I keep going though as I pray thanking God for so many things going on in my life . As I start my day and choose joy I need to act in it. As I eat I thank him for hot coffee, crispy bacon, fresh fruit. I remain grateful I know he is always directing my steps and in control and this gives me peace.

I know everybody has mundane and routine things that they must get done and don’t necessarily enjoy. Cleaning, laundry, walking the dog, grocery shopping and bills. You need to have joy in those areas too. It will take a mind set.

For example.: cleaning “ Hey God thank you for my home, my apartment that I have to clean. You have blessed my with kids even though they make messes. Those I clean up after. I love them .

Laundry: I love folding my loved ones things as I note who wore what where.

How big they are growing. Even if you are single those clothes can bring back happy and joy filled memories if you look.

Walking the dog can be a wonderful time to talk to God and reflect on the world around you. As you do it over and over you are training your mind differently to see things differently.

Every minute does not have to go perfectly but you can find things of joy in every minute if you try. I have a friend who grumbles through his day thinking about every less than perfect situation with a frown on his face. Someone asked him how his day was and he thought hard. Well ok I guess. He had not even noticed. I would rather live in joy.

When someone asks me that I say blessed and smile big. I know God is in control and he loves me that makes me smile. Even bills don’t upset me because he helps me to have the money to pay them. He will provide. I will trust in him.

Now as trials and hard times come my way I am already ahead. I am leaning on him and trusting him and his goodness to see me through. I take delight in him so I can delight in where he sends me. He is in me and helping me in every situation.

When I do something wrong whether in thinking wrong or doing I am quick to tell God I am sorry and others to if God shows me. Then I don’t dwell on it. He forgives me.

He always forgives us no matter what it is.

I had an experience this morning that goes along with this. God has been working on me with trusting and I needed to be up for an appt by 10:30 to be picked up. No one came to get me up and it was almost 10:00. I was nervous but I felt God say trust me. Someone finally came and I was ready by 10:20 then my ride was late at 11:00 apt time God said trust. So I relaxed. When I got there they had to cancel on me.

I immediately thought God has other plans for me. I wonder what? I didn’t fret or get upset I just smiled. I know his plans always prevail even if I don’t understand. When I got home it was lunchtime, I was famished. Everything went like clockwork all afternoon. Amen!

Have a joyful day and God be with you!