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Chew On This!

Psalm 103:12 KJV As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Sometimes I let myself down.  A careless word spoken to someone in haste.  An innocent error that has negative consequences. (The time that I didn’t see the car passing to my left as I pulled out of my parallel parking spot comes to mind.  I REALLY beat myself up over that one).  Thoughts that are judgmental.   And so on and so on and so on.  The fact of the matter is; we are all human.  We all make mistakes.
Not too long ago I found myself ruminating on something I had done.
The American College Dictionary, 1967 defines ruminate as: to chew the cud, as a ruminant. 2. To meditate or muse; ponder 3.To chew again. 4. To meditate on; ponder.
As a cow eats her food, swallows it, then brings it back up in the form of a cud to chew on, so was I chewing and chewing and chewing on what had happened. The circumstance kept swirling in my mind.  Finally it occurred to me. This was not how God intended for me to spend my day.  It was draining my energy and stealing my joy.

And so I discussed the matter with God. I told Him that I recognized what I had done.  I asked Him to forgive me. I thanked Him for doing so.  I forgave myself.  Then, when guilt or condemnation or fear came up, I would not ruminate on it.  Instead I would “chew” on the following truths:

God loves me even with my imperfections.  He is for me, and not against me.  I can trust Him in all things. That because of His grace and mercy, the past need not torment me. That my transgressions have been removed from me, even as far as the east is moved from the west.

May we not waste even a moment chewing a bitter cud.  May we instead, with purpose, walk in the freedom that forgiveness provides.

And so, today I invite you to Chew On This:

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Zephaniah 3:17 17The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
(Yes, even when I blow it.)

Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Isaiah 43:25-26 25I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

 

 

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Seek His Face

Psalm 105:4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

“No, I don’t have anything for you”, I grumbled as one of our horses, Casey nickered a friendly call to me as I stepped out the back door.  I was irritated, as day after day he doesn’t give a care about me…except for when I might have a carrot, or an apple or some hay to give from my hand.  Then, his attention turns directly to me. And he wants mine.  Any other time he would just as soon not be bothered, preferring to be left alone to do as he pleases.

In the midst of my grumblings the thought occurred to me; is that not the same way we so often treat Our Heavenly Father?  We ignore Him, going about our own way, not thinking of Him at all until we want something from Him.  It is then that we remember Him and lift our eyes heavenward.

“Lord, forgive us.  Help us to seek not only Your Hand, but to seek Your Face as well.”

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Spiritual Food

Mathew 4:4 But he answered and said , It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

It seems that I am eating everything in sight as of late. I don’t have to be hungry. As a matter of fact I can be full. But the desire to put food into my mouth does not go away. And I oblige.

Today it occurred to me. I have not been making time for spiritual food. As I fret and fuss about this decision and that thing, I reach for a chip or a cookie or some sweet tater fries instead of taking time to reach for the sustenance that comes from the Word of God. A scripture verse about trust. A promise given to me by the Lord a long time ago. A brief time of rest as I ask God for His direction.

“Lord, help tomorrow to be different. May I use food to nourish my body, and look to Your Word to feed my spirit.”

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The Hairs On Your Head

Mathew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered .

A friend of mine had a special occasion coming up and her hair needed to be cut and colored. Her style is unique, and she had had unsatisfactory results the last two cuts she had received. She asked me if I wouldn’t pray that God would show her the right salon to go to for the best results. The scripture above popped into mind.

The very first time I read this verse, I was amazed. How could such a big God care about such a small detail? After all, every day when I brush my hair, some of it comes out, and new hair is growing in to replace it.

What a comfort to know that there is no concern too big or too small to bring before our Lord. That He cares about every detail of our lives. While others may think our concerns are foolish or unimportant, it is never so with God. If it concerns us, it concerns Him.  Period!

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Am I Prepared?

Mathew 24:6,7 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (TNIV)

Mathew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (KJV)

As I watch the news and read the paper, I am amazed at what I see.  An earthquake in Japan.   Unrest in Libya.   Hatred amongst peoples throughout the world. Yet I should not be surprised or alarmed.  For God told us in the Bible that these things would have to happen in preparation of the return of Jesus.  So the question becomes: am I prepared?

Am I spending time with Jesus, reading His Word so that I will know Him when I see Him face to face? Am I asking Him to give me the faith and peace I need to live through these troubled times? Or am I denying what is going on around me, thinking that there will be one more day, and one more day and one more day?

No matter the circumstances, be it I see the return of Christ in my lifetime, or leave this earth prior to His coming, I pray that my heart will be always ready.

It is His will that your heart be ready as well.

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One Easy Way- Pray!

Philippians 4:6,7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (TNIV)

I had to chuckle this morning as I was checking face book on the computer. Off to the side was an ad that described one easy way to relieve stress and anxiety. I couldn’t read the body of the ad without opening it, so I didn’t realize the remedy was herbal.  Instead, the first thought that popped immediately in my mind? Pray!

There may be times when God will direct us to seek help through medical means.  He created and is aware of those things. But, prayer can always be our first course of action. When we present our requests to God, we can be confident that He hears us and is working on our behalf. When we pray with an attitude of thanks, it helps to keep our thoughts on how powerful God is, instead of being “stuck” on how helpless we feel.

So:
The next time stress and anxiety try to come your way,
don’t forget to stop and pray!
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The Plank In My Eye

Luke 6:41,42 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?42How can you say, ‘Friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye. (NIV)

It is Monday morning, and time to tidy up after another busy weekend.

Everywhere I go there is an item that a family member has left out. Shoes hastily taken off by the door. Dishes placed in the sink, but not rinsed nor put into the dishwasher. Slips of paper with important notes on them. Magazines, briefly perused, but still needing to be read. I sigh and begin to grumble as I start the task of putting things back into their proper place.

Then . . . my eyes are opened. There aren’t just two pair of shoes by the doorway. There are three. And one of them is mine. Isn’t that the magazine I didn’t have time to finish looking at yesterday? How long have I been meaning to tackle that pile of papers on the desk?

Funny how we can see other’s “messes” so easily, but manage to look straight past our own. Harsh words. Selfishness. Judgement. Impatience. We often become angry or disappointed with someone without remembering that we are all human. We need one another’s grace and forgiveness and love.

Lord! Please show me the plank in my own eye. Then, help me not to try to remove my friend’s speck, unless she asks for my help.

Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Luke 6:37 KJV Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

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Peace, Be Still

Mark 4:39 KJV And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (KJV)

Peace, be still, I say to the storms that rage within me. As the winds of worry and hurry threaten to steal my peace, I choose to quiet them with the knowledge that Jesus is with me. Through my today. Through my tomorrows. Every moment of every day. I do not need to be afraid. I can walk in the calm of the Lord’s presence, though there is tubulence all around.