Are you a romantic like me? I must confess, when I read The Song of Solomon, I am whisked away to a place that no Romance Novel could ever reproduce. Why? It is because Song of Songs is truth, The Truth.
The Song of Solomon is a series of harmonious poems organized as a lengthy discourse between a young woman and her lover, sprinkled with a third party chorus. When I read this dialogue, I now know that I am the Shulamite and my Lord is comparing Himself to Solomon. I am not sure what the scholars say, but I am certain that this book was written to illustrate the love of Christ for His Bride, the church. If you look closely enough, you will find the original ‘Pilgrims Progress’ novel in this book. It’s important for you to know that just as this this poetic book was written for me, it was likewise written for you too! For we are One Body of believers in Christ.
Chapter one opens with the Shulamite character: a humble, scarred, love struck woman, filled with childlike faith. She openly confesses to being tainted with sin, and yet stirring within her is a knowledge that she has worth. She knows that the only ‘flock’ she wants to follow is that of the One True Shepherd. My favorite quote of the Shulamite in this chapter is when she says,
“[Addressing her shepherd, she said] Tell me, O you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon. For why should I [as I think of you] be as a veiled one straying beside the flocks of your companions ?” Song of Solomon 1:7 AMP
Only prostitutes would veil themselves as they followed the flocks of the shepherds and it appears that she wants nothing more of a life of sin. As she turns to The Good Shepherd and seeks His love, He eagerly welcomes her, but in a gentle, kind manner.
The first part of her journey is likened to one being born again. She has had a rough life; the world has made its mark, scarred her, and abused her.
I am so black; but [you are] lovely and pleasant [the ladies assured her]. O you daughters of Jerusalem, [I am as dark] as the tents of [the Bedouin tribe] Kedar, like the [beautiful] curtains of Solomon! [Please] do not look at me, [she said, for] I am swarthy. [I have worked out] in the sun and it has left its mark upon me. My stepbrothers were angry with me, and they made me keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard [my complexion] I have not kept. (Song of Solomon 1:5, 6 AMP)
In spite of this, she hears the Good News and desires to be loved with such unconditional grace. She longs to be part of His flock and is totally enamored with Him.
My beloved [shepherd] is to me like a [scent] bag of myrrh that lies in my bosom. My beloved [shepherd] is to me a cluster of henna flowers in the vineyards of En-gedi [famed for its fragrant shrubs]. [She cried] Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved [shepherd], yes, delightful! Our arbor and couch are green and leafy. (Song of Solomon 1:13, 14, 16 AMP)
And Jesus is no doubt lovely and beloved by all that know Him. When we are born again, Jesus washes us clean and our Spirit-man is recreated into His prefect image, white as snow.
He says to her, “…. O you fairest among women, run along, follow the tracks of the flock, and [amuse yourself by] pasturing your kids beside the shepherds’ tents. O my love [he said as he saw her], you remind me of my [favorite] mare in the chariot spans of Pharaoh. Your cheeks are comely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels. (Song of Solomon 1:8-10 AMP)
Even though he has told her these things, it doesn’t take long for us to see what she really thinks about herself. Why is it, that she decides to focus on her ‘old man’ instead of who she is now by His grace?
I am only a wild flower in Sharon (a Rose of Sharon) a lily in a mountain valley. (Song of Songs 2:1 GNB)
But Solomon replied, Like the lily among thorns, so are you, my love, among the daughters. (Song of Solomon 2:1, 2 AMP)
Solomon immediately corrects her, he tells her that compared to everyone else, she is ‘THE’ lily and everyone else is like thorns in His eyes.
After we are born again, our main focus should be renewing our mind. I always tell my Sunday School students, BEFORE we are saved and born again, the Word acts as a mirror to show us we need a Savior. AFTER we are saved and born again, the Word acts as a mirror to show us who we are in Christ. I can tell you with certainty that it is very important to The Lord that His children understand who they are in Him. Our minds were programmed with ‘stinkin thinkin’ by the fallen world. It’s up to us that we reprogram our thinking to the mind of Christ and that our born again spirit and our mind would be one.
Let me introduce my new favorite essential oil from Young Living Essential Oils: The Rose of Sharon (Cistus). Cistus is also known as “rock rose” and has been studied for its effects on the regeneration of cells. Medically, it is antiviral, antibacterial, antihemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, supports sympathetic nervous system, immune stimulant. My favorite medical use is that it helps people with auto-immune disorders. This oil contains monoterpenes, which helps to reprogram cells by working on the RNA and DNA.
I am convinced that autoimmune disorders have a spiritual root of self-rejection. One cannot have a negative emotion apart from negative thoughts. We all know that our thoughts have an immediate impact on our health. For example, when we think frightful thoughts, our heart rate elevates, along with our blood pressure; some people even have to rush to the bathroom. The way you think about yourself does effect your health. So, if you are struggling with self-rejection and an auto-immune disorder like lupus, psoriasis, celiac disease, MS, arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc., perhaps you would consider renewing your mind to who you are in Christ (His beloved bride), as you anoint yourself with the Oil of Cistus, the Rose of Sharon.
I think it’s wonderful that The Lord would use this flower (that the Shulamite seemed to think was so ordinary) to teach us the importance of reprogramming our minds? Even at the cellular level, this flower reprograms our DNA and RNA, teaching us that we are no ordinary wild flower, we are children of the Most High God, with incredible purpose and value.
Young Living Essential Oils Distributor
The trees are stretching their branches one last time before autumn’s breeze turns their leaves to shades of gold and carries them away. Sprinklers and Tiki torches are soon to be retired and replaced by rakes and mountainous piles of leaves climbed by little feet. The excitement and anticipation of change is in the air!
Change, it can not come fast enough for some. For others, it is terrifying. How do you react to change? Do you seek it or run from it? Most of us would admit that we all have areas in our life that we know need to change, but we simply do not know how to pursue it.
The daily demands made upon mothers are enough to exhaust our minds and bodies, so how can we make room for change? We look at and admire people who have found the grace and strength to make the necessary changes to accomplish their God planted purposes, goals, and dreams. We hear the whisper of our own hearts as the Holy Spirit quickens us.
For some, it could be a simple as learning how to spend more quality time with their children. For others, it might be getting their house organized. Whether the goal be physical, like running a 5K or losing 15 pounds, or spiritual, like practicing the presence of God or developing a consistent prayer life. Each goal and each purpose is precious in God’s sight.
The two common threads in people that accomplish great things through change in this world are as follows:
1. They never give up or stop dreaming and imagining. Isn’t is interesting that Jesus said you must become like a little child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Little children are always dreaming and imaging that they will do great things in their life.
Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:2)
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
2. They firmly believe they will succeed.
If the Lord indeed planted these dreams in your heart, then you can rest assured; He is faithful and true to lead you into successful change and victory.
For as a man thinks within himself, so he is. (Proverbs 23:7a)
For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (Romans 10:11 NASB)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)
The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Be encouraged! Don’t give up! Hold on to your dreams during the seasons of change. Understand, just as the glory of the Lord is present when summer turns to autumn, He has you in His loving embrace as you seek change for His glory.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
My family has been spending some time relaxing and unwinding at my parent’s lake house. We are so thankful to God for this delightful little cabin in the woods. The first thing everyone notices when they come to this special place is the beauty and grandeur of the scenery. The cabin overlooks beautiful Ft. Gibson Lake. The sunsets are breathtaking. The starry night sky is like an ocean of diamonds. The sounds of nature and soft gentle breezes carry all of one’s burdens away. It is easy to be still here and know that God is God.
In our homeschooling, we have always enjoyed studying God’s creation on a grand scale. The roaring oceans, the expanding universe, the majestic mountains, these all give testimony to how very BIG our God is. Recently, however, we have been studying God’s Creation on a smaller scale in Chemistry and Physics. I am particularly amazed at God’s creative design of the atom. Isn’t it amazing that our God can create something so small, yet so very important? I believe it is safe to say that the inexpressible ‘smallness’ of God’s creation is just as amazing as the untellable ‘largeness’ of His creation.
On this trip to our cabin, I have found myself noticing God’s glory in the small things: the delicate way the sunlight shines on a single flower petal, the giggle of a child as he plays in the mud, the strength of a single ant as he carries away a crumb that dropped from my sandwich.
Seeing God’s Glory in the small things of creation has challenged me to invite Him into the small things of my own life. I think about Brother Lawrence, his life’s story, and his relationship with the Lord. It provokes me to jealousy. The key to His intimate relationship with the Lord was that he surrendered every part of his life to Him, no matter how small or large. He would even wash dishes with such an utter devotion to the Lord that the people around him would experience the glory and holiness of that moment.
He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:33 NASB)
Yes, it takes time and effort to knead yeast into flour. Even still, once the yeast is kneaded, it takes more time for the dough to rise. I find it interesting that fermentation actually causes matter to break down into a simpler form. To me, the flour is a picture of my life and the leaven is Christ. The Father skillfully kneads my life until even the smallest parts are filled with His Son. It is as if the Lord is breaking me down and causing every part of me, large and small, to know the simplicity of Christ.
Many homeschooling mothers do not understand the value and importance of their purpose and calling. Small things like laundry, reading lessons, mathematics, and grocery shopping can be holy, intimate moments spent for God’s glory. The parable above shows us that God wants to fill every detail of our lives with His Presence. If the Glory of the Lord can fill even the smallest atom, then how much more the smallest details of our lives?
Valentine’s Day is upon us once again. I have found myself mediating on the love of our Lord. I learned something about that love this week. Did you know that the foundation of fear is rooted in insecurity and inferiority? Think of it; in the garden, Satan deceived Eve by causing her to doubt that she was secure in God’s love and to doubt her value (who she was in Christ). This opened the door to fear, sin, and separation from God Almighty. I have resolved to renew my mind and the minds of my children to the secure love of God and their value of who they are in Christ. When a revelation of these truths come (faith comes by hearing), God’s perfect love will cast out all fear and cause the roots of insecurity and inferiority to wither up and die. I am reading a book called The Way of Agape, by Chuck and Nancy Missler. In the back of the book, they listed several scriptures that tell of God’s love for us and who we are in Christ. I have made a simple mp3 recording of these scriptures. If you would like for me to email the file to you, just let me know your email and it is yours. Share it with your children this Valentine’s Day and spread the Word!
Ah, the stories of Jacob’s life. What a life indeed! His life is full of strife and wonder, even from his mother’s womb. One could reflect a lifetime on the lessons to be learned from his various adventures: deception and lies to gain his brother’s birthright, visions of a ladder to heaven, wrestling with the angel of the Lord (pre-incarnate Jesus), romance, heartbreak, and so much more.
The chapter of Jacob’s life I want to focus on is the story Laban, his devious father-in-law, and the spotted/speckled sheep. Laban knew that Jacob was blessed by God; he was bound and determined to benefit from Jacob’s blessings. He took advantage of Jacob time after time. To be blunt, Laban was a crook. I love this story because Laban finally gets what he deserves. Despite his best efforts to rob Jacob yet again, Laban comes up empty handed. Believe it or not, another reason I like this story is because it is a perfect example of how to be transformed into the image of God.
(v. 25) “After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, ‘Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland.
(v. 26) Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I’ve done for you.’
(v. 27) But Laban said to him, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.’
(v. 28) He added, ‘Name your wages, and I will pay them.’
(v. 29) Jacob said to him, ‘You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care.
(v. 30) The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?’
(v. 31) ‘What shall I give you?’ he asked. ‘Don’t give me anything,’ Jacob replied. ‘But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them:
(v. 32) Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages.
(v. 33) And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.’
(v. 34) ‘Agreed,’ said Laban. ‘Let it be as you have said.’
(v. 35) That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons.
(v. 36) Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.
(v. 37) Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.
(v. 38) Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink,
(v. 39) they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.
(v. 40) Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals.
(v. 41) Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches,
(v. 42) but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob.
(v. 43) In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.”
It took a long time for me to understand the meaning of this story. However, I had an ah-ha moment this week. My husband found some beaver branches that he peeled and sanded down to make walking sticks. They had spots and speckles on them; it’s the nature of the underlying wood. I learned that when Jacob placed the peeled branches in front of the watering troughs, he was causing the sheep to see speckles and spots. Here is the formula, for you type ‘A’ people like me: See speckles and spots= conceive speckles and spots. Every time those sheep would drink, which was often, they would continually see speckles and spots. As a result, when they mated before the troughs, they conceived speckled and spotted lambs. If that will work for a sheep, then it will definitely work for you and me.
My husband had a friend in high school that continually listened to music that involved drugs. Pink Floyd, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Milkmen, Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Danzig etc., these are just a few examples of who he listened to. He put this music before his ears day after day, year after year. Not too long ago, we saw his face on the news. He was arrested for growing a sophisticated marijuana crop in his own back yard. It embarrassed and humiliated his family. Have you ever noticed that men who have committed sexual crimes, also have pornography addictions? These men become what they have put before their eyes. If this principle will work for evil, then how much more would it work for good?
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. (Prov. 4:20-21)
When Jesus began to teach again by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching, “Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.” And He *said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:1-20)
There are over forty-four verses in the New Testament that refer to God’s Word as seed. The Greek word for seed is sperma; this is where we get the English word sperm. Male or female, we all have spiritual wombs/gardens in our heart. When we put God’s Word before our eyes and meditate upon it day and night with great care and discipline, we too can produce abundant spotted and speckles lambs. I challenge you today, just as I have challenged myself, keep His Word before you day and night and keep His Words continually in your mouth.
Practical ideas for keeping the Word before our eyes and ears.
1. Audio Bible as you sleep
2. Worship music during the daily routine
3. Regular daily bible reading
4. Regular daily scripture confession-speaking God’s Word is powerful
5. Placing scripture around the house- above door frames, kitchen cabinets, bathroom mirrors
6. Triggers- make a habit of relating scripture to objects in your daily path. For example- every time you take a shower, thank the Lord that His blood cleanses us from all our sin. When you drink water, think of Jesus… Our living water. Have fun with it, trigger ideas can be endless. We just found out that a casino was being built near our home. Every time we drive by that location, that is my trigger to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is on heaven- there are no casinos in heaven!
7. Audio sermons as you drive.
If you have a creative idea of how to keep God’s Word before your eyes and ears, please share!
Have you ever harbored hatred or anger in your heart towards another person? Has a loved one ever betrayed you, violated your trust, or hurt you? If you can answer yes to these questions, you more than likely have wrestled with unforgiveness. Christians are commanded to love and forgive. This can be difficult to say the least.
Have you ever experienced shame when feeling hatred or anger towards others because you know good and well that Christians are commanded to love, even their enemies? I have, and as a result, I denied feelings of hatred and anger, ignored them, and pushed them deeper into the recesses of my heart. Out of sight-out of mind, right? Wrong! These feelings will continue to rear their ugly heads and haunt those who do not acknowledge and deal with them.
Did you know that love and hatred can both be present in one’s heart?
Take the time to watch this brief video of Corey Ten Boom. Click here: Corey Ten Boom video on forgiveness
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
Even my hero of the faith, Corey Ten Boom, could not love in her own strength. Man’s love could never possibly match the love of God. I am comforted in knowing that I do not have to rely on my own limited ability to love others, especially those who have hurt me. The Lord knows we are not capable of this. This is why He shed his love abroad in our hearts. My hope is in God’s supernatural love. It is His love that overcomes.
The key to change is not in denying or hiding our hatred, but in acknowledging, confessing the bitterness and unforgiveness. If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. (1 John 1:9 AMP) I imagine myself standing before the light of God’s Glory, knowing this hatred is exposed, confessing it as sin and thanking Him that He has already exchanged it for His love. I trust the promise of His supernatural love being shed abroad in my heart.
Many cannot forgive because they believe forgiving is the same as excusing. In fact, forgiveness does not excuse the sin. I have spent years wrestling with this topic. You can take this as ‘Jenny’ology, but in studying the scriptures, in silent meditation, in listening to God’s instruction, this is what I have come to understand. Every single sin has to be dealt with, no matter how big or small. God as judge is so thorough that not one iota of a sin will be ignored. He provided forgiveness to every man who repents and trusts in the enormous sacrifice of His Son Jesus, our scapegoat. Justice came by Jesus’s suffering and death. Every one of our sins was paid for so we could be pardoned. Many, though will not trust in the work of the cross, nor will they repent. So, they will pay for their sins and for the sin of rejecting Jesus.
Every single sin has an effect on someone or something. Obviously it affected Jesus when He took our sins upon Himself, but sin hurts people too. When someone has sinned against you, it is right to confront them (the manner in which you approach is important). If they repent, we are absolutely commanded to forgive them. It is harder to do so when they are unrepentive. We are still commanded to forgive though. I have found that understanding these few points helps.
1. As Christians, we forgive because we have been forgiven of more. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Mat. 6: 14-15)
2. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. We trust that God will repay us for the injustice. In a remarkable twist, the Lord orchestrated this in the life of Corey Ten Boom to the extent that her Nazi captor later became a Christian begging Corey Ten Boom’s forgiveness even while showing her much favor.
3. Ultimately, All sins are against God alone, not us. After King David committed murder and adultery he prayed, “Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment.” (Psalm 51:4 AMP) If we cast our care upon the Lord, we free ourselves from the burden of bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. We give it to the Lord who is exceptionally more than capable of handling the situation. When we hold onto it, it is an act of pride, believing we can bring about justice better than the Father. We also in a sense, hold back the hand of God to work in our life. The Lord will not force us to cast our burdens upon Him. Below are two scriptures of people who refused to let God work in their lives for lack of trust in Him.
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. (Psalm 78:41 KJV)
Jesus did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58 KJV)
4. Just because you forgive someone, it does not mean you are required to trust them. The Bible is full of stories of restitution. If you have hurt someone, asking their forgiveness is only the first step. You are required to do what it takes to restore that relationship and make amends. On the flip side, if someone who has hurt you refuses to repent or make restitution, leave it God’s hands and deal with the anger or bitterness by casting your care upon the Lord. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 AMP) Only the Lord can weigh the motives of a man’s heart. Only the Lord knows the intimate detailed past of individuals. He alone can see the unseen and judge rightly.
5. Trust in God to heal your wounds. He heals the broken hearted and He is the God that heals you.
6. Do not be ignorant of the enemy’s schemes. Satan will tempt and influence people to hurt you so that ultimately you will stumble in your walk with God. Do not play his game. We overcome evil with good.
If you need encouragement or prayer as you walk through the steps of forgiveness, please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to be there for you.
Many Blessings to You!!
This is a daily checklist created by someone who is discipling me. I have yet to achieve all in one day…emphasis on YET:)
*I use “idle” time wisely (meditating on scriptures, praying in the spirit, thinking positive thoughts, seeing answers to circumstances instead of focusing on the problem).
*I bring negative thoughts into captivity quickly.
*I refuse to judge (determine motive/reason why they did something) others actions.
*My instantaneous automatic system of dealing with problems (challenges, crisis’s, bad news) is giving it to God, and start thanking Him that all things work together for good.
*I maintain an attitude of gratitude throughout the day, if people noticed my countenance, they would say it was pleasant or joyful.
*I maintain an attitude of expectancy throughout the day that something good was happening behind the scenes, that God’s grace/favor are at work.
*I am mindful that everywhere I go and everything I touch was blessed.
*I feel like I’m in-tune with my heart, purposing to hear God’s direction, inspiration or revelation.
*I walk in obedience today (to God’s Word and to the leading, prompting and witnesses within your spirit He gave me throughout the day).
*I purpose to “Inquire of the Lord” throughout the day. This process of asking God for even small directives like; is this a good time to call someone, or shall I go to the store now or later, or shall I go to to this place for lunch.
*I am mindful that I am in this world but not of it, that God has a divine plan for my life and each day is an opportunity for me to fulfill His will for my time here on earth.
*I am Christlike, and people say, “When I hear you speak, watch you at work or see you reach out to others, it is as if I am seeing Jesus working through you.”
This morning, I opened my eyes to see that sometime in the night, a little visitor crawled in bed with me. Not feeling well, nothing comforts a child more than the presence of his mother. I look, the chubby, baby-like cheeks have long disappeared. He resembles his father more each day. My heart…. holding on to the days of his childhood, which pass by too quickly for me. Change can be beautiful and bitter sweet.
Change is ever present in the seasons too. This has been the most beautiful fall I can remember in my 30 years of living in Oklahoma. The change has been gradual. The blistering heat of summer, so unbearable, made it seem that it would never end, but it did. This week, I found myself picking the last of the fruit and vegetables in my garden. We also pulled all the remaining plants and prepared the ground for winter’s rest. Autumn’s beauty will fade into winter and segue into another kind of beauty.
As the seasons change, so does the decor in my home. I find pleasure in decorating. Candles in particular bring me so much joy. The warmth and beauty they add to my home create a simple pleasure. As the days grow colder, more time is spent inside and I want our home to be a warm, loving, and an inviting place for my family and friends to gather. This kind of change is like the Father’s love that draws us closer to Him.
Changes can be uncomfortable, even frightening because they take us out of our comfort zone into uncharted territory. Changes can also be a delight, a welcomed guest, because they bring with them the manifestation of answered prayers. Let your life prove your change of heart. Hope gives way to pure and undefiled faith. Our Father is faithful to His promises. Remember, with David, in one night, when all appeared lost and the promise of kingship seemed forgotten, this is when he became King of Israel. Hold fast and be certain that God’s Word will never return to Him void.
I want to share a website that has been a tremendous blessing to me.
The Bible says, “Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, (1 Corinthians 6:19 AMP)
I spent many years neglecting my temple, so it stands to reason that it will take some time to “take back my temple”. This website is dedicated to people who are doing just that. The author gets to the root of the problem and helps you develop life changing habits one small step at a time. She teaches her readers how to be transformed by God’s Word. I have been practicing her teachings for many months now and it is making quite a difference in my life! Enjoy!
I am the type of person who needs concrete, practical steps to take in my spiritual walk with God. I have been asking the Lord to reveal to me what my part is, so that I can actively keep my mind stayed upon Him.
Here is some practical application:
1. Know God’s Word! Find the time to read or listen to God’s Word daily, whether it is in your commute to work or on your lunch break. Most of my Bible intake is audio because that is how I learn best. There are many free sites and applications that offer the audio Word and written Word for free. Deception is eliminated when knowledge is present.
2. Did you know we are not always aware of our thoughts? They can hijack our mind and take it to ungodly places unaware. Ask God to search your heart. One way to to recognize this is when we lose our peace.
The Bible says to let the peace of God rule our heart. When that peace turns into fear or anxiety, look at it as a warning alarm letting you know you have wandered off track. It’s time to adjust your setting. Acknowledge and talk to the Lord about it. “Lord, I am losing my peace. In fact, I am anxious right now because I am thinking about my checkbook being in the red. I cast my care upon You. What does Your Word say about my checkbook?” The Lord may remind You that one of His Names is Provider. He may give you a creative idea on how to cut out unnecessary spending. He may give you a scripture verse. Whatever Word He gives you, meditate upon it and confess the scripture out loud until peace enters your heart again. This may have to be done several times in an hour.
3. Live in dependence upon the Holy Spirit; seek His strength in prayer (Matthew 26:41). The biblical definition of weakness is actually- dependent. An individual who is dependent upon the Lord is tremendously strong.
4. If you are well aware that you are being tempted to sin, analyze why you are tempted. Ask the Lord to help you figure out what the root of the sin is. What are your motives? Once you identify what motivates you to sin, pray about the underlying reason. For example, if you lose your temper, the Lord may show you that you like to be in control. When that position is threatened, you react like a cat cornered. Now you have something to pray about.
5. We are not to feed our minds with that which will promote sinful thoughts. We are to guard our hearts—what we allow into them and what we allow them to dwell on. Job 31:1 states, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman” Romans 13:14 states, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Avoid periodicals, videos, websites, conversations and situations that will be a stumbling block.
6. We are to seek after God with our whole heart, substituting godly pursuits and mindsets for sinful thoughts or habits. This is the replacement principle. You cannot take darkness out of a room, the only way to get rid of it is to bring the light in.
7. Be careful who you surround yourself with. Do not keep company with people who complain and speak unbelief. Do not keep company with people who will tempt you to sin. We should use fellowship with other Christians the way God intended. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
I’m sure there are other practical ways to keep one’s mind focused on Christ, but these are a few ways to begin that journey. I look forward to journeying with you!