Category Archives: Family

immediate…extended…etc.

On the girl inside

Yes, sometimes I still feel like I’m 12… maybe 10.

I’m OK with that.

I’ve always felt like I have an “old-soul”

so

if I feel young at times,

I am grateful.

I recently got Kindle on my phone

and

have been enjoying free books from Amazon (who-a-knew-a-such-a-thing-existed).

This week

download a sample of Chrystal Evans Hurst’s,

“She’s Still There:

Rescuing the Girl in You.”

I didn’t really feel I needed rescuing,

but

she’s a fun writer.

I enjoyed her work.

It does have me pondering my past,

my little girl dreams…

I remember laying in the front yard watching the clouds,

seeing shapes…

When I drove by my childhood home earlier this week,

they have ripped out the bushes

that surrounded that front yard…

bushes

that made it feel private

and

wonderfully safe.

After having the house

in our family

for 46 years,

I’m still a little bitter.

I miss it.

Especially the gardens

and

VAST backyard – full of trees, a creek – woods to explore,

but

I digress.

I do that a lot.

I like to explore

and

that includes

my thoughts,

my emotions…

In Chrystal’s book,

she made a comment about wanting a house on the beach

when she was a kid…

I use to want to live in another country.

I still have dreams of living somewhere else…

I dream of mission trips too (which reminds me, I need to check with my good friend about exploring via mission trips… you know who you are, and I know you don’t like bugs,

but

I bet there’s something we could do/go with JMM…).

:)

Needless to say,

I’ll be spending time pondering my childhood dreams in the days to come. If I have more to add… I will. Hope everyone has a GREAT weekend!

:)

 

 

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on gray hair

This week, I noticed the gray hairs that started after my 1st miscarriage have made their way into my bun/pony-tail…

I’m sooo excited.

They look more white too.

Makes me giddy.

I’ve wanted white hair since I was in grade-school.

“The best is yet to come.”

Ps.

This week would have been the final week of my last pregnancy… 42 weeks is a LONG time. I feel like such a different person than I did when it began.

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Filed under Ponderings..., Family, Coolness, Medical, Married-life, quote

on The Fruit of the Spirit

I got the book interlibrary loan (from St. Joseph, MO)

as I attended a ‘small’ group at my church…

it wasn’t small, it was as big as normal Wednesday night service.

Led by C.R. Kersten.

He mainly shared his life experiences… which was actually VERY helpful.

From time to time he read from the book.

So,

before the session was over,

I called the library.

Good read:

“The Fruit of the Spirit”

by

Thomas E. Trask

&

Wayde I. Goodall

I KNEW I was in trouble when I was putting post-it notes on the back-cover…

Here’s what stuck out to me:

-back cover-

“… if u let God’s Spirit grow His fruit in your heart.

-foreword-

In the mystery of the Trinity, the fruit of the Spirit is really the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His Spirit, whom the Father sent. As His Spirit indwells & controls us, His Fruit, or personality becomes manifest as we yield ourselves to Him.

It is only as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and under His control that His Fruit is manifest & His Will expressed…

…we are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith, according to God’s command (Ephesians 5:18) and His Promise (1 John 5:14-15). We ask, believe, & receive.

…the fruit of the Spirit is demonstrated thru us by faith.

… could change the world.

-introduction-

… the heavenly Father, the Gardener, would prune so that they could produce fruit… only possible if we are connected to Jesus. As we grow in our Christian walk, we understand more and more why we must be pruned.

Jesus said, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches’ =  John 15:5 – when our lives are totally committed to God and we are determined to obey Him, we will bear the fruit of Christ because He is the Vine! We cannot help bearing all the fruit of the Spirit when we remain in Him.

He changed when he made the decision to give Jesus Christ total control of his life…

‘there was a calm about him

you only find in someone who has found what life & joy are all about.’

The believer’s union with the Lord Jesus is no work of human wisdom or of human will, but an act of God

God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts = Galatians 4:6 KJV – the same Spirit who dwelt, and still dwells, in the Son becomes the life of the believer

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are connected to the Vine. Thru His roots, the nourishment of the Spirit flows into you and enables you to act like Christ & exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.

Jesus said, ‘My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful’ = John 15:1-2.

A gardener puts seed into the ground & carefully cultivates it.

…prunes so that the plant will produce more fruit. Pruning strengthens the plant by ridding it of unproductive branches…

God’s will is that none will be lost.

Jesus said we would know His disciples by the fruit they yeild = Matt. 7:15-23

…words w/o actions,

branches w/leaves but no fruit… fruitless branches are on their way to destruction.

If He did not prune us, we would not grow. … He sees things in our lives we do not see. He knows our hearts when we do not.

God typically prunes His children by conviction from the Holy Spirit…

every conviction that is held should be undergirded by love.

Hebrews 12:7-8, 10 – Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons…God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His Holines.

John 15:5…apart from Me you can do nothing.

The word ‘remain’ is used 10 times in the first ten verses of John 15. As Christians we are branches, and to produce fruit we must ‘remain’ in the Vine.

Jn 15

‘…so believers must depend upon & look to the life of Christ within them to find their  spiritual vitality

…the fruit nourishes others and contains within itself the seeds of its own reproduction, so the outward manifestation of the life of Christ in us nourishes and reproduces His life in others (quote from The Leadership Bible).’

The secret to Jesus’ fruitful life was His contact with the Father.

Lk 5:16

‘A tree may bear many apples, but all come from the same tree. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is the source of all fruit in our lives (Billy Graham quote).’

When people experience our fruit by seeing us act in ways that are different from the ways the world would act, they want to know more about the God who enabled us to be this way.

‘The Fruit of the Spirit’ by Manford George Gutzke compares the fruit of the Spirit to beams of light:

‘All the colors of the rainbow are in every beam of sunlight.

They are all there at any one time.

They may not always come into vision,

but

they are all present.’

1 Jn 3:24

1 Jn 2:5 – our obedience to Christ’s commands prove that we remain in Him.

If disobey Him/Word = no bear fruit = chosen to disconnect and not remain in Him

…Christians live in the world, but as citizens of God’s kingdom, display His values.

…demonstrate the fruit of God’s Spirit by cooperating w/Him thru our dependence on Him.

People fruit

…people we have introduced to Christ or influenced in a positive way for Him.

Giving fruit

The time, energy, and money we give to the cause of Christ are fruit that help spread the gospel and minister to people in need – Rom 15: 26-28.

Gospel fruit

When believers spread the gospel of Christ, it will bear fruit – Col 1:6.

Fruit of praise

…telling others that Christ is Lord = fruit that honors God.

This book is about producing the fruit of the Spirit, the very fruit that comes from God himself.

…actions & attitudes that demonstrate we are connected to the true Vine.

When u know what is best for others,

do u communicate it w/compassion & love? Truth is communicated to others in an attitude of love – Eph 4:15.

…we need the Spirit to bring fruit into our lives because we cannot produce godliness apart from the Spirit.

Rom 13:13-14 – …clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,

and

do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

-Chapter 2-

Love

Building healthy relationships

1 Jn 4:16 – God is love.

If we walk in fellowship with Him, we cannot help but be reminded of how to love people with our words, deeds, and actions.

Christlike love is called agape love.

…we should love people with God’s love.

We are people of free will who constantly make decisions to do the right thing.

The self-control/discipline portion of the fruit of the spirit is at work as we choose to respond to others with God’s agape love.

Christianity is about relationships

Jn 15:9-10, 12 – …if u obey My commands, u will remain in My Love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His Love… My command is this: Love each other as I have loved u.

His Love persuades us to take risks for the sake of others.

1 Jn 3:10 – …anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

1 Jn 3:18 – Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

We must decide every day… to be people who are known for how we love.

Agape Love = the love God has for us

and

the kind of love God wants us to have for others.

Agape = ‘that highest & noblest form of love which sees something infinitely precious in its object (C. S. Lewis, “The Four Loves”).’

Love = ‘a steady direction of the will toward another’s lasting good (Bishop Stephen Neill quote).’

We are to love when we see no results, even when the object of our love continues on their path of rejecting, avoiding, or turning against us. Jesus spent much of His last 3 years w/12… one He knew would be disloyal – Mk 14:10-44 & Jn 6:70-71

…seek out ways to show His Mercy.

Our love should never give up.

Jesus will help u. As u cling to Him & decide to treat people like He does, your heart will be transformed and God’s Love will flow thru u.

Do u have your emotions, words, and actions under control?

Our reactions to outside forces demonstrate whether we really are in control.

…emotional baggage affects how we talk to ourselves

and

how we treat others.

The Holy Spirit will let us know when we are being unloving, unkind & unrighteously angry… obey & do the loving thing.

What u do can bring encouragement, enrichment, & energy to someone today.

If u can’t say it,

write it.

…stay close to the One who continually purifies us.

You will look different to the world because the fruit you produce.

1 John 4:7 – Love one another – Love comes from God.

…stop trying to please people more than God

Love forgives

Unforgiveness binds us and causes our spirit to be negative & impure.

…forgiveness & healing are one

Love Compels

Love is resilient

Acts 7:60 – Lord, do not hold this sin against them.

Luke 23:34 – Father, forgive, for they do not know what they are doing.

We may be shocked, dazed, or overwhelmed for a time, but we regain our strength because we are attached to the One who supplies abundant love.

Love Understands

…love with God’s Love…

…we don’t reject them like everyone else…

-Chapter 3-

Joy

Rejoicing in any situation

…nowhere in the Bible will u find God advising us to pursue happiness.

God wants us to be full of joy.

…connected to the Vine.

Like the other fruit of the Spirit,

Joy is not something we produce on our own… supernatural result of belonging to the One who is pure joy.

…understand that joy will be a reality in your life

no matter what happens…

Jas 1:2-3 – Consider it all joy…

Hebr 12:2 – …who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.

Joy is much more significant than a happy countenance. True joy, which only comes from the Holy Spirit, is possible even when life is rough, when we are going thru great disappointment, loss, or grief.

Joy = Chara = in the New Testament, has a spiritual source, such as ‘the joy given by the Holy Spirit’ – 1 Thess. 1:6

Joy of the Lord – Neh 8:10

…our joy can be complete – John 15:11

…our lives are hidden in Christ

and

that we can be led by the Spirit thru anything.

Rom 8:28

‘God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.’ – C.S. Lewis in ‘Mere Christianity’

…Jesus, the one who is able to give us an eternal perspective no matter what our circumstances.

Rejoice because you are sure of your salvation

Luke 15:8-10 – …rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (words from Jesus).

Increase your joy by leading others to Jesus Christ

Realize how present-day battles can contribute to your eternal destiny

Suffering can file all the rough edges off your character,

or

it can further harden u.

…the struggle necessary to pass thru… God’s way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings (moth emerging from cocoon).

Sometimes the struggle is exactly what we need.

…suffering is part of life…

Rejoice when God is glorified

1 Cor 10:31 – Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God

…purposing to be obedient in all He asks us to do.

Increase your joy by being filled with the Holy Spirit

‘God commands us to be filled w/the Spirit, and if we are not filled, it is because we are living beneath our privileges (D.L. Moody quote).’

Acts 2:39 – The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.

The Holy Spirit is grieved when believers ignore His conviction for sinful thinking, feelings, or behavior

and push aside His warning to act or think differently… repent & determine to be obedient to the Lord…His filling can be repeated whenever we feel spiritually dry or our boldness to witness has turned to fear – Acts 3:19 = times of refreshing to our tired souls.

…God is glorified in the way you live

and because Christ has filled u with the Holy Spirit…

-Chapter 4-

Peace

Overcoming anxiety & conflict

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you;

My Peace I give u.

…calmness that a nation/city enjoys when it has a caring, competent, & secure leader.

It means experiencing quiet in your inner self.

…learn to depend on the Holy Spirit & understand that He will be with us in every situation, we will be more at rest & anxiety will be further away.

Phil 4:7 – The peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

…peace comes from the One to whom we are connected.

…cling to the promises of God’s Word so that our hearts and minds are guarded from worry… we can learn to be content

whatever the circumstances – Col 3:15-16.

Isa 9:6 – True peace begins when a person meets the Prince of Peace

John Newton – ‘Amazing Grace’ song

John 16:33 – In Me you may have peace.

Peace can replace worry and anxiety in your life

Worry = German = wergen = to choke

Mt 6:25, 27, 34 – Do not worry about your life…

God’s peace… will enhance all you do.

Peace can replace hostility and anger in your life

Anger can be controlled by the peace of God.

Anger can devour your happiness, steal your joy, attack your health, destroy your relationships, and injure your faith.

 

Realize actions are controlled by the will, so u can decide…

You can stop and pray for help.

You can take anger out by doing housework/washing the car.

With children,

get upset with rebellion, disobedience, lying, breaking the 10 commandments

or

other things that will hurt the child or someone else.

Anger at satan’s work should take us to our knees to intercede for others…to volunteer, visit the sick, love the broken, & feed the hungry;

&

motivate us to vote

&

speak out on moral matters.

Humble yourself and listen to other people.

Much anger is caused by pride

Grief may also be a factor,

cuz anger is a stage in the grieving process for any loss.

Peace will enable you to resolve stress

The average desk worker has 36 hrs of work on desk

and

spends 3 hrs/week sorting the piles.

American workers put in more hours on the job than any other industrialized country…

averaging 280 more hours a year than the Germans.

 

We spend 8 months of our lives opening junk mail.

Luke 2:14 – peace to men on whom His favor rests

…Jesus can speak to u about balance, rest & peace – 2 Cor 4:8-9…vs 7 = jars of clay = the most precious treasures to be concealed in valueless containers.

Peace in the midst of Crises

…Whatever my lot,

Thou has taught me to say,

It is well,

it is well with my soul (from Horatio Gates Spafford’s song after daughters lost at sea).

God’s Peace encourages us to be peacemakers

…we are not to repay eveil for evil – Rom 12:17-21

but

leave it in the hands of God.

If u know the Peacemaker,

He will produce within u the fruit of the Spirit called peace.

-Chapter 5-

Patience

The benefits of waiting

…need great quantities of patience while raising children.

only thing do was pray

&

show love & patience

Greek= patience = macrothumia = combination of two words:

macro = long

&

thurmos = temper.

= specifically points to the idea of anger taking a very long time to build before it is expressed… if it is every expressed, it is under control.

… putting up with those who need long and patient love & kindness (Gorden Fee quote).

I believe God had a purpose in direction Paul to list the fruit of the Spirit in a certain order – Gal. 5:22-23… all begin w/love…

Love is the Christlike reaction to people’s malice.

Patience is self-restraint in the face of provocation.

…thinks before it respond

…if it responds

God is patient with us – 2 Peter 3:9

…give them light on the way they were to take <desert@night/40 years>

slow to anger

&

abounding in love

<don’t fall back into old ruts… evil

when

u r resting… 40 years in desert>

Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day.

Hurry can destroy our souls.

Hurry can keep us from living well.

‘Hurry is not of the devil;

hurry is the devil.’ – Carl Jung

We can grow in patience

You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life…

God is not in a hurry –

He has everything under control.

Patience will develop naturally as we grow in Christ and depend on the Holy Spirit, because we are part of the one who is patience.

Impatience often comes because of faulty or inappropriate goals

…we need to listen to our emotions, for they are a gift from God.

…feeling anxious, angry or depressed = could be because we have made goals that are not wise.

Any goal that can be blocked by forces out of your control is not a healthy goal, because the success you desire in meeting that goal is out of your hands…

Hard work and diligence r good qualities;

however,

if we are perfectionists,

we will be frustrated, dissatisfied, and impatient because there is always more to do.

…find a point of closure in our efforts…

…expecting fewer things to be perfect

will result in patience, greater humility, less anger, and greater joy in life.

Emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression are often present because something is not going the way we want it to go…

Do your best

to trust God

with the rest.

…find a place of rest

and

trust God to work out His perfect will.

The only way we can truly be patient with others is to see them thru the eyes of Jesus.

…<don’t > harden your hearts toward them when u see them acting in horrible, evil ways towards others.

Eph 5:22, 33 & Col 3:18 – Wives are to respect their husbands & submit to them.

The marriage relationship itself, in virtually all areas – from finances to discipline of children – requires patience & commitment.

You are to be patient with people who do not know Christ.

‘not wanting any to perish’

…go to Christ daily

to seek His Will,

ask for forgiveness of sin,

and

determine that we will glorify Him in all we say & do.

If your past troubles u,

choose to act & speak differently today.

The incredible patience He has with us is the kind of patience He wants us to have with one another.

Thus it cannot be separated from love.

…respond to their behavior with love, truth, and proper timing

instead of hastily

or

with uncontrolled anger.

Walking in the Spirit means that we listen to God

and

follow His instructions as we encounter various challenges throughout our day.

-Chapter 6-

Kindnes

Reaching out to others

We should be concerned for the welfare of others and do all we can to be kind to them even if we are taken advantage of.

The fact that there is potential for people to use us or be dishonest with us must not prevent us from doing acts of kindness.

We are to see deeper than the potential for manipulation & deceit.

We must see their need.

Even concerning our enemies, Jesus said, ‘Do good to them, and lend to them w/o expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful & wicked – Luke 6:35-36 – those who imitate God in being kind to the ungrateful & wicked will be sons of the Most High.

God’s kindness to sinners is designed to lead them to repentance – Rom 2:4.

His kindness to believers should encourage us to continue in His kindness by treating others as He treated us – Rom 11:22 & Eph 4:32…

for love is patient & kind – 1 Cor 13:4.

When conviction didn’t go away…give

…we should seldom repress an urge to kind.

The fruit of the Spirit is more than an attitude or trait that we desire;

it is evidence that the Holy Spirit lives in us.

God’s purpose in having the Holy Spirit dwell within believers is that we might depend on Him to direct our lives & illustrate God’s personality to others.

Greek = kindness = chrestos = goodness in action, sweetness of disposition, gentleness in dealing with others, benevolence, kindness, affability.

=ability to act for the welfare of those taxing your patience.

The Holy Spirit removes abrasive qualities from the character of the one under His control.

In Jesus’ story of the good Samaritan

He points out three characteristics of kindness:

it is compassionate,

it takes action,

&

it is powerful.

…He saw their need as an opportunity to help.

Luke 7:13

God helps us even when we have brought trouble on ourselves. We are to do likewise.

Kindness takes action

Col 3:12 – As God’s chosen people,

holy & dearly loved,

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness & patience.

We must be ready to help our family members when they need us.

…a lifestyle of showing kindness in our homes…in our church, community, & workplace.

…stop to investigate when they see a need…

2 Tim 2:24 – characteristics of godly leaders – The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone.

Kind people r sensitive to other’s needs – Phil 2:4.

…we need to be truthful with others

and

we need others around us who will speak truth into our lives in a loving way.

As children grow older it is absolutely necessary that they develop maturity… the reality of having to work for a living

and

for the things they desire.

Ps 23:6

God, our Father,

is constantly looking for ways to help us,

bless us,

and to care for us.

He is always ready to give us counsel.

As God’s children

we are to be like Him.

God is kind,

and

His Spirit dwells in your life. He constantly urges you to forgive those who have hurt u,

taken advantage of u,

or rejected u.

Look deeper than their mistreatment & be kind anyway.

Don’t dwell on how they have hurt u;

look deeper & understand that God loves them

and

wants to show His kindness to them thru u. His Kindness & Mercy could come thru your decision to do a good deed or to change your attitude toward them. Ask God to help u forgive them & to be kind to them. He will help u.

-Chapter 7-

Goodness

Learning to live generously

 

God-given attributes make people want to be around us

Jesus said that only God is good – Mk 10:17-18.

Agathosune = Greek = goodness = combines being good & doing good. It means kindness in actual manifestation, virtue equipped for action, a bountiful propensity both to will & to do what is good, intrinsic goodness producing generosity, & godlike state or being.

…to please God, without expecting medals & rewards

Eph 5:8-9 – …Live as children of light …for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness & truth

Goodness is not just what u say but what you do. Those who possess this quality are generous by nature.

…the Holy Spirit continually prompts us to treat people as Jesus would.

…each person ultimately chooses their behavior.

Rom 3:23 – all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God.

When we become Christians our basic nature changes

2 Cor 5:16-21

Rom 3:26

Rom 6:18

1 John 1:9

Col 1:27

Phil 2:13

Eph 2:4

Col 3:1-3

Rom 8:1-17

2 Cor 3:18

2 Pet 3:18

Mt 22:37-39

1 John 4:7-8, 11, 20-21

…we are in Christ…

…the Holy Spirit helps us control the sinful nature.

Ps 23:6

The Bible is God’s Manual on living a good life

Ps 119:9, 11 – …keep your way pure, by living according to Your Word.

I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.

Jas 1:22 – Do not merely listen to the Word, & so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says.

God’s Word teaches right behavior& will help us to have a good life.

The Bible is more important than anything else u could read…

‘The Bible will keep u from sin,

or

sin will keep u from the Bible.’ – D.L. Moody

There is no question

that what we watch & listen to

has a tremendous influence on how we think & act.

What r u permitting to come into your life?

Our mind is a precious commodity, & we need to do all we can to protect it.

We must guard our mind,

and

the Bible tells us how – Phil. 4:8…make a conscious decision to think about what we should be thinking about… a decision to reject harmful thoughts…

…your decision to be obedient to God can get u into trouble.

Before they were taken into captivity… Daniel had decided NOT to defile himself (Dan 1:8)… before he faced decisions about what was right & wrong… made a decision in his heart to serve the Lord no matter what… no compromise.

Holy Spirit will speak to u thru your convictions

Rom 12:9 – Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 Pet 2:20 – if u suffer for doing good & endure it, this is commendable before God.

-Chapter 8-

Faithfulness

Foundation of true friendship

Greek = pistis = faith, belief, trusted.

Those who are faithful

are dependable,

&

we can place our trust in them.

Most of all, we are to be faithful in our obedience to the Lord… we will be judged on how faithful we were to all that God asked us to do – Mt 25:23.

…being God’s friend is a different kind of relationship, unique in its level of trust & respect.

Friendship involves openness in communication, vulnerability, transparency,

&

a sharing of ideas, dreams, & goals.

Friendship is special & is to be cherished.

Do they trust God

or

want to do their own thing??

…disciplined with thei rtime,

if they keep their word,

if they complete the job,

and,

in the process, if they treat people well.

One major sign of immaturity is a person’s refusal to accept responsibility.

…if they cannot handle money correctly or get up in time for school, college, or their job,

they have not learned responsibility,

and

it is not wise to give them privileges.

Mt 25:21, 23 – God’s kingdom is organized in such a way that if we are faithful in small things, we will be given more responsibility.

When we disobey or refuse to accept what God has asked us to do,

we are unfaithful.

More responsibility is good… laziness is punished

Only people who invest get a return

Keeping our commitments

We need to be good stewards & try to live as we would on our own personal budgets.

Luke 16:12

-Chapter 9-

Gentleness

The strength of being tender

Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit that is fundamental to our relationships,

especially those that can keep us on edge – those with people who are pushy or offensive,

who live in so much private pain that they reject our attempts to get close,

or who have caused us to lose patience

either because of our own weariness

or

their lack of self-control.

Gentleness is a disposition that is even tempered, tranquil, unpretentious, & has its passions under control.

…pardon & forgive those who have injured them,

know when to speak words of correction & when to remain quiet…

rule their own spirits…

understand the strength of being tender.

Carefully chosen words that soothe strong emotions r referred to as gentle words.

…possessing tact & gracious courtesy that causes others to retain their self-esteem & dignity.

Gentleness can help us form better relationships

Possibly the three most challenging groups r those who don’t agree w/us,

those who correct us,

and those who let us down.

Isa 56:7 – God’s temple was to be a house of prayer for all nations.

…the temple court was the only place Gentles could go to pray,

the court was where the buying & selling were taking place.

Those who came to seek God & worship Him were quickly distracted & disillusioned by all the noise & lack of reverence.

Do they sense our reverence, sincerity, & love for God?

1 Pet 3:15 – Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks u to give the reason for the hope that u have… do with gentleness & respect.

If u notice that every time someone disagrees w/u, u become defensive & angry, it could mean that u r insecure & feel that u always need to win… if u feel angry, ask yourself, Why?

What am I afraid of?

What do I think I will lose if I give in?

No one has to win/lose if u r having a disagreement w/another… truth should be the goal.

Jas 3:17-18 – Wisdom from heaven is 1st of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy & good fruit, impartial and sincere… peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness = let heaven’s wisdom guide your actions & reactions

Those who are strong in gentleness r not defensive, nor do they become angry… they r grateful for the word of correction.

…u must control your feelings & words.

Husbands & fathers need to be cautious about how they speak to their wives & correct their children.

Col 3:19 – not to be harsh

Col 3:21 – Do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged.

1 Peter 3:4 – Wives r to have a gentle & quiet spirit… if married to an unbeliever, he could be won over becuz of her inward beauty.

Men r attracted to women who have their emotions & words under control.

Most men hate confrontation…

<let> peace reign in the home…

find ways to encourage

To keep the peace in the home, we need to be completely humble & gentle (Eph 4:2)… let gentleness rule our emotions & words.

If we are harsh, pushy, or quick to react,

we will repel others

&

possibly discourage them from trying again… be forgiving & encouraging… explain tactfully… help them succeed.

He assumed the best & believed in me (quote by Dave Goetz).

…begin conversation w/compliments, then speak to the person as gently as possible.

Gentleness will help keep our response under control while we wait for appropriate timing.

Thus the best way to make friends & motivate people is to be friendly & sincerely respectful of them as people & for what they do.

Be interested in them & remind yourself that they have demands, deadlines, & personal issues of their own.

Phil 2:3-4

Wise people listen to wise people; they are teachable.

God’s leaders are open to different opinions & new information. James said, ‘Humbly accept the word planted in u, which can save u (1:21).’

Humbly & gently come from the same original word as meekness.

‘Humbly’ means to be teachable, to learn & obey truth.

Their words are thoughtfully chosen.

-Chapter 10-

Self-control

Mastering our passions

Greek = self-control = en kratos.

En = ‘in’

kratos = ‘strength, power, might, or dominion’

A person with en kratos = a person who has strength within.

…the actions of the sinful nature are clear:

sexual immorality, impurity & debauchery; idolatry & witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions & envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like – Gal 5:19-21.

The sinful nature is part of all our lives, & the only way to control it is to live by the Spirit.

When we are loving, we are more joyful.

When we have love & joy, we have peace.

When we have love, joy, & peace, patience is their companion.

Kindness will naturally emanate from a disposition of love, joy, peace, patience, & goodness.

With these portions of the fruit functioning, a foundation is laid for self-control, which allows us to live a life of balance & gives us the strength to stand against excess.

…even seemingly innocent activities & behaviors, can enslave us.

…food is necessary for life, many people are slaves to food.

…addicted to work, sports, television, exercise, sex, & a host of other activities that are not bad if done in moderation & according to God’s principles, which are found in the Bible. Without self-control some harmful habit or behavior can control each of us.

Prov 25:28 – Like a city whose walls r broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

…God will help u in every aspect of your life.

Self-control & self-discipline work together.

1 Cor 9:24-25 – Do u not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

…we now can have self-control because He will give us the ability. Winning life’s race requires keeping our lives under control.

Prov 16:32 – Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

…be cautious about what we read, watch, or think. We must determine to feed our minds truth & purity. We must discipline our spiritual life by developing habits of Bible study, <scripture-> meditation, fasting, & prayers.

2 Peter 1:5-6 – Make every effort to add to your faith goodness;

and to goodness, knowledge;

and to knowledge, self-control.

…commitment to serve Christ & be obedient to His commands.

Forget what is behind

&

go after the goal.

1 Cor 15:33 – Bad company corrupts good character.

Emotions can be contagious.

Prov 22:24-26 warns us,

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or u may learn his ways & get yourself ensnared.

On the other hand, if we associate w/people of good character who r in control of their emotions, they will likely have a god influence on us.

You can choose to overcome your bad moods.

Gal 5:16 – Live by the Spirit, & u will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

When we live by the Spirit we obey God’s Word.

…if Christ is living inside, what spills out is the fruit of the Spirit.

Permit God to show you His Love & Mercy. Let Him fill u up with Himself. Surrender your life completely to Christ & determine that u r going to love Him with all of your heart, soul, & mind. …let Him express His attributes thru your behavior & in ways you treat people. Focus on Him & get so filled up with Christ that He oozes out & impacts everybody with whom u associate.

Don’t try to figure everything out; just be aware of God’s personality of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control.

-Chapter 11-

Winning the battle within

The power of a victorious life

…doing fantastic – not just good. God is interested in you & me bearing a lot of fruit of the Spirit. John 15:8 – This is to my Father’s Glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.

Gal 5:20 – idolatry = points to any form of worship toward an object, principle, idea, or being other than God.

Col 3:5 – greed is listed as a form of idolatry… become an object of worship.

Anything that alters one’s ability to think clearly & act responsibly is a problem.

…orgies = uncontrolled revelry, taking part in unrestrained festivities.

Gal. 5:21

Col 3:6

…you are actually dead – to the sinful nature – and you must remind yourself of that.

We must permit our caretaker to prune us.

Dormant pruning usually causes vigor in a fruit tree.

Pears produce the best fruit on 2-3 year old wood.

Fruit farmers call branches, ‘sucker limbs’ that suck moisture & nutrients from the tree & give nothing in return… produce shade so the sun cannot get to the center of the tree – which affects how fast the fruit grows & gives it its color…

…every Christian needs to be pruned periodically, it is important to have the right attitude toward God’s discipline.

Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter: long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best (Quote from Michael Johnson).

… react in a kingdom way, demonstrating patience & self-control. The sudden difficulty does not throw us off course…

allowed Him to do His work of pruning off what is destructive, unhealthy, & unproductive.

Times of discipline, trials, and difficulty can be the most important time of our lives because they build character…and character, hope (Rom 5:3-4).

Bad times can be our dearest friends, because through these times we can become more focused on who we are in Christ and develop godly behaviors & attitudes that will prepare us for eternity.

We need to live in the Spirit to produce the Spirit’s Fruit.

Remind yourself who u r in Christ. Try to look at yourself from God’s perspective. Think about the positive rather than the negative. … Living is a moment by moment process. …

Ask Him to help u respond to situations & people as He would.

As Christians we have sensitivity to sinful activities & attitudes…

‘Led by the Spirit’ = does not mean passively; it means to rise up & follow the Spirit by walking in obedience to the Spirit’s desire. …

When the Holy Spirit controls our lives we depend on God for everything – every day. Romans 8:12-14…

Living in the Spirit is similar to breathing. We exhale impure and inhale pure.

When you become aware of something you do, think or feel that is sinful, you deal with it right then. … ask God to forgive and help you.

You must apologize to the person you hurt.

Be careful not to become callused by repressing the Holy Spirit’s voice and disobeying Him…

Ephesians 5:18 – Be filled with the Spirit.

This is a continuous process.

The longer we are inhaling Him and exhaling sinful activities the deeper our roots will go into the soil of Christian-maturity.”

From

-The Notes-

in the back of the book:

I’m going to eventually look up Neil Anderson’s, “Daily in Christ.”

AND

These guys are also the authors of:

-“The Battle: Defeating the Enemies of Your Soul”

-“The Blessing: Experiencing the Power of the Holy Spirit Today”

-“The Choice: Embracing God’s Vision in the New Millennium”

I will probably look into these at my library, sooner than later!

Well,

after taxes are done …

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on $

God provides.

:)

On the 2nd month anniversary of my marriage to Kurt.

I was reminded this morning that God provides.

 

Phil. 4:19 helps me.

I had put it on my bathroom wall before I was married…

I needed it.

I was down to working one day a week with no hope of going back to full-time at my current job. I didn’t have energy to look for another job.

My one day only paid for my health insurance, so every fill up at the gas station was coming out of my savings as well as every trip to the grocery store, every bill, every tithe… Everything I did.

A family member told my Mom almost daily that he didn’t think I’d get married…

I didn’t know myself. I had been single so long. So had Kurt,

and

He had been engaged before.

I already knew that come October,

I had to find a new place to live… even if for some reason the wedding didn’t happen.

My future was unsure.

I KNEW I didn’t have enough to start a new life.

I trusted God.

If He wanted me to marry Kurt,

then

all would work out.

I feel blessed to be married to a man that doesn’t insist that I work full-time. 

God provided.

Faith isn’t always easy.

Sometimes every day feels unsure.

Trust God anyway.

Speak His Word.

Over and over.

Thank Him when you see the answer!

:)

Philippians 4:19
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

19 My God will richly fill your every need in a glorious way through Christ Jesus.

:)

Update:

We are now at 2 YEARS and 2+ months,

I’m down to one job instead of #3,

&

most of the time, I only have to work about once a month.

God provides.

Trust Him.

Follow His Peace.

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on the #9 day allergy-test

I would have gone longer,

but

my nose was swollen and tender from all the Kleenx.

It started because I forgot my daily allergy pill… and I slept better,

a lot better.

I haven’t slept well for more than 2 nights in a row since I got married 2 years ago,

so

needless to say, I was willing to give it a longer try.

I decided to stop taking my allergy pills for over a week…
I was able to breath the whole time (Miracle!),
but my nose did run on occas.,
& I sneezed some.
By the 8th night, I had a headache & ear ache… or was that due to an ‘issue’ with my husband… I don’t think God minds us questioning Him. I ask Him questions all the time.
I wasn’t sure that night, if the symptoms were a ‘sign’ I needed to re-start my allergy/sinus regimen – or – a side-effect of my drinking too much coffee that day?
I had cut back quite a bit lately, going for days without caffeine.
I was resting & sleeping better.
It was glorious!   Then after our marriage class on Sunday (9th day w/o Rx), we stayed at the church where they are teaching it, and the pastor after worship asked for anyone with ear issues to come forward to be prayed for… my husband elbowed me… I don’t enjoy going forward, but I’ll TAKE PRAYER!   As soon as I was anointed with oil, my ear started to crackle… which I realized I had not heard in a few days. Praise God = sinus-fluid is moving AGAIN! I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do about my Rx(s), so I waited even though my nose was swollen & tender …
I woke EARLY in the morning the next day, and decided if I wasn’t going to sleep a full night, then I could end the ‘experiment’ of no allergy meds…
at least for this month.
Whoaknowsa, maybe in a month or two… oh, let’s be real, after the holidays, coffee won’t be as tempting. I’ll try to go off my allergy meds again in a month or so… maybe for a few days… then eventually build up to a few months, and hopefully one day, not need them anymore.
FREEDOM!
I can remember a time I only needed ’em in the fall of the year (almost 20 years ago), so the fact I was even able to do this at this time, while gardening, is a miracle all in itself.  Dust is my #1 allergen (We even have several hens who are currently molting, so LOTs of dust-mites!).
God is so good to help me – even in this! :)
Update:
Since writing this – my other ear has started to crackle… which is actually a good sign.  
December update:
Last holiday is tonight.
I start another sleep study next week – they are paying me this time! God is so cool!
There is NO coffee to be perked in the house…
just a wee-bit of instant left…
chocolate does NOT have the same effect as coffee… I tried yesterday.
I got #5 new hens this week too… so more time with the birds = more sneezing…
um,
maybe I’ll try no allergy pill as soon as I remember to buy the good decongestant at the store and finally have clear, crackle-free ears.
Best to start with a ‘clean’ slate.
I also learned, it’s one of my allergy pills that causes problems with my sleep… so I’m alternating,
as one of the other…  more effective allergy pills puts me into a semi-coma state.
I do remember life without allergies… I’m going to focus on that in the New Year.

 

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on “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis

I just finished the book – only 4 chapters,

so

I made sure not to read more than one every day or so…

kind of like

when I read his book,

“Screwtape Letters.”

I figured one chapter would be all that I could handle,

especially since I ‘felt’ God was leading me to read it.

Grief.

It’s been two years since my 1st pregnancy. Time sure does not wait for us to process loss…

I’m grateful C.S. Lewis shared his process…

it ended well.

I’m glad I read it.

I smiled several times in the last chapter.

Just in time to cry listening to a fellow church member share his loss of his brother-in-law.

God’s timing is perfect in all things. I’m glad He made this book stick out to me in this time. I was ready.

Crying is good.

Smiling is good.

I like how in the end, C.S. Lewis went for walks…

in order to sleep at night.

That piece of advice

would help MANY!

He was only married a short time,

and his wife died of cancer… there’s a movie, and yes, I saw that too, but so many years ago, I only have vague shadows of memory of it.

Here’s what stuck out to me from the book if you are interested in reading more…

In the foreword by Madeleine L’Engle, written in August 1988:

“The death of a beloved is an amputation.

Like Lewis, I, too, kept a journal…

It is all right to wallow in one’s journal;

it is a way of getting rid of self-pity and self-indulgence and self-centeredness.

What we work out in our journals we don’t take out on family and friends.”

Introduction written by Douglas H. Gresham:

“… one man’s studied attempts to come to grips with and in the end defeat the emotional paralysis of the most shattering grief of his life.

a small, tight-knit group which became known as ‘The Inklings,’ and which has left us with a legacy of literature. J.R.R. Tolkien, John Wain, Roger Lancelyn-Green, and Neville Coghill were among those who frequented these informal gatherings.

Helen Joy Gresham (nee Davidman), the ‘H.’ referred to in this book, was perhaps the only woman whom Jack ever met who was his intellectual equal and also as well-read and widely educated as he was himself. They shared another common factor: they were both possessed of total recall. Jack never forgot anything he had read, and neither did she.

Jack’s upbringing was a mixture of middle-class Irish… and English, set in the very begininngs of the twentieth century

the daughter of two lower-middle-class Jewish second generation immigrants, her father of Ukrainian, her mother of Polish origins, she was born and brought up in the Bronx in New York City.

I had yet to learn that all human relationships end in pain – it is the price that our imperfection has allowed satan<I refuse to dignify him w/capitalization.> to exact from us for the privilege of love. I had the resilience of youth upon which to fall when Mother died…

I had Jack to lean upon,

poor Jack only had me.

It took me almost thirty years to learn how to cry without feeling ashamed.

on reading through them some time later, he felt that they might well be of some help to others who were similarly afflicted with the turmoil of thought and feeling which grief forces upon us.

her death was delayed long enough for him to grow to love her so completely that she filled his world as the greatest gift that God had ever given him, and then she died and left him alone in a place that her presence in his life had created for him.

For further reading,

I recommend

‘Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times’

by

George Sayer (Harper & Row, 1988; Crossway Books) as the best available biography of C.S. Lewis;

Lyle Dorsett’s biography of my mother,

‘And God Came In’

(Macmillan, 1983);

and

a viewpoint of our family life, my own book <Douglas H. Gresham>,

‘Lenten Lands’

(Macmillan, 1988; HarperSanFrancisco, 1994).”

Chapter One:

“… There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says.

Yet, I want others to be about me.

If only they would talk to one another and not to me.

I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much.

It is easy to see why the lonely become untidy, finally dirty and disgusting.

We both knew we wanted something besides one another – quite a different kind of something, a quite different kind of want.

Her absence is like the sky,

spread over everything.

It is incredible how much happiness, even how much gaiety, we sometimes had together after all hope was gone. How long, how tranquilly, how nourishingly, we talked together that last night!

Even nature isn’t such a clown as that. She never plays exactly the same tune twice.

Chapter two:

Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.

I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get.

all that stuff about family reunions ‘on the further shore,’ pictured in entirely earthly terms. But that is all unscriptural, all out of bad hymns and lithographs. There’s not a word of it in the Bible. And it rings false. We KNOW it couldn’t be like that. Reality never repeats. The exact same thing is never taken away and given back. How well the spiritualists bait their hook! ‘Things on this side are not so different after all.’

Why do I make room in my mind for such filth and nonsense? Do I hope that if feeling disguises itself as thought I shall feel less? …

And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, like suspense. Or like waiting; just hanging about waiting for something to happen. …

It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down.

Chapter Three:

Just this apathy, this dead flatness? Will there come a time when I no longer ask why the world is like a mean street, because I shall take the squalor as normal?

Grief is like a bomber circling round and dropping its bombs each time the circle brings it overhead; physical pain is like the steady barrage on a trench in World War One, hours of it with no let-up for a moment. Thought is never static, pain often is.

God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t.

The less I mourn her the nearer I seem to her.

Chapter four:

Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.

I do all the walking I can, for I’d be a fool to go to bed not tired.

Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it.

The sense that some shattering and disarming simplicity is the real answer.

Attention is an act of will.”

:)

“<>” mark my comments

:)

I got it from the library,

inter-library loan.

It was donated by the Schlanker Funeral Home in April 2014 to the Montgomery City Public Library in Montgomery City, Missouri.

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on grace, like a 4×4

I know NOTHING about vehicles,

but

God often helps me to understand something based on what I’m currently doing. Today I was driving home in my V6, 4×4…

and

enjoying it’s passing power.

God reminded me of His Power. His Grace – which came up in my ladies meeting…

Ya see, I use to drive a Neon… with a wee 4-cylinder engine… front-wheel drive.

Now, I’m in a Jeep.

Trust me, there’s no comparison.

My Dad use to let me drive his V8, 4×4 truck when I was 16… mercy. It was AWESOME,

AND

I got out of EVERYTHING.

My Jeep is like that too… I haven’t had to shovel snow since I got it,

but

when I had my Neon,

and

later my PT Cruiser, well, both were so close to the ground… that shoveling snow was the ONLY way I was going to go anywhere during the cold months!

The Jeep has heated seats…

if it just had remote-start, well, aaahhh

:)

That sort of reminds me of the Holy Spirit, but that’s another post. :)

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