Prayers requested for myself and for all site members
Please spend some time in prayer for myself and all site members. I am having some occasional hip pain. I don’t know whether it is muscle, nerve, or the hip (right now it’s the right hip. Sometimes it’s the left one. I will be on Medicare on Aug. 1 and plan to set up a “welcome to Medicare” appointment. I have been without insurance for 13 years and the Lord has sustained me through it all. I think the Medicare will help a lot.
Site members, I haven’t forgotten about you. As I am reminded of your needs, I pray for you. I know of needs you, your neighbors, and your families. So many others have needs far greater than mine. We all need the Lord’s help, and that comes through prayers for wisdom, peace, provision, healing, and whatever else the Lord wants to do in and through us.
As I prayed and thought about the post for today I wondered just how many ways, how many times can we write about being thankful? I thought I would start out with gratitude this week. What it is, and what it is not.
In researching the internet, you know the ever faithful “Google”. I find that there is a trend going around called “Positive Psychology.” I thought I would include some of what I found in this gratitude essay.
What is gratitude?
One article I found from Positive Psychology Program listed some definitions of gratitude that I thought may help us understand this elusive feeling. I know we all want the feel good, happy, pleasant feelings all the time and sometimes it seems they are so far away. So, let’s just see just how science today defines gratitude:
“if we acquire a good through exchange, effort or achievement, or by right, then we don’t typically feel gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion we feel in response to receiving something good which is undeserved” (Lacewing, 2016).
I like this definition because it seems to match the Bible. God gives us what we do not deserve. All of us here on earth are sinful, we do not deserve the strength, the health, or even to be alive. We do not deserve the hope of heaven. We deserve hell if anything.
Another definition for this gratitude essay is:
“an emotion that is typically evoked when one receives costly, unexpected, and intentionally rendered benefits, and is thought to play a key role in regulating the initiation and maintenance of social relationships” (Forster et al., 2017).
What happens when someone gives you something or does something you never expected? Does that help you feel good for that person? I may be struggling with this a bit though. I tend to let history cloud my gratitude when someone who has hurt me does something nice.
I tend to use my marriage as an example a bit much lately. But it is what is on my mind all the time. I am trying to let God teach me to be the wife my husband deserves, and let God do the work He needs to do in my husband. But, here is an example of the past clouding my gratitude.
My personal experience for this gratitude essay
Just recently my husband bought me a coffee from a local coffee shop. Automatically my thoughts of the many times that he would insist on buying the expensive coffees when we are broke came to mind. The hurt, the fear of how we are going to make it.
What did not come to mind is all the times I expressed to him I needed more than just physical love from him. I needed to be appreciated, loved for who I am. I did not express gratitude that he thought of me, only me in buying that coffee. I let my hurt and pain stay and cloud my judgment.
That attitude did not help our relationship. My husband was making a grand gesture that he could do with our circumstances. I stopped myself I looked at him and said, “What I should say to you is thank you very much, I really appreciate that you thought of me.”
Final thoughts for this gratitude essay
You see, it is so easy to lose sight of being thankful. Even when a person is trying their hardest to do something nice. Something to say I know you are hurting let me do this to try to make up for it. Yes, ok a bought coffee will not make up for everything. But it is a step. I need to make a step in learning to be grateful instead of letting the past hold us back.
What about you? Do you have trouble expressing gratitude when someone you are upset with does something nice? Please share your ideas with us! Would love to have you join our community and join the discussion in our Thankful Thursday group!
Thoughts (From Toni Nichols) – “What does the Lord think about our bodies?” Toni Nichols
I have been thinking about my imperfect, broken and somewhat deformed body, and speaking with my Mom tonight, whose body is a captive of Parkinson’s I asked her, “What do you think the Lord thinks about our bodies?”
There was silence.
Consider how in the Old Testament nothing deformed could approach the Holy of Holies, or be offered as a sacrifice to the Lord.
But we have our answer in the Old Testament book of Isaiah and the subsequent accountings of the life of Christ in the New Testament. It is clear what He thinks.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
It has been a crazy few days. My youngest getting sick and then sharing the germs with me. Then as I check the homes for sale I find a mobile home right across the street from my in laws! Perfect spot, perfect amount of space, and some possibility of being able to afford it. But, in that all my in laws are dealing with some pretty major health issues. Things that could affect their ability to help us. My emotions have been so up and down! I started wondering where is God in all this?!
My youngest son and I are pretty much over the cold. So, God helped us through that. But, soon after that my in laws were hit with health issues. Today my mother in law is going in for a test that could determine if she needs surgery or not. Also, my father in law is having trouble controlling his blood sugar levels. He has a month to get his A1c3 down or he could lose his commercial drivers license. That is his job! His business! Their only income! Where is God in all this?! What is God’s purpose in these struggles? Could He really have faith in us to hold true to Him?
In his worry my father in law starts to worry and try to control others around him. I and my daughter came to his mind. He knows how hard it is when starting out on your own. See, when my husband and I move in together my daughter will move to her own place for the first time in her life. You can read up more on her and the situation between my husband, and her disability under the key word my testimony. This worry of my father in laws lead him to try to tell me and her what needs to be done. Which triggered my emotional reaction of having someone tell me how to parent when I have been a single parent and raised her to adulthood. Where is God in these emotions? What is God’s purpose in these interactions?
I calmed down, prayed and talked to my mother in law. For right now they both seem to understand why things cannot be done the way he wants them done. But, now this mobile home I mentioned earlier. My hope, excitement and wanting to figure out just how that home can become ours was over the top. It would mean my in laws would not need to make all the renovations on their house to accommodate us moving in. But, we would still be right there to help each other. All day yesterday my thoughts were racing, I was checking things, talking, researching. All the while trying to say ok God, I know when I try to do things I mess them up you need to do it. But still I let my emotions take my research and thoughts to areas they should not have gone. Where is God in these emotions? What is God’s purpose?
What I have learned in my studies about God is that He uses you, He wants to use even you who is reading this right now. If you are like me in situations similar to what I described above you experienced overwhelming emotions too. How can He use you in these troubling times? What I see is that as we deal with the emotions we need to lean in more, to fight more to talk to Him. If all you can do is say Praise Jesus while trying to draw on His strength to find an even keel then do that. Once you find that center on God, is where He can use you.
Today, I have that center and I am seeing, for just this little bit, how God can use me. Through these emotions I felt God calling me to read His Word. To really study it and focus on Him. I did that. I am doing a read the Bible through a year plan on YouVersion Bible App, plus a study with my husband and a study with some church leaders. He calmed me down, reassured me that no matter what happens with my in laws health, or the mobile home He is still in control. I need to focus on the goals He gave me in life, not my goals. The first goal is to put Him first in everything, and then to live my life so others can see Him through me. So, I will pray for my in laws like never before. I will pray for the people who are in the mobile home as they are in financial trouble or more. I will trust that God will bring the home for my husband and I when we need it, not when we think it is best. In all this I have achieved joy God can only give.
I have an answered prayer about the senior center Bible study!
Thank you for praying for the Bible study at the senior center! Your prayers were answered strongly this morning! The disruptor is gone, we had a full class and an anointed discussion and a sweet spirit. Praise the Lord!
Isaiah 53:3-9 3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! 5 But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, he was led away. No one cared that he died without descendants, that his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
Mark 10: 34 34 They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.”
It makes me sick to my stomach to think of the pain Jesus went through on Good Friday. The name for this day is deceiving. What is pleasant about what happened to Jesus on this day. Yes, ok, I know it had to happen. I understand if He was not treated so He would not have risen on the third day. We would not have a way to be made right with God. But, let’s really reflect on what happened on this day.
They whipped Him until He was barely recognizable. Romans are known for their forms of inhumane torture. All this because the Jews were afraid of change, afraid people would side with Jesus and not them? This painful interruption multiplies joy. But, put yourself in the crowd. What feelings come up?
If I was there at the time and not knowing what I know now. Just a person in the crowd, I would have been angry. Knowing me I would not be out in the streets following the crowd. I would be hiding in my house trying to not know what is going on. That is normally how I react to tragedies going on around me. If I do not know the person I stay home, I pray for them, and move on with my life.
How callous of me, or is it fear? Fear of being involved, fear of not being able to do anything about it? Tell me the truth, how would you have reacted if you were in the crowd with Jesus carrying the cross? What would you have done on that first Good Friday Holiday?
But, what we do know now. We know God’s purpose in Jesus’s pain. We can experience joy God can only give. What guilt though that can bring up. For us, Jesus was tortured and died. Because of our evil nature Jesus was punished. How selfish we can be. Because we needed more than the perfect garden God gave us.
This Holiday lets reflect on our part of Jesus’s death. Ask for forgiveness. Really let Jesus search your heart. Let Him and what He went through change you from the inside out. If He has the power to go from that torture to bring in joy God can only produce, He has all the power to kill the sin that is holding us back today. I believe this is God’s purpose in putting the sins of the world on Jesus as He was crucified. So that our sins died right along with Him.
Yesterday I took my wife to the library, where she tutors in math. Being the efficient lady she is, and wanting to keep her Mama with plenty of good books to read, checked out some books for that purpose. She asked if I would take them on out to the car. That way she could go ahead and get ready for tutoring.
I had already planned to do that, so I took the books and went out to the car. So far so good. I opened the back door, then saw something I needed to take care of. With one hand, I moved things where they belonged and went back into the library. No problem. Mission accomplished! (Do you see where this is going?)
I got about halfway back to where Karen was set up and I looked in my hand. I just shook my head and thought, “why did I bring those in here?” I still had the bag of books in my hand, and I didn’t even know it! (And they were heavy too.) Good people, I do this all the time! I know I’m not alone in this, and that gives this senior a good deal of comfort.
In my journey to freedom from PTSD, depression, anxiety and the like God brought me to a wonderful counselor that helped me see how my past affected me. Now He is opening the door on how to let Him do the battle in the dark world around me. Basically how to let Him fight the Spiritual Warfare in my life.
Today I put a spotlight on a fellow blogger. I thought since I am starting the battle in Spiritual Warfare with the Lord I would search for a blogger who writes about that. I knew I needed to be careful. This battle can lead to false teachers. To people who lead in the wrong direction because satan does not want to be defeated in anybody’s life. So, I prayed for God’s discernment and He lead me to Debbie McDaniel.
Debbie is married to a pastor with her own story about her working in ministry overseas. She has three children and a story of infertility, pain and overcoming with the Lord. She has articles in many big Christian publications. She shares her heart, hope, and love of God in her blog. The articles I found from her that has to do with Spiritual Warfare are found on Crosswalk.com. They talk about the protection of God in our battles in this evil world.
Please take a look at Debbie’s writing see if God has anything for you through her wisdom. Then let her know I sent you to her site. Thanks!
Young Bloggers are The Hope For Blogging Future It is so inspiring to see the youth of today tackling life’s issues with great thought and wisdom. You do not find such thoughtfulness in today’s youth often. But when young bloggers stand out in the crowd I think it is important to …
Christian Counseling blog To Help Us Learn Biblical Treatments Today’s important person blogger is a Pastor Dr. Kenneth Jones. His statement of faith He provides description and tools for Christian counseling. His article on PTSD below stood out to me. https://reformedbiblicalcoaching.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/biblical-counseling-and-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/ In this article, he recounts how Paul could have suffered from PTSD. How …
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Interesting Personal Blogs As I scoured the internet for a Blogger to profile for today’s important person I found a blog by Jamie Wright. I find she fits into the category of interesting personal blogs. Just as a disclaimer, I myself do not cuss and do not take well to others cussing. But, …
Mike Rowe Shows Us How to Help a Caregiver I know I did not post yesterday for important person Monday. I am sorry my emotions are topsy-turvy as I would through my abuse from the past with my counselor. But, I thought today as I ran across Mike Rowe’s show on Facebook …
Right from the start Pastor Matthew Winters started following my blog right from the start of my time on WordPress. He is still out there reading and liking our stuff. I would like to show him some appreciation by promoting his blog to you! This link will take you to his about …
Childhood Memories Lost in Trauma of My Life When I came across Wil Wheaton’s blog I did not remember who he was. I just thought another blogger with a huge following. It was not until I read the first post that I talk about in my post Am I Normal that I …
life of a Christian youth Can you share who you are and something interesting about you? My name is Darian Halliday and I am a Worship Leader. I have no favorite worship song because I feel like I would be judgmental. I am currently in school. I recently came into Senior Year so …
Can you share a bit about who you are? I’m Podcast Producer Michael Blaes, I’m 46 years old and I’ve been married to my wife Teresa for over 12 years. We have a 10-year-old special needs daughter named Mandy. We live in Alamogordo New Mexico Explain what ministry you are involved with? I …
What is your position with Life.Church Online? My role is Development Training Pastor, which means that I oversee the initial training process new Church Online volunteers go through when they join the team, as well as their ongoing leadership development throughout their time serving with us. I love supporting our amazing …
RT @OupaKev: If there’s a time we ought to pray without ceasing, now is that time. As young people we’re faced with this spiritual warfare…
Combatting Spiritual Warfare with Wisdom and Boldness https://t.co/CAEXzQri4I
RT @jesusloverfreak: In the context of 2 Corinthians 10:3, Paul talks to us about spiritual warfare and our necessary role in destroying ev…
RT @JustinPetersMin: Pray for your pastor as he preaches tomorrow. As he preaches, he will be engaged in actual spiritual warfare.
You will feel worn out at times living a life that pleases God, because you are in a spiritual warfare. The enemy d… https://t.co/4gXYsL6tBF
In this sermon by Pastor Pete Briscoe he teaches about submission in marriage. I never heard it taught in this way before. It really spoke to my husband and I. I pray that you would have the time to hear what he has to say. Submission in Marriage really is a mutual submission, not just the woman’s responsibility.
In our marriage this way to look at submission makes so much sense. I am the higher functioning, outspoken, take charge person. My husband has admitted he does not like to be the leader. With the mutual submission we each submit to God, then to each other. We are there to help each other. Yes in the Bible it says the man is the head, but if you listen to the message, this does not mean he is the leader. It just means that as you picture the couple as one the husband is the head of that one body. If it was not for the body, the woman serving the head, or the head serving the body it would not work.
submission in marriage
What my husband and I are working on now is how to not be so selfish in our relationship. We did start out with just thinking what we personally needed from the other. To submit to each other one needs to think of the other first. How does my behavior affect my spouse? How can I change to make them happy? What can I do for them? We were always looking out for ourselves, what do I need, how does he need to change? Now I am asking God to help me change so I can make my husbands life better. My husband does not complete me God does, and in turn God helps me meet my husbands needs.
submission in marriage
What about you. How do you see submission should look like? What have you been taught? Does any of this make sense to you?