Category Archives: Discipline

focuses on the spiritual disciplines

So many voices and only one that matters <3

www.laurareimer.net

Happy Monday morning to you! 

After a soggy weekend here in the Midwest, we are enjoying a cold but sunny day. 

Russ has already been out for a walk/run around the block and reported there is, literally, not a cloud in the sky. 

I can attest that the sun is shining full force because it is showing a badly needed window washing project that will have to wait a few more days. 

As I am thinking what to share this morning, I am mulling over the danger of “political correctness” as a guide for my moral behavior and decisions. 

Case in point. 

I have a few hashtags I like to follow on Instagram and one of them is #shoplocal. 

Through this hashtag, I get a glimpse of small businesses all around the country and the world.

I find them interesting and inspiring for the most part, although not all small businesses pander what interests me or even what I agree with, necessarily. 

I pause on the ones I like and scroll past the ones that are not necessarily in line with my tastes or even beliefs. 

But occasionally I see one that is just offensive. 

Instagram offers me the option of “Reporting” or “Don’t show for this hashtag”.

I never report them because that is not my place, but I do choose to ask to be spared any more  along the lines of this kind of advertising by tapping the “don’t show” option. 

However, I do so with a nagging voice in the back of my head suggesting that I am wrong to be offended by something. 

I hear the cynicism of media and talking heads and comedians who make fun of people like me and the Facebook people that just love to carry on arguments on other peoples opinion posts.  

But that is not the voice of God. 

I know what is okay and what is not okay to view on my phone. 

I have been given the right to politely say, “No thank you.”

And in exercising that right, I am not “judging” someone who is fine with receiving the same kind of material. I am not protesting that it exists. 

I am choosing to eliminate it from my personal experience. 

In saying this, I am not suggesting that if I see something that is blatantly exploiting someone  I do not speak up.

I am talking about areas where I know God has set a standard, and the loud, boasting voice of popular culture attempts to drown out His still small voice showing me the way to live like Jesus. 

We may think we are immune to “peer pressure” but the voices of a new “morality” are pretty persuasive right now. 

I pray as God’s people we would continue to train our ears to hear Him say…This is the way. Now walk in it. 

His ways are gracious and merciful and kind, but they also hold to a standard set by Him. 

Stay in the Word as you walk through the world <3 

You are precious to Him. 

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A little time away changes our perspective

Hey and happy Friday!

This past week, Russ and I had the opportunity to get away to the beauty that is the Lake of the Ozarks.

Russ found a nice one bedroom portion of a home overlooking the lake that could be rented for two people and it was ideal for us. 

The owner had stocked the kitchen and fridge with all the necessities and then more.

Plenty of dishes, glasses, baking and cooking utensils and vessels. There was a drawer filled with spices, staples in cabinets and fridge. Even plenty of ice already made and more trays waiting to be emptied. Our living room and eating area were roomy with lots of seating options and we had a washer and dryer. The deck offered multiple choices for seating and eating. 

It was just easy to live there.

Simple. 

We had what we needed and were able to rest and relax. We really only went out for our lunch and dinner groceries each day and for long walks and a hike and Russ snuck in a round of golf while I drove the cart and read as he puttered around the course. 

And I got to wondering why it was so much simpler to live here than at home. 

It occurred to me that we were enjoying the provision of our gracious (though granted, well paid) hosts. They were lending us this beautiful place to stay and we didn’t have the ties to old memories, keepsakes, nor the ties to maintenance and monitoring of all of our “junk.”

As I pondered this one morning, I wondered if I could determine in my heart to view our own home in a kind VRBO way.

Because God has really just given us this place on earth to live for a while.

The “stuff” shouldn’t be a burden, it should be useful and functional so that we don’t spend far too much time taking care of things and miss out on living with purpose for Him each day. 

Some day we will close the door on it for the last time and leave it for someone else, and maybe if I lived like it wasn’t ours all along but just on loan from God, I might view it all differently. Maybe I would steward it with less overthinking and more joy.

www.laurareimer.net

Will need to ponder that for a while, but so far it is making me want to travel lighter and more responsibly….hope that attitude continues <3 

Blessings! Have a great weekend!

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Refined by the Word yet again … ouch

www.laurareimer.net

The past few mornings I have been reading in 1 Samuel. 

These are familiar passages, not just because of past years of reading through the Bible. 

Sermons listened to, Sunday school lessons attended and taught, my own pondering of the accounts covering Samuel’s birth and David’s reign plus several Bible studies have opened up deeper and deeper understanding over the years.

www.laurareimer.net


Yet every single time I read through 1 Samuel, another layer of scales is removed from my eyes and I see God and humankind, and thus my own flawed self, more clearly. 

Today I have multiple passages starred and some new question marks in the margin, but here is the one I will share with you today. 

First the passage:

The next day an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul, who became quite beside himself, raving. David played his harp, as he usually did at such times. Saul had a spear in his hand. Suddenly Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall.” David ducked, and the spear missed. This happened twice.

Now Saul feared David. It was clear that God was with David and had left Saul. So, Saul got David out of his sight by making him an officer in the army…Everything David did turned out well. Yes, God was with him. As Saul saw David becoming more successful, he grew more fearful. …But everyone else in Israel and Judah loved David. They loved watching him in action.

1 Samuel 18: 10-16 selected passages The Message

As background for “the next day”, the previous day found David returning victorious from battle and the women of the city poured out to sing how Saul kills by the thousand but David kills by tens of thousand. 

Saul was angry and felt threatened by this younger and more popular warrior. His attitude toward David turned irreversibly at that time. Saul was entering himself into the comparison game and losing.

So we see Saul feeling threatened and this insecurity gives rise to  a violent anger expressed in throwing a spear across the room at David with intent to kill….twice. 

And yet in verse 12, we are told it was Saul who feared David. 

I would think it would be reversed. I imagine if I were in David’s shoes, even just playing an instrument in the presence of a crazy man holding a big old spear would be a little intimidating. 

But nope…it is Saul who is fear-filled. 

Obviously David did not operate in fear, because he showed up another day for the same audience with the same scowling face and the same spear nearby for an encore performance. 

Saul schemes plan after plan to kill David off and by the time we get to verse 29 the fruit of all of this is revealed:

…his (Saul’s) fear of David increased and settled into hate. Saul hated David. 

1 Samuel 18: 29 The Message

We can see the clear progression of this:

Competion leads to Jealousy that leads to Fear that leads to Increased Fear that leads to Hatred.

None of these characteristics are godly. 

We are told not to compare ourselves to others.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.

Phillipians 2:3-4

We are told to not be envious. 

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 3:16

We are told to not fear. 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

We are told to not hate.

But I (Jesus) tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44

It makes me think about the way the planting of small seeds goes.

Comparison begins in our minds, maybe based on visible evidence, and this leads to envy/jealousy which leads to fear that we won’t get what we think should be ours. This leads to increased fear and finally we dive deep into hatred of the one we think has stolen what was never ours to have.

Wow. 

God’s word really is a sharp knife. 

I am so thankful for it. 

We can reverse the downward descent from comparison to hatred by drawing close to God using the passages above as prayers for Him to make us more like Jesus.

God bless you today and if I stepped on your toes, it was with my own bruised feet, my friend <3

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