Category Archives: Encouragement

The secret to ending the confusion in and around us <3

On my Monday post here : I shared about a conviction I felt on Sunday morning about my prayer life. Conviction leads to repentance and repentance leads to turning around and heading in a new direction. 

So yesterday when my “witching’ hour hit…3:30 PM is when my thoughts start to spiral towards the dark side of fear, doubt, anxiety and negative self talk…which is an interesting converse to  3:30 AM and the way the Holy Spirit likes to awaken me at that time to pray…but that is for another day’s post…instead of heading to the pantry for food therapy, I headed to my room and opened a little prayer book I keep by my bed and I prayed my worries and fears. 

In the Scripture prayers offered, this one jumped out at me and I will share from one of my go to translations, The Message:

“Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the other’s throats.”

James 3:16 The Message

Have mercy.

Does that shout into our culture right now? 

Let me share another source for the same verse:

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. NKJV

As I look across the landscape of our social interactions these days, I see a lot of confusion and a lot of evil. James takes it back to not a “those people” problem, but a “me” problem. 

When I am envious and when I am seeking my own rights, my own will, my own way, I am opening the door of confusion. I can’t fix society. There are many people on all sides of the spectrum that feel like they are being treated unfairly. There is much comparison offered through social media and people are spoiling for fights. 

I have seen arguments started and carried on over the most ridiculous of minutia. Offenses are thrown and taken up on the simplest of things. There are those who seem to have an agenda, and so we can become jaded against any comment or post made. 

“Experts” abound and people who couldn’t even pass a U.S. Government 101 test are airing opinions as if they could run the country with one hand tied behind the back. And I count myself in this.

I will admit. I couldn’t have told you who was on the Supreme Court if my life depended on it and the only name I now know is gone. And truth be told, I can only remember her first and last name whilst struggling to remember the middle one.

Yet, I will enter into some kind of discussion of current events acting like I know it all. 

This is not good. 

This is not righteous. 

No wonder confusion abounds within me and around me. 

God bless James, though. He doesn’t leave us hanging here in our mess. He offers a solution:

Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

James 17-18 The Message

Friends, I think we are going to camp here for a couple of days if you don’t mind. I think we have some things to look at in this passage. I hope you will read it in a variety of translations and mediate on it with me and pray. Pray for God to show us His wisdom. 

It sounds a lot more appealing than the noise and confusion going on out there <3 

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Just checking in on you <3

How are you doing? 

Are you holding up? 

In the past week I have heard of or been with people who are facing some heavy stress from the new normal. 

Teachers, administrators, parents and students are having regular meltdowns and facing feelings of frustration and depression. 

Families are standing outside of windows communicating via phone with their loved ones in a nursing facility who have no idea why this is happening to them. 

Parents who are gifted and talented and very good at what they trained to do are now attempting to also become the teacher in a home school that was thrown together in a matter of weeks. 

Servers are being asked to wear a mask while the customers breathe their order up into their sweet faces. 

Cities where people gathered and shouted protests are now shrouded in smoke so thick it is impossible to breathe. 

While communities were preparing their town to be hit by a hurricane, the winds shifted and it brought devastation somewhere else.

As businesses are closing or cutting back, people are trying to figure out how much longer they can go without a regular paycheck.

In a home, everyone is affected by the changes the pandemic has brought and the way they respond varies. Flexing to all the different coping mechanisms while trying to get your own feet grounded is stressful and frustrating.

Those are just a few of the examples that come to my mind.

It’s rough out there and we are lacking opportunities to gather together and talk and hug and support one another. We are turning to social media if that is a place of connection, but for many that isn’t even an option. 

So we have a false sense of community through apps or nothing. 

As Christ followers, we need to be reaching out through whatever means are available to communicate with others. If we are using social media, it should be to encourage and lift up and be supportive of others. We can also prayerfully think of those we know who are not on social media and give them phone call or send a note. 

In this time of upheaval, our go to response may be to preserve our own sanity and safety and shut down. We can’t do that. We have to be asking God who we can come alongside of today and then reach out. 

Remember how very much you are loved <3

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Between the old and the new <3

Today is a small landmark in my annual Bible read through. Drum roll, please. I finished the Old Testament. I have to admit, I went from reading a set number a pages a day when I hit the minor prophets. I took my time with each one and studied them a bit more. 

Brief endorsement here for reading  your Bible: reading the Minor prophets these past few days was like reading the headlines of our current news stories. The Bible is relevant. In every single age. Human nature has not changed even though we dress differently and chase new fangled idols. Civilizations rise and fall, governments rule and are taken over, economies boom and crash and over it all, God has remained Sovereign, constant and faithful. 

In the midst of all the drama of human history, there has always been a small and faithful remnant that continues to call on God no matter what the popular voices are shouting. And Malachi has a word for us to encourage the weary. 

I love this version from the Message:

Then those whose lives honored GOD got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God’s presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the GOD-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God’s name.

GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re mine, all mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give a child who honors them. Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving Him.”

Malachi 3: 16-18 The Message

Let’s take that to heart people of God. Let’s honor Him with our words and actions in every arena we enter until He takes us Home. Let’s make it a point to gather together with believers and talk about the things of God, not man. He is listening and taking notes on what we say AND He knows the heart from which our words flow. I pray we are taking in as much, and then even more, of what HE says than what the media and other people are saying <3

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