Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Way He Wants You to Live

I've been meditating on a scripture a lot these last two weeks and it has come up in conversation a couple of times. I need to hear "Well, done... good and faithful servant," and I'm sure that other people in leadership need to hear it as well. However, a lot of the time we seem to only tell them about the bad stuff they are doing. This scripture spoke volumes to me and as I meditate on a few of the points of interest I hope it speaks to you as well.

And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is
that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers,
and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with
each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on
each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each
other, and always do your best to bring it out.

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's
good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!

Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don't leave anyone out.

The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!
1 Thessalonians 12-28

How do you overwhelm someone with appreciation and love? Is it just telling them you appreciate them or is it writing a note?

How do you get along with others? How do you do your part? These are serious questions that need to be answered as we each try to spur the others along in the Christian walk and faith.

Thank God for everything... even the people that get on your nerves. Always praying for others and asking God for guidance. Completely surrender to the Lord in every path you walk on. Knowing that you don't have to fix anything or that you aren't in control of anything. Just be thankful, prayerful and cheerful.

This next part is the part that I'm meditating on... How do you know if something is good or not? How can you discern the good from the bad? The spirit is alive within us and it speaks to us and it protects us and it tells us things we could not possibly know on our own. So don't quench that spirit... Don't put out the spark of fire that ignites within us when there are red flags flying around.. test everything and see what is good... It says to throw out all the evil. If you have a red flag then address it... test it, ask questions... seek the answer then dig it out and throw it out...Not the person, but the thing that is evil. Sometimes we have answers from people who are gifted in discerning right from wrong... seek out good counsel. Don't try to be an island and do things on your own. Ask for help from others who walk with the Lord and seek his counsel.

This book of Thessalonians was a letter written to the church of Thessalonica... It was asked that the letter be read and passed along to the members of the church... It was passed down for 2 thousand years...

Test and approve everthing and keep only what is good... Ask the spirit to help you discern what is good today.

Lea Anne

Monday, August 1, 2011

A little bit of a pity party...

I have to say that I was in a bit of a pit last week... doing a little self-pitying... and I allowed myself to go there for a day or so before I pulled myself out of it. The whole time I was in it, I kept saying that I know better... I kept telling myself to get over it... I knew better... But I can't deny that I was in it.

Well, I have to say that when I began to feel my emotions and feelings trying to control me, that I go to the source of all my strength. I went to the Bible to hear what God had to say about it and I found him to be faithful, as He always is. I recognized that He cares about our feelings and I know that even if it's a self-imposed feeling of pit dwelling, not necessarily something someone does to you, He can pull us out of it if we let him.

I came across the passage from Jeremiah where he is lamenting that he was ever born. He spoke about how everyone was against him, how he didn't have any friends, how he should never have been born, and it made me realize that I felt somewhat similar. The passage I'm referring to is Jeremiah 20:7-18.

What stands out the most to me in this passage is the way that Jeremiah flips between the reason why he is the way he is and the feelings that he feels because of the way he is. What he knows to be true contradicts how he feels about it. This was a little confusing to me and the fact that the Lord didn't respond to him says a lot too. He basically overcame the issue of self-pity by realizing he was responsible for what he was called to do and by giving voice to how he felt about it, didn't change his feelings, but he understood that the Lord would take care of him.

So when we find ourselves in a bit of a pity party, do we sit around and complain about it?

Or do we withdraw into isolation and mope about it?

What should we do to overcome it?

How do we get over it?

These are just a few of the questions I have for you. I know that for myself, I allowed myself to feel a little pity, but then I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and got over it. I can honestly say that I am over it and I hope to have a better understanding of who I am for having gone through it. I hope that I can always go to the source of all knowledge when faced with honest feelings of self-loathing or self-pity.

I know who I am in Christ and will continue along the path that is laid out for me. I will be faithful to stay the course. I will press on. In the process, I hope to encounter little things about myself that will make me a better person when I incorporate them into my behavior modification plan. The only evidence that we are a living, walking-in-relationship-with-Jesus person, is a changed life.

Is my life different than it was a year ago?

Am I seeing things a little differently?

We must always be evolving in our relationships, growing in our spiritual development, and loving just a little bit deeper as we allow Christ to work in our lives.

So don't be embarrassed about having gone on a pity party trip. Embrace it and allow the Lord to heal you and grow you up.

Love to you all,
Lea Anne