Daily Wisdom 

“Let anger be guarded against. But if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason. The first thing, therefore, to aim at, if possible, is to make tranquility of character our natural disposition by constant practice, by desire for better things, by fixed determination.”

— St. Ambrose, p.279 excerpt from A Year with our Church Fathers

Just a thought

There was a time when southern preachers argued FOR slavery because it was God’s will, the same way people preach today AGAINST gay rights.

The same people preaching against gay marriage have pre-marital sex, commit adultery and get divorced, which according to the Bible are all sins. Hmmm. Jesus said, “He without sin cast the first stone.” He also said to love your neighbor as yourself. How will people know the love of Christ if we don’t show them?

Living the way God wants us to live is not found only in trying to fulfill the law. It is impossible to do anyway. This world and all of us in it are full of sin. But the way to live for God IS done by Loving One Another as God Loved Us. When we are IN HIS LOVE, then our lives on the outside match up with His Love that resides inside us.

Love one another

It’s so easy to be a bully; to be full of anger and hate; to be intolerant and unforgiving; to blame others for (fill in the blank). But if we are followers of Christ, we ‘should’ be practicing what He preached:

…love one another as I have loved you.~John 15:12

…when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.~Matthew 25:45

If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.~Matthew 5:46

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.~James 3:9

Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.~Romans 12:20

Lord, help me to humble myself before You and put your teachings into practice. Amen.

Things aren’t always what they seem

Was in need of a good rant :) 

If we believe in God, then we believe and trust Him that His will is being done. God made men and women in His image, that means He made the President of a nation as well as a homeless person on the street. He made the rich man who was brought up in a wealthy family and becomes a doctor and the poor woman brought up in an abusive family who ends up on welfare. He made the gays and the straights. So who is the better person? Do I have the right to answer that question or to even ask it? Do i have the right to judge another human being?

We are all on our own journey.  We are all born and raised differently which makes each one of us a unique creation. How do we know that the single mother on welfare isn’t in that situation for a reason? It’s interesting to me that there are so many homosexuals living among us right now, who were born into our very own families. How do we know God isn’t using them for His kingdom, to teach us how to be tolerant and to love one another unconditionally? If God allows it to be so, then it is so! He allowed Hitler to live among us! Now, does this mean we are not to be held personally accountable and responsible for our own lives, actions, choices, thoughts, words, etc.? Absolutely not! But by God’s guidance and our God-given intelligence and good judgment, we try and make right decisions that is best for ourselves and our fellow citizens.

Things aren’t always what they seem. Life is not all black or all white. There are many shades of grey. It is not responsible or intelligent to have such a narrow mind, labeling others and putting them into neat little boxes and say okay, if they do this then they are good, but if they do that then they are bad. It doesn’t work that way. It is our self-righteous attitude that destroys our relationships, our nations and of course ourselves. When slavery was legal in America, Christian churches told their congregations it was okay to own slaves. Slavery existed for centuries and just as the slaves of Biblical times were told to do, slaves in America should submit to their Lord and their master. Does that mean it is okay? Should slavery still be legal? Absolutely not! By God’s grace He changed our hearts and minds and slavery was abolished. God gave us COMMON SENSE and GOOD JUDGMENT.

What is just blowing my mind lately is all this hate talk and name-calling I hear on social media and news channels coming from both conservatives and liberals. This is helping better our country how? Some of these people call themselves Christians yet they act totally opposite what Jesus taught. How do we know what kind of life someone has had? Who are we to judge them? Instead of wasting so much energy on bashing other people why not actually do something useful with your time, resources and most importantly your mouth. “The tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body.”~James 3:6

There are people out there who are actually DOING something and HELPING God’s kingdom instead of just complaining about what ‘those other people’ are doing. ‘Those other people’ who are not living up to your standards will also have to answer to God one day, so how about helping them to know Him by LIVING A LIFE THAT REPRESENTS WHO GOD IS – and that would be LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. That is what will further God’s kingdom, not perpetuating division and hate under the guise of Christianity. God is alive and all around us and within us. He is not the labels and standards we expect others to live up to and try to live up to ourselves. We can’t even do it. Jesus came to liberate us from this very thing! It is a matter of the heart, not the head.

“…and love your neighbor as yourself.”~Matthew 19:19

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”~Matthew 7:5

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”~Matthew 7:1

“We’d be wise to question why we hold a grudge as if it were going to make us happy and ease our pain. It’s rather like eating rat poison and thinking the rat will die. Our desire for relief and the methods we use to achieve it are definitely not in sync.” ~ Pema Chödrön from The Places That Scare You

Being Content

I really liked today’s reading :)

But godliness with contentment is great gain. ~1 Timothy 6:6 (KJV)

Joy doesn’t come from having your circumstances in order and under control; it comes from what’s in your heart. For example, the world is full of people who have what they think they want, and they’re still not happy. In fact, some of the most unhappy people in the world are people who seem to “have it all.”

Contentment is not about fame or being well-known, how much money you have, your position at work or your social circle. It’s not found in your level of education or what side of the tracks you were born on. Contentment is a heart attitude.

There’s nobody happier than a truly thankful person, a truly content person. The word content means ‘being satisfied to the point where nothing disturbs you no matter what’s going on, but not satisfied to the point that you never want any change.’

Taken from Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional – Day 34

A funny thing happened…

So the other day I was minding my own business and reading Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional and decided to share that day’s Bible passage on my Facebook page. And out of nowhere an old childhood ‘friend’ openly mocked me and my beliefs while imposing HER views on me.  (This was after a very open and heartfelt email I sent to her a few weeks prior, responding to her email mocking me and another old classmate for the same thing.) Now, I think some people would actually consider that a form of religious persecution and/or cyber-bullying. But I’m not going there.

I’ve had enough time now to think and pray and discuss this “what the heck was that all about?!” thing. The verbal attacks were a little painful at first. But then that funny thing happened. In the midst of the belittling, there was this deep place within me that felt so peaceful and yet strong and I felt like yelling, “You can’t hurt me!” It was so weird. I think my faith actually grew even stronger that day.

I have been on many different spiritual roads which have actually led me right here to Jesus. But I don’t mock those other roads.  They served their purpose at that time for me. This is where I am right now, and plan to be for a long time, and I’m not going to apologize for that.  Friends and family will mock me, and some have never respected me as a person to begin with. But we all have hurts, past, present and future. I am learning to ride those waves and turn to that secret place within where there is peace and joy. And most importantly, I am learning who’s opinion of me matters most…

All glory to God…and thank you God for giving me such a good husband and tremendous support!

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.” ~Isaiah 54:17

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ~2 Corinthians 12:10

“If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. ” ~Taken from Mother Teresa’s “Do It Anyway”