iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the tag “Relationships”

Deadly Thought Bubbles


via Daily Prompt: Bubble

 

thought_bubble

What’s in your thought bubble?  Take an honest assessment.  Are your thoughts often prideful, judgmental, harsh, or unkind toward other people?

Job 10:4  In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

Prideful, judgmental, harsh, and unkind words become tools that kill.  They knock the wind out of brainstorming sessions, they suspend creative processes, chip away at self-esteem, and drown out dreams.  They start fights and end relationships.

Proverbs 15: 29, 31 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.  Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. 

Confess your prideful and judgmental thoughts.  Do not let the harsh and unkind words rest on your tongue to become arrows that kill.  Seek the forgiveness of those you have hurt.

Tomorrow is a new day and guess what…?

Ephesians 2:4-5 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

What’s in your thought bubble?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When God’s People Pray


via Daily Prompt: Thwart

The ugliest thing in this world is evil.  Its snarl, when it looks at you, raises the hairs on the back of your neck.  Its smell is more repugnant than a garbage dump full of raw meat on a hot and humid day.   It is colder than the high ridge between Dome Argus and Dome Fuji in the East Antarctic Plateau.

As I drive to work in the morning, I pray for my great nieces and nephews heading to school.  The only fear I had in school was a tornado siren going off in the middle of the day.  There have been so many news reports of school shootings that I have to lift my great nieces and nephews up in prayer each day.  Not only do I pray that they are safe, but I especially pray that anyone who is attempting to shoot up a school will have their plans thwarted.  My mind knows that evil has no bounds so I extend the prayer to my family and friends in their workplaces.

Evil has kicked God out of our schools and public spaces and evil has crept into our deepest interior places, the heart.

So many people scream about gun control.  However, I believe that prayer is the antidote to eradicate evil in the world.  God sees the bigger picture and he sees the evil hearts of his creation.  I humbly ask my followers of this blog, who are all around the world, to pray each morning for the safety of children in school, as well as family and friends in the workplace.  Pray that all evil intent will be thwarted.  I know God answers prayers.  Read this short article from the Washington Post that proves evil can be held at bay.

I think it would be awesome to be one of many who are in continuous prayer for those we love to remain safe throughout the day as well as for those who have evil in their heart that their heart can be changed.  With God, anything is possible.

Evil is the ugliest thing in the world, but God is bigger.  God is so much bigger.  God, please save your people.

1 Thessalonians 5:17  pray without ceasing

 

 

Wrong Way!


via Daily Prompt: Warning

Driving home the other day, I was on a highway overpass waiting for the red light to turn green so I could get onto the entrance ramp toward home.  While waiting, I looked around at my surroundings.  There have been many news reports about people driving the wrong way on the highway causing fatal accidents.  I scratch my head and wonder how this happens as at each off ramp big signs are posted that read, “DO NOT ENTER, WRONG WAY”.

From the news reports, the people who enter the wrong way on the highway are either drunk drivers, or people with dementia who lose comprehension of their surroundings.

But going the wrong way can kill.

I think back to life decisions I have made.  I know I should not have married my ex-husband; red flags were waving all around me.  But I was young and figured things would change in time.  They didn’t change; they got worse.  The sad thing about that marriage is others saw the red flags too before the “I Do”, but nobody pulled me aside to talk about them.  We all let them flap in the breeze.  However, I take full responsibility for my decision to marry, and learned that wrong decisions can kill  who we are and what we believe in.  By the Grace of God, my life got back on track.

At the last supper, Jesus warned the twelve disciples, “One of you will betray me”.  They looked around at one another each murmuring, “Surely it is not I”.   Judas, like the wrong way drivers, may not have comprehended the direction he was headed, but went ahead with full gusto.  His decision killed Jesus.

God created the world and everyone in it to be interwoven.  Our very own decisions to go the wrong way in a situation can affect many more people than we could ever imagine.  But check this out!

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

With this verse in mind, I have been trying to follow some advice that was presented to me one day during my morning devotions.  Before each activity you begin, no matter what it is, ask God to direct your way.  That way, we ensure that we will not go the wrong way.  God knows the repercussions of our actions before we do, so why not ask the one who knows best?

 

The One About Friendship


I remember Mrs. James, my grade school music teacher.  She was instrumentally and vocally talented and it was her job to raise our interest in music and possibly find some talent percolating within.  I am pretty sure I was graded on simply showing up because I have not been blessed with a singing voice.

The old wooden upright piano was tucked in the corner and a few of the stronger boys were called upon to assist her in pushing it to the front of the room.  Mrs. James loved to jam out on that piano by teaching us African American Spirituals which always got us up dancing next to our desks.  She calmed us down by gradually slowing the tempo of the songs we were singing and when she got us to finally sit back down, she taught us a new song.  She started with the melody and then she taught us the words.   The song was simple:

“Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, the other gold.”

When I was younger, I used to make friends as quickly as the beat of the African American Spirituals we sang. Not many of my friendships from that era have lasted simply because we changed as we grew, which is absolutely normal. Since then, I learned that common interests break the ice a lot more quickly than small talk ever will. As an introvert, I like meeting extroverts because they draw me out of my shell.

I treasure my friends. I am talking about the ones that no matter the span of time since we last talked, we are excited to see each other and we pick up where we left off, feeling like we never skipped a beat.

Spending the time it takes to get to know another person is never wasted time, in my opinion. Even if the friend was in my life for a short season, I know it was meant to be and I am thankful for the time we had together.

Truth be told, at times I feel blessed with many friends and at other times, I feel like I have no friends at all.

“Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, the other gold.”

I have a “golden” friend that ranks higher than any other; His name is Jesus.  Although I knew of Him all my life, I didn’t really get to know Him until I was without a human friend I could easily reach out to during a dark period in my life. Jesus met me at my lowest point and did not judge me.  He walked me out of the darkness and showed me His light.

In an effort to get to know Jesus better, I joined Bible Studies and started listening to Christian music and Christian preachers on the radio.

Jesus is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the Great I Am.  Although He is seated at the right hand of God, is all-powerful and all-knowing, He became man to be an example in how to live.

He knows all about me and loves me anyway.  He is the coolest friend to have because he doesn’t care if my hair is messy or my pajamas don’t match.  He doesn’t care what kind of car I drive, but likes to help me get to my destinations safely.  Such greatness and He wants a relationship with me and He enjoys my company.  He listens, He loves, He died for me.  He loves to spend time with me and is available day or night and loves our talks.  Wherever, whenever; Jesus is the most available friend to me.  He doesn’t get jealous when I spend time with other friends of the earth, as oftentimes, He is the topic of conversation. There is nothing I do that will embarrass Him, and He doesn’t do anything to embarrass me.  Jesus must be an extrovert because he draws me out of my shell.

Jesus isn’t a “one-and-done friend.” In fact, He wants so badly to be friends with you too. If you don’t know who Jesus is, I would love to introduce you to Him.

In grade school, Mrs. James taught me about friendship in one simple song.  As I go through life, I continue to make new friends while cherishing my old friends.  I do not know who first said, “You become who you hang out with”, but I noticed the change in me the day I started really hanging out with Jesus.

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.

Proverbs 22:11

The Blackboard Remembered


Written in response to the Worpress Daily Prompt: Black

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Where is God?


I have a hard time with God sometimes. I can pray to Him and I can also talk as if He was right next to me, like talking to a friend or a parent. But there are so many times I just want to see Him, though, you know? I confess often that I wish I had someone just like Him in the flesh to talk to, to share my troubles with and physically put my head on their shoulder while embracing in a hug.

I feel so bad for confessing that because spiritually, I know God is right here with me. Always. Putting his arm around me and comforting me. Spiritually I feel it, but physically I want to feel it more.

Then, out of the blue, a friend sends me a message telling me her “God sighting”, telling me that she thought of me when it happened.

It didn’t take long to have it hit me that God was speaking to me through my friend. The story she shared was so filled with the word of God to me, even though it was her own encounter with God. God answered my prayer and became a human.

I have a hard time with God sometimes, but am so thankful that he doesn’t feel the same about me.
Thank you God.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Slanted View From the Inside


Welcome to the inside of my mind as I free write. I usually do not share this type of writing as it can become a personal piece; however, I have joined Writing 101 to enhance my writing and learn to write better.  There may be typos, and this may not make sense.  For the first time, I don’t care what you think because this is my mind unleashing.  Speaking of unleashing, my dog-niece Emma was brutally mauled by some big dogs.  She is a little miracle and I have been praying for her since the horrible incident happened on Memorial Day.  Holidays are big for tragedy.  I am thankful that I have never lost a loved one on a holiday.  Near a holiday, but not on a holiday.  Heaven is full of people I love and miss dearly.

I am not sure how open I want my mind to get here. Although I am on the world wide web, I do consider myself a very private person.  I take to heart relationships and think they are more precious than gold or silver or any other mineral that is worth a lot of money.  I remember a time when I had made plans with a friend to go to a movie.  To get me to go to a movie is a big deal in itself, but I envisioned the time together after the movie where we could discuss what the movie was about and how it affected us emotionally or relationally…whatever the movie was about.  I met my friend at the theater since we lived a distance apart.  I still wonder what my expression was on my face when she showed up with her friend, whom I have never met before.  I was internally crushed as I value one-on-one time with others and this new person, I had no idea she was coming nor did I even know her from Adam.  I sucked it up and hung out with them.  The after movie time was not what I expected and I hated every minute.

Movies…I fall asleep in movies unless it is a good relational movie. See paragraph about relationships above.

I am pretty tired for a Monday. Usually I get a second wind on Sunday evenings and then it is like…”Oh, I need to do laundry”, or “shoot, I wanted to do such-and-such this weekend.  Why are weekends so fast and weekdays so slow?  I would like to ask that of different age groups.  For children every day takes a long time because they don’t have to do any thing but exist.  Parents or adults in their lives cook, clean, do laundry, blah blah blah.  Adults have to do all these things that are time consuming and that is where all of our time goes…to the necessities of life.   So let’s get rid of the mundane unnecessaries.  Join me in clearing out unneeded stuff.  Simplify simplify simplify.  I have challenged myself to drop my smartphone and ipad so that I can go back to a normal life of hobbies and creativity.  Candy Crush has taken away some of the most valuable time of my life that I can never get back.  I do like the relational aspect of Facebook, so I do tend to peruse my feed.  However, it is time to get back to basics, engage my brain and read, write and craft.  I have begun to teach myself how to crochet but, that is the only time that I really log into my ipad, so I can watch youtube videos.  So many people in the world are willing to share their love of crafting.  I am very thankful.  I am thankful that I was raised with a mom who was talented in anything she touched.  She can bake like none other, she can decorate cakes better than any bakery, she can sew, crochet and arrange flowers in a vase.  My sister is a very good seamstress and she inspires me every time I speak with her or read up on her fabric store in Kentucky.  (once again, a time I am on my devices).  I have really slowed down my electronic devices usage.  I have cut down on television too.  Not that that was ever a problem.  I have my favorite few shows such as Downton Abby, Survivor and Naked and Afraid.  Check that out…all relational-type shows.  If you ever want to know how to understand me, just ask me for one-on-one time.  We will be friends for life.

I am about done with this free writing. I didn’t unleash anything embarrassing; I did hold back a lot only because this is on my blog.  I want my readers to find interest in what I write.  I do not want to write junk.

 

It Is Finished


I have purchased some very nice fabrics and have taken time to cut squares and triangles out of them to sew together to make a quilt. I have cleaned out my attic and gathered items that I no longer need or use and grouped them in a pile to take to Goodwill. I have broken concrete slabs piled in my backyard that the previous owners used as garden borders and landscape definitions.

The commonality of my fabric pieces, the items for Goodwill, and the broken concrete slabs are that they are all projects I started and have not finished yet. I have an idea of when I will finish them, but it will take time and I am okay with that as I know the end result will be a beautiful unique quilt, others may enjoy my used items and the yard will be landscaped to attract birds and butterflies and be pleasant to the senses.

We are no different than the unfinished projects we have in our lives. You may have read the phrase “God is not finished with me yet”. It is true, we are a work in progress. When you feel deflated and lack energy, remember that God is still at work molding you. When you feel broken down by illness, remember that God is working to heal you. When your relationships with others feel strained and like they are a lot of work, remember that God is at work in each of us. He knits us together individually as well as together. Ease back on your frustrations and take note of the newness that is going on in your life.

God is not finished with us yet and there will be a glorious day when He is. We will see Him face-to-face in Heaven. We will see that we are wonderfully made in His image.

Philippians 2:13 NIV
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.

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