Tuesday, October 16, 2018

HOW TO BE HAPPY

So, o.k., here are my suggestions for living a happy life. Ready?

1) Stop trying to "be happy" and focus on being thankful. Be thankful for things you have no control over that are falling in your favor today: you can see, you can walk, you have a job, you aren't starving, you aren't living in a gulag in a third-world nation.  It is an undisputable fact that happiness and contentment rise when your thankfulness does.

2) Accept your utter lack of control over most everything you are trying to control.
You cannot avoid rainy days but you can be thankful you have an umbrella.
You cannot make everyone love you but you can be thankful for the people who do.  
You will not succeed at everything, but you can be thankful that at least you tried.
You cannot avoid losing things and people you love, but you can be thankful for them while you have them,
We are ALL living life on the borrowed mercy of God. 
We are ALL under His control whether we acknowledge it or not.
ONLY GOD IS IN CONTROL OF ALL THINGS.
Accept that and trust His love for you,

3) Stop talking negatively about other people. 
No. No. Seriously. Don't talk about the annoying co-worker, your in-laws, people at church. Everyone on earth has the self-control it takes to NOT SAY WORDS.  You will not believe the effect your gossip is having on your inner being until you make the effort to STOP.  STOP assuming you know why someone is doing what someone is doing, or what his/her motive is, or what they are thinking.  
ONLY GOD KNOWS FOR SURE WHAT IS GOING ON IN SOMEONE'S HEART and life, 

4) Expect from others what you expect others to expect from you.
We have such high standards and high expectations of others, but expect others to give us a break when we don't meet the standards we expect from others.  We expect people to be polite, yet want them to excuse our rudeness; we expect people to have love that covers a multitude of our sins, but won't let anyone off the hook when they show signs of being weak and human. 

"Merciless Christian" is the epitome of an oxymoron. 
You cannot be one if you are the other.


Have compassion on other people in the same way you'd like other people to have compassion on you - and you'd be surprised at how happy your everyday life will become,

OK.. well for today let's focus on these four and try them for a week or two.. and check your happiness status.


"Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy."Matthew 5:7


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Thanks




Saturday, October 6, 2018

COMPROMISE AND THE WONDERFUL CHRISTIANS WHO DO

(This blog was accidentally deleted.. so I'm posting it again..)



Compromise.  Seems like a word we all need to embrace or we are going to destroy ourselves and the world.  

Compromise.  One definition is: 

"a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions; settle a dispute by mutual concession."

Compromise.  In our destructive, hate-filled society, it seems like the answer.  We all agree to disagree and just get on with our lives.  Seems. Like. The Solution. 

Unless you continue to search the definition of the word. 
It also means: 

"accept standards that are lower than is desirable.


as in - "we were not prepared to compromise on safety"



Compromise ALSO means:  "to weaken (a reputation or principle) by accepting standards that are lower than is desirable."



You have to change your mind - and lower your standards - in order to compromise.



It's easier to change your mind and just get along with everyone.  Getting along with everyone seems like such a loving, enlightened thing to do.  And it is.  



But getting along with God seems...uhhh... more important.   To me it does.

All of a sudden, I see posts on Social Media by those wonderful compromising Christians. They seem so loving to frown at those archaic standards in the Bible.  

But if they want to compromise, that's their choice. Compromisers are always about CHOICE.

It isn't the compromise that surprises me. 
It's the venom of the compromisers.  

It isn't like they calmly say, "Oh, I've decided to change my mind about what I believe God's standard is" and then go about their daily lives. 
OH NO... they INSIST you agree with them.
They INSIST you compromise with their compromise.
They turn on anyone who will not agree with them.
Especially other Christians.  They rant..and dare I say.. RAVE against anyone who has the nerve to not want to compromise.

I mean.. I want people to like me.. I don't want to upset anyone. I am aware that I have no right to cast a stone at anyone about anything.. EVER... still..

God is merciful, but He does not compromise.  
This concept seems confusing to so many.  Why is that?

God is merciful, loving, forgiving and full of compassion toward humans. He knows we are weak. He knows we will sin. He LONGS TO FORGIVE.

God has mercy...but He doesn't COMPROMISE.  

God doesn't say, "Oh, you know what? Now that it's 2018, I'm thinking that maybe I've been a little hard-nosed about all those silly little laws about sex, and murder, and lying and jealousy. WHY DON'T I JUST COMPROMISE AND LET SIN RULE AND REIGN IN THE UNIVERSE?" 

HE LOVES US TOO MUCH TO COMPROMISE ON THE REASON FOR ALL THE PAIN AND SUFFERING IN THE WORLD - SIN.

He is willing to forgive you for it. He is longing to take away that guilt that is crushing you because of it...BUT...

He doesn't compromise His standards. He still has something He calls sin. And He still insists on telling us that it will separate us from Him. Now. And forever. 

My enlightened fellow Christians are vitriolic (filled with bitter criticism or malice) toward anyone who has the nerve to say something like, "I choose to believe what I've always believed." 

I have noticed that people who compromise are people who have compromised.  And rather than fall on the mercy of God,they decide God isn't relevant anymore.

Whether you've have an abortion, or your brother is a homosexual, or your son is committing adultery, or your daughter is sleeping with her boyfriend, or you allow yourself to hate someone, or you refuse to forgive someone who has asked for forgiveness, or you are jealous... DOES GOD STILL LOVE THEM? LOVE YOU? LOVE THOSE OF US WHO ARE WEAK IN OUR FLESH? ABSOLUTELY!!

HOWEVER...God doesn't compromise by telling you not to worry about it.  He doesn't say it isn't sin - He says "I sent my Son to completely pay for that sin.  I sent my Son to cleanse you of the guilt and anxiety that sin brings."

If someone is ill, we don't "compromise" and convince them they aren't sick. How is that LOVE? Would you tell a child with a fever, "Don't worry about it. You aren't sick. You are merely expressing yourself."

Are you JUDGING that child by wanting to have their illness cured?
Are you being narrow minded for refusing to go along with the crowd who is insisting that the fever is not caused by an illness?
Are you loving that kid by overlooking their disease?

NO.. we would get that child MEDICINE so that they can be healed.  

Real LOVE doesn't overlook the sickness. Real LOVE admits it is there, and finds the cure.

Real LOVE is what God has. He expects us to ADMIT we have the sickness called "sin" and ask Him for the cure:  The Blood of Jesus.

If you have decided that God didn't mean what God said, and you have decided that what was formerly an abomination to God is now acceptable behavior - you are allowed to believe that.

If I don't want to lower, change, or reinterpret what I believe about God, that is my right.

Right? Right.

My whole point is to state this fact and ask the question that follows it:

The compromisers always have such venom toward those who refuse to compromise.  Why is that?

"For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold."

2 Timothy 4:3
(AMP)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

FOLD SOMEONE'S SWEATER TODAY

She was a cup of water to my spirit.
She was a light to my weary eyes.
She lifted my eyes and head.
She erased, for a moment, all the rejection I was feeling.
She had no idea that twenty years after being in her presence for less than five minutes, she would be a woman who taught me a great big lesson.
She? 
She was an assistant in a doctor's office.  
Me?
I was there for a routine appointment.
She?
Picked up my sweater that I'd tossed on to the seat and folded it neatly for me. 

That's it. That's the end of the interaction.  The end of the story. Before she took my temperature and blood pressure, she saw my sweater in a lump on the chair and picked it up and folded it. Then she left. 

She didn't know that I was going through a season of sadness and brokenness. Rejection.  Confusion. Pastor's wife. Pastor. Trouble at the church. People rejecting us. 

She just knew I was a woman whose sweater would be wrinkled if someone didn't fold it neatly.  She didn't ask me why I didn't fold my sweater. She didn't tell me how nice she was for folding it for me.  She didn't give me a speech about people who don't value their things and don't fold their sweaters.

She just folded my sweater because a folded sweater is better than a wrinkled one.  I mean, seriously, who writes blogs about a sweater folding woman???
I do.

And maybe it's because I was so broken at the time.
And maybe it's because I felt so attacked.
And maybe it's because I was in a raw emotional season.
Or maybe it's because I hadn't felt kindness from another human being in so long... '

BUT... her kindness.. small as it was... revived something inside.

Yes.. seems silly to write about it.
Except it isn't. 

I learned a big lesson from that sweater folding woman

We may never know how one act of caring, no matter how small, may be the thing that waters a dry and broken heart..and....gives it just enough hope to try another day.

It isn't easy to be kind in such an angry world.
If it was easy, everyone would be.

Fold someone's sweater today.