Promises

 

God’s promises are words He always keeps!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.               Isaiah 41:10

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 3:18

“… THE WORD OF OUR GOD WILL STAND FOREVER.” Isaiah 40:8b

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is part of a flash mob of writers who write for 5 minutes on a word given each Friday by Kate Moutaung at https://fiveminutefriday.com. Come join us and see what others have written.

Commandments

Exodus 18 brought these thoughts to mind.

The Israelites had escaped from Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and defeated Amalak so far. There were probably more than 1.5 million people at that point. (The Word tells us there were 600,000 men, not counting women and children.)

Moses was doing all of the judgings himself when his father-in-law came to him and advised him to make some changes. I’m sure Moses talked to God and his advisers (see vs. 12) about it, too. The plan was there would be men in charge who knew the 10 Commandments well and would judge in hierarchies of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.

It was so simple.

But then, would it be perfect again? Probably not! Since the fall men and women have gotten progressively farther and farther away from His Word. I wish I could shout it to the multitudes. God’s Word and God’s Law matter!

Can I get an amen?!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Practice — Haiku

I wonder how many hours of my life have I sat at the piano? Sometimes making music. Sometimes staring at the keys because the music wasn’t happening. Practicing the same phrase or measure over and over until a measure of perfection was achieved. Always enjoying the good and the bad of it all.

What a blessing, this talent God has bestowed.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

This post is part of a flash mob of writers who write for 5 minutes on a word given each Friday by Kate Moutaung at https://fiveminutefriday.com. Come join us and see what others have written.

Mirror, Mirror

I am totally fascinated with the Tabernacle of the Exodus. From the structure to its furnishings, God was specific and exacting in His instructions. Moses was given the blueprint that would not only serve as the guidelines for the place of worship during the Israelites travels to the Promised Land but would influence places of worship for generations to come.

One of the pieces of furniture in the Most Holy Place, the area where the priests offered sacrifices and worshipped, was the copper laver. This particular piece was where hands and feet were washed (purified) before preparing and presenting the sacrifices.

So, one might ask, where did they get the copper? see Exodus 38:8 When Pharoah told the Israelites to leave Egypt He also told them to take all they could from the Egyptians. In fact, He caused the Egyptians to practically force their ‘stuff’ on the Hebrews.  This included jewelry, clothing, and other pieces of a personal nature like copper mirrors.

When Moses asked the people to give the necessary materials for the Tabernacle, copper was part of the request. The Israelite women gave their mirrors to the cause. Sacrificially, I might add. I doubt they did it without a bit of complaint. After all, it’s difficult to give up those things we personally value.

The following is a bit of information about mirrors and the Hebrew slaves in a book by Hugh Taylor called 10 Questions – The Essentials for a Spiritually Healthy Life.

The mirrors also have a powerful backstory. During the period of enslavement, many Israelite men did not want to father children who would grow up in slavery. The women knew better. They knew that the future generation would be free, so they used the mirrors to beautify themselves, to encourage their husbands to be intimate with them and ensure an Israelite future. If we are afraid of the future, we should keep in mind these mirrors and the brave women who used them (pp. 57)

What is God asking you to sacrifice for the building up of His Church? Possessions? Time? Relationships? Addictions? Money? Think about it and pray about it. It matters!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Mended — Book Review

Several weeks ago I received an invitation from Blythe Daniel to review and launch a book she and her mother had written. To be honest I was a bit hesitant because my own mother and I did not have a good relationship. (To be honest, we didn’t have a relationship.) My hesitancy came because I’ve really wanted to understand and forgive her and  I’ve not been able to do so. Plus, she passed away several years ago and it’s hard to rebuild a relationship with someone who isn’t here. But…

Through reading Mended I’ve come to understand a bit more of the person. This book contained some of the most healing words I’ve ever read. Most importantly, we are only responsible for the words we’ve said and the things we’ve done. We cannot and should not let ourselves think we can fix everything. Nor should we make ourselves totally responsible for the healing that must take place. We can only handle what is ours.

Forgiveness is a huge part of mending any relationship. We can always choose to forgive even if they don’t deserve it. Jesus did!

Verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse was part of daily life for me. I was a hostage in a very controlling situation and truly felt I was the person at fault. It wasn’t until I left home for college and had very limited contact that I was able to put the situation into some sort of focus.  Through these words of Helen McIntosh I was able to reach a level of forgiveness that hadn’t been possible before: When we are the victim and need to forgive someone who has hurt and offended us… They may never even apologize or make amends. They may be deceased or in jail or another place you can’t reach them or oblivious to their offense. But we remain their prisoner until we let the offense go. pp.94 Letting the past go and committing to not dredging it up again has given me a kind of peace that has freed me from the pit of my mother’s words and actions and my own self-condemnation.

For me, this book was worth every word. Did I regress into the bad memories? Sometimes? Did I have moments of clarity when I started to understand? Yes! Can I move on and begin to understand the person behind words and actions? Yes! Can I forgive? I have to! There’s really no other choice.

Thank you, Blythe and Helen, for these incredible words! I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to rebuild (or build up) any relationship. It’s truly powerful and worth the time.

Consider these Words that are gems of light scattered throughout the book:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

In repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Words kill, words give; they’re either poison or fruit–you choose. Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Harvest House Books and Blythe Daniel. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

 

Choose Love

How often do we pray, “Father, let (help) me love everyone today,” then walk out of our ‘prayer spot’ and totally forget we’ve even asked?

Then, someone irritates us with their words…

Then, something happens that wasn’t planned…

Then, another person tells us what someone else has said about us…

Then we feel slighted by someone, in some way…

When we are commanded in John 13:34 to love one another like HE loves us there are no ifs, there are no buts, there are no ands.  One almost might say there are no options.  But there are actually two, right choices and wrong choices.  The above ‘thens’ have options.  We can choose to respond as HE would with kindness, love, patience, gentleness and, self-control.  We can choose to be hateful, gossipy, malicious, or controlling.  What choice we make shows others Whose we are.

Let’s make the right choice.  Love one another!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Previously posted on 8/4/11.

Breaking the Power of Negative Words

When I was in the eighth grade, planning my High School studies track, I overheard my guidance counselor tell the High School Principal, “Why are we letting Marie follow the College Prep course? She’ll never amount to anything.”  I remember the person, the place, the time, what my heartfelt…  Although I didn’t set out to disprove him that is exactly what I did. Those words have stuck in my mind for a very long time.  It has taken nearly 50 years to overcome the effect of those words.  Sometimes the impact is still there but there have been many wonderful people, events, and circumstances that have helped overturn their power.

Now, I’m not famous but there are some really great, high achieving people who have heard much the same thing.  Walt Disney was told he wasn’t creative or original. Einstein was told he’d never amount to much.  A music teacher said of Beethoven, “As a composer, he is hopeless.”

Were those words hurtful, harmful, hateful? Yes! Did they have an impact? Most certainly! So why do we hear and say those things? Here’s the thing, you and I speak and hear negative words on a regular, daily basis. So, then, how do we overcome the results?

Mary C. Busha, in her book Breaking the Power of Negative Words, gives much insight on the subject. From finding the perspective that helps us understand to getting to a place of freedom through forgiveness, her powerful writing gives us a more complete understanding of why negative words are spoken and how to overcome the results.

People say negative things.  We say negative things to ourselves. Those are facts but there are ways to overcome the impact and effects.  Busha suggests the following steps to freeing ourselves from the influence these comments have on our lives: Expect to be offended. Stand your ground. Have realistic expectations. Set healthy boundaries. Seek accountability. Forgive daily. (pp. 95-101)

One of the many things I like about Breaking the Power of Negative Words was each chapter ended with personal, probing questions. I was able to reach back into a lifetime of personal issues and reach some understanding of the situations.

I highly recommend this book and want to close with this quote:

I want to remind you that just as God in Christ has forgiven you, once forgiven, you are forgiven. He does not dredge up your past and hold it against you. He does not remind you of the sins you’ve committed. Therefore, do not allow yourself to dredge up the sins of others. (pp. 82)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Revell Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Musical Mondays

I haven’t done a Musical Monday post for a while.  These are some of my favorite songs right now.  If they’re not on your playlist they should be. If you don’t have a Youtube account click on the word (Youtube) and it’s easy to create one.

For God so loved the whole wide world
Sent His only Son to die for me
Arms spread wide for the whole wide world
His arms spread wide where mine should be
JESUS CHANGED MY DESTINY!

 

 

 

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

 

 

Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

 

I hope you enjoy some quiet reflection with these beautiful songs.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

 

Character Carved In Stone — Book Review

From the compassion of Ulysses S. Grant to the heroism of Peter Wang ROTC (Granted posthumous admission to the West Point class of 2015. You’ll have to read the book to find out why.) I was held spellbound and captive as I read of the attributes and accomplishments of some of our country’s greatest heroes.

Between the covers of Character Carved in Stone by Pat Williams, you will find stories of West Point graduates whose lives personified the virtues of that institution.  The author then continues with ways to incorporate those some concepts into your own life.

 

These are my favorite quotes from each of the 12 Virtues:

“Leaders with authentic compassion are strong, courageous, honest, and direct.” p35

“Faith replaces fear with courage.” p51

“Live each day dedicated to the future.” p66

Determination means making up your mind that you will achieve your goal…expecting roadblocks and obstacles, but prepared to find a way over, around, or straight through them.” p77

Dignity is a priceless virtue–a virtue that is in danger of extinction in our society.” p92

“Success is the result of discipline, of repeatedly doing the things that lead to excellence.” p104

“A person of integrity is whole and complete–not divided or compartmentalized. A person of integrity will be the same person in public and in private. The inner reality will match the outward reputation.” p123

“Always stand up for your people. Always have their backs. If they are attacked or criticized, defend them… That is what loyalty demands of you.” p137

“Pray for the power to persevere. Never give in. Never give up. Never quit.” p153

“We don’t blame other people. We don’t blame circumstances. We don’t blame God. We accept full responsibility.” p167

“Throughout our nation’s history, generations of Americans have enjoyed freedom and prosperity because American soldiers have selflessly served their country.” p180

“When we trust one another, we can accomplish great things. Without trust, we are defeated before we begin.” p199

Who should read and use Character Carved in Stone? Everyone! Parents, preachers, politicians (especially), grandparents, teachers, teenagers, students, farmers, waiters… Everyone!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell/Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

This post may contain affiliate links.  When you use them I receive a small commission that helps support the costs of maintaining this blog.

A Praying Marriage

Do you want the best possible relationship you can have with your spouse? Try praying for and with them.  So, how do you do that?

Set aside part of your daily prayer time to intercede.  To know and name his/her struggles you’re going to have to communicate those to one another.  Talk about what your goals are as individuals and as a couple.  Find out what challenges they’re experiencing.

In your prayer thank God for them. Thank God for the person they are, for their provision, for their love.

Ask God to show Himself in and through them.  Support them in their daily walk.

Be willing to change so that they can grow.  If you’re part of a problem they’re having give it to God.  Humble yourself!

So, what happens when you pray for your spouse?  It connects both of you with and to  God.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie