Best Rules For Life Since The 10 Commandments

I certainly can’t say it any better than Eugene Peterson in The Message. Read these words!  Memorize them!  Use them!  It matters!

And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.

 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

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.”

5 Thoughts On Developing A Lasting Marriage

June is the month of weddings and I wanted to give a little advice.  Here are my five thoughts on developing a long-lasting marriage.

  • Don’t expect your spouse to be the same year after year.  We all grow and change.  I’ve been married to the same man for over 40 years.  Neither of us is the same as we were then.  It’s been rather fun to meet a new person, who shares my bed and house, every few years.
  • Never stop talking, laughing and crying, together!  Life is tough.  There’s no way around that. Weathering the storms and celebrating the high points is all part of it.
  • Always (!!!) support one another.  Let no one say anything about your spouse that is demeaning, degrading or discrediting.  Stand up for one another!
  • Marriage is not a game!  Scorekeeping is unacceptable.  If you’re feeling that your spouse is not keeping up their end of the bargain.  Tell them.  Talk it out.  None of us have billboards on our foreheads that tell the other what we’re thinking.  Most of the time all you have to do is ask.  Try it!
  • Be kind, thoughtful, forgiving and loving.  Long marriages sometimes evolve into taking advantage of the love you have for one another.  We’re all going to do and say dumb things from time to time.  Get over it and get on with it.

Here’s a then and now picture.  Enjoy!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Recently, this post was sent to me on my FB page.  It is so true of our marriage and I hope of yours, too!

For all of you so eager to call it quits and throw in the towel on your relationships because everything isn’t “perfect”…here is some food for thought. Lifelong commitment is not what most people think it is. It’s not waking up every morning to make breakfast and eat together. It’s not cuddling in bed until both of you fall asleep, peacefully, at night. It’s not a clean home filled with laughter and lovemaking, every day. It’s someone who steals all the covers (and snores!). It’s slammed doors and a few harsh words, at times. It’s stubbornly disagreeing and giving each other the silent treatment until your hearts heal…and, then…FORGIVENESS! It’s coming home to the same person, every day, that you know LOVES and CARES about you in spite of (and because of) who you are. It’s laughing about the one time you accidentally did something stupid. It’s about dirty laundry and unmade beds WITHOUT finger pointing. It’s about helping each other with the hard work of life! It’s about swallowing the nagging words instead of saying them out loud. It’s about eating the cheapest and easiest meal you can make and sitting down together late to eat because you both had a crazy day. It’s when you have an emotional breakdown and your Love lays with you and holds you and tells you everything is going to be okay…and you BELIEVE them. It’s about still loving someone even though, sometimes, you make them absolutely insane. Living with the person you love is not perfect
…sometimes it’s hard, but it’s amazing and comforting and one of the BEST things you’ll ever experience!

(This article is from Hopewell Baptist Church page on Facebook.)

 

 

Praying the Jesus Way

 

In Matthew 6 Jesus gives us a model for our prayers and a few pointers on the how to do it.  In verses 5-8 He wants His followers to pray in a way that draws them close to God the Father without making a show of it like the hypocrites.  Then He gives the ideal place for it to happen, a place that is secluded.  By shutting the door He shows that there should be no outside influence.  He also said don’t be constantly repeating your words and going on and on.  You see God already knows what we’re praying for so keep it short and focused.

The perfect model is then given in verses 9-13:

the-lords-prayer

Each of the 6 points of this prayer lead us to total focus on the One who hears and answers.

  1. Focus on God and praise Him–Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Your name.  
  2. Focus on God’s plan and purpose–Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done
  3. Focus on what you need–Give us this day our daily bread
  4. Focus on forgiveness for yourself and for others–Forgive us our debts (trespasses/sins) and we forgive our debtors (those who trespass/sin against us).
  5. Focus on God’s guidance in daily challenges
  6. Focus on giving God total control–For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory

Verses 14-15 are extremely important!  We must forgive others if we expect to be forgiven by God.  It’s pretty clear isn’t it?

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Why I’ve Given Up On Forgiving Myself

 

banner-949932_960_720

Whenever I read or hear someone saying, but you have to forgive yourself, I ask, why. There is absolutely nowhere in the Bible that says forgive yourself.

We are told to forgive others but never ourselves. (Matthew 6:12b) Why? Because we are not God. We cannot judge ourselves. Only God knows the reasons or motives behind our actions.

God chooses not to remember our sins. He doesn’t forget them He just doesn’t want to remember them. Perhaps that’s what God wants us to do. Move on, get over it, quit rolling it around in our minds…just forget it. If we are dredging up the past in our thoughts, we are recommitting the sin. Yes, that is Biblical. Take a look at what God says about lusting in Matthew 5:28. Basically, even if you’re thinking it, you’re doing it. Look at Proverbs 4:23. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.

Another way to look at this concept is through the eyes of one who is forgiven. Do you believe that you are forgiven? Do you understand that when Jesus went to the cross He took every one of our sins on Himself? Aren’t you basically saying His death doesn’t matter?

The evil one loves this thought pattern. When we minimize what Jesus did by saying I must forgive myself, satan has a door to enter our thoughts. The second we try to make forgiving about our own ability we have made ourselves God, or at least tried to.

Paul says in Romans 8:1, there is no more condemning for those who believe in Jesus. If you believe that is true, then there is no reason to be concerned with forgiving yourself. Jesus already did the hard work. We are cleansed, washed clean and totally forgiven because of His never-ending grace. We’ve got to get over this need to do it ourselves. He did it! Let that be it!

I must add, however, that we cannot assume that we can go on sinning. It should be our greatest desire never to sin again. Even though we have been ‘made new’ we are probably going to fall into the sin pit again. The Bible is quite clear on the process at that point… Ask for forgiveness from the One and Only… Accept His loving response (Go and sin no more-John 4:1-42)…Do not return to that sin in thought, word or deed… Move on, walk away, give it up…

Heavenly Father, it is my greatest desire not to sin against You in thought, word, or deed. Yet I do. Forgive my bent to thoughts, words, and actions that do not reflect You to the world around me. Help me to listen for the ‘voice’ of the Spirt in everything I think, do, and say. Teach me Your word so that I will know what You want. Make it so in Jesus name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

I have been greatly honored to write this article for Blogs for Christian Women.  Click on the highlighted words and see what others are writing about it.