Wisdom Whispers Review

I am delighted to be part of the Launch Team for Wisdom Whispers.  It is thought-provoking and easy to read.  It gave me much new insight into one of God’s chosen.

Sarah writes in such a way that the words get into your mind and heart.  Wisdom (and understanding) grows with each days lesson.

I have a new appreciation of King Solomon and his writings thanks to Wisdom Whispers. As I completed each day of this study I was struck with how much he was like a real person, with real struggles, just like me. Even though Solomon was incredibly blessed by God he fell into the trap of great riches and power not recognizing his blessings were from God and not of his own making. This resulted in life choices that changed him from a devoted man of God to a contriving man of the world. (i.e., 700 wives of whom many were princesses of other realms married for political purposes.)

Whether you go through this study alone or invite a group of people into your home you will find the time spent in this segment of God’s word worth it.

I hope you’ll check it out.  IT’S FREE! You won’t regret it!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

Double Standards

I’ve been reading through the book of Proverbs this week and have been amazed at the number of references to double standards.  We’re going to land on one Proverb, in particular, today. Chapter 20 verse 10 is very precise in its wording yet there is a deeper meaning to it.  It appears to be talking about weights and measures in the world of commerce but there is also a deeper meaning that applies to everyday life.  (I used the New Living Translation for this picture.)

  • Commandment 8 tells us we are not to bear false witness.  That’s dishonest and God has no use for it and reminds us of His desire for us to stop lying throughout the Bible. (Leviticus 19.11, Proverbs 12:22, Colossians 3:9, Revelation 22:15 and so many more…)
  • We are not to say one thing and mean another.
  • When we consider another person higher or lower than ourselves because of what they have or don’t have we are using a standard that is totally against God’s standard of simply loving one another.
  • God does not want us to cheat in any way.  God knows our hearts and minds.  We’re so full of double standards.  How about this one, do as I say, not as I do.  Or, you can listen but do not comment.  Or, That’s so easy, but you can’t do it yourself.
  • What did Jesus say about the issue?  Check out Matthew 7:3-5.

    In this culture we live in double standards, even multiple standards exist everywhere.  My prayer is we will all be able to see the planks in our own eyes before we comment on the specks in someone else’s.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

God Hates …

Our culture does not like to think of God as hating, yet, the Word is clear about what He hates. Check it out…

Let’s look at each segment and see how it applies to our lives.

  • Haughty eyes:  I found this definition of haughty in the Cambridge English Dictionary: Unfriendly and seeming to consider yourself better than others. Suppose you just heard a new music group and began talking about with others.  If you give the idea that they are somehow less informed than you that’s being haughty.  Anytime you present yourself as somehow better than others that’s being haughty.
  • A lying tongue: I’m sure we all know the meaning of the word lying.  Simply saying something that is not true.  Not just a blatant outright untruth but those little half-truths (So-called white lies fit here.) and those words that sound good but carry a different meaning. (Like saying you love the dress another is wearing but your body language says you look horrible in that color or style.)  Get it?
  • Hands that shed innocent blood: Drive-by shootings, suicide bombings, abortion, euthanasia…  Have we become so jaded (unmoved) to this that we no longer care?
  • A heart that devises wicked schemes: Bullying is one of the most prevalent problems in our homes, schools, work, churches, government… Have you been intimidated into doing something you haven’t wanted, strong-armed into telling lies or saying mean things to and about others, kept quiet about an incident…  All of this just to fit in.  Bullies devise ‘wicked schemes’ to stay in control.  God knows and He hates it.
  • Feet that are quick to rush into evil: The intent of the person who fits this category is simply one who intends to create trouble.  Doesn’t matter who, how, where.  If the opportunity arises they’re there.  And it happens quickly!
  • A false witness who pours out lies:  Both of these phrases are the same concept.  False witnesses are liars!  And man, are they good at it.  Let’s look at a possible scenario.  Someone comes to you and says, I saw Doris at the coffee shop with Darrin.  I think they’re having an affair.  You discuss it, add other possible instances to it, talk with others about it, and the whole thing gets blown out of proportion.  This one fabricated lie has the potential to destroy lives.  My advice: Follow the 9th Commandment. Don’t lie!
  • A person who stirs up conflict in the community: Are you bitter about something or someone?  If you can say yes to this you are ripe for stirring up conflict.  If you have a problem with someone go to them, directly.  Don’t use it against them to rile up the entire community.  (Think about the election last year.  Conflict was created by the media and opponents and the country is still stirred up.)  Let it go!

There you have it.  God is not a hateful God!  He is more than loving.  He cannot disown Himself (see 2 Timothy 2:13).  If any of these fit you take it to Him.  He will forgive and heal you.

Know that the LORD is good and His mercies endure forever! Psalm 100:5

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

10 Ways To Build Lasting Friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

So, here are my 10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships:

10-ways-to-build-strong-friendships

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Not all of my friends are women.  Men add a richness to our lives that is unique in its own way.

Blessings to you and yours!
Marie
First posted in October of 2016

5 Sentence Friday

My goodness. Where has my brain gone.  I had this ready on Friday and forgot to post it.  Better late than never…I guess.

I always enjoy reading the book of Proverbs because each time I do I find new ideas.  Consider the verse I’m using for this Friday’s 5 Sentences.  Are you a refreshing kind of person?  Do others enjoy your company?  Would you be missed if not present at a gathering.

Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  Proverbs 11:25

My life goal should be putting others first.

Treat others well.

Giving the things I don’t need to another will refresh their life.

When I speak with others are my words and actions like a cool, refreshing drink?

Being generous is not hard when I understand that God gave it all to me to start with.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

10 Ways To Build Strong Friendships

10-ways-to-build-strong-friendships

When I was in my younger years I often wondered if I would have Best Friends later on in life. Guess what? I do. I have incredible friends in a range of friendships from bare acquaintances to BFF’s.

Have you ever met someone and immediately said to them you’re going to be my best friend.  Of course not!  Being a friend is a deliberate process.  It’s about spending time together. Getting to know one another. Sharing ups and downs and in-betweens.  Supporting them, praying for them, sharing with them, accepting them… That’s what grows strong friendships.

It’s nice to have friends that share interests and hobbies.  However, if we surround ourselves with exact copies of ourselves it gets really boring.  One of my BFF’s shares few commonalities with me, except a desire to grow closer to our Jesus.

In building strong, lasting friendships there are a few things that really don’t matter.  Age is one of them.  Yes, people of our own age share similar likes and experiences but those of other age groups have much to teach us.  Friendships cross many boundaries. Things like status, education, marriage, distance, can be overcome when two people say let’s be friends.

There’s a beautiful contemporary Christian song that points to the fact that God gives us our friends.  God Gave Me You by Dave Barnes really says it all.  Check out these lyrics:

God gave me you for the ups and downs

God gave me you for the days of doubt

For when I think I’ve lost my way

There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you.

What does God say about friendship? Check these verses out:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:5-6

There’s a Kroger commercial that ends with a woman saying, “My momma always said if you want to have a friend be one.” Nothing more needs to be said, does it?

Blessings to you and yours!
Marie

Why I’ve Given Up On Forgiving Myself

 

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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.

 

Listen! Concentrate! Pay Attention!

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Listen!  Can you hear Me?  Do you know the sound of My voice?  Hey you!  Paying total attention to someone requires all of everything we have focused on the One who is speaking.  Eyes on theirs.  Ears hearing every nuance of the words.  Mind totally focused on the subject.  It’s hard but it’s worth it!

Solomon was giving some fatherly advice in Proverbs 4:20-22 when he said:

Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice.  Keep My message in plain view at all times.  Concentrate!  Learn it by heart!  Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health.                                                                               (The Message)

Do you know the voice of God?  Adam and Eve did.  When He called to them in the garden they knew right away that it was Him. (Genesis 3:8-9)  We know certain people’s voices even when we’re not looking at them, at a distance, in a crowded room, anywhere.  God wants us to know His voice in every place and circumstance.  How do we hear His voice?  By knowing His Word.  Yes, memorizing it!  Thinking about it!  Reading it!

So, what do we get out of it?  A body and soul that’s healthy, really healthy.  The roadmap to living.  Not just breathing in and out but a life that is fully aware of all that is going on around us and answers to the hard questions.  It’s all there.  All in the Bible.  All we have to do is open the book and start reading and memorizing.

Father, You and You alone are all that matter.  Your Word is my life guide, my way to knowing You.  Open my heart and mind to every word.  You have breathed every single word so I can know You and what You want of Your child.  Thank YOU!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Here’s another post on the same subject: Calming The Restless Mind

You can also find this post on the Pondering and Prayer page.

Quit Gloating

Have you heard this? “I knew that would happen!” “S/he got what s/he deserved!” “Told ya!” There’s a word for enjoying another person’s consequences.  Epicaricacy means ‘delight in another person’s misfortune’.

God has plenty to say about this and when that happens we can know where He stands on the issue and what He wants us to do about it.  So let’s dig in…

Do not gloat when your enemy falls

God knows everything, every thought, every moment of our lives.  He knows what we’ve done, said, or thought.  You cannot hide from Him.  Sure, we know when someone has failed or worse, sinned.  God says, “Let Me handle it!”  The writer, Solomon, is saying that if we dish out disapproval  He will turn toward us instead of the person it’s aimed at.  Trust me, I’d rather have someone fail miserably than have God point His finger at me.

If I have rejoiced at my enemy's misfortune...

Job 31 is a list of the ways Job could have sinned and hidden in it is the verse above.  Read the whole chapter and you’ll discover that Job understood, totally, what God wanted him to do and he practised it.  He was not a gloating, self-centered person.  He had a very clear picture of what God wanted and he followed through.

Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves

And so, what does God want of us?  We are to be merciful.  We are to choose kindness and gentleness.  We are to model patience.  We are to forgive like God has.

Marie

Top Ten Most Shared Bible Verses

My memory verses

I was quite surprised to see that Christianity Today had researched and compiled a list of the top ten most shared verses of 2014.  According to this article two Bible verses are shared, through social media, around the world every second.  (YouVersion is the statistical base for this list.)

Romans 12:2

Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:6

Jeremiah 29:11

Matthew 6:33

Philippians 4:7

Proverbs 3:5

Isaiah 41:10

Matthew 6:34

Proverbs 3:6

Does it surprise you that John 3:16 didn’t make the cut?  Remember this is verses shared.  I suggest that this verse is such a basic part of the Believer’s knowledge base that knowing it is like breathing.  We don’t think about it unless we need too. YouVersion did report John 3:16 as the Most Searched Verse of 2014.

As I read through the list I noticed I knew many of these from memory…interesting.  How about you?  Did you consider this a list of already known verses from seeing the book, chapter and verse?

Blessings on blessings to you and yours!

Marie