Thursday, January 29, 2009

ABCs of the Word, "Y"

"For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'Yes' in Christ. And so through him the 'Amen' is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

I chose this because our Self Talk, Soul Talk chapter for this week talked about the help we receive from the Holy Spirit. I like how this verse reminds us we can stand firm, knowing we are God's.

This is hosted by Pam, at Grey Like Snuffie.  Click on her name, or the rose in the sidebar to see more posts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Self Talk Soul Talk Week 4

I read part of the chapter at lunch today, and then had to pick our one year old grandson up from childcare to take to his doctor for the second of a 3 day series of shots for a persistent ear infection. My son and daughter-in-law joined us for supper, so I just got the rest of the chapter read.  I'm tired, and having trouble concentrating.

I marked a lot of things as I was reading. I thought of some of our previous comments when I read some of chapter 4. On page 47, Jennifer talked about how one circumstance in our lives can be the start of other issues. These issues take up room in our thought closets, which is an issue in itself.  "An issue in itself! A new issue on the shelf!"  It reminded me of some of us beating up on ourselves for beating up on ourselves.

I really like how Jennifer used the story of the woman who had the faith to touch Jesus' robe and be healed to teach how to talk to ourselves to point out the truth of God's word.  She kept telling herself that if she just touched Jesus' coat, she would be healed. It wasn't her self talk that healed her, but her faith.  By faith we receive and believe and act on truth.  

I also like the details Jennifer went into on faith, and the ways the Holy Spirit teaches and reminds us of God's truth. My church believes in the Triune God, and that the Holy Spirit is God, and not just God's representative. I didn't realize there were some who saw that differently. Still the rest of what she says about the Holy Spirit, I have experienced.  I sometimes remind myself of the Israelites who kept forgetting what God had done for them.

I have had some issues resurface this week in my thought closet, and at first I was letting them get me down, but the last couple of days, I'm praying for wisdom, and putting myself aside to see what God will do.

It will take me a few days to read the other posts.  I don't think I got all of them read last time. Please click on the Self Talk Soul Talk book in my sidebar to get to Lelia's blog and other posts on the book.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

ABCs of the Word, "X"

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is eXcellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

Pam, at Grey Like Snuffie said we could pick out a verse that is meaningful to us since "x" is a hard letter to find. I found a verse with one as a second letter. It is meaningful to me as well, because God has been working on my thought life for quite some time. Now that I'm in the Self Talk Soul Talk study, I thought this would be a good verse to keep in mind.  I don't always follow it, and like I frequently say, I am thankful for God's forgiveness. 

I needed that forgiveness today, when I let myself be irritated by someone at work, and repeated what he said that bugged me to someone who got more irritated than I did, as it involved her, too.  I ended up deciding to tell him I repeated it and had been irritated, but was over it.  I told him he may have been trying to be helpful, but I took it as him telling me to hurry up. I was thankful he seemed to take it in stride.

Click on Grey Like Snuffie, or the rose in the sidebar to see more posts on the ABCs of the Word.

Peace be with you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Word-Filled Wednesday 1/21/09

"Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me."
Psalm 119:133

Monday, January 19, 2009

Self Talk Soul Talk Week 3

I have noticed this week, that I am not beating up on myself when I have a negative thought, and then I notice that, and am able to let the incorrect thought go.  I then pray for others in the study, and feel like I am being prayed for.  I do still have incorrect thoughts aplenty, though. When I read ch. 3, I felt like I kept reading about myself, and I noticed the self condemnation come back some.  I am hypersensitive, and read things into others' actions at times, like thinking it's because of what I said to someone the day before that she and another did not eat their lunch in the same room I did the next day.  I have also felt certain actions or lack of actions on my husband's part showed he did not care for me like I think he should.  I felt a bit uneasy reading this, but it made lots of sense to me.

Last week, there were several of us who honed in on Jennifer's statement about us not being able to remove hurtful thoughts, but by the power of God, they can be drained of their potential control over us.  I marked up lots of things in chapter 3, and find it difficult to select one that stood out to me.  I have also based my sense of worth on what I perceived my performance to be, and felt that nothing I did was good enough.  God has already worked with me on these things, and they do not have the hold on me they used to, but they try to creep back in from time to time.

I have prayed for wisdom over the years.  I need to continue to, and to reverence God and esteem his truth.  He is there to help us all!  I am so thankful for his love and forgiveness. 

I forgot to set this to be posted Tuesday, and to mention this is hosted by Lelia at Write From the Heart.  She has a list of others participating in this study.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ABCs of the Word, "W"

Wonderful wonderful, is our God!

"Praise the LORD, oh my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you clothe yourself in majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind."

Psalm 104:1-3

For more ABCs of the word, visit Pam, at Grey Like Snuffie by clicking on her name here, or the flower in the sidebar.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Word-Filled Wednesday 1/14/09

"Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God's salvation."

Luke 3:5-6, referring to John the Baptist preparing the way as prophesied by Isaiah

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I have read the first two chapters of Self Talk, Soul Talk, by Jennifer Rothchild to participate in a Tuesday study at Leila's.  I have been aware of my self talk since starting to read it.  What I seem to do, is catch myself talking negatively to myself, then chide myself for doing that.  I like what the author said about holding thoughts captive. 

I've never done this, and didn't get all of the blogs read from last week, so I'm not sure if I'm supposed to answer the questions in the back of the chapter.  It's hard to answer some of them, and I'm uncomfortable writing the things I say to myself that are not based on the truth.  I grew up with low self esteem, and even as an adult, I've struggled with it, even after becoming a Christian. I love God, and know he loves me and accepts and forgives me moment to moment.

One of the things I marked in the book, from page 29 was, "You can't remove those hurtful thoughts, words, and memories, but by the power of God, you can drain them of their potential control over you." 

I also want to share that I have been drinking a variety of kinds of tea lately, and have been making it at work sometimes, when at lunch.  While I was reading the first chapter, I was drinking Earl Grey tea, as I was reading page 15, where Jennifer said, "Some things in life are only truly discovered through pondering, prayer, and a steaming cup of Earl Grey."  Earl Grey, usually decaf, is my favorite tea, and I smiled as I looked at the tag on my tea bag.

God bless you through this study!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ABCs of the Word, "V"

Colossians 3:13-14:

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity."

I have probably used these verses before, but they are worth repeating.  I got to thinking, that there is a reason these verses are in the Bible.  God knows Satan loves to stir up problems with personal relationships. Our sins are forgiven, but there are still consequences, such as the mistrust of a loved one. It can be very difficult at times to bear with people when they hurt us. If God wants us to bear with, forgive, and love one another, he will help us when we ask him to. The verses before and after these are helpful in further explaining what God wants us to do to be able to do these things, as well.  (Let his Word dwell in us richly, for one.)

Visit Pam, at Grey Like Snuffie to find more ABCs of the Word, or click on the flower on my sidebar. (I'm posting early, because I was late for WFW.)


Word-Filled Wednesday

The photo I used to illustrate my passage today is on my side bar, and I forgot to click the shrink to fit, so it turned out long.  I decided to leave it that way.  I just figured out how to get the mountain photofrom the same site,, into the post.  They tell you to give a link to their site if you use their pics.  If you click on the link under the wheat pic, you will get there. Scroll down to find the link to Word Filled Wednesday to get to other posts on Amydeane's blog, or just click on her name.

Since there is a new online Bible study I'm thinking of joining, dealing with our thoughts, I thought I'd put up part of one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Isaiah 55.  I'm just posting verses 6-12, but the whole thing is awesome!

I am editing this post to add the link to Lelia's blog so you can see the information on the Bible study using the book, Self Talk, Soul Talk, by Jennifer Rothchild.  The first lesson has already been done, but I went ahead and called our closest book store, and have a copy I plan to pick up tomorrow.

"Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Comfort from God

I stayed up too late last night, then woke up a few times, sad about what had happened at the meeting.  I didn't mention in the post that I had called for people to get together and pray with those at the meeting who they may have not spoken to  lately because of differences.  I don't know if anyone did, but I did overheard one of the church leaders tell someone she's bitter as she was walking out the door.  I caught up with her, and asked her if that's what she had said.  I asked her if she would pray with me.  She did, and part of her prayer seemed to be seeking help from God. Then she prayed for others to see the "fraud" and such like that, in other words, that people would see things her way, as does the group that is taking sides against others, as far as I can tell. She was in a hurry to go, and had someone waiting for a ride.  I didn't think to call her on that at the time, but will need to pray about it.  If anything, that's what hurt the most out of the whole evening.

I didn't get enough sleep to function well, so I called in sick today.  God is really ministering to me through Bible reading, music, and when I went upstairs to sort some laundry, there was a radio show I hadn't heard before, called "Hope for the Heart" with June Hunt.  It was about reasons for procrastinating, one of which is being a people pleaser.  I have had issues with that all my life.  That's why I was the "good" girl when I was young.  She quoted verse after verse of some of the passages God has  led me to mark up in my Bible.  I'll try to get them in my side bar soon.  I know one of them was Psalm 27, where it talks about who is man that I should be afraid.  

I was going to make this short.  Anyway, thanks for any prayers, and I don't think it is time to go to a different church, even if it would mean I was "happier" there.  I have ministries where I am that God has given me, and I can trust him for how he's going to heal our church, or lead me somewhere when it's time.  Also, I'm not sure how many there are like me who are making efforts to reach out to all members, and not take any sides.  The fact that I won't take the side of the one group, though, may put me in the other group in their eyes, but I just have to let God sort it out.  I really don't have all the information of what has happened in the past, and who still needs to forgive whom.  All I know, is forgiveness is not an option, and those who are not giving financially, are not understanding that it's God and his ministries they are shorting, not the Pastor.

"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.  For, 'Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. '  
1 Peter 3:8-11  

The last part, in quotation mark is part of a passage taken from Psalm 34, so it's in the Bible twice.  

Monday, January 5, 2009

Conflict in the Church

A while back, I asked another Christian blogger, I think Cathryn, or maybe Pam, to pray for my church, because it's experiencing conflict. I said I didn't want to post about it in case anyone from the church may read it. I didn't want anyone to feel bad, or appear to be negative, or something. I don't know. We are also experiencing financial problems.  Our former church treasurer embezzled from us, but he did make some restitution. We also have some people who have not been willing to forgive our Pastor for some things that happened when he first came, and they are not giving money to the church.  As you can see, I have changed my mind about not writing about it here, and hope it's God moving me to do this. I'd really like to know how many others are experiencing this in their churches.

I just got back from a meeting at church that I thought was held to discuss our various ministries. I thought it was in light of the financial problems, and to see where people feel the Lord may be leading us in order to move away from the past conflicts. I realized early on, that's not what it was. Pastor called it an open forum, and he was inviting people to express any concerns they had. Of course, most people talked about being weary of the conflicts, and of people taking sides against each other. The pain I've been feeling over this flooded me right away, and I put my head down and prayed while people were talking. I got up to speak to say that I am not one who has been in conflict with anyone, but I wanted them to know how much pain I've been in knowing people are not forgiving each other and working out their problems. I also said I've been in prayer, as a woman had gotten up to ask if people have been praying, and to give a personal testimony of its power in her life.

When I first started going to church, there was conflict between the pastor at the time, and the 2 preschool teachers. Most of the people at church had taken sides, and the Pastor, who I thought very highly of, ended up taking a call somewhere else, and some families quit and went to other churches. We spent a number of years with vacancy pastors, and ended up merging with another church of the same affiliation. There were some disagreements between people, and again, some left. Over the years, no matter who the pastor was, some liked him, and some didn't, but as far as I know, they respected them.

We had a pastor who had a strong, charismatic personality for around 10 years. He was the first pastor after our merge, and he led us into purchasing land and building our current church. There were people who went to our church because of him. Pastor was not perfect, even though some thought he was. He alienated some, and some did leave because of him. He and I did not get along so well, but forgave each other when we needed to. He ended up having to leave the pastorate for reasons I won't get into. We had just called an associate pastor, who filled in quite well, but wanted to remain an associate pastor. Half the church wanted to call a pastor as soon as possible, and the other half wanted to get a vacancy pastor. 

I have had conflicts with other people at church over the years, sometimes over things that were quite trivial, but God has always led me to forgive or ask forgiveness. Praise him for that!

So, please pray for God's will for our church, and if anyone wants prayers for their churches, you can write it here, or put a link to your blog. I feel Satan is at work in our churches, knowing the end times are here. I just can't understand why people are holding on to anger. It's OK to disagree with others, but don't write anonymous letters and criticize.  I'll have to type out Colossians 3:12-17 out in my sidebar.  It talks about bearing with one another and forgiving whatever grievances you have against one another.  I have brought that up at meetings, but think people are ignoring it.

"But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."  1 Corinthians 12:24b-26