Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Change of Plans — Again!

I don't talk much about my life with chronic pain. However, sometimes people ask questions, so I try to answer them. One aspect of chronic pain, that I often struggle with, is scheduling and commitments. 

I am a planner. I like to have things on the calendar, so that I can prepare and be ready for the events of any given day. Yet, there are days that my pain/headache do not take into consideration what is on my schedule. 

Today, was "one of those days". I had planned to fulfill a commitment (that had already had to be rescheduled from last week). Yet, this morning, I awoke with a severe headache. Worse than usual. I started the "headache routine" that involves, meds, essential oils, ice packs, trigger points. 

As I waited for the headache to lessen, I had to make a decision. Could I fulfill the commitment this morning? 

Yes, I could— BUT would it be the smart thing to do? I also have another commitment this afternoon, that can't be changed. Knowing that I have a unchangeable commitment this afternoon, I made the choice to reschedule (once again) this mornings plans. 

For me, that is so very frustrating. I hate not being able to do something I had planned. However, my body can only tolerate so much. So, I need to allow my body time to heal this morning, and lay low. 

Thankfully, the other people involved in my cancelation this morning, are fully understanding. They've been along side of my pain journey for most of the past 16 years. They get it. 

If you know someone who lives in chronic pain, or has an invisible illness (i.e. autoimmune disease, lyme, chronic headache, diabetes, etc) please be patient if they have to reschedule—even multiple times. It's not that they don't want to do an activity, it's just that their bodies won't allow it. Or they have to save their energy for an upcoming event that they simply can't miss. Please don't read anything into the cancelation of plans. Changing plans is not the desired thing! So, often we look forward to that event and doing something out of the norm. So, please be patient, understanding, and most of all encouraging! I'm so thankful that the people who have come along side of me are all of those. 

The key to living with a chronic illness/pain is flexibility. And realizing that things are beyond a person's control. It's about taking comfort knowing that even if things have to be rescheduled, it's OK! 

Why am I sharing this? So that others with chronic illness know that this is reality, and that it's ok. So that others without pain/illness learn why plans change. 

Today, is not what I had planned. However, my headache level is no surprise to God Almighty. He is fully aware of my pain and headache. Therefore, I take comfort in knowing that for whatever reason, God has allowed my plans to change today. It could be so that I write this post, to encourage someone, or it could be that God wanted to protect me from an accident, or it could be that God just me to take time to be still. 

So, if you know someone who lives with chronic pain/illness, please take time to understand a bit of their life. And take time to pray for them. 

If you have any questions, please ask. And remember, not all chronic illness/pain is the same. So, my answers may differ from one who suffers with a different illness.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Want to be happy? (James)

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12

Blessed: happy (In congratulations, the reason why one is to be pronounced blessed is expressed by a noun or by a participle taking the place of the subject)
Endureth: to endure, bear bravely and calmly
Temptation: specifically, the trial of man's fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy
When he is: become, come about, happen
Tried: properly, accepted, approved
Shall receive: to gain, get, obtain absolutely
Crown: the eternal blessedness which will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ
Life: real and genuine
Promised: to announce that one is about to do or to furnish something
Love: love to a master, God or Christ, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received

Want to be happy? Start loving God — with reverence, prompt obedience and grateful recognition of all God gives. Following Christ doesn't come with a promise of "easy street". There will be hardships along the way. But through it all, God remains faithful! 

Blessed—happy because no matter what happens, I choose to love God and obey Him with a thankful heart. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pursuits and Purpose (James)

For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. James 1:11

Fade away: equivalent to to have a miserable end
Ways: purpose, pursuit, undertaking

What will I be remembered for when I die? When I am no longer around, what will last? All the stuff we accumulate is that —stuff, no real lasting value. And as the old saying goes, "You can't take it with you."

What legacy am I creating now? The pursuits and purposes for earthly gain while can be enjoyable on earth, have no lasting value. Just as a spring flower withers and dies in the heat of the day, pursuits that have no eternal value will also have a miserable end. 

So, are my pursuits and purposes like a flower? Or am I like a tree planted by the waters? 
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:3

If I want to be like a tree rather than a flower than my pursuits must be following God's Word.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2

What is my pursuit? Am I after things that will have a miserable end? Or am I pursuing a life that will prosper by God's standards? 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

God is Enough. (James)

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. James 1:9, 10
The phrase “of low degree” means one in humble circumstances; one of lowly rank or employment; one in a condition of dependence or poverty. It stands here particularly opposed to one who is rich; and the apostle doubtless had his eye, in the use of this word, on those who had been poor. (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible)

Position doesn't matter. What does matter is one's relationship with Christ and knowing that no matter the situation, God is enough. 

God is enough. 

Is that a true? Is God enough in my life? 

 This post is the continuation of my Study of Colossians. 

And you are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power]. Colossians 2:10 (AMP)

"In Christ they find the satisfaction of every spiritual want" (Peake). There is no other place for Christ. He is first in time and in rank. All rule and authority comes after Christ whether angels, aeons, kings, what not. Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

Satisfaction. Christ is all I need. But is He all I want? Am I satisfied with what Christ has to offer me? Think about that. Christ not only offered Himself as a sacrifice for my sins, He in His grace and mercy offers me His unconditional love, grace, and mercy. Is He enough? 

He should be. I should be content and overwhelmed with Christ Himself. Nothing more and nothing less. 

But that's just in the spiritual aspect, what about the physical? Christ is enough in that too. Or He should be. In light of eternity, what is important? I can't take things with me to Heaven. Anything I have here are earth, is from God. Those are blessings. 

And if SOMETHING, is more important than Christ, that THING has become an idol. Remember the 10 Commandments?
You shall have no other gods before or besides Me.
You shall not make yourself any graven image [to worship it] or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me. Exodus 20:3-5 (AMP)

No other gods before or besides Me. "Other gods"—anything or anyone on whom I place more importance than God and His Word. If THINGS, take precedent and are more important that the satisfaction I can find in Christ–then those THINGS are idols. And that's a dangerous precedent to set. 

Satisfaction. Christ alone. In order to be completely satisfied with Christ, I must be permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God (Acts 9:31; MSG)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

One-Purpose Mind! (James)

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Double-minded: wavering, uncertain, doubting; vacillating in opinion or purpose
Unstable: inconstant, restless
Ways: in all his purposes and actions

I don't know. I'm unsure. What should I do? Maybe. Perhaps. Yes, well wait, no. We've all had times when indecision seems to haunt us. Did we make the right choice? Is this really what I should do? 

Indecision and questioning past decisions can be used by Satan to keep us from fully trusting God. In our lives will face many opportunities to make decisions. Some are easy. Some take much thought. Some are life-changing. James 1:5—8 are about the art of using wisdom—the wisdom that God gives. When we make choices based on wisdom from God, then we know for certain, no matter what happens, we made the right choice! 

As I read the definition of the word, "double-minded"-vacillating in opinion or purpose-the idea of an oscillating fan came to mind. Forever turning, never focusing on any one area. Quickly moving back and forth. The oscillating indecisions will create a restlessness and that will affect my actions and my overall purpose. 

The key to having a one-purpose mind and stability in purpose and actions is using the art of wisdom—God's wisdom!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why would I doubt? (James)

For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. James 1:7

For: indeed (a conjunc. used to express cause, explanation, or continuation); take note of what came before (James 1:6)
Not: where one is bidden to cease from something already begun, or repeated, or continued
Think: suppose, imagine
Receive: to gain, get, obtain, to get hold of
Anything: some or any object
From: the side or the vicinity of one, or from one's sphere of power, or from one's wealth or store
Lord: a person exercising absolute ownership rights; denotes an owner (master) exercising full rights 

Why would I ask something of God, knowing that He has FULL OWNERSHIP of everything, only to doubt that He could supply? (James 1:6- Seasick). Asking in faith, doesn't mean that God will automatically give me everything I ask for— rather it means that I will trust God to supply what's BEST for me. 

And remember what James is discussing here, it's not our "wants" in general. Rather, the emphasis is on WISDOM! We are asking God for wisdom, "the art of USING wisdom", so that we can live a godly life that honors and brings glory to Him. 

God is the only source of true wisdom. And if we want wisdom, all we need to do is ask God believing that we will receive wisdom. But often we become "seasick" as we don't trust God to give us what we asked. 
πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰ Perhaps we don't care for the answer wisdom offers. We'd rather go it on our own—since we know better — (we may think that, but NO, we don't). 
πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰ Perhaps we don't really want wisdom, as we know that we would have to change our attitude, actions, and thoughts. 
πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰πŸ‘‰ Perhaps we don't really want wisdom, for if we USE wisdom, we may have to make lifestyle changes. 

So, if I want to put into practice the art of using wisdom, I need to ask God believing that He will give it to me — knowing that He is fully capable of doing so, as God is the source of wisdom. 

Why would I doubt knowing that I'd receive nothing? Ask in full confidence knowing that God is the source and will give wisdom—and be ready to put that wisdom to good use!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6

Let him ask: request for oneself
Faith: with the predominant idea of trust or confidence
Nothing: no, none, or absolutely nothing
Wavering: to be at variance with oneself, hesitate, doubt
For he: assuredly, verily the one
Like: to resemble
Wave: a surge, a violent agitation of the sea
Driven by the wind: to agitate or blown by the wind
Tossed:  to toss to and fro (it is used of a person whose mind wavers in uncertainty between hope and fear, between doing and not doing a thing)

Doubt. Hesitate. When I don't trust God for wisdom, then I allow doubt and mistrust to gain a foothold. And when that happens, I then will be "tossed to and fro" as I waver between hope and fear. 

Doubt and not fully trusting God, allows fear to take a hold. And fear will then create it's own reality and continue to cause me to be in a violent storm tossing about—talk about being "seasick". That is not what I want for my life! 

So, I have a choice to make. Ask God for wisdom, and TRUST him. OR. Allow doubt and fear to take hold and endure "seasickness". 

My choice—Ask in Faith! 

(To read an earlier blog post on "Fear Creates its Own Reality" here: http://createapositiveday.blogspot.com/2010/06/fear-creates-its-own-reality.html)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Request from the One giving! (James)

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5
(For the first part of the verse visit this link:

Let him ask: request for oneself
Giveth: to grant, give to one asking, let have
All: means "all" in the sense of each (every) part that applies
Liberally: simply, openly, frankly, sincerely, led solely by his desire to bless
Upbraideth: finding fault, to disgrace (insult), reproach; mock (curse); insult, cast blame (create shame) 
Not: negates the underlying idea (concept) of a statement, ruling out its possibilities, 
And: moreover, even, indeed
Given: to grant, give to one asking, let have

Literal translation: Let him request from the One giving. 

The art of USING wisdom. What good is it to know something, and not put it to use? 
And if you are absent of wisdom, you are to go to the source — God Himself, the One who can supply wisdom! 

If you need the plumbing fixed at your home, you don't ask the grocery clerk to fix it. You call a plumber. When you need wisdom, looking for it in the wrong place will get you nowhere. 
Yet, in our lives, when we need wisdom, we turn to whomever is on TV, or the latest self-help book. While those things may have some good ideas, it is not true wisdom! 

The art of using wisdom is vital to life. And when wisdom is absent, then trouble begins. 

If I am not practicing the art of USING wisdom, then I need to go directly to the SOURCE and request wisdom. God is waiting to give it to me. He will not scold me for not asking sooner. He will not tell me that this is the UMPTEENTH time, I've asked for the same wisdom. He will not shame me or find fault that I don't know something. 
God is waiting to abundantly supply all that I need to know so that I can practice the art of using wisdom! 

I only need to REQUEST from the One giving!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The art of USING wisdom (James)

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

If: a condition, thought of as real, i.e. viewed as factual
Any: a certain one, someone, anyone
Of you: where the person is to be emphasized
Lack: to be destitute of, be absent of
Wisdom: literally "the art of using wisdom";  the knowledge and practice of the requisites for godly and upright living

As I was studying this verse, I had to stop at that word, "wisdom". It literally means the "art of USING wisdom". How many times do I KNOW the right thing, but sadly, I refuse to DO the right thing. 

The art of USING wisdom. What good is it to know something, and not put it to use? 

It's sad to be in the destitute state of not using wisdom. But thankfully, there is ONE who can supply us with wisdom and the knowledge of how to put into action. 

The art of USING wisdom. 

I'll finish the study of this verse on another day. For right now, I want to mediate on the art of USING wisdom. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Full effect being complete and inferior to none. (James)

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4

Let:  comprise, involve, possessed with
Patience: steadfastness, constancy, endurance (the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings)
Perfect: brought to its end, finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness
Work: an act, deed, thing done: the idea of working is emphasized in opposed to that which is less than work
Entire: complete in all its parts, in no part lacking or unsound
Wanting: to lag, be inferior
Nothing: none, not

Be possessed with steadfastness, constancy, and endurance so that I'll know the full effect being complete and inferior to none. 

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4

There is a progression in these verses, with a purpose! But it's not a "once and I'm done", idea. It's a constant and ongoing process. It ALL begins with choosing the MAXIMUM Calm Delight!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

UNSWERVED from the Deliberate Purpose! (James)

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:3

Knowing: to come to know, recognize, perceive
Trying: the proving, a testing; by implication, trustworthiness; trial
Faith: belief, trust, confidence
Worketh: to do that from which something results, produce
Patience: steadfastness, constancy, endurance (the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings)

The characteristic of a man UNSWERVED from his deliberate purpose. Focused. Goal oriented. Steadfast. 

There is a purpose to the testings and trials. There is to be a result from all that happens in our lives. We can have maximum calmness (James 1:2) in the midst of the trials, because we RECOGNIZE that God has a very SPECIFIC purpose. 

UNSWERVED from the Deliberate Purpose!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

MAXIMUM Calm Delight! (James)

Continuing my study in James. 

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; James 1:2

Brethren: a fellow-Christian
Count: (be) chief, count, esteem, governor, judge, have the rule over, suppose, think
All: the highest degree, the maximum
Joy: the cause or occasion of joy, calm delight, gladness
Fall into: so to fall into as to be encompassed by
Divers: variegated, various in character, diverse
Temptations: adversity, affliction, trouble (cf. our trial), sent by God and serving to test or prove one's faith, holiness, character, a putting to proof

Make the determination (rule over/have the power) to choose maximum calm delight when I am encompasses by a wide variety of trouble as God works to prove me faithful! (Rhonda's paraphrase)

Choose MAXIMUM Calm Delight! 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Attitude and Accountability

Join me as I study the book of James. 

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. James 1:1 (KJV)

Servant: one who gives himself up wholly to another's will
Lord: a person exercising absolute ownership rights; denotes an owner (master) exercising full rights
Greeting: to be well, to thrive, to be "cheer"ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off

Being a servant is a choice. And choosing whom you will serve is an important factor to consider! James, chose to be a servant, to God, and the LORD Jesus Christ. 

Because James placed his faith in Jesus Christ, then the Lord has full ownership of James (and anyone else who places their faith in Christ). And as a servant of Christ, there comes responsibilities and accountabilities. 

James begins his letter, with the word "greeting". I like the meaning of that word, "to thrive". And I like that meaning especially as you read verse 2. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." 

But we'll study that verse another day. Today's focus is on my attitude and accountability of being a servant to the LORD Jesus Christ. Since He has full ownership of me, He can choose what comes into my life. I am responsible to handle it with the grace and mercy He provides so that He will be glorified. 

I am to wholly give myself to the LORD (absolute ownership rights) and live my life honoring and representing Him well. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Be exhausted — Solid Rock!

My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26 (NKJV)
Flesh: body
Heart: inner man, mind, will
Fail: spent, be exhausted
Strength: a rock or boulder; figuratively, a refuge
Portion: possession
Forever: indefinite futurity

What great truths on in this verse! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Absolutely Trustworthy

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 (NKJV)

Trust: A primitive root; to flee for protection (compare batach); figuratively, to confide in -- have hope, make refuge, (put) trust.

Why is God worthy of trust, and trustworthy?

Rock: literally cliff, from a root word meaning to be lofty; a craggy rock, literally or figuratively a fortress, strong hold.
Fortress: Castle, a fastness, defense, a strong place
Deliverer: bring into security, carry away safe
Strength: mighty God one,  a rock or boulder, strong
Shield: to hedge about, i.e. protect, defend
Horn: symbol of strength
Of my salvation: liberty, deliverance, prosperity, safety
Stronghold: God as refuge, a cliff or other lofty or inaccessible place, high tower
Refuge: place of escape, a retreat
Savior: to be safe, deliverer
Violence: cruelty, damage, injustice, unrighteous
Call: summon, address by name
Worthy to be praised: to rave, to celebrate
Saved: be liberated, properly placed in freedom
Enemies: hating; an adversary, foe

Meditate on each of the words describing God. Once the meaning of the words and the power displayed in each, then the truth that God is absolutely trustworthy stands out. 

Knowing who God is — how can you help but trust Him? 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Three Distinct Actions

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Matthew 22:37 (NKJV)
Love: involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received
Lord: a person exercising absolute ownership rights
All: complete (in extent, amount, time or degree)
Heart: it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors
Soul:  the root of the English words "psyche," "psychology"; a person's distinct identity (unique personhood), i.e. individual personality
Mind: the faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring

This weekend is my Church's Missions Conference. The theme verse is Matthew 22:37. As I was studying this verse this morning, the meaning of the word "love" stood out. 
Involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, grateful recognition of benefits received.
Affectionate reverence. 
Prompt obedience. 
Grateful recognition of benefits received. 

Three distinct actions. 

As I evaluate my life, do I love my Lord (who does have absolute ownership rights to me), with those three distinct actions?  Do I give him the reverence He deserves? Do I obey him promptly? Do I not only have an attitude of gratefulness for all the benefits, but do I tell Him, "Thank you"? 

Look at the three distinct areas in which I am to love God. 
Heart. Soul. Mind. 

The heart is my desires, my passions. The soul is "who I am". The mind is understanding, feeling, thinking. 

Do my desires and passions reflect a reverence for God? Am I passionate about obeying God — promptly? Do my thoughts readily express gratefulness? 

Some will say, "but that's not who I am? I wasn't made that way?" But the truth is, that God did make us "that way". We were designed in the image of God, and if it weren't for sin, we would love God with the entirety of our souls. 

What do I put into my mind? What do I dwell upon? What do I allow to dictate how I feel, and what my desires are? If I evaluate my thoughts through the filter of "love", will I find that I have reverence for God? Do I act quickly in obeying God in making sure my thoughts and feelings are in accordance with Him? Am I quick to give thanks for all God does? 

Love. Three distinct actions. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Pattern - Great Patience

As I was studying Galatians 5: 22 and 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Longsuffering: attitude of uncomplaining
Who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 1 Peter 3:20
Longsuffering waited — waited patiently, great patience of God was waiting.

How long did God wait? According to Genesis 6:3 — And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” At least 120 years before flooding the earth. 

And I have trouble waiting weeks, days, or at times even minutes. When you consider the patience  the longsuffering that God did as he continued to watch the people He created sin against Him..... while providing an opportunity to be saved...... that is indeed longsuffering. 

And as I shared yesterday in my blog post, (Pattern) I am to pattern that same longsuffering. Something I need to work on for sure. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017


As I was studying Galatians 5;22, 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Longsuffering: attitude of uncomplaining
However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. 1 Timothy 1:16
That: a conjunction denoting purpose, definition or result
In: in the condition (state) in which something operates from the inside (within)
Might show: to make fully evident, showing conspicuous proof which demonstrates something as undeniable;  demonstrate, prove, whether by arguments or by acts
Longsuffering: attitude of uncomplaining
Pattern: prototype, pattern placed before one to be held fast and copied, model, for imitation
From a compound of hupo and a derivative of tupos: Hupo:  "under authority" of someone working directly as a subordinate. Tupos: a model forged by repetition; based on reliable precedent for others to then follow—pattern.
Are going: of what is sure to happen: with an infinitive present
Believe: to intrust a thing to one
for: "motion into which" implying union to a particular purpose or result
Everlasting: life operates simultaneously outside of time, inside of time, and beyond time, eternal
Life: used emphatically of the absolute fullness of life

I am to be a pattern so that others can see and undeniable proof that Jesus Christ is the only why to eternal life. 

Demonstrate making fully evident longsuffering as a pattern. 

A pattern of an attitude of uncomplaining. Pattern.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Captain. Through.

In preparation for this morning's Worship Service, I read Hebrews 2:9-18. Verse 10, caught my attention. 
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 2:10 (NKJV)
For: indeed, assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification
Many: emphasizes the quantity involved
Sons: properly, a son (by birth or adoption); (figuratively) anyone sharing the same nature as their Father. For the believer, becoming a son of God begins with being reborn (adopted) by the heavenly Father – through Christ (the work of the eternal Son). Emphasizes likeness of the believer to the heavenly Father, i.e. resembling His character more and more by living in faith; highlights the (legal) right to the Father's inheritance.
Glory: "the glorious condition of blessedness into which it is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour's return from heaven" Thayer's Greek Lexicon 
Captain: from two words meaning "the first" and "to lead" – properly, the first in a long procession; a file-leader who pioneers the way for many others to follow. ArxΔ“gΓ³s does not strictly mean "author," but rather "a person who is originator or founder of a movement and continues as the leader – i.e. 'pioneer leader, founding leader' " HelpsBible.com
Salvation: to bring to the end (goal) proposed
Perfect: to bring to the end (goal) proposed
Through: "thoroughly," literally, "successfully" across to the other side
Sufferings: misfortune, calamity, evil, affliction, something undergone, i.e. hardship or pain

A couple words stand out to me as I read and studies Hebrews 2:9-18.
Captain (first and leader, currently involved)
Through (successfully across to the other side; victory!)

Looking forward to hearing Pastor Osborne preach
on Hebrews 2:9-18 this morning. 
To listen the sermon, check this website:
Faith Baptist Church • Winter Haven, FL

Friday, February 10, 2017

What does God prefer?

As I was studying Galatians 5:22, 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Back to "Love". Love, what God prefers. 

As I started thinking about WHAT GOD PREFERS, I had to stop and really think about what I know about God, and what I know God's Word says. 
This love is not a feeling that changes with the seasons. God does not change. He is holy. He is just. He is righteous. What God prefers is not something that I can change because I want to justify my actions, attitude, or what I want in life. What God prefers, is based on God Himself. 

First and foremost, I need to make sure that I am setting the standard for my life based on "what God prefers".  That means, that I have to filter what the World tells me is ok, through God's Word. Looking at our Nation and what is "acceptable" in lifestyles, dress, conduct, music, actions, attitude, mind-sets — one can clearly see that we have left God out of our decision making. 
What God prefers is not a suggestion of conduct. No, what God prefers is the solid foundation on which our lives should be built. What God prefers is steadfast, unchangeable, and truth. 

What God prefers. What does God prefer? Here are two verses the immediately come to mind. 
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8  
These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19

What God prefers. That should impact every aspect of my heart, mind and soul. Am I choosing "what God prefers"? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Power is Readily Available

As I was studying Galatians 5;22, 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
After I finished studying Galatians 5:22-23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words. I don't think I ever noticed how often God tells us to live — the "Fruit of the Spirit". I think that God knew that we needed many reminders and explanations of how He wants to live our lives. 

Today, I'm studying 2 Peter 1:5-7. It starts with "for this very reason" — for this very purpose.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NKJV)
I've been thinking about the meaning of "for this very reason". It's not haphazard. There is a very specific purpose that we are — giving all diligence.

Giving all diligence: from speudo; "speed", with eagerness, earnestness.

But before we get to 2 Peter 1:5-7, we should stop and look back at the very specific reason we should quickly with earnestness proceed.
2 Peter 1:1-4
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The two thoughts that stand out to me in these verses are: 1. I owe my live to Jesus Christ. I am his bondservant — because without Him, I would be left in my sin and separated from God. 2. God gives me the power and wisdom needed to live the life He asks me to live. I don't have to do it alone. 

Because of those two facts, for that very reason — and am to speedily with earnest, ADD........ 

Add: "bring deeply into," to carrying through with real personal involvement (energy). This strongly stresses the need of the believer's deep, personal involvement in the faith-life
Faith: Faith is only (exclusively) given to the redeemed. It is not a virtue that can be worked up by human effort.
Virtue: moral excellence, which is displayed to enrich life
Knowledge: moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living
Self-control: dominion mastery, proceeding out from within oneself, but not by oneself — only be accomplished by the power of the Lord.
Perseverance: steadfastness, constancy, endurance, the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
Godliness: reverence, respect, piety toward God
Brotherly kindness: the love which Christians cherish for each other as 'brethren'
Love: love which centers in moral preference;  typically refers to divine love = what God prefers

There is a theme that runs through the meaning of these words — moral. And that morality is not based on feelings, or what I perceive to be moral on any given day. No, these are all based on what God says is morality. 

And since they are each based upon the Holy and Upright God, God Almighty, there is no way I, as a sinner, could even begin to achieve or live out any of these characteristics — EXCEPT for the fact that God says that HE gives me the power and wisdom needed to do so! 

The focus for this particular study is "self-control". Before I can have dominion mastery, I just first make sure that I'm accepting God's faith, virtue, and knowledge. For those are the foundation necessary to having self-control. 

Dominion Mastery — can only be accomplished by the power of the Lord. And that power is readily available. The question is, am I willing to accept it? 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

For. Benefit. Betterment.

Hebrews: Jesus Christ is better - 
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9
Made lower: to be made less or inferior, in dignity
Suffering: an enduring, undergoing, suffering
Crowned: to crown as victor
Glory: infinite, intrinsic worth (substance, essence)
Honor: a value, esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself, precious, price
Grace: contains the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved
Taste Death: experience
For: or one's safety, for one's advantage or benefit; one who does a thing for another, is conceived of as standing or bending 'over' the one whom he would shield or defend;  "for the betterment (advantage) of," i.e. focusing on benefit
Everyone: "each, every" means "all" in the sense of "each (every) part that applies." The emphasis of the total picture then is on "one piece at a time."

As I read Hebrews 2:5-9 this morning in preparation for hearing Sunday's message, I focused on verse 9. As I studied verse 9, the word "for" caught my attention. 
For: one's safety, for one's advantage or benefit; one who does a thing for another, is conceived of as standing or bending 'over' the one whom he would shield or defend;  "for the betterment (advantage) of," i.e. focusing on benefit
Jesus Christ suffered and died — for MY benefit. For the betterment of me! There is NO way I could pay for my sin. There was no way for me to enter the presence of a Holy God. So for my benefit, Jesus died. 

So, thankful that Jesus is God and overcame death and hell! Because He lives, I too will live forever! 
God's plan of salvation is only possible, because Jesus Christ was willing to be made less and endured the cross and death. 

For. Benefit. Betterment. 

To hear Pastor Osborne's sermon on Hebrews 2:5-9, visit this website: 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Walk Worthy

As I was studying Galatians 5;22, 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Gentleness: power with reserve
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 (NKJV)
Walk: to regulate one's life, to conduct oneself
Worthy: suitable because recognized as fitting; having worth that "matches" actual value
Calling: used of God inviting all people to receive His gift of salvation – with all His blessings that go with it
Were called: invited
Lowliness: humility
Gentleness: meekness ("gentle strength") which expresses power with reserve and gentleness
Longsuffering: patience, forbearance, slowness in avenging wrongs; embraces steadfastness and staying-power; long-tempered (as compared to short-tempered)
Bearing with: "still bearing up," even after going through the needed sequence (course of action)
Love: which centers in moral preference
Endeavoring: to move speedily by showing full diligence (fully applying oneself)
Keep: properly, maintain, preserve
Unity: oneness, equivalent to unanimity, agreement
Bond: a bond (close union); a close (inner) identity which produces close harmony between members joined closely together
Peace: wholeness, harmony

Walk worthy. 
Those two words pack a powerful punch. 

Am I living my life that I am recognized as one who has accepted God's gift of salvation? There is no question as to how that is to look. We are told in Ephesians 4, and Galatians 5:22, 23. 

Today's focus is gentleness. A meekness ("gentle strength") which expresses power with reserve and gentleness. Just because I have the strength, power, I need to reign it in, and respond with reserve. Handle situations and people carefully. 

Walk worthy.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Character of Dependability — The "Ds"

As I was studying Galatians 5;22, 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

Faithfulness: character of dependability

I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. Philemon 1:4-6 (NKJV)

Faithfulness is Directional
  • hearing of your love and faith which you have toward
  • Toward: motion towards to interface with; literally, moving toward a goal or destination

Faithfulness is Definite
  • toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints
  • It's not a random goal, rather it's specific — to the Lord Jesus and then the saints. 

Faithfulness is to be Dispersed
  • sharing of your faith
  • Sharing: something in which one has participation
  • Faithfulness is active and because you have taken part in God's salvation, a natural progression is to share that faith with others. 

Character of Dependability. Faithfulness toward Christ, then followed toward the saints, all with the underlying understanding of what God did for me — His gift of salvation. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Amazing Prayer

As I was studying Galatians 5;22, 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
Goodness: beyond being good — doing good
Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power,  that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NKJV)

Pray: with a specific result in mind
Count you worthy: matching value to actual substance – i.e. worth as it corresponds to reality
Fulfill: to make complete in every particular; to render perfect
All: any and every, of every kind
Good pleasures: delight, pleasure, satisfaction: with the genitive of the thing that pleases
Goodness: uprightness of heart and life; beyond being good — doing good
Work:  the course of conduct which springs from faith
Power: "inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth"
Glorified: viewed in high, personal esteem, befitting great (intrinsic) worth
According to:  in consequence of, by virtue of
Grace: "the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues"

That is why [To that end; In this regard] we always pray for you, asking our God to ·help you live the kind of life he called you to live [make/consider you worthy of his calling]. We pray that with his power God will ·help you do the good things you want [ fulfill every desire for goodness] and ·perform the works that come from your [every work of] faith.  We pray all this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will ·have glory [be glorified] in you, and you ·will have glory in him [ in him]. That glory comes from the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (EXB)

What an amazing prayer. A prayer with a specific RESULT in mind. A prayer that one's faith be real, evident and truly lived. A prayer that I need to pray for myself and others. A prayer where the results are possible, because of God's goodness!