2 Timothy 1.7

2Tim17

2 Timothy 1.7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

God does not pass on fear to us. That is never from Him (not to be confused with the fear of God, which is necessary; we’re talkin’ fear of man or circumstances).

The Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind is from God. It’s His Spirit.

The POWER is God’s; the LOVE is God’s; and the SOUND MIND is God’s.

That means we put off our fleshly person and put on Christ. We access the Spirit of God within us and USE IT.

One Body, One Lord

OneBodyOneLord

A lot of thoughts are swirling around in my head right now, from my devotions in 1 Corinthians 12 and 13; and trying to link to a couple of Stu’s posts from Oct 6th and 7th. Something God is explaining to me, something I’m trying to grasp.

1 Corinthians 12 is about the gifts God gives us (teaching, healing, prophesying, etc.) and about how they all work together in the Body of Christ; and 1 Corinthians 13 is The Love Chapter.

1 Cor 12.4-7 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

On Oct 6th, Stu’s daily verse was from Gen 1.27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And my reply was, “Can you imagine- all the billions and gazillions of people ever created (note created vs ‘born’) and ALL in God’s image? He has so many facets, He is infinite!”

Jesus is God, and He is infinite. Also, we are created in His image. He works in/through all of us. Think of all the people who have ever been created, and all the gifts God designed into them; all working together as His body. In His timing, we meet up with one another, either face-to-face or through others, or reading/writing books, or radio / television, or online or whatever – we connect. God drops bits of Himself and His wisdom / Word / love through each of us unto others. We all work together for His glory!

Romans 8.28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I think we can also all know that all things work together for Him, for His glory. It is to the good to those who love God; and to the not-so-good to those who do not love Him. All to His glory. Isaiah 48.11b I will not give my glory unto another.

And one of His miracles is that He works this, His glory, through US! So, whether we feel like it or not, whether we think we’re doing any good at all or not, whether we are obedient or not, God WILL get the glory.

Stu’s verse on Oct 7 was Colossians 3:12 NIV Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

My reply: “Even when there is turmoil and sadness inside, we can clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. We can put on Christ (Gal 3.27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.). Sometimes it feels like a front; sometimes it feels like a blanket. But it is always right.”

Here’s where 1 Corinthians 13 comes in. God is love. Whatever we think we know about love, we have to toss it if it isn’t God. Our love is not love. 1 John 4.10a Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. 1 Corinthians 13 lays out some of the acts that we can do, some of the impetus that drives us; but if it’s not God / agape / love, then it is clanging, nothing, dismissed, ceasing, restrained, passing away.

Even when we don’t feel like it, we can still show God’s love. We can put on Christ (think avatar or actor), and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4.7).

God always blesses obedience. When we obey, even stiff-necked obedience, God blesses us. If we are disobedient, God will use someone else. But we will miss the blessing.

Be a willing, active part of the body of Christ.

Missing You

MissingYou

‘Tis bittersweet to miss loved ones

Too far to hug and hold dear;

Time or space betwixt us and them

When all we want is them near.

 

Prospects of meeting, or fond recollections

Of laughter our memories evoke,

Will bring to us faces of those we love

And emotions of times we last spoke.

 

Thoughts drift to you-and-me times,

Musings of faces in hands;

Memories of smiles and kisses

Or simply of holding hands.

 

Love is our bond that keeps us aglow

Love is the reason we cling.

Love is the light in our unveiled eyes

Love is this poem I bring.

February: What’s on your Heart Tag

Thanks to Amy at A New Life (❤ !) for this nomination. Dollfaced Writer has created a tag where each month the theme is different but the tag continues each month. Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you to participate.
  2. Link back to the original post.
  3. Attach an image that inspires you regarding the month’s theme (or use the original).
  4. Talk about what this month’s theme means to you.
  5. Answer the questions.
  6. Nominate one or more people to participate.
  7. Enjoy the rest of your month

For February, our theme is called: What’s on Your Heart

What’s on my heart for February’s heart theme:

Love is a personal relationship; God is a personal God. Everything we do is personal because everyone we meet was put there for a purpose.

I’m using a picture of a dear lady, a wonderful friend, a sister in the Lord.

Rosie

Rosie went to be with her Lord last spring, and we all miss her so much. She is a picture, to me, of love. She had heart, and it was the heart of her Lord: she showed it to everyone, she took the risk of leaving herself open to hurt and rejection, and she took everything to God in prayer. What a joyful, peaceful, giving countenance she presented to all! Her eyes and her smile radiated God’s love.

The questions that go along with this tag:

  1. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes, I think it can happen. However, I also think people must be very careful with it, and not run away with the “feelings” of it.

  1. Do you believe in soulmates?

Yup. Anyone who is married has a soulmate, whether they are in tune with it or not.

  1. What’s the first thing you notice about a person?

The eyes and the smile (or lack of it). They work together.

  1. What’s your ideal date?

A great hike. This was the first date for my husband and me. It allows lots of time for talking without having to sit and look at each other the whole time; and you get to find out a few interesting things about another person on a hike, especially if it’s long.

  1. What traits do you look for in a friend/significant others?

Listening, following up, loyalty, consistency, integrity, agape love

  1. What are your thoughts on being friends with an ex?

Depends on what “being friends” entails.

  1. If you’re a believer, when did you give your heart to the Lord? If not, what in life keeps a bounce in your step?

I’ve always been able to characterize myself as an optimist. In fact, it almost kept me from the Lord: I really liked the way my life was going, and thought I was doing a pretty good job at it all by myself. I was going on 30 when God had a serious conversation with me. As always, His timing was perfect, because there were some Bad Things going on that I really needed Him for soon after.

I nominate the following to continue with the tag:

Ana https://momlifewithchiari.com/

Vickie https://vicklea.com/

Christy https://miraculoussmile.wordpress.com/

Maxine  https://heavensreef.wordpress.com/

Kathy https://atimetoshare.me/

My apologies if you’ve already been tagged for this. And, really no obligation to participate. This is only as the Spirit leads! 😊

The Art of Listening

TheArt ofListening

I just returned from an awesome weekend getaway with my sisters. We rented a house on the Mississippi, in Wisconsin. The fall colors were still hanging on, I got to sit and chat with my sisters, chocolate was consumed – it was great!

On a walk with one of my sisters, we got to talking about how people are. Both of us have had experience talking with people who obviously weren’t listening. She related about talking with her neighbor over the hedges. She said while she was in the middle of speaking, the neighbor suddenly pointed to another house and made a comment about the décor. As she finished telling me this, my sister spread her hands and wondered, “Did she actually hear anything I had to say? Did she care?”

I could have told several stories of my own, of exactly the same thing.

What is it with people? I understand interruptions – you’re listening, and suddenly something happens and grabs your attention away from the conversation and you blurt something out. Stuff like that happens.

But (too) often, you can tell from the other person’s eyes and body language that they just want to vent or just keep the topic revolving around themselves – or whatever. It’s more important for them to either say what they want to say, or think about what they’re going to say next. They don’t listen to or hear what you’re saying. They mow right over whatever you might want to talk about. They don’t care; it’s too all about them. All the time.

The world needs more listeners. Maybe the world needs more lessons on listening.

Listening involves your whole body. It takes time and energy. Lots of energy. Listening is hard work. It takes eye contact, attention, memory, linking new information to old information, head nodding, facial expressions, asking pertinent questions, appropriate (short) responses, encouraging body language, routing conversations back to the speaker’s topic, following and mirroring the speaker’s tone and mood, eyes that invite and accept and love, and a focus on the speaker (not on yourself).

We need to practice such techniques. If needed, practice in a mirror. Look at your facial expressions. As you practice, muse about people you know and what they like to talk about. Turn conversations to others. It’s okay to interject some of your own experiences and feelings, but always bring it back to the speaker (hint: you’re not the speaker – you’re the listener).

Listening takes caring. Caring takes love. If you don’t have love, talk to Jesus about it. He’s a really good listener.

Secret Sin Not So Secret

secret sin

In the book of Jonah, God tells Jonah to go prophesy against Nineveh. Jonah rebels and runs in the opposite direction. He jumps on a ship, which sets sail and then encounters a terrible storm. Jonah is asleep in the bowels of the ship, but the crew are running about, distracted, trying everything they know to save themselves: they pray to their gods, they throw all the wares they’re carrying overboard. Nothing assuages the storm. They find Jonah asleep. He’s the only one who isn’t panicking and trying to save himself. When questioned, he returns an honest reply (that he serves the living God who created and controls all things), and the crew’s panic deepens. Jonah offers the solution, to throw him overboard. The crew, instead of instantly obeying him, decide to try to row themselves to safety. It doesn’t work, they throw Jonah overboard, and the storm is quieted.

My initial thought was to post about all the ways we try to “fix” our own problems. The crew didn’t know what to do, didn’t even know the true God, so they did everything they could think of. Even after they were introduced to God, they still thought they could fix the situation themselves. Of course, it still didn’t work. When God wants something done, it doesn’t get fixed until we obediently follow His direction. We all do things like that: try to fix our messes (whether we caused them or they were thrust upon us) in our own strength and knowledge, only to expend a bunch of useless energy and resources before turning to God for our true Help. He always knows best.

But then I got to thinking more about this. (God always has more when you go deeper.) Another message here is how our sin doesn’t just affect us: it affects those around us.

Do you have a secret sin? Something you think is only all about you? Something you think doesn’t hurt anyone else, and you can put up with whatever harm may come to you?

Jonah ran from God. He wasn’t hurting anyone else. But the consequences affected others. Besides throwing fear into the hearts of the crew, the wares in the ship were thrown overboard. Some businessmen lost a lot of money because of Jonah. Of course, God redeems: the crew were introduced to God; and we don’t know the repercussions of the lost wares.

When we sin, it’s not just about us. God is a God of relationships, and He created us for relationships. When we sin, even if we keep it a secret, it hurts someone besides us. A secret sin changes us inside. How we think, and what we do as a result, affects others.

Another thought: secret sin builds up and destroys. (remember? The wages of sin is death?) Sin kills things inside of us, changes the way we think and feel. And, it’s going to come out somehow. Don’t let it explode in anger against someone. Don’t wait, thinking you can handle it your way, until things get out of control. Sin takes you to places you never wanted to go, makes you do things you never wanted to do, hurts people you never wanted to hurt.

CONFESS YOUR SIN. Talk to God. He can keep secrets; he can let the right people know; He can put you in a humbling position; He can lift you up. He will know the right thing to do, and He will do it because He loves you.