We are Corrupt Creatures

Fools are persons who have no true wisdom, who follow their own devices, without regard to reason, or reverence for God. Children are reasonable creatures, and when we tell them what they must do, we must tell them why. But they are corrupt and willful, therefore with the instruction there is need of a law. Proverbs 1:7-9

One day my mom asked me why I always explained myself to my children. I told her it was because they needed to know why I wanted them to do something. It was kind of nice to see those words in this Bible verse. I love proverbs and psalms. My mother and I lived under the guidance of, “You do it because I told you to.” I wanted my children to know why I wanted or didn’t want them to do something. She told me many years later how proud she was of how I raised my girls. She didn’t do a bad job herself. I’ve seen and heard my girls using the same guidance in bringing up their children.

The bible and prayers that God has given you and gives us is the foundation, explanation, and  our Father’s guidance. He is guiding me and you with His words in the Bible. Without the comfort of his words, I know I could have been one of the many corrupt and willful children we see running around now. Even with the instruction, sometimes we have to lay down the law with our children. They and we need rules, too. We shouldn’t rely on following our own devices without reverence for God or His words. Ask for His guidance, I do. When I do, I am rewarded with a Bible verse or an unexpected wise word from someone else. Coincidence, I think not. God has raised reasonable creatures, too. When he asks us to do something, he explains why through His word. Watch for His wisdom daily and watch it build in your heart.

Lord let us always remember that Your wisdom is our wisdom. Help us to be reasonable children, who don’t follow a path separate from you. Amen

Who Leads You?

For all those who are led by God’s spirit, these are God’s sons.” Romans 8:14

Did you know one of the greatest gifts God offers us is the privilege of being led by the Holy Spirit? I love the fact that I am led by the Holy Spirit’s wisdom. When I lean on my own wisdom, I am in trouble. The Holy Spirit provides me with God’s wisdom. He helps me to make good and right decisions. Knowing I  have the ability to tap into the Spirit’s wisdom to make my decisions is freeing. The Spirit’s wisdom allows the decisions I make today to change my tomorrows, too.

In our daily decisions, whether it’s in our personal or writing life we need to use this guidance. Stop and ask for guidance with each new decision you are unsure of because you will receive an answer. It may be through another person, or an inner reassurance, if your decision is based on prayer. When my girls were small, I would take a deep breath, close my eyes and throw a “Lord, help me” to the heavens.  I think that deep breath along with closed eyes gave my girls the impression an explosion was erupting within. However, that short prayer gave me enough time to regroup and receive an answer. Depend on the Holy Spirit, he never leads us in the wrong direction. Just like we like our children to listen, God loves his children to listen to His counsel.

Lord help us to remember, as your children, we are not alone. In those times of anger or confusion let us turn to the Holy Spirit before making our decisions. You are always there with guidance and love. Let our decisions be your decisions for our lives and the lives of those we love.

Ready and Willing

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Lord, show us how to follow the example of Mary who was always ready to do your will. You rewarded her faith by making her the temple of your divine Son and the holy ground of his incarnation. Impress on us the tremendous potential that results from obedience to you.  Holding Jesus

Do  you sometimes find it hard to follow the good examples of others? Mary was someone, who was always ready to do God’s will? I know I have moments, when I say to myself, “I’ll do that later. I’m busy right now,” or “I can’t do that I’m not good enough”. Can you imagine what God is thinking of such an attitude? All I have to do is ask Jesus to give me the love and guidance to follow His mother’s example or just as Mary’s help. God doesn’t expect me or you to be perfect, but he expects us to be ready and step in where he needs us.

If you feel God asking you to help someone,  be nicer to someone, or to reach out in a way that isn’t comfortable for you ask Mary’s help. She is your spiritual mother and just like your earthly mother she will love you and give you the guidance you need. Open your heart and be obedient to Jesus’ and Mary’s example in following God’s will. Because of your faith God will give you the strength to follow his will.

God give us the strength to follow Your lead, even if we don’t feel worthy. Help us to greet Your will with acceptance and love.

 

Resolve to Succeed

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Lord Jesus, you came into the world to set us free from the forces of evil both within our souls and from the culture in which we live. Set us free to worship you without fear, holy and righteous all the days of our lives. Holding Jesus

Tomorrow is the beginning of  a new year and we will rally around making resolutions. I start thinking of  ways to make myself and the world around me better. Each January 1, I make resolutions  and before the week is out I feel like a failure. I’ve already broken one or several of my promises. I don’t want to feel bad about myself. These feeling bog down my soul and creativity.

If you make resolutions, make your promises to God and ask him for his guidance. He doesn’t want our soul or mind to be bogged down with self-loathing. He has set us free to worship him and ask for his help. He will guide us and help us live without fear of failure. He wants us to pick ourselves up and begin again. Each day isn’t a start of a new failure; it’s a new beginning. We start from there and keep our promises to ourselves and our God. He will reward us with success.

God help us to set doable resolutions. Remind us to ask for your help and to listen to our hearts and your urgings. You will guide us to the life you have desire for us.

 

Responsible Help

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 ConversationClipart1See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15 NIV

Do you make yourself responsible for everyone, who calls on you for advice? Can you let go of another persons problems? Responsibility for another person’s problems doesn’t fall on our shoulders. We can help point them in the way of  spiritual or other types of help. We can’t hang onto feeling responsible, if they make a wrong choice. I used to worry about my friends and family, when they had a problem. I would try to help them the best I could, but wondered if the help was right. Did I give the best advice? Was everything alright? I got too involved. I made myself responsible for any and all outcomes.

When someone asks for advice now, I ask for guidance. We’re all in a journey of faith together. People don’t always want our input. Most times, they just want a sounding board. They want to hear their thoughts and words out loud. Talking helps them create a plan of action. We can point them toward sound advice. Whatever choice they make, it’s the one needed for their faith journey. We may think they’re making a wrong choice. God, however, will use their choices to benefit them.

Lord, help us look to you, when we are helping our friends. Help us to know, when to stand back and let you take charge.

Purpose Through Adversity

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For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. Ephesians 3:14-15   N I V

Do you have problems in your family that you have no control over? Are you sometimes embarrassed by your family because unresolved issues? You feel you are being judged by another’s actions. God will bring about changes in your family. Ask for a willingness to accept you cannot change others and to patiently wait for God’s guidance. We aren’t perfect either, so don’t throw the first stone.

God shapes us through our families and adversity. God is part of our family and wants each family member to mature and grow. That may be challenging because we have to live through the embarrassment of the mistakes in our family. God, however, has a purpose for each of his family members and will reshape their journey despite their mistakes. We each have a purpose on our journey. Applying God

Lord, help us to follow our own journey. Help us to pray for our family members, give us the wisdom to know when to help, and the strength back away, when needed. Lead us to our purpose and help us to follow your guidance.   

Losses and Gains of a Writer

Bible ComputerIf you sit back and do nothing, what do you gain? If you stand up and try, what do you loose? (Unknown)

I’ve been writing for years, yet I remained unpublished because I had been sitting back; making wrong choices. I was never happy with what I wrote, so I kept revising. I didn’t think anyone would care about what I wrote, so I didn’t submit. My inner censor pointed out everything that was wrong with my writing. All these choices gave me reasons to put off any possible rejection. Are they good reasons not to submit? No. But they are human reasons. I gained nothing from these choices. I gained neither publication nor self-esteem because of fear.

I came to a turning point in my writing because my words were coming easier, I stood up for myself, tried harder and submitted. God is perfection; my writing wasn’t, it just had to come from my heart. God  placed people and other guidance in my path. God didn’t give me a spirit of fear; I did that myself. If I didn’t submit my work, I lose God’s respect and my self-respect. These were losses I didn’t want to experience. I didn’t sit back out of fear anymore and kept submitting. I am now a published writer.

Jesus, always  guide my heart and my words. Help me to accept the guidance of others with grace and I will do the rest.

(This is not a bible verse, it’s just a quote I used.)

Prosperous Futures

familyI know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

 When my daughters and grandchildren visit, I wonder what the future has in store for my grandbabies. With all the warnings about global warming, the floods, earthquakes, and evil people wandering around, I wonder if they have a chance at a good future. Will disaster or some other unknown evil take her future away? My wish is for their lives to be easier than my parents or mine. I love the life I have, but it hasn’t been without problems.

 Reading Jeremiah 29:11 made me realize it was hard sometimes, but God guided me through and I came out stronger. I never knew what wonderful plans the Lord had in store for me. I went back to school and earned a degree at 55. I thought retiring at 65 was the beginning of my end, but it was the beginning of a new chapter in God’s plan. I now devote my time to writing full-time. With persistence and God’s guidance, I’ve become a published writer. His plans for my grandbabies can’t be any less. He will guide them through a prosperous and hopeful future. Rely on Jeremiah 29:11 and don’t worry about your future because no matter what happens God will not harm you. He has great plans for you, if you rely on his guidance.

Lord, we will always rely you and seek your guidance. Thank you for giving us hope and futures for us and our children’s children. We remain open to your plans.

Heart Work

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Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,                             Colossians 3:23

When you sit down to write, do you feel an immediate flutter of apprehension? Do you feel the need to measure up to some unknown critique? Do you wonder if you words will be the right words or will they offend another’s soul? What a burden we put on ourselves. Our insecurities can paralyze our writing. We sit back and develop writer’s block, which may be another word for fear of tackling a delicate subject. Do you write and rewrite as a way to avoid hitting the save, send or publish button.

These anxious moments used to be unbearable. To place my thoughts in front of other people brought out my insecure nature. I’ve learned to take a deep breath and remember my desire to write comes from God. Therefore, I pray to feel His guidance with me, when I write. By doing that I’m able put my heart into what I write. Whether I’m writing children’s piece or an adult devotional, I want my words to touch another’s spirit. If I write to please God, I don’t need to worry about human approval.

Lord, help us to remember Your approval is all we need. Help us to feel Your approval within our spirit. Keep us grounded in Your word and love. Amen

 

A Shared Trust

 “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”  1Corinthians 4:2   NIV 

Do you sometimes feel that you aren’t as important as others? I used to. Even while I was praying, I felt that whatever I had to say isn’t as important as someone else’s need. However, if God put the words in my heart and mind, He trusts me to ask for His wisdom and guidance.

When we pray all we need to do is to ask for guidance. God then makes our life as important as He needs. When we are faithful to what God requires of us, He helps our lives to be vessels that renew the hearts of other people. Our life experiences are used by God to help us relate to others. When this happens, we prove ourselves faithful. The greatest requirement is that we have is for God’s love show through our lives. God patiently waits for the proof that we are faithful to His trust in us.

Lord, Help us to open our hearts and be faithful to You. Help others to experience Your love through our lives.  Your trust in us, guides our trust in You.