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Harolene
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Posted By Harolene

I was talking with someone who is of "my generation" and the line from this old song came up, "I've got a peaceful, easy feeling and I know you won't let me down". The words before and after that don't matter in this context, the point was that those words caught at my heart. How many times do you go to bed and wake up un-easy, worried and sometimes you don't even really know "what" you are worried about? A psychiatrist would say that is called "floating anxiety" or being anxious without knowing why. Philippians 4:6 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Read this verse and digest it, let it nourish your soul and spirit the way your body digests the food you eat. Your body assimilates the food using the vitamins and minerals that are in it for its benefit. Did you digest that? Ok, now read this: 1Peter 5:7 So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

Now, what were you worried about? I bet you can't even remember! Nehemiah 8:10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” 

I just realized something; you know how people use the "Bible" to prove anything they want? Well, now I can prove that we are instructed to "celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks!" Rejoice! Be happy and don't worry!

 
Posted By Harolene

What happens when you feel that you have done everything you are supposed to do, like paying your tithe and giving offerings, volunteering to feed the poor and take meals on wheels, work in the nursery on Sunday morning when you would rather be sitting in the service, and then you pray and feel that you have hit the wall, no answer? I talked with someone today to which that scenario applies. This person is kind and gentle and good, gives generously of their income and volunteers to help the "old folk" and anyone that is down on their luck, it is at times like that I would give everything in me to be rich enough to solve the problem at hand. What do you say? The truth is so simple that it sounds cliché', it is that “when you are doing good it is the devil's job to try you at every level, to see if you will turn aside from your faith so that he can devour you, soul and body”.

When Job was tried, he suffered the loss of his family and his properties, plus he was covered with boils! He sat on a dung heap and scraped them with a broken piece of pottery, just trying to make himself feel better, but he went from bad to worse when his wife capped it all off by asking him why he didn't just "curse God and die"!

Job was faithful in the face of losing everything and endured all his well meaning friends, commonly referred to as "Job's comforters", telling him that he must have lived in sin or displeased God in some way or this would not be happening to him. It wasn't until Job, feeling lower than a snake's belly, began to pray for those "friends" and that is when God put a halt to all that Satan had brought on him. From that point his fortune began to rebuild, he had more children, he regained all of his properties, and seven times more! Satan had thrown it up to God that He had protected Job, and said "Does Job serve God for nothing? You have put a hedge around him!" That is when God gave Satan permission to try Job in whatever way he wanted, except he could not take his life.

I am sure there have been times that you, like Job, have wished you could just die to get out of all your troubles. But consider this, have you armed yourself against this enemy of your soul? Read Ephesians 6: 12-13  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand

Are YOU having a hard time? Does it feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling and falling back in your face? Arm yourself then pull up those armed drawers and fight!

 
 
Posted By Harolene

I flipped on the Voices of Lee and listened to them sing, "There's a sweet, sweet spirit in this place and I know that it's the Spirit of the Lord", I said, "God, I am broken, I need help." He spoke to my heart, "Everyone is broken in one way or another, and you only see your own chips and cracks. Your favorite coffee mug has a bad chip in it yet you continue to use it every day. Quit feeling sorry for yourself!" As I thought on that thought, the Voices of Lee began to sing "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross on which the Prince of Glory died, My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride." Oh thank you God for speaking to me, then I had an AHA moment! I'm not talking about suddenly realizing that Smart Balance taste as good as butter, even if it doesn't cook as well, or the Chick Fil A chicken sandwich is better than the Martin's, or you'd rather drive a Van than a sports car, I am talking about real life changing AHA moments here. Adam and Eve had one in the Garden when, after eating the fruit, they heard God, out for His evening stroll, calling them and realizing they were naked, tried to cover themselves. This changed life for them, and us. Look at Isaac: Genesis 27:33 Isaac started to tremble, shaking violently. He said, "Then who hunted game and brought it to me? I finished the meal just now, before you walked in. And I blessed him—he's blessed for good!" He had blessed the wrong son and now could do nothing to change it, too late. Samson's moment: Judges 16:20-21 Then she said, "The Philistines are on you, Samson!" He woke up, thinking, "I'll go out, like always, and shake free." He didn't realize that God had abandoned him! The Philistines grabbed him, gouged out his eyes, and took him down to Gaza. David's moment: 2 Samuel 12:11-13 This is what the Lord says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you...Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. Judas betrayed Jesus, and when he had his Aha moment, he couldn't bear his sin, he hanged himself. What about the Apostle Peter? He denied Jesus three times, but the Lord knew his heart and asks him; John 21:17-19 "Do you love me?" so he answered, "Master, you know everything there is to know. You've got to know that I love you.” Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I have had Aha moments about myself that shook me down to my repentant knees, and some that ended relationships. It's like being in a completely dark room, hands outstretched trying to find the wall or piece of furniture, when the light suddenly turns on, The light may then go out, but the image of what you have seen in the room is burned in your mind and you can find your way out. God gives us these revelations so that we can make positive changes in our lives. Heed these Aha moments; know that God helps us if we only ask! Psalms 139:23 "Search me, O God,and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

May you have peace and productive AHA moments yourself!

 
Posted By Harolene

Every day we make decisions that affect our whole life, you may not realize it but I think of seeing a large design of dominoes all standing like little soldiers in a row until the first one in the row falls over and then the little tiles tumble one at a time until they are all laying down with the little white dots facing the ceiling. Can you think of an action that has caused a string of reactions? Yeah and so can I. Sometimes it is just a word that can change the course of everything and try as you might you can never take it back. We might try to get rid of the garbage from our lives and we think it is safely disposed of and (as an old friend of mine used to say) "Up pops the devil!"  It's seems the temptation hunts you down and runs you over and when you think you have it conquered there is always a willing "friend" to help you find your way back into it! In my world that would amount to being so good and strict on a diet and my kids bringing in a chocolate cheesecake or pistachio almond fudge ice cream for me!

1 Corinthians 10:13 "No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it."

Yesterday I looked in the refrigerator and saw I needed to clean out the old food to make way for groceries so I set the casserole dish with the left over broccoli casserole in it out on the cabinet to be dealt with when I finished doing some other chores. I came back into the kitchen before long, the dish was gone but when I opened the fridge door there it was back on the shelf. I didn't think much about it and just set it out again but again it got put back in its place in the fridge. Last night I set it out again and again was deterred in disposing of it in a way that wouldn't attract all the possums, raccoons and possible coyote that my yard and porch attract. I forgot about it in getting ready for bed. Fast-forward to this morning and see me talking on the phone to my son and opening the refrigerator door for my eggs and when I opened that door there it was the BROCCOLI CASSEROLE back in the refrigerator! I thought of all the times that something gets thrown away that I meant to keep and here this was something I was trying to get rid of that someone was taking the time to put back in the fridge thinking it was a mistake that it was sitting out!

Next time just go ahead and throw the garbage and that temptation out instead of leaving it on the cabinet, which is an open invitation to just put it right back in the fridge!

 
Posted By Harolene

Romans 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

The Centurian had great faith, he had seen Jesus work miracles, He understood Jesus’ authority and trusted that Jesus would send the command for his servant to be healed and it was done! Mary and Martha saw their brother Lazarus raised from death to life, they knew Jesus and had seen His mighty works! Let's go back to a time before Jesus walked the earth as a man of flesh. 2Kings chapter 4 tells of a great lady who helped an old prophet. She wasn't expecting anything in return, just showing kindness to a good man. She fed him whenever he came by her house and had her husband to build him a special room on their wall so that he could, at anytime, go in and take rest there. He felt compassion for her and knowing that she didn't have a child told her that she would have a son. Time went on and the boy was born. She was so very happy. One day the boy was out in the field with his dad working and had a sun stroke, he came in to his mother holding his head and crying, he died in her arms. This great woman laid the child on the Prophet's bed and without even telling his dad that the boy had died she took a mule and went to find the Prophet. She was a mother with a mission. The Prophet, Elisha, saw her coming and sent his servant out to find out what was wrong. He asked her if it was well with her husband, her son, she answered him with, “It is well.  When she reached Elisha she fell in front of him and held onto his feet, she was not going to leave and go home until he went with her. She had faith that if this man of God, the man who had foretold his birth, would go with her, her son would be raised from the dead. The Prophet went and the end of the story is that the boy was raised from the dead! He was alive and well! Her faith was answered.

I think of how many prayers that God has answered for me and wonder if I am grateful enough? Do I thank Him enough? When trouble comes around how do I react? Am I one that gets hysterical and says, "Where is God in this?" Am I one that complains to other people that God has turned His back on me, or let me down? Whether you are facing sickness, death, financial crisis or relationship problems, let me recommend facing the world with a brave "It is well" and then thank God for all the things He has already done for you, your faith will be answered!

Matthew 9:29 says, “According to your faith let it be done to you!”