Friday, June 24, 2016

Perplexed

People so often can be hard to figure out, can’t they?
I mean, life is complicated and full of change.
People often change not only their minds, but their hearts, too.
So, really, it shouldn't be a surprise when someone(my son) tells me the very opposite of what he just told me a few weeks ago. But it did...Long story, short...after many shaky months in a relationship(especially a few weeks go.) he now says he loves the woman he is dating...and he is very adamant about it!

Have you ever felt confused, amazed, or perplexed by what someone tells you? I looked up these words in a Bible word search and several Bible verses came to my attention. One that specifically caught my attention was Acts 2:12.
 
 Looking into the context of Acts 2, Paul was talking about the confusion the believers had about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They didn't understand why and how this could happen. Was this from God or from Satan? Was this a part of God's plan or something else? It was all perplexing to them and they wanted to know more...

Other Bible texts that also revealed people who were in a state of confusion included:
Mary, Jesus' mother, when visited by the angel - 
·         (Luke 1:29) "But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be."

When Paul was brought before Festus and the charges against him couldn't be proven - 
·         (Acts 25:20)  "Being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things."

Paul's letter to the Galatians(as his new converts), showed his confusion and concern for them, when he was all at once treated as an enemy because he insisted on God's truth. - 
·         (Galatians 4:20) "...but I could wish to be present with you now, and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

*An interesting description of Paul's relationship with the Galatians, as written in "Matthew Henry's Commentary" of Galatians 4:19-20, also made me consider how similar it is in my own relationship with my loved ones.(specifically, my son)
“That the apostle might the better dispose these Christians to bear with him in the reproofs which he was obliged to give them, he here expresses his great affection to them, and the very tender concern he had for their welfare: he assures them that he was their friend; nay, not only so, but that he had the bowels of a parent towards them. He calls them his children, as he justly might, since he had been the instrument of their conversion to the Christian faith; yea, he styles them his little children, which, as it denotes a greater degree of tenderness and affection to them, so it may possibly have a respect to their present behavior, whereby they showed themselves too much like little children, who are easily wrought upon by the arts and insinuations of others. He expresses his concern for them, and earnest desire of their welfare and soul-prosperity, by the pangs of a travailing woman: He travailed in birth for them: and the great thing which he was in so much pain about, and which he was so earnestly desirous of, was not so much that they might affect him, as that Christ might be formed in them, that they might become Christians indeed, and be more confirmed and established in the faith of the gospel.
As further evidence of the affection and concern which the apostle had for these Christians, he adds (Gal. 4:20) that he desired to be then present with them—that he would be glad of an opportunity of being among them, and conversing with them, and that thereupon he might find occasion to change his voice(opinion) towards them; for at present he stood in doubt of them. He knew not well what to think of them. He was not so fully acquainted with their state as to know how to accommodate himself to them. He was full of fears and jealousies concerning them, which was the reason of his writing to them in such a manner as he had done;”

What's more, in verse 11, Paul goes as far as doubting whether he made a mistake in his efforts and prayers.
  • Galations 4:11 - "I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain."
Wow! I am feeling a lot less alone in my confusion and perplexity when I read these Scripture verses! Even Paul doubted himself at times.
So many times, it is difficult to know about people and what to say or do in certain situations. Do I have all the right information? And if I do, is this God's will? Should I pray for the person to succeed in their decision or for another change of heart, especially when their current change of heart brings me much concern? I'm not sure if there is a straight answer to these questions. So many uncertainties are involved. I do continue to pray, but my prayers lately are much more vague and less specific. I also pray for wisdom, understanding, and enlightenment from God Himself. May He reveal to me(and them) His plan, as I continue to pray for my loved ones, thus ridding myself of some of the confusion.

Maybe you also are feeling PERPLEXED by a situation(or person) that is not making any sense...especially if you thought you were on track with where God was leading. May you also find clarity and may His will be evident.

As an end to my post, I wanted to continue to list some of the things I am grateful for, that God continues to allow into my life... for God is Good all the time!!!
#1816 - Relaxed summer days, watching lakers float by from my patio chair.
#1817 - Taking my sister out for lunch on her birthday, along with my mom.
#1818 - Beautiful early morning sunrises.
#1819 - Having my two doggies to hang out with at home.

#1820 - Taking walks and finding beautiful signs of God's creation.
#1821 - A day out in the boat, fishing with my mom and hubby.
#1822 - My hubby and I catching lots of fish on Father's Day weekend...a perfect gift for him to receive!!
#1823 - Cooking up a delicious breakfast for my hubby on Father's Day.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(1 Chronicles 16:34)

May your week be full of God's love and goodness!!
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Friday, May 27, 2016

Strength and Courage in the Lord

Have you ever felt weak and full of fear?
Have you felt surrounded, and maybe even swallowed up, by the struggles and people who seem to be out to harm you?
I think most of us have at one time or another.
I have felt that fear and feeling of dread more recently in my sleep at night. I have woke up a handful of times with an overwhelming sadness and heartache. I know the moment I awake that the enemy has put fearful and lying thoughts into my head...yet they seem so real and true.
I pray fervently for satan to leave and for the Lord to fill my heart with peace and truth. I also read God's promises from His Word that we are not to fear, but to trust in Him alone, and remember that He is always with us. These things have been effective to bring me comfort and I am able to fall back asleep peacefully.
I am reminded that we constantly and continually need to be ready to fight against the enemy's attacks on our minds and bodies. I know that especially when we are in prayer and fasting over a loved one's salvation the devil comes at us with more force and drive. My hubby and I have been in daily prayer over our son's life decisions and that his walk with the Lord would be renewed. I believe that is why I have been attacked in my sleep at night. He tries to go after me with negative and fearful dreams, while I am not fully concious.(I am not usually a nightime dreamer, either.)

In times when we feel oppressed by the enemy, by feeling fear or weakness, I am so glad He has given us these promises:

Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Deuteronomy 31:6  Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

What wonderful assurance we have that God will never leave us or forsake us. He is our strength and courage!!

Once again, I'm sharing for "Multitudes on Mondays", as I  Dare to Share some of the gifts that God has been so gracious to put into my life. 
#1807 - Eating fresh fruit(strawberries and cherries) from the local produce market.

#1808 - A warm breeze on a hot day.

#1809 - Safe travels when visiting our son in Detroit.

#1810 - A beautiful, sunny day at the zoo!
 #1811 - Colorful artwork on the wall of a Mexican restaurant we ate dinner at.
#1812 - The unique and creative kinds of animal life that God has created.





         

 #1813 - Being able to spend a fun and enjoyable weekend with our son.

#1814 - Cool evenings sitting with my mom by our lake, watching my hubby fish off the pier...so peaceful!!


#1815 - Spending a wonderful afternoon with my friend and sister-in-Christ!!  


Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,

    and give thanks to His holy name!
Psalm 97:12



May your week be full of God's love and goodness!!

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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful

Hello, friends in the Lord! I pray you have had a good week and as we begin a new week, may you find many new blessings to be thankful for. When I read the picture statement below, it made me think about all of the many different moments we experience each and every day.
This listed only a handful of the moments we can encounter in an hour, a day, or a week. It is amazing how our experiences can change from moment to moment...how one minute things are going well, then out of the blue a difficult situation erupts. Hearts (and mouths) turn down. Things may even get ugly, or dull, or just plain unglamorous. How easily these things can affect our mood!

A few moments later, we may feel inspired by someone's words or actions. We may read a scripture verse or quote and soon we feel uplifted and even grateful for the blessings we see, once again. 

This seems to be the circle of life...there are ups and downs...the good, the bad, and the beautiful. 

Today, once again I am trying to be thankful for the big and the small things over the past week. These things help me not only to look at all God has blessed me with, but also helps me to have a more positive outlook and hopefully be more positive in my words and actions every day. Feel free to join me in listing what you are grateful for, as well. 
#1800 - Being able to enjoy a steaming cup of vanilla chai latte' every day!!
#1801 - Spending an awesome day checking out garage sales and taking my friend out for lunch for her birthday.

#1802 - Enjoying my two fur-babies...as I look back at past pics, in honor of "International Chihuahua Appreciation Day".
#1803 - Catching 4 nice bluegill off of our pier...having a fish dinner.

#1804 - Spending time with my hubby and not having to think about what my mom is doing, as she spent the weekend with my sister.(Some ugly with this also, but I will share about that another time.)

#1805 - Finishing the pergola we started putting together last week.(There still will be some changes/things added to this patio, but we did get the pergola up!)
#1806 - Another sunny day, even though it still is cool out for May.


For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;(1 Timothy 4:4)

Have a blessed week ahead!!

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