Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Trustworthy Saying

 Hard work in our society, isn't always rewarded.
The person who puts in all the overtime, works the double shift, or works him/herself to the bone is often considered greedy or a brown-nosier. And many times that is the case. If our focus of working hard isn't on pleasing God, then our work is truly in vain. But, when we strive and labor to put our hope in all we do in God, including our jobs, we will be greatly rewarded!
Here is another trustworthy saying (verse) that confirms this thought.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters"  Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Wishing you all a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Linking over to these blog hops:
The Weekend Brew @ My Freshly Brewed Life

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Ways to Beat the Heat!

We are at the end of August, my friends. I don't know what the weather is like in your part of the woods, but in my part, things are really heating up. I came upon a list of several ways to beat the heat at home. As I was reading through it, I thought how many of those listed apply also to our spiritual walk with God. I started looking up verses and this is what I came up with. First, I listed the ideas that were given for beating the heat at home, followed by a verse and explination of how we can also work to "beat the heat" of the devil's attack on us, as Christ-followers.

10 Ways to Beat the Heat: 
1) Put Up Sun Blockers: Closing curtains and blinds (ideally with sun-deflecting white on the window side) can reduce the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Eph 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, 
that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

God has thought of you, and has sent his amour for you; put on the whole amour of God, for each part of your needs to be protected, and you need suitable weapons for assailing all your foes. Then,  you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

2) Don't Blow Hot Air: Give your A/C some TLC. Clean or replace the filter in room and central air conditioners about once a month during the summer. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system's efficiency by as much as 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

  Proverbs 21:23 (The Message) "Watch your words and hold your tongue; you'll save yourself a lot of grief."

We have all heard the proverb, "Speech is silver, silence is gold." One who thus takes heed of his words, keepeth his soul from troubles. We all need to keep check of our speech and learn to replace negative words with positive ones.

3) Give a Squirt: Spritz yourself. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt. "It's all about thermal regulation," says John Lehnhardt, an elephant expert at Disney's Animal Kingdom, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. "As the water evaporates, it cools you."

Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

 The Bible tells us that the Spirit of God does many things within us
· helps us in our prayers
· helps us to understand the deep things of God’s Word
· guides us
· teaches us
· AND empowers us
 But most importantly, the Holy Spirit is almost indispensable in our witnessing. The Holy Spirit is the power of God that lies within us. And He can assist in our witnessing: 

  • By guiding us to people we can talk to
  • By giving us boldness to speak to others
  • AND by working in the hearts of those we care about to convict them of their personal sin, their need for righteousness, and the real possibility of the coming judgment.

Guess you could say that a "squirt" of the Holy Spirit's power goes a long ways!!

4) Observe Key Notes: Let your computer take a nap. Set it to go into low-power "sleep" mode if you are away from it for more than 10 minutes and it will give off less heat. When you're finished for the day, shut the machine down completely. Despite what some IT guy may have told you years ago, properly shutting down and restarting modern-day computers won't put undue strain on the hardware. And forget about working with a computer on your lap―it's too darn hot.

Mark 6:31 "And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat."

God Knows You Must Rest to Recuperate; Even in Ministry.

5) Vent a Lot: Run a fan and an air conditioner simultaneously. You can use the air conditioner at lower power and still feel cool if the fan is blowing over you. That's because the air conditioner removes humidity from the air while the fan helps evaporate sweat and moves heat away from your body.

James 2:1 "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
 (vs. 22-23) "You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend."

   James explained that Abraham's faith, which was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousnes. In the same way, if we are going to bear the fruit
we mustn't do it on faith alone, and be destined for failure. To complete faith, our beliefs and actions must work together.

6) Lose the Hot Stuff: Shuck your shoes. As the sweat on your feet evaporates, it cools the skin and the blood in your feet. Blood vessels then whisk that blood to other parts of the body, so "you're getting a greater sensation of coolness," says Donald R. Bohay, M.D., a member of the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society.

·  Two verses came to mind, when I read this:
Psalms 55: 22  "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, 
and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

Whatever cares, afflictions, trials, etc., that may be with which you are oppressed, lay them upon him.

Ephesians 4:31 "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."

Here perhaps it signifies, the first offence taken in the mind, against any person, upon any account, which should at once be put away, and not encouraged:

7) Stay Hydrated: Swig often. To replace the moisture that you lose as you perspire, be sure to drink. As you lose water to dehydration, your body temperature rises, so replacing fluids is essential to keeping cool. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating. "Also opt for hydrating foods," says Deena Kastor, a marathon runner and an Olympic bronze medalist.

        John 4:14 "…whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

By this water our Lord means also his doctrine, explaining and promising the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, which proceed from Jesus Christ their fountain, dwelling in a believing heart. If ever that thirst returns, it will be the fault of the man, not the water. But the water that I shall give him - The spirit of faith working by love, shall become in him - An inward living principle, a fountain.

8) Eat light. There's a reason we reach for salads in the summer. They're easier to digest than, say, a fatty hamburger, which leaves you feeling sluggish in the high heat. Instead, go for fruits and vegetables, which are watery and help keep you hydrated (and cooler), says Robert Kenefick, a physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine

Galations 5:19-23 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

The point that Paul is making here is if we are willing to be honest, if we are willing to look at things as they really are and not hide behind clever tricks(fast food), then when we are in the flesh it will be quite obvious to us.(which leaves us feeling sluggish and pulled down) Likewise, if the Spirit is bearing His fruit that too will be obvious; it will not be hard to discover.(feeling energized and refreshed) The difficulty is in being honest, in being willing to examine ourselves.

9) Take Some Dry Measures: Give the clothes dryer a break, too. Hang a clothesline and let your towels and sheets flap in the breeze.

         Psalm 23:2 "He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters."

To lie down in green pastures reminds me of taking time to get out in the fresh air. Take in the smells, sights, and sounds around me. Feel the breeze, (if there is one on a super hot day.) Stick my feet in the water of a stream or lake. 

I'm also reminded of the pure river of water of life Christ leads his sheep to, and gives them to drink freely of: communion with God, which the saints pant after, as the hart pants after the water brooks, and Christ gives access unto.

10) Think Cool: Relax with A Winter's Tale, The Call of the Wild, Doctor Zhivago, or Smilla's Sense of Snow. "Reading about cold can take your mind off the thermometer, evoking one's own experience of ice and snow," says Walter A. Brown, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the medical schools of Brown and Tufts Universities and an expert in the placebo effect.
Philippians 4:8-9  "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." 
The apostle Paul offers real answers to the stresses of life. Here he encourages us to “Think about these things,” This means more than a momentary thought. We are to think through these things. We are to ponder them. We are to give them weight. We are to give them value by the time we spend on them.
We are to think how we are going to put these qualities into practice.
Because when we do that, we will be able to follow Paul’s admonition from verse 9. We will be able to consistently practice what we profess. The true peace of God will be ours.
Our hearts and minds will experience calm even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances.(when the heat of hardships are the worst).


Continuing to count my blessings, one by one at   "Multitude on Mondays".
1,456 - The neighbor's field of buffalo...what an amazing animal!

1,457 - Some very nice, sunny days; (prior to the heat)
1,458 - Having dinner on the patio with my hubby.
1,459 - The taste of fresh grilled fish!!
1,460 - God's colorful creation, as seen in this vibrant flower garden!
1,461 - Memories of time spent with my hubby and I look through pictures I had taken.
1,462 - Enjoying the artwork of creative people.
1,463 - The artwork of stained glass and how the sun shining through it makes it so beautiful!
1.464 - The intrinicate lines and shapes of old architecture.
1,465 - Finding a place of peace and quiet, and feeling God's presence there!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to Unbiasedly Defend Your Faith

Today's post is a difficult one for me. My hubby and I visited our son for his birthday last week. We had some time and the opportunity to discuss some of the things he's experienced with his friends in this big college town. Some of what we heard was quite disheartening. Now, I realize that often college students question their beliefs and are trying to sort out who God is. But, I am amazed at how blinded young people today are. Our son says he is a Christian, but he also questions a lot of things about Christianity that seem so clear to us, his parents(and most Christians led by the Holy Spirit). I think he questions the obvious because of the great influence of his unbelieving friends. This makes my heart cry out, for I know defending our faith is NOT an easy thing to do in this day and age. It seems like people are getting more intellectual, are deeper thinkers, and have become better at knowing how to try to defend their own belief systems, while trying their best to defunct the Christian faith.(Maybe it's always been this way, but I just hadn't noticed.) It's also so interesting to me that most athiests, agnostics, and other unbelievers accuse ALL Christians of being close-minded, but in reality, most non-believers are extremely close-minded with their own beliefs. But, yet, they can't see it that way. There are a few verses from the Bible that speak of this blindness and close-mindedness.
  To fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
 “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
    nor understand with their hearts,
    nor turn—and I would heal them." (Isaiah 53:1)
Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world." 
John 12:38-47

 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Corinthians 4:3-4).

This is a universal description of the whole human race regarding Christ and the gospel.  Christ is “rejected of men.”  Mankind, as a whole, does not “esteem” or “value” Christ.   
We esteemed him not. (Is. 53:3) 
That is, “We saw no value in him,” because we were blinded by the Devil. 
This is very common among young people today.  They see no value in Christ or His gospel.

But, what are we to do
As parents, we need to pray for our children daily! I just recently bought one of two great books written by Stormie Omartian. The first book is called:
The second book is called:
If you are a parent, I would recommend you read these books!

I'm also learning a lot about how important it is to have an answer for why I believe what I believe.  This is also biblical.
 "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" 1 Peter 3:15

This can be a real challenge in defending our faith today. There are several books written by well respected Christians. The one I have purchased and am reading is 2-in-1 books:

I also came upon a great website and Youtube video source. 
Youtube here
Website here
 I have listened to several of this pastor's videos and highly recommend listening to them, if you, like me, find it difficult to defend your faith, when all the hard questions bombard us from unbelievers(or those who struggle with their own faith).

You could also take an apologetics class online. Here is a list of some online courses.

 Whatever you do, be assured that all Christ-followers will need to be prepared to give an answer. It is a part of living out the Christian life.

I know I have learned a lot already and I'm still learning more all the time. 
I'm praying more, too! 
Praying for my son....
Praying for the unsaved young people at his University. 
Praying for our families, who are often being falsely attacked for taking a stand for what we believe to be the ONLY way to God, Jesus Christ!

Continuing to count my blessings, one by one at   "Multitude on Mondays".
(My list in this post is shorter than usual, due to the longer message I wrote).
1,451 - Beautiful weather!
1,452 - Meeting new friends - one through blogging...the other through Facebook(a friend who has a cottage on the same lake that I do.)
1,453 - Having an unequivocal belief and salvation in Jesus!
1,454 - Having intellect and being able to reason, so we can understand His great love for us.
1,455 -Making difficult choices and taking the right paths, for we all will have to account for those choices someday.  
"So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God" Romans 14:12
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13