Sunday, October 25, 2015

Honey For The Heart - Gladness for the Upright In Heart

Welcome to 
...where I share different verses from the Psalms!
 May you find truths about God, yourselves, and living life in the images and word pictures shared here! 

Psalm 97:10-12

"Hate evil, you who love the LORD,
         Who preserves the souls of His godly ones;
         He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Light is sown like seed for the righteous
         And gladness for the upright in heart.

Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones,
         And give thanks to His holy name."

Lately, I have felt like I have been crushed by the hand of the wicked.
How about you? Have you felt crushed in spirit?
This is such a comforting set of verses!

Linking up at these blog hops:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Take a Deep Breath

How many times have we heard someone say in the midst of a difficult situation?
“Take a deep breath.”

We Were Designed to Breathe
Breathing is vital for us to live.
One of the best-known verses in the Bible is Genesis 2:7,
 And the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.”

This verse sets a pattern for the rest of the Bible, where breath is often equated with life itself.

Breathing also illustrates our human vulnerability and complete dependence upon God. One easy experiment to show this is to try to hold our breath. For most of us, lack of air becomes painful well within a minute, and we would die in just a few more minutes if completely deprived of air. So, our breathing apparatus is one of our most vital systems—absolutely necessary to sustain us from moment to moment.

Breath of God: Able to Give Life or Take it Away
God, the Giver of life (Genesis 2:7), has the right to end any life if and when He chooses (Job 1:21), but man does not unless God grants it to him (I Samuel 15:1-3). 

In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.(Job 12:10)

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)

It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." (Deuteronomy 32:35)  

The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. (Isaiah 40:7)

Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

"By the breath of God they perish, And by the blast
 of His anger they come to an end. (Job 4:9)

God holds our future in His hands
And gives us every breath;
Just knowing that He’s by our side
Allays our fear of death. —Sper

From our first breath to our last, we are in God’s care.  

The Holy Spirit is the Breath of God

"But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding. (Job 32:8)

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: Isaiah 42:5

So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:21-22)

"In Him we live and move and have our being." 
I love the current praise song that says "You are the air I breathe, Your holy Presence in me." We can literally breathe in the Presence of God and be filled with the Holy Spirit with our breath. How is this possible?
·         God is spirit.
·         Spirit is like wind or breath
·         Like the wind, God can be heard but not seen.
o   He is constantly speaking, both to the Creation which He made by His Word and to people.
·         God has made His Spirit available to live within us to guide us into all Truth (Jesus – John 14:6)
·         God's spirit (breath) was active in creation, and all things were created when God spoke.  
o   It is spirit which is the real cause of all that is lasting. (Genesis 1:1-3, 1:26-27 & 2:7)
o   It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. (The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life. John 6:63)
·         The relationship between word and spirit: words express spirit, and spirit and its expression are one.  
o   Jesus is the word of God and all things were created through him. John 1:1-3.
o   The written word remains dead if not spoken -- i.e., given the breath of life -- physically or mentally. All words, even those of God, must be given life, given voice before they can have any effect. (Compare, Genesis 1:26-27 with Genesis 2:7.) This is why a Bible sitting on a shelf has no effect, while it can bring great light to one who reads it with understanding.
o   Scripture spoken at the right time and in the right way has altered the course of history.
·         The world cannot understand spirit (breath of God) or the course of those who are born of the Spirit of God.
o   God created man with eternity in his heart, and men in the natural state still base their lives on the inward premise that all things familiar (including their own lives) will continue forever.
o   But, as long as sin is present, this very assumption blinds those without spirit. Just as we cannot understand the path of the wind, so the world cannot understand the acts of God. (Ecclesiastes 11:5).
o   To the man without the spirit, the things of the spirit appear foolish, and he cannot understand them. (I Corinthians 2:14.) The things of God are spiritually discerned -- i.e., spoken by the God who is spirit to the spirit within us. (I Corinthians 2:9-16.)   
o   Only spirit understands spirit: for God is spirit.
Source -

God's Spirit is the Key
Again He said to me, "Prophesy over these bones and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.' "Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones, 'Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 'I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'"  Ezekiel 37:4-14

God’s people are portrayed, in a vision to Ezekiel, as dry bones in a valley. Death and hopelessness are characterized. Then, as Ezekiel prophesies God’s word, the bones become living bodies that stand on their feet and become an exceedingly great army as the breath of God enters into them. Israel, which is hopeless and cut off, will be revived and brought to life by God’s Spirit. Israel will go back to its own land and know that God has spoken, and that He has done what He said He would do.
There is also a wider principle that God can take a situation that is without human hope and, through His word and Spirit, fill it with life, purpose and hope. Christian conversion is also pictured in this vision of life from the dead.

With God's spirit, there is life--and what Jesus called fullness of life. And there is no place on earth, nowhere in time, and nowhere in sin or situation, that can keep God's Spirit away from God's people (see Romans 8:31-38).
The song below is one of many favorite songs by Chris Tomlin... 
"Awake My Soul"

"Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
I come alive, I'm alive when you breathe on me
I come alive, I'm alive when you breathe on me"

Also, below is an awesome post written by Ann Voskamp on the subject of breathing.

Every day, may we all seek to 
"TAKE A DEEP BREATH".. and breathe in the breath of God!!!

Linking up at these blog hops:

Monday, October 5, 2015

In the Face of Tragedy

This past weekend our little town of Warsaw, IN had a terrible hit....we lost 4 very well-known and loved men. *All four men were active in my home church
(Warsaw Community Church)

See article

I think I may be in the wrong profession.
(In fact, I'm currently waiting to step down from my current job, due to some of the requirements that have been added to what I already do...I know, some would say I'm right where He wants me. Well, I'm not totally convinced of that quite yet.) 
It seems like over and over again, God places me in positions that involve caring, encouraging, and  comforting those who have gone or are going through some kind of tragedy. This kind of "helping" has continually been difficult for me, mostly due to the fact that there has been so much death and tragedy throughout my own life (some, I probably haven't fully dealt with.). The pain I still often feel comes swelling back into my emotions, when I am faced with a similar situation to what I went through myself. I find myself feeling helpless and even pulling the person down that is already feeling defeated. 

No matter where I go or what I do, I know that God's presence and plan for all His children is to find comfort and peace in Him. 
Through all of this tragedy, God has a purpose. So many people in our small town personally knew at least one of these men who died. Many more knew of them and the great influence of goodness and Christian love they had.  
May we always remember these things in the face of tragedy!

What do we do, when such a tragic loss occurs?

We pray.
We mourn.
We come together.
We share.
We listen.
We hold one another.
We support with words.
We provide any needs the families may have.
We don't judge, when they mourn in their own ways.
We remember those who died.
And we pray some more.

There has been a lot of tragedy all over this country...not just recently (like the shooting in Oregon), but over the years.
Not just here in the United States, but all over the world.

So, how do we respond to each of those tragedies?
In the same way we treat them locally.
We pray.
We mourn.
We come together.
We share.
We listen.
We hold one another.
We support with words.
We provide any needs the families may have.
We don't judge, when they mourn in their own ways.
We remember those who died.
And we pray some more.

And, in the midst of tragedy, God shows up.
He provides comfort, peace, and eventually
we find joy once again.
Our lives will never be the same (I know from experience.), but He gives us the strength to carry on, when we have no strength left on our own.

In time, we move ahead. We find hope again.
Where does that hope come from?
None other than Jesus Christ, Himself!!
Will you please say a prayer for the families of these men, as well? Most of them have wives and children. All have caring family members and friends who will be grieving for a long time.

John 16:33 

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Lamentations 3:31-33

For no one is cast off
    by the Lord forever.
 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
    so great is his unfailing love.
 For he does not willingly bring affliction
    or grief to anyone.

Psalm 30:5
Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.