He is a God of Logic


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Reposted from Your Bible Quotes

HIS THOUGHTS ARE HIGHER

God is a God of logic, but sometimes He cannot explain His logic to us because His thoughts are higher and His ways are higher than ours and even if He tried, our finite minds would not be able to take it in and make sense of it all. So, in some cases, He leads us down the path, giving hints as we walk towards His outstretched hands, to understanding; He leads us to our own conclusions and the most amazing thing is, when we arrive at the answer, we know that we are there. Always turn to God for understanding even when He is silent for a time. The power of the Holy Spirit is always with us.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:8-11 NIV

THE PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN

We know that prayer changes things, but sometimes we pray for things we shouldn’t. Not bad things, but things that we know, when we are asking, that God either doesn’t do or won’t do. His thoughts are higher than ours and He knows the way that we should pray, and the things we should and should not pray for.

Let me explain. During summer break, my daughter is home all day unless she is working, and I love her but when she is home, she is glued to my side, and, although I love spending time with her, I need my space too.

So I find myself praying that she will stay overnight at a friend’s house and if she does, that it might run for 2 or even 3 days. But I know, even as I pray, that is not right somehow. It’s not bad, but it’s not something God would do. I felt guilty about it like I didn’t want her around somehow, but that is not true. Thankfully I finally figured out (maybe God’s whispers?) that the reason I felt like that was because when she is home, I am always “on duty” so my me-time is not really my me-time. So I’m thankful that I now know the reason.

NOT MY WILL

The Bible promises knowledge and Biblical wisdom and reading the Bible leads us into all Bible truths. So I feel conflicted. I freely confess to God as I am praying that I know I shouldn’t be praying for that or the follow-up prayer for more time. But I can feel that spiritual “brick wall,” from the throne when I pray that. But God never spoke about why I shouldn’t pray for this, and since His thoughts are higher than mine, I knew I had to wait upon Him for answers. So I kept on praying but also knowing it wasn’t something He would answer, but I also thanked Him for the times it worked also.

Then one day, as I started to pray again for this, I finally found the answer, that God in His infinite patience had been waiting for me to find. My error was not in the prayer specifically, even though I shouldn’t be praying for that thing, but the error is that I shouldn’t want to pray that, I shouldn’t desire to ask God for something I knew He wouldn’t do. And I knew, instantaneously, this was the answer I sought! His thoughts are higher and the complexities of His thoughts so great, that perhaps I would not have been able to take it in. I’m not sure, but I am sure that His ways are better than mine and if He allowed the answer in this way, that it is the best way.

OBEDIENCE IS BETTER

Since that day, I have ceased asking for this in prayer. I admit I will wish for that at times, but I know now that this is an earthly desire and God, even though He gifts us with earthly things, has much better gifts to bestow.

But most of all God amazes me how He leads us into all truth. Sometimes no words are needed.

Too Busy?


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

I’m not going to go off on how busy we are. I’m not going to mention the study showing how we almost never unhook from smart phones and technology. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who gets mind-numbingly busy and forgets who he is and what he’s about. Who becomes a ‘human doing’ instead of a human being.

So since I’m not going to talk about all that, I’ll just ask myself (and you) a few questions. Hold the mirror up so we can see ourselves clearly for a minute or two . . .

1. Have I become less kind and patient?

If you think about people you love and admire, they’re kind. They smile. They take time with you. The busier I get, the less patient and kind I am. That’s a sign.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

2. Have I become less forgiving?

When I’m trying to get stuff done, I can make enemies out of anyone or anything that gets in my way. When I’m busy, the anxiety of unmet expectations can grow into anger in a hurry. My heart gets hard. But when I slow down, I forgive quicker, things don’t build up, and I feel refreshed.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

3. Am I a good friend right now?

My history and pattern says friends are a luxury. A leisure-time activity. When I’m up to my neck in busyness, it’s not natural for me to think about friends. About reaching out to help others or ask for help for myself. Maybe it’s a ‘check engine light’ when I’m ignoring my friends or see their calls as interruptions.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

4. Am I praying . . . and how?

When I get too busy, I launch into my day without taking time to pray. Really pray. If God comes to mind at all, it’s for a minute or two before I charge out the door. My prayers are rushed. There’s little joy or gratitude.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thes. 5:16-18)

5. Am I ‘present’?

When I get busy, I emotionally ‘disappear’ to my family. I become detached and absent. Emotionally unavailable. My spirit isn’t present with my body. But when I slow down, my loved ones can ‘feel me’ even when I’m not there physically.

For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. (Col. 2:5)

Question: Have you gotten busy?

Are You Contentious


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Reposted from Radical Mentoring

Contentious: given to arguing or provoking argument.

A contentious person likes to be right. If it takes convincing you they’re right, then welcome to an argument. Marriages involving contentious spouses struggle. One ‘contender’ and one ‘stone-waller’ . . . bad. Two contentious people. Not as bad but a lot louder. Contentious people rarely see themselves as contentious. They’re just pursuing the truth while protecting themselves. They won’t stop until they’ve got their point across. Their arguing is a habitual response to their spouse, the stimulus of conversation, or both.

And why do we attribute contentiousness to women? (Guys, grab your Bible . . .)

“It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Proverbs 25:24

“It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and vexing woman.” Proverbs 21:19

Considering the social status of women in Biblical times, it’s no surprise men would label women ‘contentious’ if they raised the least objection to their husband’s thoughts. I believe men are just as prone to being contentious as women.

But whether it’s her or you, whether it’s developed since you got married or if ‘it came with the package,’ contentiousness is a deadly, debilitating habit that can be stopped with focused effort. It doesn’t matter who it starts with . . . it’s who stops it that matters.

Contentious people never let anything go. They feel compelled to explain, defend, convince, convict, or just have the last word.

To ‘contend’ can mean ‘to contend in rivalry.’ Are you in rivalry with your spouse? Are you trying to prove them wrong? Or careless? Or selfish? Be careful, you might win the battle and lose the war. You may be right a thousand times out of a thousand and ten, but if you create an environment where your spouse feels attacked, belittled, disrespected, or just plain exhausted, your marriage and family will suffer.

Jesus was never contentious. He would speak His peace, then shut up, even when He was speaking to the Pharisees. One of the most glaring examples of His lack of contentiousness was when He met Mary and Martha after Lazarus died. He was verbally assaulted by Martha: “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:2). Jesus replied patiently. Then went about raising Lazarus from the dead. He didn’t push back or contend. He kindly went on with His business.

When you’re tempted to be contentious, don’t. Stop with the facts and leave off that extra phrase that causes all the problems. If your spouse tends toward being contentious, talk about it. Ultimately, someone has to go first, either to stop the contention or to process it differently when it comes your way. Leaders go first.

Prayer – Lord, it’s clear from the Proverbs you don’t want your children to live in an environment of contention. Give us patience as we attempt to live with each other in an understanding way. Give us big ‘forgivers’ as we feel challenged, criticized and ‘contended with’ by our spouses. Help us to relax in your complete, unconditional love and acceptance. In your Son’s precious name, Amen.

The Cross and the Future


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Reposted from Radical Mentoring

Way too much of Christianity is focused on the past. All of us talk about the ‘old rugged cross’ like it’s the end-point instead of the beginning. I believe we’re missing out on a huge part of God’s motive for the Cross . . . the ‘why’ of Jesus’ sacrificial death. I believe Jesus freed us up from stuff for other stuff. Better stuff. Eternal stuff.
 
Without the Cross, we’d be ‘dead in our trespasses and sins’ . . . no doubt. But with the Cross, what are we? Alive . . . but barely? Saved? Forgiven . . . but forgotten?
 
What if we began to look at the Cross as a starting point? To figure out where we were and what was going on when the Cross of Christ counted for our sins and we truly became His adopted sons and daughters. What was going on then? What were we contemplating . . . for good or for ill? What Jesus rescued us from may be a less important question than what He rescued us for!
 
Before you go off trying to figure out what you coulda/shoulda done for God, I’ll remind you how dumb that would be. He rescued you first to be with Him. More than anything else, He wants to be with you in your life, on your ‘radar screen,’ loved and worshipped by you. He doesn’t need anything, He’s God. He’s self-sufficient but (thankfully) not self-satisfied. He wants our companionship and our participation in what He’s doing in people’s lives. He wants us in His church and in His Kingdom work.
 
Are there invitations from Him that lay unopened by you? Un-responded to? Have we gotten so distracted by ‘life’ . . . by issues from the past that we’ve forgotten opportunities He specifically sent for us to consider? Are you having conversations with yourself, saying things like “I couldn’t possibly do that now.” “I’m too old.” “I’m in too much debt.” “I have too sorry a reputation to even be considered.”
 
Really?
 
When God is involved?
 
Let’s live more stories that start with Jesus’ incredible work on the Cross. May it never be remembered as ‘religious history.’
 
Question: Is there something God has invited you into that’s been lost in the ‘noise’ of the past?

Respect Begins At Home


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Reposted from Your Bible Quotes

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God. They will see that you live holy lives and respect your husbands. 1 Peter 3:1-2 (WE)

I imagine that at least some ladies think it was easy in Biblical times to do as the Bible directs wives to do and behave in the manner that was befitting a wife, perhaps because that was before feminism and bra burning and women’s liberation. Well, remember Solomon said, “There’s nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), and that really is true. Human nature is what it is and has been from the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and will be until the last mortal man and woman right up to the second coming of Christ and the new Heaven, new Earth and the New Jerusalem.

THE BIBLE IS FOR ALL GENERATIONS

If this didn’t need to be repeated for each generation, the admonishment of “wives respect your husbands” wouldn’t have been in the Bible in the first place. God’s thoughts are higher than ours; remember that God has seen all that will ever be done, and heard all that will ever be said for all eternity, and He has given His life instruction accordingly. The Bible came from God and holy men spoke as God directed (2 Peter 1:21). 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable…”

Paul told us, and the Corinthians, that “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us…” (1 Corinthians 10:11) So all that made it into the Book is as good today as the day it was written. And the instruction “wives respect your husbands” made it in at least twice. If you are not sure of the path God has laid for wives, turn to Him and His Word for guidance.

Respect, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person.” Think of someone you respect outside of your marriage such as a friend, parent, or a mentor. Now think about how you think of, but most of all, speak about this person when he or she is not in your company. What do you say to others about her? Do you respect his wishes when he is not around? Wives respect your husbands as much as, or more than, you do your friends. If the answer is no, and if you desire to be the woman and wife God made you to be go to the Lord in prayer. We don’t always understand how, but prayer changes things.

RESPECT BEGINS AT HOME

Let’s look at a scenario. If you are in a respected friend’s home but he is not there do you respect his belongings and the way he would want you to behave in his home, such as perhaps taking your shoes off or not eating and drinking in the living room?

How about a respected co-worker? If she is away from her desk, would you go through her drawers just to see what she might be hiding in her personal space? If you would honor another’s wishes in these scenarios, would you do the same for your husband? If you wouldn’t dream of violating the privacy or rules and/or wishes of another, shouldn’t you wives respect your husbands at least this much?

Respecting someone means behaving the same as you would in his presence as you do in his absence. Well, you might say, it’s only little things that don’t matter and they are silly things anyway, like turning all the lights off or keep the heat turned down. Leaving a light or two on or cutting up the furnace a degree or two won’t hurt him if he doesn’t know it, right? Solomon has an answer for us on this one as well. Song of Solomon 2:15 “It’s the little foxes that spoil the vines.” Again God’s Word gives us the answer by telling us wives are to be committed and submitted; not in bondage, but under the husband’s protection as God intends.

BUILD A STRONG MARRIAGE

A marriage built on God’s Word is a strong marriage. Wives respect your husbands because any disobedience, no matter how small is a building block in the wall between you and your husband. As a matter of fact, when we do these things it’s almost spiteful, yet when you think of your husband is that how you feel? Probably, not. Turn the tables; how would you feel in his shoes? If you found out that he deliberately went behind your back and did something he knew you wouldn’t like?

It’s childish and petty, but these types of things, minor disrespect, back door disobedience, this tit-for-tat back and forth is not how marriage should be, but wives go at husband bashing as if it is an Olympic sport. At some point, you need to step out of the loop and realize your loyalties are to your husband that you promised to love, honor and cherish all the days of your life. Not just when he’s around and not just when you feel like it. Wives, respect your husband, even when he is not there. The Bible promises both favor and protection for a Biblical marriage in the order He designed. Satan has twisted everything God has made to make wives feel the yoke of oppression where there once was the security of protection from her husband.

BE STILL.


Crusty:

And trust we must..

Originally posted on Today we stand at the threshold of the unknown, with the One who knows all:

“And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28)

Do I really trust God enough to believe this? Do I really trust that His good is abundantly better than anything I could ask or imagine? Do I really believe that anything that I consider “good” or “best” for my life is better left undone if it is not a part of God’s perfect goodness for my life, including every desire and hope for my future?

My future without Christ is nothing, it is futile, and it is desperately hopeless. But, if my hope is in Christ, and if I choose to believe that He works all things together for good, than I don’t have to worry or stress through my life trying to make my “good” (…what I think is good) happen.

All I have to do is rest.

Be still.

Know

View original 13 more words

The Woodcutter


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Reposted from Nitin Gurjar

Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber merchant and he got it. The pay was really good and so was the work condition. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work.
The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees. “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that
way!”

Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.

“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized,
saying that he could not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.

“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

Reflection:
Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen the “axe”. In today’s world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy that ever.

Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay “sharp”? There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like our personal life, taking time to get close to our Creator, giving more time for our family, taking time to read etc.

We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don’t take the time to sharpen the “axe”, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.