Tag Archives: resources

Good Morning

Good morning!

Today is Tuesday. Just another day during this new normal called the covid-19 shut down. I can look out my window and see the sun shining on the flowers in the yard. A breeze blows the branches on the trees and the flag waves in the sunlight. For all intents and purposes it is a good morning.

But that is the problem with superficialities. Things don’t always appear as they are. A duck floats along on a pond looking calm and at peace but below the surface its feet are franticly paddling! Likewise, outside my window the sun shines, birds sing, flowers grow and all appears to be well on my street.

But.

But within the walls of the brightly lit homes on my block are people who are locked down. Locked down, sheltered in place, quarantined, staying safe, flattening the curve, whatever you want to call it, they are not going about living life as usual. It is obviously the same almost everywhere around the world and maybe we can take solace in the fact that we are not the only ones suppressed by this.

And.

“And how are you holding up?”

“Well. We are doing well thanks, considering. It is an inconvenience but we will get through it. Together, of course.”

“Well, be safe and stay well. Please tell everyone at home I said hey!”

Platitudes. The things that we have come to learn are appropriate to say in ever circumstance. We know what to say when someone gets a promotion. What to say when someone looses a loved one. We know what to say to encourage each other when we face an unusual and stressful time such as this.

Why?

Why be superficial and just keep up appearances? Why speak in empty platitudes? Would being real really be so bad? Would it really be so bad if we said how we feel?

Fearful

Frustrated

Broke

Angry

Stressed

Worried

Tired

Hungry

Hot

Cold

Dirty

Defeated

Rejected

Lonely

Overwhelmed

Unemployed

What if we showed ourselves as we are? Drop the facade. Allowed ourselves to be real.

Yell. Cry. Rest. Take five. Take a nap. Call a friend. Hug someone. Ask for help.

Yes, ask for help! How many times have you been willing to help someone? Friend or stranger, have you been ready to help out without a seconds thought? Many people in our world can be so caring and giving. Yet, so many people will not ask for help. They hold it in. They “man-up” or “push through” or “press on” or whatever ridiculous thing they tell themselves just so they don’t have to swallow their pride and be real.

Jesus told us to ask. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 Take note of the words Jesus used – Ask, Seek, Knock – “A” “S” “K”!

The Word of God tells us the we have not because we do not ask. James 4:2

We are also commanded many times to help each other.

Love our neighbors as ourselves. Carry each others burdens. Look after the widows and the sick. Just to name a few. Mathew 22:39, Galatians 6:2, 1 Tim 5:3

But the point I wish to make here today is to be real! Superficialities and platitudes help no-one. Be Real! Be You. Let someone in during these difficult times and let yourself be refreshed by their love and support. After all wouldn’t you be loving and supportive of them if they needed it?

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.        John 4:23-24 NIV

If this scripture isn’t calling for us to let down our superficial ways of approaching God (and each other) then I know nothing and should stop writing. Don’t be locked into platitudes in life and especially not in your prayer life. Be real and be transparent. Love and encourage everyone but also allow yourself to be loved, encouraged, lifted up or even carried if that’s what you need.

I’ll stop now. I’ve obviously gotten carried away with this thought for today. Just be encouraged today and if you need help ask. Ask God. Ask a loved one. But ask. Because pretending you are ok when you are not will not help.

 

Be Blessed A&B

An Attitude of Gratitude

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!

For His mercy endures forever.

1 Chron 16:8 NKJV

 

Saying Thanks on Thanksgiving

It’s a national holiday that calls us to express our gratitude. Gratitude. An emotion born from contentment and satisfaction. Or is it?

  The Apostle Paul tells us the he learned to be content in any circumstance (Phil 4:10-13)

  So, it’s not the circumstances in life that should influence our contentment but rather our attitude in the face of our circumstances. But how can this be possible in the face of want and need? How can an attitude affect change in physical circumstances?
  The quick answer is Faith! The long answer is a bit more complex but the answer is still faith. I’ll elaborate……
  As believers we believe in God.  God tells us that He is our provider. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh (God will provide – Gen. 22:7KJV). If we have lack or want we are saying that God is a liar and that he doesn’t provide for our needs. Yes I know that sounds harsh but why waste time here sugar-coating things?
  If we experience lack or want in the face of God’s provisions we aren’t likely to consider how we make use of what we do have/receive. Denial and pride can keep us from blaming ourselves for squandering the grace of God.

If, for instance, a man is living on a fixed income which allows for him to have shelter, food and some basic luxuries like tv, telephone and internet. But he lets food go to waste in his frig (because he doesn’t feel like cooking), while he spends money on fast food that was supposed to be for bills, can he say that God doesn’t provide? Or, a woman that spends large amounts of money on scratch off games in hope of winning big but only winds up wasting money that was supposed to be for food and bills. Can she truly say that God is a liar and doesn’t provide?

I heard a great sermon that talked about this very thing years ago. The Pastor was teaching about stewardship and tithing. He asked that we (the body of Christ in general) should examine our checkbooks/bank statements to see where our dedications are. Certainly we should see finances spent on food, housing, transportation, tuition even and as well as other true necessities. But, if we see spending on things such as entertainment, alcohol, luxury items that place us in bondage to credit card debt but we don’t see regular contributions to the church we have no right to speak badly about God’s ability to provide for us.

 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.                                                                                                                      Malichi 3:10-12 KJV

……and I will rebuke the devourer for your sake!!! This is a shocking revelation!!! Taken at face value The Lord is telling us that there is a devourer out there and that He will protect us from him as a result of our faithfulness in giving to Him. So, perhaps the reason we are experiencing lack or want in our lives even if we try to make the best use of the resources received is because the devourer is attacking our finances.

The answer is easy. Have faith in God and tithe. Be responsible for your own finances by giving thanks to God for what you have and giving back a small portion (10%) regularly.

As the song says….

Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ to us.

Take a look around at what you have and be grateful for what you have rather than being ungrateful for what you do not have.

An attitude of gratitude is really the very least that we as believers can do in light of all that God has done for us. Perhaps that will only be completely appreciated when we are in His presences in Glory.

Betty and I hope that this past Thanksgiving has been a blessed time filled with family, friends and food. May this coming Christmas Season be blessed also.

Thanks, A&B