A Summer of Psalms

A SUMMER OF PSALMS - 8-12 - BANNER

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This old lady is having a difficult time discerning true news from the fake news lately, especially on Facebook!  I see posts about how Pope Francis said this or that and I’m appalled at the idea that he could have possibly said any of it.  Well – good ol’ SNOPES.COM.  I should just check stuff out before sharing some of what I share.  I get all my friends in a tizzy and then find out none of what I’ve posted is even fact!  Ugh!  Lying lips and deceiving tongues!!!  When did people start getting their jollies by posting horrific lies about good people?  It’s horrible and I, for one, refuse to share it anymore.

I’m sure all my Facebook friends are very happy to hear that!  🙂

In this environment of fake news and made up stories, what are Christians to believe?  God’s word is clear – we are to believe the ever-loving and never-changing Book that has sustained us through the worst days of our lives – the Bible.  As we read His word and pray to Him, He is faithful to us even if we feel distressed about the lies and deceit that are all around us in this day and age.  We have to come to terms with the fact that there are people who mean to distract us from the truth – and God’s people need to pray to Almighty God for discernment!  There are fake news stories in media that at one time could be trusted because they only printed or reported the TRUTH.  That is no longer the case.

It blows my mind that there are people in the world who write false stories.  We had one thing drilled into our heads in journalism class, and that is you check sources and double-check them.  You make sure that what you are writing is real, true, factual.  Journalistic integrity is dead, folks!  We live in a society of fog now.  Nothing can be believed and everything has to be fact-checked before re-posting.  Take nothing at face value.  Their deceit means we need deliverance.  God is faithful!

The lesson for Christians today is to pray, pray, PRAY!!!  Ask God for discernment because you need it – and I need it!  It’s fairly benign in a social media setting – I mean if I share something that ends up to be false, I’ve had some conversation with my friends and end up deleting the post and saying NEVERMIND to everyone in embarrassment.  No harm, no foul (except I feel for the poor Pope.  Yikes!)  The reason I keep such a close eye on those stories is, I’m sure one of these days the story will not be fake news – and when that happens, I don’t want to be asleep at the wheel.  Does anyone else feel that way?  We know things will get worse – not to be all gloom and doom – but hey…  just speaking the truth.

The good news is, in the midst of our mess, our LORD has a message for us!  It’s our job to listen, stay alert and awake for HIS voice…  that’s the only voice that matters!  Got fake news?  Got fake friends?  Got fake anything else?  Got troubles???

Isn’t it amazing that a Psalm written so long ago can speak to our hearts and minds today?  That’s the awesomeness of God.  He was there, but He is here, and He will be there!  Omnipresent.  It blows my mind, but it comforts my mind at the same time.  Isn’t God great and good?  Yes, He is.  ALL the time!  🙂

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PROVERBS 10:8 ON 10/8

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The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.  – Proverbs 10:8

You know, the thing about  those Proverbs…  they don’t mess around.  Some portions of Scripture dilly dally around to get to the meat of the matter.  Wow – the Proverbs – not so much.  They say what they mean and they mean what they say! 

Whether your boss is wise in heart or a chattering fool…  once in a while they will criticize you about something.  Let God worry about which they are…  you just make sure you are wise in heart and know how to be accepting of corrective criticism.  😉

with-gods-wisdom-and-quick-witYou may ask, “Can you combine the wisdom you get from God with a quick wit?”  I’d ask how you couldn’t?  Maybe it’s just how God works with me, but more times than not, if I’m enduring some corrective criticism and asking God’s Spirit for help – He not only provides wisdom, but He also gives me thoughts about how to lighten the moment.  It’s very unusual to not have His wisdom and a joke or a story pop into my mind simultaneously.  dont-let-peoples-compliments-get-to-your-head-and-dont-let-their-criticism-get-your-heart-worship-quote

Is it necessary to explain what a chattering fool is – or how they can ruin???  I pray I’ve never been one, but I was young and immature at one time, so…  here’s the thing…  we are all works in progress.  God’s not done with any of us yet. 

By the same token, God loves us too much to leave us in an immature state.  He wants us to grow in our faith.  Let’s focus on the positive…  how do we become WISE IN HEART???  How do I learn to accept commands, to accept corrective criticism, to accept help given by authority to make me better?  What is that key attitude that God wants me to have as part of my armor to navigate this life?

  • PRACTICE DISCERNMENT.  I say “practice” because discernment is a part of wisdom that only comes with practice…  lots and lots of practice.  When a person in authority corrects you and you are tempted to let it hurt your heart, stop that process in its tracks – stop it right there.  Pray that God’s Holy Spirit would help you discern whether the correction is 1) necessary and 2) helpful to your future workmanship.  If God’s Spirit lets you know that it is both necessary and helpful to your future workmanship – then and only then can you accept it, learn from it – and move on.  When corrective criticism is given about your work – something you are being paid or compensated to do a certain way – and it meets this criteria…  it is not aimed at you personally.  Take notes…  do what you have to do to get it right – but don’t let the criticism set in your heart!
  • BE GRACIOUS.  We’ve all received corrective criticism – and a few of us have received the rantings of a fool who just happens to be our boss, am I right?  Regardless of whether you work for a wise person or a fool, always be gracious.  There are times to scream and cry and shout and yell at the top of your lungs.  That time is not as soon as you’ve been chewed out.  Go to the bathroom and stand in a stall or if it’s raining, go outside for a while (rain is great camo for tears).  My new go-to is a workout, followed by a shower.  Take it out on those machines…  they can take it! 
  • TOW THE LINE BETWEEN STRENGTH AND UNDERSTANDING.  God did not make you to be a door mat.  If you are unjustly called on the carpet, do what I call “the quick prayer” – you know, like, “Lord, please help me here – this isn’t right.”  He knows!  It’s amazing how quickly he answers those prayers.  He answers as quickly as you pray them.  If you work for a wise person, they can show understanding and answer any questions you may have.  If you work for a fool, it could get tricky – but God’s going to work that out for you because you asked Him to!  A foolish boss will just chatter and chatter to hear him/herself talk.  It’s frustrating.  But, when God makes your boss need to take a breath, don’t be afraid to be strong and find out more deets about the proverbial raking over said coals.  Ask nicely, but be strong, keeping a calm, even tone.
  • STAY SWEET.  Sweet words are like honey to the soul – even the soul of a foolish boss.  The wise boss will understand where you’re coming from, but the foolish boss will mistake your sweetness for weakness and assume you are afraid of people.  Nothing could be further from the truth, but in any case, stay sweet.  If you have been criticized and have prayed about it – and discern that it is unjustified, don’t lose your cool.  That wrecks your witness to your foolish boss.  Remember that God hasn’t given up on him/her.  You shouldn’t either.  The battle is the Lord’s.  Be still and let HIM fight it for you.
  • BE PRUDENT.  Once in a great while, we really do have to choose our battles very carefully in the workplace.  We need to be wise and think about consequences that follow actions.  Is X worth Y???  Again, we pray and ask God for HIS way to handle things.  When Jesus was taken before Pilate, remember how He didn’t speak, even though He was heading for a horrific beating and subsequent death on the cross?  One without wisdom just pops off without a thought of what follows.  Keep emotions in check – God’s got the big picture under control.  Sometimes it’s a matter of just taking the criticism and keeping your mouth shut.
  • EXERCISE INTELLIGENCE.  Before I explain, I want to say that intellect and common horse sense don’t even graze in the same field.  There are educated idiots running around all over the planet; however, if you are hearing corrective criticism from your boss and you actually have some knowledge about the subject at hand, it’s okay to speak up and explain why you did what you did the way you did it.  If you want God’s wisdom, it’s not always going to be intelligence that He wants you to use – but if it is, you’ll know it.
  • HUMILITY DOESN’T HURT.  If you can accept the criticism from your boss, pray about it (in your head – God hears), and be wise in your response…  add a dash of humility into the mix.  Most bosses, whether wise or foolish, come down off their high horse long enough to let a humble person know that it’s okay to be human now and then.  Again, take a note…  do what it is you need to do to keep it from happening again.  Being humble is a huge (pronounced UGE) part of acquiring God’s wisdom.

God’s wisdom in the workplace will give you true joy and satisfaction of spirit.  It’s true…  read Proverbs 16:16.  🙂

 


TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

TL 7-1 THROUGH 7-10 TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICAINTEGRITY:  the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.  

As a female, Republican, conservative, Christian voter, I want to see our leadership in Washington have decency, honesty and INTEGRITY!  It begins with IN and ends with GRIT.  People with integrity are strong and courageous enough to stand against what is morally wrong.  Did you ever see the movie TRUE GRIT with John Wayne?  That kind of attitude without the whisky – sort of.  Wow…  let’s get some backbone in there mixed in with morals and values – wouldn’t that be fantastic?  I miss Ronald Reagan.  There, I got that out of my system.

SOUND MORAL PRINCIPLE.  Are we quite certain that this is what our Republican candidate has?  I don’t know, but I’m not sold on it.  Is he the lesser of two evils?  I don’t know that either.  I know for sure and for certain I will not vote for the Democratic candidate.  Will I vote at all?  I just don’t know.

Take a look at this link from Max Lucado:

https://maxlucado.com/decency-for-president/

It has occurred to me that if I don’t vote at all, I’m opening the door to the possibility that the Democrats will win.  I know our country can NOT continue its downward spiral under their agenda of redistribution of wealth and throwing other people’s money at every problem that comes down the pike.  And letting in thousands of refugees when we have homeless veterans on our streets makes me sick – literally sick.  Our vets deserve the best America has…  ugh.  Respect the veterans still living! 

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So today we will pray a prayer asking God for clear thinking and wisdom.  I really need it, don’t you?

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,  We have read Your Holy Bible and we know right from wrong as we live our own lives; however, as we quickly approach November, we really need to think clearly with wisdom straight from You.  We don’t pretend to know these candidate’s hearts, values or motives.  All we can do is look at their past record of behavior.  We hunger and thirst for decency, morals, backbone, and sincere integrity.  Anyone can stand before a group of Christians and read a prepared speech filled with ear-tickling phrases that are specially written to persuade them to vote in their favor.  Lord, only You know who needs to be our next President.  We ask that You would please guide us as we decide who to vote for, or whether to vote at all.  Wisdom from You is the greatest tool in a Christian’s toolbox.  We need fresh wisdom, clear thinking, discernment, and conviction that we’re doing the right thing on election day.  We ask all of this in the precious and matchless Name of Jesus, Amen.

At this point I do want to remind you (and me too) that no matter who the President is, Jesus Christ is the KING!  As Lucinda and I chat, we are encouraged by those words, we hope you are too!  The Lord wants us to put HOLES in the Darkness!  We’re in the last days, I believe.  We know things will get more challenging, but we also know that God will protect us!

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TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

TL 7-1 THROUGH 7-10 TEN DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA

AMERICA ON THE ROCK

FREEDOM is something to thank God for everyday!  He has blessed this nation so abundantly with His grace and mercy.  God is good to America and today we need to thank Him for being so good to us!

Precious Father, You have ensured our freedom here in America.  We know that without You we are nothing as a country.  Thank You for freedom to practice our faith as we believe is right, freedom of speech.  Under a dictatorship I could not be posting prayers in a blog, or saying them aloud.  Thank You that I am not oppressed, but free to express my love for You without fear of punishment or worse.  The press in our country is free – to be left of center, right of center – or to be on target with You.  We are free to agree or disagree with others on facebook or in person.  We are free to unfriend a friend on facebook if things get too intense.  We are free to read the Bible in public.  We are free to choose right or wrong.  You gave us a free will – that came from You.  America is great but You are greater.  May we wake up and realize that our freedom to do what we want and choose to follow You – that freedom comes from You, not from laws on the books in the U.S.A.  Our laws are based upon the fundamental Christian values we hold dear.  I pray that as a country we never stray away from that truth.  If we begin making laws that support sin, we are surely in dangerous territory and we will lose Your blessing.  We know You cannot look on sin.  You will always forgive us our sins, but You will not tolerate sin to continue in Your presence.  We don’t want to lose Your blessing in America.  May we have the wisdom to know right from wrong and make laws that support the right and shun the wrong.  We want our nation to please You always.  Thank You for our freedom.  It’s in Jesus’ matchless Name we pray, Amen.

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MATTHEW 7:16 ON 7/16

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By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  – Matthew 7:16

THANKFUL FOR FRIENDS

As Christians, we are abundantly aware of the fact that we are not to judge anyone.  God is the ONLY judge of all.  He has not given any Christian the authority to label anyone as a hopeless case.  To be honest, God has not chosen to label anyone a hopeless cause, so…  what makes us think we have the right to do so?

This passage of Scripture is not encouraging us to judge – we are told over and again that it’s not okay to judge, however, we are encouraged to discern.  Discernment comes from God’s Holy Spirit.  It’s that common sense that we take away from conversations and encounters with others.  It’s not a bad thing!

Have you heard the old saying, “It takes one to know one” – ???  Well, in life, God wants to begin like-minded relationships.  It’s part of the way He keeps us safe.  We all know there is evil in the world, but if we are tuned in to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help us be discerning in our choice of friends, we can have the iron-sharpening experience that God wants for us.

Don’t get me wrong – we are to pray for everyone.  We are to help when possible.  There are just times we need to use the precious gift of discernment when developing relationships in life.  God wants to help us live the best life possible.  Discernment is not the exclusion of others, but it is a part of tapping into God’s wisdom.

THURSDAY

When we a ministry to be a part of, we have to be especially careful that we do not get caught up in false prophets or misleading of any sort.  If we will pray as we seek avenues of ministry, God’s Holy Spirit will show us where our work will do the most good.  He will not deny anyone an opportunity to work and witness.  Even if it is not in a traditional sense, ministry opportunities will be shown to you if you ask God to reveal them to you.  Trust God’s Holy Spirit to guide you to a place to share your faith.  🙂