Friday, December 15, 2017

Psalm 23

Let me just tell you guys, I LOVE this Jewish Bible. I think it's probably closer to the original, since it is translated from Hebrew. It's so cool to me.
Most Christians know Psalm 23. We tend to use it in times of distress, in order to encourage ourselves. We see where King David was having a tough time, and we can relate.
I do not want to start a debate here, but I want to point something out. A lot of people will only read the King James Version, because they have been told it is closest to the original Hebrew. The problem is, we can't read Hebrew OR Greek and we are just taking someone else's word for it.
I don't care for the KJV because of the "thee's" and "thous". It's not easy to read. It is how they talked in the time period they translated the Bible. Therefore, I don't understand how it can be the best version.
Here is Psalm 23 in the KJV:
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
NOW... Here is is in the Jewish Bible:
The LORD is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
2. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads to to water in places of repose;
3. He guides me in right paths as befits His name.
4. Though I walk through a valley of deepest darkness, I fear no harm, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff - they comfort me.
5. You spread a table for me in full view of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my drink is abundant;
6. Only goodness and steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for many long years.
My favorite part of this is "Only goodness and steadfast love shall PURSUE me all the days of my life."
God pursues us. He wants a relationship with us. He has put people in our paths to point us to Him. 
Pursue just means something different to me than "follow". What do you think?
Anyway, I think this is pretty awesome, and I am so excited to have the chance to share what I'm learning.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Who's Load Are You Carrying?

"2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important." Galatians 6:2-3 NLT

My Pastor did a two part message in Drama. It was so good! Here is a link if you'd like to listen to the podcast!
As Christians, we have read Scriptures like the one I posted above and thought that we are called to help everyone, that it's wrong if we decide not to help someone... we even feel guilty at times for not helping people.
Let me tell you, if you continue to help people who aren't helping themselves you are being  a fool.
"A fool is someone who continually behaves in a way that hurts others and themselves." That's the definition Josh gave us for a fool. I believe it is true for both sides, the people who are not doing right, and some of the people who think they are.
We are called to carry each others burdens... BUT we are responsible for carrying our own load. There is a difference.
"The most loving thing you can do for someone is let them experience the consequences of their pain." 
THAT is hard to do. Especially when you love someone. We only want the best for our loved ones. However, if we continue to bail them out, we aren't helping them at all.
"The greatest motivator for change is pain."
OUCH! That's hard to hear too. I look back on my life though, and it's correct. I have changed and grown through the different painful experiences. 
Boundaries are a good thing. It is ok to have boundaries up to protect yourself from people who need to start helping themselves.
Here are 3 ways to see if it's time to give assistance:
  1. Is this something they can provide for themselves? Are they unable to or unwilling?
  2. Am I feeling cheerful? God loves a cheerful giver. Check yourself.
  3. What is the outcome of my giving? Am I hoping to change someone else?
Stop carrying other people's loads. That's their job. You can pray for them, and carry their burdens, but not their load.
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Psalm 91 vs Psalm 91

Friday was an adventure! We were headed to Atlanta for our high school state championship football game, we were almost there, when we found out the game had been cancelled. It snowed in Atlanta. Like for real legit snowed several inches. Georgia is not equipped for that, so the town pretty much shut down, and we couldn't risk being stuck up there.
SO... we headed home and made some stops along the way.
One of those stops was a used book store. We got there 10 minutes before they closed. I found the Bible section right away. There is a Bible I have been wanting for over a year, and I was hoping to find it, even used, it would have been cool. They didn't have it.
What I did find is pretty awesome.
It is a Jewish Bible. It's translated according to the traditional Hebrew text.
Of course, being the Jewish Bible, it's only the Old Testament. But, that's totally fine with me.
One of my favorite Scriptures, and one I read every day out loud is Psalm 91. I want to share the difference in the NLT and The Jewish Bible today.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
    though ten thousand are dying around you,
    these evils will not touch you.
Just open your eyes,
    and see how the wicked are punished.
If you make the Lord your refuge,
    if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
    no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
    to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”
NOW.. here is the Jewish Bible:
1 O you who dwell in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the protection of Shaddai -
2 I say of the LORD, my refuge and stronghold, my God in whom I trust,
3 that He will save you from the fowler's trap, from the destructive plague.
4 He will cover you with His pinions; you will find refuge under His wings; His fidelity is an encircling shield.
5  You need not fear the terror by night, or the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in the darkness, or the scourge that ravages at noon.
7 A thousand may fall at your left side, ten thousand at your right, but it shall not reach  you.
8 You will see it with your eyes, you will witness the punishment of the wicked.
9 Because you took the LORD - my refuge, the Most High- as your haven,
10 no harm will befall you, no disease touch your tent.
11 For He will order His angels to guard you wherever you go.
12 They will carry you in their hands lest you hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will tread on cubs and vipers; you will trample lions and asps.
14 Because he is devoted to Me I will deliver him, I will keep him safe, for he knows My name,
15 When he calls on Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in distress; I will rescue him and make him honored;
16 I will let him live to a ripe old age; and show him My salvation.
How cool is this??? I love it!
Psalm 23 is different too. I might share it next.
God bless you today and always!

Friday, December 8, 2017

What Peace Feels Like

Matthew 6:33, "Seek the Kingdom of God, above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."
Well, I have not been writing. Shame on me. I totally feel inspired this morning and wanted to share.
I have been processing all that has gone on in the last few weeks. Rejection has been a big one for me.
One of my best friends made a great point that sometimes God closes doors because we won't. I get that. It didn't help at the time. LOL
I have had confirmation from Him on one thing I have been doing wrong. Consulting others before I consult Him.
That stops now. I am the type of person who learns her lessons. I see what I'm doing wrong and make changes.
Yesterday, I felt a shift.Today, I have peace.
Today I KNOW without a doubt that God has me in the palm of His hand. I KNOW that He has a plan for me and He will work it all out for my good.  I KNOW that He will provide. This Scripture was confirmation of that this morning after everything else. 
I'm not worried. I'm not stressing. I am just letting Him do His thing.
That's peace.
Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. It's always in us, but we snuff it out sometimes. We focus on the circumstances and not the ONE who holds us in His hand.
If you are in need of peace, just ask the Holy Spirit to bubble it up in you. He will do it.
As always, if you need prayer, contact me. I'd love to pray for you.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Is God's Love Really Unfailing?

16 But as for me, I will sing about your power.
    Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
    a place of safety when I am in distress.
17 O my Strength, to you I sing praises,
    for you, O God, are my refuge,
    the God who shows me unfailing love. Psalm 59-:16-17
Love is a word we through around a lot. We love people, food, and animals. 
God's love is different. It's AGAPE love. It's unconditional. I think His love for us is so far beyond our reach that we won't even grasp it until we are in Heaven with Him.
I looked it up to see how many times "unfailing love" was written in the Bible. I found 40 Scriptures. 
In the Scripture I posted above, we see King David rejoicing because God has helped him through something. He's singing with joy about God's unfailing love. He realizes that God has been his refuge during distress.
Now, if you know King David's story, King Saul was trying to kill him. Hopefully, in our life time, we will never be literally running for our lives, but we can experience many different types of distress.
I am doing my best to keep it together while searching for a job. I am focusing on God, listening for His direction, and not allowing the big fat wall of fear block me. (But it's not for the lack of it trying.)
THANKFULLY, I know that God is with me. Thankfully, His Word is reminding me daily. Thankfully, I have friends who keep speaking life into me. Without them and God, I would be a total basket case. For real.
One thing I love about God, is that He's consistent. He's love is unfailing. It's never ending. It goes on and on all of our lives. He loved us from the moment He thought of us, and He will love us in eternity. That's forever, people. Forever.
Human love can be conditional. Human love can fade. Human love can disappear.
His NEVER will. His love really is unfailing. 
Cling to that if you are struggling today. KNOW that you know that you know that you ARE loved. God has a purpose and a plan for your life. He's right there, walking with you. Just like He's walking with me.
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Life's Merry-Go-Round

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

Are you currently riding on life's merry-go-round? You know, where everything just seems to be spinning around you... you are constantly doing the same things over and over. Your joy really isn't there. You are just going in circles.
How about we get off that merry-go-round today?
Let me share a secret with you.
While, at the very beginning, I was super scared about not having a job in a few short weeks, God has been doing a major work in my heart.
I LOVE how He speaks through His Word and devotionals RIGHT when I need it.
Only God could know that today, on November 21st, I would need to read a devotional about "God is in control even when your plans stall"! Only God knew I would be writing Proverbs 3:5-8 this morning in my Scripture writing.
Let me let you in on a secret... you ready?
Trusting God through EVERYTHING is the key. Trusting Him through the good, bad, and the ugly gets us OFF the merry-go-round and sets us up for victory.
You see... Proverbs 3:6 says, "Seek His will in all you do, and He WILL show you which path to take."
This is a promise from God. If we seek His will, He will show us what to do. So, why are we not doing that?
There is a faith and believing element here that we must grasp. It even involves our healing.
Proverbs 3:7-8 say this, "Don't be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones."
Us, doing life OUR way, only gets us a stomach ache from spinning around and around on life's merry-go-round.
I refuse to allow this in my life anymore!
The path is straight. It's not in a circle. I just need to trust God, not be puffed up with my own wisdom, turn away from evil, and watch Him place me in His perfect will.
If you need prayer to get off this spinning sickening merry-go-round, please contact me. I'd love to pray for you.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Bridges are strong structures. Only part of them is actually attached to the earth. The rest of it is suspended to the pillars that are built. God is the pillars, and we are the attached to Him for strength.
If you will remember, I have been writing Scripture all year from this one lady's blog posts. These Scriptures have the tendency to really minister to me.
This month happens to be about strength. I do not believe in consequences. I believe that God ordained this month's Scripture writing, KNOWING what I would be facing this month.
Isn't it just amazing to love and serve a God like that? One who knows what you need before you even know it?
I mean, I don't know this lady who is posting this Scriptures, so she certainly doesn't know me. 
These verses are really helping me through this tough time. I am battling with all types of emotions. I love my job, but it's coming to an end. I am staying as long as I can because I need the income. But it's not easy. I'm just going to be honest.
I NEED God's strength to deal with everything I'm feeling and thinking. I NEED God's strength to fight off the enemy and his lies. I NEED God's strength in the words of my family and friends who are encouraging me through this.
How on earth do people live this life without a relationship with God? I seriously do not understand how they can.
I wanted to share some of these Scriptures today but maybe someone who reads this needs some strength. One of my favorites is posted above. 
Isaiah 40:28-31(NLT)
28 Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.
 2 Timothy 1:7(NLT)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Isaiah 43:1-5(NLT)
43 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.O Israel, the one who formed you says,“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NLT)
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
I think we all know pretty  much how to have a relationship with a human being. We have to communicate with that person. You most talk, then you must listen.
God wants that with us too. He wants us to draw strength from Him. But we've got to talk to Him, and we've got to listen for what He wants to say.
When we read God's Word, He can speak through it and give us strength. (And many many other things.)
If you need strength for something you are going through, I beg you to take the time to pray and read the Bible. If you need prayer to help you through, just ask. I'd love to pray for you.
God bless you today and always!