Thursday, March 29, 2012

Picking My Timing

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.  Matthew, Chapter 7, verse 6.

When I was in high school there were lots of different groups of kids.  Well, they called one of these groups the “dopers” mainly because their lives revolved around recreational drugs, losing sight of all else.  As a Christian, I value my faith in Jesus above all else (my pearls.)  I could have walked into the crowd of “dopers” and told them that Jesus has positively influenced my life in ways that I would like to share with them.  Do you think I would get a warm response?  You’re right; they would tell me to get out of there and give me a hard time, not being open to any of the things that I wanted to share with them.
My faith in Jesus is better shared with those who might possibly be open to listening to me.  Now that doesn’t mean that I am not to share my faith with those who use recreational drugs or have worldly lifestyles.  I can choose my timing wisely and approach those people one-on-one, at a time where I think they might be more receptive.  If I really want to share my relationship with Jesus, I will try to maximize my potential of successfully doing this.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.



This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm saying, "Wait in the Wings, God."

These are some of my most favorite Bible verses.  In fact, I love this passage so much that I asked the minister to say this at my wedding.  It is long but it’s wonderful!
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?  or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)  for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 25-34.
This passage has been instrumental in a major change in my relationship with God.  Most people have some type of vice.  Various people drink, some have affairs, others use drugs, but mine is my need to be in control.  It’s really difficult for me to not be in total control of all aspects of my life, as well as, other situations that arise.  I remember how I used to plan, calculate and budget every single cent.  I would do this a month in advance, fretting over my finances the rest of the month.  Although, this might be good for someone who spends too much money, it wasn’t good for me because I wasn’t letting God be in control of my life.
I think people with control issues are probably great people to have on committees, because they make sure all the details are taken care of.  It’s not always a blessing to be that much in control of things.  When I’m in total control of everything in my life, I’m not trusting God to take care of me because I’m too busy trying to plan everything.  It’s kind of like I’m saying, “Wait in the wings, God.  Let me see what I can do first and if I can’t figure it out, then I’ll turn to You for help.”  Everything I read in the Bible states repeatedly that God wants me to turn to Him for everything.  That’s why I’m writing this book.  It’s to show people that God doesn’t say, “God helps him who helps himself.” God wants us to turn to Him in all things (paraphrased).
Control also played a part in my eating problem.  I used to be around 70-80 pounds heavier.  I always figured that I could lose the weight if I went on my “good diet” and stuck with it.  I joined about every weight loss group around and several times, at that!  I went on my “good diet” and found it wasn’t productive either.  Then I sat down in my bedroom one day and said, “I give up, God.  I’m always going to be heavy.  God, if you want me to ever be thin, You’ll have to take care of it because I can’t,”…and you know what, He did!
From that moment on, the desire for sweets and great quantities of food were taken away from me.  I didn’t do anything, in and of myself.  God did it all!  This all happened because I asked God to take care of it.  I guess this was probably one of the first times I had really given up my control.  The reason I said this prayer wasn’t because I was expecting God to take all my weight away.  I was just giving up and was turning it all over to God because I didn’t want to worry about being heavy anymore.  He used this miracle to turn my life around and to show me that He needs to be the One in control of my life, not me.
If God takes care of things in nature, He will surely take care of me and all my needs.  I find that when I’m not spending so much time trying to be in control of situations and people, I have much more time to spend focusing on God and my family.  That’s because I’m trusting God to take care of situations that arise.  Now, this isn’t to say I don’t slip into that control mode, at times.  It’s my vice.  I think Satan knows that anytime I’m in my control mode, I’m using the “I’s” and “Me’s” to make things happen.  In other words, I’m controlling situations, which means I’m not focusing on God.  I’m glad God takes the time to keep reminding me that I need to turn to Him in all things.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Trying to Have My Cake and Eat It Too

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon [wealth, riches and possessions].  Matthew, Chapter 6, verse 24.
I have tried to be a “Have My Cake and Eat It Too Christian,” but it just doesn’t work that way.  I thought I could balance my faith like a teeter totter, with Jesus on one side and getting ahead in my job, having nice things and a decent bank account on the other side.  Well, what I have found is that when my focus is on getting ahead in my job, possessions and wealth; the worldly end of the teeter totter goes up.
I was pleased by the growth I saw in these worldly areas, but when I looked back on the other side of the teeter totter, I saw Jesus sitting there at the bottom of my priorities.  Although I’ve tried various ways to maintain a balance to have my cake and eat it too, it just doesn’t work.  I need to make the necessary changes to have Jesus on top as my primary goal.  When I do this, the job, possessions and wealth are at the bottom of my priorities which doesn’t really seem to matter much, because Jesus provides for my every need.
Here is a related passage:
*No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Luke, Chapter 16, verse 13.

Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm Banking on Jesus

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 19-21.

I think my faith in Jesus is like a savings account, but the bank isn’t here on earth, it’s in heaven.  My belief in Jesus is the minimum investment a Christian has to make to get this special savings account.  This investment can lie there dormant, with no additional deposits made and eventually be put in the inactive file.  Or I can make deposits by the things I do as an example of how Jesus works in my life.
Now, thieves can steal the money from banks on earth, but the only one who will take away the “money” from my heavenly account is me, by leading a worldly life that leads me astray.  If I’m planning on having a good “nest egg” built up in my Salvation account, then I should be more focused on leading a Christian life, reflecting this goal.
Here is a related passage:
*Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.  Matthew, Chapter 13, verses 44-46.

Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages. Debbie


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not for the Attention We Can Milk Out of It

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face, That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.  Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 16-18.

I remember when I was little, the neighbor kids and I would gloat in front of others by saying things like, “Ha, ha, ha.  I have a new bike and you don’t!”  These statements were to bring about the envy of some and the admiration of others.  Well, as Christians, we are tempted to “show off” for the very same reasons.
I realized through this passage that God doesn’t want me to be a martyr, getting the attention of others when I fast or do things for Him.  That draws too much attention to me.  There’s the possibility that I might get caught up in trying to be a “Show off Christian” so others will see how pious I am.
I fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, because it’s my way of trying to focus on all the suffering Jesus went through for us.  When I fast, I need to make sure not to draw undue attention to myself.  That’s exactly what would happen if I sat with others at work and made it very apparent that I wasn’t eating anything.  Now I develop a plan to do it in a manner that doesn’t let anyone else know what I’m doing.
The feeling I get when we read the Bible is that anything we do for God should be done privately.  Drawing attention to ourselves and what we are doing for Him is counterproductive.  It takes away from our gesture for God and should be done out of pure love and not for the attention we can milk out of it!

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Finding Myself Harboring Resentments

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 14-15.
Every time I pray, I ask God to forgive all of my sins, but do I do the same?  I find myself harboring resentment towards others instead of letting it go.  I find that if I hold onto hatred, anger or resentment, which eats at me, I’m not the example that God wants me to be in my everyday life.  I can set a better Christian example by forgiving others, letting God take the resentment away when I ask Him.  One of the best ways I have to let my “light shine” for God is by being an example of how He works in my life.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage. Debbie

(Added at 11 p.m. on Monday, March 12, 2012.) I created this site for people to see how the Bible is significant in our lives today. I thought that readers might be able to see how someone can relate to the Bible today as they read my posts. I share my reflections, comments, short comings, and how I apply these passages in my daily walk as a Christian. I didn't feel readers would relate to the Bible in the same way that I have, but would find a way that is personally significant to them.
One thing I have learned from reading the Bible many times, is that small dishonest things that no one ever knows about can work a wedge in our relationship with God. While in bed reading a book on how to use Social Media, something I know little to nothing about, it kept going through my mind that I did something that's probably unethical.
So, if I am being totally honest with you, I need to be an example, not just through the portions of the book where I share my many short comings, but right now and apologize. Since I know little about blogs, I was surprised to find out that each time I logged onto the site, it recorded it as another page view. I was later surprised to find out that when I would go to Archives, it also recorded as another page view each time I opened one up.
Now, I figure the "bajillion" times I logged onto the blog site to change the layout, etc. were fair game, because that was just normal maintenance of the site. What I am writing to you about is that toward the tail-end of last week, I decided to open up different Archive posts to deliberately increase the page views number. At the time, I didn't know if it was ethical or not and it may not be a big deal to most of you. If I'm being an example of my faith, I have to say that I planned to do this knowing it might not be right and it keeps popping back into my mind, which is one of the many ways that God works in my life.
All I can say is I'm sorry, because my doing this may dissuade some people from following this blog, which means my actions were counterproductive to what I want to accomplish for God. I don't plan to do this again, but hope you will forgive me. Debbie

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Praying on Auto Pilot

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Matthew, Chapter 6, verse 7.

I get caught up in thinking that I’m saying these wonderful prayers, but I recognize that they don’t mean anything if I’m daydreaming about situations at work or what I need to get at the store.  I realize that when I say the same prayers over and over without thinking about what I’m saying to God, they ARE vain repetitions!  God doesn’t want me just going through the motions when I pray.  He wants any communication I have with Him to be meaningful enough to focus on it.

Here is a related passage:
*This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.  But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 8-9.

Because this an example of how I’ve applied these Bible passages to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passages.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Am I Trying to Gain the Admiration of Others?

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 5-6.

God wants me to be discreet when I pray, as well.  I shouldn’t do it in a way that attracts other people’s attention, especially when to do so might put me in the position to gain the respect or admiration of others.  My prayers aren’t for personal gain but are my personal communication with God.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Good Debbie's

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.  Matthew, Chapter 6, verses 1-4.

This passage makes me very aware that I need to be discreet about giving to the church and other charities.  I remember that there was a time in my life that I routinely did favors and nice things for others.  What I really was waiting for was a “thank you” or what I call a “Good Debbie.”  I was waiting for someone else to tell me what a wonderful person I was as if to validate my existence here on earth.
I realize my goal as a Christian is to do nice things discreetly.  So now I do them for God and not the “Good Debbie’s”.  The good works we do for others shouldn’t be to show off or to prove to others what good Christians we are.  They should be out of our love for Jesus.

Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.


This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 

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