Thursday, October 29, 2015

Getting My Christian Nose Out of Joint, God Doesn't Get Suckered into Struggles for Attention, and From Party-Hardy Lifestyles to Making God a Priority Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


And He said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.  And he divided unto them his living.  And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.  And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.  And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine, And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.  And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.  And he arose, and came to his father.  But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.  And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.  But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.  And they began to be merry.  Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.  And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.  And he said unto him, thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.  And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.  And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy Commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.  And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.  It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again, and was lost, and is found.  Luke, Chapter 15, verses 11-32.

I could get my Christian nose out of joint from this passage, but I do the same thing in the classroom.  I love teaching kids, but where I get the most personal reward isn’t from the gifted kids who could be successful on their own; it’s from helping students who thought they weren’t competent.  I try to help them find out how capable they really are.  I guess God likes seeing people turn their lives and their focus around, in somewhat a similar manner.


For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.  And they went their way.  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all day idle?  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us.  He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more: and they likewise received every man a penny.  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.  Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?  Is thine eye evil, because I am good?  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.  Matthew, Chapter 20, verses 1-16.

I’m ashamed to say that I relate all too well with the first laborers who wanted more than what was promised for their extra time and effort.  If I’m truly being honest, there have been times where I expected preferential treatment because I tried to be good and follow all the rules.  I have deliberately flaunted the good choices I have made in hopes that teachers, employers and family members would like me better than others. 
Well, it may have possibly worked since the people mentioned are human beings who could not see my ulterior motives, but God doesn’t get suckered into struggles for attention.  He loves us all the way we are.  So the prostitute, the rock star, the janitor, the prisoner, the president, the drug addict, the school teacher and anyone else who loves Jesus as their Savior can go to heaven.  There is no preferential treatment there! 


And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided Him.  And He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.  Luke, Chapter 16, verses 14-15.

People tend to look up to people who are rich, famous or have climbed their way up the corporate ladder.  I like to watch the channel that shows the lives of famous T.V. and movie stars, past and present.  Some, but not all of these, have been involved in lifestyles that included drugs, excessive drinking and some heavy-duty partying.
Even though people admire these stars, I think God would consider that type of lifestyle an abomination.  Fortunately, some of these stars have had the opportunity to turn their lives around as they tell how they’ve gone from their party-hardy lifestyles to making God a priority in their lives.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, October 26, 2015

Being So Big Headed That I Lose My Humility, Not to Gain Personal Recognition, and the Stuff in My Life Becomes Too Important Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  Luke, Chapter 14, verse 11.

In the previous three verses in the Bible, Jesus was talking about a wedding to teach us to have humility.  Rather than go to a wedding and sit in a seat of honor, only to be embarrassed when asked to sit in a position of lower status, it was better to be humble and sit in the lower status seats. and then, to be asked to sit in the position of honor.  I think He was trying to convey that He doesn’t want us getting so self-righteous and big-headed that we lose our focus and humility. Click on the title to read some related Bible passages.


Then said He also to him that bade Him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.  Luke, Chapter 14, verses 12-14.

This passage lets me know that when I do nice things for others I need to make sure that I’m doing them for people who really need it and not to do it to gain some sort of personal recognition for my actions.
It’s sometimes a hard one to live by because it makes me look at my motives for doing favors.  Yes, I have found there have been times when I was choosing to do things for someone to draw attention to myself.  Now, I’m trying to be more discreet in my favors to avoid this self-focus.


So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.  Luke, Chapter 14, verse 33.

I spent all day yesterday packing up my classroom.  My husband has taken a job in a state that we had previously lived in.  I thought it would only take a few hours to finish packing, but it was 7:00 p.m. when my husband and I finally pulled away from the school.
I was amazed because I had given so many teaching resources away during the year and still had so much stuff.  One of the teachers came by and made a comment about how I should get rid of all the stuff.  I was appalled with the idea.  I couldn’t get rid of all my stuff.  It was important to me!
The stuff in my life becomes too important and gets in the way of my relationship with God.  I would hate for Jesus to tell me that I couldn’t come to heaven to be with Him because my stuff had become more important than He was.
I had to come back and add this to what I had written this morning.  My husband came home and I was preparing to paint the bathroom before we put our house on the market.  I said something about taking all my paint to our new house so I can try my hand at sponge painting the next house we buy.  He said it would take too much room and we can get more paint after we move.  I got upset with him for even thinking of getting rid of it.  Then I realized that I hadn’t learned very much from writing about this earlier.  I was still having a hard time letting go of stuff!
God had perfect timing by having me deal with this particular passage right now.  It wasn’t one week earlier or a month later.  It was the exact same day that I am having stuff withdrawal issues.  Isn’t it wonderful that God could time this so precisely?  He knows as well as I do, I really need to continue to work on this one!!!!! Click on the post title to read some related Bible passages.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Planting the Seeds of Faith, A Bird in the Hand Christian, Wandering Off-Losing Our Focus

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


Then said He, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 18-19.

This reminds me of when I mention to someone else about how God looked after me in a particular situation.  It’s like planting a seed that has the potential to grow and to continue to grow into a full-fledged belief in God.  It’s just like the mustard tree that grows from that tiny seed that is planted.

It makes me think that we never know how the little things we share might make a difference in someone else’s life.  My being fearful of sharing my relationship with God may not be giving that person the opportunity to come to have a relationship with God. Click on the post title to read other related passages.



Then said one unto Him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  When once the Master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 23-27.

This reminds me of when I was heavy and there were people that weren’t really friendly to me.  When I lost the weight, all of a sudden these same people were much friendlier.  I didn’t really want to be close friends with them at that point.  They had an opportunity to be friendly with me before when I was heavy, and they hadn’t chosen to.
Jesus may be telling us something very similar about putting off our decision to become active Christians.  If we don’t acknowledge Him when He calls us, maybe He won’t remember us when we get around to asking Him for help.
Something unexpected like an accident might happen where we don’t ever get another chance.  If I’m a “Bird in the Hand Christian,” I need to develop my relationship with God now, while I have the chance. Click on the post title to read a related Bible passage.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 34-35.

When I was reading my Bible this morning, I was thinking about how God uses picturesque language throughout the Bible to give us a mental picture of what He is trying to convey to us.  This passage is a good example of that.
I can picture a mother hen spreading her wings trying to focus her children to go in the correct direction, just as Jesus does for us.  Do we listen?  No, just like kids we say we want to do things our own way and tend to wander off, losing our focus.  Now, when something traumatic happens in our lives or the lives of our loved ones, BAM, we are right back on target, asking God to help with this situation.
On Judgment Day, do you think Jesus will have pity on us who decide at that moment that we are finally ready to become Christian when our lives haven’t reflected that dedication all along???? Click on post title to read an additional related Bible passage.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, October 19, 2015

Taking Advantage of God's Forgiving Nature, Alarmed about Using God's Name in Vain!!!, Putting Faith Off Until the Last Minute Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


And He said unto His disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.  Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?  And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?  If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?  Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith?  And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.  For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.  But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Luke, Chapter 12, verses 22-32.
This is one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible.  It has personal significance to me because of my experience with it.  Years ago, I was on a very tight budget.  It was so tight that I had to buy powdered milk in case I didn’t have enough money to have milk for my children’s breakfast.  Now, I know our situation wasn’t as bad as some, but I just want you to know that things were tight and I had to be very careful about my spending.  Now, one of my biggest vices, as I’ve shared, is the need to be in control of my life.
Since things were so tight, I would spend hours making a budget or revising it every time there appeared to be a need.  I lived my life by this budget and tried very hard to not deviate from it.  I spent most of my waking hours trying to plan, scheme and figure out ways to get by through the month.  Then one day, God had me read this particular passage and it totally turned my life and my relationship with God around!
I found out that God didn’t want me spending the vast majority of my time fretting over bills and figuring out ways to make ends meet.  When I was doing that, I was showing that I didn’t trust God to provide for my family’s needs.  I was also wasting a lot of time planning when I could have spent that time reading the Bible, praying or spending time with my family.
It was like I was saying, “God, you know I love you and I think you’re wonderful, but I just don’t think you are going to take good enough care of my family.  I’m going to devise a plan to take care of them, just in case you fail us.”  Well, that isn’t the message I want to be giving God.
I can’t say I don’t ever get caught up in worrying about finances anymore, but quite often God will put the thought of this passage in my mind which helps me refocus.  I need to trust God to take care of my family’s needs and I need to be an example of how God works in my life.
This is a disclaimer of sorts.  This doesn’t mean a person should go out and spend their family’s money on gambling, alcohol, Bingo, possessions, etc. and God will make sure that all their needs are met.  I don’t think He wants us to ever take advantage of Him.
It would be like telling an unemployed relative that he could stay with you for a month or two while he gets back on his feet.  While your relative goes out to look for work every day you tell him, “Don’t worry about cleaning up your room.  I have a little extra time and I’ll take care of it.”  This is a genuine offer and you don’t mind cleaning up the minor things the relative leaves around.
Then the relative starts taking advantage of the fact that he has someone taking care of him.  The relative starts leaving all his clothes on the floor.  He leaves his dirty towels lying around instead of putting them in the hamper.  He leaves his dirty dishes lying on the table.  It’s bad enough that you have to take his dirty dishes to the sink and wash them, but they are hard, crusty and difficult to wash.
To top this all off, the relative is getting used to having someone pay all the bills, cook the meals and clean up after him.  Having a job, getting up early and going to work is looking less and less attractive to him.
Your relative isn’t getting up early in the morning anymore to look for work.  In fact, he seems to be staying in bed later and later every day.  You bring the paper to your relative with some potential jobs circled and find that he has tossed it on the floor with the rest of his dirty clothes, making no attempt to look for work or even call any of the ads you carefully circled.
You aren’t empowering your relative by helping him become the best he can be.  Instead, you realize that you are enabling him and making him dependent on you.  Finally, you recognize that enough is enough and you tell your relative that you aren’t going to be doing things for him anymore.  You notify him that he has to be responsible for himself and if he doesn’t get a job in a certain amount of time or at least make a decent effort; he will be out on his ear.
Well, don’t you think that if we could feel this way, maybe God would get a little upset if we took advantage of Him?  I don’t think He would like it if we spent our money carelessly so that we didn’t have enough for our bills, but relied on Him to pick up all the pieces and work everything out.  So, although I’m saying God will take care of our every need (and He really does, even better than I ever did when I was budgeting so tightly), we still need to be responsible about our finances and choices by not taking advantage of God’s forgiving nature.

Surely Thou wilt slay the wicked, O God; depart from me therefore, ye bloody men, For they speak against Thee wickedly, and Thine enemies take Thy Name in vain.  Psalm, Chapter 139, verses 19-20.
It doesn’t sound to me that God takes it lightly when people curse Him or use His Name inappropriately.  That’s why I am very concerned about people casually using “God” and “Jesus” in their everyday speech.  I don’t think people realize how strongly God feels about it.
All the passages that say we aren’t to profane God’s Name or to use His Name in vain really made me stop and think.  It has become very common these days for people to say “God” or “Jesus,” without really any thought.  You hear people say things like, “God that was a great game!”  “Jesus Christ! I ran out of bread again!”  “Oh, good God, get off your high horse and give me a hand around here.”  
Of course, I can’t mention all the possible ways I’ve heard people use God’s Name inappropriately.  The point of great concern is that these people really aren’t focusing on God when they say these things.  They aren’t praying or genuinely telling other people about God or glorifying Him either.  God states very clearly throughout the Bible that we aren’t supposed to use His Name in vain.
Reading many passages about this in the Bible has caused me to become alarmed about this issue.  I don’t think people realize how often they’re saying “God” or “Jesus,” in their everyday language.  It’s on TV and it’s in the movies.  Almost everyone seems to be doing it, even the little kids and people we respect.  Some people who are doing this consider themselves to be good Christians.  I don’t think these people even know they are using God’s Name in vain or that they are being a poor example of their faith in Jesus.
I realize that some people may not like hearing this.  Most of us like thinking we are pretty good people.  This may hurt our self-perception of the type of Christian we think we are.  I’m hoping that we will get beyond this and become much more aware of the words we choose to use.
Using God’s Name in vain has become just casual slang, like, “Shucks” used to be when I was a kid.  I hope one of the things that you get out of this book is a deeper awareness of this issue.  Listen to people talk.  What if each and every person who used God’s Name in vain as slang was to lose their Salvation?  That would be a pitiful thing. 
Maybe that’s what my job is.  Maybe I’m supposed to make people aware that they are doing this.  Maybe I’m supposed to draw their attention to the possible repercussions of using God’s Name in vain.  I have no idea.  I just know I felt led to write this book and God will take care of the rest!
Fortunately, God is very merciful and will forgive us if we ask Him to, provided we make the necessary changes to only use His Name in ways that glorify Him. Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages. 



He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.  Luke, Chapter 13, verses 6-9.

If a person stole from stores and then said to God, “I’m sorry I am not the Christian You want me to be; please forgive me,” but neglected to try to change anything, God would be patient with him up to a point.  This passage makes me think that there comes a time when God says that He’s given enough chances for the person to change their actions and if they haven’t, then He cuts His losses.
Fortunately for us, God is very forgiving.  If that person finally turns his life around to be the Christian that God wants; all will be forgiven.  God doesn’t want us to put off our faith until the last minute. Click to read additional related Bible passages on this topic.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Is This What You Want Me to Hear?, Often I'm a Self-Serving Christian, and Should I Have Expected any Less of God? Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.  Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the Light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.  And I say unto you My friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  Luke, Chapter 12, verses 2-4.

I think Jesus was probably talking about the people who were plotting against Him.  Those who said all these hateful things about Him in private thought it was private, but God knows all.
I’m not totally sure of God’s message in this one.  What I think about when I read this passage is more directed to me, personally.  It feels like God is saying to me, “You know you profess to be such a good Christian, don’t you?  But I see when you are gossiping with others and saying less than kind things.  You know your actions are supposed to be an example of your faith in Me.  You think those things you say in secret are really secret, but I know everything!  You ought to think about whether this is really what you want Me to hear coming out of your mouth.  Think about it, Debbie, because I care about you.”


But he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.  And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.  Luke, Chapter 12, verses 9-10.

Sometimes I feel awkward talking to others about my faith in God.  I’m afraid they will shy away from me the same way I want to hide in my house when a particular religious group that has a belief that isn’t compatible with mine, comes knocking on my door.  I hate it that God sees all the times I’m afraid to risk on His behalf.  I want to be a strong Christian He can depend on, not the “Self-serving Christian” who is worried about what others think.

And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.  Luke, Chapter 12, verses 11-12.

Jesus is really talking to the disciples and other people, preparing them not to worry about what they should say if they are questioned about their beliefs, because the Holy Spirit will provide the right words for them to say.  Well, I have found this is also beneficial for me to bear in mind in all types of situations.
I found myself worrying about a job I really wanted.  I remembered that it’s all in God’s hands no matter which way it turned out.  When I realized that, I relaxed knowing He would take care of it.
Shortly before I went for the interview, I said a quick prayer and asked God to take care of the words (meaning the words that come out of my mouth) and my willingness to let Him take care of the words.  It was amazing!  When I came out of the interview, I reviewed it over and over in my mind, amazed at how the words just flowed out of my mouth.  I couldn’t believe some of the answers I had given to questions I knew little about or had never thought about before.
I guess I shouldn’t have been so amazed.  God always takes good care of me and hadn’t I just asked Him to take care of the words?  Should I have expected any less?  Now before stressful situations, I try to remember to ask God to take care of the words and my willingness to let Him take care of the words and He always does! Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, October 12, 2015

I've Been a Self-Righteous Christian, Caught Up in My Own Little World, and I've Been Just a "Sunday Christian"

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.  And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by Him, and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in My Name receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me receiveth Him that sent Me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.  Luke, Chapter 9, verses 46-48.

Being a “Self-righteous Christian” too many times to mention, this passage reminds us that we shouldn’t get caught up in determining how great we are for all the good things we do in God’s Name.  That isn’t what it’s all about.  God says, For he who is least among you all, the same shall be great.”  I need to make sure that I’m focused on living the life God wants for me rather than trying to look pious to others by attaining religious status.


But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed leaving him half dead.  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell, among the thieves?  And he said, He that showed mercy on him, Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.  Luke, Chapter 10, verses 29-37.

It makes me think of all the people that need help on the side of the road that I ignore.  I have a dilemma.  It isn’t very safe to be picking up people by the side of the road these days, but I bet there are things I can do to help anyway.  I could probably ask them if they need me to call a tow truck or something.  That might be risky too.  What I have been doing is using my cell phone, at times, to call the highway patrol to tell them the approximate location of the broken down car.  I know it’s not as big an effort as the Samaritan made, but I think we all need to start someplace.  I get too caught up in my own little world and tend to ignore the things that make me uncomfortable or that I really don’t want to deal with.  I need to be more sensitive to the needs of others, being an example on a regular basis of how God works in my life.
And it came to pass, as He spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked.  But He said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it.  Luke, Chapter 11, verses 27-28.

God lets me know in this passage that it’s not good enough to hear the Word of God.  We are supposed to live the life that He suggests.  It reminds me of teaching math to children.  I would explain a new math concept to nodding heads.  I would ask if anyone had a question, but they rarely did.  I thought they really understood the concept, but as I walked around the room, I found that although the children thought they understood the concept, they weren’t applying it and were lost.
It’s pretty easy to hear things in church and feel it’s impacted your life.  If we are just “Sunday Christians” cussing at other motorists, yelling at our kids or being rude to others the rest of the week, we may not be living our lives as examples of how God works in us. Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Subtle Things Can Shake Our Foundation, Losing Your Salvation in the Process, and God and American Graffiti Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the storm did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 47-49.

I need to make sure that my faith in God has a firm foundation like the house built on rock, because my faith has to withstand all the human temptations that arise.  Some of those temptations are very subtle and can let little things into our lives that seem very minor but still shake our foundation.  Food has always been one of my bigger vices.
My younger brother was always very giving.  I’m ashamed to say that I took advantage of him when he wasn’t even in school yet.  Being the youngest and the only boy in the family, he had a piggy bank full of money.  When my parents weren’t around, I talked him into breaking into his piggy bank to get all his money out to take with us to the movies.  Being the generous person that he is, he shared all his money with his older sister.  I bought ice cream after ice cream, followed by enough candy bars to make a person sick.  He had trusted me, but my ulterior motives interfered with being an example of my faith.  Like I said, we have to be careful about the subtle things in life that sneak in and shake our foundation on rock.  Something very minor could cause that foundation to crumble! Click on the Post title to read a related Bible passage.


And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?  Luke, Chapter 9, verses 23-25.

I think God is telling us that we have to be totally dedicated to Him.  It’s all too easy to get caught up in our daily lives and focus on getting ahead in the world.  It’s especially difficult since there is so much pressure to try to keep up with the Jones’s that we might lose sight of our goal.  To paraphrase what Jesus said, “What good is it to have all these worldly things and lose your Salvation in the process?  Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages.



For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own Glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.  Luke, Chapter 9, verse 26.

This relates to a situation that made a major difference in my relationship with God.  One time, I was doing something that was an outward sign of my faith.  It was in a place where other people could see what I was doing and would have known I am a Christian.  I’m ashamed to say that this had made me really uncomfortable.
The thought in my mind shortly after this was about the movie “American Graffiti”.  One of the main characters had been in charge of keeping an eye on a young pre-teen or teenage girl.  He had a reputation of being “cool” and didn’t like being a glorified babysitter.  Later, he and the young lady got to know each other better and became friends.  Then there was a point in the movie where he was driving down the main drag and he saw a group of his friends.  He realized that they would see him with this young girl and it could hurt his “cool image” if they knew he was babysitting.  So he asked his new found friend to duck down in the seat so his other friends wouldn’t see her sitting in his car, thus maintaining his reputation.
Well, that’s what I was doing with God.  I was saying to God, “You are really important to me and I love you a lot, but I don’t want other people to know how important You are to me.  I want to look ‘cool’ to others and don’t want them to think I’m a religious fanatic.  So, God, please duck down so they don’t know I’m a Christian.”
This movie impacted my life and my relationship with God because it helped me realize that I used to shy away from mentioning anything about God or my faith to anyone.  I can’t say it’s all that easy for me now, because I’m still very weak and have a hard time risking ridicule from others.  I do try to say things like, “Boy, God was really looking after you,” when there was a miracle in someone’s life that they may have overlooked.
When I do this, I’m generally anxious because I never know how anyone is going to respond to these statements.  I’m always afraid that they are going to think I’m a fanatic and shy away from me, but I have never received that response from anyone.  In fact, people have been very appreciative and it has opened up opportunities for the other person to share their perspective of how God has influenced their life.  I need to continue to focus on being more willing to take risks for God.  I would never want Him to turn His back on me the way I have done to Him.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Monday, October 5, 2015

You Can't Con God!, I Don't Want to Fall in a Ditch, and Critiquing Other People's Behavior Posts

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 37-38.

This message reminds me that I would NOT want God to judge me by the same standards I use to judge other people.  I’m very thankful that He reminds me of this, because I often find myself being critical or judgmental of others.
When we genuinely give to others out of our need, God will always make sure we are provided for.  This is a miracle unto itself, similar to the loaves and fishes.  I do have some concerns though.  There are some supposed churches that promote giving to others as a plan to get financial reward in return.  They talk to their parishioners about giving lots of money to the church or to causes in order to get great wealth for their good deeds.  Well, this is God we are talking about and He’s all-knowing.  He can tell when we are genuinely giving to others and when we are giving to others with ulterior motives.  You can’t con God! Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages.


And He spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?  Luke, Chapter 6, verse 39.

Sometimes we get into a routine of doing whatever everyone else is doing.  If they are going to a particular church, we try it out.  If our friends use God’s Name in vain, we forget what we learned in Sunday school while we were growing up and start using His Name in vain too.  If everyone else is doing it, it must not be all that bad.  Right??? Click on the Post title to read more.


And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 41-42.

From what I have read in the Bible, God doesn’t want us to get to the point we EVER feel so self-righteous that we can be critiquing other people’s behavior or choices.  We need to focus on our own choices and make sure we are being the best example of our faith we can possibly be. Click on the post title to read a related Bible passage.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Prayers from the Bathroom, A Little Respect and a Smile or Two, and Giving to Those We Don't Care For

Since Bible Passages That Can Influence Your Life, is now on line through individual posts, I am now putting several links together for each post. I found groupings of three posts worked well for anyone interested in using these for a Bible study group.  Debbie Seiling


But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.  And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 27-29.

I used to get caught up in being angry and resentful when people were rude or insensitive to me.  I can’t say that I don’t ever get caught up in those human emotions anymore.  Fortunately, these passages will pop into my mind in the middle of those feelings.
I realize that God wants me to pray for these people rather than waste my time being angry with them.  I think anger can be a very counterproductive emotion, at times.  I remember a time when I was working under a very insensitive-demanding supervisor.  I was almost to the point of tears at work when I went into the bathroom because I didn’t want anyone to see me crying.  This passage popped into my mind, so I prayed for the supervisor and for God to bless her.  I was only expecting God to make me feel better so I could leave the restroom without anyone realizing I had been crying.
When I left the bathroom after saying that quick prayer, not only did I feel relieved but the supervisor was much nicer to me.  I really wasn’t expecting that to happen.  Since it happened this way the first time, I have gone to the bathroom to pray many times over the years.  Every time I have done this, the situation was much better afterward.  It’s amazing to see how God is personally involved in our lives.
It’s important that I do not respond to these people in like manner.  Coming back with an equally hateful or insensitive remark isn’t being the example God wants me to be of how He works in my life.  When I pray for these people, I’m putting them in God’s very capable hands.  Actually, it would be wonderful if these hurtful or rude people would have their lives turned around by God who can cause miraculous changes in anyone. Click on the Post title to read some related Bible passages.


Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. Luke, Chapter 6, verse 30.

I think God wants us to give freely to those in need.  I’m not sure about the interpretation of the second part of this passage.  I have taken it to be an answer to a dilemma I have with giving to others.  I think there is a fine line between empowering and enabling.  There are times when a person gives to others and it empowers them, giving them a hand-up to be the best they can be.  Then there are times where you give to others and it creates an enabling dependency that is counterproductive and isn’t healthy for that person.  So I don’t give to people I think are going to use the money to buy another bottle or to people who are deliberately trying to take advantage of me or scam me.
I’m not sure that’s what the second part of this passage was really saying and I apologize if I’m misleading anyone, but that’s the way I have taken it.  A good rule of thumb is to trust the instincts that God gives you.  I try to let those instincts guide me in giving.  Don’t forget giving isn’t only of our money.  Sometimes giving is by treating others with respect or taking the time to listen to their story whether you’ve heard similar stories a million times over.  Giving of your time by being there for someone else when they need someone in their corner can be a much more powerful thing than any monetary gift.  Sometimes people who are down and out just need a hand-up, a little respect and a smile or two.

(As I read this passage while I’m editing the book, I wonder if God doesn’t want us to give even if we think someone is going to buy another bottle.  Who are we to say whether our kindness might leave a positive impact on that person which goes far beyond anything we might ever realize.  As I said originally, trust the instincts that God gives you on this subject.  Those will be right for your situation.)

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye?  for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye?  for sinners also do even the same.  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye?  for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  Luke, Chapter 6, verses 31-36.

God is telling us He wants us to be nice, considerate and giving to everyone, especially those who aren’t nice, considerate and giving to us.  He says it’s easy to be giving to people who are nice to us, so that’s not very difficult.  We are really doing a bigger thing when we are giving to those we don’t care for, those who aren’t nice to us or those who don’t look like people we would ever associate with. Click on the Post title to read more.

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.

These are other blogs I felt led to create:

This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections. 
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie

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