Consider the Lilies..: July 2013   

Jul 17, 2013

3. Me and my big mouth..

BLOG CHALLENGE #3   - For each of the next three entries describe one thing that has changed about you since you accepted Christ as your Savior.
Things are so busy lately that I am only able to blog here once a week..  Sorry about that..  
So, another thing that has changed about me since I met Jesus..  It's taken a lot of work, a lot of biting my tongue (literally) and a lot of prayer..  You know the kind of prayer I mean; "God why do I keep doing this? Please, please, please make me stop!" but I finally think before I speak..  

Sure, I've blogged about the power of our words, more than once..  Believe me, those blog posts were more lessons for me than anyone else..  I remember that I would become so frustrated with myself when I would realize that once again I had said something without thinking and either hurt myself or someone else..  But more importantly, I know I grieved the Holy Spirit..    I would pray the "Oh God make me stop" prayer over and over..  

Until one day while reading Romans I saw this:
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am!
Romans 7:18-24

Paul had the same problem..  He struggled with the same thing more than once too!  But he knew that because he had been saved, God forgave him for his past sins, and would continue to forgive him for future mistakes too!  And because of His son, we are free from the bondage of sin..  But knowing that Paul struggled with the same things that I did made me realize that everyone is a work in progress..  I was so busy getting angry at myself for doing it, and praying that God make me stop doing it, that I never took the time to allow the Spirit to do this work in me..

Several times Jesus tells His disciples that He will be sending them a comforter, a helper..  The why is simple .  Because God knows that we can't live a righteous life on our own..  We simply can not turn away from sin without help..  
So that's what I did..  I asked for help..  I didn't just pray "God, make me stop!" if He did, would I actually learn anything?  
So every day (several times a day) I asked the Spirit to teach me..  Remind me of His presence, convict me when I speak, and I even asked Him to show me my behavior in other people so I could see for myself what my own behavior looked like..  It was a lesson, that's for sure!

I began to hear things from people that I never really paid attention to before..  Things that at first seemed harmless but actually were not..  Someone would say something about someone else in passing and I would ask myself (or rather the voice inside would ask) "Was that life giving?  Did what she say glorify God?  Would it have hurt that person if she heard it?"  and then the last question "Why did she say that?"

It wasn't long after that I was asking myself these same questions about the things that I said..  Did it bring life?  Did my words make a difference in a good way?  Did they lift someone up?  Did my words glorify God?  Why did I say it?

When I would read, verses about my words would stand out..

The tongue has the power of life and death,

    and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:21

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.
Matthew 15:18

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

There are about a bazillion more but you get my point..  
So I changed..  Just like that..  I stopped saying things just because I felt they needed to be said..  I stopped telling it like it is because it really wasn't my place to do so..  Seriously, who cares anyway?  Come on, we have all done it..  "it was the truth and it needed to be said"..  Right?
You know what that is?  Pride..  It's not our responsibility to set someone straight..  That's God's job..  Not to mention, what if our truth is wrong?  But we get offended, sometimes when it isn't even our business, and we just have to set that person straight!  

But that's not really true..  We don't have to..  We want to..
We want to have the last word..  We want that other person to know how wrong they are and truthfully, how right we are..  And even if we know we are right; without a shadow of a doubt, is it really our place to push it at someone else?  I promise you, if they don't want to listen to you and receive correction, they won't..  It doesn't matter how right you are..  They simply won't..  And all you managed to do was come off as an overbearing know-it-all..  Been there, done that..

Now I'm changed..  At least in this area..  I don't say exactly what I think whenever I think it..  Even when I'm asked for my opinion, I think carefully about how and if I am going to give it..  I don't argue back or defend myself if confronted with someone else who just has to tell me "the truth"..  Because, to put it simply; I really don't care..  Of course, I prayed over and over for a healthy dose of  'I don't care what you think of me'  and I'm seeing the fruit of that, so to speak..  I don't care if they think 'they won' or 'had the last word', I don't care what they think at all, or even what they say about me to someone else because I have learned (the hard way) that it takes more strength not to fight back..

This attitude has changed how I relate to everyone; my husband, my daughter, friends, strangers, and God..
It's funny how most of the time you don't realize you are in bondage to something until you are set free of it..  I was in bondage to my own big mouth..  
And now I'm not..  It's that simple..
It's an amazing feeling :)

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Jul 6, 2013

2..



BLOG CHALLENGE #2    - For each of the next three entries describe one thing that has changed about you since you accepted Christ as your Savior.

This first one is pretty significant..  Well, they are all significant..  When the Holy Spirit does work in you, it's always significant right?  But this is one change that others have noticed and commented to me about..

Offense..  I don't become offended anymore..  Things that people say to me or about me don't have the same hold on me that they once did..
I hardly ever appreciated anything offensive said to me, but I could handle it..  I wasn't OK with anything said about me to someone else though..  But worse than that was anyone saying anything about my husband or my daughter.  Them was fightin' words!

Someone said something about my daughter several months ago..  They didn't name my daughter outright, but I knew it was about her..  I was mad..  Really mad..  I lashed out without thinking..  Of course it didn't change the opinion of the one who said it, and it just made me look over-dramatic and stupid..  Then I had to humble myself and apologize, which never feels good (ugh)..

That evening I came across a verse in Proverbs:
A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense
Proverbs 19:11

So I thought about that..  People say offensive (mean, hurtful, judgmental) things all the time..  But why?  There is a reason for everything..  Sometimes more than one reason..  So what are the reasons for this particular behavior?  

I came up with a few reasons (I'm sure there are more)..  
1. Vengeance..  Someone hurt them or made them angry, so they are going to give it right back..  
However the Bible says: 
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” -- Romans 12:19

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.-- Matthew 5:38-39

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.--
Leviticus 19:18

2. Jealousy..  They are unhappy people, jealous of the happiness of those around them, so by making someone else unhappy it will somehow make them feel better..  (It may bring a feeling of satisfaction for a moment, but real happiness?  I doubt it)..
The Bible warns us about these types of people:

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.--
James 3:16

3. To feel better about themselves.. If they can keep others down by pointing out their faults and saying mean things to them, it makes them feel and look better by comparison..
Stay calm; mind your own business--
1 Thessalonians 4:11

I realized that not taking an offence is a matter of obedience, I decided that I should try not to be offended by the ignorance and selfishness of others..  
It was hard..  I'm a stickler for obedience, and most of the time when I learn that certain behaviors are a matter of obedience, it's easy to stop (or start, whatever)..  But this one was easier said than done..  

It has always bothered me when someone says "I can't help how I feel"..  Because, yes you can!  We decide what is going to upset us..  We decide what is going to make us angry..  We decide what is going to make us sad..  Why else does the Bible say things like 'Let go of your anger- do not be afraid- do not worry- etc'?
We decide how we are going to feel..  We can chose joy or we can chose the opposite..  
But it's our choice!

But there I was arguing..  "What he said about my kid was wrong, I have the right to feel offended!" or "she insulted my husband, how can I not feel offense?"
Well  here's the thing..  The Bible tells me not to hold an offense..
So I prayed..  A lot..  I knew that praying for everyone who offends me to just stop would be fruitless..  My prayers asking God to change someone is usually answered with "change yourself"..
So I prayed for the Spirit to change ME..  
It didn't take long for me to realize the obvious..  No one can offend me unless I let them..
By allowing the words or actions of others to offend me, I am giving them power over me..  I am basically saying "you are allowed to make me unhappy..  I give you permission to make me angry because my flesh is  too weak for me to control my own emotions"..

After that, it just got easier and easier..  I'm not saying that people have stopped trying to say hurtful things to me or about me..  I'm not saying that no one tries to push my buttons, or control what I do or how I think..
I'm saying that when these things happen, I can remind myself that they are the ones with the issues, not me..
Because really, saying something to me or about me isn't going to make it true..  It's not going to change what I do, what I think, or how I feel..  So why should it matter?  And if it changes how others think or feel about me, that's really not my problem either is it? 
The same goes for whatever someone says about my husband or my daughter..  I know how awesome they are and so do the people who truly love them..  So who cares what someone else says?  It won't stop them from being awesome!
So now, I let people say what they want to say..  Most of the time they are the ones who end up looking immature and out of control anyway..

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world"
 "Stay calm and mind your own business"  
"This too shall pass"..  

An immense feeling of freedom came about me when I learned how not to be offended..  It's changed a lot about me and I'm grateful for it..


"There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers."
Proverbs 6:16-19



Jul 4, 2013

1

Day 1. What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?

I have two; one in the Old Testament and one in the New..  
My favorite Old Testament book is:  
I can't even tell you how many times I have read it..  To me, Daniel is the perfect example of what a follower of God should look like- obedient, faithful, and fully trusting in God no matter what the circumstances-- refusing to eat their food, watching his friends thrown into a furnace, stuck in a den full of lions, facing an angry king when he refused to worship him, knowing full well it could mean his death..  
I'm sure he was terrified in every circumstance, but he still held on to his faith above all else..
And for everything; Daniel's faithfulness was rewarded by God's faithfulness..
I also like this book so much because of the prophecy in his revelations..  They clearly show the second coming of Jesus..  I know that Isaiah does this too, but (in my opinion) I think the book of Daniel does a better job making it clear..  

I know that David was a man after God's own heart, but (again, in my opinion) Daniel is at the top of the list (well after Jesus of course) of the most admiral people in the Bible and I can not wait to meet him :)

My favorite New Testament book is:
I have read it more times than I have read Daniel..
In a nutshell, the book of James is simply this:
--If you're going to call yourself a Christian, then you need to act like it and this is how you do that..--
This Book focuses on the behavior of a Christian..  A true follower of Christ..  
It is a must read!  Not just read, but read and apply..
James doesn't pull any punches..  He lays it all out there, no beating around the bush with him..  You can't read this book and not know exactly what he means..  It's pretty cut and dry..
I love that..
I have learned so much from this book!  It has changed my life..  Truly..

Jul 3, 2013

10..

Still suffering from writer's block so I decided to make a Christian Blog challenge (since I couldn't find one).. So maybe if other's decide to do it, I can get some inspiration :)  If you wanna do the challenge, just link back to me and leave a comment so I know to go and read yours too..

I'm gonna start tomorrow :)



 1. What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?

 2, 3, & 4. For each of the next three entries describe one thing that has changed about you since you accepted Christ as your Savior.

5. What do you like the most about your church and why?

6. What would you change about your church if you could and why?

7.  Who in the Bible do you relate to the most and why?

8. When you think of God, how do YOU see Him?

9.  Since you have been a Christian, what is the greatest lesson you have learned so far?

10. If you could convince the whole world of just one thing about God, what would it be?


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