Think Before You Throw #Shade – The Sun is Moving! –

throwing shade

Do not hastily bring into court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another’s secret, lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end (Prov 25:8-10)~ Isn’t it interesting that the person that loves to ‘throw shade’ or ‘call people out’ ends up being the one getting the “side-eye” from everyone else as the truly shameful person? What good does it really do to go after a person and publicly humiliate them for some offense? Your efforts to make them look bad are actually casting a negative shadow on you! Why create all that drama?? All it does is fuel the fire even though in the moment it seems to feel vindicating. Conflict and strife are parts of life in a sinful world. They evoke strong passions, which cause us to rush to action. Some of us pride ourselves in being direct or outspoken or passionate. But a passionate response is usually a poor response. It is better to let passions cool before taking any action. The mind is usually not fully engaged, when the heart is pounding and the emotions are raging. Cool off first, before you say anything, do anything or even plan anything. Otherwise, unless you are very careful, small conflicts will escalate quickly into much larger trials. Kings go to battle slowly. Jesus said, “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace” (Luke 14:31-32). Let this all be a lesson to us: If you have ever slept on a conflict, with a mind toward fearing God and loving wisdom, you woke in the morning with a very different perspective than what you went to bed with. This is wisdom. By allowing some time to pass, your passions cooled, your mind had time to clear foolish emotions, and the Holy Spirit could direct you. 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 (Rom 12:19). Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20).

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Even with all the world’s turmoil there is still #Peace

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isa 26:3)~ The ‘hot’ mediums of television and Internet create an impression of directness and immediacy – Every day, it seems, we’re bombarded by disturbing images and stories about natural disasters and human atrocities from all around the world. It’s almost as if these events are all happening right here in front of us – literally! The relentlessness of present-day news (and social media) coverage makes it almost impossible to escape these troubling reports and sadly it brings forth the reality that the world is not necessarily a peaceful place;  and bad things do happen from time to time. Our peace is often the focus of the enemy. Satan knows without peace, we are in a weakened condition, vulnerable to defeat. If he can get us to hand over our peace, he knows it won’t be long before we become putty in his hand. But, as Christians we can all be reassured with the thought that God is always with us, that He has promised to stand by us, and that He will take care of us no matter what comes our way. Have you ever thought of the power that we have been given in Jesus’ name when we speak His word and claim it in our life? One of the great provisions of Christ to us as His family is peace in Him. He not only gives us peace, He keeps us in peace; in His perfect peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but those who trust in God shall not only find in Him, but shall receive from Him, strength that will carry them to that blessedness which is forever. God’s Word is true and it can be trusted! When we stand on God’s Word, we won’t fall for the tricks of the enemy! And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Col 3:15). As members of His family, peace is not just God’s gift but His WILL…His intention for us. He doesn’t intend that we live in stress and strain; He doesn’t intend that we have dysfunction in our families and relationships; He doesn’t intend that we struggle through life. It is His will that every need be supplied (Phil 4:19). Friend, I pray that God, the source of all hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ (Rom 15:13). Be Blessed!

#Pride Goeth Before the Fall; Let’s Be #Humble –

be humble

A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit (Prov 29:23)~~  Pride doesn’t like to lose arguments, winning is more important than being right and it’s most dangerous especially when we’re right. Pride doesn’t want to apologize, It is justified in itself. Pride doesn’t want to serve, but demands respect to itself.  Pride sets itself up as the most important thing and seeks self preservation at all costs.  We are all prideful at times in our ways. When we get too prideful, Compromise becomes like nails on a chalkboard. We hear the WORDS people speak, but we don’t hear their heart – there is a perpetual misunderstanding because while we “listen” to them, what they say is masked by our own thoughts and interpretation. Pride can create walls in relationships. Pride is a wicked poison. It’s both subtle and blatant – settling quietly into the cracks and flaring up when challenged. Pride is all about “self”. Humility on the other hand disarms tension and deflates the self – it removes the unhealthy sense of self importance, and places our primary concern on the other person. Humility reminds us that we desperately need grace, mercy, and forgiveness, so how can we possibly not give them freely? Pride is about having control. Humility relinquishes control. Pride is defensive. Humility removes defenses. Pride is a sign of weakness. Humility is a sign of strength. Prideful people are resistant to God and view others as the problem. Humble people respond to God and others. Therefore, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). See a pattern here? Let’s be humble, it’s just better.

#Pride Acknowledges You; #Humility Acknowledges God~

humility and pride

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1:15-16); The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts (Ps 10:4)~~ Even natural and apparently innocent activities that are duties of God and nature become sin when done by a person with a wicked heart. Even following a plow, a duty of man to feed himself, is sin when it is done by a wicked man. Why is this true? Because wicked people trust in themselves and rely on their own abilities and follow their own rules; they are unthankful and ever dissatisfied with everything about their situation- seeming to seek the negative point of view about everything; and pursue their own greed and pride, rather than the glory of their Creator. God is not in all their thoughts, but becomes important as a matter of convenience. They use His creation for their own selfish ends. They have no regard for Him or His precepts. They ignore Him constantly and reject Him when confronted. Consider this: Before plowing, a righteous man thanks God for his and his ox’s health, sunshine, last night’s rain, the acres he owns, the opportunity to work, God’s mercy to sinners, and the hope of eternal life. While plowing, he meditates on the ox’s strength, the smell of the soil, the miracle of plant growth, the Lord’s goodness, and begs Divine mercy for more rain and greater grace. He wipes sweat away and thanks Heaven for the body’s cooling system. At the day’s end, he gives seed to a neighbor, takes a chicken to the preacher, thanks the Lord for a blessed day, reads his Bible, confesses his sins, and loves his wife. Now in comparison consider the following: Before plowing, a wicked man complains about the fact he has only one ox, the lack of sunshine last month, the mud from last night’s rain, the farm next door he wishes he owned, the death of his father last winter, the burden of taxes, and how life is hard. While plowing, he dreams of making more money than his brother, beating his neighbor for local councilman, and of how strong and successful he has become. Twice he swears at the sun for making the day so hot. At the day’s end, he sends the borrowing neighbor away empty, kills two chickens to glut himself, complains about how hard he worked, reads the Police Gazette, and goes to sleep thinking of his neighbor’s wife. How do you approach your daily life? Is your heart right with God, leading to humble looks and a Godly perspective and purpose in all that you do or are you focused on how to live up to some worldly standard? Do you seek to give God the glory in all you do or are you only focused on how you can win and what credit or recognition you get? Rather than being a complainer about what you see as missing in your life, richly enjoy the life He has given you, gratefully and humbly thanking Him for every pleasure. Work hard, love your spouse and family, and live as He directs you. When we get in the right perspective about life, we actually enjoy the blessings in our lives rather than despising our circumstances while in pursuit of what we don’t have. Many will call it “determined” and “focused” and “relentless”; and man’s admiration of those qualities attribute the drive to seeking a better life; But when you despise the life of blessings you have, the grace and mercy God has shown you, that tireless “pursuit of happiness” does nothing more than make you … tired! Remember, God’s plan doesn’t promise you everything you ‘want’ but what He does bless you with is more valuable than what you could obtain without Him. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths (Prov 3:6).

Don’t be so #proud looking down at everything that you can’t look up to God. ~

humility
Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.’ But Naaman was furious and went away and said, ‘Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.’’(2 Kings 5:10-11)~~
 
God’s healing is not some magical incantation or illusionist trick and He doesn’t just go around changing us in a puff of smoke or catering to our whims because we call Him God! There must be an act of faith, often aside of our comfort zone and it may even put us in an out of character or undesirable condition. 
 
Looking for a quick cure, Naaman came to Elisha and was told to bathe in the Jordan, never a river known for its clear waters!  This command filled Naaman with rage, and he shared his desire that the prophet just speak an incantation, wave his hand over the leprosy, and provide instant healing. Not only did he demand his healing but he insisted it should be done with a specific pomp and circumstance. 
 
Instead here the rich man was told to enter into probably one of the dirtiest and most disgusting conditions he’d ever seen – a place he likely considered beneath him. Not only would he require faith but humility! Those who come to God must have faith in who He is and only when we are humbled in His presence, will God exalt us! Without faith we cannot please God but the smallest of such can move mountains. Without humility, we cannot see God for who He is because we are too busy seeing ourselves! 
 
How often do we want to tell God how to do His business?  The old saying, “beggars can’t be choosers” fits well here.  Naaman (like many of us) forgot that he was the beggar, at the mercy of God Almighty.  Until Naaman could humble himself to take a step in faith, he would not find healing. 
 
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble! 

The #Change I Want to See Begins With Change in Me –

BE the Change Yo Want to See

At some point in our lives, certain courses of events will bring in us a point of reflection on where things are in our lives and gives us the thought of doing something different than we did before. Now we engage a battle within ourselves to maintain our intent but one little problem continues to get in the way and in many cases eventually defeats us… US!
 
See, the thing about these resolutions, no matter WHEN we set them, is that they have a requirement that many of us forget to consider or resist the most… CHANGE! If we are going to succeed in this move to a ‘different’ place in our lives than we were beforehand, we have to DO things differently, we have to BE a different person than we were, we have to THINK with a different mindset and attitude; we have to CHANGE! All of our experiences, all of our likes and dislikes, our passions, joys and pains, things we do and places we go; even the people around us and ultimately our very selves… must go through change.  Being the creatures of habit that we are, this experience of change is not always welcome or comfortable. We are more inclined to stay where we are because it’s comfortable and it’s easy and we don’t have to worry about what may or may not happen because of change. We feel in control. We are uncomfortable about change in life because we have to take a new path that is outside of the one we are always in and feel good about. But when God calls upon you for your destiny you will have to endure change that will take you away from what you are used to and comfortable with. Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee (Gen 12:1)~ Imagine trusting God to the point you give up everything you have; everything you are everything and possibly most of, if not everyone you know. God did just that, even Himself, to deliver His promise to us and open the door for us. He could have just sat in Heaven and been comfortable in His glory and just let things happen, but God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). He made the biggest change in History- a change that altered the destiny of life itself. He gave up His all to replace the burden and the end result of sin for us.
 
Change means we’re going to have to modify some things; even give up some things… and some people! Many of these things… and people are for our own good even though we may not see it right away! And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell (Matt 5:29-30)~~  Thinking about all the sinful things that my eyes have looked upon in my past, and if I were to “pluck them out”…. thinking about all the sinful things that I have used my hands for in my past, and if I were to “cut them off”…. thinking about all the ways (through thought or action) that the various parts of my physical body have been used in sin in my past; My brain – sinful thoughts; My feet – brought me to sinful places; My hands – touching, holding, creating sinful things; My tongue – speaking wickedness and sinful language; this list just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and in imagining myself removing all of these parts of my body from me, there wouldn’t be much left! And beyond the physical implications the reality of this is actually a bit deeper! When Jesus spoke these things, do you really think He meant that while deserving, we should be amputating all of the parts of the body that we sin with?  Or was this all a revelation of just how much we NEEDED the sacrifice He would make with His own sinless body to bear the stripes, the punishment and the physical and spiritual destruction we so deserved?
 
No matter when or how we do it, the requirement is that revelation of where change must take place before change takes place – within us! This is a call for us to look at those things in our lives that we carry with us because of what we do with our various members, and repent – turn aside from those habits, those actions, those ways and those people – that keep us in a sinful and awful state and force our lives in the wrong direction. Jesus has given us by His finished sacrifice, the go-ahead to “Pluck” these things out of our lives, “cut them off” from being a part of us anymore. What transgressions we already have are covered in Him and He has given us authority to separate ourselves from these things and be free from their impact; but also we must exercise the self-control that we are given as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:23) and repent of them as part of our growth and relationship in Him. This is not always going to be an easy thing. In fact, because we’ve come to enjoy those things and people, cutting them off – repenting – turning away and moving on from them –  will often be uncomfortable and sometimes very painful. But it’s better to go through the pain of cutting them off than the eternal fall we face for the convenience of holding on to them. But again all the while, it may be a tough battle.  Thankfully God is always there for us to give us the way and the means and the strength because by our own will we cannot so commit. To literally and physically cut off the right hand simply leaves the left to equally compensate and to pluck out one eye leaves the other to do the same…twofold. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin, which doth so easily beset us… (Heb 12:1). In HIM!
 
Knowing this we have to be encouraged of our security during our journey because while we don’t know what we’re about to go through in our change, we do know that HE is in control and has a place that He will bring us to. We have a decision to make. We can trust Him enough to faithfully go through the change as He asks of us or we can ignore Him and fight for the comfort of staying stagnant; for the easiness of just being where and how we are. The end result though will be the same. Again, everything has its appointed time and when that time is exhausted, the winds of change are imminent! Remember, God’s word will not return to Him void but will accomplish what He purposed (Isa 55:11). Therefore our decision to ignore and hold back kicking and screaming for our “right to be as we please” only makes it harder on us when that inevitable does come. If God means it for you, it is going to be! How it affects you is really up to you. God gives us the opportunity to change or be changed. It’s up to us! Is there anything in your life you would not be willing to walk away from to follow Christ and give Him the praise, honor and glory He is due? Would you change your life to live in Him and have Him live through you? We don’t fully know what God’s promise brings us along the way but we know what the end result will be. Christ gave all and sits at the Right hand of God … the promise as a result of our faith and our trust will be a greatness beyond our comprehension. As you resolve to seeing change in our life, you must resolve to MAKING change in our life! Don’t fight what must be; but trust God and allow His blessing to enhance, grow and sustain you as the seasons around you change! 
 
God Bless You and Keep You! 

From #DeepThoughts Within, You Have #Joy-

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My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (James 1:2)~ We must strive to be joyful under challenging & troublesome situations as such exercises are allowed in God’s love; and these “tests” of faith and patience will brighten our graces now, and our eternal crown at last. Joy is a state of mind that must be purposely cultivated if you are to live and love and influence others as God intended. Fortunately, Joy does not depend on the outer conditions of your material life, but rather on the inner condition of your mental life. Joy is the result of something strikingly simple, though not necessarily easy: consistently thinking joy-producing thoughts. He who focuses on joy-producing thoughts in this manner will have joy! The Word says in Proverbs 23:7 “As he thinketh in his heart so is he”…indeed we can create our joy in our own spirit! Now true joy doesn’t just happen, because you think about things. Remember the Word said “thinketh in his HEART”. That means you believe it from DEEP down inside, it’s not just a superficial “front”. When you act it out but it doesn’t come from the heart, it’s more about show. Superficial reactions only consider what others see. But to truly believe from the heart. … That is a sign of true belief and faith. To get there you have to make some changes: Certain comfort thoughts and contentment with your present state will need to be relinquished. Counterproductive habits will need to be abandoned. Tenured excuses must be surrendered. When challenges come up; people say and do things to you, situations go awry and crazy things happen, rather than being frustrated we have to see it as an opportunity to change our way of thinking and pursue the opportunity for joy. You have no control over what trial happens to you and you may not really know how it will affect you but you have full control over how you respond to it. You are FREE to choose what you think about, and you have billions of options. Those fruits of your spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self control -Gal 5:22-23) must be tried in order to be refined. This is something each of us MUST endure!  Every time you find yourself in a situation then, think of it as another chance for God’s hand to be on you. Knowing that alone is a reason to have joy. So if your goal is to have your joy, what specific thoughts would you increase or decrease? What kinds of thoughts will distress your soul? What types of thoughts will nourish and hydrate your soul? What will you allow to steal your joy? What do you think?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things