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Monday Musings: The Power of Words

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God is with us in the storms

Storms rage around us in many forms, but God never leaves us. He is in the boat of life with us. Over my lifetime situations arose in which others attacked me with with a barrage of verbal hailstones. My heart felt ripped in half, so painful I thought I heard it like the sound of fabric torn apart. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. Untrue.

Hammer a nail into an heirloom table, then pull the nail out. The hole remains. Fill it with putty. Sand it Stain it. The table continues to bear the evidence of damage.
Careless, angry, demeaning words wound the hearts of those targeted. The invisible daggers and arrows leave injuries of excruciating pain and after healing ugly scars remain. As an amputee will not grow a new limb, the damage caused to an injured heart will not disappear.

But God heals. One of his names is Yahweh Rophe. The Lord Who Heals. God heals the broken-hearted. He’s able. Praise him and thank him for his great love for us. Praise him for his healing and renewing our strength.

Isaiah 40:31 (VOICE)

But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
They will walk—never tired, never faint.

He lifts us up from the ashes of a burned out life. He wipes the tears from our faces. He heals the wounds. He replaces the hurtful lies with truth. He affirms his love for us. He shapes us closer into a perfect reflection of his image. He fills our hearts with joy.

Psalms 30:5b (VOICE)
The deepest pains may linger through the night,
but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.

 

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The Voice (VOICE) The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

 

Honor Your Father and Mother

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Honor Your Father and Mother

Ephesians 6:1-2
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right.2 Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother.

Daddy was not the perfect father. Oh, he loved us and we were his sunshine. He parented in the manner he thought best at the time just as most parents do. His father treated his eleven children harshly and that’s what Daddy knew. We knew when Daddy spoke we obeyed because we feared the consequences. All four of us grew up dealing with emotional struggles. He caused deep wounds by his words, but especially to two of my sisters.

Growing up my sisters and I awoke to Daddy singing the chorus to You Are My Sunshine. That was his song to his babies. Singing us awake, singing us to the table, singing us to dress, Daddy had a song for just about anything. He grew up being sung to by his mom who also taught him to play the piano, to dance and to sing.

His mom wrote music, choreographed it and traveled the Vaudeville circuit with Daddy and his sister Florence performing. Later he sang in churches and at revivals. After returning from World War II RCA offered him a recording contract. He turned it down. He told the record company that God called him to preach and pastor. Daddy walked away from the glitz and glamour of musical fame to the grit and grind of ministering from the pulpit and homes. He wanted to honor his Heavenly Father with the gifts he felt God entrusted to him. He wanted to preach and not perform.

Daddy continued teaching us to sing four-part harmony and arranged for us to perform. We sang in churches, fairs, fundraisers, competitions and around the piano just for fun. We sang hymns. We sang jingles. We sang country ballads. We sang Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Doris Day and the Lennon Sisters. No matter the venue we included in our repertoire the chorus to You Are My Sunshine.

He spent the last few years of his life in a nursing facility. While there he desired to live his life continuing to honoring God. The first few years there he sat in his doorway greeting each person entering or leaving. Some chatted with him, some asked him to pray with them or some to sing with them. He took each hand in his and affirmed each one. Bedridden his last two years he would sing You Are My Sunshine with different staff members, harmonizing with his beautiful tenor and slowing the last note, holding it and fading the “away.”

My sisters and I spent those last two years, a week or two at time staying in town so he would see one of us each day. We desired to honor our father and pour out the love of God on him. We watched baseball or football with him, read to him, or sat with him while he napped. But before leaving him we sang hymns or old ballads harmonizing and concluding with You Are My Sunshine. As he grew weaker he reached to hug each of us often and repeated, “Sorry.”

Daddy died October 19, 2014. Prior to him leaving us my sisters and I stood around his bed holding hands and singing in four-part harmony Amazing Grace and the Doxology. We each went to him, again told him we forgave him and we loved him. Soon after we crooned You Are My Sunshine he went “away” gazing into the shining face of the Son standing at the right hand of God. I imagine him singing hallelujah’s with the angels.

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)

My Story by Darla Bell

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A few days ago I shared an article about Big Daddy Weave and their new song, “My Story”. I told you I was going to share my story, so Lord, help me. Here it is. I accepted Jesus as My Savior when I was 12, at Camp Gilead in Polk City, Fl. My life was forever changed! I have faced many challenges in my life, but God has strengthened and sustained me through each and every one of them. As a result my relationship with Him keeps growing stronger. I constantly saw God’s hand guiding me through tough high school years and hectic college years. One of His greatest blessings was meeting the Love of My Life, My Soulmate, the one that I know without a shadow of a doubt that God meant for me to share the entire rest of my days with- Matt Bell!!!❤
My biggest challenge in my life, marriage, and family came after we had our first child. I thought I just had postpartum depression but it never went away. The negative and devastating thoughts, emotions, anxiety, and fear that became an everyday part of my life was so very crippling and overwhelming. All of that in addition to the normal adjustments to being a new Mom and the all the changes and challenges it brings in marriage. I was left with little energy to enjoy the life I know God wanted me to have. I can’t even begin to imagine how all of this weighed on Matt, but God is faithful! Matt has always been right by my side, encouraging, praying, and holding me through times when I know he must have felt so helpless and bewildered as to what he should do to help me. That kind of love and support can ONLY come from God who has put a love so deep and strong in our lives, first for Him and then for each other!
I didn’t want to be around people, always in a bad mood, couldn’t control my emotions, crying uncontrollably. The devil would feed me lie after lie and I would believe all of it. The mind is truly a battlefield and I rely on God and His Word to combat those damaging lies like how can anyone love me, I’m a terrible mom and wife, I’ll never measure up to anything, I’m unattractive to my husband , and on and on. I used to want to bang my head into a brick wall a dozen times to try to get the thoughts to go away! Many times I thought of getting in my vehicle and leaving my family because The devil was trying to convince me that they would be better off without me! But I would immediately pray- I knew this was NOT what God would want me to do and in my heart I really didn’t want to leave those I love. I would go through cycles of trusting God for a while then shaking my fists at Him and crying asking Him why He allowed this to happen to me. As our family grew, I continued to struggle , but I was always thankful for Matt and our children.
Over the years I continued to serve God and He gave me the persistence to never give up and to continue to seek Him even though I didn’t understand. Eventually, I came to the place a few years ago, where I refused to allow Satan to defeat me. Through Christ I am more than a conqueror and I knew that God still had a plan for my life. You see, since I am child of God the devil knew he couldn’t have my soul so he wanted to render me useless for God’s Kingdom, but SATAN FAILED!!! You see, what the devil meant for evil, God is using for His glory. In 2 Corinthians 4:7 it says that we have this treasure in jars of clay that this all surpassing power is from GOD and NOT us! We are broken and damaged human beings but even though we are weak, as a Christ follower HIS POWER is IN US! More than anything, I want to fulfill God’s purpose and plan for my life by encouraging others and showing them CHRIST is the ONLY way to find real love, joy, peace, and eternal life.
God is helping me get out of my comfort zone and be obedient to Him in many different areas of my life. He’s been guiding me to use the talents He’s given me to make a difference for His Kingdom. Do I still struggle with my issues? Pretty much everyday of my life- many times it’s in my thoughts. Other times I get overwhelmed with anxiety or feel like I’m going to burst into tears at the worst possible times and even though I still fail Him many times each day, I wouldn’t change ANYTHING about my past! I probably wouldn’t have the depth of the relationship I have with Him right now and I probably wouldn’t be serving Him the way I am now if it were not for my depression and anxiety. It keeps me constantly on my knees, admitting I need Him every second, every minute, every hour of every single day! Some may call me pathetic or weak, but that’s ok-I love being a Jesus Freak! Now I’ve told you my story… “You heard Hope that wouldn’t let go…love that never gave up….VICTORY over the enemy” and sooo much more… ALL by the grace and glory of God! “To tell you my story is to TELL of HIM! This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long! ‪#‎IAMNOTASHAMED‬!!!!!!

Tell Someone

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TELL SOMEONE
When you’re stumbling around in the darkness,
When there’s a crushing weight on your back,
When you’re struggling to take every breath,
When you feel your heart and your mind are numb,
Reach out.

When you smile or laugh on the outside,
But you’re weeping in pain on the inside,
Ears are listening to hear your voice now.
Ears are listening to hear you calling.
Cry out.

Hands are extended to grasp you and hold you.
Arms are open to take and embrace you.
Hearts are longing to pour out love on you.
Voices are calling to come to safety.
Step out.

You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
Hearts longing. Hands reaching. Ears listening.
Calling you, embracing you, loving you.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.

Tell one, tell someone of the emptiness.
Tell one, tell someone of the pain you feel.
Take hold of the hands reaching out for you.
Believe and receive the love that they give to you.

You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
Hearts longing. Hands reaching. Ears listening.
Calling you, embracing you, loving you.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.

It’s okay to be broken into pieces.
You can be put back together again.
You will be stronger than before you fell
You’ll be the masterpiece you’re made to be.

You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
Hearts longing. Hands reaching. Ears listening.
Calling you, embracing you, loving you.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.

You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone. You’re loved. Tell someone.
You’re not alone.
You’re not alone.
You’re not alone.

Making the Best of It: Whistle While You Mop

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Do your circumstances define you or are you a reflection of who Christ is and of your relationship with Him?

Have you heard the phrase, “Just make the best of it?”

Have you heard the dry reply, “Yeah, right!”

Rog and Charlie worked in a bakery at which they arrived early to set up, whip up icing and start the baking before the store opened. Rog, having a mischievous spirit, enjoyed practical jokes especially targeting Charlie and the owner.

One morning Rog decided not to add the sugar to the icing made with shortening. He beat it and fluffed it until it looked like it was ready to put on the cakes and cupcakes. Gentle Charlie warned Rog to rethink his decision. Rog pictured what was about to unfold and his glee grew. The owner came in an hour after the fellows and one of the habits she had was to take her pinky, swipe it through the edge of the icing and stick her finger in her mouth to taste it. That morning Rog received the anticipated reaction. Gagging, spitting and sputtering she spewed not so kind words at the prankster.  Rog as a gifted comic soon had her laughing as well.

Not only did Rog and gentle quiet, Charlie open the bakery they also closed it. That required prepping for the next day, cleaning equipment, sanitizing and mopping. The guys rotated the different responsibilities but the most miserable task for Rog was mopping. He hated to mop. That one job could just about ruin an otherwise great day.

One night Rog was cleaning equipment. Alternating between humming and whistling Charlie mopped. Now Rog is a type A personality. Gregarious. Practical joker. Hurry-up-and-get-it-done guy. Charlie is a quiet, gentle and methodical fellow. After ten minutes of Charlie’s cheerful labors Rog grumbles, “You are driving me crazy! Every night when you mop you hum and whistle. What’s with the whistling?” Surprised Charlie stopped, leaned on the mop and tilting his head stared at Rog for a moment.

Smiling, he turned back to his task and replied, “I’m not just mopping. Jesus and I are mopping. We are worshiping and praising the Father in song together. Ouch! Rog felt a piercing in his heart.

Charlie knew how to make the best of any moment. He focused on the Presence of Christ with him. Engraved on his heart were five words from Matthew 28:20 “…I am with you always….” and two words from 1 Thessalonians 5:16, “Rejoice always.”

Rog recalled Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men….”

After locking up the bakery, Rog threw his arm around Charlie’s shoulder and as they began their walk home he whistled,
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know.
Fills my every longing
Keeps me singing as I go.**

*Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

**He Keeps me singing by Luther Bridgers, 1910. Copyright: Public Domain

How Will You Answer the Questions?

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Ask yourself these questions:
Is God a liar?
Is God all powerful?
Is God love?
Is God real?
Is God just?
Is God kind?
Is God compassionate?
Is God peace?
Is God patient?
Is God merciful?
Is God faithful?
Is God perfect?
Is God pure?
Do you know God personally or do you know about Him?
Do you love God more than you love yourself?
Do you love God more than you love anyone or anything?
Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?
Do you believe Christ and God are One?
Do you believe without a doubt when you die you will go to Heaven?
Do you believe man is pure?
Do you believe man is perfect?
Do you believe the impure is allowed into Heaven?
Do you believe you are pure enough to enter into God’s Presence?
Do you believe you can be made clean and pure enough to enter His Presence?
Do you believe Christ can forgive you and cleanse you from all impurities?
Do you believe you can turn completely from your impure life choices?
Do you believe you can confess your impurities to Christ?
Do you believe you can confess your sorrow for your past?
Do you believe a price must be paid for the impure actions?
Do you believe Christ paid that debt for you?
Do you believe you can ask Christ for forgiveness?
Do you believe He will forgive you?
Do you believe He desires to be the first love of your life and Lord of your life?
Do you believe by confessing, repenting, asking forgiveness and accepting Him as Lord you will be saved to live with Him now and forever?
Do you desire to know God personally and live forever with Him?
Is God rejoicing over your giving your life to Christ and accepting Him as your Lord and Savior?

Hidden Treasure  

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Truth sweet spoken.

Blogs By Bethany


Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field”

I came across this verse the other day, and instantly, it became one of my favorites. This verse is so simple and to the point, yet filled with so much hope, desire, and meaning.

I liked this verse so much, that I decided to do some research on it. I came to find out that Matthew 13:44 is one of the shortest parables that Jesus ever spoke. A parable is story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. Jesus left us with many parables to use as “directions” when following and growing closer to him. I think this verse was meant to reassure our hope and joy in Christ and the kingdom…

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