One Day at a Time

Expect Opposition

Nehemiah 4:14 NIV "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

When we strive to rebuild our lives because of the loss of a family member, marital conflict, divorce, economic instability, addiction, betrayal or some other challenge, we can expect opposition. The devil hates us and uses people to mock us, to threaten us or to block our rebuilding. Nehemiah faced the ridicule and the threats of Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod.

I’d Really Like To..... (Excuses Part 1)

Love will find a way. Indifference will find an excuse.

“I’d really like to get together, but I’m awfully busy right now.”

I don’t doubt that my friend is really busy. But guess what—we’re ALL busy. The message I heard was, “Having lunch with you isn’t as important as the other things I’m choosing to do.”

Is that unfairly harsh? Perhaps, but it got me thinking about the difference between reasons and excuses. I’d like to do a series of three articles about this topic, pointing toward Friday’s thoughts that may ruffle a few feathers.

Patience Doesn't Develop in 5 Minutes

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

God isn't McDonald's.

Most fast food joints are now promising your meal within so many minutes or it's free. And you get it: all the sawdust, processed sugar, and dirt (yes, dirt!) you can eat and within five minutes, no less. And I think we've become so accustomed to having what we want when we want it that we've forgotten: God isn't McDonald's. (Thank goodness.) The really good things in life most often don't come in five minutes.

Our Lives Should be More Like Jazz

I don’t know much about jazz except that I usually like it, especially live. I’m thinking that our lives might be a little richer if they were a little more like jazz.

Jazz music is sort of unscripted. Each song has a basic melody and sometimes words, but the performance is spontaneous. Real jazz isn’t rehearsed like a lot of other music—it’s more of a live interaction between the musicians. They practice and develop their individual skills, but the music happens when they play off one another.

Why Do We Have to Suffer?

Jesus said "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Matthew 5:3

How can this be? How can I be blessed if I am suffering? What good does suffering do? . Philip Yancey says:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Why? Because "theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3)
    The poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those who suffer are blessed (Matt. 5:3-6) because their lack of self-sufficiency is obvious to them every day. They must turn somewhere for strength. People who are rich, successful, and beautiful may go through life relying on their natural gifts. But people who are needy, dependent, and dissatisfied with life are more likely to welcome God’s free gift of love.

Tangles Which Our Fingers Cannot Unravel

"Show me the way I should walk, for I have come to you in prayer." Psalm 143:8

Stand Firm when Emotionally and Physically Exhausted

Our pastor shared this scripture with us yesterday. It was God's timing (which is always amazing to me) because this year I have felt burdened excessively. It's been one of those years when there wasn't one burden, one tragedy, one suffering, but rather one after another after another after another until I've felt that I could barely breathe. I certainly have become rather gun shy, wondering what possibly could happen next and knowing that, in all likelihood, what will happen next will be painful, unpleasant at best.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NASB

No Matter How I Feel, Christ is My Righteousness

Galatians 6:12b
"...the cross of Christ alone can save." (NLT)

David Wilkerson, in the World Challenge Pulpit Series of April 26, 2010, writes:
"No matter how I feel, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many doubts may arise, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many accusations I hear from the devil during the day, I stand on this: God sees me as righteous in Christ!"

Little Slips

"Whoever is faithful in very little--is also faithful in much; and
whoever is unrighteous in very little--is also unrighteous in much."
Luke 16:10

We are apt to under-estimate little failures in duty.

It seems to us, a small matter:
that we do not keep an engagement,
that we lose our temper,
that we say an impatient or angry word,
that we show an unkind or harsh spirit,
that we speak uncharitably of another,
that we treat someone with discourtesy, or
fail in some other way which appears trivial.

The Role of Hope in Counseling Eating Disorders

In the biblical counseling course I am currently taking, the point is made that counselees will often say that they have prayed about the problem (read: sin), but that is all they have done. Their general hopelessness comes from the fact that nothing in their situation has changed; they are still enslaved; from all appearances, God has not moved. Does He not see or care? From their vantage point, prayer must be ineffectual. This often leads to hopelessness.

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