Thursday, September 23, 2021

Common Sense...

 



Common sense is sound practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge that is shared by ("common to") nearly all people. The first type of common sense, good sense, can be described as "the knack for seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done.


The above definition caused me to wonder what God says about having common sense. 

Biblically, common sense can be thought of as a combination of wisdom and discretion.  Wisdom is knowing what to do; discretion is knowing when and where to do it. Proverbs 3:21; 8:12-14

So, without common sense then one will act like a fool.  One must think first like a fool to act like a fool.  The KJV puts it as being void of understanding.  (Proverbs 7:7; 8:24-30)

Proverbs 3:13-14 says it best.  Wisdom allows us to see life the way God does. When we seek God's perspective, we can make decisions based upon their eternal significance rather than selfish interest. When we choose to make decision based on wisdom alone, we are exercising  common sense. 

The desire for instant gratification is the enemy of common sense. We all make bad decisions sometimes.  We go on our feelings instead of wisdom.  We made decisions when upset instead of allowing our feelings to calm down.  

Common sense is often developed by learning from the consequences of such poor choice, the school of hard knocks teach the best.  Some never learn from their mistakes which makes them continue to make foolish decisions.  Wisdom helps us learn from our mistakes so we won't make them again.  

Wisdom and common sense should be continually pursued in order to experience the best God has for us (Proverbs 2:1–8

 A little common sense test...how would you answer the question below??

Monday, September 20, 2021

 This little silver pendant ring with "courage" etched on it has been used almost daily as a reminder of my ever needy soul for courage.  It's caused me to look on purpose for Women who need a touch of courage as they walk through this worlds with all its trials.  


  Recently in California a lady clerk in a grocery store ask me what my pendant said.  My heart raced for I have been waiting for someone to ask me.  After I said, courage, she replied, is that the same as "guts", I smiled and said yeah I think it could be called that. She then went on to say, well with the way the world is going we are going to needs some guts...I couldn't agree more even though I don't think she and I were thinking the same thing.  Her next customer was pushing her groceries up to the line so I knew I might be able to get one more word in for Him.  I took a deep breathe and said Mam I am a Christian and all that is going on does not concern me much for I know the Lord and He will give courage for whatever is to come. I could tell she would have talked more but work called her so I gave a huge thank you and left this dear soul in God's hand, I had planted, someone else will water.

  For several years I have been collecting courageous wise hearted friends.  Friends I know well, some I only met once, a few I have never met.   It all started when I bought my first courage ring and then went back to buy enough for all the women in my Sunday school class.  Being an older women class I knew they would appreciate the burden God laid on my heart to give out courage.  Over half these ladies were widows so they understood the courage it takes to get back into life after losing a loved one. A couple women live with unsaved husbands, some have to live with  their children after being on their own for so long or their children had to live with them. One had a son in prison, another had family member with cancer, several had chronic ailments of their own, physical pain they bore daily, heartache after heart ache walked into that Sunday school class weekly.    But the challenge to them as I put the courage circle chain on their necks was to look around the church and find a younger women, maybe even a teen who needed a courage touch.  Then if God so leads, give them the courage ring and I would to the best of my ability get them another one or give them the web site to order their own.  

The first one to do so gave it to their grand daughter who was struggling with school.  I begin to pass out these courage rings to other friends, in the states and even overseas with the same exhortation.  Next I heard from another mother who daughter needed a touch of courage, one of our missionaries in the bush gave hers to a tribal lady struggling. Another mother whose daughter had a break down parted with hers and put it around that sweet frail daughter neck.  A missionary laid aside by a debilitation illness must leave their love of their life, missions and come home.  several young missionary women who are just starting out their journey overseas.  A homeless women living in her car brought to the Lord by some courageous wise hearted women.  There is now a band of sisters all over the world who wear the "courage circle" as a reminder to take courage and in a fallen sinful world look for some one to encourage.

  The word courage is in both discourage and encourage and we are the only ones who can chose which to do.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.  You cannot be truthful if you are not courageous.
You cannot be loving if you are not courageous.
You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous.
You cannot enter into reality if you are not courageous.
Hence courage comes first... and everything else follows.”

                   

 Often the real test of courage is not to die, but to live. Hope has two beautiful daughters - their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are. Jesus said, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move.Courage is resistance to fear; mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
Mark Twain


My little courage pendant  that hangs from a chain near my heart has helped me conquer my fear of flying.  Given me words when I thought none would come, shut my mouth when too many words spilled out.  Courage has helped me follow my spirit filled husband who has taken me all over the world to serve the Lord.  Now I find at my age, 67 a need for courage still for my body is getting frailer as I type.  Nothing stops time.  I have to wonder in the still nights when I cannot sleep, will that courage be there to be old, you know really old, everyone tells me 67 is not old so there must be older.  My mother lives in a nursing home and at age 87 I see courage every time I get to visit her.  I sense her resistant to give into the dreary life that comes with a nursing home living.  I hear her voice as she goes to the singing, helps the staff stuff Easter eggs for the children egg hunt.  I watch her struggle as the two nurses it takes to get her out of her wheel chair to go anything, she takes courage hand every day.  She may be the bravest women I know right now.  
Acceptance takes more courage then action.  
God give me courage 
 
This is a re-post with a few changes to fit today for you see...I still need courage.  I wrote it in 2007, we were still serving in the country of Papua New Guinea.  My study on "courage" has been on going and I am always finding little gems that open up this action of valor.  
Some I found recently come from the minds of children...pure wisdom. 

Courage can be standing up to a bully or retraining the urge to punch out somebody's light.  REAL COURAGE REQUIRES WISDOM. Chelsea, age 6

One more....Without courage, "You wont' have as much fun because you will always be scared of almost everything," says Alex, age 7. 

Have you heard a good quote on "courage".  Drop it in my comment box, it will give me courage.

(Since I posted this, my mother has went to glory. I am 74 instead of 67, lots of water has pasted under this old bridge. It's ok, to repost a repost...there is new insight as I read what was happening in my life in 2007. So much to be thankful for comes to mind as I re-read this. Don't forget to share a, "courage quote" in your comment if you have one. Blessings.  


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Fried Chicken

 Wasn't going to post this week, to many things going on. Then I read a post over at, After Thought, who wrote about her past two years of writing in the blogging world.  I thought it would be good to review and see if I had grown any in my writing skills.  I started blogging 2007 as a way to use the creative side of me and to me it was kinda like a journal.  First blog post below: I am totally white headed now)


Ladies, this is especially for you just in case you are wondering what you could do on the mission field or anywhere God has placed you. 

There are some women who are very gifted at languages and translation, praise the Lord if you are one of them. But I am not, I barely can talk the trade language Pidgin. 

Some of you may be computer smart, skilled in bookkeeping, but that's not me. Which is why my husband Ace does not ask me to help in the finance office. 

Teachers are greatly needed to teach missionary children at the boarding school but since I do not have a teaching degree no one is after me to teach.
 
There is also no call on my life to preach , but there is a call to teach women. 

God has called me to be a wise hearted woman just as He did those women in Exodus 35 who were helping to build the Tabernacle. Those women were willing to use the gifts and abilities, such as spinning goat hair to be use for the curtain surrounding the Tabernacle. Again something else I cannot do, spin goat hair but my desire to be a "wise hearted woman" led me to ask the Lord to give me a ministry that would support those reaching people who have never heard the gospel. 

That's how the fried chicken ministry got started.....a good dinner of fried chicken with the works will fill the belly but will also provide a time of fellowship that can be used to encouraged and help our missionaries adjust to living in a third world country. 

Most of missionaries are tucked away in remote bush locations for months at a time and when they come out need somewhere to stay and refresh themselves. A fried chicken dinner is a little touch of home and puts a smile on everyone face and gives me great joy and brings God glory.

 I will never be famous like Colonel Sanders but here in the country of Papua New Guinea,  just ask any New Tribe missionary and others we have hosted about Betty's fried chicken. Just this past week we had a family out for a break with their children and what a treat to see those children chow down on that chicken leg and drink sweet southern tea. Conversation flows freely around a table set with love and has the feel of home to those who have left their homes to minister in far away places. 

Because of this part of my ministry I have rubbed shoulders with women whose lives and experiences have made them wise beyond their years. So let me invite you to come visit us and we will sit down together over a plate of chicken, mashed potatoes and the ever full pitcher of ice tea and talk of the things God is teaching us. Then after our food has digested we can take a walk in a nearby village where what you will see will affect your heart forever. 

You might be wondering what part does my husband play in my ministry beside helping to eat all left over chicken when there is some. Well he is the best dishwasher a wife could ask for. I am really praying he does not break down for I do not know where I would get another like him. 

Let me challenge your heart first to be "wise hearted", willing to look for ways to use what ever skills, talents, abilities God has given you at what ever age. I have many friends who use the gift of encouragement in so many different ways. some send packages to missionaries, emails, cards, support financially and pray a lot. These women are my support team helping me support another team reaching people who have never heard the gospel. Be a 'wise hearted" women today and bring God glory.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

 


Have you even been called, "extreme", concerning your faith? Have you had someone to say, "you need to cool it with that religious stuff"!

,If you have, then you realize you do not fit in with the world view and this is sad to say, sometimes not in Christian circles. 

 Last night I sit with a bunch of younger than me women, and listened to their conversations. Not once did they talk about the Lord, not once. What they did do was talk about other people issues, not their issues, but others issues. The bible calls it gossip. It was hard to keep my mouth shut, this radical Jesus believer wanted to call them out for their gossip. At one point I thought maybe, I should say, hey, wait a minutes, why don't we stop and pray for the ones they were talking about. But I didn't...my bad, I felt awful about not saying anything. I am sure a couple would have been offended but maybe I am wrong about that too. Anyway, I can't stop thinking about it. One reason is I am one of the, "older women the bible talks about that is suppose to teach the younger ones.

I am going to order a book titles, Faithfully Different by Natasha Crain. Read a post on it this morning and was convicted again for not saying anything last night. I am wondering if I am still an extreme believer? When did I slip into a worldly world view and worry about offending others by calling forth truth.

The author of the book says, the worldview that surrounds us is putting significant pressure on what we believe, how we think, and how we live. She goes onto say, she wrote the book to help Christians clearly understand the fundamental difference between secular and biblically worldview, both for the strength of our own faith and for our ability to be salt and light to others.

,I have to ask myself, when did I lose my extreme biblical world view? When did I stop shifting everything I heard through the Bible worldview. What stopped me from saying something as I listen to that extreme gossip. We, and I say we, because even though I did not enter into the conversation, I sit listening to it. So, what stopped me from calling it out, in love, and say, hey girls, lets just pray for this couple we are gossiping about. When did it get ok to gossip?

The most foundational difference between those with a biblical worldview and those with a secular one is our source of authority.

Therefore to him or her that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin. James 4:17. My biblical world view was confronted last night and I failed to hold to it. God help me to be salt and light in the darkness that can even surround a group of Christian women just sitting around talking.

Last night was a wake up call for me, one I am happy to be woke from. Grateful for His love despite my failures to be His mouth piece.

You might think I am being a little too hard on myself, I think not. You see, I pray to be one of those extreme Godly women and that conviction that has hit my heart I am thankful for. I believe I am called to be extreme in God's authority and His Word.  

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Who's praying?

 

In the last couple days I have felt a surge of energy fill by frail body and let me tell you, it feels wonderful.  

Hubby and I walk a mile every other day so I know that is helping me gain back my strength.   He is a great couch because he stops when I do, allowing me time to get my breathe.  The days I think I can do more he remind me to take it slow.  If I try to push myself too much it only makes me worst.  It takes wisdom to get back in shape especially when you are older and did not exercise for a whole year.  

 But, in the last couple days I really have felt a surge of strength that I believe is a super natural touch from the Lord due to someone is praying for me in this area.  Felt it yesterday as I ran around town with my daughter and grand daughter. Then today as I walked I realized I was walking a little faster and a little longer between stop times.  It's a small thing but a huge one for me.     

I don't know for sure who prays for me but if you do, please keep it up.  Pound heaven on my behalf  please.  I know how hard it is to actually do prayer, it's my weakest link in my walk with the Lord. I want to be a spiritual prayer warrior but I know how easily I slip into just saying I will pray and never actually do it.  

So, let me say thank you again to those who are praying for me. Knowing that I am prayed for gives me encouragement to pray for others.  



 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Box

 


Sometimes I want to trade the box I am living in for someone else box.  It's those time I usually lose, not my salvation,  but I lose my attitude toward what ever is causes me to want to trade.  I become focus on me, me, me.   


I think you get the picture of where I am. It's been a couple of bad days because of my health which causes my box to stink of  self pity.   My box will probably get a little more shabby as I age, but it's the box God given me. 

One things that remains the same and brings me comfort, calms my worries, helps me deal with, "whatever"  my box, is the fact of being a child of God.

 Everything else may change but not who I am in Christ.  I may act like a brat at times but I am still His, bought and paid for by His precious blood shed on the cross.  He knows my box, He is in my box all the time with me, never leaves me.  
Just a look into others box and the heartaches it contains is enough to bring me out of my self pity box.  

I am not hiding out in  fear for my life and my family life.  

I am not on a respirator that is breathing for me. 

I am not crying with grief because someone I love has died.

I am not having to begging for food to feed my family. 

I am not living in a make shift tent. 
etc. 


If you are a child of God, you don't lose your status if you have a bad week. - Timothy Keller

I think I will play in my own box, how about you?


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Trisha Yearwood - I’ll Carry You Home (Official Music Video)



Finding comfort while it seems like the whole world has went crazy can be found in scripture, a walk in nature, a good uplifting book, especially the Bible and also in music.


The below song has been my go to for comfort. I probably listen to it everyday. It's not a Christian song but there is an eternal aspect to the words. Knowing for sure when I die I will be going to my eternal home brings me comfort. The news depresses all of us, the middle east issues, Covid, mask, riots, random killings, evilness is everywhere and only seems to be getting worst. Even watching the weather reports now is depressing. All of this sends me to music a lot for comfort.

God is still in control of what seems like an uncontrollable world. There will come a day for me and everyone when we leave this messy world. Knowing where I am going and WHO has the power to take me to my eternal home gives me courage to face today and my tomorrows. What do you fall back on when you are discouraged and know you cannot fix whatever you are going through?

Can you see the end to our messy world? What does your eternal future hold? Does your peace come from this world or your future in heaven someday? Where do you get your courage from to deal with all that is around you that you cannot fix? Where do you get your comfort from? Do you have a song in your heart that comes to mind when you are discouraged that brings peace?




Monday, August 16, 2021

First World Suffering

 


This past Sunday I heard a message from a missionary to China that gave me a fresh look at suffering.   Got me to thinking about how we suffer in our first world country in comparison to how those who live in China, or Iran.   

Recently the gas to our place had to be shut off for a few days.  We still had electricity and water which made living without a cook stove easier.  There were times when we lived in Papua New Guinea we went without electricity for days and there was never a warning WHEN it would go off.  There was one small generator to be passed around for the 8 houses on the support center.  Each house would use it for a couple hours to run our fridges so not to lose our meat.  Eventually we were able to purchase a relay switch so when town power went off our big generator would kick on. 

If you are thinking, wow, Betty I bet you handled losing your cook stove for a few days easy.  Sorry, I wish I could say I did not complain or grumble.  I let the, woe is me  attitude over take me a little too much.  Still being sanctified. 

Comparison is not a good thing to do but after hearing this missionary stories of the believers in China I was convicted at my take on suffering.  Doing without a gas store for a few days is not suffering, a hardship yes, but suffering? 

 I read this somewhere and it struck  a cord in my heart.  In a first world country most people don't feel helpless with the conditions they live in.  Across the board that is probably true.  In a first world country we have the Red Cross,  Global Fund for Women, In This Tent, Action Against Hunger, Samaritan Purse, WHO, Lutheran Service of America, Heart to Heart, Go Fund Me, The Innocence Project, Hope for Women, Operation USA, American Civil Rights and that is just a few of the organization there is to turn to for help.  In China and some of the other countries the list is very short to turn to for help.  On top of all those I named is the countless churches in the USA.  Countless restaurant give out food to the needy, there are food banks all over America you can tap into for food.  I do think you get the point. Nobody kicked our door down for reading the bible or having a home church in the US. 

The modern definition of “first world” is used to classify countries that are highly industrialized and with advanced economies. First-world countries include the United States, Canada, Japan, and Western European countries.. 

=But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. I Peter 5:10

I like the last part of what the above verse says suffering will do, settle me.  Knowing what to expect helps settle a person even before suffering comes. I have met people who are settled with the lot God has given them.  They are a comfort to be around and their quiet ways comfort me and give me courage to accept suffering.  To not waste it. 

I wasted the  time grumbling about my lack of cooking gas recently and trust me it was not a settled astrosphere in our house.  How about you, have you wasted any of your suffering lately?


 


Monday, August 9, 2021

 

Thought I would take a chance on this series on HBO.  Of course the language is horrible at times but the stories of the people who go to this therapist are not horrible. In fact I am finding as I listen I can easily see myself in certain mindsets.  It's a revealing listen as the therapist works to draw out from each one the pain in their life.  

Back a couple years ago I went to a pain therapist who was able to help me sort out some of the emotions from my childhood that still cause pain in the present.  That emotional pain showed itself in my body in the form of  fibromyalgia and chronic insomnia. 

I know I will never be free from the memories of my growing up years but they do not own me.  I use them often in working with others who have suffered emotional abuse.  But, sitting in the therapist office weekly knowing I could say anything and it was a safe place was just the start of getting freedom.  

If you had ask me when I was from 20's to 50's I would have told you I did not need therapist.   Really it was after I became a Christian and read a lot that I realize how my mental health was.  Yet it hard to talk about any mental problems in Christian circles. To take an anti depressant, or anti anxiety meds is a big no no in some circles.  Thankful for the Christian doctors I have had that understood the importance of mental along with our physical issues. 

  • And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. Romans 12:2 AMP

  • We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.” 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 MSG
I am also thankful that God cares about my mental condition.  He speaks to the battle that rages for our mental health. To deny it is to allow room for the enemy of our soul to destroy us.  

Take care of yourselves mentally.  Need to talk, find a therapist, if not possible then find a lay person who will listen well and help you work through the issues.  Be brave and admit you might need help to gain freedom from some things.  God loves you completely, body, soul and spirit,  and He wants us to commit it all to Him.  

Below is a great article on mental health.  

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health


Sunday, August 1, 2021

Rocks

 Our son children  brought the  smooth rocks on the right to me from a trip they took to the ocean a few years ago.   They knew I had kind of have a thing of using rocks to decorate the yard with.  I brought them  with me to Northern Minnesota when we moved.   The rough rocks I pick up  the other day as hubby and  took a short walk on a wooded trail near where we live.  



I decided to display them on a small table that I see all the time to remind me where God has brought me from.  

When I started my walk with the Lord at 35 year of age, I was rough around the edges. As my pastor would tell me, I was a diamond in the rough.  That worldly rough wisdom I had learned from the world God would use to show me what didn't work in life.  From the minute I became a believer He begin to knock those rough edges and dirty place off me.  

As I walked with Him on a daily bases and especially through some tough trials He begin to smooth the edges off me and clean me up.  The Bible calls this the process of sanctifications and He does this for every believer.

I see me now in those smooth rock my grandchildren gave me.  The ocean  change the look of rocks,  as they  wash over and over  and  changed their appearance to be more pleasant to look at.  They are certainly are easier to handle then those rough dirty jagged edge ones on the left.  

 Sanctification is the process of becoming more like Christ in our conduct and character. The objective of this pursuit of moral integrity is to be holy as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:15, 16). 

In his recent book, How Does Sanctification Work?, David Powlison gives us five factors towards our sanctification:

  1. God. “It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13)
  2. Truth. The truth of God’s word taught, sung, preached, studied, and read is one of the surest means by which the Spirit brings about change in our lives
  3. Wise people. God mediates our change “through the gifts and graces of brothers and sisters in Christ.”
  4. Suffering and struggle. Though we don’t relish it, suffering and struggles work towards our growth in Christlikeness. Difficulties prompt us to rely on God. Writes Powlison: “People change because something is hard, not because it goes well . . . Struggles force us to need God.”
  5. You change. Scripture calls us to actively believe, obey, trust, seek, love, confess, praise, and take refuge. We are not passive. The mystery of faith is that we are 100% responsible, yet 100% dependent on outside help.

How these factors play out in each of our lives may look drastically different. The Spirit is at work, applying the objective work of Christ, yet that work touches us all differently. While journeying towards the same goal, each believer will have a distinct path which they will tread.

__________________________________________________________

I heard this said, some grow like turtles, getting run over a lot.  Others grow like a rabbit, off to fast start but stops to eat a lot.  Either way the goal is to be like Jesus in the process.  

Which one are you, a turtle or rabbit?