Sunday, May 30, 2021

Angry Roots

 


I have written before about anger for it is the sin that so easily besets me.  And because I am one of those people who wants to get to the root of my anger it takes a few days to come to terms with the roots I find. 

The kicker is the surface ones are off shoots of the deep ones.  A quick, I am sorry, sooths the surface ones for a while.   This is exactly what the devil wants me to think.  He will never want me to even see the deep roots.  

As I think on the picture of roots of anger, I realize when the roots of ones life is angry the tree cannot be stable.  It bothers me greatly to believe I am unstable, yet each outburst of anger makes it more clear.  

Just the other day I had one of those outburst about the same thing I had a bout of  the day before and the day before.  They are coming more often because with each outburst my tree gets weaker.  Again, the devils wants to destroy me and those around me too and he will use the roots to do that. 

There are tons of information out there on how to deal with ones anger, lots of help from professional too.  Also, there are tons of scriptures to help rid oneself of anger.  

I gleamed this below from a commentary on angry.  

2 Timothy 2:23 says: “Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.”

These types of arguments just end up poking at people’s hearts.

And let’s be honest, many of the things we argue about aren’t worth fighting for. Many arguments don’t actually impact us, or others, positively. Many arguments don’t lead to constructive solutions. Many arguments might seem incredibly important in the moment, but are blindingly unimportant in the long-run. Many arguments stem from selfish issues inside of our immature hearts. Many arguments run far away from child-like trust in our Creator and run deep into the insecurities of needing to get our way or proving our point or demanding our recognition.

At the age of 74 with years of walking with the Lord I am still not as mature as I think I am.  I realize this every time I let my anger overtake me, every time I try to press my way onto someone, every time I think my opinion must be spoke. every time I fail to listen to others, every time I am quick to speak instead of slow to speak and when I am quick to anger.  

Thank God  His love does not depend on my maturity, thank God.  It's a truth I run to when I put  myself down for failing AGAIN with this anger issue.  Out of His love I can safely look at the deep roots, give a biblical response to it. Out of His love I can forgive myself for once again falling into the trap of selfishness.  Out of His love I can get back up and walk with Him.  It's only the blood of Jesus that can get to the deep roots and cleanse them. 

Monday, May 24, 2021

 




Every Thursday  several ladies and I meet to study the book of Hebrews.  As we talk about our  past days the one thing that stands out to me is we are all ready for a new day.  

 Being worn down by an issue we cannot control like a virus is wearying.  Seems there are so many different opinions on how to handle the crisis and each one stands on ideas they can prove from history.  

  Anytime one has been beaten down for long period of time a new day has to come forth to give us that lift in our Spirits. 

  The way we respond to trials of life reveal something about the strength of our Christian faith and how we think about what God says about, "a new day".   If we deny our troubles, or if we give in to anger or bitterness, or if we blame others for our problems, we miss what God intends to teach us through what happens to us. It is a great advance spiritually to be able to say, "I believe God has allowed this difficulty for my good and His glory. "'

 Think how many times you have been hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.   II Cor 4:8-9. 

 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118

Yesterday is gone.  The problems and troubles of yesterday and even a month ago are in the past.  Today is a new day and the good news is you get a new start. 

We often get so preoccupied with our problems that we carrying them into a new day.  We pack up our anxiety, stress, and fear from yesterday and sit them on the top of our “to do list” of today.  WHY?  Today is a new day!  Today means you get a new start! You get a new start at making amends with your brother and sister who offended you yesterday.  You get a new start at demonstrating your faith in God to provide for you yet another day.  You get a new start to show love to your enemies.  You get a new start to get things right with God.  You get a new start at praising God for this new day.  Do not bring old grudges, lack of faith, nasty attitudes, and fears into today.  

The scripture says “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”  It doesn’t say this is the day that I will bring all my troubles and mope around as if I am defeated and complain and murmur about life.  It says, this is the day.  This is your new start that the Lord made. 

The ultimate measure of a man [or women] is not where he [she] stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he [she] stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr.



Sunday, May 16, 2021

Pill Box Talk

Yesterday I had a brainstorm for a new post as I listened to my friend tell about her bad back. I was laughing  as she told me she had to get a new raised seat for her toilet with handles on the side to help her get on and off.

Being older then her and been through some serious surgeries in the past couple of years I could identify with her.  So, I said, do you have one of those pill boxes?  Of course, she said, I have  one pill I can't seem to remember to take without a pill box.

By that time my mind was running backwards to our visit with my daughter who is 43 and work circles around me. We ran somewhere almost every day so I got pretty wore out and so did she, but there is a difference in  a 74 women  being worn out and a 44 women being worn out.  She snap back and ready to run the next day, I, on the other hand needed a day to rest before we did our next run.

Our daughter also has  a pill box but it only has a couple of pills in it but our 39 year old son does not have a pill box.  Somewhere between those two ages of 39 and 43 is when  I bought my first pill container.

Slowly but surely as I aged I added more meds which meant a larger pill box, and if I remember right I wore my first back brace, insoles in my shoes for the back, and those dreaded elastic stocking for circulations in my 50s.   Then came artificial lenses in my eyes to replace eye glasses.  false teeth to replace bad teeth and a couple of minor surgeries.

Even more quickly in my late 60's came a couple of major surgeries which meant my bigger pill box was getting fuller.  I graduated from using a cane and wheelchair to a brand new knee which set off the alarm at the airport security that I could at least walk through.  

There is something encouraging and discouraging to be with women close to my age for we never run out of things to talk about as we compare what's new in our health.  It takes, on purpose, finding something more exciting to talk about then our ailments to get us out of the discouraging aging  part.

Gradually we get around to talking about last week sermon and what we gleamed from it.  We put our pillbox talk aside and it's not long we are back to being encouraged in the Lord and finding the power to rise above all that aging brings.  We start to use the wisdom learned from years of being in the Word, walking with the Creator of the universe and by the time we have ended our day we go back home encouraged.
Just as a hammer and high heat are used to forge instruments of iron, God uses trials to develop genuine faith and strength of character in us.
1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 
Even with the frailness of my  health and despite the amount of pills needed to keep my  body running I know where my journey ends up and there is no dread of the end.  I don't know who developed the pill box but I am grateful for it.

Isn't that where contentment come from. Being grateful to have lived a full life, not a perfect life but a full one. At 74 I have no need for anymore adventure,  I don't yearn for much anymore except to be near our children and grandchildren.  Despite our age we  are not ready to retire from our ministry. God is still using us. In about an hour we meet up with  single gal home from Indonesia, we are excited to hear how her journey is going.  Our  health has ended our serving overseas but here in American there is a pill box in every store just waiting to be filled up with meds to help us stay serving him in an active way.

How many of you use a pill box?


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Risk.

 


Preikestolen is a mountain formed like a huge pulpit towering over the Lysefjord in Rogaland, Fjord Norway. There is a crack between the plateau of Pulpit Rock and the mountain, and it is said that on the day seven sisters marry seven brothers from the Lysefjord area, the plateau will tear itself away from the mountain and fall into the ford, creating a huge wave that will destroy all life in the surrounding area.

 The crack is real and it could literally break off from the mountain someday but, I would not put my faith in when seven sisters and seven brothers marry as to when.   Not knowing when it could  happen might make me not want to sit very long on it though.   Maybe just walk out to the edge, ONCE, then quickly run back to the more solid part of the mountain.  It does take a little bit of courage or foolishness to risk that it will not break off.  I mean its been there forever, as long as anyone can remember and it has not fell off yet! But, what if you are on it when it breaks off?   
  
This reminded me of the risk one takes concerning their eternity.  Maybe you have not heard yet how you can be assured of where you will spend your life after death. Some believe nothing is out there after death, when you are dead, you are just that, dead.  Another belief is when you die if you have done what your religion requires you will have wine, women and riches.  Others believe doing good works here on earth assure you of a place in heaven. Then, there are some who believe when you die you get reincarnated into something else, or someone else. There is so many beliefs out there, one to fit any mind set you have.  There may even be a belief that seven sisters and seven brothers have to marry before you die.  
 
Everyone at some time in their life struggles with where they will go after death.  Some chose a belief and some go even further and seek out some answers as to where they will spend eternity, if they even believe in eternity.  

Gosh Betty, can you stop with the death talk...it's depressing.  I know, I know, it can be, can't it?   

So why write on this?  Well I have been meeting lots of seekers lately. Those who are questioning what happens after death.  Questing their beliefs because they have not found peace for the troubling questions in their hearts.  

For me, I found answers to my questions in the Bible after years of searching other belief. Questions such as:  Who God is, who man is, what sin is and where will I go when I die?  

I want to throw out the question to you.  If you were standing on that rock and it broke off and you fell into the water and death came...where would your soul go?  

I believe the bible teaches we are all sinners in need of a Savior. 

 Romans 3:22 all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. 

Roman 6:23 For the wage of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Roman 5:8 But God demonstrates  His own love toward us, in that while we yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Roman 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with your heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation. 

If you are seeking the way, Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the light.  I would be more then willing to talk to you about this subject if you would like.   I realize I am taking a risk since this message could offend but the message is worth taking that risk. .