Musical Monday: No Longer Slaves
Today is Monday. Monday is a day some actually dread. But I John 4:18 in the Amplified Version tells us in God’s love dread does not exist.
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].” 1 John 4:18 AMP
In that vein, today’s musical selection is, No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser.
Point to ponder while you wander… You may have heard this song before, maybe many times before. But take some time today and really listen and declare who you are. And who you are IS A CHILD OF GOD. The rest is just details. 😉
Whisper of Peace
Pursued By Goodness and Love
“So why should I fear the future? For I am being pursued only by Your goodness and unfailing love.” Psalm 23:6 TPT
Most translations say “goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”.
It does mean to follow after earnestly. But from studying it, I believe the original Hebrew word, radaph, is more intense than that. It means to pursue ardently, put to flight, to chase, aim eagerly to secure, or to attend closely upon.
Point to ponder while you wander…I have wasted too much time waiting for the other shoe to drop. Expecting bad, just because other people have chosen to let me down. God didn’t do that. Other people did.
God gives good gifts to His children. And I am his child. (James 1:7 & Matthew 7:11)
God pursues us ardently with His goodness and unfailing love. He never fails to continually pursue me ardently. (Psalm 23:6)
God promises that if I seek Him, I will find Him. No game playing or lies. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
So today I am choosing to say, “Thank you God, for giving me hope for the future and chasing me down, wherever and whenever I strayed, with your goodness and unfailing love. Even when I blamed You for people’s choices, and especially when I literally screamed obscenities at you. You are the Rock to which I cling.”
Turning a Bad Night Around
Last New Year’s Eve I was supposed to hang out with someone, they bailed on me last minute. I was irate.
New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday…so I did not want to stay home and mope.
But what was I going to do?
Find a party?
Call other friends?
Go celebrate with Nanny and Pops?
So I stopped at CVS and bought some party hats and sparkling grape juice and showed up to celebrate with them completely unannounced.
Here’s some of the fun we had…
I didn’t know it then, but this was their last time ringing in the new year. A few short weeks later Nanny went into the hospital and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Two months later I lost them both.
I am so glad I chose to interrupt their quiet evening and keep them up til midnight; singing and dancing around their house, and laughing with them.
Point to ponder while you wander… Please take time to celebrate milestones. Be silly! Enjoy the people in your life. Those memories of giggles and sillyness strengthen and buoy you in the sad times. Trust me on that.
Cheers to great memories! And Happy 80th Birthday, Nanny!
Behind the Scenes
Sometimes I like the behind the scenes on a DVD more than the actual movie. To hear about what it took to write, cast, produce, and film the movie inspires me. The process of movie making fascinates me.
The process…. ah the process…
In my own life I loathe the process it takes to get me from point A to point B. I pout and whine and beg God to move faster or just pick me up and drop me in a new place like Dorothy into Oz.
But the truth is that the journey is the interesting part, not the arrival.
Don’t believe me?
Think about the movies you love.
It’s the journey that draws you in and causes you to root for someone. Their journey, not their arrival. Watching them go from the cocoon to flying is what inspires us.
So if this is true…and it is…why don’t we get that we are on our own journey? Why can’t we easily submit to the growth process? Rather than beating ourselves up for not being perfect or being frustrated that something we desire is out of reach?
Why aren’t we rooting each other on behind the scenes? Why do we expect perfection from ourselves and others?
Point to ponder while you wander…You are on a journey be kind and gracious to yourself. Believe in yourself.
Those around you are also on a journey, encourage them. Cheer for them. Believe in them.
An Attitude Adjuster
I’m having a rough time with one particular condescending co-worker. After a meeting with him I need to walk for a minute and readjust my attitude. Then I read this… sigh. How do I work that magic of my best self coming out in the face of being condescended to?
Proof I need Jesus more every day.
Matthew 5:43-47 The Message Version
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”
Love is always the right answer. I know that. Be kind. Don’t puff myself up. Be patient. Remembering that in the moment and choosing to act on it…that’s maturity in Christ.
Right now my emotional stability is continually fluctuating. And my intellectual pride really detests being talked down to like I am an idiot. I am not am idiot. I may not understand something. I may not know something. But I am always willing to learn.
But these are just excuses and rationalizations.
I should not behave like a toddler.
The Fruit of the Spirit should be kicking in…Self-control and Love.
But I need to choose to respond in love. Just like I need to choose joy in the face of trials like condescending co-workers. Just like I need to choose to maintain peace in the face of stress.
Jesus is always there to call on. Holy Spirit is always there with His Fruit of the Spirit. Abba is always there loving me (and you) and believing in me (and you).
So I need this reminder every Monday: Choose love today, Jill.
Point to ponder while you wander…is verse 48: “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.” Psalm 18:30 NLT
Thankful today for His enduring patience and unconditional love for all the times I doubted the truth of this verse and wouldn’t trust Him.
It has taken me a long time to understand the truth of Psalm 1, that delight comes when we follow God’s way. It’s not about rules and regulations and being perfect.
It’s about understanding that His way always includes our best interest. His best for us, as He is for us. He loves us.
God doesn’t want robots or slaves. If He did we wouldn’t have free will or the ability to make choices.
God respects those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them and knows it will end badly. He respects our choices.
But! Remember He can only bless us within the confines of our choices.
So when we freely choose His way…then He has free reign to pour abundant blessing on us. More than we can ask or think.
“What delight comes to those who follow God’s ways! They won’t walk in step with the wicked, nor share the sinner’s way, or be found sitting in the scorner’s seat. Their pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of “I Am,” meditating each and every moment in the revelation of light. They will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s designs deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss; bearing fruit in every season of their lives. They are never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever plentiful.” Psalm 1:1-3
Point to ponder while you wander…His way doesn’t always make sense to us, but He knows the beginning, middle and end of your story. Doesn’t it make sense to trust His opinion over our own shortsighted opinion?
A Bowl of Cherries
“Life is just a bowl of cherries.”
I’ve never understood why this quip is used in sarcasm or as a way of saying life is unpleasant without sounding like a whiner. It’s more like they’re saying life is a bowl of cherry pits.
I think the people who started this bad reputation for the cherries needed a perspective shift.
Maybe they chose cherries because they didn’t like that cherries have pits. Maybe they couldn’t afford to buy cherries. Maybe people say it because you can only get good Michigan cherries once a year.
Whatever the reason, cherries don’t deserve that woe is me reputation. I mean just look at how joyful they look? And yummy! Mmm.
Point to ponder while you wander…The Word says…as a man thinks so is he. Meaning how you see the world will determine who you become in the world.
Are you choosing to focus on the pits and stems (negative aspects of life) or are you choosing to enjoy the cherries (the small little sweet things that happen every day)?
Under the Backyard Tree
After weeks and weeks of hiding out in my room, I finally remembered I have a lovely backyard.
So I am laying on a blanket under a huge maple tree listening to worship music. The sun is shining. A breeze is blowing. So lovely.
Point to ponder while you wander…
Trees by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.