Strength – a poem for Carly

She dug further down in the deep of her heart
And the further she went, the more pain would impart
Past the rejection, past all the lies
For their protection, she casts off disguise

She sees it all
But is blind to her own strength
She sees it all…but her strength

      Upholding them
      Supporting them

      With the strength
      She has from above

In the very last days he spent on this earth
She would fight for the rights of the two she gave birth
Walking the tightrope, shaking with fear
Helping them say all he needed to hear

She sees it all
But is blind to her own strength
She sees it all… but her strength

      Upholding them
      Supporting them

      With the strength
      She has from above

The strength she has from above
From above
She fights with the strength
From above

With the strength from above

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A Bray Say… conversation about heaven

So what does God do up there all day? Sit in his chair and play video games?

-No silly. I don’t know…the Bible doesn’t say exactly. I guess he listens to prayers, heals people, speaks to us though his Holy Spirit, and pretty much controls everything…

… (we talk some more about sin, the sea of forgetfulness & God not counting our sin against us when we repent)…

Adam & Eve had it perfect. Everything was fine. Until they put clothes on.

-They put clothes on cause they were ashamed. Everything was different after that. Because of their sin, we all have the tendency to sin & feel ashamed & Satan tries to make us think wrong thoughts about ourselves.

I’ve done that before, and he even tried to make me think some stuff about myself that wasn’t true and then make me think that God was the one telling me that.

-Yeah, he does that. But don’t you believe it. God would never tell you you’re stupid, or a jerk or anything else, especially after you’ve asked him for forgiveness for something. If you hear that, know that it is always Satan.

I hate Satan.

-Me too. Ya know, before Adam & Eve believed Satan about that fruit & sinned, the world was perfect. We’ll never experience anything like that kind of perfect world again until we get to heaven.

There’s gold everywhere there. I think I’ll cut a big chunk out of a street when I get there and chuck it down to earth for the miners.

Will we all be like the same?

– I think we’ll have the same spirit, but we’ll have glorified bodies. I think we’ll be able to even walk through walls.

Coooool…

I call robbing a bank!

 

The Angel of the Lord (by, Hillsong)

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I have everything I need.
Mercy and love follow me.

Though I walk through the dark valley of death, I will
Not be afraid for He’s here.

The Lord’s my refuge, no evil can come near me,
Dwelling in His secret place.

I put my trust in Him, He is my shield, I will
Let His peace rule in my heart.

Surely, the Angel of the Lord is around me.
I have no cause to fear, my God will not forsake me.
I am my Father’s child, no enemy can touch me.
I will not die but live, to tell what He has done.

He has ransomed me, He gave me all authority,
Power, love and a sound mind.

Strong in the Lord and the power of His might, I will
Put on His armour and stand.

This song has been on my mind. I’ve loved it for years, because it celebrates all we can do as we follow Christ. It is perfect for declaring when life throws you a rough situation (like, right now, for us). I’m pulling it apart, phrase for phrase, singing it, & believing it. Some things you gotta speak until they are rooted in the soil of the core of your being.

Another great one we’ve been singing around our house lately is (a ‘lil more juvenile! But still, great words), “He’s got the whole world in His hands”.  It always makes me think of Gramma Janis who sings it to our precious ones. You can just sing that song for days, filling in the blank with whatever your mind is on.

He’s got ________________in His hands (x3)

He’s got the whole world in his hands.

So, what’s your mind been on? Comment! Gimme some love. Name a thing or two that you could write in that blank today.

Why Does a Heart Need Guarding?

This is the study that I’ve been doing the last few days. I thought I might as well put it online in case anyone out there in blog-land needs encouragement from the Word of God…specifically,

Prov. 4:20-23 ~ My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, & healing to their whole body. (amp: healing and health to all their flesh).  Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

I have an example of letting God’s Word penetrate deep , so it brings life and healing Continue reading

Protected in the Storm…but not so secure

Texas has the strangest weather. I will never get used to it. Last night I dropped off  Braylon & his buddy, Andre (9) off at another church for their first Royal Rangers meeting (Andre’s first church experience ever!) & then Angel & I drove down the road to worship practice. It was 7pm, in the nineties, & the sky was half filled with dark clouds. I thought to myself, looks like a storm’s brewin’.

After practice, I picked them up @ 8:15-25 & by this time, we could see lightning all around us, but no rain or wind. I got a text from my neighbor, Evie, “Sure is pounding, isn’t it!” We piled in the Scion & took off for home. It was a race against the clouds. Hutto had been hit, & it was headed south toward us. Continue reading

Pornography and the Bible…Context is Crucial

Bible_Book_Heart

Be careful, little lips, what you quote.

What does the Bible tell us? That’s what I ask. The Bible is our #1 defense & go-to for advice, comfort, encouragement and rebuke. I don’t know what I’d do without it. So my question for today, is…does the Bible tell married people to seek the things of this world in order to please our spouses? I was told by someone yesterday, that it does (in 1 Cor. 7) meaning “the things of the world” as worldly ways to please a husband, sexually. Well, that didn’t sit well in my spirit.

After a few more comments, I was pretty sure we were on the same page. I think she meant that it was biblically supported & justified for married couples to -specifically- look at pornography, as long as its objective is to please the spouse. The discussion turned a corner shortly thereafter, but that reference bothered me all night. I’d never read in God’s Word anything even remotely implying one should seek the things of this world.

Not sure about a scripture’s meaning? Look it up!

@ biblegateway.com, I found that passage. I read about 8 translations & thought I’d share. But note this: context is crucial. That’s why I included the next verse (35). First, let’s go international & bold the section under scrutiny:

1 Corinthians 7:33-35 (niv) 33But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

(nasb) “but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

(amp) “but the married woman has her cares [centered] in earthly affairs–how she may please her husband.”

(nlt) “But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.”

(ncv) “But a married woman is busy with things of the world, as to how she can please her husband.”

(kjv) “but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

Finally, I read it in The Message for a 21st century paraphrase. Mr. Peterson states it so clearly:

dinner“When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.”

Results of my little Research Study?

There are two fallacies in my friend’s quote & context:

  1. Not one translation instructs or suggests married people to “seek” the things of the world. Doing so would make God a hypocrite by contradicting His very nature, to not even look upon sin (the reason Jesus, with the weight of the world’s sin on him as he was crucified, asked his Father, “Eli, Eli,[j] lema sabachthani?” -why have you forsaken me?).
  2. Not one reference to the things of this world is actually about “worldly things” as we read it elsewhere in the Bible, meaning sinful ways. I can see how some might take this at face value & assume that, if not read in context. But if you read the whole chapter, you’ll see it has nothing to do with sex, specifically…but instead, it has everything to do with how a married person is usually preoccupied with keeping their sweetheart happy. Just read the entire passage & you see how he’s plain-as-day contrasting the mindset of married people vs. their mindset if they’d never married.

Paul’s point is not that we as Christian wives can or should seek / live by the standard of this messed up, twisted world & what it deems necessary to keep your spouse sexually pleased. He was saying that in his opinion, a Christ follower’s time could be better spent in focused ministry, pleasing only God, without the distraction of a marriage relationship.

Refused to be Fooled about Porn.

This is so important: we as believers, need to know a verse/passage inside & out before quoting it. Know & understand its context. If we don’t commit to studying, we subject our minds to the work of the enemy, who has been known to pervert & twist even the very Word of God, to accomplish his will – to steal, kill & destroy (in this instance) marriages.

That is one thing (a huge thing), I believe, pornography can & usually does. If watched alone or together, in any form, & it’s not confessed & repented of, Satan has a strong hold – an open door – almost an invite to influence…& eventually destroy a marriage. If the couple has kids, he rejoices even more, as he gets a chance to tear apart an entire family. Through porn, he will use lies & unfair comparisons. He will mask them in beauty & call them intimacy & creativity to lure in his victims. He uses the justification of watching it (even together, as mutually consenting adults) to introduce & justify other forms of sexual sins…dangerous forms like prostitution, adultery & homosexuality. All of these sins, if your doing as a lifestyle & justifying as right, separate us from a holy God & put in jeopardy our eternal salvation. But check it out -no one needs to be fooled or lured into the patterns of this age, for we have available – the most powerful weapon imaginable with which to fight our blasted enemy: a Sword.

The Strength in Scripture:

The power of our Sword, God’s Word, when studied & applied, demolishes strongholds & wrong ways of thinking. Wooo-hoooo! I praise God for that! It just amazes me how it cuts, yet builds. How it cleans & purifies…& how it HE speaks so directly to us concerning our present lives, every time we study! Because of His relentless love for his children, He corrects all those misconceptions we’ve ever thought or been taught.

Now, that‘s some Good News.

Choosing today…to trust

Today I’m choosing to trust in a God who orders my steps before I get there to take them…and who blesses his children no matter where they go if they’re desire is to follow Him. My God promises to provide for me no matter what, and cares more for me than I could ever know.

Today I’m choosing to trust in more than a paycheck or steady income. More than my own strength. More than a well-intentioned government. More than husband, and more than myself. More in my heavenly Father than in man. And it’s a good feeling.

chelan