His Promises!

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I don’t think anyone could argue the fact that we live in a world of uncertainty, tragic loss, devastation, and sickness. 

I find it quite comforting to know that my God is with me through it all.  Sometimes it’s hard to see, but it’s the truth.  I borrowed this link from a friend and I would like to share it with you.  It’s a daily reminder of His promises in case you ever find yourself in doubt. 

http://www.365promises.com/

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Striving for Excellence

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I was watching an episode of “Enjoying Everday Life” and the topic was about being a person of excellence. I’ve seen this episode several times but it still tickles me when Joyce Meyer admits that God did more dealings with her (in regards to this topic) in the grocery store than anywhere else. For two years He had to deal with her about putting the grocery cart back in the coral.

I simply can relate….I don’t know how many times while in the clothing area of Target, I find shirts off the hanger. Flashes of Joyce pop in my mind, as I try to pretend that I don’t see the shirt. I mean, why should I hang it back up when I did not knock it down in the first place?

Jesus gave plenty of examples about walking in obedience and excellence and what the end result will be if we do.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
And

Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” (Colossians 3:23-24).

I stumbled across an article while I was searching for scriptures on excellence. It was taken from http://www.knowjesus.com/Dev_excellence.shtml and I think it contains some deep insight to further support this topic.

…it should be clear that God wants His people to abound or excel in both what they are (inward character) and in what they do (behavior or good deeds). It would seem obvious that there is simply no way one can love God with all his heart (Matt. 23:37) without seeking to do his or her best to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Since that is so, the pursuit of excellence is both a goal and a mark of spiritual maturity. However, for this to be true, the pursuit of excellence must be motivated by the right values, priorities, and motives. If we go astray here, the pursuit of excellence can quickly become a mark of immaturity and just another result of man’s obsession with his own significance, which, as mentioned previously, is a perilous pursuit.

So our goal of excellence should be driven by right values, priorities, and motives.
I invite you to ask these questions and take a little inventory of your motives to see what drives you.

Is someone else paying for other’s mistakes that caused harm to you?

Are you putting the grocery cart back in the coral?

Is someone else “picking up the tab” of life while you are more than capable of meeting your own needs?

Are you putting the clothes back on the hanger even though you were not the cause of it?

Are you constantly dwelling on the faults of others instead of celebrating their good qualities?

Are you constantly showcasing your life as something big and great, when behind closed doors it’s a total mess?

Do you practice what you preach?

Do you say you’re sorry when you know you have done something wrong?

I took my own inventory and found that there was some room for improvement. Hearing that you have flaws is not easy. The first reaction is to get defensive, but don’t! Take this opportunity to walk it out and set things straight. You will be so much happier that you did. There will be a deep heaviness that has been lifted and you will experience freedom and peace!

In the end, I want to hear, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” ~ Matthew 25:21

Dont’ you???

Love in Christ,
Nichole

Reservoir of Pain

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When I think of a reservoir, I think of a place to store something, like a resource.  Wikepedia backs this up by stating that a reservoir is an artificial lake used to store water.  They further state that reservoirs are often created by building a reinforced dam, usually out of concrete, earth, rock, or a mixture across a river or stream. Once the dam is completed, the stream fills the reservoir.

I think we have internal reservoirs.  It is the catch all place where our memories, experiences, and feelings spill over. I would like to think that this reservoir is a positive place, but for most of us it represents pain and the memories/ feelings associated with this.  We visit this reservoir when situations trigger painful places in our past.  It relates to a previous blog I entitled “The Residual Effect“.  It’s the stuff that’s left over that strives to find a place in our existence.  It just doesn’t want to go away when we so badly want it to.  
Paul strived to put the past behind him. In Philippians 3:13-14 he said,  “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

How do we “press on” when we keep getting tripped up by the past?

I can honestly say I do not have an answer and I desperately wish I did!  The text that was placed before me yesterday, brings insight to my present situation and I would like to share it with you.  It comes from the Introduction to the book of Ephesians ~ The Message. 



What we know about God and what we do for God have a way of getting broken apart in our lives. The moment the organic unity of belief and behavior is damaged in any way, we are incapable of living out the full humanity for which we were created. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians joins together what has been torn apart in our sin-wrecked world. He begins with an exuberant exploration of what Christians believe about God, and then, like the surgeon skillfully setting a compound fracture, “sets” this belief in God into our behavior before God so that the bones- belief and behavior – knit together and heal. Once our attention is called to it, we notice these fractures all over the place. There is hardly a bone in our bodies that has escaped injury, hardly a relationship in city or job, school or church, family or country that isn’t out of joint or limping in pain.

So the answer appears to be that God has to bring upon the healing.  Our mind and soul is so full of fractures and we are walking around in invisible pain until it spills out in our reactions and expressed emotions.  He will have to “reset” the past, which will most definitely bring upon pain (temporary pain).  Revelation 3:19 says, “Those whom I (dearly and tenderly) love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten (I discipline and instruct them). So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning zeal and repent (changing your mind and attitude).” 

We have to celebrate the work that God is doing in us, which is a task in itself.  Going through the work is hard enough yet alone, being happy about it.  But if we don’t allow God to heal us, then we will keep relying on the reservoir.  The reservoir of pain only allows half of our heart to be involved in the relationship and half of ourself to participate in the situation/experience. 
 
I think it is time that we fully join the world and live out the life that God intended for us.  May we celebrate together all He has done and all He will continue to do.
 
Love in Christ,
Nichole