"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Thursday, April 30, 2009

COMPASSION & CHILDREN'S DAY

LOVE THESE KIDS!!!
[me in previous years]
Today, April 30th is CHILDREN'S DAY in Mexico! It is one of the happiest & most anticipated days of the year in Mexico. Usually celebrated with festivities of life, honoring children! Since 1925, "El Día de Los Niños", April 30th ,has been celebrated here in Mexico as a day set aside to pay homage to children, recognizing children and their importance in society. Last year, I wrote a different kind of a post about Children's Day here.
But on this day in 2009, all children have been kept home, no school parties, no celebrations except hopefully in the homes, ordering "pizza delivery". Yet many families do not have the money for their children to have these "extras" in their home. Instead of having treats and music as they play games & break piñatas, sharing food & fun, these children are wearing face masks, with parents keeping them close to home. Hoping & praying that their sniffles or coughs, does not become worse with a fever & "flu-like symptons". Right now, these happy faces just want to be able to play & be with their friends or in school where they will truly celebrate beings kids & Children's Day! But not today, though perhaps there is a greater concern for their well being. We are hopefully exercising on the part of safety & wisdom, more precautionary as regards the children. 
Photo credits:Luis Brito  Noroeste (Mazatlan Newspaper)   
                                        
In 1925  in Geneva, Switzerland a meeting was held. It was called the World Conference for the Well-being of Children. At that conference, it was decided that a day should be set aside each year to celebrate children. They wanted the people of the world to stop and think about the children of the world. It was their hope that by taking the time to think about the children, they would take better care of their children. After all, children are a country's hope for the future. 
*******
[shared by Pete Wilson, COMPASSION in INDIA]
THIS truly IS THE DAY!
How appropriate that COMPASSION is in INDIA with their team & bloggers who are sharing the HOPE of those children. Their time there is almost over if you have not checked out what's happening, you can go to this page & find many links to their wonders by going here

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NO PANDEMIC, JUST COURAGE!

Laurie @ Women Taking A Stand chose COURAGE today! This is what she shares at the end of her inspiring Thankful Thursday post: 
"Aren't you thankful for the courage of the Lord! His strength and protection will rise us up out of the hand of the enemy and we WILL be overcomers! 
What are you thankful for this week? Is it courage?or some other blessing from the Lord
Join your grateful heart with ours...
The first thing that came to my mind on courage was the verse in Joshua: "Be strong and COURAGEOUS!..." Joshua 1:9 and then a beautiful song came to my spirit. Yet I was thinking,
"Lord, when have I been courageous? Or when have I ever thanked You for courage?"
FOR ENCOURAGING BIBLE VERSES on "Courage in Times of Stress Or Crisis", please check out this beautiful site: I Lift My Eyes web ministries. As I read their various verses, I could sense courage rising up within me. They have divided the verses into 1) Commands 2) Take Courage - Ask for it! Take it! 3) The Effects your courage will have on others and 4) Rewards of having courage. 
Then I realized in the current situation here in Mexico and now throughout the world, I needed much COURAGE to remain here in the midst of this health crisis. My consulate office is closed & only taking phone calls for emergencies. Now that only could cause me to seek COURAGE! Though I am not in the critical area that had the most severe outbreak & deaths; schools & businesses have been closed down until May 6th.  Even where I live, people are wearing masks. I basically have kept indoors in my home as I usually do now that the temps are starting to get higher, I hibernate usually from the heat. But I needed to go pay my water bill & pick up some groceries. Lines everywhere & store personnel with the face masks. Radio & television covering the symptons & giving advice. I skipped the lines and quickly picked up just what I needed & headed home. They're out of masks & waiting on orders. So I'll go back to hibernation mode & take COURAGE!
Much like our President needs COURAGE and much prayer & wisdom from God to meet the demands pressing in on him daily as the world watches and analyzes his every move. I have been receiving prayers, prayer needs & praying along with the Presidential Prayer Team for these first 100 days! Today they sent out a specific prayer alert as regards this "swine flu" medical crisis. 
In I Timothy 2:1-2 the Apostle Paul says, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority…”
So my first part of this THANKFUL THURSDAY is to share these PRAYER POINTS:
Pray for God’s help and wisdom for President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Sibelius and CDC Acting Director Richard Besser.
Pray that the illness will be contained quickly.
Pray that citizens will be responsible in taking precautions including hand washing and covering sneezes.
Pray that those who suspect they are infected will avoid going to work and public places.
Pray for no further loss of life.
Pray for supplies of flu medication to reach those most in need.
Pray that those infected who enter our country will be successfully quarantined.
Pray for medical workers who risk their own health as they care for others.
Pray for those in Mexico who have lost loved ones to be comforted.
Here is the song that rose up in my spirit...it is from these words, I find my thankful heart to
Our Lord ... He has commanded us to be courageous! I certainly know that we need to be. I can think of various times when I needed COURAGE in the past like my present circumstance but I didn't even think about being courageous...yet I pray this ministers COURAGE & HOPE to you as it does me.
Be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the Lord will go before you
And His light will show the way
Be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the one who lives within you
Will be strong in you today
Why don' you give him all of your fears
Why don't you let him wipe all of your tears
He knows, He's been through pain before
And He knows all that you've been looking for
So, be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the Lord will go before you
And His light will show the way
Be Strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the one who lives within you
Will be strong in you today
Nothing can take you out of his hand
Nothing can face you can't command
I know that you will always be
In His love, in His power you will be free!!
So, be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the Lord will go before you
And His light will show the way
Be Strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the one who lives within you
Will be strong in you today
LORD ~ Jehovah Roi ~ My Shepherd
Thank You for going before me!
Thank You for leading me through safe places of refuge!
Thank You for Your strength at all time!
Lord, You are my Protector!
Thank You for Your constant protection!
Thank You for my health!
Thank You for taking all fears!
Lord, You are my Strong Tower!
Thank You for being my shield and strong tower!
Thank You for wiping away my tears & my fears!
Thank You for living within me!
Jehovah Shammah
Thank You for always being there!
Thank You that nothing can take me out of Your hand!
Thank You for the courage to face this & stand!
You are my LORD ~ El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty!
Thank You that You are the All Sufficient One!
Thank You for being my light in this place.
I find my courage in You!
I stand in prayer for President Obama & all leaders in the world
to battle with Your wisdom that they would seek You first each day.
This health crisis, the economic crisis, on & on...
are the wars that we come against in the Name of Jesus Christ.
I pray the following verses from Deuteronomy & lift up each of the above prayer points:
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: "Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. 4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."
We place ALL of this in Your hands & trust You
as we give You thanks!
I am so grateful for the victories & courage You have seen me through
by Your aMazing Grace!
Keep me strong, when I may feel weak!
I am never alone because You are here with me!
Tragically, the first flu-related death in the US was reported this morning and 91 cases have been reported to date. The death toll in Mexico is at 159, and the State Department is discouraging all but necessary travel to Mexico. We don’t know how quickly it will spread or where it will end. (I read that only 7 deaths were actual "swine flu" in Mexico)
I ask that the Holy Comforter will be with those who have lost loved ones and cry out for Your mercies, O Lord. Send Your Healing touch & grace to each one of these in Jesus Name! May they come to know their need for a Savior!

EVERLASTING SALVATION

"Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: 

The law will go out from me; 

my justice will become a 

light to the nations."

 3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion         and will look with compassion on all her ruins;         He will make her deserts like Eden,         her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.         Joy and gladness will be found in her,         thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

 4 "Listen (pay attention) to me, my people;         hear me, my nation:         The law will go out from me;         my justice will become a light to the nations.

 5 My righteousness draws near speedily,         my salvation is on the way,         and my arm will bring justice to the nations.         The islands will look to me         and wait in hope for my arm.

 6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, 
       look at the earth beneath; 
       the heavens will vanish like smoke, 
       the earth will wear out like a garment 
       and its inhabitants die like flies. 
       But my salvation will last forever, 
       my righteousness will never fail.
***
I LOVE You LORD!
LAST
*underlined words linked to study tools or Strong's definitions
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For more ABC’s of the Word please visit Pam @ Grey Like Snuffie.

LOOK to the FIELDS
* in my Thankful Thursday, I've written a little about me & the "swine flu" pandemic click here

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

EMOTIONS FRAZZLED!

Ephesians 4:30-31
Ephesians 4:32
Ephesians 4:26

EPHESIANS 4: 25-32

"25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 

26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." NIV

*first two graphic credits go to Heartlight.org 

on the 3rd one I added the Ephesians 4:26 verse to the Matthew 6:34 but not sure where it came from (oops dangling preposition) I had sunset photos but I felt this one & the verse balanced.

For more on "How to Handle ANGER" (Bible Study) see In Touch Ministries and check out my post from Tuesday's "Father's Love Letter"series: I AM NOT DISTANT & ANGRY

FOR MORE WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY

Bless our host Amydeanne @ the160acrewoods with a visit
or by joining us with a photo & scripture
and a Word Filled Wednesday
each week

I AM NOT DISTANT & ANGRY

NOTE: I came back & added parts so I put them in green. 
Suggestion:Put the song on quietly as you continue to soak or read this post!
Each week I have been taking a verse from the Father's Love Letter to share and allow us to soak in His LOVE from HIS Letter to Me & YOU: the Bible. There are 52 verses in the FLL!
(FLL will represent Father's Love Letter). To see the letter in full you can scroll down and read or listen & watch a video of it. Or just go to the original site by clicking on FLL above in red.So far I have covered these:
This week, I should be sharing 1 John 4:16 from this line of the FLL:
As I was planning what to share today, I was opening up my daily e-votionals and I was almost ready to write: "Today we're GOING TO INTERRUPT OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED FLL POST to share the following from Dr. Charles Stanley" from In Touch Ministries because this is an area that I had need of much help with in my life especially back in the 80s & 90s before I fell apart. I use to listen to Charles Stanley, on the radio each day on KTIS Christian channel in MN as well as others. 
I share all of this to show you all, how DIVINE Our God is. I had no idea that the verse today & the line of FLL was "I am not distant and angry,..." nor did I know that Dr. Stanley's theme for this week is "Letting Go of Anger"; and his Bible Study is "How to Handle Anger" . But God did!!! Isn't HE just so awesome how HE speaks to HIS children. He lines up His Word & teachings to bless us.
I was going to just SHARE Dr. Stanley's entire lesson and sermon because they are both so good but it did not work, so I was thinking of copying & pasting it here and not sharing FLL. If you click on either above, you can read his actual sermon & do his excellent Bible Study. He even has a pdf.
Charles Stanley's ***Practical Lesson shares the following:
"Anger can be either good or bad. Righteous anger motivates us to fight for the truth, defend the weak, or advance the kingdom of God. Unholy anger is rooted in selfishness, such as a reaction to an insult or disappointment. 
"It devastates marriages, separates children and parents, and poisons business relationships. This type of hostility can even affect our health. That’s why Paul instructed us, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph. 4:26-27). The apostle encouraged believers to deal quickly with anger before it could take its toll on their lives."
I will need to take time digesting this sermon and explore what the Bible says about this powerful emotion. You can be sure that I will come back to this topic & what I learn or how Jesus transforms me through these truths in studying His Word through Dr. Stanley's study. My heart is open.
For today, I want to relate all of this to how many children of God view Him as 'distant & angry' because of the way human relationships have been in their life. Humans may fail us & many do! God, our heavenly Father does not. Too many times we blame God for human failures. This goes right back to last week's line of "misrepresenting" God, the Father. It is very tragic but how each of us behave or respond impacts the view of God justly or unjustly, it is how children first conceptualize God, the Father. Many of those early impressions of God or church, is what keeps or drives people away from God for children, teens or any age adult.
1 John 4:16
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
(NIV Bible)
Now this verse certainly allows us to know that Our Father in Heaven is truly the complete expression of love. Many times, people who don't come to Jesus or accept Him, or turn away from God, wrongly believe that He is a God of wrath. They blame Him for all the horrible things occuring
in this world from natural disasters to the declining environment in our planet, health problems or innocent victims or untimely deaths. Yes, God is in control, but we share in the responsibility & the consequences of our own actions or lack of action. The world is suffering! Many of us are suffering.
I am not blaming or trying to shame anyone. Forgive me if my words leave you thinking this way, it is not my intention at all. 

"Jesus tells one of the teachers of the law that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. 

Jesus sums up all of the commandments into this one little but profound word...love.

Loving God and loving others is the foundation of the gospel, and the only way we have the capacity to love God is if it is in response to His incredible LOVE for us. The bible says in 1 John 4:19 that we love because He first loved us. We cannot love Him first, He needs to love us first. It is only in the overflow of His love to us that we can love Him back and have the ability to love others.

Many Christians, especially those active in ministry, perceive the love of God as a ministry tool not to spend on themselves, but only to give away to others. But the truth is we need to first receive the revelation of God's love in our own hearts, before we will ever be able to give it away to others. God wants us to bask in His love, marinate in His love, soak in His loving presence, so that His love can touch the deepest need in our hearts. When we become like sponges drenched in the love of God, then when we bump into people, they will get soaked with what we have been soaking in.

The call of God in 1 John 4:16 is for us to live in love, for when we live in love, we live in God. There was a popular song a few years ago that said that God was watching us from a distance. While many of us have a theological grasp on the love of God, from an experiential perspective, we sometimes can feel that His love is just out of our reach.

God is not watching us from a distance, but is closer to us than we could possibly imagine. His first priority is not that we save the world, but that we receive His love and simply love Him back. When like sponges, our hearts begin to drink in the extravagant love of God personally and intimately, before long it will begin to seep out of every one of our pores and truly impact the world around us." (FLL #16)

Dr. Stanley share this:
Anger can devastate marriages, separate children and parents, and poison other relationships.That’s why the apostle Paul encouraged believers to deal with anger quickly—before it could take a toll on their lives (Eph. 4:26-27). 

At this point, I believe that God is wanting me to validate the truth of these words as I internalize these truths and then share. This could take a while since ANGER is one of my volatile human weaknesses. I have worked many years at crucifying my anger and any behaviors that have erupted God from living in & through me to my husband, my children (now grown with their own children) or anyone that I shared a close relationship with on a daily basis or perhaps even strangers noticed this instead of JESUS shining in me & through me. I must sadly admit that my anger is visible in the tone and at times volume of my voice. I went through many anger management workbooks to keep me in check when I was the most explosive. I surrendered and confessed this sin long ago to get rid of it. I guess I only shared this much first writing because this is my part of my responsibility and forgiveness is the other part. But the following is some of what I left out.

My husband survived & suffered cruel physical abuse as a child & teen from his father. Since he was a well educated professional, I felt that he must have it under control. I wondered at times what may provoke that anger to be released, would a day come that something may trigger his anger?
Once it reared its ugly head, I lived in fear wondering when or how it may surface the next time. I thought about how I could defend myself. My defense was always my verbal ability or unbridled tongue. Needless to say, that doesn't make it better. But the worse it became, the stronger my words & volume. I became a volatile mindfield after having stuffed my anger for years, seeing that I got nowhere by reacting, I was concerned that someday I may provoke his anger to be physical like his father. His father had beat them to almost passing out. I thought my husband had it under control. I found out otherwise when I reached his breaking point. At first, I thought I had it coming. Those were my silent, stuffed years. He did gain control over his anger. For me, it was too late.
There were many moments, he would verbally get right in my face, make threats, and then back away. I learned to not respond at moments like those, but pray. Yet I think I'm the one who showed the anger more with my unbridled tongue. There was no going back to the peace of our beautiful surroundings of pine trees & natural beauty, I had crossed the line. 
The poison of anger and the hostility that Dr. Stanley explained above in the ***Practical Lesson I quoted is part of the reason why I am separated from my spouse, so that the conflict and anger can no longer affect the health of either of us adversely any longer. It was a mutual decision. It does not make it right but it is what has resulted in a healthier life for each of us and necessary sad to say.

It gives me the freedom to truly saturate my life with God's Word and the service that I intended to be a part of all of my life. Finally, I was able to do (It's a long story). Yet the anger was resolved long before this by LOVE! God's healing LOVE was poured all over my broken life and brought me to my knees. I also learned that I do not have to defend myself, I have the best Defender & I was not doing it His way. Once more I need to share what Dr. Stanley wrote for the best conclusion of this FLL today:

"Unrighteous anger ruins lives if it is left unchecked. It destroys marriages, families, and other relationships. It hinders our fellowship with God and stifles our joy. That’s why believers must carefully avoid associating with those who are quick to anger.We should also examine our lives to make sure this emotion does not hold us in bondage.
While suffering a horrible death on the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Let’s follow His example and graciously forgive anyone who offends us. That way, you and I will be free to enjoy the abundant life God has planned for us." ~ In Touch LIFE PRINCIPLES Heavenly Father,
You are the complete expression of LOVE! You love me unconditionally and without limit. Please teach me how I can take time to soak in Your love every day. I pray that you would remove any hindrances that would prevent me from receiving Your personal & intimate affection for me. I would ask that today, I would have the power through Your Holy Spirit, to comprehend how deep and high and wide and long is Your love for me expressed in Jesus . Your forgiveness is overwhelming.
Forgive me for the times that I allow my anger to block or hinder my earthly relationships. Forgive me for any selfishness in me. Forgive me for my part in the dissolution of my marriage. Forgive me when my tongue has been unbridled. Forgive me if I have ever been quick to anger. Forgive me when this has stifled my joy in You. Forgive me if I have robbed anyone of Your joy in their lives. Restore Your love and joy in each person. I forgive others that have shown me their anger inappropriately. May You come richly into their lives so they will know You as their LORD & Savior, and truly know Your unconditional Fatherly Love. Thank You for being Our Father, flowing with the complete expression of Love for me and each one of us. May Your Spirit of love reign in my life now & forever. I love You, Father and I love these people. In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus I pray, AMEN.
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This blog is ALL about HIM, for HIM, not about me!
I hope that is what you see
this is why I am



To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy