Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, Soul Winning

Practice what you Preach

I read something worth posting on my face book friend’s page so I thought I would share!

DrChristy Demetriades

The Word of God heard from your mouth is more effective if it is also seen in your life. When people heard Jesus teach, they were amazed. They had listened many times to the religious leaders who read the Scriptures and gave explanations that were dry, lifeless and mostly irrelevant. But Jesus’ manner of teaching was different, and so was His content. He explained the Scriptures in a way that made them relevant to life. Jesus spoke with authority because He knew the Scripture. The people could see from the actions of His life that He believed what He taught.

Question: Do you practice what you preach?Is your life more like the lives of the religious leaders or like Jesus? When you talk about spiritual matters, do you make them sound dry and lifeless? Or can you communicate the truth about God in a way that makes it seem appealing to others? More importantly, are your actions congruent with your words? In other words – are you living what you are preaching, or what you are saying? If you are preaching about the love of God and are selfish, demanding, not open to constructive feedback, gossip about those around, or are overly critical – do you really think that people will believe what you profess about Christ? Or, do you have a gentle, open and teachable spirit? Do you accept others for who they are and show compassion, mercy and grace? Do you create an atmosphere of acceptance where people can come and give you their feedback? Or do you bite their heads off at the mildest suggestion?

People will remember what you say, but they will have a greater tendency to remember what you DO. Strive to be a person of your word. Do what you say you will do, and honor your relationship with your creator. In doing so, you will honor your relationships with others.

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Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Patience, prayer, Sermon Notes

Freedom of Not Knowing Why God Why Moments

The freedom of not know the Why God momentsEveryone has their WHY GOD WHY moments.

In my last blog we learned: In the “Why” moments: The inability to understand God is NORMAL in the process of spiritual growth.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

  • Have rest and peace in the situation – it is a life long journey
  • Reach a point where you trust God about it instead of yourself or circumstances
  • OK to ask God why just don’t demand them – why stage is like the child why stage
  • Position to seek God’s presence, provision, guidance and promises
  • Don’t try to understand the ways of God because it is impossible
  • God suffers when we suffer and count it joy to suffer or when trials come
  • God will help us on His time – He sees the bigger picture : the ending that benefits others
  •  We all have been thru something – somewhere there is somebody going thru same thing
  • God has to be enough and He is faithful is at present OUTSIDE of our understanding
  • God allows things to happen to make us stronger – makes us able to handle it and sees us thru it
  • God doesn’t cause bad things to happen – sin does – Adam brought it into the world
  • Everything we go thru is to bring Him glory – remember we were created to worship Him
  • If you change your thoughts – you change your brain which changes thoughts – renew your mind
  • When you go thru something be obedient : do what is right cause God will lead you
  • There is true freedom when you overcome something, easier to face it again if you trust

We can all agree In Life:  our goal is usually temporal

  • Happiness
  • Security
  • Prosperity
  • Success
  • We don’t choose suffering as a goal but be glad we go through it when we reap the rewards

How is God’s goal different from our goal?

God’s goal is always eternal. And He will smash every one of our goals if they are in the way. He will use our obedience to bring us to our Calvary, and He will use our sin to bring us there as well. He will take our fear and worries and make us face them, and He will reduce us down to where we know that there is nothing we can do to help ourselves. God is seeking to adjust us for the eternal ages. And if we only understood this, we would be thankful that He is doing this.

  • ALTHOUGH GOD GAVE US A FREE WILL The bottom line is that our wants may not agree with God’s wants for us.
  • Trusting in the Lord can require that you abandon everything you’ve ever believed about what brings happiness and fulfillment.
  • Sometimes you do get what you want, only to discover that it doesn’t make you happy after all, just disillusioned. 

Many Christians repeat this cycle their entire life, wondering what they’re doing wrong.

Ask yourself: If God only worked WITHIN your present understanding, would it ever increase? No.

  1. God will bring you and I to the place where we CANNOT understand. Get that: We CANNOT.
  2. No secret formula
  3. Can’t pray enough to understand
  4. Can’t read the Word or study enough to understand
  5. Bring us to a place of “Do I believe”.
  6. View our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense.

Our “why God” questions requires trust and not to understand – HOW DO WE GET THERE?

HOW DO WE GET TO THE PLACE WHERE WE STOP ASKING “WHY GOD” QUESTIONS?

To trust God, and not in our understanding of Him, requires a certain surrender to Him

  1. Relinquish control
    1. There really isn’t anyway to trust God in this way without dying a death to our self
    2. With death to self comes REAL understanding of GOD HIMSELF
    3. Death to self-will and self-life
    4. Lay aside our right to understand
    5. Surrender without understanding

If you trust God in surrender – the information you thought you wanted will become unnecessary. You will come into a REVELATION.

Trust brings you into surrender, which brings revelation – Revelation produces walking in spirit instead of flesh.  Trust is knowing the Word and promises of God.

Instead of letting our reactions, fears, worries, and inability to understand direct traffic, we allow faith to direct.

 His ways are past finding out… even if we knew God in a way just like Him, then he wouldn’t be our God would he?

God isn’t worried because we don’t understand. He wants our soul for eternity.  He wants us.

We shouldn’t be worried or try to seek the “why questions”.

Seek God. Obey Him. Believe Him. Worship Him. And walk by faith. God is God. Trust Him, and not our understanding of Him.

Trusting God when you don’t understand….  we must reach a place in your relationship with Him and have such a confidence in Him that you believe He is with you in adversity even though you don’t see any evidence of His presence and His power.

God is a friend, our buddy, close fellowship etc…. but He is also awesome, all-powerful, mighty, can do anything, is with us always, we can’t hide, knows all and the beginning and the end….

In order to trust God we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense.  Comes through the Word of God alone.

The secret lies in putting this truth into practice, by making it such a powerful theme in your life that you view every event, every sorrow, every prayer with the unshakable conviction that God is totally, spotlessly trustworthy.

CONCLUSION:

Why God Moment (really questioning believing in God & if He is really going to be with you) – Know Word + reshape our thoughts + increase our faith + trusting in God = brings Revelation as we surrender = walking in His Spirit  = abundant life Jesus came to give us to make it = goal of eternal life which is His will for all of us.

Knowing this will bring us happiness, peace and joy while living here instead of questioning the why moments.

Why does God allow suffering?  Why does God let bad things happen to good people?  Why does children die?  Why does God let murders go free?  Why did this happen to me?  Why is there starving people?  The questions of why will continue on WHY?

Everyone is on different stages/relationship with God: Lack of knowledge of word , revelation to the faith it takes from His word to fully trust in Him.   It will continue on until we realize that God is in control and without Him we are nothing, however what He wants for us is to trust Him enough for eternity.  Eternity is God’s goal and that is where everything we do or questions we ask should start with the ending in mind.  In other words, everything that happens to you that causes why moments or questions you may ask, should have attached to it – the eternal value in all your answers and decisions.

I recently also commented on a status from a woman who was abused as a child who asked the question why she was abused.  Here is how I responded.

Sin entered into the world, there will always be sin. We cannot control sin of others only ourselves.

Since there is sin Jesus was sent into the world to get rid of sin in people’s lives and to heal.

When a little girl gets hurt, although God saw it, allowed it, He didn’t want it nor did he do it. Sin is a by-product of satan and the fall of man.

When God saw you then, he sees you now and he sees what you will become. He uses what the enemy meant for destruction, to bring Him glory. When we give our lives to God, He uses the pain from the past that the enemy tried to enslave us with sin, and use it to help others. If we have never been enslaved before by sin, whether as a little girl or as adult, we would never need to be cleansed or in need of God for our healing. God allows things to happen so we will depend upon Him. He then directs our paths with the ending in mind, and as a result we are healed and we help others find God on their journey that has went through the same thing.

We must reach a place in our relationship where we won’t know the answer but we must be happy with not knowing the “why” but trusting in God enough to know the ending is much better than if we had never went through it…. 

We must walk in faith, trust Him and look forward to the future God holds, we cannot change the past but we can change the future.

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, India, Leadership, Patience, prayer, Salvation

Why God Why Me

Below is a link to hear the message and here are my notes to the teaching: http://sermon.net/melissaphillips/sermonid/1199973982

  • Why was I made?
  • Why did this happen to me?
  • Why do I feel the way I feel?
  • Why don’t you release me from pain?

Why?

If God answered the question would it change the past?

Would it change how you feel pain?

Would it still have the same effects of the tragedy?

The real questions is NOT “WHY” BUT we want to know  is “God are going to help me, take care of me,  be with me even if I don’t understand the “why” or know “why”

Why did that happen?  Why was I made this way?  Just because I don’t look like someone else doesn’t make us wrong.  As humans we compare ourselves to other people in looks, living, status… etc.

I HAVE HAD MY “WHY” MOMENTS… when Bryson was born prematurely – when things happened to my own children, my own family, my own life.

We can’t figure out God. BUT  we can we get to a point in our life to where we live by his promises and not demand explanations.  DOES IT DELIGHT THE DEVIL WHEN WE QUESTION GOD “WHY”

Heard it was a sin to ask God why… but to ask what can I learn from this.

Should we get to a time when we stop asking God ‘why’ AND be thankful the way God is with you and you have Him to lean upon.  The “whys” must become a map in our brain of trusting God.

We can prevent wasting days of confusion. Author of confusion is devil= waste time – reasoning strongholds – analytical thinking (lack of faith thinking)

Fact number one: When the brain changes the mind changes….

Fact number two:  What flows through the mind sculpts the brain….. road map

Fact number three:  You can use your mind to change your brain to change your mind for the better.

Researching:

Neuroplasticity occurs inside us everyday as we encounter new experiences. Picture is the circuitry in the brain. From the left – newborn, then a 3 month old, 15 month old, and 2-year-old. As the child ages, their brain’s wiring becomes more complex and interconnected.

Neuroplasticity is what allows us to take our experiences, then learn from them and form new memories. Huge changes are occurring in the brain during these early stages of cognitive development under 7yrs old, but the truth is that our neural networks continue to build on each other until the day we die.  (before they thought brain stopped at 7) By changing our experiences we can actively reshape our brains.

Left frontal cortex = more positive emotions – puts stop on negative emotions (stress- release cortisol that destroys the brain = can lose that part of the brain enable to form new memories

New synapses form.  Like trees with branches connect.  GET THICKER creates road maps throughout our brain.

  • Our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains. The science is called neuroplasticity. It has the power to change its own structure.  Repetitive positive thought and positive activity can rewire your brain and strengthen brain areas that stimulate positive feelings.
  • stimulates the growth of nerve connections.
  • improves cognition by increasing mental productivity.
  • improves your ability to analyze and think.
  • affects your view of surroundings.
  • increases attentiveness.
  • leads to more happy thoughts.
  • Your thoughts form your character, how you operate in the world, how far you travel mentally, physically, and spiritually. You are what you think you are, and all of your actions proceed from thought. Your inner thoughts will always be reflected in your outer circumstances, because self-generated changes in your life are always preceded by changes in the way you think about something.
  • If we rest our attention on negative we actually destroy parts of our brain.  Habits usually play to our negative but disciplines and creativity create the positive. Even mental diseases/disorders such as bipolar, skizoph, phobias, ocd, can be changed.

Worry: anxious until corrected: If you act on the symptom or dwell on it creates a snowball effect, therefore we have to change our thoughts.  We can create rigid habits…. Snow on a hill…. Changeable.  Build up and thicker  – harder to change…..  do opposite of what you feel with your emotions to create the right thing to do…. Lose weight=get out of habits, educate yourself……  OR WHEN YOU GET INTO THE WHY GOD QUESTIONS….

Why questioning can make us doubt God – enemy doesn’t want you to TRUST GOD FOR YOUR LIFE.

GOD always doesn’t want US to know the Why, God just wants us to trust him… we must get to a place where we mentally just know God is going to take care of the situation even if we don’t understand.

To get a result we must ask the “why” question.

Why was humans made? – worship God!  Everything we do should always point or lead us in the direction to worship God – however the world and the enemy was us to focus on self.

The Why produces a result:

In Staff:  Volunteering – ask yourself the “why” to grasp the results…

We greet – why: makes people feel loved and welcome/safe

We do we come to church – consistency – why: fellowship and faith

We teach giving – why: keeps the church’s doors open, furthers the gospel and opens heavens for you

“Why stage” as a child

Then there are the “Why” questions we all ask ourselves – why does God let bad things happen to good people… “Why does a baby get cancer” Why does death come at such a hard time, why do people suffer, why are there child slaves…..  again asking the question why as a child coming to the Father is not wrong, it is a question children have done for years…. (Because I said so!)

There was a level of trust when you don’t know the ending in mind!

LIFE’S DIFFICULTIES: Why am I going through this?

In the Bible:  In Psalms, we find the psalmist raising this question from time-to-time when a difficult trial had come into their life.

Habakkuk 1

2How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. 3Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. 4The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts.

Psalm 10:1 Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?

Psalm 22:1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?

Psalm 44:23 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? … 24 Why do You hide Your face, And forget our affliction and our oppression?

Psalm 74:1 O God, why have You cast us off forever?  … 11 Why do You withdraw Your hand,

It WASN’T WRONG for us to ask God “why?” “Lord, why this affliction? Why this suffering? Why this tragedy?”…… It’s not wrong but get to a mental place where you trust Him it is for the betterment to come.

Hebrew people delivered from bondage

“Why moses did you bring us out here to die, why moses…”.  BUT AS WE SEE GOD HAD A PLAN – HIS PURPOSE WASN’T TO TRAP THEM BUT RELY ON HIM FOR DELIVERANCE

But there is a danger! The danger comes when we expect that God must give us an answer to all our why questions HIS ways…

we most of the time want to quickly get through the pain we are enduring.

Don’t learn trust God the first time, you usually repeat something else until you do….

We are created to worship HIM – rely on HIM – Trust HIM

WHY ME…. We feel like we are the only one going through our situation…. No one understands me!

Job said:

4Lying in bed, I think, ‘When will it be morning?’  But the night drags on, and I toss till dawn.

5My body is covered with maggots and scabs.  My skin breaks open, oozing with pus. 11“I cannot keep from speaking.  I must express my anguish.  My bitter soul must complain. 15I would rather be strangled—rather die than suffer like this. 16I hate my life and don’t want to go on living.  Oh, leave me alone for my few remaining days.

SOUNDS LIKE JOB WAS HAVING A WHY MOMENT – he had every right too!

JOB 42: 10When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before! 11Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the LORD had allowed against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.

12So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.

Does God suffer when we suffer? Isah 63 9In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.

Does God know what it is like to lose someone and grieve?  Yes – He voluntarily gave His son to die for us for the end result.

Will God help us? SLIDE Psalms 34 17 -19 The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

18The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.19The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.

1:6 In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened;

he saved me from all my troubles.

SAY: THE LORD WILL ALWAYS HELP ME DURING MY WHY MOMENTS….

PROVERBS 3 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

SAY:  I AM NOT GOING TO UNDERSTAND IT

New International Version (©1984)  I Corinthians 10:13-14

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

I Corinthians 10:13-14 (Living version)

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

Breaking the Scripture down: The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.

  • Temptation = circumstances, distractions (Anything that would cause you to get your mind off God that leads to idolatry or sin)
  • Taken you – Seized you, enemy grasps us and attempts to hold us fast.
  • Common:  human nature, anything we are subjected to including demonic realm; man has natural ability to resist and God is able to keep them from falling.

God is faithful

  • God was able to bring you through it all.
  • God is the only source of security, this has to be enough.
  • If you look only to yourselves you will fall. If you depend on the faithfulness of God, you are secure.
  • If you resist temptation, ask God for help and depended on his promises, then he would be faithful. It also implies avoiding the places of areas where temptation occurs.

He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.

  • A promise, just as applicable to all Christians as it was to the Corinthians. It implies:
  1. That all the circumstances, causes, and agents that lead to temptation are under the control of God. Every man that tempts another; demonic activity; every book, picture, place of amusement; every charm of music, and of song; every piece of indecent statuary; and every plan of business, of gain or ambition, are all under the control of God. He can check them; he can control them; he can paralyze their influence; he can destroy them;
  2. When people are tempted, it is because God permits it. He Himself does not tempt human beings James 1:13 (God doesn’t tempt); He does not infuse evil thoughts into the mind; nor does He create an object of temptation to place in our way, but He allows it to be placed there by others. When we are tempted, we are to remember it is because God allows or permits it; not because He does it. We are to remember there is some good reason why it is permitted; and that it will be turned in around for His glory, and to our advancement in virtue.
  3. There is a certain extent to which we are able to resist temptation. There is a limit to our power. There is a point beyond which we are not able to resist it. We do not have the strength of angels, that limit our will in all cases, be beyond the point of any circumstances.
  4.  If people fall into sin, under the power of temptation, people are to blame, not God. People have strength to resist all the temptations that attacks them.  In all instances, therefore, where people fall into sin; in all the yielding to passion, to allurement, and to vice, man is to blame, and must be responsible to God.
  5. He will, at the same time that He allows the trial or temptation to befall us, make a way of deliverance; He will save us from being entirely overcome by it.
  6. That we may be able to bear it or endure it. God knows what His people are able to endure, and as He has entire control of all that can affect them, He will adapt all trials to their strength, and will enable them to bear all that is appointed to them.
  7. flee from the worship of idols. – WHEN OUR FOCUS BECOMES ON US IN OUR WHY

James chapter 1: 2 – 4 shows us a completely different attitude that we should be adopting.

Living Translation: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Message version:  “Consider it a sheer gift, friends when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Attitude has to change.  ASKING WHY IS NOT A BAD THING – IT IS OUR ATTITUDE OF ASKING WHY…..

natural instinct is to think of difficulties as a curse to be avoided.

The phrase “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely”  It has helped me understand that God wants me to use every difficulty I go through to develop my faith.

WE ALL WANT TO become more spiritually mature; but don’t know how to develop faith when going through difficulties.

Learning journey IS TRUSTING GOD in every situation….

Trust God even when life is not fair – bad things happen to good people….WHY?

Gen 3:1-5 Sin happened because the enemy tricked Eve into eating from the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil to be like God… therefore sin entered into this world and FREE WILL to do as we please … sin fell upon ALL mankind from Adam, therefore sin is always present in this world.

Romans 5:12 New Living Translation (©2007)
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Trust God even when you don’t understand:

Jeremiah 18:6 the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. SAY:  I AM THE CLAY – GOD IS MAKING ME BEAUTIFUL!

Romans 8:17 17And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  SAY:  I AM A CHILD OF JESUS AND I AM AN HEIR OF HIS PROMISES.

John 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. SAY:  TO HELP OTHERS I MUST DIE TO SELF AND MY WILL

2 Corinthians 4:8-10,17 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. …For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! SAY:  THIS IS ONLY A SEASON OF MY LIFE AND I WILL GET THROUGH THIS

Trusting God’s Heart when you ask “How long is this pain going to be?”

I Peter 1:6-7 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. SAY: THIS IS MAKING MY FAITH GROW, MY RELATIONSHIP GROW AND REVEAL THE GLORY OF JESUS IN ME.

Trusting God’s purpose – why bad things happen

Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. SAY:  EVERYTHING I GO THROUGH IS FOR A PURPOSE

I peter , 4:12,19 12Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.  SAY:  ALTHOUGH I DON’T UNDERSTAND, I WILL CONTINUE TO TRUST GOD AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT

Why me? Trusting God when your heart is broken

Luke 10:38 Martha asked Jesus – don’t you care? (demanded things to change by God)

Psalm 89:8  God is mighty and he is faithful

2 corth 12:8-10

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Isaiah 43 listen to the LORD who created you. … the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.I have called you by name; you are mine.  SAY:  I AM NOT AFRAID BECAUSE I KNOW GOD IS WITH ME

2When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;the flames will not consume you.  SAY:  NO MATTER HOW I FEEL OR WHAT I GO THROUGH I WILL MAKE IT BECAUSE GOD IS WITH ME.

3For I am the LORD, your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.5“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.7Bring all who claim me as their God,for I have made them for my glory.It was I who created them.’”  SAY:  I KNOW GOD IS GOING TO WORK ALL MY SITUATIONS TO BRING HIM GLORY.

We must have faith and we must trust him…Hebrews 11:6And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

WHEN YOU GO THROUGH SOMETHING IT IS FOR PURPOSE TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE!  BRINGS encouragement FOR OTHERS GOING THROUGH IT TOO….. PAST HURTS HELP OTHERS WHEN YOU SHARE

Trusting God to set me free

Gal 5:1  So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

Hebrews 12:1-2 let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Proverbs 2:8He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

Psalm 37:23-24, The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.24Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

The Secret Behind This Secret

The secret lives within you: the Holy Spirit. Not only will he convict you of the rightness of trusting in the Lord, he’ll help you do it. It’s just too tough to do on your own.

Trusting in the Lord—in little baby steps. He’ll catch you if you stumble. He’ll rejoice with you when you succeed.

Trusting in the Lord is a lifelong challenge. You never finally “arrive.” Each new crisis calls for re-commitment. The good news is that the more often you see God’s loving hand working in your life, the easier this trusting becomes.

When you trust in the Lord, you’ll feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. The pressure’s off you now and on God, and he can handle it perfectly.

It takes more faith to go through something victoriously than to be delivered from it….

  1. We must have crystal clarity on the fact that suffering is not the worst evil — sin is. Yes, we would prefer not to suffer, and pray for the relief of suffering. Focus far more on not sinning than on not suffering. We should have a focus on getting ourselves and others to heaven. God allows us to grow spiritually and minister to others by circumstances of suffering .
  2. THINK in terms of eternity, not in terms of calendar years. Our goal is to get to heaven and take as many other people as possible.
  3. Daily prayer: focused on nothing but prayer, every day
  4. “Our first priority should be listening in patience and silence for the voice of God.”
  5. They submit their discernment to others People who have a long history of watching the way the Lord works in their lives notice that he often speaks through holy friends, family members and clergy. If they discern that God is calling them to something, especially if it’s something big, they ask trusted Christian confidantes to pray about the matter and see if they discern the same thing. And when others warn them not to follow a certain path — especially if it’s a spouse, confessor or spiritual director — they take those indicators very seriously.
  6. Obedience to God – “That’s the excitement in obedience,” he said. “Finding out later what God had in mind.”
  7. Actions would be to trust God and not try to figure out my future.

We must come to a place in God in our relationship where we have contentment.

And not understand the why questions even if it doesn’t seem right, feel right but trusting god enough to know he will work it out for our good.

  1. Find passages in the bible that help me trust God.
  2. Change the way you think that is consistent with Bible truth.
  3. Change actions that are consistent with new way of thinking.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Never rely on what you think you know”.

Thinking how to change to be consistent with this verse.

When I think about my difficulties, I often think they are dreadful and I don’t understand why I should be going through them.  But this verse tells me not to rely on what I think I know. Don’t lean on own understanding.

There once was a farmer who had one son and they were working together to bring in the harvest.  One day the son fell off the tractor and broke his arm and couldn’t help any more.  The farmer thought this was very bad luck.  A week later an army recruitment officer came through and the farmers son was not taken away to fight because he had a broken arm.  The farmer thought this was very good luck.

So was it good or bad that the son’s arm was broken?  It depends partially on what happens in the future.

This simple story illustrates that often, like the farmer, we think we know whether something is good or bad, but our opinion might change with hindsight.  Only God knows what will happen in the future and he promises in Romans chapter 8 verse 28:

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.”

This is why we can trust in the Lord with all of our hearts.

“God knows what he is doing and his plans for me are good”.  I also think “I don’t understand why I am facing these difficult times but that is OK because I don’t have to understand.

Changing my actions.  The same God who knew you before the foundation of this world –is with you, then ask yourself who or WHAT can stand against you

Lazarus story…..  why lord didn’t you come… then unwrap and let go the past…..

Trust always requires always having unanswered questions in your life…  Continue to make the declarations of the Word in your life and renew your mind!

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What’s Love Got To Do With It

the gift of sacrificial love What’s love got to do with it?  Everything….and when it is sacrificial love, it is the best.

When you are concerned about the well-being of others you usually have to sacrifice.  You may have to expand your time, your energy, or your money for them.  You may have to give up your plans your independence or your privacy.  To love as God loves, in other words, you may have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.  I find this very difficult at times because the response you get from others during this journey or process is a pain that only subsides as time passes.  You find yourself going through emotions and wanting to give up, however through the process you know the end result is doing the will of God for the sake of touching others with His Love, teachings and ministry.

Sacrificial love is a difficult concept to grasp because our culture teaches the exact opposite.  We must grasp that true personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification.  Only when we give ourself to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.

I know this is hard sometimes because many times people do not see your sacrifice, they only see what has been taken from them whether from lack of vision or walking in the flesh.  It is easy to turn and look inward instead of the prize that is ahead of us as Christians.  Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean trials of life never come for they are for the betterment of our faith but being a Christian is knowing the end result of eternal life with the One called Jesus who shared this kind of love.

Sacrificial love in marriage is when you enhance the life of each other making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage didn’t exist.  Loving marriages help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than putting down the other.  It is loving the other putting their needs above your own.  The “I love you” means to commit to serve, to build you, to cheer you on despite the time, energy, money, and the misunderstandings of the journey of life.

Sacrificial love is the foundation of every key relationship in life and when people don’t practice sacrificial love, they find themselves wanting, wishing and in turmoil remembering only the past instead of looking toward the future.

Mark 8

John 3:16

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A Bright Future

New Day starts today - no more pity parties!I love the promises of God!  If we truly set our vision on His Word and the plans He has for us, then we should never get in the pity party stage.  Pity party stages come and go and they are based on how we are feeling at that particular moment.  However when we look into the Word of God, it says….

Jeremiah 29:11  I know the plans I have for you. Says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Your age doesn’t matter.  Your circumstances don’t matter.  Your looks don’t matter.  For every individual, every life, God has a plan for the future. Don’t give up just yet on life and it’s possibilities because the promises of God are to give you a future with hope.  He doesn’t want anything or cause anything to harm you.  When your life is hid and grounded in the promises of His Word, your possibilities are endless.  Your future is bright and with the greatest abundant adventure you can ever imagine.  It is not a bed a roses all the time but when you stand on the Word you endure, you get stronger, your faith grows, you get tough skin, you learn to love deeply and most of all you trust in God.  What is so great in the end is that your destination is certain.  Heaven is our home, waiting for our arrival and there’s only rejoicing, not pity party going on there!

Prayer:  Jesus help me remind myself of this promise when I am under attack, when I feel down, when others pray against me, when things go wrong, when bad days happen…. well you know the things Lord.  I will stand and hold tight to your promises, for it is only YOU who gets me through!  I praise you for the awesome King you are!  Amen

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God On Facebook

Poked by GodThere is something interesting about Facebook that can just consume people’s time.  I ponder if it is just the social interaction people were created to have, to establish relationships, to stay in contact with people and make new friends.  I loved hearing the responses to my friends on their answer of why they use Facebook when I posed the question “why use Facebook.”  For the most part it was for social reasons and to keep them connected with other people.  Some argue that Facebook should not be used to replace actually interaction with people literally but how can that be argued with a person who chooses to stay home and Facebook is their only outside source of social interaction?

Something that intrigued me is a poke button on Facebook.   This little procedure called “poke”.  This is where you can poke someone on your friend list, which they may or may not poke you back.  I did a little research on this and asked people “why” they poked their friends.  Sometimes it was just for fun, letting them know they were thinking of them, or they didn’t poke at all because they thought it to be flirtatious or rude, but the original meaning:

The poke feature is intended to be a poke gesture (similar to “nudge” in instant messaging) to attract the attention of another user.  A previous version of Facebook’s FAQ gave additional insight into the origin of the feature, stating: When we created the poke, we thought it would be cool to have a feature without any specific purpose. People interpret the poke in many different ways, and we encourage you to come up with your own meanings.

The other night God spoke to me with a little nudge.  It reminded me of the “poke” on Facebook.  I giggled knowing that sometimes we always have a way of letting other things come before Him. He is constantly and patiently waiting for us to notice Him.  I realize that I may go around the same mountain again and again before I learn something, Lord knows I want wisdom in my life.  How many times do we continue our own agenda, do what we want to do without giving time to Him?  How many times do we justify our good actions and intentions without including Him?  It is easy to get caught up in the social action of “getting busy” or “Facebook addiction”, but it is not the true meaning of life.  God can only fill the void that as humans crave for social interaction.  I have to watch myself to stay balanced in this area.  Of course I have God on my mind throughout the day, I know He is with me always and I am constantly thinking of Him.  I guess what I am really saying is that I need to set aside the morning time again to walk with only Him.  He has started again to awake me early.  He has poked me and is waiting for me to poke back.  He wants that relationship, that social interaction without all the white noise in the background.  He wants me to listen for His voice, see His messages, more than instant messages or blips on a screen.

Poke me GodAs I was reading this morning:  Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.  Just as there are many parts to our bodies, so it is with Christ’s body.  We are all parts of it, and it takes every one of us to make it complete, for we have different work to do.  So we belong to each other and each needs all the others.  God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.  …. Don’t just pretend you love others; really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Stand on the side of the good.  Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Be glad for all God is planning for you.  Be patient in trouble and prayerful always. Romans 12

What does God say?

I am here daughter, don’t be afraid, here my call for I will never leave you nor should you be anxious for nothing.  Trust in my plan and have faith in your destiny.  You must rely on me more and not on your own strength, talents or what you can give to others.  I made you that way, and I can give you what you need to do the work I have chosen for you.  I God who have made the trees, the animals, the waters, the deepest sea, the darkest night, I also have made you.  I have equipped you for the plan that is laid out for you to follow.  Do not get off the path, stand tall and walk.  Do not let others distract you as you are walking and trusting.  Keep your vision on me.  Keep your sight on me.  As a baby walks toward his mother for the first time, I am calling with my arms outstretched.  You are mine and I am yours, no one can take me away from you.  Just as a new mother stares at every detail at her child there is so much love, and more so I have for you.  I will help you must you must let me, not on your own strength but my strength.  Display my fruit of love, do not stray from me but stay focused on me, it is I who provides and not anyone else.  You are a tree planted by waters and you will flourish.  Run to me daughter like a daughter daddy moment and let me take care of it.  Do not fret or get upset when dealing with your siblings, you are good, please do not cause harm but pray for them, forgive them and encourage them.  I call out to them also this very same thing and yet they also get distracted. I love you with an enduring love, come and play with me.  Sit with me, talk to me and rest.  Let me consume you with my love to overflowing.

 

 

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New Year New YOU

Reflection of 2012I set here thinking where did time go this last year.  Oh my, so much has transpired I hardly know where to start.  I believe I am just tired at times and need a break from life, the mood swings, the sorrows and the transitions. I need a week on the beach!  The first of the year started with my eating habits and weight loss, which I might add is still working.  I have found myself starting to straggle back again to the colas and put on a few extra pounds back in stress eating.  I think everyone this time of the year starts reflecting on the past year and wished they could have done some things different in actions, thoughts and spiritual walk, however we also must look at the celebrations and victories we have come through.

I still meet with several families in counseling from time to time adding new people and trying to help with their problems while facing situations of my own.  I think most people look at our leadership position and hold us at a higher level although we also struggle with daily thoughts, life’s circumstances and family issues too.  We are normal human beings with thoughts, feelings and situations of life just like anyone else.  I think what holds us up is the faith we put in Jesus Christ on a day-to-day basis.  No it is not easy, no it is not always glory or fun, no it is not always easy being transparent but it is life in Him that gives us peace and hope for the future.  I love helping people find the answers in Jesus.  I can’t fix anyone’s life or marriage but I can point them to the direction in whom they can find answers.  It all boils down to a choice and His word, finding those tools to help and searching for relationship in Him.

I love counseling helping point people toward JesusWhat does this year hold?  It would be dumb to wish for  it not to be better than last year for sure with the least amount of transitions and struggles.  It has not been unbearable with my blood pressure rising, the boys moving out of the house, the relationship break ups we all have endured, but the truth is that through all the suffering of the year, it has made us stronger.  I am thankful for being stronger.  I am thankful that God is making and pruning and refining us into what He wants us to be and to be more like Him.  It takes grace and mercy.  It takes trust and faith.  Most of all it takes His love and leaning on Him daily to find His heart to work for His Kingdom.

What do people think about you...I think the hardest part in this past year is just dealing with people who purposely judge us and want to cause us harm because of their disagreements or opinions.   We have tried our best to continue to show our vision in reaching the lost but there have been those who cannot or refuse to see it.  I don’t blame them or hold grudges against them.  I am sorrowed they want to hurt us for following God’s vision.  We have done nothing to deserve it or done nothing wrong in God’s eyes as far as sin, could we have done something different, maybe. I know God is refining them through their hurt feelings too.  With my temperament, I think the greatest disappointment is knowing people continue to make accusations against us without knowing or wanting to know all the details in our decisions.  It is a religious judgmental attitude that has been since the time of Jesus day and we all must work through it.  Sometimes I just see myself as tired of it all and ready for a change.  God has it all under control.  I am sorry for the hurt or for the misunderstandings people have had to deal with because of our leadership decisions.  I wish the best for all people and want the best for them.  Break ups are always hard to do but it doesn’t mean the friendships should end.planning 3013

What does 2013 hold?  We will never know until we walk through it.  I am sure there will be ups and down as well as successes. God has a plan, a plan to prosper us in all areas of our life.  I stand on the Word of God and His promises.  I pray for my enemies, I bless those who refuse to bless us, I will love those who think they are unloveable and I will continue to give to the Kingdom of God, do His work and produce fruit in showing in whom I belong to.   We may be the only Jesus people see.  I start with 2013 in being thankful for a year in Him who gives me strength in all areas of this life He has blessed me with!

What does the year hold for you?  Are you ready to make changes in your life?

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Be Dead

How easily people are swayed determines the wisdom and spirit that is within them.  I often question God about wisdom. I know I can read about it all through proverbs and gain in just asking God for it.  I pray for it.  I want it.  James 1:5 New Living Translation (©2007)
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

http://betterlifecoachingblog.com I love what Darren says in a post:

You don’t get wisdom by reading great books or blogs.  You don’t get wisdom by spending time with an amazing mentor. You don’t get wisdom by attending conferences with the best motivational speakers. You don’t get wisdom by going to university or night school. You don’t get wisdom by observing those who are the leaders in your field.  You get it as you apply all that you’ve learned from the above.  You get it by taking risks, making mistakes and learning from your experiences.  You get it by making decisions and assessing your progress so that you can change your direction along the way.  You get it by scraping your knees and getting dirt under your fingernails.  You get it by finding out what works in your own context and circumstances.  Jeff Foxworthy who said that, “Wisdom equals knowledge plus scars.”

Another  short story I received in an email is worth sharing too.  I am unsure where or who published it but holds true to all of us.

Once, there was a community of wise monks who lived in the desert. One day, a man arrived at the monastery, asking if he could stay and learn wisdom from the monks. The old abbot came out and greeted the traveler, then asked why he had come.

The man answered, “I want to be wise, but I only have the weekend.”

The abbot smiled, because many men hoped for the wisdom which had taken him a lifetime to accumulate. He replied, “To begin, go to the graveyard and spend the day cursing the dead. Tell them they lived useless lives, and the world is better off without them.”

The man thought this was strange, but he did as he was asked. The next day, the abbot asked the traveler, “So, what did the dead say?” The man replied, “Nothing, they’re all dead!”

The abbot told him, “Today, go to the graveyard and spend all day praising the dead! Shower them with blessings, exhort them, and speak of the many ways society has benefited from their life’s work.”

Now the man was thoroughly bewildered, but he did as he was asked. The next day, the abbot asked the traveler, “So, what did the dead say?”

The man replied, “Nothing! They’re all dead! And I have to leave today!” The wise old abbot looked at him and said,

“What wise men they must be, to not be swayed by either the empty blessings or angry curses of other people. They must know true happiness.”

New Living Translation (©2007) Ephesians 4:14 -15
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

English Standard Version (©2001) 1 Corinthians 14:20
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking, infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

New Living Translation (©2007) 1 Peter 2:1
So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.

New Living Translation (©2007)  Romans 6:4
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

So with that all said, wisdom comes when we make up our mind to be dead in the flesh and live in Christ Jesus.  Sometimes I need reminding of that when the joys of trial and persecution comes my way. 🙂

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, Weird Stuff

The Kill of a Coyote

Last month my niece lost her little dog.  This is what she posted:

This had have been one of the most spoilt rotten dogs I have ever had. But I loved her with every fiber of my being. She was my baby girl and I loved her so much. I would brag about her all the time. She was mean and sometimes stupid and always hyper. I didn’t even have her for two years but I would never want to replace those days. She could cheer me up or just make me really angry. No one knows how heart-broken I am to find out that she will be gone forever. No other dog could take her place. I love my Zoey and I always will.
My brother had let Zoey out to potty and after fifteen minutes she never returned.  Thinking someone stopped and maybe picked her up we sent out messages and postings “missing dog.”  It wasn’t till a few days later when he approached home he could see the vultures circling overhead in a nearby field.  He walked out to the field and their lay her remains, slaughtered and ravaged.  This was the works of the coyotes that roam the area. I have often heard the howls and the yelp at dusk when I visit my parents.  They are even more cautious now to let their own little dog out after dark.

Coyotes are the size of a medium-size dog, but with longer, thicker fur.  Coyotes are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will feed on whatever is most readily available and easy to obtain. Their primary foods include fruit, berries, small rodents, rabbits, birds, snakes, frogs, and insects. They will scavenge on animal remains, including road-kills, as well as garbage and pet food left outdoors. In suburban areas they prey upon unprotected pets, including outdoor house cats and unsupervised domestic dogs. Because coyotes utilize so many different food sources, they have adapted to and live in a variety of habitats including urban and heavily populated areas. Coyotes are usually shy and elusive, but are frequently seen individually, in pairs, or in small groups where food is commonly found. A family group, more commonly known as a pack, consists of the parents, their pups, and, occasionally, the previous year’s pups.  Howling is the main way for coyotes to communicate with others. While some people find it unnerving, this howl serves many purposes.

Coyotes remind me of people at times or at least their behavior does.  The Bible speaks of wolves in sheep clothing, and I believe the coyote falls in that category too for like a wolf, their prey as only one result which is death. As Christians we are also to be aware of our surroundings for as sheep we are to be aware of the wolves in this world and the consequences of associating with one.

Luke 10New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary  10:1-16 Christ sent the seventy disciples, two and two, that they might strengthen and encourage one another. The ministry of the gospel calls men to receive Christ as a Prince and a Savior; and he will surely come in the power of his Spirit to all places whither he sends his faithful servants. But the doom of those who receive the grace of God in vain, will be very fearful Those who despise the faithful ministers of Christ, who think meanly of them, and look scornfully upon them, will be reckoned as despiser of God and Christ.

Ezekiel 22:27  GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
… like wolves that tear their prey into pieces. They murder and destroy people to make excessive profits.

Although this is a sad story of how my niece lost her little dog to prey, we must be careful not to fall into prey nor be the attacker under the disguise of  sheep.  People shall be known by their fruit.

New Living Translation (©2007) Romans 8:8, Luke 6:44-45,37
That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.New Living Translation (©2007)
A tree is identified by its fruit. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.New Living Translation (©2007)
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

Wolves run in packs, joining together, uniting together looking for their victim.  Attacking, killing yet leaving behind the fruit of the kill for all to see to be eaten by vultures.  They walk away with self-satisfaction of instinct without respect of who or what they have hurt in the process.  Out of instinct of nature, the coyote killed, mutilated a small pet which belonged to my niece.  The pack took no thought in what they were doing and acted out to gain satisfaction for their belly.  How many times do we see people do the same thing?  So sad to see the blood of people on the mouth of sheep in wolves clothing.

New Living Translation (©2007) John 10:10
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Romans 8:5 New Living Translation (©2007)
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

Lord, I pray for those who try to gain revenge or try to take justice into their own hands because of judgmental attitudes or for wrongful thinking.  There is no gain for those who try to be God in the lives of others only the fruit of the kill.  People act out on what they believe to be known by their instinct nature instead of  letting the Spirit of God direct them and trust in the Lord to take care of what seemly seems injustice.  As I struggle to understand people, I also have learned to be aware of how the nature of man reacts from their heart.  I stand with God in forgiveness, holding on to the fruit of the Spirit with patience, long-suffering, temperance, love, joy, gentleness, self-control and peace.  However I learn to trust even when it hurts from the bite of a coyote, I will therefore not let it kill me.

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Shadows of Dung, Dry, Death!

He will always lead us thru the dark places, either carries or prods us to move into a non comfort zone.  We should have no fear through transition, even when we have lack understanding of the process and at times question ourselves.

This dark place is where you feel rejected, wounded and hurt while all the while wonder how you will make it thru.  Your trust in man is depleted believing all mankind are liars, mean and cruel with their words of torment rewinding and replaying over and over in your head.  It affects your thoughts, your daily life, your will power.  You are coupled with a sense falling in a black hole desperately looking for God’s perfect will only hoping you are walking in it.  The darkness of all darkness swarm like flies ready to lay and deposit their seeds of maggots with unbelief and disunity.  All the while you trudge through the dung crying in a madness wishing it would all end, what is the use, what is the reason while the voices of horror cry out to give in and give up, that it really doesn’t matter!  Walking or being carried either way you strap on the burdens of others pretending you have it all together, a King who hasn’t really lost direction but the cries of desperation seem to be echoed in the darkness as we are looking for a ray of light at the end of the path.

As you walk through the valley, you however hold on to a tiny spark of hope that through this you will learn something.  You learn to trust more, love more and lean on the Shepherd.   This valley is to the advantage.  This valley is not death to the soul but death to the flesh giving life to the character of Jesus.  It is a way to learn how to love, live and lead.  The other side of the valley is the rainbow… the promise awaits… keep moving!

 

Psalm 23:4 Matthew Henry Commentary: The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of providence, that the psalmist ever could come under. Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God’s people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side.