Sunday, January 26, 2014

Godliness with Contentment is GREAT JOY!

The shows we watch on television show us a picture of ourselves. Take the character from the popular TV show Home Improvement, Tim the Toolman Taylor.  He was always seeking MORE than what he had, and he just didn't seem able to grasp that what he had was really great.  It was a lot more than some others had.  A loving wife, three terrific sons, a job he loved.  He even had a neighbor that actually liked him!  

Oh, but Tim always wanted MORE.  Remember?   More power, ar ar ar!  The result was comical in his case.  He revved up the power, and usually blew up the project!

We can be a lot like that in our spiritual lives.  We say we want maturity but what we mean is we want MORE SPIRITUAL POWER.  Not to glorify God,  but we usually want it in order to do things OUR WAY.  We aren't really seeking Gods way at all, and just like Tim, it blows up in our faces, or destroys the project or worse, whether we meant to or not we can really end up hurting someone else.

Content. Such a simple word, such a wonderful concept.  Oh but it can be such a difficult attitude to attain and sustain and even more difficult to restrain ourselves from grasping for more More MORE!

In the Apostle Pauls first letter to his protege, Timothy, chapter 6, we read:

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Just like the toolman, when we fail to appreciate and be content with what we have and grab for more More MORE it likely will blow up in our faces.  To trust in the Lord is to trust that what He provides is enough.  Enough to meet our needs.  Enough to allow us to give to others.  

Understand clearly what this concept involves.  It isn't about "letting go" or giving up or settling for less!  It isn't about failing to strive for the best, or failing to give your best.  It isn't about an attitude of "good enough" and never going for better or best.

It is about the attitude of heart that is willing to let God take the lead, willing to find the joy in what has already been given, willing to let God set the standard.  Not the neighbors or the trendsetters, the latest fad, not anything other than God Himself.  It is a willingness to be content with what He has chosen for you and not allowing jealousy or envy to corrupt your heart attitude.

Godliness with contentment is where the joy is.   And yet I would caution this; never settle for just being content.  The Lord has more for you.  

Godliness with contentment.  That's where the GREAT JOY is!

What is godliness?  Grab a bible quick!  There's a word study worthy of your time, and you'll be the richer for it!

May the Lord of Hosts, the King of Kings bless you mightily according to His riches in glory, and in that, I pray you will find peace, joy and CONTENTMENT.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Seeing the World Around Me

Keeping our hearts with all diligence;
OUT OF IT FLOW THE ISSUES OF LIFE!
When was the last time you took inventory of your heart?  Over the last several months, I've been doing just that activity and discovering some things.  A little good, a little not so good.  The Apostle Paul encourages us to examine our own hearts. Knowing we'd find at least a few things that could use improvement and not wanting this to be exercise in discouragement, he also reminds us that even if our own hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and loves us unconditionally.

I find myself grieving for the times I've let loose a sharp tongue, or been critical when a kind word would have done so much more good.  I also find myself overwhelmingly thankful that Salvation's Joy is mine!  Which spills right over into desiring that Joy to belong to everyone I meet, for I am convinced beyond all doubt that our only hope is in Salvation through Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of mankind, who died to pay the penalty of sin for everyone of us, and was raised from the dead for our redemption.  (Right here I find myself shouting ALLELUJAH!)

All that I'll be saying in this post is found in the Bible.  Join us in our two year reading schedule, which will walk you through the entire Bible at a slow and steady pace.  You'll find every bit of this in there, I promise!

Seven years ago January, I became a Grandparent.  Perhaps because in parenthood I was too focused on feeding, clothing, housing, teaching and disciplining my children, I didn't give quite the thought to the world around us as I am now giving to the world my grandchildren are inheriting.

A world where men truly have gone from the somewhat selfish and self serving to the truly narcissistic, thinking nothing of utterly crushing and even killing others on a large and constant scale.  We were warned that men would become "lovers of self".  Selfies anyone?  Another school shooting?  Another random act of violence?  Another and another and another child who will never be allowed to draw breath because mommy doesn't want her body stretched out or her life interrupted?  Daddy isn't ready for responsibility he just wanted the release of sexual tension?  So sorry little human being you are an inconvenience to me Me ME!

One of the first things I taught my sons was to recognize and respect the flag which represents the United States of America.  When did we become a nation that dictates personal choice about the intimate details of our finances, as in forced purchase of health insurance, or the very personal choices concerning our health, as in someone else decides what medical procedures we are entitled to or we don't deserve?  This goes far beyond taxes on our personal incomes.  

We willingly tossed privacy to the wind and began telling the entire world every detail of our lives including what we ate for breakfast and then we protest, every so softly and without any real backbone, the government invading the privacy of our emails and cell phone calls and online posts.  

And "The Church"?  There are those few scattered faithful, but for the most part the church is a social club, based on mans need and want for acceptance with very little if any resemblance to actual saints of the Living God.  We practice a form of godliness but have denied the power and live and worship as if it were all about us Us US while holding up a facade claiming it's all about Jesus. We'll worship as long as it is convenient, doesn't cut into our personal time, or overlap the start of the football game or take too much effort or expect any sacrifice from us that costs more than we're willing to pay.  We'll show up Saturday or Sunday as long as the music entertains us and the message doesn't overly ruffle our feathers.

Well did Isaiah speak when he prophesied "Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord, And their works are in the dark; They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”  

And Jeremiah who warned Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord."  Ezekiel, Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Zephania, Zecharia, Habakkuk - all warned of the danger of falling in league with the darkness of the world. Of seeking to befriend a world that hates our Lord and King.

Jesus himself warned "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!"  After Matthew chapter 23's description of the full woe to man and religious leaders for their offenses against God, Creator, Master, OWNER OF THE UNIVERSE HE MADE, comes the prophesy of the End Time, when the patience of a long suffering God will be loosed into wrath.  

My Grandparent heart wants my grandchildren to live and grow carefree and happy. My faith shows me that is very unlikely as we enter deeper and deeper into the darkness of a world that has scorned the very God who created her.  

Like the voice of one crying in the wilderness, I cry to those around me, whoever will give ear and listen.  REPENT!  FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!

Our prayer is for those who will listen, that they will be washed in the blood of the lamb and by faith, receive the good news of Salvation and share it with others.  For it most certainly is Gods absolute perfect will that none should perish, but that all should come unto a saving knowledge of the TRUTH.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

WHY REMINDERS NEED TO BE MANDATORY

SPECIALLY MADE FOR OUR RV WHEN WE WERE
TRAVELING, THE BLESSINGS FROM THE YEAR
REMINDED US OF GODS PROVIDENTIAL HAND
A wonderful friend blessed us with this gift last year at Christmas time that required our attention through out this past year, but has proved itself well worth the effort and a constant joy reminding us of the things we so easily forget; the daily blessings of God who loves us.

We get caught up in each days happenings and tend to forget the smaller, but no less important things that brought a smile to our face, gladdened our hearts and strengthened our faith.  We desperately need those reminders!  We need to repeat to ourselves - OFTEN - the blessings God has poured out on us, the joy of knowing His truth and being on the receiving end of His grace.  We need to recount how by our own actions we should reap consequence but by His mercy we are blessed instead!

As we move into this New Year 2014, Turn the Tide Ministries would like to encourage each of you to do what it takes to draw closer to the Lord, be ever mindful of His goodness and grow deeper in our faith.

We CHALLENGE YOU:

1.  Read the Bible daily; you are encouraged to join us in a daily reading schedule that will walk us through the entire Bible in two years (See the Daily Reading Schedule page)

2.  Pray each morning; they don't need to be long or fancy prayers, just acknowledge your need of help and believe God will provide what you need (Send your Prayer Request via the form to the left and we will pray for you!)

3.  Track the blessings and moments of growth God gives; in a notebook, on slips of paper in a "Blessing Jar" or in whatever manner that works for you, so you can remind yourself as often as needed that God is moving and working in your life.

4.  Tell others when prayers are answered, needs are met or the Lord pours out a particular blessing.  This is a great way to really seal those times in your own heart and mind

5.  Spend time in fellowship with other believers; this will afford continual encouragement and support as necessary.

Without constant reminders of our blessings and times of joy, those times when  we are sad or struggling with difficulties can overwhelm us and rob us of hope.  Arm yourself - list your joys, record your blessings and be ever ready to combat the notion that God has left you alone.  He declares He will never leave you nor forsake you - you just need to remind yourself of that TRUTH!

Sharing memories and the stories of our families is how we stay connected to those who have gone before us and encourage ourselves in the daily struggles of life we all face.  What are some of the ways you have reminded yourself and shared with others the goodness and joys and blessings of life?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What an air freshener teachers about faith

Trusting our own senses doesn't always make sense.  As the Febreeze commercial demonstrates Oh so well, our senses can easily be fooled!  So what are we supposed to do?  Remove the blindfold and take a listen to this encouraging word from the Word of God found in Psalm 4.

Need prayer?  Join the many others who send prayers requests!