Cultivating Peace

 jealousy and envy

Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; 
jealousy is like cancer in the bones.

Proverbs 14:30 (AMP)
A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.

Usually, health and fitness goals center around diet and exercise. Fewer calories. Less fat. Lower carbs. More vegetables and fruits. Leaner meats. Cleanses. Juice fasts. Gym memberships. Water aerobics. Walking. Jogging. Running. For many folks, the determination starts strong, but soon the sheen has worn off that previously shiny goal or resolution. Others will grit their teeth, set their jaws and stick with it; continuing the process and looking and feeling better because they do.

It’s always the right time of year to add a new regimen to our healthy resolutions. One that is guaranteed to make changes to our entire being – body, soul and spirit. How about a new exercise routine? Exercising peace. Building a peaceful heart and mind?

If you’ve resolved to lose weight, you’ve probably chosen a specific type of diet plan. You are counting these and avoiding those, and choosing this not that. Pursuing peace works the same way. This verse outlines clearly what needs to be avoided.

Jealousy – defined by Merriam-Webster as “hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage.

Envy – defined by Merriam-Webster as “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.”

Wrath – defined by Merriam-Webster as “strong vengeful anger or indignation.”

Jealousy and envy require the act of comparison and the assumption of inferiority. Looking at someone else and comparing ourselves to them in some facet or aspect and finding in our estimation that what we are or what we have to be inferior to what they are or have. Jealousy and envy don’t just want what someone else has TOO; jealousy and envy usually want what someone else has INSTEAD of them having it or being it. [Read more…]

Transformed

transformed

 

It really doesn’t matter who you were or who I was. What matters is who we are now in Christ and how we are being continually transformed by the renewing of our minds (a new and different way of perceiving everything, a change in how we think, and a fresh view of ourselves and others) and our refusal to be conformed to the usual ways and thinking prevalent in our world – and that world’s view of each of us and our futures.

Transformation seems like such a huge word and a process that happens outside. It shows on the outside in our demeanor, words, and actions, but it all really takes place in our thoughts. In our minds. A new perceiver (my made up word for the process/place in our mind). A new point of view. A new way of thinking.

Conforming takes place there first, too. Wherever we go in our thoughts; conformation follows. We are molded and our lives are navigated by our thinking.

Sound familiar???

Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Here’s more… [Read more…]

It’s Time To Know

time to know

Shhhhhhhh.

Get really quiet. If not right now, sometime before you go to bed tonight. Again tomorrow.

What is the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart? What is stirring in you? Not the 20 things that go zooming through several times a day. Not the 10 things. The 1, 2 or 3 things that just kind of hang out 24/7 at different levels of consciousness. Sometimes, it/they are LOUD and CLEAR. Sometimes they are just whispering and on the periphery of your daily activities. But they are there. Always there.

Maybe you swat it away. Dismiss it. Or, override it every time it surfaces for your consideration. You don’t have time. You don’t have the energy. You don’t have the support. You don’t have the money. You’ve made too many mistakes. You don’t know how. All the usual reasons we have for why we don’t do what is in our hearts and live The Plan and our Destiny. [Read more…]

Count Your MANY Blessings

 

Count Your Blessings

Middle of the night. Awake and restless.

There are some things I am working on that are pivotal to the people and companies I serve. Critical decisions have to be made. Important and significant to the people I care about and am working with.

Personal stuff, too. I was not feeling great and am needing direction on some decisions as well.

That snug-jawed, wound-a-little-tight, shoulder blade pull was starting to happen.

Nope. Not doing that. Not going there. We cannot change anything by worrying. (Matt 6:27) I move my thoughts to the Lord and the Word…frankly, a bit of a struggle to do so at first. [Read more…]

Give me eyes of GRACE…

Seven Things God Hates:
Here are six things GOD hates,
 and one more that he loathes with a passion: 
eyes that are arrogant, Proverbs 6:16-17a (MSG)

The NKJV and KJV both say “a proud look.” The NLT says “haughty eyes.”

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “haughty” as “blatantly and disdainfully proud.” It defines “disdainful” as “contemptuous and scornful.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve read this verse countless times without stopping and assessing myself to any serious degree. Why? Because right there at the top of the list of things God hates is something I’ve excelled at since I was a little girl. Proud, arrogant, haughty eyes. Being judgmental.

Think about our everyday routines and how much judgey behavior and thinking we indulge ourselves in. [Read more…]

Because He delights in us…

photo(4)

I sure wish that I had always been open to the correction that I needed. I’ve missed out on some great opportunities to grow, come up higher, serve others, and experience more peace during certain seasons of my life. It is my absolute determination to receive – with joy – the correction of the Lord.

I receive correction through the Word, through the witness of the Holy Spirit to my spirit, through teaching of the Word, and through instruction of those God places in my life. A good grid for recognizing godly wisdom is to test all teaching, mentoring or wise words against the Word -making sure there is never contradiction.

It’s critical that I know the Word and study the Word and renew my mind with the Word so that I can discern what is confirmation of godly correction and what is merely advice or opinion.

[Read more…]

Wisdom, Understanding and Clarity

Proverbs 2: 1-6 tells us that applying his words and commands and treasuring them is the key to wisdom and understanding…

My child, listen to what I say,
    and treasure my commands.
Tune your ears to wisdom,
    and concentrate on understanding.
Cry out for insight,
    and ask for understanding.
Search for them as you would for silver;
    seek them like hidden treasures.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
    and you will gain knowledge of God.
For the Lord grants wisdom!
    From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

 

Practical steps to a life of wisdom, understanding and clarity :

  • Purpose to receive.
  • Stop and think about what I am hearing from the Word.
  • Think about how it applies to everyone.
  •  Then, how it applies to me in general.
  • Then, how it applies to me specifically. Then, how it applies to whatever my current situation or circumstances are.  What the Holy Spirit is whispering to my heart.  Making it personal. That is how to receive.
  • Purpose to treasure and see as precious 
  • be conscious of the value of the Word.
  • Stop and think about the fact that the Creator of everything cares about me and my life specifically and wants me to have peace, to know everything I need to know, to see clearly…to succeed at all that He has assigned me to do. 

All of this is active; not passive. It isn’t going to just happen to us. We have to be intentional.

[Read more…]