Got weakness??? Looking for a power source??

Strength and power Isaiah 40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes, I act like I’ve never heard or understood that God always was, is, and always will be GOD. That He is the Creator of all the earth. His God-ness never lessens or weakens or isn’t enough. That He and all He is – and all that He knows fully – cannot be measured. He is everlasting, infinitely strong, endlessly knowing and understanding – and He is incomprehensibly generous in making all of Who He is a gift to us.

Feeling powerless? Weak? Don’t give up. Don’t worry. He gives HIS power to the weak and HIS strength to the powerless.

He’s got us covered. God is good & He adores us!!!

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Be still…

be still church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the toughest things to do in tough times is to be still. To be still and know that He is God. No matter how we feel. No matter how it looks. No matter what. He is God. He is good. He adores us.

Don’t take the bait…

don't take the bait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 19:11 (NLT)

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

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A New Kind of Christmas List

the everyday Christmas list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 21:14 (NLT)
A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.

Proverbs 21:14 (MSG)
A quietly given gift soothes an irritable person;
 a heartfelt present cools a hot temper.

On the surface, this verse can so easily raise my resistance. A bribe? Really? REALLY????

Something to remember is the context and culture at the time it was written. Bribes were not necessarily bad. They were a normal part of conducting personal, business, and governmental affairs. And, it was ok.

But, the principle in the verse transcends that. There is practical wisdom and spiritual wisdom at work here.

Luke 6:27 tells us to do good to those who hate us. To love our enemies.

Mathew 5:9 equates being a peacemaker with being a son of God!

Romans 12:19 tells us to never avenge ourselves.

Romans 12:20-21 tells us to feed our enemy if he is hungry; to give him something to drink if he is thirsty. We are not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.

1 Corinthians 13 is what we call the “Love Chapter.” Be patient and kind. Don’t keep any list or record of wrong done to us. Don’t be irritable or resentful.

Mathew 7:12 says that we should treat others the way we would like to be treated.

Proverbs 15:1 reminds us not to meet anger with anger – that a soft answer calms the anger aimed at us.

We heard a minister preach a sermon along these lines several years ago. He said that if someone is angry at you or even doing hurtful and very wrong things to you, “put that person on your Christmas list.” This message came during a particularly gruesome time where some very horrible things were happening in and around our business. Things that weren’t right. Not fair. Lies told. Nightmare situations emerging. Real loss.

My husband recently found a note pad of mine from around that time. There was a page titled “Christmas List.” Under that heading, there was a list names and things I could do for those people. Without them even knowing it. My husband didn’t remember the message and was truly confused by the list. I reminded him and we laughed about it. We can now.

But, I will tell you that making that list and purposing to do good to and for people who were seriously destructive was a BIG challenge. “Pray” was next to each name. “Do not speak anything against him/her” also made the list. Several times. We gave a couple of gift cards for restaurants. To people bent on hurting us. I did some gentle and kind things anonymously. Not because it changed THEM. Not even because it changed the situation and issues. But, because it allowed something sweet and peaceful to begin working in me. In us.
 
It was pretty impossible to let the poison of bitterness, anger, hurt, vengeance, and hate swirl around inside me when I was thinking of ways to do good and to have compassion. I would love to tell you that situation was the last one where I’ve had that opportunity. It wasn’t. But, the principle works. Every time. It does a few of things…

#1 – It changes my thought patterns and focus. Instead of lasering in on what has or is being done wrong to me and me as a victim; it is actually empowering and quite freeing to switch to a different role.

#2 – It changes my ability to extricate myself from the emotional turmoil. I am able to open myself up to the healing,  direction, and wisdom of God in how to best navigate the circumstances and situation. When I am pulled inward by the pain, anger, indignation, shock, etc., it is very, very difficult to get above the emotions and operate in my spirit person and hear from God and see His plan and path to take me out of this and into a place of wholeness and restoration.

#3 – It changes the spiritual results and possibilities. It opens up fresh environment and willingness in me for the Holy Spirit to bring peace and newness. To move on and move up and not get stuck emotionally or spiritually.

Sometimes, it isn’t someone doing evil or bad things to us; it is just conflict or misunderstanding. And, (I know this is shocking!) we are usually quite sure that we are right and the other person is wrong. At the very least, they are wrong in their response and reaction. Making them wrong even if we were originally wrong. Right?

The great wisdom here is that it doesn’t matter. I was right? Ok. I wasn’t right? Ok, too. Oh. Well. The answer is the same. Gently, kindly, humbly…do something nice and generous and good. Quietly. Secretly. Not as a show for everyone else. Not as a show for them. Just to and for the person who is angry.

It can SO go against our grain. Hit our pride. Feel wrong. Seem counter-intuitive or even manipulative. We don’t want that person to think that we think they are right. We don’t want to be weak. We don’t want to be the first one to back down. We may not even be sure we want to continue any kind of relationship with them again. Ever.

Not the point.

[Read more…]

Nothing is impossible

audrey hepburn impossible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a challenging day ahead for me. Maybe for some of you, too. These lyrics have been swirling through my spirit the last 24 hours…

Don’t need to wait for the sun to shine
. Don’t need to wait for the clouds to clear, 
I’ll still sing. 
I know that my God You’re so good

Don’t need to wait for the waves to still
. Don’t need to wait for the storms to calm
. I’ll still sing. 
I know that my God You’re so good

I praise You. You are for me. 
I praise You. Yes, You love me. 
I praise You. You are faithful
. I praise You. You’ll see me through

Your goodness, Your mercy
 shall follow me all my days
. Your goodness, Your mercy 
shall follow me all my days

Words and music: Andrew Tan

Whatever’s in front of you…

If God is for you, what or who can be against you? (Romans 8:31) And, God is definitely for you.

With God, nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37, Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27) Jesus said so. Nothing. What we’re facing hasn’t stumped Him or outmatched Him. Whatever it is falls into the “NOTHING” category here.

He’s already overcome whatever it is. Jesus said that here on earth, we would have difficulties and even some harsh stuff happen. But, He said to go ahead and be cheerful (whaaaaat???). Why? Because He has already overcome this world and all it has to throw at us.

John 16:33 (HCSB)
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
John 16:33 (NLT) “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

So, let’s have peace. Let’s take heart and be courageous. He’s conquered and overcome. Already. For us.

Here’s one of my absolute favorite songs. “Nothing Is Impossible” by Planetshakers. I don’t even know how to estimate how many times I’ve listened and sung along. Do yourself a big favor and listen/watch.

God is good & He adores us.

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Be good to everyone????

be kinder to everyone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 17:13 (NLT)
If you repay good with evil, 
evil will never leave your house.

Most of us probably read this and cannot imagine it pertaining to us. We would never do something bad to someone who has been good to us! But, how many of us have experienced betrayal from someone that we invested ourselves into? A heartbreaking rift with the person we shared the most with? A total lack of appreciation from someone that we helped significantly?

There isn’t anyone that’s reached puberty that hasn’t felt that they’ve done good to someone who returned evil to them. Which means that there are probably a few people out there for every one of us that believe we are that person who did it to them. From their perspective, it is the absolute truth. Just like our stack of betrayal stories and bad turns from others is our truth.

I call those “ain’t it awful” stories. There are lots of categories of “ain’t it awful,” but one that EVERYONE has in common is being hurt or used by other people. Many of those stories are genuinely as awful as we remember them and were traumatic. Some were painful, but have become quite enlarged in our existence by the way we replay them in our thoughts and conversations. Others may have actually just sprung from heated misunderstandings that happened to coincide with a heap of other stressful things happening in one or both people’s day or season.

In the events where someone was hurt or offended by something we did or they thought we did, we know all of the context and influencing issues that resulted in our mis-perceived actions and what happened. It feels like it got blown out of proportion or misunderstood. It certainly doesn’t seem to us to have merited the brokenness that resulted. Sometimes, we know that we just blew it and did something that resulted in someone else’s pain. A purposed choice or a mistake. Painful fallout.

Very often, those are the very same thoughts and the rationale of the person we believe did evil in return for our good to them. We each think we are the victim and the other is the villain.

Not one of us doesn’t sit on BOTH sides of this. Not one of us. [Read more…]

Why worry?

God's heart for us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want real peace? Begin to meditate on the immense, endless, measureless love of God. Specifically for you. For me. For your best, most loved friend. For the person who has hurt you. For us all. Never failing love. No matter what.

He’s not holding one thing against any of us. Not one thing. Doesn’t matter how broken. Doesn’t matter how bad. Doesn’t matter how unforgivable in the minds and hearts of others. Doesn’t matter if it is hard to forgive ourselves. (See Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:17, Isaiah 43:25)

God’s heart towards us is loving, good, kind, merciful, to bless, to heal, to give.

God is good & He adores us. He really, really does.

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Anxious Thoughts

anxious thoughts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do we go for that comfort? To His Word. To the truth of what Jesus accomplished through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. For us. It’s the only thing that quiets the noise of anxiety. Read it. Say it. Discuss it. Sing it. Listen to it. Think about it. In every possible way, get it inside. Let it become real.

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True Peace

Peace Inside Job

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…]