Misery Loves Company

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.” Psalms 35:4
 
In this life, we will face a number of injustices. Some that we bring down on ourselves. Some from the sin and wickedness in the world and even some from within the family of God. God places people in our lives for a variety of reasons. Some we may know only in passing and some we will become very good friends with.  Some people have insecurities and bring conflict  into our relationships. Some may be guilty of reading negativity in everything that others say to them. They may invent drama to fill their emotional release. This war with our mind is insecurities often caused by unsettled issues from our past. We have to learn how to avoid playing mind games with you own circumstances.
 
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
 
God commands us to love one another. However, sometimes that requires loving from a distance. Not everyone that we meet is compatible with our personalities. One thing I’ve learned is that not everybody is going to like us. No matter how saved and loving we are, there is always going to be someone who will dislike us for any number of reasons. And yes, sometimes these people are the people we care the most about, people that we call our friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is wrong or bad…just bad for each other. If you can not bring out the best in a friendship then you are probably going to bring out the worst.
 
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” Psalms 1:41 NIV
 
Pray for the people in your life that hurt you. Learn to love these people from a distance. Through God’s grace, one day you will realize that the hurt will start to fade away and begin to be replaced with love. Surrender all your concerns to God. Show grace and accept grace. If you find yourself in an un-healthy relationship, remember this…God often removes people from our lives to protect us. Think about that before you run after them!
 
Father, Help us to recognize which people are healthy in our lives and which ones to let go of. Reveal those who pretend to love us. Remove those who love to hate us, and protect us from those who wish to harm us. Help us to learn to love each other in our shared space. In Jesus Name.’ Amen.
 
Sweet Blessings

Honor Your Parents

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“…Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

Parents… They give us the gift of life, love us, and care for us. Loving us when we are unlovable; faithfully, unconditionally, never asking for anything in return. Today, we see less and less respect and honor shown towards our elders in families everywhere.

God included the responsibility for honoring one’s parents in the Ten Commandments. There were no exceptions listed, even if your parents were terrible, this is still God’s Word to you. As long as one’s parents are alive, the responsibility to honor them remains. Think about this: God himself promises that if you will honor your parents you will have a long and blessed life. What a promise! Regardless of your age, consider your responsibility to honor your parents. We need to learn from Scripture what God means by “honoring” our parents, so we can honor our parents and be blessed with a long and fruitful life.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

The temptation in life, especially in young and middle adulthood, is to get so busy with life that we take our parents for granted. But instead of taking them for granted the scriptures teach us its time to begin investing our time in them just as they invested their time in us. There are a lot of acts of kindness you can perform but just spending time with them is first on the list. Honoring your parents is not just speaking politely to them, or telling others that they are great parents. If your parents have needs, you should help them. In this way, according to Jesus, you are showing them honor.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9

Take a moment to look at the way you are treating your parents. This means in thoughts and deeds. Not just how you act towards them when you are around them, but also examine your thoughts, how it is you think and feel about your parents in your heart. Examine yourself closely and see if there are any changes that need to be made to line your life up with God’s word. If changes in attitude are needed, then ask God to help and begin to make those changes today. Reality for many of you is that you have parents that do not treat you very well; nonetheless, you are still called by God to respect your parents. By respecting your parents even when you do not feel they deserve your respect, allows God to work on your behalf because you have been obedient to his word.

Remember that if you sacrifice one thing for them, they will sacrifice another million for you. Keep that in mind and you’ll love them even more. Call/text/email things to them often, make them a part of your world. Show them that you value them and care. Parents love nothing more than talking to you. One way to start following the command is to pray for them daily. Finally, just love them a little bit more every day! You too will stand in their shoes one day.

Father, thank you for the gift of children. I pray that as my children grow older they will also grow in their desire to seek after You and obey your commandments. Keep a humble heart in all parents toward their children, and children towards their parents. In your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Light My Fire

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

We, as women, have such powerful ability within our lives to inspire or expire the hope in those around us. We can light a fire of rejoicing or just as quickly extinguish it. Life, with its problems and pain can easily steal your joy. When you spend too much time dwelling on these problems the negativity will begin to flow out to everyone you touch. It’s like a virus that instead of providing encouragement and inspiration leaves only a trail of desolation. When we profess to be Godly women, we are representing Him daily. People watch how we live, what we say, how we react.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

As Christians, we hear a lot about ‘Godly behavior’, but often wonder what that actually means. We are called to live to a higher standard, because we are representatives of God on Earth. So striving to live a God-centered life is important, because when we exhibit Godly behavior we are providing a good witness to those around us. By being a shining example of goodness, honesty, kindness and love, we show what a relationship with God is like. What a great responsibility and honor we have as Godly women. Our Father planted within His daughters such a power to bring hope to others. Especially during times of great despair. He instructs us to pray together, to hold each other up with positive attitudes, joyful hearts and spiritual courage.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastics 4:12

Heavenly Father, please give Godly women of today a heart to always display good behavior. So that we will bring honor and glory to you. Help our lights to shine far ahead of us and our speech to always be edifying to others. We thank you for loving us. In Your precious name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Does Your Wifing Need Refreshing?

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his body, the church; he gave his life to be her Savior. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives must submit to your husbands in everything. And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church.” Ephesians 5:23-24

I married a wonderful, intelligent and godly man. He’s the rock-solid steady type. I’ve watched him handle pressures that nearly brought him to his knees. He has a faith in our Lord that I admire. I trust his decisions and know that he will always keep me safe. I respectfully love and honor my husband.Though the husband exercises the role of authority and leadership, and the wife fulfills a role of submission, both are equal heirs in God’s kingdom. The roles are different, but equally important.

God’s word tells us that the husband is to be the head of the home. The Scriptures make it clear that a wife should submit voluntarily to her husband’s sensitive and loving leadership. That he may become the man, the husband, and the leader God intended him to be. How many of you are willing to let your husband take that role?

“The wise women builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1

Women used to stay at home in the role as caregivers. It may be a little stretch of the imagination to be so self sacrificing today. It’s not about where we are but rather how we treat our husbands. We all hear ‘Happy Wife ~ Happy Life’…Have you ever thought to reverse that old saying to ‘Happy Husband ~ Happy Wife’? It may take a lot less nagging and a little more nurturing. Nurturing comes in many forms. It requires a lot of personal sacrifice, attention to detail, planning ahead, thoughtfulness and actually putting in the effort to learn what makes your husband happy. Some may call this old fashioned’ but when put your husband in his proper place in your marriage, God will bless you and your marriage.

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”
Proverbs 31:10-12

Could your ‘wifing’ use some refreshing? Just maybe if you treat your husband the way that you would want to be treated, it would just bless his socks off and in return, you will have the happy marriage that God intended for you both to have. It will take Prayer, Faith and a lot of Practice!…
”And the God of peace will be with you.”

Sweet Blessings

The Power Of A Mother’s Prayer

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

‘God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers.’ Jewish Proverb

One of the reasons God created mothers was to gives us an earthly example of His heavenly love for us. Each stage of motherhood reveals an aspect of His love.

Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll; are they not in your record?”Psalms 56:8

As with so many children of my generation (post war) I was an unwanted and neglected child. I had a very lonely childhood. I always knew that when I grew up that I would have my own children to fill all the empty holes in my heart. I never wavered from that dream. During my journey to adulthood I was lucky enough to be adopted and blessed enough to find Jesus as my Savior. While that sustained me, it never quite filled all the places in my heart that had never felt loved and…I prayed!

“Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalms 127:3

Becoming a mother was one of those precise moments in life that left me permanently altered. I have loved every moment of my motherhood journey. My heart fell in love with my babies long before they were in our arms! I thanked God and …I prayed!

I watched my children grow from babies, to teens, to adults, and then get married. Each step in the process filled heart to overflowing and taught me more about my own ability to function as a parent. I saw all their hurts, frustrations and pains, and listened to all their complaints, fears, and rejections. And…I prayed!

And, now it’s time for grandmother-hood. I have been a proud grandmother for many years now. I delight in watching my children parent. Through all the years, 4 children, 2 step children, 6 spouses, 14 grand children and 2 great grandchildren that all love the Lord. I can honestly say…my heart is full of love, peace and joy. And…I Pray!

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3

If I were to list the many titles of a Mother it would be endless. Love your mother, cherish her and honor her…She deserves it! Remember always, your body is sacred ground. Your roots are strong. Never forget the gardeners who came before you, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, all tilled your soil with the compost of their lives. And now, you hold the seeds. Plant them deeply in the furrow of this land. What comes to you as a flower, in your final years will return as shade. And…Always Pray!

“They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.” Isaiah 61:3

A blessed and gracious Mother’s Day to all Mothers….

Power In Silence

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12/37

It is often said that there is great power in the spoken word, but perhaps there is a far greater power in silence. If someone can’t understand your silence, they probably won’t understand your words. Sometimes silence is all there is to say. In solitude, we often deal with what’s going on inside of us. Proverbs 15:4 reminds us that a “wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Words are powerful.” They can wound or heal. Spoken in love or in anger, words are often remembered by those who hear them for many years.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Hearts filled with destruction will produce destructive words. There is a definite and undeniable link between the negative thoughts of our hearts and the words that blossom from our lips. The words we say (even silently to ourselves) are the direct result of the thoughts we think and the emotions that we feel. Our hearts are like a fertile garden that sprouts the unseen seeds planted there. Unproductive and destructive self talk is like a weed that chokes the life out of us. Remember, a weed won’t grow in a garden where it can’t take root. So plant some truth within your heart where it will spring up and overflow!

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words cause quarrels.” Proverbs 15:1

Trust God to help you capture words before they leave your mouth, be thankful those words were never spoken. It’s very important to choose our words carefully so that they reflect your relationship with Christ. We need to think about the words that we choose before we say them so that they always impart grace to our listeners.

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life. Proverbs 15:4

Sweet Blessings

Show Me the Way Home

by Kim McDougal

“My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” -Proverbs 4:20-23

Reading was never easy for me in school. I just didn’t like to read when I was a kid. As I got older, that began to change. I ended up with a bookcase full of the written word…I loved reading a lot of Christian fictional books and even some of my books were of poetry or devotionals. But no other book in the world has ever affected me and got to read more than The Holy Bible. The Bible isn’t just words on a sheet of paper. To me, it’s my canvas for life…it’s the daily air my soul needs, it contains all the medicine I need for everyday living. Imagine for a moment, God took the time to inspire writers to put His words into these books of the Bible just so you and I wouldn’t muddle through life and have no direction.

Just like with assembling a piece of furniture or buying electronic equipment, normally it isn’t shipped without instructions, diagrams, and/or a manual. Why? How else would you know how to use it or put it together? The Holy Bible is your instruction guide. It contains words of inspiration, examples of men and women who had to trust God just like you and I, warnings to help us stay away from negative forces, encouragement for our souls, and it does so much more.

If we take time to actually let God’s words penetrate into our heart, we’ll find ourselves growing closer and closer to Him. No other words in any book has the power to affect us like the Bible does. God’s power exists in every chapter, every verse. He even gives us a map to future events so we have an idea of what’s to come. God didn’t save us and then leave us to “figure life out on our own.” He loves you and I so much that He has kept the Bible alive for thousands of years, think about that for a moment…. Hollywood can’t even keep movies from the early 1900’s intact….paintings and movie reels lost forever, but NOT The Bible! Now, that’s a miracle! God refused to let anything happen to His word and we should be so grateful to have His Bible with us everyday especially if we live in the U.S. Just think, some countries consider it unlawful to carry or quote from The Holy Bible. We need to keep our Christian brothers and sisters who live in these countries in our prayers often.

Today, when you pick up your Bible to read, ask God for understanding and let His words sink deep into your heart. Take the time to meditate as you read and if you do this, God will bless you and will direct your way, He will give you wisdom and His word will give you life and healing.

Will You Leave Also?

by Kim McDougal

“Jesus said to the Twelve, Will you also go away? [And do you too desire to leave Me?]” – John 6:67 (AMP)

Relationship is a two-way street. Some of the people in Jesus’ day followed Him only for the things they were receiving of Him but when He challenged them, many turned away. He then turned to His 12 disciples and asked if they were going to leave too. You see, our Lord also knows how it feels when people are around you not because they want you, but because they want what you have to give them. We’re living in a world of “ME”. A lot of people want what will make them happy but are not willing to work or put in any effort. Jesus wants a relationship with us but like any relationship, it takes work on His part AND on our part. Otherwise, all you have is a superficial relationship that’s one-sided. How would you like to give and give to someone, pour your heart out to them to help them and all they do is take, take, never reciprocating anything? It’s disheartening.

We also have to be careful not to do this with the Lord. It’s easy to take others for granted. If we could keep in our minds daily on all that Jesus went through just to have a partnership with us, can you imagine what our walk with Him would be like? And I’m not talking just what He went through on the cross (that was enough all by itself), but how about being left alone?, having to pray alone?, people only wanting you because of your miracles, abandoned, denied, lied on, constantly living under the threat of being killed, etc., just to name a few. Our Lord and Savior went through this for YOU and I. How could we leave Him when His arms are extended reaching out to us?

I like Peter’s answer to our scripture today, in Verse 68: Simon Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (the message) of eternal life.” Where would we go? There is no other God, no other Savior. No other with the words of eternal life. We come too far to turn back!