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

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“Blessed Are The Peacemakers”

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”Matthew 5:9 NIV

The world needs peace. The home needs peace. The office, the factory, the school, and the family need peace. To have peace there must be those who bring the peace of God. We are called to bring the peace of God into the life of others. In the middle of the storms of life, you can be a person who brings the calm that others so badly need. When you look around you, you can see anguish, worry, doubt, and fear in the life of others. You can reflect the peace of Christ and bring a kind word of love and assurance. Give away the calm love of God. Bring the healing of His grace, love, and peace.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” Hebrews 12:14 KJV

Sin has a way of creeping up in our lives. There’s no big warning sign that sin is about to manifest itself somehow through our lives and then boom, something comes out of our mouth or a thought crosses our mind and suddenly there it is. Often that can lead to strife among our friends and even our own family. Yet, there is a call from the Lord Jesus for us to be peacemakers at the same time. How can that all work together. I believe there are two catalysts to making peace as a peacemaker. One is forgiveness and the other is humility.

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19 VIV

Let’s face it, not everyone likes you or me. We may have enemies, even in the Christian body. But the Bible is clear that we are to make peace with those individuals. Whenever we encounter a situation that is hostile and fraught with tension, we are to be the peacemakers. The Bible teaches us to do whatever it costs to live at peace with all men. There’s a peace that comes from having an inner peace with God, one that allows you to sleep at night because you have been perfectly honest with yourself and with God.

Personal peace is only possible through Christ! Not only is it only possible through Christ, but it comes as a gift from God, totally removed from our circumstances of life. Even if one’s life is filled with controversy, anxiety, or even constant troubles, the peace of God can and will rule in the heart of the true believer. The peacemakers are those children of God who not only have great love for God, but also have love for all of mankind and they attempt to do everything possible for the advancement of peace everywhere.

Father, I thank you that I have found peace with you through Jesus Christ. I thank you that you have renewed my spirit. Help me to live with everyone in peace, that I can forgive as you have forgiven me and give me a humble heart. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet blessings

Sister’s Of Our Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35

‘The sweet blessings of ‘Sisterhood Friendship’ is a precious treasure. The strongest foundation you can have for building healthy friendships is making sure that our own relationship is right with God. At the heart of friendship is selflessness instead of selfishness. I can’t imagine any deeper demonstration of friendship than one who puts your good over their own and who promotes your welfare even if it demotes their own. Jonathan’s friendship with David was such a friendship. The scripture says; “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” 1 Samuel 18:1

True Christian sister friends will build each other up emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Christian sister’s love to be together simply because it feels good. We receive strength, encouragement, and love. We talk, we cry, we listen. We discover the best of friendships with our sisters who know and accept our weaknesses and imperfections. We walk arm in arm through the difficult times, learning the beautiful meaning of ‘grace’. We pray together, believe together and dream together. Together, we are one voice proclaiming that we are ‘Daughters of a King.’

We are a circle of friends from all across the country who have been brought together through our love of Jesus Christ. It is one of our greatest desires, that through our journey of life’s joy’s and challenges that we bring grace and honor to our Sisterhood. That through our journey we may leave a legacy of the value of Christian sister companionship, based on Godly behavior, for the many sister’s who will walk in our footsteps.

Dear Lord, thank You for all of the friendships and beautiful blessings You have placed in my life. Help me to see this challenge as a sweet reminder to show Your love to those around me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Did I Just Say That?

‘DEAR LORD, PLEASE KEEP YOUR ARM AROUND MY SHOULDER AND YOUR HAND OVER MY MOUTH!’ AMEN

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

I can think of so many times when I should have kept silent, but I just had to speak. On more than one occasion I have said something, and the moment it left my lips, I thought, “Why did I just say that?” And I have found myself instantly wishing I could have those words back. Learning how to be a good steward of our words is a tall order for many of us. Especially, if we tend to speak first and then to think. By the time we are adults we’ve already created habits of speech but it’s never too late to check ourselves on what and how we choose our words that we so freely share with others.

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23

While the tongue may be one of the smallest parts of the human anatomy, It can be very dangerous. Words matter. Words have power. They can build up or tear down. They can encourage or discourage. They can pour forth love or spew forth hate. God calls us to cultivate a habit of speaking life-giving words. Sometimes we need to apply filter to our conversations. We need to ask ourselves…Will these words build this person up or tear them them down?” What a difference there would be in the content of our words if we can learn to give thought to what we are about to say.

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” psalms 141:3

I’ve come to the conclusion that speaking with grace and kindness is not just a matter of learning to say the right words; it’s an attitude of the heart and mind. The Bible tells us that “what comes out of our mouth only reflects what’s going on inside our heart.” We can all say we have been guilty of letting a comment slip here and there, and then regretting it later. Chances are you will never know that something you said hurt someone deeply. But God knows and He will hold us accountable when we stand before Him in Heaven. I encourage you to be thoughtful with your words. That way you will never have to readdress them when they come back to you. If you feel checked in your spirit about something you are about to say…Maybe you should not say it! Challenge yourself to think before you speak and you will be gifted with a lifetime of peace in your soul.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

Lord, my heart echoes the words of David when he said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight…” I pray that we will always be good stewards of our words and that we may glorify you in everything we say. Give us the grace to never knowingly hurt someone with the words that we speak. In your precious name. Amen

Sweet Blessings

The Fruit Of Our Hands

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:19-20

‘The Fruit of our Hands’. What a beautiful way to think about using our hands to serve our Father. We have a wonderful Women’s Ministry outreach group in our church that we call ‘Creative Hands’. We gather each week to work on many different crafts and to share fellowship and love with each other. This is a time for our sister’s to strengthen their faith and establish meaningful friendships while selflessly working on various crafts to be used for God’s service. It’s such a blessing to know that we have God’s favor upon the work we are doing.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:29

The Bible tells us that God holds us in the palm of His hand. Our hands represent our Father’s hands. By the good works of our sister’s, they are extending their hands to represent God’s hands. God allows us to partner with him in working for his purposes. He has given each of us unique and special gifts for which to serve Him. What a privilege it is to spend time together in His house creating goodness in His name to share with others.

“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31

In Proverbs 31:31 we see that the good woman produced good fruit and was praised for her works of righteousness. May we all have a desire in our hearts to be like the good woman and produce good fruit that will remain throughout the ages? The steadfast faithfulness, love and loyalty that is seen through our ‘Creative Hands’ ministry represents the same way that we can see Jesus love and loyalty for us.

“And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.” Psalm 90:17

Sweet Blessings

Cups Of Grace

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:10

‘HOSPITALITY’ the Webster’s Dictionary defines hospitality as: Kindness to visitors: friendly, welcoming, and generous treatment offered to guests or to strangers. Let’s take a journey through Our history of Hospitality beginning with…BIBLICAL HOSPITALITY

Biblical times Hospitality…As presented to us in the Bible was not merely a practice. It was a way of life. Christian hospitality was a sacred process of ‘receiving’ outsiders and changing them from strangers to guests. However, the biblical customs concerning how a person should treat travelers and temporary residents was much different from our idea of hospitality today. It was more than simply ways to be polite or friendly that went beyond entertaining guests. Hospitality customs were a vital part of the culture and people followed these customs as sacred, codes of conduct. The host was obliged to provide a traveler with food, water, and shelter. They even provided them with water to wash their dusty feet and often a servant washed the feet of the guest. This symbolized the acceptance of the stranger and the absence of any hostile intent by the host.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

Hospitality today…We are living in much different times today. We think of hospitality more as entertaining friends and family. It has become more of a social event. However, just like the early Christians, we must also offer hospitality as a means of sharing The Lord Jesus Christ. By creating a welcoming home, we make the Christian life attractive. The benefits of the act of hospitality can offer friendship, acceptance, fellowship, refreshment, comfort and love in one of the richest and deepest ways possible for others to understand. Friendship provides arms to console [a hug] a heart to understand and feet to walk along beside us when we are going through trials or celebrations. God weaves our lives together, strengthening old friendships and creating new ones.

When we invite our neighbors to church, we are asking them to enter our world in the hopes that they might discover Jesus our Savior. When we invite our neighbors into our homes, we are inviting them to enter our world to see how we as Christians live our lives. Often doors can be opened in the hearts of friends when we first open the door of our home. A time for tea is a way to connect with other Sisters. Hospitality is a crucial element of Christianity that empowers us in God’s service. Tea is a tool we can all use to share hospitality. Offering and sharing a cup of tea gives us many opportunities to witness, share the gospel, teach from the Scriptures, pray with women, and encourage others to simply savor an afternoon moment with God….I think of these moments as ‘Cups of Grace!’

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

Throughout the Bible, God commands us over and over to take notice of and care for those around us. Did you know that hospitality is considered a virtue? We serve Christ directly when we show hospitality to those we don’t know. Christian hospitality is the most important influence on any aspect of Christian living from the biblical days to today. Do you have the gift of hospitality to use for The Lord?

Sweet Blessings

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

The Beauty Of Well Chosen Words

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

It is an ever challenging issue as women, to temper our words. Wise words are valuable and precious, lovely and uncommon. They have the power to lift up and the power to tear down! Words spoken in anger are far reaching. Not only do we offend each other with hurtful words, we offend God.

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” Proverbs 15-1

We often struggle with our thoughts. They can be a place where we work through issues with wisdom and care, or a playground where bitterness sprouts and anger is fed. Anger makes you smaller while forgiveness forces you to grow. Learn how to teach true love through respectfully choosing your words.

“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:10

Learning to temper our words is a life-long journey of growth. I challenge you to read Proverbs In its entirety. It is made up of 31 chapters that would easily fit into any daily home bible study. The book of Proverbs is used for gaining wisdom and discipline for a more prudent life. I ask God to help us to stop any words in mid-breath that may tear others down or bring dishonor to him and also help refine the words we say until they become lovely and pleasing to Him. Lord, teach us the priceless lesson of the beauty of well-chosen words.

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances” Proverbs 25:11

Sweet Blessings

Seeds Of Kindness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

Be beware…there’s an enemy lurking around, set out to steal, kill and destroy the JOY in your heart. Satan is the master of deceit. And he would love nothing more than to discourage you and tempt you to sin. His traps are customized to each individual, knowing their vulnerabilities and areas of weakness. We are instructed to encourage one another so that sin cannot sabotage our hearts. Fighting Satan is not a one person job! We definitely need our Christian friends.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

We all need Christian friends in our life. I don’t just mean friends who make us laugh or smile, but friends who love us unconditionally that you know will always support you with faithful prayers. Friends who will stand beside you when your were sad, sick or feel defeated. Who give a word of encouragement when your down. A pat on the back for a job well done. A friend that will take the time to send you a little hand written note that simply says, “I Love you” “Thanks” “Just because.” Whenever friends take time to show us that they care, it makes us feel as if were on top of the world and makes us believe we can accomplish anything! It’s such a wonderful feeling of encouragement to feel loved and appreciated for just being you. Know that you are not alone and that you are loved! The Father has a beautiful plan for you and those around you. Stay strong and pass along a hug and a word of encouragement to a friend today!

“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.” Colossians 2:2

Sweet Blessings