Don’t Give Up

baby

I thought for sure by now that God would have answered my prayers. I don’t even know where to begin with where life has taken me these past few months. I’ve been desperately wanting something. Praying for something and it hasn’t happened.

I was reading my daily devotion today and it was like my eyes were opened it and I felt a peace. I’m reading Elisha: A Tale of Ridiculous Faith in my Bible Ap. I love it! I get something out of every day’s devotion. Today’s was on a miracle of Elisha. 2 miracles happened in this section of scripture I was reading (2 Kings 4:3-37). 1. Elisha told the Shunammite woman she would have a baby 2. Elisha brought the child back to life when he had died.

I’ve read this story many times. I failed to notice that it took Elisha 2x to bring the child back to life. I’ve never noticed that before. The devotional content talked about the fact that it didn’t happen the first time Elisha tried to bring the child back to life. It asked, how many times have we been in Elisha’s position? We’ve prayed and asked God for something knowing that he would do it, but it hasn’t happened yet. It may not happen for months or years. Don’t give up or lose heart! Just because you aren’t successful the first time doesn’t mean that God will not answer your prayer! God knows best and he knows what the best timing would be for what you have asked for.

I have wanted a baby for a long time. When people would ask me when my husband and I were going to have kids, I’d just give the answer that my dog was my baby and he was the only baby I needed. In my heart I was angry that someone would ask. I felt like they were saying I wasn’t whole without a baby but truth was that, that was how I felt. I felt like I wasn’t whole. It has taken me some time to realize that even if I never have  a baby, God makes me whole. It is God who completes me.

A few weeks ago I went to the alter because God was dealing with me about me being angry. I was angry for several reasons. 1. I wanted a baby. 2. I was pregnant but not long after I knew I was I lost it. I didn’t understand why God would take something from me that I wanted so badly. All of my cousins had babies. Most of my friends had them as well and I couldn’t understand why they could but I couldn’t.

I told my Daddy at the alter why I wanted to pray. He said baby, remember Hannah. He anointed me and asked God to give me the desires of my heart. It still has happened yet, but I am not giving up! I haven’t shared this with anyone but my close friends and my immediate family. I hate sharing my feelings because I hate when people feel sorry for you. I hate that! Don’t judge me, it is just the way that I am. I felt compelled to share this because I have read 3 different things about waiting for something that you have asked God for. I think a lot people are in similar situations. They may not be in the exact same situation but are in a waiting period in their lives.

If you are in a waiting period, do not give up. Don’t be angry at God. Realize that He knows what is best for us and in Hid timing our prayers will be answered. For now cling onto that hope from Psalms 37:4. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

This is the verse I am praying and clinging to.

May God Bless you!

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Battle Plan

theif

Satan is a thief and a liar. He steals things from us. He lies to us. He wants to destroy us.

He is here to steal, kill & destroy. His ultimate goal is to destroy you and keep you from your purpose. He loves when he trips us up. He knows exactly where to hit us, how to hit us and what weapon to use that will cause the most damage. That is why it is important to have a battle plan. We are at war. We are in a spiritual war.

ephesians6We are at war with principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.

Anyone going into battle, has a plan. A battle plan, a strategy to defeat the enemy. Ephesians 6:11-18

Do not stress or worry! There is good news! The enemy will lose the war! Jesus wins in the end! He died for us. He bore the weight of our sins. He has the keys to death, hell and the grave. (Revelation 1:18)

Ephesians 6:11-18 describes the type of battle we are in and how to protect yourself.

Verse 11 says to put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand .

What is the whole armour of God?

  1. loins girt about with truth
  2. Breastplate of righteousness
  3. feet shod with the gospel of peace
  4. shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked
  5. helmet of salvation
  6. Sword of the spirit -word of God

Verse 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 All of the above help us in our battles. Lately my focus has been on prayer. I used to dread praying because I never knew what to say. I felt like I wasn’t giving it my all when praying. I started writing my prayers and saying them like I meant it and things have been changing. I don’t have a space that I can go in and shut the door but my laundry room is my space where I can be alone with God even if it is for a few minutes.

Prayer changes things and it is a good weapon against Satan. I’ve been  reading a book called Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer. It has changed my perspective on prayer. I needed this book to help me see where I was lacking in prayer and to realize that my passion for prayer was gone. Each chapter has a strategy that Satan uses and how you should pray to overcome each obstacle, temptation and problem he throws at you.

I challenge any woman reading this to get a copy of this book. Being specific and having a plan of action in prayer are important!

I come from a family of pray-ers. I don’t think that is a word but it is now. My Mamaw Nickels could pray for anything or anyone. I knew God heard that woman’s prayers. I used to love being at hers and Papaw’s house when they prayed. I loved listening to their prayers. They always were so thankful and they prayed with passion and all their might. They prayed at their couch. My Dad is another praying man. I used to sneak up on the stairs when he would go upstairs to get away and pray so I could sneak a listen to him praying. I didn’t know until recently that he did the same thing to his Dad (Papaw Nickels) when he was younger. My Grandpa Wagoner would always get so choked up when praying over a meal. He was so thankful for all of the family and you could tell that he was thankful. It always made me cry. I used to sit with my Grandma Wagoner sometimes in church. She was a silent pray-er but she always cried and knelt in the pew and I felt that she was praying with all her heart. My Mom used to help me prayer as a kid. She taught me to say the prayer for food and to pray for my family. I am so grateful that she did.

I believe it is important to have good Godly examples in your life that you can look up to. People that have it and make you want to have it too. I am thankful for my family.

I am grateful for the book that I am reading (Fervent) and how it  has changed my prayer life. Reading has made a little light bulb go off in my head. It has finally clicked!

I challenge each and every one of you to make a battle plan in prayer and make sure that you wear the full armour of God.

Love from above!

Iva Mae

Broken </3

We hear the word broken and typically the first thing that comes to mind is – “How are we gonna fix it?” or “How are we going to replace it?”

We have broken cars, washers, refrigerators, lawn mowers, plumbing, bones, lives, families, hearts, dreams  and homes.

What is the actual definition of broken? Is it something so far gone that it cannot be fixed? It is something meant to be left broken or is it meant to be fixed?

According to Oxford Dictionary Broken is:

  1. having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order:

synonyms: smashed · shattered · fragmented · splintered · crushed

  1. (a person) having given up all hope; despairing:synonyms: defeated · beaten · subdued · demoralized · dispirited

So broken is something damaged. It can be something that isn’t whole (one piece), It can be shattered, crushed, smashed or splintered. It can be something that no longer works. It can even be someone who has given up.

Recently my husband and I both have broken bones. I broke my toe and he broke his finger. I was angry when I broke my toe. I was so angry. It was an accident. Accidents happen but I didn’t want something like that to happen to me. I have too many things to do and I couldn’t walk as fast and could barely walk at all. I thought how could something so small cause me so many problems? My husband went roughly through the same thing. He couldn’t put his boots on or take them off. He found himself frustrated that he wasn’t physically able to do something. Both of us have had a lot of physical pain associated with these breaks.

I found myself really behind on my housework, laundry, dishes and everything else. My house was a mess and still kind of is. All of that got me thinking about how our bodies work. My toe is a small member of my body but when it is broken, my entire body and life suffers. The same goes with the body of Christ. When a member is broken, no matter how small, it is noticeable and until there is healing the whole body will suffer.

When a person is broken that doesn’t mean we need to fix them or that they are no longer worth saving. Jesus came to save the world and provide healing to those who are broken. God tells us so in His word. Isiah 53:5 “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

by his stripesWhen we are broken we need rest. We need God to pick up the pieces and make them whole again. Our church had a revival a few weeks ago. I was only able to make it to one night. The night I went, the preacher preached about being broken by things we allow into our lives and by circumstances. He had a flower pot and spun it around in his hands and threw it up and caught it. He said we allow more and more things into lives and we let our vessel get loose. The next thing you know your vessel ends up so loose that it falls from your hands and breaks. He threw the pot behind him and it broke into many pieces. He said you can try and try to pick up the pieces but you can’t. He also said you can’t be used when you are a broken vessel. God won’t use a broken vessel. (One reason when members of the body of Christ are broken the whole body suffers)

broken pot

The only way to get whole again is to get down on your knees and ask God to heal you and forgive you and to help you. He got down on his knees as he said this. He said God will pick up your pieces and he will put you back together again. He held up a new pot for us all to see what God can do with our lives and vessels.

flower potAt the time I was struggling with many things and I felt so convicted over his message. I had been broken for a long time and had not gone to God for my healing. The preacher went on to say that we could have broken marriages, lives, vessels, witnesses, homes whatever and that God would heal it. I felt so overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit telling me to go to the alter and ask for forgiveness and healing. I am glad that I did because I walked away feeling whole again. I walked away with hope and with a renewed heart and soul.

Sometimes we have to be broken to be made whole. God can make you whole. He can restore you and revive you. He will pick up your pieces and put you back together. It may be painful. The healing may be a process like the healing of a broken bone, but don’t give up!!! Keep praying, keep reading, keep trusting and keep the faith!

Whatever is broken in your life whether it be; your marriage, your heart, your life, your mind, your spirit, your witness, your finances, your body – come to Jesus and ask for a healing. If you’ve let sin slip into your life, come to Jesus. He will give you healing and forgiveness.

I always feel awkward writing a prayer but I need to do what is on my heart.

God,

I ask that you speak to the hearts of those who read this. I ask that you would provide healing in whatever aspect of life that it is needed. I ask you to give them a renewal of their hearts, souls and minds. I thank you for what you’ve done and what you will do. I ask that you flood each person’s life who reads this with your love. God we know you are exceeding and able to do all things and we know that you will. I ask that if someone is reading this and they used to be on fire for you that you would stir up their hearts and start a fire in them again. I ask you to give peace and comfort and joy to those who are without it. Lord we ask that if there is someone reading this who doesn’t know you, that they will come to know you. Use us Lord and let us be your vessels. I ask all these things in your name, Amen.

My hope for you is that you will come to the well that never goes dry and that you will get what you need.

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Doubt

I hate doubting! When I doubt something it consumes me. I can’t get it off of my mind. It eats at me.

Sometimes our doubts are things that are good to doubt. For instance, doubting whether or not a stranger off the street will give a million dollars, that is something unlikely to happen. Other things, like if God can forgive us is not something you should doubt.

Satan is really good at bringing up past things that I’ve done and that I’ve already asked God for forgiveness for and that God has forgiven me for. Yesterday in my Pastor’s message, he mentioned that. He also said that God doesn’t remember them because he has already cast them as far as the east is to the west.

Psalms 103:11&12 “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Satan remembers our sins and we remember our sins. Satan loves to try to bring you down with things you’ve done in the past. He wants to do whatever he can to ruin you so you cannot be a vessel for God. He likes to poke at us a prod and mock us. He will bring up everything you’ve done. Sometimes out of the blue!! The other day, I randomly remembered when I was 2 and I walked by my Grandma’s room and saw $20 sticking out of her purse. I grabbed it and stuck it in my little cat purse. I really don’t think I knew it was wrong. I started dwelling on that. How ridiculous! Things like this and others Satan likes to throw in our minds so we get tripped up.

I did a study on doubt. What is it? What can it do? What does the bible say about this?

Doubt by definition is: to be uncertain about something: to believe that something may not be true or is unlikely; to have no confidence in someone of something; to lack confidence, to consider unlikely.

  • A synonym is, to question.

When we doubt, we start questioning. It makes sense. I started questioning God did you ever forgive me? I remember getting saved so yes he did but sometime the question still remains.

The Casting Crowns song, “East to West” is a perfect example!

I really like the first verse.

Here I am, Lord, and I’m drowning in your sea of forgetfulness. The chains of yesterday surround me. I yearn for peace and rest. I don’t want to end up where you found me and it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight. I know you’ve cast my sin as far as the east is from the west. And I stand before you now as though I’ve never sinned. But today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from you leaving me this way.

I know that I am not the only one to have ever felt this way.

I realized that maybe at the root of me wondering is doubt. I’m lacking faith and I’m letting Satan get the best of me.

Isiah 41:13 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

Romans 8:39 “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God’s word says that he will hold our hand and help us. It also says that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Jesus says His grace is sufficient for me!!! That is the answer. Yes he can forgive me and yes he has forgiven me of my past sins that I have already asked him forgiveness for!

I wrote this blog over a 2 day period. I am thankful that a friend on Facebook posted 2 Corinthians this morning. It spoke to my heart and overwhelmed me with God’s love. I love when God speaks to you through His word!! Thank God for people who have things put on their hearts to help others. You never know something you say or do may help someone else!!

Have you ever felt that way? What did you do to help you get over yourself?

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Stir the Pot

One of my favorite newer Disney movies is Ratatouille. It’s adorable. If you’ve not seen it, you should! Remy, a rat, loves cooking and creating recipes. Linguini is a famous chef’s son…and he CANNOT cook. I was thinking on things this past week and this movie came to mind. A specific scene in the movie actually. Linguini has just been hired at a restaurant and decides he is going to make the soup better by adding a bunch of ingredients to the pot. He tastes it and it is nasty. Remy comes along and fixes it, but Linguini ruined the original soup.

Ratatouille_poster ratatouille-remy-and-linguini-2Click HERE for the video clip where Linguini ruins the soup

I’ve been thinking about the traps that Satan sets. He is sneaky, crafty and there isn’t anything he won’t do that he is able to make you trip you up. Like Linguini he comes along to your brain and adds a few thoughts and stirs the pot. If you don’t remove the thoughts and ask God to help you, it can end up being devastating. It doesn’t matter what Satan adds in. It could be things about yourself, that you don’t need God, that life isn’t worth living, that you should harm yourself, stealing, killing, fornication (sex outside of marriage) or anything that can consume your thoughts and ruin your mind.

The enemy is here to steal, kill & destroy.

John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:…”

When negative or bad thoughts come into your head, pray and ask God to help you. Ask him to remove the thoughts and to help you focus on Him.

Just imagine Satan pouring deceit from his spice rack in your brain and stirring the pot when deceitful thoughts come into your head.

Love from above,

Iva Mae

Beauty From Ashes

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How can something beautiful and wonderful come from something so ugly, dark, sticks to everything, leaves behind so much dust, goes where the wind blows and what seems nothing? How can you get beauty from ashes?

 

Sometimes things seem so terrible. Our lives can get burnt to the ground in an instant. We suffer death, sickness, pain, divorces, losing a job and many other discouraging things in our lifetimes. Sometimes the pain is bad we feel there is nothing left. Our lives become ugly & dark. The pain covers every other aspect of our lives and clouds our view. It goes with us wherever we go. We try to wipe it away and forget it. Like ashes, sometimes no matter how hard you try to get rid of the pain, some still remains.

 

We have a wood stove to heat our house. All my life I’ve seen my Dad put wood in the stove. I would watch it burn, feel the warmth and sometimes watch it go out. Once it would go out, my dad would clean out the ashes. The remains of what used to be wood, burned by fire. Most of the time, Dad would spill the ashes all over the bricks and the mat in front of the stove. I would try to clean up the ashes with a broom and dust pan. No matter how much I swept some would always remain there. I would even use a Swiffer. Even several swiffer’s and the vacuum could never get up all the ashes. If he opened the door to go outside before I got the ashes cleaned up, the ashes would go everywhere from the wind that would blow in the door. It would be a mess!!!

 

When my Dad took the ashes outside, he poured them on our garden. The ashes helped to make the soil rich and be full of nutrients.

 

Our lives are like this. Sometimes the most terrible things happen to us. Our lives may seem like they are burning to the ground. We don’t understand the pain, suffering or ugliness of life. Life isn’t fair, but we have a God who can take the ugliness, pain and suffering and make is beautiful!

 

My husband has been having terrible headaches for years now. They have recently gotten worse. I know God can heal him but I also know if God chooses not to heal him, he will get the glory in it and it will be beautiful.

 

When I had cancer, life seemed so bleak at first. After the initial shock, I decided that I was going to let God heal me and if he didn’t use me to help others. It turned out he allowed me to go through it so I could grow, become stronger and help others. I got my healing in more ways than one. I’ve never been so thankful for my legs or for the ability to walk. I love to walk!! I love to be active. God gave me a blessing by allowing the tumor in my leg to be benign and allowing me to keep my leg.

 

You may be going through something difficult and it seems like there is no end. Just remember to hold on. God is going to use this hardship to help you grow. We all need more nutrients sometimes so we can become richer and the seeds we plant of Christianity will grow and flourish.

 

I got today’s post after my cousin Emily told me to read Isaiah 61:1-3

 

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

http://youtu.be/M-GPbYcTDbQ   

Beauty From Pain by SuperChick Click on the link above

 

Give Me Your Eyes

Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me Your heart for the one’s forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
That I keep missing

Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach?
Give me Your heart for the one’s forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

 

Have you ever been so wrapped up in yourself and your problems that you forget that others have problems too?

I feel like I’ve been focusing on me so much that I’ve tuned out others and their needs. I can be so selfish sometimes. I could give you a million excuses but I won’t.

I was reading John 7:24, James 2:1-5 and 1 Samuel 16:7 today. It talks about the way God looks at people. I began thinking about if I look at people with God’s eyes or with “man’s” eyes. The majority of the time I think I look at others with “man’s” eyes. I don’t give people a second thought that I pass on the street or that I see pass by in a car. I thought about the song by Brandon Heath, Give Me Your Eyes. I like the verse “Give me Your eyes for just one second, give me Your eyes so I can see…” I know that I need to start seeing others with God’s eyes.

1 Samuel 16:7 says why we need to look with God’s eyes. “…Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

We do look at others by what they wear. I am bad about that. I see a half-naked girl and automatically think what a hussy! I don’t look at her heart to see that’s what needs to change. I judge others by how they dress. We as a culture and people judge solely on looks. We see someone who is wearing all black, has tattoos and piercings and we think they must be dark and evil. They could be the nicest person you’ve ever met. Looks can be so deceiving. We see someone who is wearing dress clothes, dressed to the nine’s, and think they are successful and nice. They could be the rudest, meanest person you’ve ever met. God doesn’t look on the outward appearance. He looks at our hearts. Sometimes as Christians we can be mean to other Christians based on how they dress. We criticize people for wearing all they have to wear to church. Not everyone has dress clothes and suits. Some people may only be able to afford jeans and T-Shirts. God sees our hearts. He knows our intents and our desires.

John 7:24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

James 2:1-5 “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”

After reading those verses I started feeling guilty for thinking the way I do. God has that way of showing us what we should be doing through his word. He helps us to be better people and better vessels for Him. He wants to mold us and shape us so we will be Christ-like and we can be used for His Glory. We have to weed out the bad every day so we can grow and bloom fully in God’s light.

The First Commandment

In Exodus Chapter 20 God gives Moses the 10 Commandments. The very first commandment is Thou shalt have no other gods before me (verse 3).

What is the definition of a god? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary a god is a person or thing of supreme value.

What things in your life could be considered a god? TV, computer, best friend, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, work, hobbies, sports or phone?

What things do you put before God? I am very bad about putting my favorite shows, comics and other books before God. I come home from work, eat dinner and sit down to watch my shows or read. I have time to read my bible or go to church I just chose to do something else instead.

I am not sure why that I do it, but it just happens that way. At lunch I also watch Netflix on my iPad. I have a bible ap on my iPad. It makes me upset that I do it. Sometimes I don’t even think about it. I just sit down and eat my lunch and watch a show or movie.

I had been good about reading my bible every morning. Recently work has been more stressful than usual and instead of reading my bible at lunch, I choose to watch a show to give myself a mental break. I’ve noticed that my days haven’t been as pleasant and I’ve found myself being more stressed out. The other day I had a meltdown. I do not normally have melt downs. I was upset about everything and worrying about everything. I had no faith about the situation. I was fretting when I should have been reading and praying.As a Christian I need God’s word to grow. It helps us with so many things!

I am striving this week to make time to read my bible.

 

Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 

God made the first commandment to not have any other gods before him because he knew that if he was in the center and at the head of our lives all other things would be right in them.

My challenge to you is to examine your life and think about what you put before God and how you can make changes to put God first.

Sorry there’s not been a post for a while. It’s hard to get things from God when I hadn’t picked up the word! I apologize and promise to not let it go so long between posts.

Love in Christ!

Iva Mae

Fruit of Hate?! What a sour bite!

This past week I’ve been struggling with hatred in my heart against someone. I’ve tried to get rid of it but it really hard. This person isn’t a good person or even a decent person. The world would say I have reason and would justify my hatred. Jesus says love your neighbor as yourself. It is hard sometimes to have love for people who have hurt you and people you love. Sometime people are out of your life and then come back like a bad penny. This is what made my hate resurface.

 

It is easier to hate than love. That doesn’t make it right though. The person is someone who lives in sin and influences others to go down their path of self destruction. It’s hard to have compassion for people who act in such ways. As a Christian I can’t feel that their behavior is acceptable. Hate the sin not the sinner. I ended up praying that God would make a way for this person to not be involved in our lives anymore. I prayed that no harm would be done to this person. I just don’t want their influence or power over others around my family.

 

My devotion this morning about the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25) gently reminded me that I need to cut my fruit of hatred off of my tree. It was making my branches weighed down. Sometimes you have to prune your branches so you can grow and get rid of all the dead things that weigh you down. It is not comfortable but it is necessary in order to grow. You will know a tree by its fruit. What does your fruit say about your tree? Do you need to get out the trimmers or maybe the chain saw (that’s what I need) to get rid of your dead limbs and bad fruit? I challenge you to examine yourself and get rid of the bad and work on producing more of the good. I am working on it! We all need a good pruning sometimes!

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The fruit of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. What are these qualities that we are supposed to have?

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Love – unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another

Joy– : a feeling of great happiness; a source or cause of great happiness ; something or someone that gives joy to someone; a state of happiness or felicity; bliss ; a source or cause of delight

Peace – a state of tranquility or quiet: as; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions; harmony in personal relations

 Longsuffering – suffering for a long time without complaining; very patient during difficult times; patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship

 Gentleness – the quality or state of being gentle; especially mildness of manners or disposition

                         Gentle – having or showing a kind and quiet nature: not harsh or violent; not hard or forceful; not strong or harsh in effect or quality; free from harshness, sternness, or violence

Goodness – the quality or state of being good

                        Good – virtuous, right, commendable, kind, benevolent

Faith – : strong belief or trust in someone or something; belief in the existence of God; strong religious feelings or beliefs; firm belief in something for which there is no proof; complete trust

Meekness – having or showing a quiet and gentle nature; not wanting to fight or argue with other people; submissive

Temperance – the practice of always controlling your actions, thoughts, or feelings so that you do not eat or drink too much, become too angry, etc.

 

 What fruit is on your tree? Which fruit of the spirit do you need to work on?

 

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Normal??

What is normal? Who defines normal? Why do we feel like we all need to be normal?

Normal1 usual or ordinary : not strange 2 conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern 3 of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development 4 according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle

What is extraordinary or unusual? Why does it seem bad to be extraordinary or unusual? Who defines what it is?

Extraordinary1 very unusual : very different from what is normal or ordinary 2 going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary 3 exceptional to a very marked extent

Unusual 1 not normal or usual 2 different or strange in a way that attracts attention 3 not commonly seen, heard, etc.

The world defines what normal should be. You’re normal if you have a nice car, a nice house, a pretty wife or handsome husband. The world says unless you look a certain way, do certain things, think certain ways and have a certain amount of money you are not normal. The world gives a message that to be liked, you need to be normal.

As a Christian it is hard to be normal. We are a peculiar people. We are different, unusual, extraordinary and anything but normal. There is a constant battle between wanting to fit in and not fitting in. The older I get, the easier it is for me to see it. I used to think unless I was a certain weight, wore makeup, had a certain hair color and wore certain clothes I wasn’t worth anything. What a crazy thing to think!! Unfortunately a lot of people have this mindset. They spend their lives buying things they can’t afford with money they don’t have to impress people they don’t even like.

Dont
Dave Ramsey

It is hard to not want to be normal! The world has worked hard on defining normal. Television can tell you that. I’ve seen so much become normal that used to not be normal or okay. Nudity, language and sex are in almost every show and every commercial. It used to be a shock when you would see someone half naked on TV. Now it is a part of everyday life. The definition above says to conform to a type, standard or regular pattern.
The bible tells us to not be conformed but to be transformed.

Conform 1 to be similar to or the same as something 2 to obey or agree with something 3 to do what other people do, to behave in a way that is accepted by most people

Transform1 to change (something) completely and usually in a good way 2 to change in composition or structure 3 to change the outward form or appearance of 4 to change in character or condition, convert

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed with this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

It says clearly to not conform to the world but to be transformed.
We are different. It is okay to be different. Why be like everyone else when you can just be yourself? It took me a long time to know who I was. I hid behind makeup and clothes. I hate makeup and I hate wearing it. I hate dressing up! I am more comfortable in yoga pants or jeans than in dress clothes. I used to want to be rich and have fancy things. I no longer want to be rich, because I have been blessed beyond measure. I don’t like fancy things. Give me simple.
I look back on my younger years and laugh at what I used to want and all of my plans. I know God laughed when I made my plans. He has bigger plans for me and wants more of me than I wanted for myself.

Do I have to look like this? Wear certain brands of clothes? Drive a certain car? Have a certain amount of money to be normal?

vsjeans

money

ferarri

abercrombieclothes

Transform NOT Conform!

Leaving Normal Sign
Who needs to be normal when you can be yourself?