Friday, July 17, 2015

Don't forget...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Beginning Sunday, July 19, your weekly cup of inspiration will be served on my new blog site on WordPress, God, Me & a Cup of Tea. Click here to go to the new blog site.

For your convenience, you can sign up to have your weekly cup of inspiration served directly to your email inbox. Click on the "Follow Blog via Email" in the top right sidebar.

Monday, July 13, 2015

We're moving!

I apologize to those who signed up to receive these blog posts and haven't been getting them. I haven't been able to correct the problem, so I'm moving the blog to the site below. You can still access all past posts on this blogspot site, as I'm leaving it up. However, all new posts will be posted on the WordPress site. 

You can sign up to have the posts delivered directly to your email inbox when they are published. Just click on the FOLLOW button in Follow Blog via Email box in the sidebar. Thank you for your patience.

Here's the link to the new site: https://godmetea.wordpress.com

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Finding the thanks

Image courtesy of patpitchaya at DigitalPhotos.net

   
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NIV)
   
   
I stared at the numbers. The “out” figure was significantly higher than the “in.” Paying only a portion was not an option. The bills were to be paid in full, the due dates firm.
   
“Show me how to do this, Lord,” I whispered, pushing back the worry nudging at my heart.
   
And He did. It wasn’t the way I’d wanted—taking the money from a meager investment account we have for emergencies. But when God gives the answer, I’ve learned to follow His advice.
   
It looks as though I’m going to be asking His advice more, because this year our budget is being hit hard.
   
We’ve had to replace our 35-year-old water pressure tank, the washer (although it was only 16 years old), and my husband’s eyeglasses, all within two months after we breathed a sigh of relief for paying the taxes on time.
   
Looming just ahead are a deposit on a new hearing aid for me (I won’t even tell you how old the one I have is), the bi-annual car insurance payment, and a doubled property tax bill. Add to the list higher copays and health insurance deductibles.
   
But it is what it is.
   
So I’m back to praying, “Lord, show me how to do this.”
   
There was a time when I prayed for God to send the money. I expected Him to drop it in our laps.
   
It didn’t happen. Not that He doesn’t keep His word to provide for all our needs (Philippians 4:19), to hear us when we call on Him (Jeremiah 33:3), to answer when we ask, seek, and knock (Matthew 7:7–11).
   
He just knew I had greater needs than instant money.
   
I needed to learn to live within our means. I needed to apply the words “frugal,” “resourceful,” and “wise.” I needed to learn the difference between “needs” and “wants.” It took me a while, but I needed to learn how to pray—not “Send me the money (like, NOW)” but “Show me how to do this.”
   
And I needed to learn to find the thanks.
   
When we’re getting slammed with the unexpected, the unwanted, it’s human nature to cry, “Unfair!” or “Why me?” and to complain, argue, and wrestle with (and sometimes feed) a bad attitude.
   
Changing our attitude involves a change in our thinking from “poor me” to “rich me.” Because we have a Father who provides for all of our needs out of His riches—His glorious riches.
   
What am I thankful for during this time when the month is longer than the money?
   
I’m thankful the water tank lasted as long as it did, the washer needed only one repair during those 16 years, and when they did need replaced, we had the money to pay for them—hubby’s first Social Security check.

Now that the gratitude floodgates are open, I can spend all day listing the many, many things for which I'm thankful.

But most important,  I’m thankful for a Father in Heaven who will show me how to meet the upcoming bills, who provides for all my needs, and who’s teaching me to find the thanks.
   
   
When the stuff of life starts to be overwhelming, Lord, help me to find the thanks. Amen.

More tea: Philippians 4:4–9
       
   

Saturday, July 4, 2015

My Country, 'Tis of Thee

Federal Hall George Washington in Prayer

A brass relief of George Washington kneeling in prayer at Federal Hall in New York City
By OptimumPx (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.” – King Solomon, 2 Chronicles 6:21 (NIV)
     
     
Over the 18 years I’ve written my weekly column and then this blog, I’ve avoided controversial topics. I figure you all get enough—more than enough, perhaps—of that elsewhere. My purpose has always been to give hope, to show that faith and life go hand in hand, that God cares intimately for each of us and is with us every moment of every day.
     
But I’ve had a heavy heart for my country—and it’s getting heavier.
     
No, I still will not address the hot button topics here, but I will address what I believe our response, as Christians, should be.
     
First, read, meditate, know, and obey the Word. Let it permeate every fiber of your being. Allow God to use His Word to transform you from the inside out—heart, mind, and soul. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
     
Next, pray! For revival to sweep the nation, one soul at a time. For the Holy Spirit to ignite the faith of believers and fill our places of worship—and us. For eyes to be opened to the truth, for hearts to be softened to receive the seed of the Word, for strength and courage to be Psalm 1 men and women.
     
Finally, be salt and light. “You are the salt of the earth,” Jesus said. “But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? . . . You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light shine before men” (Matthew 5:13–16).
     
How can you be salt and light? Simple: Live the Word.
     
And while we must stand up for that which we know is right, we must be careful not to judge other folks.
     
“Do not judge,” Jesus said, “or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you too will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1–2).
     
“For I did not come to judge the world,” Jesus said, “but to save it” (John 12:47). “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:17).
     
Judgment Day is coming, be sure of that. But until then, remember the words of Billy Graham: “It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.”
     
I just keep asking myself, “What would Jesus do?”
     

May we continue to pray as George Washington did on the inauguration of this country (April 30, 1789):
     
“Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field.
           
“And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Source for prayer: http://www.propheticroundtable.org/ForeFathers/GeorgeWashington/A%20Prayer.htm

More tea: 2 Chronicles 6:12–42

I've just finished reading The Harbinger and The Harbinger Companion by Jonathan Cahn.  
I highly recommend both of them.