Yesterday I wrote about embracing a clear conscience. Then I went up to my sanctuary and read some of my devotionals. As is often the case, I was astounded at how God synchronizes my reading and writing and my life.
One of my devotionals is a Bible Study published by the Moody Bible Institute, Today in the Word.
My friend, Caroline, and I are studying the books of 1st & 2nd Thessalonians. The topic on Wednesday was “Living with Integrity.” Integrity is one of my favorite words … one of the most important life concepts. Without it, there is no way we can have a clear conscience!!
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.”
A quiet life is one that knows when to tune out the thunder, avoid the noise and the crowds, and settle into a peaceful place where introspection is possible.
If we never steal ourselves away from the hustle and bustle long enough to look at ourselves honestly and listen to the Holy Spirit directing us, and analyze our thoughts and actions, how can we hope to live a life of quiet integrity with a clear conscience?
The Moody devotional reminded me:
“A quiet life does not mean moving to the country. It can be described as taking care of one’s own responsibilities, as opposed to meddling in others’ affairs. Such a person is peaceable and respectful of others.”
When we stop, take a break, slow down, and look around us and inside our souls, we open ourselves to discover the beauty and the peace around and in us.
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I love hearing about how you’re doing… What’s your secret to a clear conscience and a peaceful existence?
For = before Give = before receiving Ness = before receiving give
N ever E xpect S atisfaction S imultaneously
Is there someone out there who has wronged you?
Have they treated you so badly, so unjustly, that you are having a hard time forgiving them?
Do you wish you could, and you’ve tried, but you just can’t find the grace to give them that satisfaction?
Do they deserve your unforgiving spirit?
Do they deserve a pay back?
Do you wish you could get even?
Would it serve them right!?
Serve them right if you never forgave them because they don’t deserve to be let off the hook?
Who’s caught on that hook anyway?
They may not even know they hurt you!
That happened to me once. I had a person who was a teacher in a different school. I used to be in the district office and now I was happily and obliviously back in the confines of my own classroom, loving every day with those darling children, putting those two years of district office administration behind me. It had been a tough time. Satisfying opportunities mixed with struggles to satisfy all the new teachers (K-12) who were required to come to my PETAL workshops.
P rinciples of E ffective T eaching A nd L earning
I enjoyed working with the new teachers, trying to help them be the best they could be. But, inevitably, you can’t please everybody, right? Not every one of them thought what I was teaching was useful to them. I probably rubbed some the wrong way. They’d prefer to be in their classrooms preparing for the next day, rather than being at a required workshop in “The Ivory Tower.” Do you relate?
No, they were not all smiles! But I did my best… and I got back to the classroom where I could interact daily with children as fast as I could! The District Office was waaay too far from children!
Then, “that happened to me!” A knock on my door at home one evening. When I answered it, there stood a teacher who had been in a series of my workshops. I invited him in. We sat on the sofa. He was nervous.
“I want you to know I forgive you,” he said.
I didn’t know I needed forgiveness. I didn’t know I had done something to offend him. I am sure my face registered shock.
“I have been harboring a grudge against you for two years,” he said. “I am going to a counselor for a lot of unresolved issues in my life, and my counselor said I need to resolve them.”
So he was in my living room, sitting next to me, letting me know I was forgiven.
I should have asked why. I should have asked him to explain what I did. But, I was too dumb-founded. I’m not sure I wanted to know. Let bygones be bygones, you know?
I just told him I was sorry for whatever I unknowingly did to offend him. I told him I held no ill feelings about him. Never did! I accepted his forgiveness. We hugged. He left.
That young man had been given the courage to confront his offender. He had been given the courage to let go. He had been given the courage to ask for forgiveness. My job was to accept it and to allow him to move on.
My job was to handle what God had given me… a clean slate in someone’s mind. A clean slate where there had been a dark smudge.
Don’t wait! Before receiving, GIVE! Give the gift to yourself… the gift of letting go.
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Thanks for following JanBeek and for coming to read and leave a comment today. You matter. I write for you. God bless you! See ya tomorrow.
Mary played along. She didn’t complain. Mary sang a song. What a role model!
Today’s sermon was titled, “Responding to God’s Call.” Luke 1:26-38 was the scripture passage. Mary responded with such grace and faith. Listen to Rev. Steve Hundley’s message at today’s Madison Valley Presbyterian Church -recorded through Jan’s poetic filters.
Responding to God’s Call
Luke described the coming Of the Angel Gabriel to Mary. Many artists have been inspired To depict the scene; they’re varied.
Some created majestic scenes With mountains and waterfalls, But that wasn’t the vision recorded. It’s a simple scene when God calls.
Gabriel doesn’t ask permission. He simply tells her what will be, The Bible says she was perplexed. More in shock, it seems to me.
Whatever plans Mary may have had, God comes and intervenes. Like Mary, God has plans for us. Listen to this story; hear what it means.
We can plan our lives carefully, But often we’re face with interruptions. Unexpected events order our future; Often they keep us from corruption.
God’s plans always exceed ours. But still, we have questions galore. Unlike Mary, we ask for clarification. We want to understand more.
It’s not every day an angel appears And announces what’ll come next. But often life chooses us And leaves us totally perplexed.
In real life, we have choices. We can say yes or shout NO! We can become stoic and look away; We can be stubborn and refuse to go.
When God throws us curve balls, We might become angry and defensive. We might throw our hands up And become bitter; but that’s expensive.
It costs us our peace of mind. It takes away unexpected joy. If Mary had been so inclined, It might have cost her that Baby Boy!
Let it be to me according To your Word, O Lord, my Christ. When You send Your instructions, May I say “Yes!” without thinking twice.
Nothing is impossible with God. Tune in! And play along!! Amen
There may be an angel standing by your fire, sending out signals and you’re unaware. There may be a message blowing in the wind, and you can’t hear it. There may be an assignment God is giving you, and you don’t know it. Tune in! Listen up! Play along!!
Notes during the Pastoral Prayer today:
“God came into a troubled world. Come again, Lord Jesus, For we, too, are troubled. We need You.
We are suffering. Pain is taking its toll. Come and bring power and healing To those who are hurting.
Bring comfort to those Who have lost loved ones. Come again, Lord Jesus. Bring deliverance.
We wait for You.”
Every heart is longing for our King Whether they know it or not. Let your light shine. Sing! Play along!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. Have a blessed Sunday. See you tomorrow. HUGS!
Today is World Mental Health Day. How is your mental health?
The Bible is full of wisdom that applies to mental health. Romans 12:18 is a perfect example. Living in peace with everybody includes Living in Peace with YOURSELF!
Some people live in a self-imposed prison, Locking themselves behind bars of self-hate; They fail to see the self that God created.
We all get those days that we just don’t feel good enough. Everything goes wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons from which we can learn. Here are my top ten verses that uplift and impact me when I’m at the lowest of lows:
1. Philippians 4:13:
I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.
2. Psalm 46:5
God is within her, she will not fall.
3. Proverbs 31:25
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
4. Psalm 28:76
The Lord is my strength and my shield.
5. 1 Corinthians 25:10
By the grace of God, I am what I am.
6. Romans 5:8
I loved you at your darkest.
7. Psalm 62:5-6
Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.
8. 2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
9. 1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10. 2 Chronicles 20:15
The battle is not ours, but God’s.
Keys to Positive Mental Health
The link below to an article by Brittany Morgan offers ten keys to mental health that worked for her. I found the article to be greatly inspiring. Among her ten ideas that resonated most with me was #1:
1. Unfollowed ‘energy vampires’ on all social media platforms
This one might need a little explaining, so bear with me. An energy vampire is basically anyone who comes into your life and drains you of your positive energy. (Or, any energy in general, for that matter.) I’ve been unlucky enough, as I’m sure you have as well, to meet several of these energy vampires in real life. I’ve decided this past year to unfollow any and all energy vampires on all of my forms of social media, and you should, too.
Life is too short to expend any extra energy on perpetually negative people.
If you agree with her thinking on that idea, you may want to click the link below to see the other nine points she makes.
10 Things I’ve Done For My Mental Health Since Last Year’s World Mental Health Day
On Mental Health Day, I wish you great peace and joy. Let God take your cares.
Lift them up to Him And let them just float away; Replace them with love –
With LOVE for yourself – Remember your Creator Made you to be loved.
When LOVE is poured out, The empty cup returns full! God replaces it.
Put your hand in the hand of the One who stilled the waters Put your hand in the hand of the One who calmed the seas Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee!
Don’t miss this wonderful song from 1970… One of my favorites!!
Play it again!! Sing along! Put your hand in God’s hand And have a peace-filled World Mental Health Day.
Dr. Perry, posted a blog titled, It’s OK to Have a Bad Day. It caused me to internalize this inward journey for peace and think about the habits I have worked to develop in order to be my own best friend.
He quoted Emerson, who wrote: ““Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ten Habits of Peaceful Living
Traveling inward, looking for contentment, I have found that I need to consciously adopt habits that foster inner peace:
Recognition of Limitations
Confrontation of Temptations
Elimination of Blame
Hope in the Face of Despair
Celebration of Where my Hope Lies
In the process of traveling the Road to Inner Peace, it is important to stop every now and then to look back. Consider your progress or regression. Have you every noticed when you’re traveling up a hill that you don’t realize how steep it is until you look back at the incline you have just traversed?
Likewise, when the road is on a decline, you may not realize how drastic the angle until you stop and look back up to the place you began. Reflecting on where you started and seeing how far you have improved or deteriorated can be very helpful.
Dr. Perry, in the post I referenced above says it this way, “After a period of time, reflect on what you have learned and gained from the negative event or interaction in your life. More often than not you will find that you have learned something. Perhaps you will discover an inner strength that you were not aware of or a higher purpose for your existence.”
In her September 27th, The Godly Chic Diaries posted a WordPress guest writer. She introduced Matik Nicholls by saying, “I’m a firm believer that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. I say this with my whole heart, Everyone needs a blessing. And if you have the ability to bless others, be a blessing. And when you are a blessing to others, you will find ‘joy unspeakable’ in the process….”
Guest Blogger: Matik Nicholls wrote: “Every gift, ability and blessing we have is for the service of others. We are blessers not blessees! We carry the presence of God wherever we go for a greater purpose than just for us to be happy. It is our privilege and purpose to transfer the blessings of God to others!”
Take Joy in the Journey
Traveling life’s road, I take joy in the journey. Spreading it’s my goal.
With The Godly Chic’s help, I discovered this new website, and decided to subscribe to it. The author, Matik Amilcar Nicholls, has created an inspirational web blog at http://www.Authenticjoy.org. This handsome, positive-thinking young man resides in the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
On his site, he shared, “I am an engineer by training, having graduated from the University of the West Indies with a B.Sc. Computer and Electrical Engineering (with honours). More recently, I completed an M.B.A. with the Heriot-Watt University. I also have a certificate in Applied Theology (class valedictorian) from the Millennium Bible Institute and currently I am pursuing an online programme with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Coach.”
Naturally, reading about him, I am inspired to want to learn more. My Road to Inner Peace is made more successful when I can join hands on the journey with people like Matik. People in other parts of the world. People whose life stories are far different from mine, but who share the common purpose of wanting to “Be a Blessing.” I encourage you to let Matik’s JOY infect you as I found it to be quite “catching” indeed!
Like me, spreading joy – and the source of his joy (his FAITH) – is what Matik says he is all about. He wrote, “I love Jesus. I love spending time with Him. I love His mercy that keeps flowing endlessly in my life. I love what He stands for: love, grace, mercy, peace, truth, freedom, humility and transformation. I am committed to these values. I’m committed to doing my part to preach the gospel, heal the sick, feed the poor, comfort the hurting and free the oppressed… I enjoy seeing people walk in the fullness of all that God has for them to be and do.“
Walk in the fullness Of all that God has for you Find that Inner Peace.
In the eye of the storm, the wisest people of the Carolinas are letting everything go. I read in one of my devotionals this morning a quote from C. Joybell C., “… the day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.”
Hurricane Florence is thrashing the already battered east coast near Wrightsville Beach with strong winds (92-100 mph) and heavy rains that could trigger catastrophic floods inland. People who value their lives more than their things are evacuating (or already have).
Things can become so important to us that we risk our lives to protect them. Oh, I know, there are many reasons residents in the eye of the storm have chosen to stay put. Not all are for the love of their things. But, by putting too much importance on things, we also risk our peace of mind.
C. Joybell C. suggests that letting things go is a pathway to peace of mind.
Value life most. Know peace.
Ponder it. What things would you stay to protect in the eye of the storm?