Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘struggles’

Be Braided


When you see the word “Braid,” what do you think of?

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Those braids appear to be two strong strands twisted together.
(Isn’t she beautiful?)

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Likewise, this rope seems to have two strong strands twisted, right?

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When I used to braid my daughter’s hair, I needed three strands to create the braid.

Today’s devotional made me think about these various braids and contemplate the strength of the three strands. Here was the scripture:

Eccelesiates 4:12

“And though a man might prevail
against one who is alone,
two will withstand him –
a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Katie Minter Jones in “Mornings with Jesus” by Guideposts wrote a devotional based on that scripture. In it she recounted how difficult the days of early marriage were as she and her husband “struggled through difficult times.”

She quoted a friend as saying, “Together we worked hard to get where we are now. It definitely takes two to make a marriage work, and that’s not fifty-fifty. Each person has to give 100%.” Finger pointing and trying to divvy stuff up 50-50 leads to disaster.

One of her lady friends said, “It takes three to make a successful marriage, the husband, the wife, and Jesus.” Each person must give 100% to each other and 100% to Jesus.”

That seems like a tall order! But doing so creates the three strands that make the braid unbreakable. Couples need to walk with Jesus to have a strong marriage.

Here’s my take on what that looks like.

The tie that binds

When our hearts are bound in love around our Lord’s cross, His mercy and grace strengthen our relationship and help us grow closer. As we walk hand in hand, praying and staying together in love, God blesses us. Jesus Christ strengthens us. The Holy Spirit braids our hearts in His love and care. Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian Love. Be braided!

Write your spouse a love letter today and include a prayer.

Here are mine…

Dear Bob,
I am so grateful for your love and for our mutual reliance on Jesus, our Lord. Thank you for praying with me, staying with me, putting Christ first in our lives, and relying on Him during our times of struggle. His sacrificial love is the perfect reminder of how we need to take care of each other. His presence binds us in purpose and braids us with His promises and His peace. Thank you!
Love Forever and Ever, Rockie ;o) ❤

Dear God,
Thank you for blessing our marriage and knitting our hearts together. May my blogging friends find that same peace and grace and purpose in life. May they sense Your guidance in their relationships and be braided with You. Amen.
In His Care, Jan

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Let the light of God shine on your relationship,
be central to your lives,
and braid you together with peace and purpose.
God bless you!


See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

How Do You Stop Yo-Yo-ing?


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Feeling pleased when I step off the scale
I see that I am the “Biggest Loser”
At my TOPS group this week.
I have “Taken Off Pounds Sensibly.”

Now, the trick is to keep those pounds off!
I have yo-yoed up 5 or 6 and down again
For about a year now… and it’s discouraging!
My body seems to like where it is, but I don’t!

I have a goal weight to return to …
And when I reached it, I was the queen
Queen of the Montana State TOPS Club.
I felt good and fit my clothes better.

Why is it that I can gain 3 pounds in a week
And then it takes three months to take them off?
Do any of you have that trouble, too?
At 5’0″ the weight goes right to my tummy!

I want to earn the “Best Loser” trophy weekly
Until I regain that goal weight position…
And then I want to KEEP IT OFF!!
Do you have any tricks that work for you?

Happy today…
Up tomorrow?

Keep it off!!!!

See ya later.
Hugs,
Jan ;o)

Kind & Helpful People


Reaching out to help others
Is a gift some people cultivate.
No matter what they are going through,
They take time to stop and make a date
With friends who seems to need them.
Because their friends know they care,
They know they will sincerely listen
And pray for them. It helps to talk and share.

They set aside their own struggles
And they focus in on your trouble.
They look into your eyes and see your heart.
They pull you close into their compassionate bubble.
You know they hear with ears of love.
You know they link to God in sincere ways.
They will take your concerns to our Lord and Savior.
He hears their cries … and with them prays.

I want to be that kind of a friend.
I want you to know how much I care.
I want you to open your heart and know
I’m a person with whom you can share
Your problems and your struggles.
I will listen with my very soul.
I will pray to Jesus for God’s help.
Yes, showing love and kindness is my goal.

Some people find it hard to reach out;
They want to solve their troubles on their own.
But sharing is an important part of healing.
Don’t try to do it all alone.
Even if you just go to a friend and sit,
Say nothing… just find peace in being there,
A good friend will hear you with a heart
That reaches yours. You’re a synced pair!

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I pray you have such a friend.
I pray you know the joy of caring in that way –
Both as a giver as well as a receiver.


Please add our friend, PETER, to your prayer list.
God knows why.


You are blessed to be a blessing.
May you have a blessed day!

See ya tomorrow.

Finding Strength


Finding Strength

  This morning I received an e-mail from a dear cousin. Her husband has esophageal cancer. The chemo and radiation treatments are making him feel tired, gaunt, and bored with the required liquid diet. Swallowing is painful. He’s lost 30 pounds. .  

In the midst of life’s struggles, we need strength, courage, and assurance. Where do we find it?

Joshua 1:5-9 “No one will be able stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you. Be strong and courageous… Be strong and very courageous… Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

In my morning devotional today

from In Touch Ministries,

this very scripture and topic were discussed.

 
 

Yes, obstacles are faith’s fertilizer!

As the devotional said,

“Obstacles are one way our faith can grow.”

    What obstacles are you facing today? They may not be as serious as cancer of the esophagus, but every challenge we face is an opportunity to lean on our faith and allow the obstacle to grow us. Use them as stepping stones. Know that God is with you. Be assured by that cross that hangs in my sanctuary and reminds me daily to remember what our Creator tells me: “Be Still and know that I AM God.” .  

My cousin’s husband is Jehovah’s Witness. I have sent him a couple of inspirational cards wishing him well and reminding him that I have him in my daily prayers.

 

My cousin told me in her e-mail today, “While he may not agree with all your theology… he most certainly believes in God and appreciates your prayers.”

.

I am reminded that God is soooo much bigger than religion. God is the Creator of us all. God loves and cares for us all. We may not practice our religious beliefs the same way, but our faith in God binds us together as one.

    As Christians, we say we are “One in Christ.” We believe in the Trinity – that God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One. Who am I to say that those who say we are “One in God, our Creator” are wrong? God is Omnipotent. He sees into the heart of us all. When He promises, “I am with you,” he’s talking to you … each of you! .  

What obtacles are fertilizing YOUR faith today? Be still and know God is with you.

blur bracelet conceptual female

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Now, go in peace.

Believe

Let your obstacles become stepping stones.

See ya tomorrow.

Self-Examination


Lent is upon us.
It is a 40 day period when we prepare for the coming of Easter.
One way to prepare is to practice the art of self-examination.
Look deeply into yourself.
Be prepared to acknowledge your areas of struggle.

Invite God to help you over the hurdles.

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In Soul Feast by Marjorie J. Thompson, we are reminded that we cannot escape from God’s all-seeing eye. She writes, “When we feel searched and known by a gracious God, we are both moved and enabled to search our own hearts honestly.”

green wooden board with heart hole

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I was inspired by Thompson’s invitation to “Open the door of our heart to cleansing, renewal and peace.” In response, I wrote the following poem:
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SELF-EXAMINATION
 
Nothing we do or fail to do
Can alter the depth of God’s love.
It’s truly unconditional,
A sure-fire gift from above.
 
Knowing the truth of this gift,
Knowing the depth of affection,
Allows us to be real with ourselves,
And honest with God in confession.
 
We can acknowledge to God openly
The weakness displayed in our sin,
And remember He knows it already – 
So, open your heart; Let God in!

close up of tree against sky

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.
When you look deeply into yourself,
what areas of struggle do you acknowledge?
 
Invite God to help you over the hurdles.

Our Savior


Our Savior

The Many Faces of Jesus
Some of us see Our Savior as Jesus in these many roles. Others see Him as an invisible, spiritual force. Other times God is an interesting combination of both. Here are my sermon notes from our church service last Sunday. How do you see our Savior?

Strong, Invisible Savior

Strong, invisible Savior,
Save me in my need.
But, You, My Lord, were crucified.
Did You save Yourself? Indeed!

Long-awaited Savior,
Do I need to be redeemed?
Today society teaches I’m O.K. –
Not really as sinful as it seemed.

Am I “basically a good person”?
Am I making progress today?
Look carefully at my behavior.
Am I truly walking God’s Way?

I’m good at blind denial.
I try to set the world right.
But, I am a self-centered fool
Who struggles and wanders and fights.

Lonely, pitiful, and rebellious –
I think I am fine on my own.
God still loves me in my sinfulness.
I don’t have to walk this earth alone.

Strong, invisible Savior,
Your promise is right and true.
You come to me in my helplessness.
In response, God, help me turn to You.

Amen?
Amen!!

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