Tonight I Pray that we come before the Lord with a heart of Thanksgiving, remembering the greatest gift that God has given to us is Jesus…For His love goes on and on into eternity!!! Many people do not like mystery, but love is both mysterious and sacred. A love so great that our Father sent His only Son to earth as an innocent babe born to die for all of the sin of the world! But death could not hold our Jesus. When you go to His tomb it is empty!!!He is not there!!! He is risen and is alive and with us each day as we read the Bible and come before Him in prayer. I pray that you find His love, the most powerful love in the universe…As Christians there is no barrier between us and the Lord, for His blood continues to cleanse us daily from our sin as we come before Him in prayer and through His Word. Never forget that you are His Beloved; this will be your forever identity and I pray that you rejoice in this!!! HIS Love will prevail and the next time He comes back to earth it will not be as a defenseless babe in a manger or a broken man on a cross. Jesus will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and every knee shall bow before Him!!!I pray that if you don’t know Jesus that you ask Him to come into your heart today… If you want to know Jesus and start life new and fresh in Him, pray this with me: Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You took the pain and the sins of world on the cross to give me new life. I ask You to come into my heart and to give me Your peace and joy. I confess that I am a sinner that I have gone my own way and have done wrong. Please forgive me for my sins. I receive You now as my Lord and Savior. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Help me to follow You and to serve You all the days of my life. Thank you so much for loving me, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer you are a new creature in Christ Jesus! You are Born Again! Welcome to the family!!! I Love you All!!! God Bless You!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/6FB9TY
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. Ephesians 1:4-6
If you are a Christian; it is because God chose you. Jesus told His disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). And for each of us who have received Jesus Christ as our Savior, we discovered that He chose us. This confuses many people because they realize that we have the ability to choose, and that is true. But God who knows all things, knows what we will choose; and He doesn’t pick losers. He picks winners.
You may say, “but that isn’t fair? What if God didn’t choose me?” Have you accepted Jesus Christ? If so, then He chose you. If you haven’t accepted Him, do it and you will find out you were chosen. If you don’t want to accept Him, why do you care if you were chosen or not?
I hope that you will make the choice to put Jesus Christ as the the center of your lives, so that you can walk in His word, His will, and His way for your lives. Take the time to start fresh. Make a commitment to get into the precious Word of God. It could change your life forever! I hope that each and every one of you has a Simply Heavenly weekend. God bless you!!! http://dlvr.it/5NTgx7
Tonight I Pray that you realize that Jesus not only loves you but He likes you! We can take everything to Him in prayer. I pray that you trust Him to meet your needs one day at a time. I pray that you delight yourself in the Lord and rejoice in Him with singing. As you are still in His Presence, listen for His voice and for when you do there is a treasure there just waiting to be found as He pours out His blessings upon you. Rest in the Lord tonight and let your slumber be filled His Peace that passes all understanding. In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen… I Love You All!!! God bless you!!! ♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/5NJF73
No they cannot. There is perhaps no more hotly debated issue in the church today than the issue of women serving as pastors. As a result, it is very important to not see this issue as men versus women. There are women who believe women should not serve as pastors and that the Bible places restrictions on the ministry of women, and there are men who believe women can serve as preachers and that there are no restrictions on women in ministry. This is not an issue of chauvinism or discrimination. It is an issue of biblical interpretation.
The Word of God proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Timothy 2:11-12). In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (1 Timothy 2:13-14). God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors over men, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority.
There are many “objections” to this view of women in ministry. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:11-14 nowhere mentions educational status. If education were a qualification for ministry, the majority of Jesus’ disciples would not have been qualified. A second common objection is that Paul only restricted the women of Ephesus from teaching (1 Timothy was written to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus). The city of Ephesus was known for its temple to Artemis, a false Greek/Roman goddess. Women were the authority in the worship of Artemis. However, the book of 1 Timothy nowhere mentions Artemis, nor does Paul mention Artemis worship as a reason for the restrictions in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
A third common objection is that Paul is only referring to husbands and wives, not men and women in general. The Greek words in the passage could refer to husbands and wives; however, the basic meaning of the words refers to men and women. Further, the same Greek words are used in verses 8-10. Are only husbands to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger and disputing (verse 8)? Are only wives to dress modestly, have good deeds, and worship God (verses 9-10)? Of course not. Verses 8-10 clearly refer to all men and women, not only husbands and wives. There is nothing in the context that would indicate a switch to husbands and wives in verses 11-14.
Yet another frequent objection to this interpretation of women in ministry is in relation to women who held positions of leadership in the Bible, specifically Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah in the Old Testament. This objection fails to note some significant factors. First, Deborah was the only female judge among 13 male judges. Huldah was the only female prophet among dozens of male prophets mentioned in the Bible. Miriam’s only connection to leadership was being the sister of Moses and Aaron. The two most prominent women in the times of the Kings were Athaliah and Jezebel—hardly examples of godly female leadership. Most significantly, though, the authority of women in the Old Testament is not relevant to the issue. The book of 1 Timothy and the other Pastoral Epistles present a new paradigm for the church—the body of Christ—and that paradigm involves the authority structure for the church, not for the nation of Israel or any other Old Testament entity.
Similar arguments are made using Priscilla and Phoebe in the New Testament. In Acts 18, Priscilla and Aquila are presented as faithful ministers for Christ. Priscilla’s name is mentioned first, perhaps indicating that she was more “prominent” in ministry than her husband. However, Priscilla is nowhere described as participating in a ministry activity that is in contradiction to 1 Timothy 2:11-14. Priscilla and Aquila brought Apollos into their home and they both discipled him, explaining the Word of God to him more accurately (Acts 18:26).
In Romans 16:1, even if Phoebe is considered a “deaconess” instead of a “servant,” that does not indicate that Phoebe was a teacher in the church. “Able to teach” is given as a qualification for elders, but not deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9). Elders/bishops/deacons are described as the “husband of one wife,” “a man whose children believe,” and “men worthy of respect.” Clearly the indication is that these qualifications refer to men. In addition, in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9, masculine pronouns are used exclusively to refer to elders/bishops/deacons.
The structure of 1 Timothy 2:11-14 makes the “reason” perfectly clear. Verse 13 begins with “for” and gives the “cause” of Paul’s statement in verses 11-12. Why should women not teach or have authority over men? Because “Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived.” God created Adam first and then created Eve to be a “helper” for Adam. This order of creation has universal application in the family (Ephesians 5:22-33) and the church. The fact that Eve was deceived is also given as a reason for women not serving as pastors or having spiritual authority over men. This leads some to believe that women should not teach because they are more easily deceived. That concept is debatable, but if women are more easily deceived, why should they be allowed to teach children (who are easily deceived) and other women (who are supposedly more easily deceived)? That is not what the text says. Women are not to teach men or have spiritual authority over men because Eve was deceived. As a result, God has given men the primary teaching authority in the church.
Many women excel in gifts of hospitality, mercy, teaching, evangelism, and helps. Much of the ministry of the local church depends on women. Women in the church are not restricted from public praying or prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5), only from having spiritual teaching authority over men. The Bible nowhere restricts women from exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and to proclaim the gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).
God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions Pastor in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching or having spiritual authority over men. This logically would preclude women from serving as pastors to men. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with God’s plan and His gifting of them. I believe that it has to do a lot with the duties of the wife in the home. She teaches the children and runs her household and I can tell you from personal experience to do the job you are on cal 24/7. That leaves little to no time to run a church. Remember that in the family of God there is no confusion and that is why I believe that the Lord set it up this way.
As a woman I believe that we have it much better than men do. We can travel the world as an evangelist preaching the Gospel, we can lead music and worship ministry and we can teach children and women. We have all of the best of ministry without all of the headaches. The Lord is not now nor has He ever claimed to be “Politically Correct” He is God. The bible tells us: “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?” – Job 40:2
I always have people ask me about Beth Moore and Anne Graham Lotz and the many women who are out there preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.. They are not pastors they are evangelists. God bless you!!! God bless you and Maranatha!!! :):):)
What a Coincidence! Or Was It….
So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Ruth 2:3
Ruth was gleaning in the various fields in the area, and she happened to come to the part of the field that belonged to Boaz.
Was this just a coincidence? I think not! How numerous are the glorious “coincidences” in the life of the Christian. God tends to lead us in such a natural way that we don’t even notice His leading. He is guiding us, but we aren’t even aware of His guidance.
Some people who desire to be led by the Lord are waiting to hear an audible voice from heaven or to have God take complete control of their faculties and just manipulate them outside of their control. Once in a great while we might hear an audible voice from heaven, but usually God guides us in a very natural ways. In fact His ways are so natural that many times we are not even aware of them until we start to look back at our life.
I know that in my own life as I look back at some of the bone headed things I wanted to do in my life, I am so grateful to my Father in heaven for leading me in a different direction. I find myself looking back and seeing the Lord in so many areas of my life that I just want to get on my knees and thank Him for saving me from myself!!! God is good all the time!!! Don’t be afraid to trust Him for your life for He will never let you down!!! I hope that you have a Simply Heavenly day!! God bless you!!!
Tonight I Pray that we all thank the Lord for the families that He has placed us in. I pray that each and every one of us realize how lucky we are to be a part of His Family and that the love of the Lord Jesus goes on even on into the future glory of forever!!! He is the Lover of our soul who will never let us go!!!
Draw near to God tonight and He will draw near to you!!! I pray that you realize that love is precious and sacred because HIS love is the essence of the perfect relationship we have within the Holy Trinity. It is how our Lord Jesus chooses to relate to us. There is no barrier between us because His blood continues to cleanse us from our sin.
I pray that you meditate on the strength of His Great Love, many waters cannot wash it away or quench it. HIS Love is the most powerful source in the Universe!!! It will prevail throughout our life into eternity. Never forget that you are HIS Beloved for better or worse forever we’ll be… HIS Love it unites us and it binds us to Him… He’s the Giver of Life and He’ll clothe us in white, what an immaculate Bride we will be!!! This will be our forever identity. I pray that we all rejoice in the Light of His Glorious Love!!! In Jesus name I pray, Amen and Amen. I Love You All!!! God Bless you!!!♥♥♥ http://dlvr.it/4f1jrZ
MANY OF YOU HAVE ASKED FOR HEALTHY GUIDELINES TO CHRISTIAN PRAYER AND FASTING. REMEMBER THAT FASTING IS ONLY AN ACCESSORY TO PRAYER.
How to Begin Your Fast
How you begin and conduct your fast will largely determine your success. By following these steps to fasting they will make your time with the Lord more meaningful and spiritually rewarding.
STEP ONE: SET YOUR OBJECTIVE
Why are you fasting? Is it for spiritual renewal, guidance, resolution to problems, healing, for special grace to handle a difficult situation? Ask the Holy spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for your prayer fast. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically. Through fasting and prayer we humble ourselves before God so the holy spirit will stir our souls, awaken churches, and heal our land according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Make this a priority in your fasting.
STEP TWO: MAKE YOUR COMMITMENT
Pray about what kind of fast you should undertake. Jesus implied that all of His followers should fast. (Matthew 6:16-18 9:14, 15) for Him it was a matter of when believers would fast, not if they would do it. Before you fast decide the following up front:
How long you will fast - one meal, one day, a week, several weeks, forty days (Beginners should start slowly, building up to longer fasts.)
The type of fast God wants you to undertake (such as water only, or water and juices; what kinds of juices you will drink and how often)
What physical or social activities you will restrict
How much time each day you will devote to prayer and God’s Word
Making these commitments ahead of time will help you to sustain your fast.
When physical temptations and life’s pressures tempt you to abandon it.
STEP THREE: PREPARE YOURSELF SPIRITUALLY
The very foundation of fasting and prayer is repentance. Unconfessed sin will hinder your prayers. Here are several things you can do to prepare your heart:
Ask God to help you make a comprehensive list of your sins.
Confess every sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and accept
God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you (Mark 11:25; Luke 11:4; 17:3,4).
Make restitution as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit according to His command in Ephesians 5:18 and His promise in 1 John 5:14,15.
Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master; refuse to obey your worldly nature (Romans 12:1,2).
Meditate on the attributes of God, His love, sovereignty, power, wisdom, faithfulness, grace, compassion, and others (Psalm 48:9,10; 103:1-8, 11-13).
Begin your time of fasting and prayer with an expectant heart (Hebrews 11:6). Do not underestimate spiritual opposition. Satan sometimes intensifies the natural battle between body and spirit (Galatians 5:16,17).
STEP FOUR: PREPARE YOURSELF PHYSICALLY
Fasting requires reasonable precautions. Consult your physician first, especially if you take prescription medicines or have a chronic ailment. Some persons should never fast without professional supervision.
Physical preparation makes the drastic change in your eating routine a little easier so you can turn your full attention to the Lord in prayer.
Do not rush into your fast.
Prepare your body. Eat smaller meals before starting a fast. Avoid high-fat and sugary foods.
Eat raw fruit and vegetables for two days before starting a fast.
Your time for fasting and prayer has come. You are abstaining from all solid foods and have began to seek the Lord. Here are some helpful suggestions to consider:
Avoid drugs, even natural herbal drugs and homeopathic remedies. Medication should only be withdrawn only with your Physicians supervision.
Limit your activity.
Exercise only moderately. Walk one to three miles each day if convenient and comfortable.
Rest as much as your schedule will permit.
Prepare yourself for temporary mental discomforts, such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety.
Expect some physical discomforts, especially on the second day. You may have fleeting hunger pains, dizziness, or the “blahs.” Withdrawal from caffeine and sugar may cause headaches. Physical annoyances may also include weakness, tiredness, or sleeplessness.
The first two or three days are usually the hardest. As you continue to fast you are likely to experience a sense of well- being both physically and spiritually. However, should you feel hunger pains, increase your liquid intake.
STEP 5:PUT YOURSELF ON A SCHEDULE
For maximum spiritual benefit, set aside ample time to be alone with the Lord. Listen for His leading. The more time you spend with Him the more meaningful your fast will be.
Begin your day in praise and worship.
Read and meditate on God’s Word, preferably on your knees.
Invite the Holy Spirit to work in you to will and to do His good pleasure according to Philippians 2:13.
Invite God to use you. Ask Him to show you how to influence your world, your family, your church, your community, your country, and beyond.
Pray for His vision for your life and empowerment to do His will.
Return to prayer and God’s Word.
Take a short prayer walk.
Spend time in intercessory prayer for your community’s and nation’s leaders, for the world’s unreached millions, for your family or special needs.
Get alone for an unhurried time of “seeking His face.”
If others are fasting with you, meet together for prayer.
Avoid television or any other distraction that may dampen your spiritual focus.
When possible begin and end each day on your knees with a spouse for a brief time of praise and thanksgiving to God. Longer periods of time with our Lord in prayer and study of his Word are often better done alone.
A dietary routine is vital as well. Dr. Julio Ruibal, a nutritionist, pastor, and a specialist in fasting and prayer - suggest a daily schedule and a list of juices you may find useful and satisfying. Modify this schedule and the drinks you take to suit your tastes and circumstances.
5:00 to 8:00 A.M.
Fruit juices, preferably freshly squeezed or blended and diluted in 50 percent distilled water if the fruit is acid. Apple, pear, grapefruit, papaya, watermelon, or other fruit juices are generally preferred. If you cannot do your own juicing, buy juices without sugar or additives.
10:30 A.M. - noon
Fresh vegetable juice made from lettuce, celery, and carrots in three equal parts.
2:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Herb tea with a drop of honey. Avoid black tea or any tea with caffeine.
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Broth made from boiling potatoes, celery, and carrots with no salt. After boiling about half an hour, pour the water into a container and drink it.
Drinking fruit juice will decrease your hunger pains and give you some natural sugar energy. The taste and lift will motivate and strengthen you to continue.
The best juices are made from fresh watermelon, lemons, grapes, apples, cabbage, beets, carrots, celery, or leafy green vegetables. In cold weather, you may enjoy a warm vegetable broth.
Mix acidic juices (orange and tomato) with water for your stomach’s sake.
Avoid caffeinated drinks. And avoid chewing gum or mints, even if your breath is bad. They stimulate digestive action in your stomach.
STEP SIX: END YOUR FAST GRADUALLY
Begin eating gradually. Do not eat solid foods immediately after you fast. Suddenly reintroducing solid foods to your stomach and digestive tract will likely have negative, or even dangerous, consequences. Try several smaller meals or snacks each day. If you end a fast gradually, the beneficial physical and spiritual effects will result in continued good health.
Here are some suggestions to help you end your fast properly:
Break an extended water fast with fruit such as watermelon.
While continuing to drink fruit or vegetable juices, add the following:
First day: Add a raw salad.
Second day: Add baked or boiled potato, no butter or seasoning.
Third day: Add a steamed vegetable.
Thereafter: Begin to reintroduce your normal diet.
Gradually return to regular eating with several small snacks during the first few days. Start with a little soup and fresh fruit such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Advance to a few tablespoons of solid foods such as raw fruits and vegetables or a raw salad and baked potato.
STEP SEVEN: EXPECT RESULTS:
If you sincerely humble yourself before the Lord, repent, pray and seek God’s face; if you consistently meditate on His Word, you will experience a heightened awareness of His Presence (John 14:21). The Lord will give you fresh new spiritual insights. Your confidence and faith in God will be strengthened. You will feel mentally, physically and spiritually refreshed. You will see answers to your prayers.
A single fast is not a spiritual cure-all. Just as we need fresh infillings of the Holy spirit daily, we also need new times of fasting before God. A 24 hour fast each week has been very rewarding for many Christians.
It takes time to build your spiritual fasting muscles. If you fail to make it through your first fast do not be discouraged. You may have tried to fast too long the first time. Or you may need to strengthen your understanding and resolve. Maybe try a shorter fast and work your way up to longer periods. Take it to the Lord in prayer and see where He leads you.
HOW TO EXPERIENCE AND MAINTAIN YOUR PERSONAL REVIVAL:
1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any un-confessed sin in your life.
2. Seek forgiveness from all whom you have offended, and forgive all who have hurt you. Make restitution where God leads.
3. Examine your motives in every word and deed. Ask the Lord to search and cleanse your heart daily.
4. Ask the Holy Spirit to guard your walk against complacency and mediocrity.
5. Praise and give thanks to God continually in all ways on all days, regardless of your circumstances.
6. Refuse to obey your carnal (worldly) nature (Galatians 5:16,17).
7. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. Develop utter dependence on Him with total submission and humility.
8. Study the attributes of God.
9. Hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6).
10. Love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).
11. Appropriate the continual fullness and control of the Holy Spirit by faith on the basis of God’s command (Ephesians 5:18) and promise (1 John 5:14,15).
12. Read, study, meditate on, and memorize God’s holy, inspired, inerrant Word daily (Colossians 3:16).
13. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
14. Fast and pray one 24-hour period each week. Prayerfully consider becoming one of the two million Christians who will fast for forty days before the end of the year 2012.
15. Seek to share Christ daily as a way of life.
16. Determine to live a holy, godly life of obedience and faith.
17. Start or join a home or church Bible study group that emphasizes revival and a holy life.
Never forget that all glory and honor go to The Lord Jesus Christ.. May He bless you!!!
Tell them that there is no one better to help them then the one who made them.
Many of us have had friends in a state of depression. Many of us have been there ourselves. In either case, we can sometimes feel completely inept. Depression, whether clinically diagnosable or simply a period of feeling down in the dumps, is a difficult state to deal with. There are so many questions about what is or isn’t the right thing to do with someone who is hurting.
If someone you love is experiencing depression, she may feel that life is pointless, that she has no capacity to handle what used to be the daily things of life, that no one understands or cares, that all is dark. She may imagine that she is in a swamp of quicksand, unable to move. Nothing is pleasurable anymore. Ultimately, she may believe that life is a lot of work that may not be worth it.
To you, she may seem moody and down all the time. She may not be the fun companion she once was. She may seem indecisive and lethargic. She might take offense easily. She might complain about life or seem unable to comprehend anything positive. She might be withdrawn and uninterested.
Being with people who are depressed is not the most appealing experience. So what are we supposed to do when a friend shows signs of depression? Should we abandon the friendship until she’s better? Leave her alone since that’s what she wants anyway? Or should we try to get her out and invite her to do things? Should we be happy all the time? Should we be happy around her at all? Should we just listen and never share what’s going on in our lives for fear that it might upset her more? How can we avoid falling into depression ourselves while still walking with her through this valley?
All good questions. I wish I knew the answers.
The truth is there are no hard-and-fast rules for how to behave around a person struggling with depression. But, from having lived through mild depression myself, hearing others’ experiences, learning about counseling, and looking at what the Bible has to say, I can offer a few suggestions that might be helpful. Please note that because I am female and most of my experience with depression has been with other females, these tips will be coming from that perspective.
Keep the friendship strong. It may not seem like much, but just being there can remind a person that she is worth something, that her life is at least valuable to you.
Encourage her, but don’t try to solve all her problems. After establishing a trust relationship, trained counselors are allowed to challenge clients and say things that could potentially be hurtful. They can help clients learn to solve their own problems. People go to counselors expecting this type of treatment. Your job as a friend is to love—not to be a counselor. Friends are allowed to challenge and make suggestions too, but it works best when both friends are in a healthy state and such interaction has been invited. This is not the case when one is experiencing depression.
A depressive state can sometimes cause hyper-sensitivity. Sufferers already feel weak or guilty for having depression. Hearing your suggestions to just go for daily walks, or get in the sun, or eat better, or start a thankfulness journal, will likely add to feelings of worthlessness and self-judgment. Though these are great ideas that do help with depression, they can come across as shallow. The friend who thinks the troubles of depression will be solved by a 15-minute walk is not really hearing the heart and the pain. A counselor who mentions using this for symptom reduction while also addressing the deeper issues, on the other hand, has a better chance of positive reception.
Be willing to listen. The story of Job is used to discuss a variety of topics in the Christian life. One is depression. Job’s friends did well for the first seven days. They entered into Job’s despair. Then they started trying to figure out why Job’s life had become so difficult, and made many less-than-helpful suggestions. We probably tend to be a little hard on Job’s friends. Finding explanations and fixing problems are our natural instincts. But listening is really a gift.
When Jesus interacted with people, He spoke truth in love, but He also listened. James has a lot to say about controlling the tongue. He says to be “quick to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19). Proverbs 18:13 says, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” The verse immediately after (Proverbs 18:14) is: “A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” Sometimes our words can crush another’s spirit, especially if we have not first accurately listened.
So listen to your friend, even if she is not making sense or telling you what seems to be the same complaint over and over. Hear her. Take time to understand her. Let her know that you recognize and acknowledge what she is going through. Sometimes that’s really all we need, isn’t it? Just for someone to hear us and say, “Yes, it hurts.”
Talk about your life too. It’s okay to tell your friend about what is going on in your life. It’s even okay to tell her about happy things. Depression can feel like an immovable cloud. To the depressed person, it can seem that they are alone under this cloud, and if they could just solve the problem and get out the funk, they could be “normal” like everyone else.
If you withhold yourself and your life, you leave your friend under the cloud by herself. But when you share about your life, it communicates that you still value the person enough to include her. You still want her to know you. Sometimes your happiness may even make her smile. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Your joyful heart may not always be received as good medicine, but it could help her crushed spirit.
Now, I want to put forth a caution with this tip. Please be aware that it is unlikely you will be able to have deep relationship with your friend while she is depressed. She’s trying to survive and doesn’t have much to give back to you. So your sharing may need to be somewhat abbreviated, and you may not get the feedback you normally would from this friend. Test it out. Depending on the day and the topic, some things may go over better than others. Be open to share but with the intention of extending love and care to your friend, not for personal benefit. If she is unreceptive, be willing to simply listen.
Keep inviting your friend to things. Don’t pester her or try to coerce her into doing things, but don’t exclude her simply because she isn’t fun to be around. She might say no often. And you might need to do some social things without inviting her. But she is still your friend and a semblance of social normalcy can be helpful.
Encourage your friend in small ways. Send her a text. Write her a quick email letting her know you’re thinking of her. Mail her a note telling her she is valuable to you. Leave her small gifts—a piece of chocolate, flowers, a funny comic strip, a packet of hot chocolate or flavored coffee, a tube of scented lotion. Ask if you can help her with errands while you’re running your own. Give her a hug or a pat on the shoulder. These are reminders of her worth to you (and to God). They are glimpses of what makes life worth living. They are reasons to keep battling the darkness.
Be quick to forgive. All of us say things we don’t mean at times and treat others poorly. People experiencing depression may be so overwhelmed by their emotional state that they lose some of their prior social graces. They might burst out in unwarranted anger at something you said. They might stand you up. It can be difficult to take. But recognize that these behaviors are probably not out of true malice. They are from a hurt heart that doesn’t know how to interact with the world.
Pray for your friend and for yourself. You might feel frustrated with her, burdened for her, angry at her, saddened by her pain. These are all things that God wants to bear with you (1 Peter 5:7). He loves your friend more deeply than you ever can. He wants to hear your heart for her. He also wants to guide you in how you can best love her through this time.
Be cognizant of emotional contagion. Sometimes when we are around depressed people we become so understanding of their emotions that we begin to experience them ourselves. Your friend needs someone willing to sit in the pain with her, but she doesn’t need you to stay stuck there. Make sure that you have life-giving friendships and a good support group. Share your burdens with God and with others (while keeping your friend’s privacy). Do things you enjoy. Take care of yourself. Remember that your friend’s experience is not your own. You might find yourself questioning God and His goodness. Engage with that. Search the Scripture on suffering. Ask mentors for their thoughts. Stay in tune with the Holy Spirit and seek His strength.
In the end, the best way to be a friend to someone who is depressed is to love them. First Corinthians 13:4-7 says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
You might even offer to go to the doctor with your friend to have a blood work up. Sometimes there is chemical imbalance in the body which can be corrected easily with medication. I hope this helps you. God bless you!!! :):)
To be a godly wife, we must first consider what the word godly means. In 1 Timothy 2:2, Paul uses the word in conjunction with being “peaceful,” “quiet,” and “dignified.” The Bible says the Spirit, who is in every believer, produces visible and invisible acts of godliness, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22). The decisive definition of godliness would be “Christlikeness.” Godliness involves a genuine striving to imitate Christ, to be like Him in thought and action as the apostle Paul strived to be (1 Corinthians 11:1). These characteristics of a godly disposition apply to every believer, whether male or female. Fortunately, the Bible gives more specific qualifications as to what a godly woman—particularly, a godly wife—looks like.
In the book of Proverbs, there is a beautiful word picture painted of a godly wife. The virtues of a godly wife have not changed, even over thousands of years. A godly wife is one who has the complete trust of her husband. He doesn’t have to worry she will be tempted by the wiles of another man, overcharge the credit cards, or spend all day watching soap operas. He knows she is dignified, wise, and devoted (Proverbs 31:11, 12, 25, 26). He is confident of her support and sincere love because she is not vindictive or critical. Her husband has a good reputation in the community, and his wife never speaks ill of him, never gossips about him. Rather, she is always lifting him up and giving him praise. She maintains the household thoroughly and is well respected herself (Proverbs 30:12, 21, 23).
A godly wife spends less time in front of the mirror than in sharing her goods with the poor and needy because she is selfless and benevolent (Proverbs 31:20, 30). But she doesn’t neglect herself; she keeps her body and spirit strong and in good health. Although she works hard and keeps long hours, she is not haggard; she cares about beautiful things to enhance herself and her family (Proverbs 31:17, 21, 22).
Contrary to what many believe a biblical portrait of a godly wife to be, Proverbs 31 reveals she is enterprising and ambitious. The Proverbs 31 wife is a small business owner—she makes and sells garments. She makes her own business decisions independently, and she alone decides what to do with her earnings (Proverbs 31:16, 24). Notice, however, her earnings do not go toward shoes or bags, but to buy a field where she can plant a vineyard—something that will benefit the whole family.
Through all of her endeavors, service, and hard work, the godly wife maintains joy. She can discern all she is doing is profitable, which spurs her on to a sense of gratification (Proverbs 31:18). A godly wife doesn’t worry about what the future may bring. She smiles at the future because she knows her Lord is in control of everything (Proverbs 31:30). Verse 30 is the key to the entire passage because a woman cannot be a godly wife without first fearing the Lord. It is her pursuit of Jesus and her abiding in Him which bring the fruit of godliness to manifest in the life of a godly woman (see John 15:4).
Finally, a godly wife should be submissive to her husband (Ephesians 5:22). What does a submissive wife look like? Not what you might think. The Bible teaches that Jesus submits to His Father (John 5:19). Yet Jesus is equal to the Father (John 10:30). Therefore, a submissive wife is not less valuable as a human being; her role is not less important—but it is different. Christians know that Christ is every bit as divine as the Father (and the Holy Spirit), but each plays a different role in redemption. In the same way, men and women each play a different part in marriage. So, for a wife to be submissive to her husband as Christ is submissive to the Father means she willingly allows her husband to lead. Jesus went willingly, although not without distress (Matthew 26:39). Christ knew the Father’s way was best. A godly wife may find the path of submissiveness painful at times, but following God will always result in spiritual rewards that last for all eternity (1 Timothy 4:7–8).
The Bible equates submissiveness to one’s husband to submissiveness to God (Ephesians 5:22). In other words, if a wife cannot submit to her husband, it may be a reflection of her struggle to be submissive to Christ. Submission does not imply weakness; a submissive wife is not “unintelligent” or “unimportant.” Submission requires strength, dignity, and devotion, as we learn from the Proverbs 31 woman.
Proverbs 31 presents the ideal. A woman can be a godly wife without being perfect (we know there is no such thing as human perfection). But as a wife grows more intimate in her relationship with Christ, she will grow increasingly godly in her marriage. Godliness goes in complete opposition of what secular society says a woman should aspire to. However, as women of God our first concern must always be what pleases God. God bless you!!! :):)
26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. John 19:26-27
This verse no where says that Mary is the mother of all people in the earth. This verse was meant to tell John that He wanted him to care for His mother. John did until her death.
As Jesus was dying on the cross, he knew that He was going to die and He took care of His mother. And when Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said to his mother, Woman, behold your son! (Jhn 19:26)
No doubt, indicating John.
Then he said to the disciple, Behold your mother! And from that hour that disciple took her into his own home (John 19:27).
A beautiful bond between Jesus and His mother Mary. She had born a secret for a long time, the secret of the incarnation. She knew that the child was a special child. The angel of the Lord had told her that before she ever conceived Him by the Holy Spirit. “He shall be great, He shall be called the Son of the Highest. And of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end.” And Mary buried that in her heart, wondering, “Oh my, what kind of child is this going to be?” And when Joseph and Mary brought Him into the temple to be presented unto the Lord, this ancient man Simeon, a godly man, and the Lord had said unto him, “Simeon, you’re not going to die until you have seen the Messiah.” And as Mary and Joseph came with the child, he took Him up in his arms and he said, “Oh God, now let your servant depart in peace, for I have seen Your salvation.” But he turned to Mary and he said, “There’s going to be a sword that will pierce your soul.” And right now, Mary was understanding what he was talking about as that sword of grief pierced her soul as she saw her son there on the cross. Mary standing there close by the cross to see the end. “If I were hanged on the highest hill, oh mother of mine, oh mother of mine, I know whose love would follow me still, oh mother of mine, oh mother of mine.” And there was Mary, standing. And Jesus, though in this period of agony, great pain, took care to take care of her. “Woman, behold your son!” Indicating John. “John, behold your mother!” And John took her into his home from that time on. No doubt Joseph was already dead. And the brothers of Jesus at this point did not believe in Him. There is a closer bond always created in the family of God than even in our natural families, if they are not also in God. “Behold your mother!” “Behold your son!”
On a side note The Lord took care of John. Though he was boiled in oil by Nero he didn’t die. He was the only Apostle that was killed. John took of care of Mary until her death. God bless you!!! :):)
When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
This day is a very special day for me. I make 4 years lung cancer free today! I am so thankful that I have a Father in heaven that never left my side when I was given the death sentence of small cell cancer four years ago.
As I reflect on everything I have gone through I know I never would have made it without Jesus. That day that I was told that there was a growth on the upper right lobe of my right lung was devastating and after I hung up the phone, I fell to my knees. It was the first instinct that came to my mind.
My husband was there with me and I could see the fear in his eyes. Lung cancer is a voracious killer of both men and women. Here are some stats:
· · Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. In 1987, it surpassed breast cancer to become the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.
Lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate). An estimated 160,340 Americans were expected to die from lung cancer in 2012, accounting for approximately 28 percent of all cancer deaths.
· The lung cancer five-year survival rate (16.3%) is lower than many other leading cancer sites, such as the colon (65.2%), breast (90.0%) and prostate (99.9%).
· The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 52.6 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized (within the lungs). However, only 15 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage. For distant tumors (spread to other organs) the five-year survival rate is only 3.5 percent.
· Over half of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed.
As you can see things were not looking good for me. So my husband and I talked to the surgeon and he informed us that I would have to have a lobectomy on the upper right lobe of my lung. My surgeon explained me that if my ribs didn’t open easily he would have to make a large cut that could impair my latissimus dorsi muscles. I was so scared. I love swimming and he told me that he would try his best. I have to say that swimming would take second place to living and I was grateful for anything that he could do for me. I was so very blessed to have an amazing surgeon and oncologist.
I have to say that I am blessed with the best family and friends in the whole world! They were all there for me as I got ready to face my Goliath. I had best friends praying and lifting me up to the Lord all over the country. My husband Peter and I are so thankful for each and every one of you. Especially my children Jean, Peter III and Kellie. Words can never express the love that I feel for you all!! For my sister Chrystal who flew in to help me through this very difficult time and last but certainly not least you Colleen, you went through this with me from the very beginning and I want you to know what a cherished forever friend/sister that you are to me. I love you all very much!
My husband prayed with me while driving to the hospital. I will never forget how I felt when he kissed that last time before I was wheeled away into the Operating Room. I was changed into the gown and booties and then while I was sitting on the gurney waiting for everything to commence. I prayed to my Lord and said “Jesus, If I have done anything to offend you I am so very sorry. Please forgive me for all of my sins.”
Then something happened to me that I have never expected. I heard an audible voice and it said “The Breath of Heaven is holding you in His arms.” I looked around the room to see who had said that to me and there was no one there. The doctors were setting everything up for the surgery and I just kind of looked up and I just said okay Lord and I closed my eyes.
The next thing that I remembered was opening my eyes in the recovery room ten hours later. My surgeon was smiling at me and he kept going on and on that someone up there liked me. I just smiled and said yes His name is Jesus! He told me that he had taken my lymph nodes from the center of my chest and there was no trace of cancer. He was really happy about that. He went on to tell me that my ribs just opened for him and when he removed the right lobe of my lung, he told me I was so lucky because my tumor hadn’t moved. It was like it was encased in glass. He went on to tell me that I had small cell lung cancer and it should have moved. He also told me that he didn’t have to make the large cut and my muscles were intact. My incision was only about two inches. The Lord had given me every single thing that I had asked Him for.
They sent me to radiology for an MRI to see if there was any cancer in my brain. It came back negative!!! Then I was taken to have a bone scan to see if there was any cancer in my bones. It came back negative!! My God is large and in charge and I was feeling so humbled, happy and blessed!!!
I wanted to go home so badly and I asked my doctor when I could go home. I told him that I had family there to care for me and was anxious to leave. He wanted me to be able to walk and have the drainage tubes removed before sending me home. To make a long story short I went home four days after my surgery. The day I went home I was in my bed reading the Bible and the Lord gave me my life verse: When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4 When I read those words I was so humbled by His love and His power. I told Him that day I would never turn my back on Him again and that whatever He asked of me I would do.
I would be returning soon to the hospital to begin a full summer of Cisplatin chemo therapy. It would be in the middle of this chemo therapy where the Lord Jesus filled me with so much joy that I couldn’t contain it. I actually wept for joy in the middle of chemo. It was through what most people would consider a horrible place where my Jesus met me right there in the middle of it all.
As they began the IV’s I could feel the poison burning into my veins and the nausea beginning to rise. It was then that He touched me. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I just felt so loved and it was so amazing it was so all encompassing I started to weep. I couldn’t hold it in, it was just overflowing. I think it was the Lord’s way of showing me that He was there with me and He would never leave me. I can’t tell you what that means to me.
The Lord brought me through lung cancer and I am His forever! He has helped me to appreciate each and every day that I have with Him on planet earth. Now I just follow where ever He wants me to be. My whole family has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and we love to share the good news of Jesus Christ and His saving grace.
He started me writing a blog called Simply Heavenly Food and then through my daughter He has led me to Tumblr where I have the privilege to share the love of Jesus Christ with some of the most amazing young people ever. Life is wonderful and I am happy and so blessed! I hope that you all have a Simply Heavenly day!!! ♥♥♥
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