Connections: Giving Care God’s Way @ Soli Deo Gloria

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I am blessed to be a guest writer at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today in the first of a number of posts on caregiving.  Please join me over there.

 

Connections: Giving Care God’s Way 

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The LORD is where our strength rests. He has more than enough for each one of us who gives care to another. Our task, besides the giving of care, is to wait upon the LORD.

Oh, my!  You may ask, “How can I wait when I have all of this to do? I don’t have time to wait.”  He calls upon us to wait. upon. Him.  He will give us all that we need, all that we don’t even know we need.

As I share pieces of what I know about caregiving each month, let’s make our walk together in a garden setting for there is peace and tranquility, beauty and quiet in such a place.  We need these in order to wait upon the LORD for His direction.  I will focus upon the giving of care to the elderly whether he or she be a spouse, parents, elderly relatives, but you may easily be able to transfer this information for any caregiving circumstance such as an ill child or one who has mentally challenges, each of whom depend upon us for their well-being.

….[Read More]….

@ http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/sdg-connections-giving-care-gods-way/

 

Caring through Christ, ~ linda

Quietly, I Pray

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With a quiet mind, heart and soul, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  God, I have no words but to lift up Your city, Your people, to You and only You.  My heart longs for peace in this world.  There is so much turmoil everywhere I turn.  Yet, it is with the deepest prayer that I call out and pray for Your Israel, Your Jerusalem, Your precious people.  Hear me, O God.  Hear me.  Amen.

 

Psalm 122

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Our feet have been standing

within your gates, O Jerusalem!

Jerusalem—built as a city

that is bound firmly together,

to which the tribes go up,

the tribes of the Lord,

as was decreed for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the Lord.

There thrones for judgment were set,

the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

“May they be secure who love you!

Peace be within your walls

and security within your towers!”

For my brothers and companions’ sake

I will say, “Peace be within you!”

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,

I will seek your good.

 

 

Verse 6 of Psalm 122:

 שָׁאַל

sha’al

pray

to ask, to inquire

שָׁלוֹם

shalowm

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment, peace (from war)

יְרוּשָׁלַם

Yĕruwshalaim

Jerusalem = “teaching of peace”

שָׁלָה

shalah

to be at rest, to be or have quiet, to be at ease, to prosper

אָהַב

‘ahab

to love

…human love for another, includes family

…human love for or to God

…act of being a friend

…God’s love toward man…

     …to individual men

     …to the people of Israel

    …to righteousness


From Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 122:

“This psalm seems to have been penned by David for the use of the people of Israel, when they came up to Jerusalem to worship at the three solemn feasts. It was in David’s time that Jerusalem was first chosen to be the city where God would record his name. It being a new thing, this, among other means, was used to bring the people to be in love with Jerusalem, as the holy city, though it was but the other day in the hands of the Jebusites. Observe, I. The joy with which they were to go up to Jerusalem (v. 1, 2). II. The great esteem they were to have of Jerusalem (v. 3-5). III. The great concern they were to have for Jerusalem, and the prayers they were to put up for its welfare (v. 6-9).

….

“Here, I. David calls upon others to which well to Jerusalem, v. 6, 7. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for the welfare of it, for all good to it, particularly for the uniting of the inhabitants among themselves and their preservation from the incursions of enemies. This we may truly desire, that in the peace thereof we may have peace; and this we must earnestly pray for, for it is the gift of God, and for it he will be enquired of. Those that can do nothing else for the peace of Jerusalem can pray for it, which is something more than showing their good-will; it is the appointed way of fetching in mercy. The peace and welfare of the gospel church, particularly in our land, is to be earnestly desired and prayed for by every one of us. Now, 1. We are here encouraged in our prayers for Jerusalem’s peace: Those shall prosper that love thee. We must pray for Jerusalem, not out of custom, nor for fashion’s sake, but out of a principle of love to God’s government of man and man’s worship of God; and, in seeking the public welfare, we seek our own, for so well does God love the gates of Zion that he will love all those that do love them, and therefore they cannot but prosper; at least their souls shall prosper by the ordinances they so dearly love. 2. We are here directed in our prayers for it and words are put into our mouths (v. 7): Peace be within thy walls. He teaches us to pray, (1.) For all the inhabitants in general, all within the walls, from the least to the greatest. Peace be in thy fortifications; let them never be attacked, or, if they be, let them never be taken, but be an effectual security to the city. (2.) For the princes and rulers especially: Let prosperity be in the palaces of the great men that sit at the helm and have the direction of public affairs; for, if they prosper, it will be well for the public. The poorer sort are apt to envy the prosperity of the palaces, but they are here taught to pray for it.”

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Henry Commentaries on the Whole Bible by Matthew Henry

graphic:  http://gatewaychristiancenter.org/pray-for-the-peace-of-israel/

photo/graphic: http://whowillyouserve.blogspot.com/2012/09/psalm-122.html

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Praying for Israel

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.   Psalm 122:6

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Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,

and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

blessed are all those who wait for him.

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.  And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.  Isaiah 30:18-21

I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, LORD.  All of this fighting and killing is just so hard.  The children who are caught in this war and all of the others around the world break my heart.  Their innocence draws my heart towards them.  I know You know and know the ways of men, the ways of this world.  I pray for justice, for Your sovereignty, for Your righteousness, LORD, and for Your mercy.  May Your will be done and may Your Truth and Light shine in this vast darkness. May Your love prevail over the hatred and Your peace prevail above war.  May Your salvation rain upon Israel, O Heavenly Father, as well as this whole world.  And may I stand tall in Jesus Christ, my LORD, and show the world that He is Savior and LORD over all.  One day, Father.  One day.  I pray in the Powerful Name of Your Son.  Amen.

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Photos from:  iBibleVerses @ http://ibibleverses.christianpost.com/

Devotion, Honor, Love

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Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  1 Peter 5:5

For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  John 1:16

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Philippians 2:3

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  Romans 12:3

[[A Song of degrees of David.]] Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!  Psalm 133:1

But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6

Years of giving care to my Mama and greeting, hugging, touching, and talking with the many other residents of the senior places Mama lived, with my teaching career where I could offer loving teaching to young children, with my one-on-one tutoring now, through my teaching at senior centers for the city health department, and all the other ways God has used me to reach the very young and the very old, I truly feel blessed to have been allowed such moments with so many.  There never feels like there is a gap between the ages or the relationships.  I am grateful that He has graced me with His touch, His love, His peace.

Father, I pray that You use me as You desire in touching others for Christ.  May I be the loving face, the gentle hands, the tender touch, the kind words, the compassionate heart towards each and all of those You place before me.  May I be Christ to those who have never met Him.  Take any fear away from me that keeps me from sharing the Good News that I know.  May I love as You love, Father.  In Your Son’s wonderful Name, I pray.  Amen.  

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Photo with Scripture:  from Heartlight.org Gallery – http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/2656.html

Isaiah 54 @ Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood

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I am participating in a Bible study of Isaiah 54 written and facilitated by Dawn Boyer from Journeys in Grace.  Dawn brings it to Soli Deo Sisterhood  where I like to spend some of my blogging time.  We are in week four.  There are three sections to the study.  Each one will conclude with a woman who epitomizes the verses we are studying.  Hannah is the woman who brings to life these first verses.

AD23 - BARREN WOMAN

Isaiah 54:1-4 ESV

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;

break forth into singing and cry aloud,

you who have not been in labor!

For the children of the desolate one will be more

than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,

and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;

do not hold back; lengthen your cords

and strengthen your stakes.

For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,

and your offspring will possess the nations

and will people the desolate cities.

“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;

be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;

for you will forget the shame of your youth,

and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

God commands me to sing, to enlarge the place of my tent, to spread out, and not to fear.  He calls for trusting Him in areas where I have insecurities, where I am full of fear, where I feel guilt, where I am self-conscious or selfish, where I am weak, where relationships have walls or hardening of the heart strings, where He calls me and I think I know better.

Dawn writes in Week One: “The reality is that we all have places where we are broken, barren, and full of fear.  Isaiah 54 is a song that was written for those moments in our lives when we need to be rescued, redeemed and restored.”

I am barren as far as having children.  I struggle with that at times, especially around Mother’s Day.  I actually do not go to church any more on Mother’s Day because the churches I have attended over the years hand out flowers to mothers, celebrating motherhood.  Church does not take into account those of us who are barren or who have lost a child in a miscarriage, having no other children.  I no longer go.

But my barrenness goes beyond childlessness as Dawn points out.  She has us look further into ourselves for areas where we feel barren, as of land which is too poor to produce much or any vegetation, a tree or plant unable to produce fruit or seed, places in one’s life that show no results, achievements, empty of meaning or value, or of a place or building that is bleak and lifeless (definition from dictionary).  When barrenness dwells in one, the fruit of the soul is nil, nada.  The life I live needs the refreshment from God’s Word, from drinking the Living Water of Jesus to grow and show the beautiful God-filled fruit.

Hannah was barren, childless.  She prayed through her struggles, her pain, her feelings of not good enough in the eyes of others.  She prayed silently and she prayed aloud.  God heard her words and answered.  God hears all my words too, even the ones that are filled with frustration or fear or other emotions.  But it is through my prayers that God takes the barren areas and blesses me.  I have faith that God hears me, just as Hannah did.  Trust and obedience take me to Jesus.  I must hear God and believe.  Trust is faith and faith is believing what I cannot see.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18  Reading His Word, spending time with my Creator, praying with the heart knowledge that He hears, listens, and answers.  God says in verse four that by being obedient to His commands, I will not be ashamed nor confounded not disgraced, and I will no longer remember any shame from my youth or reproach of widowhood.  Hallelujah!

As Hannah, I have to come before God fully trusting and obediently willing to His very call upon my life.  “Full faith in barren situations yields faith-filled abundant harvest.” (Dawn Boyer)

 

Father God, I come to you humbly in prayer.  I feel Your hand upon me.  In my love for You, the God Who hears me, I place my life in Your hands and trust You for the fruit of my life.  Teach me Your ways.  Guide me to dig up those places of barrenness and to not be afraid of them.  Bring an Aaron and a Hur alongside of me to hold my arms up when I grow weary, helping me enlarge the place of my tent, to stretch out my habitation, and not hold back.  May I lengthen my cords and strengthen my stakes, that my place be strong and wide and willing and open and trusting in You, my God and my Redeemer.  In the Strong Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

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Barren Woman by Adam Gatsi | Opal  @ http://ecentries.blogspot.com/2011/05/sing-barren-woman.html

Exhaling

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GO

This is my first Five Minute Friday and the word is EXHALE.

Today is the 4th of July. In the United States, that means celebrating the independence we won back in the Revolutionary War of 1775 – 1783.  It mean celebrating the freedoms afforded us living in this country.  It often means family barbecues, watching fireworks, going to the beach.

For me, today, my celebration of freedom is that I am able to exhale the things that are not of Christ, the pieces of me that do not look like Him.  I choose (because of this freedom) to exhale unforgiveness, anger, things that are not peaceful or gentle.  I exhale bitterness, frustration, unloving attitudes, words that come across as mean or sarcastic or hurtful.

I choose to exhale so that I may inhale the love of Christ and the peace that is mine in Him.  I choose to inhale Christ for He chose to exhale His last breath for me.

STOP

LORD, I thank You for setting me free from all the earthly things that hold me captive.  May I walk without the chains and yokes.  May I walk in Your Name and Your Name Alone.  I ask these in Your Name.  Amen.

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For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galatians 5:13

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom2 Corinthians 3:17

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.  1 Peter 2:16

Only In Him

identity_500

(The photo and the words below are from ibibleverses.  I could not say this any better.  The prayer is from my heart.)

 

The Word of God Says in Jesus Christ…

We are faithful

(Ephesians 1:1)

We are God’s child

(John 1:12)

We have been justified

(Romans 5:1)

We are Christ’s friend

(John 15:15)

We belong to God

(1 Corinthians 6:20)

We are a member of Christ’s Body

(1 Corinthians 12:27)

We are confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me

(Philippians 1:6)

We are a citizen of heaven

(Philippians 3:20)

We are hidden with Christ in God

(Colossians 3:3)

We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline

(2 Timothy 1:7)

We are blessed in the

heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing

(Ephesians 1:3)

We are adopted as his child

(Ephesians 1:5)

We are given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction

(Ephesians 1:5,8)

We are in Him

(Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

We have redemption

(Ephesians 1:8)

We are forgiven

(Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)

We have purpose

(Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)

We have hope

(Ephesians 1:12)

We are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit

(Ephesians 1:13)

We are God’s coworker

(2 Corinthians 6:1)

We are alive with Christ

(Ephesians 2:5)

We are raised up with Christ

(Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)

We are God’s workmanship

(Ephesians 2:10)

We are dead to sin

(Romans 1:12)

We are not alone

(Hebrews 13:5)

We are His disciple

(John 13:15)


LORD, I truly love learning more and more about You and am finding my identity, my identity in You, my Precious LORD.  You have given me every possible gift, drawing me to You.  Oh, how very grateful I am to You for all that You have done for me.  I was created by the hands of the Master Weaver in my mother’s womb.  I was whole then, perfectly woven, but was born into this fallen world.  Your sacrifice upon the Cross and my faith that You are The Resurrected Holy One have given me light and life.  I am whole once more in You.  Hallelujah!  I stand before You as I live this life and begin to understand this identity that I have in You.  Guide me as I take one step at a time, growing more and more like You.  I praise Your Holy Name.  Amen.

 

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Originally posted 2013-05-03 12:08:44 from http://ibibleverses.christianpost.com/bible-verses-images/our-identity-is-found-in-christ 

Psalm 133

Psalm 133

A Song of Ascents. Of David.
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!

It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Connie-Jones

Dwelling in unity is good and pleasant, precious and priceless, refreshing and a blessing.

It is through God’s love that we are able to live in unity.

It is by the grace of God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.  And be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-15

 

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Father, my prayer today is that we would live wholly as Your children, live as You want us to live…together in unity and in love.  I ask for Your forgiveness when we fight, bicker, hold jealousy, envy another, ignore or make fun of one of our own brothers or sisters.  I thank You for loving us so that we would be able to love each other.  I am grateful that You love me so very much.  May I spread Your love to those You place in my path.  May I give that which You call me to give whenever You ask me to do so.  I want to live in unity and am so very grateful for the blessed marriage You have given me, one where we truly do walk in unity.  He is not only my husband but my brother in Christ.  Praising You, Father.  I ask You to open our eyes and our ears that we would be obedient to You as You call us to live in unity.  What better way to show the world who Christians are, Who You are, Who Jesus is.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

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Calligraphy by Conni Jones done for Dr. Stephen L. Cook’s Psalms course @ Virginia Theological Seminary, found on his blog @ http://biblische.blogspot.com/2006/06/interpretation-of-psalm-133.html

Photo with Scripture: http://www.terilynneunderwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/DSC_0170.jpg

Honor – One Word

Honor button 2

Proverbs 22:4

By humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches and honor and life.  NKJV

The reward for humility and fear of the LORD
is riches and honor and life.  ESV

The reward of humility and the fear (reverence) of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.  NASB

Honor, my One Word for 2014…this verse in Proverbs points to rewards for behaving as God wants me to.  He wants humility from me… meekness, gentleness, lowly mind, modesty.  To walk humbly before the LORD also takes fear, I believe.  This fear looks like reverence, respect, obedience, submission to His discipline, worship of Him in awe.  God’s character is majestic, powerful, mighty, just, holy, good, merciful, never changing, and I have barely begun.  Because of Who He is, He is Who I am to bow before in complete awe.  His authority is due all respect and obedience.  He is God.  I honor Him with my all.  god-is-1440x900-horizontal

As I am humbled before my great God, I read that I can receive rewards.  They may come as earthly ones, but God has spiritual blessings for me as I learn to walk in His ways, in the humility which He calls me to walk.  Riches, His honor, promises and privileges by the covenant of grace, and eternal life are His to give to me.  Those are what I seek more than any thing, more than any one.  By this, I am honored.  I do receive His honor and love when I walk the path He calls for me.  There is a price for this honor and one I am most willing to give.

כָּבוֹד

kabowd

HONOR:

Honor means so much ~

glory

glorious

abundance

riches

splendor

dignity

reputation

reverence

 Father, I am honored to be able to come to You at any time, for I want to know You, and seek Your face.  I know, Father, that I am loved and Yours.  I so want to be the child I was created to be…obedient, lowly and gentle as Your Son, filled with respect.  I want these for myself, not for any rewards, but because I love You so dearly.  I want the earthly one here pecking away on this keyboard to be mindful of only You and not of me.  I am not of this earth any longer, but am Yours and a sojourner in this place.  Forgive me when I error off of Your path.  You know I need Your steering often.  You walk with me and I know that, LORD.  You hold me near and guide my steps, for which I am so very grateful.  I am loved for You loved me first.  In the Beautiful Name of Jesus.  Amen. 

We love Him, because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19

 

graphic:  http://charliessong.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/god-themes/

Praising My LORD with His Words

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Psalm 146

I praise, You, my Lord!

I praise You, my Lord, O my soul!

I will praise You as long as I live;

I will sing praises to You, my God, while I have my being.

I will not put my trust in princes,

in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;

on that very day his plans perish.

I am blessed for my help is the God of Jacob,

my hope is in the Lord, my God,

who made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them,

You keep faith forever;

You execute justice for the oppressed,

You give food to the hungry.

Lord, You set the prisoners free;

You open the eyes of the blind.

My Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

and You love the righteous.

You watch over the sojourners;

You upholds the widow and the fatherless,

but the way of the wicked You bring to ruin.

Lord, You will reign forever,

and be our God, O Zion, to all generations.

I praise the Lord!

Amen.

 

Psalm-146
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may
discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12: 1-2

May I present myself to You, my God, to You alone.   You teach me why and how I am to present myself to You and that is my desire, LORD.  Amen.

justnamesig

 

 

http://wallpaper4god.com/en/background_psalm-1462/

http://www.teach4god.com/OTS/category/daily-studies/psalms/

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