And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
"Only be thou strong and very courageous."-Joshua 1:7
Our God's tender love for His servants makes Him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be of good courage. Some esteem it a small thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears, but God thinks not so. From this text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears.
by Steve Arterburn
“Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.” – Titus 1:7
A good deal of human anger springs from selfishness. A man may get angry with his father for not including him in the business; with his wife for not serving the dinner he expected; with his daughter for telephoning in at midnight for a ride home from a party; or with his son for not weeding the garden when he wanted it done.
In the book entitled, Caring Enough to Confront, David Augsburger describes this self-centered anger as “a demand that also demands others meet your demands.” Simply put, self-centered anger erupts when you don’t get what you want, when you want it.
Self-centered anger isn’t what Jesus expressed. He didn’t get angry when someone snubbed Him, but he did when someone cast a slur on His Father or treated others unjustly. He wasn’t ticked at the money-changers for offending Him but for desecrating His Father’s house and disrupting the worship of His people. Jesus never got angry at the wrongs done to Him—including the ultimate wrong—His crucifixion. Instead, He forgave.
We all struggle with self-centered anger. And when we compare ourselves to Jesus, we must learn to call this type of anger what it is: sin. (Remember though, not all anger is sin.) Ask God for forgiveness and ask Him to help you to practice the habit of examining your motives when you become angry so that you can discern self-centeredness from God-centeredness.
“Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.” – Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)
"The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."-John 1:14
Believer, You can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say, "He is divine to me, if He be human to all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a God could do.
Matt Appling is a former child artist turned art teacher, pastor and writer. His work is helping children and adults in creative and spiritual pursuits.
His first book, Life After Art, was released by Moody Publishers April 2013 and explores the intersection of life, faith, and becoming the people God made us to be. Matt can be found every week at his blog.
Can I confess something?
I struggle with contentment. That one word is the probably the most elusive in my life. Everyone has something that constantly evades and escapes them in their life. Contentment is mine.
It isn’t that I’m not thankful. No, this is a struggle that makes me wonder if I’m doing enough, if God is happy with me, if my life means something. It makes my brain click on in the middle of the night and says, “Wake up, Matt! You’re a failure!” No joke. My brain thinks 3 am is the best time to dissect all of my life decisions.
It isn’t that I’m not content with my life or my family.
I struggle to be content with myself.
And the more I confess it, the more I discover that I’m not alone. I find good friends at church who are secretly afraid that they have wasted their lives. I find people at work or new acquaintances online who just don’t think they’re good enough.
In fact, I don’t have to go any further than the art classroom where I teach to find all the discontentment in the world.
Let’s see, who’s coming in? Fifth graders. Perfect.
These fifth graders are so different than they were in first grade or kindergarten. Their cares and worries have multiplied. They no longer look at themselves through the lens of how God sees them, but through the lens of how their peers see them. Everything is image.
And for such big kids, they seem so helpless. Not like the five-year-olds.
The boys don’t think they are talented enough. Some of them scribble around on the paper, deflecting attention from their perceived inadequacies by performing below their talents.
And the girls…the girls are much more verbal. They put themselves down so much, it breaks my heart to hear them. The girls at this age spend so much time putting themselves down, criticizing themselves. Their souls are hunched over, weighed down with self-doubt and every kind of anxiety imaginable.
And in a few short years, they will be adults like you and me, still struggling to be content with themselves, still lacking the confidence to go and act boldly in the world because they don’t think they are good enough.
I ask them to stop working.
“Where does all of our talent come from?” I ask.
“God,” they answer.
“God,” they answer.
“If God made us, and gave us all of the talents that He wanted us to have…” I pause a little, “How much sense can it make to complain about how God made us, to tell God that He didn’t do a good enough job?”
And suddenly, I realize that I’m preaching a little sermon that I desperately need to hear myself. Another one. Really, every little message and pep talk and sermon I’m giving the kids is something that I’ve forgotten how to live and am trying to re-learn, one baby step at a time. Along with these children, I’m trying to slowly realize that we have enough, we are enough. We are exactly what God wanted us to be. We just have to discover how God actually created us in the first place.
Reaching that discovery of how God created us is what Life After Art is all about. It’s the journey I’m taking, and I hope you’ll take it with me. Let’s recover the life and faith we were created to live, by rediscovering the children we used to be.
by Steve Arterburn
"In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." - Ephesians 4:26-27
By definition, anger is a temporary emotional arousal that occurs, is handled, and recedes in a matter of minutes, or at most, a few hours. Anger that’s allowed to fester and seethe for days, weeks, months, or years is very unhealthy.
by Steve Arterburn
"For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness.”
2 Peter 1:5-6
People who are angry without knowing why express their anger in unhealthy and destructive ways. This type of anger is called free-floating anger, because there’s not an obvious cause.
“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”
Embrace the abundance mentality. Give yourself credit for all your accomplishments each day. Dwell on the joy of your child's achievements, your own success and your dreams, whatever they are. Let go of the guilt so that you can thrive. Remember, you are a great mother, father, spouse, lover, employee, and friend.
Perhaps you can relate to something I experienced earlier. Someone looked at me, snorted, and bore an expression which suggested I was rather peculiar. This attitude changed when I was viewed as a useful commodity. It rather annoyed me. I did, though, suddenly think of Jesus and how often He must have experienced this and how unlikely it was that He'd have reacted as I did.
How surely gravity's law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world...
This is what the things can teach us:
patiently to trust our heaviness.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
“The greatest need in the world today is faith in God and courage to do his will” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay).
"No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:51-62 If we spend too much time looking back at what you should have done, could have done, would have done - you are not ready to move forward. In the emotional sense we're not fit. One day I realized that every moment I spend thinking about what I could have or should have done is a lost opportunity.
To view your life as blessed does not require you to deny your pain. It simply demands a more complicated vision, one in which a condition or event is not either good or bad, but is, rather, both good and bad, not sequentially, but simultaneously.
This post will consist of excerpts from a few articles that I have been reading.
From Bloody Utopian Dreams Part 3 (I have the 3 part article in the QNO Library Page):
Consider the First National Environmental Teach-In, which was held on April 22, 1970, and was the event that sparked today's annual Earth Day celebrations. As an aid to this American-wide transformative event, a special book was prepared to equip teachers and students in their quest to live peacefully with the Earth.
Pick your battles.
Count to five before you speak.
Look beyond what you see.
Rescue an animal.
Keep your word.
Choose your words with care.
Dance to your own music.
Listen with your heart.
Honor your family.
Respect your elders.
We often build stories in our mind which have not based on reality. These images are based on a relatively limited sense of understanding about a particular subject or person. This is a “fill in the blank” reality, which often shows itself into the hearts and the minds of those who have a “fill in the blank” mindset, not the person with the here said reality.
The universe is designed in a way that reflects itself, just like a mirror, showing you exactly who you are to yourself, not who others are. Your largest and most concealed insecurities have their way of presenting themselves to you.
This post is a reminder that your preconceived notions on a particular subject or person are a consequence of your inner mind and emotional-relational well being and not of others. This is an area in which you need to have insight to carefully watch who and what you create with your personal thoughts.
Having a good sense of awareness will lead you to a better understanding of the truth in life.
‘Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.’
This is the true story of May Lemke, a Milwaukee woman who believed and wouldn't give up, and what the power of love can do.
May raised five children with her first husband. When she was 52 years old, May and her second husband, Joseph, adopted a 6-month-old baby boy who was sightless, severely mentally handicapped, with cerebral palsy.
There is no confusion when it comes to love;
Because its source comes from a place, an eternal paradise, up above.
It will never make you a prisoner, or a poor man;
In fact, love in its purest form will free you, and of evil, from your heart, BAN.
Love brings an inexplicable peace;
It is longlasting...never on time, or leased.
How would you define power? We associate power with people who are celebrities, media kings, millionaires, etc.We look up to them, which is human nature.
For me, the ultimate power is the power of our soul.It is so powerful, if only we keep our faith strong continuously fight on and never give up on our dreams! We have the power to change our thoughts, the power to take a stand about something we strongly believe in, the power to continue believing in our Destiny, even during troubled times.
Ruth Hardy Funk
“Each one of us has a specific destiny, which God intends we shall receive according to our faithfulness. He has a place for each of us and prepares us each day to receive it if we are worthy. Everything in our lives is there for a purpose, and that purpose is to prepare us. . . . Be ye ready to receive, and the Lord will pour down his blessings upon you, making it possible for you to realize your divine destiny.”
(Ruth H. Funk, “Ready to Receive,” 28 May 1974, Brigham Young University Speeches)
When the Holy Ghost teaches us, He too relies much on human memory. John Donne said that, “the Holy-Ghost takes the nearest way to bring a man to God, by awaking his memory,” since “memory is oftener the Holy Ghosts Pulpit.” (Janel M. Mueller, ed., Donne’s Prebend Sermons [Harvard University Press, 1971], p. 33.)
This “memory or sense of history should reach back not just a few decades but to the very beginning—even way back to the stated purposes of the Lord with regard to this whole mortal experience. There are, for instance, certain scriptures which, as John Donne observed of certain “imperial psalms,” “spread themselves over all occasions.” Certain scriptures, such as the following, are so linked to the purposes of God’s plan of salvation and this life that they “spread themselves over all occasions.”