Friday, February 27, 2009

Spirit of Timidity

Good Morning,
I need to make a correction on my last blog, I wrote 1 Timothy 1, but it was actually 2 Timothy 1. Sorry for the typo. It's Friday! Whoo hoo!!! We get to have Ethan and Nolan tomorrow; can't wait. :))))
I want to continue in 2 Tim. 1: 7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." Even though this verse is short, I want to just concentrate on the first part: spirit of timidity. The dictionary describes timid as: very sensitive to real or imagined causes of fear, lacking self confidence.
I've often wondered how sensitive we should be about things in life. I've also come to the conclusion that 99.9% of things in this world are NOT about ME. So, if I'm sensitive to what other people say or do, why? Am I perceiving hurts that really aren't there? Am I taking on a responsibility for an emotion that I shouldn't have? If so, what can I do about that?
From the description, this" real or imagined" causes fear and lack of confidence. This verse tells us that fear isn't of God(timidity/fear). So where does fear come from? Well, we know that Satan wants us to fear, basically everything. If we are fearing, we are not trusting God. Fear holds us in bondage. But, WE ALLOW IT! We have choices.
Every time I choose to trust God (and tell Him so) I drive fear away; it has no hold on me. Therefore, I don't sin by fearing. Yes, sin. Lack of trust, is sin. Prov. 3:5,6 tells us to: "trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." This is a commandment. Don't you just love that verse? I've quoted it to myself for years and it brings such comfort in trying times.
So, what will you choice be this day? Will you trust when things are not what they need to be? Will you depend on your emotions, or God's Sovereign grace to see you through? It's all a matter of free will/choices.
God has proven Himself to me for almost 32 years of walking with Him. How can I throw that away by having a spirit of timidity now? If we add verse 6, it tells me to use the gifts He has given and let the results be His. I am to step out in power (next blog) and let Him direct my paths.

Stepping out with God,

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fan the Flame

What a beautiful sunny day the Lord has given. I trust you have been outside enjoying some of it. It was nice not to put on many layers of clothing/coat/scarf before walking Tucker today.
As I move through 1 Timothy 1, I want to look at vs. 6 today. I'm sure when people look at this verse they try to apply it to today, some of it anyway. "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands." In order to look at what Paul was telling Timothy to do, we have to look first at what Paul and the elders did by laying their hands on the young pastor.
1 Timothy 4:14 tells us: "Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you." Paul is telling Timothy in this verse to USE his gift. The Holy Spirit gives the gifts, but we need to exercise/use them.
Obviously a prophetic message was also given at this time with the elders. Because we now have the fully completed Bible, we don't need further revelations from God. Also, it wasn't the elders laying hands on Timothy that gave him the gifts, but by their mutual agreement they dedicated Timothy to the Lord's service.
I'm sure you've been in services where the elders/pastor's laid hands on someone and prayed over them. This is the same thing, only in Paul's day. Paul was helping Timothy to realize his God given potential and encouraging him to use it/them.
I think the term "fan the flame" is particular and we need to pay close attention to it. How does one "fan the flame"? I think by studying the Word, praying for God's guidance and help and serving, through obedience to the Word and service to God. In other words,"if we don't use it, we lose it".
Each time we study God's Word and apply it, we are "fanning the flame". When we are being obedient, we are adding "fuel" to the fire. How brightly is your flame? Is it a roaring bon fire, or still just a small "pilot light" ready to be ignited?

Treasuring the flame,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sincere Faith

I trust the Lord is showing you His mercy as you live each day, for Him. He is merciful, isn't He? I'm so glad that I don't get what my sins deserve. What a horrible thing to have hanging over my head every day if I didn't have His mercy. Praise the Lord; He is merciful!
I have moved on to 2 Timothy 1:5 today. "I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."
I didn't grow up with a spiritual heritage. My family are not saved, on either side, except for a couple of cousins (at least that I know of). We didn't attend a church that taught the gospel at all. When I came to faith I basically became a first generation Christian/believer.
Timothy had a fine heritage from two generations. He was brought up knowing scripture and serving the Lord. I'm sure that Paul saw in Timothy the makings of a great pastor/shepherd long before Timothy started his service. Paul was basically Timothy's "father in the faith" as he discipled the young man.
Not everyone on earth has this great heritage of learning about God/Christ/Holy Spirit. But, we can start. We can learn from God's Word, we can share out faith, we can live obedient lives that glorify God.
Timothy's faith was evident, not just to Paul, but others. Is your faith evident to others? I've attended churches as a believer for almost 32 years. In that time I'm met lots of people that you can tell immediately are believer's. Then there are people that even after knowing them for awhile, I'm still not sure where they stand.
Do people know that you're saved? Is it evident in your life, how you live every day, in the work place, while you're shopping, with friends/family? Do you have a sincere faith? If so, in what ways do you "live it"?

Living for Jesus,

Friday, February 20, 2009

Good Confession

Good Friday Morning,
Hope you are all well. With the weekend upon us, I'm sure you have plans set in place to enjoy every minute. I think I'll work on making some cards tomorrow. Chuck has a job meeting in the morning and prison ministry in the afternoon/eve. so he'll be gone all day.
Today is the last blog for 1 Tim. 6:11-12. We already looked at vs. 12 with "fight" and "take hold". In the last part of this verse it talks about the good confession that Timothy made. So let's begin. "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
What is it that Paul is saying to Timothy? I know it's an encouragement to this young man. There were problems in Timothy's church where he was the elder/pastor. Paul is giving Timothy a "pep" talk to keep him fighting the good fight amidst outside teaching, that's being brought into the church and causing divisions. Paul was telling Timothy to hold on to his faith even though there was trouble swirling around him.
I remember being young and even though I knew things, I didn't have the confidence to speak up or assert what I believed (that's obviously changed :))). I can imagine Timothy feeling like he was being out gunned in his own church. In steps Paul.
What Paul was basically doing was taking Timothy back to the time that he made his profession of faith, in Christ Jesus. He was centering the young man where he needed to keep his focus: on Jesus Christ, Him crucified, dead and risen. Focus. I've used that word with myself many times and shared it with others that I saw struggling in their life.
Everything should be about God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, not us. When we center "us" on Him, we are able to serve, live as He desires with all the benefits that He pours out on us when we are surrendered to Him. If you finish reading verses 13-16, you'll see what I mean.
So, where are you in your walk with Him? Is He the center of your life? When "life" plagues you, do you concentrate on Him and let Him fight your battles? He desires your total dependence on Him, for everything. This opens the door for Him to work in you and through you.
Troubles come, troubles go, but He is God and He will see you through, everything, so that you come out a little more "gold" on the other side. Try it, you might like it!

Focused on Him,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Take Hold

Good Morning All,
We had a busy end of the week with Lynn and boys coming. Such a nice visit and I got lots of "grandma" time in, holding, burping, playing with Nate. On Sat. our son and family came also, so got to visit and see Ethan and Nolan's Valentine gifts. We exchanged cards and celebrated Valentines Day very nicely.
As I look at the portion of scripture we're going to study today, I think that it's not terribly complicated, but very important. We're still in 1 Tim. 6: 12b "Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
What I want to look at is the two words at the beginning of this sentence: take hold. They seem to be simple words, but an imperative. It's telling us what to do, but it has a stronger emphasis than we first notice. This take hold means to: work to gain.
So, what does that mean you ask? It means that we are to study God's Word, understand it and then manifest (apply) it in our daily life. That seems simple, doesn't it. For many it is because they are dedicated to study God's Word diligently. For others, it means when they have time, when they think about it, just at get the idea.
I don't normally do a book review, but I've been reading a really good book by Dr. Gary Smalley: I PROMISE. I've read other books he's written and liked them very well. He takes a biblical, no nonsense approach to life. Basically he teaches that God's Word tells us how to live and we need to "hide it in our hearts" and apply it.
He talks mostly about marriage, but it can easily be applied to any individual and should be a must read for everyone on the planet. He uses scripture to back up what he's teaching, plus how he's applied these principles in his own life. The best part for me: it makes common sense. I've already seen good things to apply to my own life and have started to implement them and seen results.
In closing, what do you do with what God teaches you? Do you read His Word diligently and apply it? Do you really study it, or just read a little and move on through your day, forgetting what you read?
We have one more part of this portion that I want to study next time, then I'll move on. I've enjoyed this study immensely and I hope you have too. Remember: hide God's Word in your heart so that you don't sin against Him (Ps. 119:11).

Hiding His Word,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fight the good fight of faith

Another beautiful sunny day. It sure makes running errands easier when the weather is nice. Nothing much going on here, just another day.
We've finally moved on to verse 12 of 1 Tim. 6 "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
What I want to concentrate on today is: fight the good fight of faith. Have you ever felt that you're in a battle? That just picking up the Bible to study takes a conscience effort? Do you feel like applying what you learn takes work? That you find that you don't always have the strength to put into practice what you learn? That the troubles that come derail your purpose and sap your strength? Join the crowd!
Life has a way of insinuating itself into everything of God. Busyness keeps us from picking up the Word in the morning because we have to get ready for work, school, whatever. By the time night comes, we're too tired. We have a family to feed, kids to give baths to, etc. How many times have you fallen asleep while praying? Thankfully you are at least in the Father's arms!
Here's what I think it means to fight the good fight of faith. I have to get my focus on Him. I schedule Him and studying/praying/devotions into my schedule. Many are saying, you don't "do" anything, so why do you have a schedule? Being sick takes work to keep from getting worse, improving or just maintaining. Enough of me.
The point is, that I schedule my time with the Lord. I plan for it every day. For me, I have more time to spend with Him, but the length isn't what He wants, it's your FOCUS on Him instead of self/life.
Satan will do anything to derail your time with Him. He will try to make you forget what you learn from the Word. He will bring problems before you so that when you are tested for what you did learn, he tries to make you fail. It is a fight, but the Lord has already won the battle.
In other words: we have to work to gain.
Do you want to gain? Do you try to focus on God, not self/life, etc.? Do you fight the good fight? If not, why not? He gives His all for us, what do you give Him? Surrendering yourself to Him for salvation is one thing, living for Him is another. Fighting means surrender of will, time, energy, thoughts, money: self.
Fight the good fight of faith because God will reward you greatly, in the present life and in eternity.


Monday, February 9, 2009


What a wonderful weather pattern we are in! We spent Sat. with Lynn's family and the temps were in the low 70's. Today it's 60+. We had a great day seeing how much the twins have changed in 1 month and playing with Nate. It was a little hard for him to see me holding one twin and not playing with him. Time to grow up.....just a little:)))
Today's word is: gentleness. The dictionary tells us: mild, sensitively light, not strong or violent. Synonym words are: gracious, kind, meek, merciful, tender. I would say that every description adds up to one word: Jesus.
Other scripture that uses this word, besides 1 Tim. 6:11 are: 2 Tim. 2:24 "And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." 1 Thess. 2:7 teaches "but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." James 3:17 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." I could end with all the verses because they preach a good message. But, I think I'll add some thoughts.
Remember we are to pursue gentleness. I know for sure that when we lose our tempers, we are not gentle. When we seek our own way to the hurt of someone else, we are not gentle. I think of the twins, babies that are helpless to defend themselves. We take good care of them and are gentle, even when we're tired. We are the adult and exert the extra measure to achieve gentleness.
Why is it when we get older, that gentleness isn't part of our thinking process? The society tells us that we need to live life our way. What about God's way? When Jesus came to earth, He was gentle, meek, kind.....If we use His example for living, we too will have these attributes guiding us through our days.
That doesn't mean our days will always be wonderful, because not everyone is gentle. The store clerk who slams your goods into the bag and keeps glancing at their watch is not gentle. The parent who slaps their child, oblivious to how it may hurt the child. A word spoken in anger that we later wish we hadn't spoken. The list goes on, doesn't it?
So, what will you do with gentleness? Will you manifest it in your life? Will you seek to be gentle even in trying circumstances? For me, the only way I can be gentle to others is to surrender my will/life to God and let Him work in me and through me, for His glory.

Striving to be gentle,

Friday, February 6, 2009


Isn't this warmer weather just wonderful? I took Tucker to get a bath today. At least she didn't have to get into a cold car. Yesterday she had a seizure. It's the second one she's had since we got her 51/2 years ago. The last one was almost a 2 years ago. This one lasted longer and I think she had some pain because she didn't want me to touch her head when she was finally back to "normal". It was a bit traumatic. I could see she didn't understand what was happening to her. Today she's up and running like normal though, chasing her ball and visiting the various smells around the pond where we walk.
As we revisit 1 Timothy 6:11-12 our next word is: endurance. This word means: long suffering. The dictionary tells us: the capacity to keep going or to put up with pain, hardship. In our Tuesday Bible study we are in Colossians. The word patience is tied with endurance. Patience means: endurance when circumstances are difficult. This is the opposite of despondency (pity party).
Patience is an important characteristic of a maturing Christian. Romans 5:3-4 tells us: "tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance proven character; and proven character, hope." Patience is endurance in action.
Then, there's long suffering which means: self-restraint and is the opposite of revenge (God says that's His to do). Patience has to do with circumstances but long suffering has to do with people. If you remember Gal. 5:22, long suffering (patience) is a fruit of the Spirit. In 2 Peter 3:9, God is long suffering toward people because of His love and grace. 2 Corinthians 6:4-6 tells us long suffering is the mark of a true Christian of Jesus Christ.
When we were overseas, a friend came to help with a camp. She remarked that Chuck and I were so patient with everyone. Obviously we hadn't been before:))). We learned many things on the mission field and patience was one of those things.
Back to endurance. In life there are situations that we find ourselves having to endure. It might be a problem with someone else, or something that's happened to us that we have no control over, or whatever. We are suffering, having to endure.
What I've found is that I have to surrender the situation/person/problem to God and let Him take care of it. Otherwise I end up angry, frustrated and the end result is I sin. I don't have any right to "ME", but God does. I can't force my "rights", but God can work His will. I just have to surrender my will and the problem to Him and let Him work. For sure He will deal with the situation far better than me.


Thursday, February 5, 2009


Good Morning All,
I've been a little tired, so am just getting back into the swing of things. We're going to see our daughter's family on Sat. Can't wait to hold the babies again! I need my grandma fix. We were able to see our son's family last Sat. and got that "fix".
When I think of love, I think of God's unconditional love for us. We definitely don't deserve His love, but because it's an attribute of His character, He loves, no matter what. As people we choose to love unconditionally, or not. I know how hard it is to love when someone is being terrible towards us. I also know that I'm not always lovable to others, even though I always try to be.
I grew up with conditional love, so when the Lord saved me and gave me His UNconditional love, He enabled me to love others the same way. Sometimes I have to pray for that ability to love as He desires me to. As I trust Him to help me, He does and I can remain loving, unconditionally.
1 Corinthians 13 is the "love" chapter in the Bible. Paul states it all so wonderfully. So, after you read those few short verses, come join me.....Verses 1-3 tells us what love is NOT. 4-8a tells us what love IS. 8b-9 again tells us what love isn't and then switches to showing both sides in the last verses.
Love is a choice and a verb/action. We have to decide in our hearts whether to love someone or not. We choose our spouses, when to have children (mostly:))). Where to live and what jobs to have; what church to attend. But love, I think is the most important choice, AFTER choosing Christ to be our Savior and surrendering our will, for His.
So, what will you do? When people aren't nice, when life is too difficult to even feel any kind of love, what will you decide? Do you look for ways to find "fault" in them? I know from experience that when I choose to love unconditionally, God provides the "feeling" to go along with the fact and that He blesses ME, and hopefully the other person as well.
We don't have to like what people do, but we do need to love others unconditionally. The biggest reason is: GOD LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY. We need to honor Him in this way too.

Choosing to love unconditionally,