Leaks

Leaks

When I was growing up, we lived in a house that had a basement.  There were cracks in the foundation, so every time we got a heavy rain, there would be water in the basement.

We can have leaks in our own lives.  We can have a crack in our spiritual foundation, and not even know it…….until the storm comes.  We may have neglected to build a strong foundation, and so when the storms of life roll in, we are like the house built on the sand, and we feel swiftly washed away. (Matthew 7:26-27)

Ephesians 6 gives us some guidelines for building a strong foundation:
1.  Realize that our struggle is not against flesh and blood.
2.  Put on the armor of God.  Know who you are in Christ.
3.  Put on the belt of truth.  Know God’s truth so that it can set you free.
4.  Put on the breastplate of righteousness so that you will act out what you know God’s truth to be, rather than acting out of your feelings and emotions.
5.  Put on your gospel shoes.  Learn to walk as a peacemaker, and be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have. (I Peter 3:15)
6.  Take up your shield of faith.  It will protect you from Satan’s arrows….even those arrows that come through words spoken by people. (Isaiah 54:17)
7.  Put on the helmet of salvation so that you are able to take captive every thought, and have the mind of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5; I Corinthians 2:16)
8.  Take the sword of the Spirit with you.  We can’t always have our Bible with us, so it’s important to know what it says.  That means we must take time to read the Word, meditate on it, and memorize it.  When we face a ‘storm,’ we won’t have to worry about leaks because we have the Word stored in our hearts, ready to guide us and protect us.

Do you need to fix some leaks places in your foundation?

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

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Breaching the Wall

In light of Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, I thought this blog post was very insightful.

Heaven Bound

 Image result for walls breached  

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the son of man. For in the days before the flood, people were eatinganddrinking,  marrying and giving in marriage until the flood came and took them all away.”  Matthew 24: 37-39

Mark this day on your calendars – and mourn – for it is a day from which there is no turning back.

It can be no coincidence that the landmark decision to approve same-sex marriage in all 50 states was publicly announced on June 26, the 9thofTammuz.  The millennia old Judeo-Christian concept of marriage between one man and one woman giving away to the collective “wisdom” of 5 individuals – who call themselves supreme. In one day, the bedrock of society, the family structure as set apart by God and nature has been sweptaway

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God’s Judgment is Coming!

As I got online this morning, I opened an email from my daughter.  She sent me Psalm 2, which I thought was very interesting to read after yesterday’s ruling by SCOTUS on gay marriage.

Psalm 2

Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

What I found even more telling is that when I was looking at some other things online, I found that SAME portion of scripture on TWO different sites.  So in less than ONE HOUR, I saw the above scripture THREE TIMES.  When you look at how three represents completion in the scriptures, it looks to me as if the Lord is saying that this world’s “thumbing their noses” at his is reaching a time of completion, and soon He is going to rebuke them and pour out His wrath.

Lady In Waiting

Lady in Waiting

We spend much of our time waiting.  We wait in line at the grocery store, we wait on traffic jams or trains, and we can be forced to wait when a receptionist puts us on hold.  Sometimes we find ourselves waiting on test results from the doctor.  Sometimes our waiting can be as simple as waiting on our modem to connect us to the Internet.  I don’t know too many people who enjoy the waiting process.

How do we react when God doesn’t respond to our requests in a quick fashion?  Do we tend to want to “fix” the problem ourselves?  Do we jump in and intervene, thinking that He isn’t listening?  Do we try to “help” the answer come to pass?  Sarah did this.  By using the wisdom of this world, she just knew that God needed some help in giving Abraham an heir.  In “helping” God, she ended up getting a mistress who despised her.  Not only that, I believe that she had some marital trouble as well.  In Gen. 16:5, she told Abram that he was the one responsible for the current predicament.  While scripture doesn’t go into much detail on this conversation, beyond Abram telling Sarah to do with Hagar what she desired, I can’t picture Abram being totally gracious in receiving her harsh words.  Try to picture your husband if you spoke such harsh words to him!

Rebekah decided to help Jacob in stealing the blessing from Esau.  What a lady of integrity!  She was very deceptive and sneaky in her tactics.  This wasn’t some spur of the moment scheme.  She had it well planned out, all the way down to the nitty-gritty details of how to carry out her plan.  She relied on the wisdom of this world, rather than on God’s wisdom which gives knowledge and understanding.  (Prov. 2)  When Jacob stole the blessing, she might have been quite pleased with herself for about two minutes.  Then, reality set in.  She saw the intense rage and hatred that rose up within Esau.  Later, she heard of Esau’s plans to kill Jacob.  The son she longed to help was now a living as a fugitive on the run.  Rebekah not only had to deal with the guilt and condemnation of her conniving actions, but now she lost her dear son.  When Jacob was able to return over two decades later, Rebekah was dead.  I wonder what would have happened in this situation if she had only waited on the Lord, instead of trying to help…..

The next time you are faced with waiting on the Lord, remember these words from Ps. 27.  “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  (NIV)

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Juicy Fruit

Juicy Fruit

I love the times of year when fruit is in season.  It is so much tastier.  The color is more vivid and appealing.  It is so delightful to bite into a luscious, red strawberry.  I will literally savor that piece of juicy fruit.

Have you ever met a godly person that just radiated with the glory of God?  They are a great example of a person whose fruit is a tree of life. (Proverbs 11:30)  Much like the way edible fruit gets our attention with its vivid appearance, these people command our attention with their glorious countenance.  They speak wise words which we can savor, much like savoring a piece of tasty watermelon.  They bubble over with the joy of the Lord.  We find ourselves delighted to be in their presence, partaking of the juicy fruit that resides within them.

We are all to be full of juicy fruit. (Matthew 7:17-18; John 15:8) But how do we cultivate a heart that can bear such desirable, and juicy, fruit?

1. Don’t walk in the counsel of the wicked. (Psalm 1:1)  A practical way to implement this is to quit reading secular books on marriage and parenting.  Instead, find out what God has to say on these subjects.
2. Don’t stand in the way of sinners. (Psalm 1:1)  As you walk into the break room at work, if they are discussing some inappropriate topics, leave the room.
3. Don’t sit in the seat of mockers. (Psalm 1:1)  A great example of putting this to work is by refusing to watch the myriad of television shows that mock our Lord.  Many times, these shows will mock the role of the father.  If we want our children to show respect to their father, we must guard their hearts from seeing the father mocked on television.
4. Delight in God’s law. (Psalm 1:2) If you have a hard time delighting in reading the Word, ask God to give you a deep hunger for His Word, and ask Him to help you see wonderful things in His law. (Psalm 119:18)
5. Meditate on His Word. (Psalm 1:2) As you read the Word, sometimes you won’t need to read very much before you find the Holy Spirit dealing with your heart.  Write down the verse, and carry it with you, looking at it several times throughout the day.
6. Remain in Jesus. (John 15:4) Dedicate yourself to seeking Him daily.  I choose to spend the early morning hours with the Lord, however, when Rachel was a baby, it was easier to have that quiet time during her naps or right after I put her to bed in the evening.  Find what works best for you.
7. Let God’s Word remain in you. (John 15:7) When you face new situations, ask yourself, what would God want me to do?  By acknowledging Him, you will often find that the Word you have planted in your heart will guide you quickly in doing the right and honorable thing.

Following these seven steps will cause you to be like a tree planted by the river, yielding fruit in season, and whose leaf doesn’t wither. (Psalm 1:3)

Not only will you bear much fruit, but you will bring much glory to your Heavenly Father.
(John 15:8)

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Homework

Homework

Some of you may ask why I bring up this subject when school is out for summer break.  I’m not referring to school work, but to our work in the home.  Titus 2:4-5 gives us an assignment for our home work.  It says that we are to love our husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, also to be busy at home, kind, and subject to our husbands so that the no one will malign the Word of God.

I am going to be sharing a lot from my personal experience in trying to live out the above scripture.  It was not an easy transformation, and I still have struggles at times, but it is an assignment that I am willing to continue doing because I have seen the fruits of putting it into action.  I hope that some of you are able to learn from my mistakes.

1.   We are to be busy at home.  (Titus 2:5)  As a new mom, who was used to working full time, this was really hard for me.  I craved time with adults.  Often, if I wasn’t leaving to go visit a friend, I was at least spending a large amount of time on the phone talking to friends.  While it’s not bad to converse with friends, many times I found that the conversations were going in a direction that wasn’t good.  Yes, I admit it, we were gossiping.  (I really don’t like that word!)

I was feeling isolated, trying to stay at home.  Part of the reason I was isolated was because I was out of God’s will.  The Bible tells us that we are to be busy at home, not to be busybodies!  The isolation was because I wasn’t obeying what God said.  As I began to read Proverbs and several books about women’s issues, it was becoming so clear to me that I was out of God’s will in several areas.  To try and stay home more was going to take a lot of work!  I began to ask the Lord to help me learn to be content at home (in all circumstances).  Phil. 4:11

2.   We are to love our husbands and our children.  (Titus 2:4)  To do this, you can’t be running on empty all the time.  I found that I was leaving home to go shopping or going to garage sales on a frequent basis.  There’s nothing wrong with doing these things, but if they become our focus, we get ourselves into trouble.  I found that on the days when I did so much running around, Rachel and I were both cranky.  We were both tired and I was very stressed.  I have found that running errands or going shopping are big users of my energy!  When evening came, I didn’t feel motivated to fix a big meal, nor did I feel like being too kind to my husband.  I wanted him to come in and take care of Rachel so that I could have a break!  It sure wasn’t a good way to show love to him or Rachel.  I’m sure that it often left him feeling like he was being taken for granted.  As I continued to pray for God to help me learn to be content to stay at home, I quickly saw that on the days when we did stay home, the atmosphere was MUCH more peaceful for all of us.  My stress level greatly decreased.  It quickly became my heart’s desire to be home as much as I could.

3.   Be self-controlled.  (Titus 2:5)  If we aren’t self-controlled, then our home work is going to haphazard at best.  I saw in Prov. 1 that the Proverbs were written for attaining wisdom and discipline, for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right.  I want to focus on the word “prudent.”  It refers to one who is exercising sound judgment in practical matters, who is cautious in conduct, and manages carefully.

I had begun to spend more time at home, but was feeling no real sense of purpose, beyond changing diapers, being a built in milk factory, and personal laundry attendant.  As I pondered on the word “prudent,” I came up with the idea of checking out the prices at several grocery stores.  I found out that I had been shopping at the most expensive store in town.  To use “sound judgment in practical matters,” I began to revise how I did my grocery shopping.  I was very quickly able to save us at least $20 to $60 a week.  I found a real sense of purpose in what I was doing.  I saw that I was putting some principles from Prov. 31 into practice by doing my husband “good, and not harm.”  I saw that my “trading” was profitable because it was stretching the money which my husband was earning.  I had a new sense of purpose and a joy in my heart because I knew that I was starting to live out more of the principles found in the Word.

4.   We are to be kind and pure.  (Titus 2:5)  I found that part of putting this into practice was by being cautious in friendship.  (Prov. 12)  Going again to the word prudent, we are to be cautious in our conduct.  I knew some people who were constant gossips, one of whom was constantly talking about her husband in a bad way.  It wasn’t like she talked about him to get me to keep him in prayer, but she just felt the need to give him a tongue-lashing, even when he wasn’t present.  I was striving to be kind and pure in my walk with the Lord, so I quickly began to find different friends.  I didn’t need a “friendship” that was going to suck the spiritual life out of me in just a matter of minutes.

Another way of being cautious in friendship is just by being mindful of how much time you spend with your friends.  You don’t want to cause your friend problems in her own family by the amount of time which she is spending with you.  I still visit my friends, mainly because it gives my only child a chance to play with other children.    Even then, we don’t do it more than once every 7-10 days.  The Lord has helped me to achieve a good balance there.  I also picked friendships that were like “iron sharpening iron,” mentioned in Prov. 27:17

5.   We are to be subject to our husbands.  (Titus 2:5)  Part of being subject to our husbands is learning to do what pleases them.  I don’t know of any man who desires to come home to a house that is dirty or cluttered.  Going back to being prudent, one who manages her home carefully is going to be one who manages to stay home to see that the work gets done.  Every day there needs to be a time set aside for tidying up the house before our husbands get home.  We also need to be mindful of how hard they work to make an income.  That requires sacrifice on our part at times — like staying away from the malls.  They are often a deceptive tactic of the enemy to cause us to be filled with discontentment.

6.  We are to teach what is good.  (Titus 2:3)  We are to be diligently teaching and training our children.  We are to be instructing them in righteousness.  I found that as I learned to stay at home more, I had much more energy, not to mention more time, to teach Rachel about the Lord.  We still often talk about God while we are running errands, but we are also spending a lot more time reading devotions together.  At bedtime, we are getting into the habit of reading the Word before we go to sleep.

Proverbs 19:16 tells us that she who obeys instruction guards her life.  The instruction for me, as a stay at home wife and mother was becoming much clearer.  (Although I haven’t really even touched the surface of it in this message.)  As I began to put this into daily practice, I found a new joy and contentment in my heart.  Granted, we aren’t at home all the time, but our days of errand running are down to only one or two days a week now, instead of three to four days.  I have much more energy for the tasks that are before me.

Yes, ladies, we have much home work to do, and if we allow God to teach us how to do it His way, we will find that godliness with contentment is GREAT gain.  (I Tim. 6:6)  This kind of home work may not earn us a diploma, but it may earn us these words:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Joyful Contentment

Joyful Contentment

How many times do we struggle with being content?   We are so bombarded by things of this world that we can easily be led down the  path of discontentment.  We are told that we need to color our hair a certain way so that we can feel young and vibrant.  We need to have fine clothing so we can feel pretty.  We need to join a weight loss group so that we can have the perfect figure, therefore making us voluptuous.  We need a certain car or we just aren’t living the good life.  The cycle never ends.  If we aren’t careful to guard our hearts, (Prov. 4:23) we will fall into the snare of believing these deceptive tactics of Hollywood.  If we fall prey to these beliefs, we will quickly be spending hard-earned money on things which don’t satisfy.

Come, you who are thirsty.  Come, you who have no money.  Buy food and drink without cost.  Why spend money on what is not bread?  Why spend your labor on what doesn’t satisfy?  God says to listen to Him and eat what is good.  If we do, our soul will delight in the richest of fare.  If we take time to hear the Lord, our soul will live.  (Is. 55:1-3)

When we are faithful to come before God and listen to Him, we won’t be easily snared into believing the ads that we see everywhere.  Hollywood’s version of beauty, fulfillment, and happiness will hold no appeal for us because we have found what truly satisfies.  We will discover that the Lord causes us to go out with joy and to be led forth with peace.  (Is. 55:12)  Now that’s a frame of mind which no amount of money could ever buy!

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

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