The Restraining Order

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The Restraining Order

We are admonished in James to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.  When tempers are flared and emotions are flying high, it’s nearly impossible to follow this command.  Sometimes we need a spiritual restraining order put on our mouths.

When dealing with different issues where a conversation needs to take place, it’s important to remember that the first thing we should do is pray.  There are several things we can pray before approaching the other person, be it our husband or someone else.
1.  Pray for God to adjust your attitude so that you aren’t bitter and full of angry, hurtful words when you do speak.
2.  Pray for the Lord to season your words with His grace and to tenderize your tongue before you speak.
3.  Pray for the Lord to direct you in the timing of bringing up the issue.
4.  Pray that both parties will not be sidetracked by bringing up past hurts.
5.  Pray for both parties to be receptive to hear out the other person.
6.  Pray for a quick and speedy resolve that is agreeable to both parties.
7.  Pray for there not to be any resentment or bitter feelings once the conversation has taken place.

It is important to remember that while we may speak our mind, we must be careful to mind our manners in the process!

There are many reasons why it’s good for the Lord to put a restraining order on our mouths.
1.  When we speak too much, sin is often close behind.
(Prov. 10:19)
2.  A harsh word can stir up anger. (Prov. 15:1)
3.   We can be like the fool who gushes folly.  (Prov. 15:2)
4.  Sometimes our tongue can speak deceitful things.  (Prov. 15:4)
5.  In our anger and hurt, we can speak death to a relationship.  (Prov. 18:21)

When the restraining order is in place, there can be positive results:
1.  We will be wise and learn to hold our tongues. (Prov. 10:19)
2.  Our soft answer will turn away wrath.  (Prov. 15:1)
3.  Our tongue will be filled with the fruit of knowledge.
(Prov. 15:2)
4.  Our tongue can be a healing tree of life.  (Prov. 15:4)
5.  We will learn to speak words of life to those around us.  (Prov. 18:21)
6.  We will speak pleasant words that promote instruction, and are sweet to the soul. (Prov. 16:21,23-24)

So is getting a restraining order on your to-do list for the day?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

The Revelation 12 Sign

This video is VERY interesting!  And even more so when you keep these scriptures in mind:

Genesis 1:14: And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

Luke 21:25: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.

The Quiet Hour

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The Quiet Hour

Quiet?  What’s that?  As moms, we can all relate to the having the feeling that we just don’t have enough time to read the Word and pray.  We mistakenly think that we can make it through the day in our own strength.

For those of us who are stay-at-home moms with young children, we may find that naptime is a good time to get alone with the Lord.  As the children get older and outgrow naptime, we can still institute an afternoon quiet hour (or 1/2 hour, if necessary).  You may find it helpful to have a timer on hand.  You gently instruct the children to find something to do by themselves until the timer goes off.  They are not allowed to play with each other, nor are they allowed to listen to music, play on the computer, or watch TV.  They can read a book, color, or quietly play with some toys, but they must be instructed not to bother Mommy until the timer goes off.  (Of course, a real emergency would supersede the instructions!)

We do our children a great disservice if we fail to teach them how to be alone.  Too often, we fall into the trap of entertaining them ourselves, or with the TV, or numerous other activities.  They need to have times of solitude so that they know how to be alone.  This will help them to be open to hearing God’s still small voice.

We can’t hear God speak above all the clamor and distractions, so we can’t expect our precious children to hear Him speak when they are constantly with other people, are busy, or are being distracted by many things around them.  Recently, my own daughter has come to me on many occasions, expressing her desire to hear God speak.  I wasn’t sure how to answer her beyond telling her that He often speaks to us in a still, small voice, not heard by the ear, but felt in the heart.  I find myself pondering on starting a daily quiet time.  I think my first prayer will be for her to hear her precious Father’s voice speaking to her….
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

The Promises of God

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The Promises of God

It seems that so many people are facing countless trials.  I have friends and family members who are going through perilous times, and even some of you on this mailing list have contacted me regarding some of the situations you are currently facing.  I am facing one of my own right now, so I decided to do a study on the promises of God.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that we take the time to get to know our God in an intimate way.  It is imperative that we take the time to read His word and meditate on it.  We all will faces trials at some point in our lives, and if we haven’t taken the time to plant His precious word deep inside of us, the storms of life are going to cause us to crash.  We will find ourselves living by our emotions, rather than by God’s promises.

When your emotions tell you that you are all alone, God’s promise is that He will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you.  (Heb. 13:5)
When you feel that God has left you, His promise is that even when we don’t feel like we can find Him, He still knows the way that we take.  He still sees us.  (Job 23:9-10)
When your weariness tells you that you just can’t make it through another day, Father promises that you can do all things through Christ.  (Phil. 4:13)
When you are persecuted, your pride may want to step in and say a thing or two, but God tells us to be still and know that He is God. (Ps. 46:10)  His promise is that we are blessed when we are persecuted, and that we have a GREAT reward in heaven.  (Mt. 5:11-12)
When weapons are forged against you through false accusations, pride may want to step in and fight for you, but God promises that our vindication is from Him.  (Is. 54:17)  He promises that the battle belongs to Him, and not to us.  (II Chron. 20:15)
When money is scarce, and fear tells us that we are going under, God’s promise is that the righteous are never forsaken, nor are their seed ever begging for bread.  (Ps. 37:25)  He promises to meet ALL of our needs.  (Phil. 4:19)
When your fickle emotions tell you that there is no clear way, Jesus declares to you that HE is the WAY, the truth, and the life.  (Jn. 14:6)
When your world crashes all around you, emotions can cause fear to be rampant in your heart, but God’s promise is that Jesus is your cornerstone (I Pet. 2:6), and that His foundation is a firm and sure foundation.  (Is. 28:16)  NOTHING can shake that foundation!
When emotions tells you that you will never feel peace again, God’s promise is that He is Emmanuel, and He is with you.  (Is. 7:14)  He promises that He is your Prince of peace.  (Is. 9:6)
When your feelings tell you that you are still filthy on the inside, God tells you that He is your Redeemer.  (Is. 59:20)  If you know Christ as your Savior, then ALL things have become new.  (II Cor. 5:17)
When your heart tells you that no one loves you, God tells you that He has loved you with an everlasting love.  (Jer. 31:3)  He takes great delight in you and rejoices over you with singing.  (Zeph. 3:17)
When emotions tell you that you are left out in the cold, God says to come and find refuge in the shadow of His wings.  (Ps. 36:7)  He says to let Him be your dwelling place, then no harm will come near you.  (Ps. 91:9-10)
When going through physical ailments, or waiting on test results from the doctor, emotions can snare you with a paralyzing fear.  God’s promise is that He is the Great I AM (Jn. 8:58), and that there is NOTHING too difficult for Him.  (Lk. 1:37)  His word is that He is the God who heals all of our diseases.  (Ps. 103:3)

Recently, I have been having borderline-migraine headaches.  Just a few days ago, I discovered a knot on the back of my head.  If I didn’t know my Father intimately, I would have gone into an instant panic.  Instead, I have been thanking Him for His wonderful promises.  I have meditated on past times when I know that my Father has healed my body.  Knowing Him intimately as my Healer has given me a great peace and confidence.

When we know Him intimately, even in the midst of trials, we can declare the words of Job.  “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand upon the earth.”  Job 19:25 (NIV)

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

The Pacifier

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The Pacifier

I remember when Rachel was an infant.  She just had to have her pacifier if she was sleeping.  The instant it would fall out of her mouth, the peace in the household would quickly dissipate!  Once I would pop it back in for her, a sense of calm would fill the house again, at least for a few more minutes!

You may ask, “What does a pacifier have to do with me?”  Well, everything!  I looked up the word ‘pacify’ in the Webster’s New World Dictionary, and it says that pacify means “to make peaceful, calm, nonhostile, etc.”  Have you ever felt that you needed a ‘pacifier,’ even as an adult?  I wish that I could answer no to that question, but the truth is, I need a pacifier on a daily basis, many times I need it on a minute by minute basis.

Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and sick!”  (AMP) Do you ever have times when your heart is causing you to have some terrible thoughts, thoughts that could be considered hostile?  Well, you need a pacifier!

Luke 6:45 says that out of the abundance of our heart, our mouth speaks.  Do your words ever make the peaceful atmosphere of your home disappear in a matter of seconds?  (Ouch, that one really hurt!)  Again, you need a pacifier.

Prov. 16:32 says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his own spirit than he who takes a city.”  (AMP)  When we are quick to anger, we are showing that indeed, we do need a pacifier.

Just as a baby needs a pacifier for comfort when they have fallen down, we often fall ourselves.  Not physically, but spiritually.  We know what we should be doing, but many times we miss the mark.  Paul talked about how he wanted to do good, but evil was right there with him.  There was that spiritual struggle, waging war against the law of his mind and trying to make him a prisoner of the law of sin.  Paul saw that he, too, needed a pacifier because in the next few verses he says, “What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  Rom. 7:24-25 (AMP)

Jesus came to be our pacifier.  He came to forgive us for our sins and to give us life abundantly.  Part of that life abundantly is for us to be at peace, to have a sense of calm about us, and to put off those filthy garments of hostility and ill-will.

Why don’t you take those daily struggles which you face (you know which ones), and turn them over to the Lord?  He wants to help you, and show you what a wonderful Pacifier that He can be in your life.
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

The Other Woman

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The Other Woman

Many times, we become so myopic with our vision.  We are focused on our own personal tasks, whether it be for our job, our home, our family.  We can miss out on those quality moments to minister to the ‘other woman’ who may be right in front of us.

Looking at the woman at the well, Jesus was likely tired and very thirsty, yet He took the time to minister to this woman at the very heart of her need. (Jn. 4:1-42) When Peter’s mother-in-law was sick, Jesus took time to heal her. (Lk. 4:38-39) If we take time away from our agenda, can we bring healing through our intercession to the ‘other woman’ whom God places on our heart? Can we be a healing balm to the ‘other woman,’ who may have a wounded spirit?

The widow of Nain depended on her son for financial support, and now he was dead.  Jesus cared enough about this ‘other woman’ to raise her son from the dead so that her needs would be met. (Lk 7:11-17) What about the ‘other woman’ you know who is widow?  Can you offer her a ride to the doctor so she doesn’t go alone?  Can you take a few moments to let her know that you are thinking about her, or that you appreciate her?

The sinful woman came to pour out precious ointment upon the feet of Jesus.  Yet, those around scorned her. (Lk 7:36-50) Would we be the same way with the ‘other woman’ if she suddenly started attending our church, and lavishly giving of herself to the Lord?  Would we be intimidated by how fast she was growing in the Lord?  Would we be jealous of her free worship of our Lord?

Joanna was a woman who supported the ministry of Jesus with her finances.  (Lk. 8:1-3) If the ‘other woman’ has implemented some really creative ideas to support the work of the Lord, would we stand back and criticize her?  Or would we desire to encourage her?

When the woman with the issue of blood approached Jesus, He was on His way to help Jairus, whose daughter was sick.  It’s implied in scripture that this ‘other woman’ wasn’t important because she wasn’t mentioned by name, yet Jairus was mentioned by name and occupation, giving us the idea that he was an important man.  Yet, we see Jesus take time for this insignificant woman. (Lk. 8) Do we forget about the insignificant woman in order to take care of the woman who seems to be more important in social stature?  Do we prefer to do our acts when they are seen by those ‘important’ people?

We see that the Syrophoenician woman had a serious plea and Jesus takes the time to respond to her. (Mt. 15:21-28) When the ‘other woman’ has a plea for a prayer request, do we take the time to agree with her right then in prayer?  Or, do we tell her that we will be praying, only to forget about her request in a matter of seconds?

A woman caught in the act of adultery was quickly condemned by the people, yet Jesus refused to condemn her. (Jn. 8:1-11) Do we condemn the ‘other woman,’ just like the people in this story did?  Do we begin to gossip about the woman, not even realizing that our mouth has led us into just as bad of a sin?  Do we remember that if it wasn’t for God’s grace, we could be that ‘other woman’?

Looking at Mary and Martha, we see Martha griping about the ‘other woman,’ who happened to be sitting at the feet of
Jesus, soaking up His every word.  (Lk. 10:38-42) When we see the ‘other woman’ being truly blessed by the Lord, do we find something about which to gripe?  Do we speak bitter words about her?

In Lk. 11:27-28, we find that a woman in the crowd cries out a blessing to Mary, the mother of Jesus.  How often do we take time from our own agenda to simply bless the ‘other woman?’

God sets many ‘other women’ in our path throughout the week.  Many of them have been battered by trials that we can’t even fathom.  Some are battling deep depression because they feel like nobody cares.  Some haven’t felt appreciated in a long time.  Who is Father laying on your heart?  Isn’t it time to break away from your own agenda and minister God’s agenda to the ‘other woman?’
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

The Other Side

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The Other Side

I love to see the weaknesses in the disciples.  It comforts me to see that even though these men walked and talked with the Son of God, they still struggled at times in their faith.  They actually saw the miracles of Christ with their own eyes, yet they still grappled with doubts and fears.

In Matthew 14:22, Jesus made the disciples get in a boat and go ahead of Him to the other side.  Later, when the boat was buffeted by the wind and waves, they began to get worried.  They became even more fearful when they saw what they perceived to be a ghost walking on the water toward them.

In verse 22, there is the implication that when Jesus told them to get in the boat, He would meet them on the other side.  Now, this was the Son of God who was speaking.  When He said that He would meet them on the other side, they could have complete confidence that it would happen just as Jesus said.  Yet, we see them battling a bad case of fear.  I have often wondered if the disciples forgot that God said His word would never return void, but would accomplish what He desires.  (Isaiah 55:11)  Had they remembered that word, I doubt that they would have assaulted with such anxiety that night.

Not only did Jesus meet them on the other side, He went a step further.  He came to them while they were being tossed about by the gusting winds.

What storm are you facing?  Rest assured that Jesus will not only meet you on the other side of your storm, but He will come and walk with you through the storm.

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

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