Weightlifting

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Weight Lifting

One Wednesday night, Pastor asked if anyone lifted weights.  One gentleman, who has a rather large belly, replied, “I lift my spoon!”

We are admonished in Gal. 6:2 to carry each other’s burdens.  We can probably think of several people who are carrying heavy weights right now.  Why should we desire to help them?

Jesus left us an example when He wept with Mary and Martha over the death of Lazarus.  (Jn. 11:35)  When a friend is going through the loss of a loved one, we can cry with them.  We can take a meal to them.  We can remember to call on them in the days after the viewing and funeral are done.  Now, some of us may be saying, “But I won’t know what to say.”  Moses said the same thing, but it didn’t excuse him from what God wanted him to do.  If we just tell them that we were calling to see how they are doing and tell them that we care, it will speak volumes to them.

Jesus also touched the untouchable.  (Mt. 8:3)  When I was a new Christian, we had a foot washing at our church.  I will never forget seeing one of the women approach another lady who would have been considered “untouchable” by many.  This lady was partially retarded, she smelled, her clothes were too small and they didn’t match.  That left a profound impact on me.  I’m not saying that we need to be looking for opportunities to wash everyone’s feet, but there may be someone in your church who often gets ignored because they are “different.”  One way that you could “touch” this person is by sending a “thinking of you” card, or even a card at Christmas.  Why not physically touch them when you greet them?  It may be the only touch they have received all week.  Think of how you would feel if nobody took the time to hug you, shake your hand, pat you on the shoulder, etc.  I call those kinds of touches “God-touches.”

He fed those who were hungry.  (Mt. 15:35-38)  The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 leaves us a good example;  she opened her arms to the poor and extended her hands to those who were in need.  We can make the choice to buy a few nonperishable items when we shop, then once a month, drop them by a food pantry.  Years ago when I worked at a bank, instead of tithing to the church from my Christmas bonus, I would go to the store and spend my tithing amount on food, then deliver it to the Rescue Mission, which serves food to the poor on a daily basis.  Another thing we can do is to take a batch of cookies to new neighbors.  They may not be physically hungry, but I am sure that they are “hungry” for some friendship in their new neighborhood.

Abigail leaves us a wonderful example.  In I Sam. 25, we find that she is married to Nabal, whose very name means “fool.”  He was careful in living up to that name as well!  When he refused to give food and drink to King David, Abigail found out about it.  She was quick to see that the King’s needs were met.  Her intercession on behalf of this foolish man ended up sparing his life because King David was prepared to see that he was destroyed.  Do you know any people who you would classify as foolish?  What about the teenaged girl who was raised in church, yet she finds herself pregnant and unwed?  Too often, we want to talk badly of her, as well as her parents.  We aren’t called to be judge and jury over their lives.  We are called to love one another fervently.  (I Pet. 1:22)  We are told in I Jn. 3:18 not to love with words, but with actions and in truth.  If you know of an unwed, pregnant teenager, it is going to do far more good to reach out to her and help her in a tangible way.  Purchase some items for her, even if they are from garage sales.  Throw a baby shower.  Encourage her that she made the right choice to give life to her precious child.

In Mk. 2:1-5 we find the story of the lame man whose friends carried him and lowered him through a roof so that Jesus could heal him.  We may not be required to physically carry a weight of this kind, but when you know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer or any other kind of terrible disease, you can “weightlift” by praying faithfully for them.  (James 5:16)

Maybe you know of some people who are going through some trials, but you think that they don’t need your help.   Maybe they seem to be self-sufficient so you don’t want to offer to help.  Even our precious Lord asked for help.  In Mt. 26:38, He told the disciples that His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow, and He asked them to keep watch with Him.  In Jn. 19:28-29, He said, “I thirst.”  After they helped Him, by giving Him a drink, He was able to cry out those famous words:  “IT IS FINISHED!”  My prayer is that those words will encourage you to look for people who may need you to do some “weightlifting” on their behalf.  You may never know this side of heaven how much your help meant to them.  Your “weightlifting” may help them to do the impossible.  I know that we can’t do it all, but if we look around, we will surely find something that we can do.

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

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Bad Math – Tim Dilena

Watchman, What of the Night?

This is a fabulous message!  He gives great insights into what is ahead for us and how to maneuver through them.

Watchman What of the Night 
A Sermon by Nathan Leal

Are you Downtrodden? Struggling in your faith? Confused?

Do you need Spiritual encouragement in this late hour?
This audio sermon examines Isaiah’s calling to be a watchman for his people who were afraid, and offers hope and encouragement for you.
This sermon comes with a promise to touch those who are hungry for God.
In His Service,
Nathan Leal

 

Download the Audio by right clicking this link to save to you PC.

 

http://watchmanscry.com/audio/sermon_watchman_what_of_the_night.mp3

Nathan Leal,
Watchman’s Cry

Don’t Let Discouragement Take Your Strength

This is a very encouraging message.

 

Relating to One Another

Relating to One Another
Several months ago, our pastor did a series on the “one anothers” in the Bible.   I wanted to do a message on that topic, but relate much of it where many of us live on a daily basis as stay at home moms.

Col. 3:16 tells us that we are to admonish and teach one another.  Maybe God hasn’t called you to teach a Sunday school class.  Even so, you can teach and admonish your children, or even ladies in the church who are looking for one to mentor them.

James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to one another.  When confessing our sins to another, we need wisdom to know who would be a trusting person for us to approach.  I remember hearing about a man who was struggling with homosexuality.  He approached a leader of the church.  What he said in confidence was told to everyone.  It’s no wonder that this man has turned back to the homosexual community.

James 5:16 also mentions that we are to pray for one another.  First, we need to be faithful in praying for those in our own household.  We also need to remember to pray for others and maybe the best way to do that is to dedicate one day a week for lifting up the needs of others.  Some of them may not have anyone else who will pray for them.

Rom. 12:10 tells us to honor one another above ourselves.  This is a good practice to start in the home.  It is good teaching for our children.  We live in such a selfish, “me-oriented” society.  It is good to make the choice to honor others above ourselves.  While it is virtuous to practice this outside the home,  it is more honorable to practice it in the home with those whom God has entrusted to our care.

Gal. 6:2 tells us that we are to carry each other’s burdens.  It goes on to say that this will fulfill the law of Christ.  Which law?  The one that says to love your neighbor as yourself.  I saw this in action right after our town was flooded.  It was incredible to see people setting aside their own agenda and going to help others who had lost so much.

I Thess. 4:18; 5:11, and Heb. 10:25 all tell us to encourage one another.  Sometimes that may be in person.  Sometimes it may be just a phone call.  Another way to encourage is by sending a card or a note.  When you send something, the person can read it over and over, and be encouraged each time they read it.  We can practice this in our homes as well.  A note in a child’s lunch can mean so much to them as they go through hard times.  A friend of mine discovered all of the notes which she had written to her son.  He had saved them all, and she “happened” to see them one day while in his room.  We can do this for our husband’s as well.  What about sending him a card to his work address?  What about tucking away an encouraging note in his luggage as he prepares to leave town?  If you don’t know what to say to encourage him, just tell him that you will be ready and waiting for him when he gets home!  That alone will speak volumes to him.

II Cor. 1:4  tells us to comfort one another with the comfort we have received.  We don’t have to use eloquent words.  A simple hug, along with letting them know that you are praying for them will mean a lot.  When I miscarried, the one  thing I needed to hear was that it would get better, but no one told me.  Now, when I see others going through things, I am able to share that with them, in hopes that it will help them.  We can practice this with our children as well.  When they have been betrayed by a friend (or a number of other scenarios), we can comfort them by sharing with them a time when we faced the same thing.

Col. 3:13 tells us to forgive one another.  I can’t stress the importance of this.  Many years ago, I struggled with chronic colitis.  I was on so much medication for it.  As I began studying on deliverance, I found that I had a lot of unforgiveness in my heart, which had opened the door to the colitis.  I had to forgive, not just because our Lord demands it, but I had to forgive so that I could live a full life again.  I am thrilled to tell you that once the unforgiveness was gone, so was the colitis.  It has been gone now for over 10 years.  We need to be sure and ask for forgiveness from our children and our spouse, and to grant them forgiveness when they have done wrong.

We are to love one another.  (I Jn. 3:11, Rom. 12:10, James 2:8)  In I Pet. 1:22
we find that we are to love one another deeply, from the heart.  We are to have a sincere (without pretense, genuine) love for one another.  Many times it is easy to say, “I love you.”  What is often harder is putting action behind our words.  Action means that we are setting aside our own agenda for the good of someone else.

Gal. 5:13 tells us to serve one another in love.  This is a hard one for me when evening comes and I am so tired.  I want someone to serve ME!  But if I follow scripture, I must crucify my flesh once again, and serve my family in love, no matter how tired I am.

Eph. 4:31-32 tells us to be kind to one another.  This is another one that needs to be practiced consistently in the home.  I often find myself barking orders to my daughter instead of speaking kindly to her.  I have been faithfully asking Father to help me to learn to be kind to my daughter in spite of how frustrated I may be with her.

Rom. 12:16 tells us to live in harmony with each other.  In the Webster’s Thesaurus, it mentions having an even balance.  How many times do we disrupt harmony in our homes because we aren’t living a balanced life?  I saw this in my own life over the summer.  Because I homeschool an only child, I try to get her involved in several activities over the summer.  This year I found that I overdid it.  There wasn’t much harmony in the home because “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!”  At the time of this writing, we have had two days of having to be nowhere.  While I have been very busy over these two days, I have been happy, calm, and content.  It has brought much needed balance and harmony to our home.

Eph. 4:2 tells us to bear with one another.  In our homes, this might mean learning to listen to both sides of the story before making a judgment.  It could also mean to discern whether something was done because of childlike immaturity, rather than defiance.  As mothers, we run in an exhausted mode much of the time.  It can be very hard to bear with others, when the “others” are those in our own home.  In those times, we need to remember that God is right there, just waiting for us to call upon Him to help us.
Precious Jesus, You gave us such wonderful examples of how to treat others.  Help us to put those examples into action in our own homes, then help us take them out to a lost and dying world.  Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Powerful Dream

I had a really powerful dream last night.  My friend Mary, who is now with Jesus, came to me as I was in the bookstore, owned by her and her hubby.  I was looking for a book.  She said, “You need to stop reading so many books, websites, dreams and visions of other people and the interpretations.  It is time to read the Word.  Immerse yourself in it.  You won’t go wrong with the Word.  The other stuff will drain you and confuse you.”  Then with a bolder tone, “LEAVE THE OTHER STUFF ALONE!  GET INTO THE WORD.  STAY IN THE WORD.  IT IS CRITICAL AT THIS TIME FOR YOU TO STAY IN THE WORD.”

So while I’m home from work today, I knew I needed to immerse myself in the Word.  I pulled out my trusty sword in the Amplified Version and Modern English Version and headed to the Psalms to soothe my weary, worn, dried-out spirit.  I wanted to share what really stood out to me in case it may help someone else.

Psalm 119:51-55 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

51 The proud have had me greatly in derision, yet have I not declined in my interest in or turned aside from Your law.

52 When I have [earnestly] recalled Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, I have taken comfort.

53 Burning indignation, terror, and sadness seize upon me because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.

54 Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

55 I have [earnestly] remembered Your name, O Lord, in the night, and I have observed Your law.

As I look at world events, I see Christianity mocked and ridiculed on a daily basis.  The PC word is tolerance, yet there is no tolerance for Christianity.  To me, this can become overwhelming.  Thus, like verse 52 says, it is critical for me to take comfort in the Word of God and His promises to His children.  I *must* encourage myself in the Lord.

I am a news junkie.  I frequently read articles online on current events.  This too, can be overwhelming.  If I’m not careful to guard my heart, indignation can consume my spirit.  Fear and terror can assail me.  I can become very depressed and sad, as mentioned in verse 53.

I must remember that this world is not my home.  I must not become too attached to the things of this world.  I must remember that I am in a temporary body, on a pilgrimage to my eternal home.  (Verse 54)

With the constant barrage of negative news, even at midday, it can seem like night.  So in that “night,” I must remember the Lord’s Name and earnestly call out to Him, as mentioned in verse 55.

If I am faithful to do the above, here will be the result:

Psalm 119:24 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

24 Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

I will find myself delighting in God and His Word.  His Word will counsel me and instruct me in the way to go. 

Psalm 119:32 I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.(NIV)
Even in the midst of these dark days, if I keep myself soaking in His Word and running in the path of His commands, He will set my heart free.