Spring Cleaning the Mind: Our Thoughts

This blogpost is an excerpt of the content of Episode 4 of Season 5 of the Written. Spoken. Podcast, modified for reading. You can hear the episode here.

In today’s episode, our focus is on spring cleaning the mind. Residents of our minds include thoughts and beliefs. We will focus on our thoughts in today’s episode.

What we think is important, especially what we think repeatedly. As someone said, “Thoughts are like trains. They take us somewhere”, and, as author Bernard Malamud stated, “If your train’s on the wrong track every station you come to is the wrong station.” Pause for a moment. Reflect on a recent thought. Where would it take you, if you followed it all the way through? Would you end up in a healthy place? A God honoring place? Or a place from which you would need to be rescued?

Thoughts have also been likened to seeds. William Wordsworth, an English Poet, (1770-1850) wrote, “Your mind is the garden, your thoughts are the seeds. The harvest can either be flowers or weeds.” 

Thoughts are like trains and thoughts are like seeds. Umm. How many thoughts do you imagine the average person has in one day? In one study published in 2020, researchers in the Department of Psychology, at Queen’s University in Canada, estimated that the average person will typically have more than 6,000 thoughts in a single day.  That is a whole lot of trains and seeds. Clearly, we cannot give attention to every one of these 6,000+ thoughts. So how do we appropriately spring clean our minds so that we do not mistakenly keep what we should discard and discard what we should keep? To spring clean our minds appropriately, we need a way to evaluate our thoughts to determine which thoughts we need to nurture and which we need to stop making space for in our minds.  

Whose criteria will we use to evaluate our thoughts? God’s. He is our Creator and the only One who knows what is best for us. The only One with the authority to define what is good or evil, what is healthy and unhealthy. What needs to be nurtured and what needs to be removed. 

In Philippians 4:8 (AMP) we who are believers, children of God, are given clear instructions regarding the type of thoughts we are to center our minds on and implant in our hearts. Here is the list:

  • whatever is true
  • whatever is honorable and worthy of respect
  • whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, 
  • whatever is pure and wholesome, 
  • whatever is lovely and brings peace
  • whatever is admirable and of good repute
  • if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].”

Whatever is true – How do we know if what we are thinking is true? The answer is, we know that what we are thinking is true if the thought lines up with what God says. For example, if I have the thought that I am worthless, perhaps in response to what others have told me or because of a mistake or a bad habit, I know that it is a lie because of what God says about me. A Scripture based article that beautifully and powerfully highlights what God says about us is, “What God thinks about you” by John Rinehart, the author of Gospel Patrons. The article was published on the Desiring God website, and I recommend reading it in its entirety. I will share an excerpt. 

I am the Creator and you are my creation. I breathed into your nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). I created you in my own image (Genesis 1:27). My eyes saw your unformed substance (Psalm 139:16). I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). I know the number of hairs on your head, and before a word is on your tongue I know it (Matthew 10:30; Psalm 139:4). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

We are not prisoners to our thoughts. We are enabled by God to choose one thought over another, to redirect our thoughts, to unclutter or spring clean our minds by replacing thoughts that are false with thoughts that are true. We are enabled by God to replace thoughts that are dishonorable and not worthy of respect, with thoughts that are honorable and worthy of respect. To replace thoughts that are wrong and contradict God’s word with thoughts that are right and confirmed by God’s word. To replace thoughts that are impure and unwholesome with thoughts that are pure and wholesome. To replace thoughts that are ugly and cause strife and discontent with thoughts that are lovely and bring peace. To replace thoughts that are deplorable and corrupt with thoughts that are admirable and of good repute (noble, trustworthy). To replace thoughts of mediocrity with thoughts of excellence. To replace thoughts that are not praiseworthy with thoughts that are worthy of praise.

Some thought patterns have been present for so long, they have become automatic but we know that it is possible for our minds to be renewed, a process that transforms us as we are told in Romans 12:2. One of the ways we renew our minds is to change the way we think and two essential strategies for changing the way we think is focused and regular time in prayer and in the Bible, the written Word of God. Time in prayer and in the Word, two essential strategies for changing the way we think. Other strategies include thinking about what we are thinking about and being selective about what we feed our minds and spirits. This may require changes in what we read, listen to, and watch. Spring cleaning our thought life is a process that requires commitment and effort as does the maintenance that is necessary to keep us from re-cluttering our mind. But we have help. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength* is not just a verse to memorize and quote. It is a truth to live by.

*Philippians 4:13

“… and Peter.” (and me)

(Re)sharing one of my favorite blog posts.

A drowning person’s life flashes before his or her eyes.
Or so I have been told.
And if there is truth in this statement,
I wonder if Peter’s life with Jesus flashed before his eyes
as he drowned in an ocean of shame, horror, pain, and disbelief
after doing what he had sworn he never would,
that is, abandon Jesus, the One he had left all to follow.

I wonder if he saw the moment when Jesus called to him and his brother Andrew
as they were casting a net into the Sea of Galilee, and said,
“Come follow me and I will send you to fish for people”?
And when He touched the hand of Peter’s mother-in-law as she was lying in bed with a fever, and the fever left her?

I wonder if Peter remembered vividly the moment his feet touched the water after he asked, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water,” and Jesus responded, “Come”?
And when he responded to Jesus’ question, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” with the revelation given to him by the Father, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter.

I wonder if he saw the thousands being fed with a little boy’s lunch, and Lazarus coming out of the tomb after he had been dead four days, and Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount?

I do not know but the One Who knew Peter would deny Him, not once but thrice in a short space of time, and loved him still, He made sure that Peter knew that there was forgiveness, and redemption, and restoration for Peter.

First, He sent the message of His resurrection through the angel, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
“… tell his disciples and Peter.”
“ … and Peter.”

Later, He would pose a question to him three times, “Do you love Me?”
And by the end of the conversation had commissioned him and, as He had done in their first encounter by the Sea of Galilee, called him to follow Him.

Like Peter, I have been guilty of denying Him,
Sometimes with my words.
At other times with my silence, behavior and choices.
Like Peter, I have been guilty of denying Him.
Perhaps you are too.
Thanks be to God, we can all be certain that,
no matter what we have done,
the same forgiveness,
redemption,
and restoration that Peter was given,
is also available to us.

NB: This post was first published on this blog on 4/17/17 and reposted at least twice. It is one of my favorite posts and for that reason as well as the fact that the content still is true of me, I wanted to share it again.

Celebrating the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ Jesus

This blogpost is the content of Episode 3 of Season 5 of the Written. Spoken. Podcast, modified for reading. You can hear the episode here.

We are taking a break from the theme of Season 3, “spring cleaning,” to focus on the death, burial and Resurrection of Christ Jesus, the One who is the Word. The One who was in the Beginning and through whom all things were made.  The One who is the Lamb and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The One who became flesh to redeem us. The One who was a willing sacrifice for our sins and died a brutal, agonizing, substitutionary death in our place and is our High Priest.

We are told in Hebrews 9:11-12, “But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come [that is, true spiritual worship], He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not a part of this [material] creation. He went once for all into the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies of heaven, into the presence of God], and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, having obtained and secured eternal redemption [that is, the salvation of all who personally believe in Him as Savior]” (AMP). And 1 Peter 3:18 (AMP) states, “For indeed Christ died for sins once for all, the Just and Righteous for the unjust and unrighteous [the Innocent for the guilty] so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit;” 

I realized several years ago that my celebration of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus did not have the focus, the intentionality as my celebration of His birth. But the truth is, it is the Resurrection of Christ Jesus that gives Christmas its true meaning. As author and podcaster, Lisa Jo Baker, noted years ago, “Christmas makes no sense outside of the context of Easter. Because it was a ransom that was delivered on a dark night, under a stark white star, all those years ago.”

Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6 declares,
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (NKJV).

Christ Jesus, the Child who was born and the Son who was given (John 3:16), came to redeem us and our redemption required His brutal death and His glorious Resurrection. We are told in 1 Corinthians 15:14-20 (AMP) that, without His Resurrection, our faith is “vain [imaginary, unfounded, devoid of value and benefit—not based on truth]” and “worthless and powerless [mere delusion].” Furthermore, “ If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied.  But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. “

I pray that the truth of Christ’s Resurrection will permeate our daily living. That we meet every challenge and celebrate every victory with this truth, “But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead …” “Christ has in fact been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20).

What does the Resurrection of Christ Jesus mean? It is a critical question that each person must answer personally because what we believe about the Resurrection of Christ Jesus changes everything.  The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], and that He was buried, and that He was [bodily] raised on the third day according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the Twelve” (1 Corinthians, 15, 3-5, AMP).

When I reflect on what the Resurrection of Christ Jesus means to me, several things come to mind. I will share four of them:
1. The Resurrection means I am redeemed completely and am a dearly beloved child of God.
2. The Resurrection means I am forgiven and His Blood cleanses me from all sin.
3. The Resurrection means I do not have to fear death because He conquered death, hell and the grave.
4. The Resurrection means I have a High Priest.

I find myself dwelling on the fact that I have a High Priest and on all the benefits of this truth, as highlighted in Hebrews 4:14-16 (AMP), “Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”

The Resurrection of Christ Jesus, is a historical fact with personal meaning. What does His Resurrection mean to you?

“The Gospel is centered in God’s Son, a descendant of David by human genealogy and patently marked out as the Son of God by the power of that Spirit of holiness which raised him to life again from the dead” (Romans 1:3-4, PHILLIPS).

“For the love of Christ controls and compels us, because we have concluded this, that One died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that all those who live would no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for their sake” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, AMP).

Prayer: Father, may the love of Christ control and compel us, so that our lifestyles reflect the fact that we no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died and was raised for our sake. In Jesus name.

Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

Look Full

The title of today’s post is from the chorus of the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” It was written by Helen H. Lemmel and the history of the hymn can be found here.

The lyrics of the chorus are:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grac
e.

I read and listened to the words and wondered, “How are we looking at Jesus?” Are we giving Him a glance, “a quick or hurried look” or are we gazing at Him? To gaze at Jesus is “to look long and hard in wonder or surprise.” How are we looking at Jesus? Are we enthralled by Him or are we guilty too often of merely glancing at Him then turning our gaze to worthless things?

We are instructed in Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2, NKJV, emphasis added).

How are we looking at Jesus? And what do we see when we look at Him? We should see and declare His divinity as reflected in His title, “The Christ.”
13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:13-18, NKJV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4, NKJV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18, NKJV)

Who do we see when we “look full” at Jesus? We must see His divinity, but we must also see His humanity. 
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’ ” (Hebrews 10:5-7, NKJV)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NKJV)

Who do we see when we “look full” at Jesus? We must see His divinity, His humanity and His Lordship.
5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:5-6, NKJV)

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, NKJV)

We need a fresh and increasingly deepening revelation of who Jesus is, for as our accurate knowledge of Him increases, we are changed when we look and keep looking “full in His wonderful face”.  The prophet Isaiah testified, 
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
  “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
  The whole earth is full of His glory!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
 So I said:
  “Woe is me, for I am undone!
  Because I am a man of unclean lips,
  And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
  For my eyes have seen the King,
  The Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:1-5, NKJV)

How we look at Jesus influences how we see Him and how we see Jesus influences how we see ourselves. How we see Jesus influences how we see and relate to others. How we see Jesus influences how we see challenges and blessings. How we see Jesus influences our daily choices.

As Helen H. Lemmel instructed,
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

If the things of this world hold our attention, seem more attractive to us than Jesus, we are not looking fully at Him. We are not gazing at Him

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to see You as You are. We can only see You as You are, with Your help. We need You to heal us of spiritual blindness like You healed blind Bartimaeus. We need You to do a complete healing work for us as You did for the blind man in Bethsaida. We thank You that because of Your finished work of redemption, unlike the Greeks who wanted to see You but had to communicate their request through Philip and Andrew, we can make our request directly to You. We want “to look full” in Your wonderful place and keep our gaze there. Help us so do. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

quieting the soul

Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You. Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet. My soul is like this weaned child.” (Psalm 131:2, VOICE).

Be still, my soul.

“Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come.  And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.” (Philippians 4:6-7, VOICE).

Be still, my soul.

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].” (Isaiah 26:3, AMP).

Be still, my soul.

“Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely; never depend upon your own ideas and inventions. Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish, and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, VOICE).

Be still, my soul.

“David, too, was in anguish. Some of his men talked about stoning him because they were so bitter about their families being taken. But David took comfort in the Eternal One, his True God.” (1 Samuel 30:6, VOICE).

Be still, my soul. Know that He is God.

Holy Week: God’s Plan, Timing & Love

The first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, documents the genealogy of Jesus, the Messiah, beginning with Abraham, the father of Isaac. Verse 17 states, “Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.” Forty-two generations.

Even without counting the generations from Adam to Terah, Abraham’s father, 42 generations represent a large number of people, living life in all its dimensions. And, encompassing all these numerous people and all their living, was the Omnipotent One, existing outside of time, but diligently, patiently, lovingly, meticulously working out His eternal plan of redemption, through humans and in time, to bring us back to Himself.

4 “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7, NLT)

These verses are worth reading again and again until they sink deep and indelibly into our beings. Why wait for a later time? Let us read them again at least once now. Shall we?

He made us His very own children at an incalculable cost. You. Me. As such I find it impossible to muse on His Plan and His timing and not think of His incomprehensible love, which has been and will always be His motive for all He does for us.

The classic hymn, “The Love of God,”* speaks powerfully of God’s love.

  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  2. When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  3. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

Holy Week, which began this year on Sunday, March 28th, invites us to reflect on God’s Plan, His timing, and His love.

*Lyrics are from https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Love_of_God/ (Public Domain)

infused ordinary

Ordinary… A day with only the typical activities scheduled.
But is it possible that hidden in the ordinary are secrets of the extraordinary that are revealed with keys such as gratitude, obedience, praise, attention?

Ordinary … A person who is seen as average. Having no talents that the rich and famous, those with status, seem to possess. But that ordinary person can make a life changing difference in the life of another human. By an act of kindness, by the recognition of Imago Dei in another, with love, an ordinary person could change the world in which God placed them – a job, a neighborhood, a family. 

Ordinary does not mean insignificant, or worthless, or unimportant.

Yahweh has a way of infusing ordinary moments, days, people, with His presence, His matchless power, making each His own, and transforming them all.

*A version of this post was originally published on 10/11/2013.

Design

Creator God, You are intentional. Chance is not part of Your modus operandi. You have an eternal plan and are working it out, as the hymn writer stated, “as year succeeds to year.”

Creator God, You are intentional. Chance is not part of Your modus operandi. When You made the world, it was according to Your design. When You give instructions to Moses for the tabernacle in the wilderness, You were specific in Your instructions.

When You made me, You were no less specific and made me according to Your design. You included some things and left out others. You determined the times, places and seasons of my life.
As David testified, all of the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. You, Yourself said You have counted the hairs on my head. You know each word I will speak before I say them.

Photo Credit: YouVersion Bible App

Creator God, You are intentional. Chance is not part of Your modus operandi. I have no reason to envy anyone. I have every reason to trust You.

I am joining (on a Saturday) the Five Minute Friday writing community, hosted by Kate Motaung, for our weekly writing adventure. Please click here to learn about Five Minute Friday. This week’s prompt is, “Design.” Links to the hymn and passages of Scripture referenced were added after the allotted five minutes had expired.

Refrain

If you had to choose, which of God’s character traits meant the most to you this year? For me, it is His faithfulness, which I connect to His immutability. The truth that He is the same yesterday, today and forever, is assuring and deeply comforting in a world where anything, all people change, and not always for the better.

I wrote and published the post I will share below in May 2020. As we stand at the end of a year unlike any most of us have experienced in our lifetime, and face a new year that no one can truly predict, God’s faithfulness, His immutability is a firm foundation on which we can stand flat-footed.

Refrain, the noun, is a regularly recurring phrase or verse especially at the end of each stanza or a division of a poem or song.

I have been wondering,
if my life was a song,
and each season a stanza,
what would be my refrain?
What would be repeated
at the end of each stanza,
each season?
I thought of several things
but kept coming back to this,
“God is faithful.” 

When the stanza was filled with sorrow,
God was faithful.
When the stanza was characterized
by uncertainty and confusion,
God was faithful.  
Whether the stanza was one of joy
and accomplishments
and the satisfaction of a job well done,
or marked with disappointment and failure,
God was faithful.

In every stanza written to date,
God has been faithful.
And for every stanza that will be written
in the future,
He will remain faithful.
If my life was a song,
and each season a stanza,
what would be my refrain?
“God is faithful.”

“Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.” (Deuteronomy 7:9, HCSB).

“Remember my affliction and my homelessness,
the wormwood and the poison.
I continually remember them
and have become depressed.
Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!
(Lamentations 3:19-23, HCSB).

Help

“The Helpers”

In your family and circle of friends,
in your community,
you are known as one of the helpers.

You can be counted on to be one of the first who offers to help.
You are dependable also.
If you said you will help, you do.
Your word is your bond, no matter the cost.

But what do you do when you need help?
Who do the helpers turn to?

Some helpers are notorious for not asking for help,
for reasons such as “not wanting to be a bother.”
And so they struggle alone with their challenges,
While continuing to give out.

A word of caution,
a gentle but firm reminder to you helpers who follow this pattern,
you cannot keep pouring without being replenished.
Ask for help.
Allow others the privilege and the blessing of helping you.