Conversations in Restaurants

GoldenGirlsI wonder if people have lost of the art of having conversations. People know how to talk a lot, but do they really say anything important. I have come to the conclusion that conversations are more like small talk. It must be somewhat common for people to struggle with what to say to someone one-on-one. It’s as if there is this kind of awkward silences.

Our church does a ladies lunch and I have come to the point where I don’t really enjoy going to them. For me the reason is because there isn’t really much visiting and it is like a waiting room in my Dr’s office. I don’t mind listening to others and I truly do care. For myself, I very much dislike talking about my medical stuff in a restaurant or with those who aren’t close friends. I want to have a normal conversation that centered around Dr’s and who is constipated.

One day I was at the Black Bear for breakfast and all the people around me must have been sick and dying. Not one conversation was about anything other than being sick or who was dying. I about choked on my coffee when a lady said she was so relieved that she could finally pass gas.

bldtr040074REALLY? I wonder when life became a medical textbook instead of living each day and being grateful for the good things. But, really, do they need to talk about the last time they went to the bathroom and what a relief it was? I know that people needs to discuss medical things with others and some people may not be around others, but some discussions should be in private. I also don’t like 20 questions about what is going on medically with me, unless I feel comfortable doing that and it is one on one.

There has been research on this topic, lol. I was shocked, but yeah they have studies for everything. They suggest that people start conversations by offering open ended questions. For example,”how is the weather? Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite movies?”

Some people in this study suggested that if you want to start a conversation to just ask people about themselves, their hobbies, their job or they feel about anything in general.

OK! Well, some people didn’t get the memo of how to have a conversation. When was the last time you pooped was not on the list of conversation starters. I can almost guarantee ya that if you start off with this conversation, it is all downhill from then on. There has to be more going on in life than when a person last went to the bathroom.

Since it is mostly elderly ladies that goes to our brunch it would be awesome to learn more about what it was like for them growing up in the era they did. What were some of their favorite activities when they were younger or what their families did? I would think learning more about who they are and what they enjoy doing would be more interesting. It would be awesome to do a get together that would be a “Window to the Past.”

Well, I’m going to get off this blog topic because I can see that it can end up pretty messy, lol.

Don’t Be Afraid of Change- It’s All Good!!!

change-is-goodChange is going to happen. I’m pretty sure that anyone seeking to effect change will come up against those who like things the same way it has always been done. Change isn’t easy for me, but I know that it is something that will happen, no matter how much I fight it.

It’s been pretty awesome at church. The reason I say this is because new students are starting at Dixie State University. Our church is the perfect location to reach out to those students and families.

As a church and Christians we should be wanting to reach those who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ. We should be willing to do whatever it takes to reach these people. It isn’t about us or the church, it is about bringing people to Christ.

As a church we should be reaching out to the children too. It has been pretty cool to see more kids in Sunday School. When we first started at my church, our girls was it as far as kids were concerned. Eventually I was given permission to start a youth and young adult group. We had over 30 kids show up on Tuesday Nights.

Pastor Ray and Kathi has been very much a blessing to our church and I have no doubt at all that God is smiling down on them both. Little by little the faces are changing and we are witnessing new baptisms and growth. I do want to say that seeing new faces doesn’t mean the old ones should leave. It is nice to see old and new at our church.

cheersI love seeing kids, young adults and just about any other group at church. I would say that we have the friendlies church in our area. It’s kinda like the T.V. show “Cheers”. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows your name. And if by chance you don’t believe me, check out one of our Sunday services.

I have people ask me many many times about what faith or religion I am. Well, that is a somewhat loaded question. The reason I say that is when I think of what faith I am, I think of how I am a Christian. For some people the denomination of the church one attends is what they are really asking. The way I see it I am a Christian first and I attend a church that is a Bible believing church. Christ should always come before the name of a building.

grumpy-womanI have noticed more times than not that people can get downright grumpy and protective about the building they go to church in or to worship in. It’s sad how we put our faith in the things that make up a church such as bricks, drywall, carpet, flowers, plants, instruments and so on instead of worshiping Christ. We aren’t there to take in the beauty of a building, we are there because we are worshiping Christ. We shouldn’t be concerned by all the  aesthetics(beauty) of the building. If we are more concerned about those things, we are going to church for the wrong reason.

When we go to church and invite our family, friends and yes children we are sharing the Gospel with all who walk through the doors of the church. We have an awesome opportunity to reach those who may have never heard the truth. That truth would be that we are saved by grace through faith alone, and that not of ourselves—or whatever denomination we may be.

ephesians-28We could have the most beautiful church in the world, but if we aren’t sharing the Gospel, then we are nothing more than a building.  In Ephesians 2:8-9  it says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

I have been to churches where people get all in an uproar over songs, decor and other trivial matters. There was this older lady who made a statement many years ago that they don’t want young people at their church because “they just don’t understand how we do things around here” or “they are going to destroy our church.” The way I see it is that those who complain about these things, they aren’t going to church to worship Christ. They are there just to be there or to out of habit.

The last thing I want to add is that I feel for any pastor and our pastor. I would think that it would be really hard to make changes at an established church. Even when it is in the best interest of the church and in our lives. I wonder if they go home and bang their heads on the wall, haha? We humans are pretty stubborn and want it our way and are creatures of habits, myself included. If you move my pew, I would be a bit stressed over this minor change. But, if it is moved, I would be in shock, but would eventually deal with it and sit somewhere else.

If you are reading this Ray, I would hope you wouldn’t do that, lol. I would think it would be difficult for any pastor to come in and have to listen to how previous pastors or how “we don’t do that here” stuff. I would hope that if we hired a pastor, we would trust him enough to know what is needed. Besides we are there to worship God, not pews and all the other distractions.

Sick of the Media and Al Sharpton?

With all the protests going on in Ferguson, Missouri, I wonder about equality and fairness. I got thinking about this after watching a video on Facebook. This guy names Johnathon Gentry hits the nail on the head. Click here for to listen to his video…

I completely understand that people are upset over the killing of Michael Brown. For those who may not know what I am talking about, I’m discussing where the police officer killed a African American boy that was unarmed.

What I am going to go into is all the other innocent people that are killed all over the place and not getting the publicity. They don’t have Al Sharpton or the NAACP showing up to help them out because there aren’t cameras rolling.

21947807_BG2I have no problem with protecting the rights of all people, no matter what color or race they are. I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I have family members of all races, nationalities, faiths and sizes.  I do have a problem though on how people pick and choose who deserves to get more media attention. Yeah, it is important what is going on in Missouri, but it is any more important than a young child being killed because of a stray bullet? Is it any more important than the thousands of innocent lives that are being lost each year because of stupidity or drunk drivers?

There are horrible things going on all over the world and to hundreds of thousands of people that we never hear of. I don’t know if we are hearing more about the shooting of this young man because he is black and the officer is white. To me it would seem that way. If it was the other way around, I don’t think we would be hearing anything about it. And if we do it would be a blurb on the news.

25670693_BG1Just the other day, I accidentally came across a video of a black police officer that was killed in the line of duty. Officer Kevin Jordan was killed by some white customers at a Waffle House. When I watched the video on how much he did for his community, it broke my heart to know that he was a fallen officer. Where is the media when things like this happens? Yeah he got local media, but not outside of the area he lived. There were no riots or getting in other peoples faces. It was about remembering someone who made a difference. Click here to watch the video of the tribute video I accidentally came across.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I want to know where all the cameras and media people are when another child dies or get’s diagnosed with cancer. I thank God all the time that my children and grand-kids are healthy. Why isn’t more being done to save these children? Why aren’t picketing for them?

10577028_348085735348176_1102124034162923390_nJust today, I was reading about another young child that died from cancer. People should be getting mad and wanting to do something. But they aren’t. Well, some are, but not nearly enough. Richard was laid to rest today. To learn more about Richard, here is a link to his funeral. Even though I never met him, children like him touches my heart and it makes me upset to know more isn’t being done. Are they not worth fighting for? I have been praying for over 30 kids and each week more are added. Each week another child dies senselessly. I want to know where Al Sharpton and the NAACP is? Go to the Jesse Rees Facebook page and look through the pictures of all of the children and families. You will be touched by their stories and strengths. But these children and families don’t have Al Sharpen fighting for them because they aren’t controversial enough I guess.

If just a small about of money and time that was spent on rioting and protesting, a difference can be made in so many peoples lives. I guess it is a pick and choose and see what the media thinks is worth while. To say I am ticked would be an understatement. I will be posting on childhood cancer in September, because awareness needs to happen. I am blessed beyond measure that I don’t know anyone personally with childhood cancer. But I do know many that have cancer of other forms. I guess their lives isn’t worth the publicity and media attention either!!!

 

Left Behind- Waiting for the Return of Christ

10534642_670665646333429_3840346163123628221_nWith the upcoming release of “Left Behind” I have been thinking about this. They have been posting little tidbits about the movie and book series. Of which I love the book series and own them all. I have also watched all the movies that have Kirk Cameron in them. But the question that they pose is pretty simple, but hard. What message would you want those who are left behind know about?

Someone of the Left Behind Facebook page wrote a message to those who have been left behind and I liked what they had to say. It said.  Stay strong. Do not give up hope on God. This is not necessarily a punishment but a clear message that this is your last chance to turn to God. Do not grieve for those who are gone for they are with God. Grieve for those who are left and will witness the tribulation of God and will still not believe in him and will rely on false prophets. Stay strong in your new found faith and no that it is not too late. See you soon.

For those who don’t know anything about this movie or book series. It is about the end times. Nickolas Cage will be playing the main roll in it. For many Christians, they believe that Christ will take his church home before the tribulation period begins.

10441191_666755460057781_8425646541959533546_nFor those who may not be familiar with the end times and what the rapture means, I will try to explain it. The word “rapture” comes from Paul’s “caught up” remark in verse 17. The words “caught up” are translated from the Greek word harpazo, which means “to carry off,” “snatch up,” or “grasp hastily.” The translation from harpazo to “rapture” involved two steps: first, harpazo became the Latin word raptus; second, raptus became the English word “rapture.”

The rapture will take place sometime in the near future. Jesus will come in the air, catch up the Church from the earth, and then return to heaven with the Church. The Apostle Paul gave a clear description of the rapture event in his letters to the Thessalonians and Corinthians.

  • “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess, 4:16-18).
  • “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on in-corruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51-53).

This is how the Left Behind website describes this movie… The most important event in the history of mankind is happening right now. In the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant, terror and chaos spread around the world. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn. Planes fall from the sky. Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. There is no one to help or provide answers. In a moment, the entire planet is plunged into darkness. Check out more about this movie  and the trailer at http://www.leftbehindmovie.com/

10569028_678511302215530_3242117679548593696_nWhen I think of the end times, I have mixed emotions. The reason I say that is because I am looking forward to the second coming of Christ. But at the same time it is a time of sadness because of those who won’t be with Christ that I love. Each person has to decide for themselves, I can’t make them. The Bible is very clear on how terrible things will be. There are many theories out there about when Christ will come again. Never trust anyone who says they know, because it isn’t true. We are given signs of the end times, but no year, month, day or hour. If anyone is reading this and the rapture has happened, help yourself to the books, bibles and other resource I have, because you will need them.

I do hope that it is the pre-trib theory. The reason I say that is because I am a chicken and no way would I want to have to even think about having to live through the mid tribulation period or any other kind of tribulation period. It doesn’t matter if it’s pre, mid or post tribulation – what matters is it’s real. It’s coming and it’s close. For those who know the Lord personally, does it matter if it is the pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib. We should be doing the Lords work each day. As things begin to unfold in the world, we will know. God knows when things will happen, we just need to be ready and talk to as many as we can about who God is and what His plan of Salvation is. We should all be reaching out to the LOST, and try, in any way…to reach them, with God’s Good News!

111303003Now, if I wanted to leave a message to those who would be left behind. I would say never ever take the mark of the beast. Once you do that, you have sealed your fate. The mark of the beast is the sign of the Antichrist, and is mentioned in Revelation 13:15-18:

” 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
18 This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.”

Secondly, I would say to read the Bible and hide out. Things are not going to be pretty. The Anti Christ will lie to you and most that will be saved during this time will have to find a safe place. Don’t trust anyone and be on guard. I would guess that most who are saved during this time will be killed for their faith. It is better to loose your temporary life then to loose your life forever. As believers in Christ we must realize that this world is not our home!

Also during this time, you will find it almost impossible to be able to buy food, gas or just about anything. The only way you will be able to do anything is if you have the mark of the beast. That mark could be almost anything. Now, my thoughts is that it will be a micro-chip of sorts since they can be read easily. Don’t do it. It isn’t worth it!!!

10635935_687257424674251_8387736976924555112_nLastly, I would say memorize the Word of God and pray. Don’t believe people when they try to convince you that everyone that is gone was abducted by aliens. The only thing that is true about aliens is that as Christians we are aliens in a sense in the world, since we live in the world, but not of this world. Jesus Christ said, In Matthew 24:40 it says “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left”.

No matter when Christ comes, we know for certain that He will be coming again. We know we must be ready and sharing the Word of God. There are many nay sayers and those who believe that this is fiction. Hopefully those who are the nay sayers will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior before it is too late and guarantee ya, that if you take the mark, then it is too late.

 

Most of the images on this blog posting are from the Left Behind website. They are owned by them.

Can’t Fix Stupid…

Sorry All, this is a vent… Just having one of those days.

f116a592c99d7e432502044957ba6044Stupid people drive me nuts. Or should I say stupid comments. And people that goes on and on and doesn’t have a clue and doesn’t need to be in the middle of my business needs to just step to the side. And for the most part I am probably making more out of this than I need to.

This is the whole thing. We have my brother in laws car. The engine is a mess and I want it out of our garage. It has only been in there for over 2 yrs. My car can’t even fit in there because of this beast. Chuck has no time to work on it. He barely has time to work on the cars we drive all the time. And, by the time we pay for an engine, fix it up, we are in the hole. So when someone tells me that this or that can be done with it. I want to shoot them with a rubber band. If someone else wants to pay to have it fixed and spend countless hours on it, by all means go for it. But when it isn’t their time or money, they need to step aside and leave it alone. I have no patience for this at all and sick of the whole thing. The first $850.00 dollars takes it and they can blow it up for all I care. They can even use it for target practice, I don’t care.

You_Can_t_Fix_StupidI’m thinking since my cardiologist wants to do a stress test and my blood pressure was 210/128 today or right around there, that they should check my blood pressure around people that have no common sense. My Dr’s say to stay calm and away from stress. How can someone fix stupid??? I don’t think there are enough pills in this world to do that.

Now, I know as a Christian I should be nice and slow to anger. But, I want to also add that I understand the verse where it says “we all fall short of the glory of God.” So I am falling short right now and I am thinking there has to be a Bible verse about stupid people. It is human nature to justify things, so for a few minutes or the night, I am going to justify my thoughts on this whole thing.

OK! So I had to go search for Bible verses on stupidity. And low and behold there is some.

  • Proverbs 12:1 – Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
  • Ecclesiastes 10:3 – Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense and show everyone how stupid they are.
  • Romans 1:22 – Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
  • 2 Timothy 2:23 – Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

So, now I am going to have to end this topic because stupid is something that can’t be fixed that easily. And I get really agitated over somethings.

Healing Prayers/Laying on of Hands

Prayer can and is one of the most powerful tools we posses. When we really pray awesome things can happen. I know this first hand.

About 17 yrs ago I was in a huge amount of pain. The kind of pain that stops you in your tracks and makes it impossible to move let alone breath. Because of my medical condition things are a bit rough. I feel like Job in the Bible quite often. When a person has auto immune diseases it is hard to know what will happen from one minute to the next.

back-painMy husband Chuck was home for a couple days. Since he is a truck driver, he is gone a lot. He knew I was having a hard time pain wise and feeling good wise. I was at the point where I couldn’t handle the pain in my back anymore. I have to go to the Dr. After x-rays, the Dr informed me that there wasn’t anything he could do for my back. Because it was auto immune and nuero muscular, just medications was all they could do.

Jessica and Beckiah was home at the time and in high school. Every morning Beckiah or Jessica had to come into my room and put pressure on my spine between my shoulder blades. They had to apply the pressure for about 5 minutes or so to get my back to pop into place. Besides nerve pain, I would have to say back pain is the worst.

I prayed and prayed for something to happen and for the pain to go away. I wasn’t seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. But I still prayed each day for the pain to be gone or made at-least tolerable. And this is when the couple of nights that Chuck was home came into play.

The girls were all tucked into their beds and Chuck and I were heading to bed. We watched a little bit of David Letterman and off to sleep we went.

I prayed again before I went to bed along with all my other prayers. We were sound asleep when the pain in my back became so much worse. I was having thoughts of going to the ER to see if they could at-least stop the pain. Chuck was out to the world and nothing would budge him. Plus he just got home after driving 3000 miles. My only option at that point was to pray and plead with God.

indexMy prayer went something like this, ” OK, God, I am having issues here and I could really use your healing touch on my back. I don’t think I could bear another day with this kind of pain. All I ask is just a few hours of sleep and relief.” I wrote my prayer down since I do that a lot of the times At that moment and I looked at the red numbers on my clock it said it was 12:34 in the morning.

I slept on my stomach at that time and I had this feeling of a hand touching the exact spot where my back would lock up. At first I thought it was Chuck touching my back. I could barely turn my head and seen that it wasn’t him. He was facing the other way. I felt this warm hand on my spine and I became so relaxed to the point where I couldn’t move a muscle. My breathing became calmer and I felt nothing but warmth. I had absolutely no pain whatsoever. I couldn’t even move my fingers or toes. My pain was totally taken away from my back at that point.

The next night, Chuck was still home and we went to bed. He feel asleep before I did. I was watching Letterman too. I was just getting ready to turn the TV off. At that point I could feel this cool hand that was placed on my shoulder. It felt like it was damp and cool. I asked Chuck what he wanted and turned around and he was snoozing. I knew that the cool hand and touch had to have been from nobody but God. There was nothing else that would explain the kind of peace and healing that went on that night.

I had a follow-up appointment with my Dr and they scheduled an MRI for my spine. They were shocked to see that the damage that was there before and the pain I was having was gone. There is still a inward curvature of my spine, but my spine and pain never returned like it was then. I do still have pain, but not like it was.

community-outreach_std_t_ntWhen people say that prayer doesn’t work, I say they are speaking out of ignorance. When we truly pray for healing or whatever it is, God answers. He may not answer the way I would like. But He does. I have no doubt in this whatsoever.

When I fast forward to my life now, I still have a ton of medical things in my life. But I have to say that if it wasn’t for God in my life and my faith, it would be as unbearable as it was the night my spine locked up. I have had a number of healing interventions in my life. I can’t even count on my hands how many times God has pulled me out of what Dr’s would call impossible crisis’s. There are times when God’s presence was with me, even when the Dr’s couldn’t see it. They have no answers for why I am here. But I know that God knows. Who knows, maybe He wants me to be sure to share how He has worked in my life and share it with some stubborn people, lol.

Eventually I may share more about my medical things. As of right now, just a handful of people really understands it all. Even though when they have awareness months, I will go more into things. Basically the Dr’s say there is no cure, but God is the greatest physician ever. So it is all in His hands. And I would never second guess God in this department.

Many of us are very skeptical when it comes to healing services. Why is that if we see that someone is healed – we rationalize it away . We find it hard to believe that the miracle of healing still takes place today.

jim-bakker-tammy-faye-bakker-68417

Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker

I can’t help but wonder if we are scared away or afraid of healing by the laying on of hands or going forth to receive prayer because of all the tel-evangelists on the TV. I was talking to my pastor the other day about this and can’t help but feel that these over the top TV preachers (Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker) has taken from what prayer is really about. There are even those who have been caught and pretended that the hearings were real when they have just been set up.

(James 5:14-16 NKJV) Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. {15} And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. {16} Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

I believe that God performs miracles of healing through the local church. Through the elders of the church and through you and me. It is our responsibility, our duty is as a church and believers in Christ to provide a healing ministry to those in need.  I definitely believe that God has given some people the gift of healing and that the miracle of healing does happen through them.

I do want to say that even if we aren’t all healed physically, we can still be healed. My pastor is going through the book of Luke and throughout the book it covers all kinds of prayers. Eventually all of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and has repented of their sins will be healed. It may not be in this world, but they will be.

healing-hands-head

I do want to add this about my healing. Because of my medical problems and my faith, I have been given a great many opportunities to witness to those who I never would have gotten the chance to. God has opened doors that I wouldn’t be able to open myself had it not been for my health issues. If God chooses to heal me in this world that would be awesome and if not, that is awesome too. Because the greatest reward ever is to be in His Kingdom and in the presence of the Lord. There are no guarantees for anyone. But it sure does make it nice when I think about what it will be like after this earthly life is over with. There is no way to put into words what it will be like. Now if I wasn’t a Christian, I would be scared to death or of death literally.

The hard part for many Christians and non Christians is not in thanking God when He heals you or a loved one. The hard part is thanking God for all things including those times when He chooses not to heal.

Philippians_1_21_by_GyldenbendI do want to touch on laying on of hands and how we are commanded to do this in the Bible. We should lay hands on the sick and pray the prayer of faith, and the Lord will raise them up and if they have committed any sin, it shall be forgiven.

The church I grew up in had it where if someone needed to be prayed with they had a special time at the end of the service where they would do what is called an alter call. The Pastor, Elders and those who want to pray with someone. Others may gather around and pray also. During this, some of these may reach forward and lay a hand on the person for whom we are praying.

  • 1 Timothy 4:14 – Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is healing.  Healing – This is supernatural healing, beyond natural means, given by the Spirit.

Praying for one another and laying on of hands is a wonderful time to gather together and pray for one who is ill or going through other afflictions. If God chooses to heal them, they should gladly accept this; If God chooses to take them home, they, like Paul (Philippians 1:21) can eagerly look forward to seeing Him face to face.

I had/have a time going forward back then because I don’t like being the center of attention and everyone looking at me. I 100% believe that we should be praying in this manner and having others pray with us and for us. Could you imagine what this world would be like if we relied more on prayer instead of worldly things. Not just the world, but our lives. I would think that our lives would be so much more happier and have a sense of peace instead of living in fear.

prayer_requestI’m going to end with a few Bible verses that touches on healings.

  • Psalms 147:3 NKJV He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
  • Jeremiah 33:6 NKJV ‘Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.
  • Psalms 103:1-4 NKJV Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! {2} Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: {3} Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, {4} Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,
  • Matthew 8:13 NKJV Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

Associating With Hot Tempered People

28d6023a0aa0a084ba2c9256afab7d02I get encouraging words from K-Love and I love the one I got today in my email. I had to chuckle a bit on it. This is the verse;

TODAY’S ENCOURAGING WORD – 8/13/2014

Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, Proverbs 22:24, NLT

If I read this verse for what it is I would have no friends because I have a temper and I get angry. Just watch me when I get cut off in traffic or someone says something stupid. I would think most if not all of the world would be alone and friendless because we sure have a ton of angry people in the world. So I have to study more on this verse since it is one of those verses you have to really understand what it is saying and in what context.

I couldn’t understand why the Bible would tell us to stay away from these types of people until I read more on it and a few things stood out to me. I would think we should befriend them so we can be a good example and show love and kindness.

In proverbs “Good Friendships” are characterized by qualities, blessings that produce a positive result in our lives.

5ec7fd1927fc6e764c378091353b3fa1When we make friends with other people, we have tendency to become more like them. We let our guard down and see no harm in certain behaviors. I have seen this in my own life when it comes to friends and family. When we moved to St. George, I made a conscious decision to only have friends that are positive.

The reason I say this is that before we moved here and I worked at a truck stop, over time I didn’t see the harm in certain things. We would go out after work and usually it was a bar. Even though I wasn’t drinking a lot or doing cat calls to the guys, others were. Eventually it just became normal and I didn’t think nothing of it. I still didn’t do it, but I was finding it funny and would laugh right along with the others. I knew I needed to change this.

When the friendships are new, it’s easier to restrain ourselves, but over time it becomes an acceptable standard of behavior. For some reason we have it in our minds that we can change them, but that is far from the truth. We eventually become more like them.

We are known by the company we keep…

  • 1 Corinthians 15.33 “Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionship’s (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.”

toxic friendsFor example- I notice this with my niece. I love her in every sense and would give my life for her. She is like a daughter to me. When she is around certain people, she takes on their mannerisms. She talks like them, swears like them and even walks the same way. It’s as if she wants to be like them and accepted by them.

She is doing much better now and many of those friends that used her in the past are no longer in her life. Which I am incredibly happy about. They knew what to say and do to get her to do what they wanted her to do. They would break her spirit and didn’t care about her as a person.  She is no different than anyone else. We all want to be loved and accepted. But and this is a big but. We need to keep ourselves in check. And we only need to allow those who have our best interest into our lives.

I know many people that are of all walks of life. I try not to judge them because of the choices they make or because they don’t believe in the same God I believe in. When I read this passage it spoke of truth.

  • Psalms 106.35-36 – “Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs. They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.”

When we become friends with someone who is toxic to us. These types of friendships can be deadly for us. Not just in the way we live but also spiritually. These types of friends don’t really care or love us. They are out for themselves and when the chips are down, they will book on ya.

jesus17Here are some verses that describe a true friend.

  • (Paul) 1 Corinthians 4:14-6:20 – ‘a great man who helps friends grow in their faith, by encouraging them and being bold enough to correct them.’
  • (Jesus) Colossians 3:12-17… ‘Compassionate, encouraging, patient, loyal, understanding, loving’. To be a good friend, let us “clothe” ourselves with the things of God.
  • (Jonathan) 1 Samuel 20:1-42 – who risks his life for a friend. He helped save his friend, David’s life when he heard that his father King Saul wanted to kill him. He told David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it for you.”‘
  • (Ruth) Ruth 1:1-22 – ‘who is loyal even when in times of difficulty. When Naomi told Ruth to stay behind, Ruth said these words, “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay I will stay”.’

tumblr_m59zt6G1OR1qhwveyo1_500Ecclesiastes 4:9–12

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Here are some verses that describe a toxic friend…

  • Toxic Friends(Judas)
    Matthew 26:15-17, 25
    Luke 22:47-48 who acts like a friend but puts his own self-interests above everything else.
  • 2 Samuel 15:12-17:23
    (Ahithopel) King David’s betrayer, he befriends an enemy who wanted to overthrow the kingdom. He was also ‘David’s trusted counselor, but he gives lousy advice and spread rumors about the king’.

In closing, I just want to say that we should be careful who we associate with, even if they are family. I have had a hard time with this most of my life. When I keep focused on God I do much better when weeding out those who cause havoc and chaos in my life. If I notice that I have become more bitter or on edge, I ask myself why I am that way and what has changed. And usually it is because I let my guard down and allowed the wrong people in my life. I allow them to influence me instead of God influencing me. I am a work in progress.

92aba409325d89004b07a1ec1d53a3caWhen we think about real friendships Proverbs 18:24 sums it up pretty good. There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. Real friends bring a consistency into our lives that we come to know and depend upon.

We all should be wanting to build better friendships, providing the kind of positive influence that will help people learn more about Christ.