How We Avoid Hate!

How We Avoid Hate!

To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Proverbs 16:1,2

When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Better a little with righteousness than much with injustice.  7,8

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. The wise are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. 18-21

A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good. 28, 29

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. 32

One of the most significant ways we can avoid situations that lead to hate is to understand how hate manifests itself. Hate doesn’t just show up out of the blue–it is planted, fertilized and nurtured to fruition by those who are insecure, fearful, and resentful (and incapable of rational thought).

People who have severe doubts about their own ability to accomplish things resent those who are confident and their lives demonstrate their confidence. Generally speaking, they will fertilize their insecurities by blaming others for what they have not achieved, and the more they blame others, the more they nurture their hatred. They teach their children to hate others because of fear–not knowledge–and those fears for the most part are baseless because insecure people–don’t venture far from their base of comfort. In other words, they have not lived a full life–one in which they ventured far from home and experienced life outside their parameters of their comfort zone.

The same people are incapable of understanding that we can be passionate in our disagreement with others, but we don’t have to allow the disagreement to lead to hate. We must understand that it is our right to disagree, but we can disagree, agreeably which won’t lead to wars or rumors of wars or bullying rhetoric. Hate spreads when people who are incapable of rational thought never realize that they are not always right and that others don’t have to agree with them. They have yet to understand what “individuality” means.

If God had wanted clones–He could have created them. We would all look alike, think alike and never have any need to use our brains or vocal cords.

What we must do to avoid the proliferation of hatred, bigotry, and senseless fear is to realize we all have something to contribute to society in productive, constructive ways and none should be ignored or disregarded simply because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or any other factor. We must realize that God created one race of people–the human race with one blood surging through all–it’s red–no matter the color of skin is.

With insecurities–comes the tendency to think a person or a group of people is superior to another. In order to perpetuate the lies–they create all sorts of false data, write books with suspicious documentation to prove they are superior to others. We see this in the beliefs of all the “white nationalists” or other hate groups who actually believe they are superior to every other group of people. They do not know or understand that the cradle of civilization began on the continent of Africa and that skin tones changed as man migrated to cooler climates. Education would be extremely beneficial to debunk all these myths, but for those who hate–irrationally–they tend to think that having an education is synonymous with being elitist. Therefore, they revel in their ignorance and nurture their hate.

There’s an adage that says, “ignorance is bliss” and we can see that being true for those who choose to blame others for their shortcomings and positions in life. They’re happy with their ignorance and would rather hate than learn to live peaceably in society.

We know that when we disagree (especially in households), we should never allow the sun to go down and we’re still angry. Be passionate in disagreement, but ready to concede the possibility of being wrong and be willing to do the research to make a verifiable point and not just rely upon “an opinion” with no legs.

We can avoid planting the seeds of hatred and bigotry by recognizing that we are part of a greater world and we don’t have a right to expect others to live  by what we think or believe. We can educate ourselves (with all of the accessible technology) and not hold others accountable for what we don’t accomplish. We can learn to love–unconditionally–just as God loves us and with that love–there’s no room for hate. We can stop fertilizing and nurturing hatred by accepting responsibility for what we do and say or for what we don’t do. We are responsible for everything we say–good or bad–and everything we do–good or bad and we cannot blame others for our actions or inactions.

When we learn to critically analyze why we think what we think, believe what we believe, or do what we do–we’ll discover there is more to life and living than what we think we know.

 

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Be Still and Know!

Be Still and Know!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;  he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46 NIV

I know there are many people out there right now who disdain the use of “God” or “Jesus” and they feel justified in doing so, but I’m reminding those who believe in His plan for their lives to remember His promises and be still and know, He has not forgotten you.

In the midst of crisis, it’s difficult for any of us to stay focused on God’s promises when we feel our lives are at risk. Believing God does not mean we do stupid things or act unwisely in the midst of a crisis, but we seek His wisdom and hold fast to our faith that He will make a way.

Hurricanes are an act of nature and God saves in the midst of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and all manner of situations in which we have no control. But if we act wisely, trusting our dependence on Him, He will see us through what nature tends to throw our way.

Yes, bad things happen to good people and only God knows why He allows certain things to happen to some people and not others. I’m not God, so I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers, but I trust Him. “In all our getting, get wisdom.” “Wisdom is the principal thing.” Solomon repeatedly refers to the wisdom being the utmost importance. When we things through and act wisely, we could avoid certain devastations. And though we get upset over the loss of things, we must remember things can be replaced–lives won’t be. So the wisdom we must exercise is about saving lives, not things.

Even though Harvey was predicted in enough time for people to make provisions to move out of the way of danger, most people could not have imagined the rain that would proceed in the aftermath. This is not an act of God–it is an act of nature and if anyone wants to attribute the storm to being an act of God, and attempt to claim it is retribution for the people who live there–they make a mockery of who God is.

For the religious-right who have said John McCain’s cancer is God’s retribution because of a vote–shame on them. They obviously have no knowledge of God and how He functions in the earth. But the rub here is–some of those same folks would “never” say the storm is retribution for the wrongs they have done against the poor and the needy. God doesn’t get into our politics because what we do–who we vote for and put into positions of authority are on us–and when we don’t act wisely, we don’t get wise leadership in those positions of authority.

In the coming days, it will be extremely difficult for some to hold onto their faith and know that in the end, everything will be all right. I’m confident that acting wisely, seeing to the needs of others and taking care of self will result in lives being saved. I encourage everyone who can to make donations to American Red Cross so they will have adequate resources to meet the needs of the people. Donations can be made online (with a minimum of $10). I made my contribution and would love to see as many people as possible do the same–especially those who recently won lotteries. Now is a good time to help others in need.

My heart and thoughts are embedded in the crisis in Texas and I will continue praying for their safety and for the rains to abate. God knows what it is He wants to accomplish in the hearts of men and women everywhere and I’m sure it will be as He has determined.  Stay safe!

 

When Evil Frustrates!

When Evil Frustrates!

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the LORD. But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the LORD is their refuge.Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! Psalm 14 NIV

Where are the true Patriots in the Republican party in Washington, DC?

Is there one–just one Republican–who speaks truth any more?

Is there one–just one Republican–who cares about the poor and needy?

Is there one–just one Republican–who is more loyal to country than “pledged loyalty to a man” who has no values other than greed and power?

Is there one–just one Republican–who cares more about their constituents than their party agenda?

Is there one–just one Republican–who is bold enough to stand up and speak out against the atrocious policies being implemented that discriminate against the poor and promote hatred?

Is there one–just one Republican–who is courageous enough to convince the party to put an end to this charade of a presidency that has the world laughing at America?

If there is one–then where are they and what’s taking them so long to stand up and uphold the oath of office they took or does that oath no longer mean anything?

Have they–succumbed to greed and need for power over doing what is best for the entire country?

Where is the  moral outrage of the so-called christians who voted for all the “negligent, obstructionists” who put evil in the seats of government?

It would appear to me, that everything we say–as Christians and Americans–we value has gone out the window with our current leadership and no one seems to care about the people or what they need. No longer do we see integrity and honor ruling in the hearts of those in position of leadership. No longer do we see patriotism honored by elected leaders who have apparently forgotten–the voters who elected them. No longer do we see those who have publicly taken oaths of office–uphold them.

OTW

But we–who truly know God and live according to His precepts and are loyal to Him–understand how God will frustrate the plans of those who frustrate the plans of the poor.

For this reason–there is fear and anxiety–overcoming reason and logic by those who plot evil or won’t stand against it.

For this reason–instability and anger–rests upon those who do not know God and will not obey Him.

For this reason–many Republicans–are afraid to face their constituents and hide from them.

For this reason–the American people–will seek those who care about them and change the political landscape from the red of anger and frustration and greed to the blue of hope and integrity and honor.

The frustration felt by those who have been ignored will result in a tsunami of blue waves that wash across this country in upcoming elections–no matter how much money–the Republicans spend–unless they have chosen to “rig more elections” like 2016.

God knows and He’s watching and His purposes and plans will not be frustrated by evil, for He has overcome evil and evil will be overthrown and cast into the pit of darkness, never to be seen or heard from again. Watch for it!

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Do We Really Trust The Lord?

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 NIV

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5 NIV

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Psalm 20:7 NIV

In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. Psalm 22:4 NIV

But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14 NIV

But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you. Psalm 55:23 NIV

in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:11 NIV

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 NIV

There are so many passages from the bible that address the issue of trust that I could not begin to expound on them all. But in the midst of anxiety over local, national, and world events, we need to remember that since we have no control over these things, we must learn to trust God in all things.

Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. Psalm 146:3 NIV But do Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5 NIV

If we truly believe that God has a plan and His plan is for our good, then we need not be overly anxious about anything we hear or see in the media. We need not be concerned about the elections (we do need to seek God, hear Him and vote in obedience to Him, not the sensationalism in the media); we need not be concerned about the terrorists for God also has a plan for them; and we need not fear anything, but stand firm on God’s Word, living it on a daily basis.

If we trust Him, we won’t be afraid of the outcomes; if we don’t trust Him, then our lives will be overwhelmed with anxiety and fear about everything going on around us.

We must be aware of events in our midst so we’ll know how to pray and what to do when opportunity presents itself for us to act. And we must act–do something–for faith without works is dead (worthless). But what we do should only be direction of Holy Spirit who knows more than we shall ever know. Our actions should not be rash, without giving thought to all possible scenarios, but led by Holy Spirit who knows how to direct our steps and to keep us from falling into the pits and snares the enemy has set for us.

Let’s face it–with all we know and have learned–there is too much more for us to know to think we know it all. Trusting God means we acknowledge our shortcomings and allow Him to be God of our lives.

No Anxiety, Please!

” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7 NIV).

Whenever we are anxious about anything, we tend to make hasty decisions or wrong moves. We habitually think we have to know how to handle every situation and when we can’t, we crumble and fall apart.

We don’t have to handle any situation. We must trust God in all things, communicate with Him our desires, our concerns, believe He hears us and start thanking Him for the outcome. If we believe He will do whatever we ask in Jesus’ name, we can rest in His peace, knowing that nothing surpasses His peace, and His peace will guard our hearts and minds against the temptation to become anxious and worry. He created all things that were ever created and He can certainly handle our little problems. Our trust in Him should be demonstrated by our ability to keep moving forward, allowing nothing to anchor us in despair or hopelessness. “Lean not to our own understanding, but in all things–trust in the Lord.” He is able to do all things well and we can relax and wait, with patience to see how He does things.

While we’re waiting, patiently to see the outcome of our answered prayers, we have time to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and all the love that abounds from God through us to others. Wait on the Lord and again I say, wait!

When He speaks to us–have a heart to hear and obey with hands and feet prepared to do whatever He tells us to do or tongues ready to say whatever He tells us to say. If we’re not going to listen to Him and obey, there really is no need to pray. We’re wasting our time and His.

Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask You for wisdom to guide us every day of our lives and the willingness and courage to do all You tell us to do. We thank You for Your love, mercy and grace–for all You have done, are doing and will do in our lives. We thank You for peace in the land, no matter how things look.  We know You can and will resolve the chaos for our benefit and have peace reside in our spirits and hearts.

Time to De-Stress!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).

Most of the time when we become anxious (stressful, fearful) we make decisions that are truly not advantageous to us or others around us. Fear–the tendency to move/act without wisdom (thoughtful deliberation)–creates havoc in lives, in our society, and throughout the world.

If we only operated in love--being more concerned about the welfare of others–we would not have time to fear (perfect love casts out fear and doubt). But then again, we have to remember that fear–like love–is a learned behavior. When people experience things that make them anxious or fearful, the behavior or response to the experience becomes habit.

When people learn to hate–and it is a learned behavior–they pass that experience and their reaction on to others and it becomes a perpetual cycle until someone has the courage to break it. The same is true for those who become over-anxious about things. These are the people who make foolish decisions because they do not know how to think things through before a decision is made. People who commit suicide couldn’t think beyond the moment. People who kill other people won’t think beyond the moment. People who plot and conspire to kill and destroy have been influenced by Satan and are incapable of thinking right thoughts for themselves because they lack wisdom.

The response to all the fear, anxiety and hatred is to relax, de-stress and turn it all over to God. We cannot do anything about people on our own, but Paul reminds us that we can communicate our concerns to Him. And then–we have to be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego-if God changes the circumstances or not–He’s still God and we should learn to stand on our faith in Him.

So, today–whatever your circumstances might be that have attempted to make you anxious–look them in the face and say, “I have presented my requests to God over you and I will not be anxious about the outcome because God has this covered.” Now, relax–take a deep breath–count to ten and have a praise party all by yourself. He’s worthy!

De-stressed and giving Him praise! Works every time! Hallelujah!