Tag Archive | focus

Out of the Fog

In the Fog

In the Fog

Spurgeon thoughts for Fearless Friday:
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“It is exceedingly beneficial to our souls to mount above this present evil world to something nobler and better. The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are apt to choke everything good within us, and we grow fretful, desponding, perhaps proud and carnal…
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May the Spirit of God assist us to leave the mists of fear and the fevers of anxiety, and all the ills which gather in this valley of earth, and to ascend the mountains of anticipated joy and blessedness. May God the Holy Spirit cut the cords that keep us here below, and assist us to mount!
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We sit too often like chained eagles fastened to the rock, only that, unlike the eagle, we begin to love our chain, and would, perhaps, if it came really to the test, be loath to have it snapped. May God now grant us grace…like Abraham, to attain the top of the mountain, there to indulge in communion with the Most High.”
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Dear Lord, please lift us out of the fog of our fears, cares, and all the things that choke out the Light of your presence. The fog is sickly, dark, hindering and oppressive. We pray, grant us grace and lift us up to your mountain, so we can breath and see unhindered, our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Then, ‘the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” In His name, Amen.

Above the Fog

Above the Fog

Eighty or Twenty?

Titus 2sday, brought to you today, by Elisabeth Elliot:

A wife, if she is very generous, may allow that her husband lives up to perhaps eighty percent of her expectations.  There is always the other twenty percent that she would like to change, and she may chip away at it for the whole of their married life without reducing it by very much.  She may, on the other hand, simply decide to enjoy the eighty percent, and both of them will be happy.  [1]

What are we focusing on today, the 80% or the 20%?

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[1]. Elisabeth Elliot, Love Has a Price Tag (Ann Arbor, MI:  Servant Books, 1979), p. 97.

No Comparison

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.  2 Cor. 10:12

I think one of the hardest battles we have as women, is comparing ourselves with others.   This thinking can invade every area and role of our lives.  If we’re working outside the home, we look around, and wonder if we’re doing as good a job as others.  Some nebulous standard out there says we must have a cleaner or more creative home than….who?  Others, of course!  And forget it when it comes to mothering!  Organic meals, frugal budgets, home-schooling, discipline, potty-training, Baby einstein…it’s craaaaazy!!!   No matter how hard we try, there is always, always, always, someone doing ‘it’ better…or worse.

There is no peace in comparison.  And, honestly, I am not the best person to offer insight on how to defeat this monster, because it rages in me…everyday.

But, God’s Word can! 

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Eph. 2:10 

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Psalm 100:3   

For you formed my inward parts;  you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Psalm 139:13 

God Made You. 

There IS no comparison.  You are unique in everyway.  Uniquely beautiful, talented, intellectual, spiritual, and, all together Wonderful!   So why still try to measure up or compare ourselves with others?

It’s a matter of Focus.

We focus waaaaaay too much on ourselves.  Or others.  We need to adjust our sights, and focus on only one Person.

Focus on Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   Hebrews 12:1-3

For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  Romans 14:7-8

 

Working, parenting, teaching, cleaning, changing diapers (whether cloth or disposable), serving, achieving, befriending–Living–it’s all for the Lord!

Focus and live for Him.  Freedom from comparing, peace in knowing He loves and made us, strength in living each day for Him, and Him alone…now that kind of life has no comparison!  

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Dear Lord,  It seems that our flesh cannot help but to compare everything we do with everyone we know, and even those we don’t.  It’s a battle we face day in and out.  Help us to focus on Jesus as our standard, and no one else.  Destroy our worldly speculations and comparisons, and bring our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  We yield ourselves to you.  Let all we are, say, and do, be for You glory. You alone are worthy.  Amen.

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Please come back every Tuesday–Titus 2sday–when we seek God’s Word for hope, grace, and strength to be the women He made us to be.

Focus on Christ

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 ESV

A word to myself…anyone else?

“The first device that Satan has to keep souls in a sad, doubting, and questioning condition, and so making their life a hell, is by causing them to be still poring and musing upon sin, to mind their sins more than their Savior; yes, so to mind their sins as to forget, yes, to neglect their Savior, that, as the Psalmist speaks, ‘The Lord is not in all their thoughts’ (Psalm 10:4). Their eyes are so fixed upon their disease, that they cannot see the remedy, though it be near; and they do so muse upon their debts, that they have neither mind nor heart to think of their Surety. A Christian should wear Christ in his bosom as a flower of delight, for he is a whole paradise of delight. He who minds not Christ more than his sin, can never be thankful and fruitful as he should.”

From Puritan Thomas Brooks’ book Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices

HT:  Tony Reinke

Grace in Marriage

candle_flame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two become One

The unity candle in a marriage ceremony signifies two families, two individuals joining as one — for a lifetime.  The importance of this union is often overlooked during the ceremony, but the reality remains beyond the wedding and honeymoon.  No longer I, but we. 

On Monday’s (Feb 2nd) Focus on the Family radio broadcast, Dr. Gary Smalley discussed with extreme clarity and practicality how to carry this beautiful and challenging reality into the everyday–and the long haul.  He presented the need for grace (and honour) in marriage above all, which ultimately leads to increased unity between two very different people.  The principles can be applied to other relationships as well, but seems we often ‘get’ or ‘do’  those better than our own marriages.

Grace needs to be applied daily to our marriage.  In The Grace Awakening, Chuck Swindoll calls grace “the oil that lessens the friction in marriage.”   This demonstration of grace should be mutual, extended by both parties to both parties, resulting in “mutual equality, mutual dignity, mutual humility, and mutual destiny.”  While this may have been understood in days gone by, it seems more and more view marriage today as a matter of convenience and/or mood.  When the benefits of the convenience or the mood wear out, so goes the marriage. 

Grace brings lasting benefits into marriage, and the list below by Chuck Swindoll, is certainly not all-inclusive:

Grace loves and serves
            gives and forgives,
            keeps no record of wrong,
            releases and affirms,
            supports and encourages,
            values the diginity of the other.

The Focus on the Family radio broadcast mentioned above presents very practical ways to show this kind of grace to one another.  I’ve  posted a summary at “Grace in Marriage-2“, but I still encourage all to listen, HERE for some well-rounded advise that all can use (even those of us married over 30 years!)

http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001763.cfm