Look at the stars

I love this quote I found online.  I believe this to the very core of my being.  There is light!

Looking around at the world today and all that is happening in the news, we will notice a lot of bad; there is a lot of hatred, sorrow, terrorism, etc.  We will notice people who don’t care any more.  There is more financial stress, more destruction, and more illness, and the list goes on. Many people can grow cold and uncaring or just become immune to all the evil in the world.  What was once devastating or shocking to society years ago will be acceptable or ‘normal’ today.  Take divorce for example.  It is very commonplace today, but a couple hundred years ago, if someone were to say they were getting divorced, they would probably be either shamed or pitied greatly.  Now it is much more acceptable.

In a world growing cold, immoral, or uncaring I can find myself becoming judgmental.  It’s just not the way it used to be.  More and more of what is acceptable now was immoral 50 years ago.  It is very easy to focus on what is bad in the world.  The news, for example has mostly stories of terrorism, war, and crime with only a short human interest story at the end.  There is a way I’ve learned to stop being so sorrowful and disappointed concerning the world system.

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Look at the stars

The more darkness there is, the more stars I can see.  I can go out to the country and see an image such as the one here.  A  multitude of stars in space.  There is darkness all around, but so many stars to enjoy.  If I keep my head up instead of down, I can see more light instead of darkness.

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In the city, with all the lights, buildings, and cars, there is much less light in the sky.  It’s easy for me to be so distracted by the action, people, and things around me that I no longer see the stars.  The world is in the way.  Even when I do look up, the stars are much less noticeable.  Most of them are dimmed in the midst of the lights of the world.

Look to God

god-is-light-in-him-there-is-no-darkness-at-all-quote-1ddf4ec73a44f86ca71ac6d1320605afeThese two verses say it all.  “God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5.  and “Set your mind on thing above.”  Colossians 3:2.  If I keep looking up, if I look at the stars in the night sky instead of the darkness itself, I can see light.  There is still good in the world.  There is still happiness. God is teaching me not be so negative.  Do not see the glass half empty.  Do not look only to the faults in the world.  See the small points of light in the midst of darkness.  Focus on the positive.

Like Carrie Hope Fletcher said, “Happiness is always there. You just have to choose to see it. There’s no point dwelling in the dark and ignoring the light of the stars.”  See link above for more information on Carrie Hope Fletcher.

How to Change Worry to Peace and Freedom

Worry happens when we take on a responsibility that is not ours.

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Jesus told us that we should not worry. Philippians 4:6-7 in the New Living Translation says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

1 Peter 5:7 says  Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Jesus wants all our cares.  That is why he came.  He came to walk beside us and carry our load.  

We worry about our children

When our children are small and live at home, we don’t tend to worry about how to feed them, how their diaper is going to be changed, or how to carry out our basic responsibilities toward that child.  We have been given the ability to do these things because it is our responsibility and God gives us the knowledge and strength to carry them out.  When our children grow up and move out of the house, they start making their own decisions and choices.  They are no longer under our chain of command and are no longer our responsibility.  We can counsel them when they ask or help them when they need help; but, ultimately, they are now under God’s chain of command and if we start to worry, it’s because we have no control over the situation.  It is not ours to control so God has not given us that ability, strength or knowledge.

We worry about finances

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When we worry about finances, that is also taking on a responsibility that is not ours.  The bible says in Philippians 4:19 that God will supply all our needs.  So ultimately it is His responsibility, not ours.  That does not mean we sit back and wait for someone, sent by God, to hand us all the money we need to life.  Our responsibility is to ask God to supply our needs then listen to His plan of action.  He will tell us where to work and how to earn an income.  Our responsibility is simply obedience to his Word, spoken or written.  Once we obey, He honors and blesses us.  

We worry about the future.

called-to-be-loved-26-638So, we cannot control our grown children, we cannot control our finances (our trust is in God, not money or our present economy), and we certainly cannot control our future.  It has not happened yet and we never know what is around the corner, but God knows and He works all things together for our good.  Most things we worry about that concern the future will either never happen or they will be things we can handle and eventually walk out of victoriously.

So what are we to do?

Just live like a child.  Again referring to Jesus’ teachings, He told us to come to Him as little children.  Have you noticed how happy little children are?  They know they cannot buy their own food, or dress themselves, or take care of even their most basic needs.  But they trust their caregivers to care for them.  All they need to do is come when called and let their caregivers hand them all that they need.  That is what our Savior can do for us.  He will hand us all we need as long as we live for Him and obey His leading.  And no, our parents will not always hand us everything we want.  They know we need to eat our veggies and protein, not only sweets.  So, also, God will not hand us all we WANT.  Only what we NEED.  Trust in Him.  Let go.  Be free.

FROM THE HEART

by  Terri  Byars  October 2000 to January 2001 /All rights reserved

Depression.  Hopelessness.
All seems lost. Nowhere to go.
Want to leave. Hit bottom.
All is useless.  What is the point?
I cannot do this anymore.  Are you there, Lord?
Return me to the place of joy.
Trust.  Rest.  Confidence.
Confidence in You alone.
I want to forget.  Laugh a little.
Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Read the word. Live in His love.
In Your light, Lord.  Let me/I live there alone.
Get rid of darkness. Take me to the Light.
Pure Joy

Confession.  Repentance.
Not my will, but Your will be done, Lord.
Tears.  Grief.  Hopelessness.
Wondering what is wrong, how to fix it.
I can’t do it in my strength.
I cannot proceed until all my strength disappears.
Transformed.  Renewed.
A living sacrifice presented to God.
Tears.  Grief.  Brokenness.  Hope.
Hope in God for the help of His presence.
I cannot stand.  I have fallen.
I have to be carried. Lord, lift me up.
Confession.  Repentance.

Brokenness.  Childlikeness.
Total desperate dependence on the Lord.
A need.  A longing.  To be satisfied.
Never able to be filled.  A need to be empty.
I can’t be filled until I am empty.
I cannot be satisfied until all my desires disappear.
Crucified.  Dead to self.
Following Him closely every moment.
A need.  A longing.  To hear His heart.
A pure heart.  Single-minded.  Holiness.
I can’t see without His eyes.
I cannot walk, Lord, hold my hand.
Brokenness.  Childlikeness.

Selflessness.  Generosity.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition.
Focused inward.  Self-importance.
What can be done to fix my problem?
It’s not about me and my problem.
It’s not most important to get my needs met.
Humility. Think of others.
Consider others needs above my own.
Focused outward.  Self-abasement.
Other’s need are more important than my own.
Lord, what can I do for others?
God’s grace will abound toward you.
Selflessness. Generosity. 

Closeness.  Intimacy.
Single-minded, wholehearted devotion to God.
Affections.  Desires.  To have the answers.
Never knowing.  A need to be dependent.
I can’t be secure until I let go.
I cannot be secure until I step forward without knowing.
Hang on loosely.  Lean on Him.
Moment-by-moment clinging to Him.
Affections.  Desires.  Seek those things above.
Confidence in Him.  He knows.  He’s Daddy.
I cannot walk without holding His hand.
I cannot survive without looking to Him.
Closeness.  Intimacy.

Endurance. Perseverance.
Falling. Crawling. Moving forward.
Trust myself. I can do it.  I have the ability.
Try and try. Striving. Straining. Pressing.
I can’t keep going on my strength.
I cannot do this anymore without His Spirit.
Not my righteousness, but His.
Walking on. Press on toward the goal.
Trust Him.  Availability. Faithfulness.
Keep my eyes on Jesus who endured the cross.
I will keep going.  Earnestly pray. Have Faith.
Seek peace. Pursue righteousness.
Endurance. Perseverance.

RUN THE RACE TO WIN!!

Emotions of Life

emoticonsDuring our lives, we (especially women) go through many faces of emotion.  Throughout my times of strong emotional uprise, I have vented those emotions by writing poetry.  I have compiled those times into one larger poem called “From the Heart”.  You can read it  here.

I realize at the end of those emotions that Jesus is always the answer.  When we are happy, Jesus is the reason (John 10:10).  When we are sad, Jesus is the One to whom we can run(Matthew 11:28-30).  When we are angry, Jesus takes revenge for us (Romans 12:19). 

King David complained to the Lord a lot in the Psalms; however, at the end of most of those Psalms, he would exclaim something like “But God” or “And yet will I praise You”.  Sometimes he just talked to his soul and told himself to hope in God:

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1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
while people say to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”

4 These things I remember
as I pour out my soul:
how I used to go to the house of God
under the protection of the Mighty One
with shouts of joy and praise
among the festive throng.

5 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 I say to God my Rock,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
as my foes taunt me,
saying to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

No matter what our emotions are, we can rest assured that Jesus will be there for us.

 

LIVE FOR TODAY

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Matt. 6:34 states “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 

In today’s society with the economy, politics, etc. the way they are we need to focus on today.  Focus on this moment right now.  We need to forget about yesterday and it’s guilt, mistakes, missed windows of opportunity, etc.  We need to trust in God and not worry about what will happen tomorrow.  Let go of the fear, worry, unknown, etc.

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Prov. 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

Trust the Lord with your future.  It belongs to Him.  He knows what is coming.  Only then will we have the peace that comes from knowing everything will be okay.

I Set My Heart

Set Your Mind on Things Above

Vs. 1: Set your mind on things above;Presentation1
About the Savior and His love;
Let Earthly things just fade away;
And know that Christ will come some day.
(See Colossians 3:1-4)

(Chorus) I feel the Spirit rising in me;
I feel God’s Spirit setting me free.
I feel His joy now flooding my soul;
I know God’s love is making me whole.

Vs. 2: This world may look so dark and grim;
But the light is here, just look to Him;
Troubles press on every side;
But in His love I will abide. (Repeat Chorus)

Vs. 3: Though in this world the troubles come.
Jesus, my Lord, has overcome.
So now by faith we can believe
We all have the victory.
(I John 5:4 and John 16:33)

Bridge:
I set my mind, I set my heart
I choose to dwell on things above.
I set my mind, I set my heart
I choose to speak about His love.

Copyright 2013; Terri Byars and wordpress.com ARR

Blessings through the Psalms: Chapter 3

Psalm 3 Blessings

How many of us have heard the phrase “You can’t do anything right” or “How can you be so stupid”  I still say that to myself when I make a mistake.  It’s just the perfectionist in me.  But God sees us as “holy and blameless in His sight” – (see Eph. 5:26-27) 

God blessings seen in Psalm 3:3 – He gives us protection, honor and self-confidence.

  Steel_sq_shield_detail1.  PROTECTION “You, O Lord, are a shield for me…”  This shield David is referring to symbolizes protection.  The shields used then were full body shields protecting the entire length of your body from head to foot.  When people were in battle, they stood back to back four in a group all carrying these shields so they were enclosed all around with full body steel shields. 

God is our protection from everything around us.  Nothing can harm us if we trust in Him, NOTHING!

 

HONOR “my glory”  This means God gives us honor.  He gives us self-worth.  Without Him we are nothing, but with Him in our lives and in our hearts as our savior and the one we follow, He gives us significance and purpose.  He makes important and gives us honor.

Confidence
Confidence

CONFIDENCE  “the lifter of my head”  Our sin covers us with shame and we bow our heads in humiliation realizing that we are flawed, we are nothing, we are lost.  God gives us confidence so we can lift our heads in pride and satisfaction knowing we are a child of God and are forgiven of anything we did wrong. 

  What we need to do is see ourselves as God sees us.  Not as we look in a mirror, not flawed, not stupid, not abandoned, not worthless. 

We are strong, we are pure, holy, and blameless in His sight because we are His children and He made us with a unique purpose.

Verse 5 blessings – Rest and Strength

Rest “I lie down and sleep” The Lord gives us rest as we trust in Him because we need not worry.  We can be assured that He has all our problems in His hands and can take care of us.  So with a peaceful life, we can be free to rest in Him and relax so we can sleep.

Strength “I wake again because the Lord sustains me.”  He gives us strength to arise and accomplish our task for the day.  We can look to Him for our purpose for the day.

Verse 7-8 blessings – Salvation

Salvation “Salvation belongs to our God”.  God saves us from all our troubles.  When we receive negative thoughts such as “I will never get it right” or “I’m can’t do this” that is from our enemy, the devil.  God saves us from all those negative thoughts and gives us assurance of who we are. We can do all things through Him.  We are victors in Christ, more than conquerors (see Philippians 4:13 and Romans 8:37).

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