Pause and think about it!

Archive for June, 2012

Bitter or Better

What story do you tell about your life?

Our heart becomes full of whatever we choose to hold in our hearts.  “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things; an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, brings forth evil things; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” So if you want to know what you’re full of, ask the people around you. Don’t depend on your own judgment.

Our life story comes from the choices we’ve made about how we respond to the challenges of life.  Some choices will make us bitter persons; other choices will make us better persons. There’s enough that happens in life to make us bitter, but God always has a way of helping us. We can’t control the facts of our life, but we can control the story we tell about those facts. None of us lives with the facts of our life; we live with the story we tell ourselves about those facts. The enemy wants to give us the most destructive version of the story; and Jesus wants to give us the most creative version of the story. There’s that battle that goes on between our ears about how we’ll finally explain to ourselves about how we’re going to view the unfair issues that all of us go through,  Jesus makes it clear that no life is always sunny. “Rains and floods come to the house built on sand as well as to the house built on rock.”

You cannot always control what happens to you in life, but you can always control how you choose to feel and think about what happens to you.  The facts of your history are there; you can’t change them. Many people waste time trying to undo and redo life. The more you try to redo it, the more you stay anchored in your past. You have to come to terms with the facts of your past and ask God to help you put them together in the most creative way possible and not let the enemy make you bitter in the way you respond to things that God can use to make you better.

(References used – Psa. 23:7; Matt. 7:24-27)

Copied from sermon by Dr. Richard Dobbins, “He lived; he loved; he left,” ICLV, Father’s Day, 06/17/2012.

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He walked with God

“…and he was not for he walked with God.” As a little tyke, I remember my dad preaching about how Enoch and God were walking and talking one day and God said, “Enoch, we’re closer to my house than yours; why don’t you just come on over to my place and we’ll continue our talk there.” It intrigued me. We’re always standing on the edge of yesterday and the brink of tomorrow and who is to know when we’ll just walk right on out of this body and into our Father’s house. I delight in His Presence. (Gen. 5:24).

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Selah!

“What does ‘selah’ mean in the Bible?”

The word “selah” is found in two books of the Bible, but is most prevalent in the Psalms, where it appears 74 times. It also appears three times in the third chapter of the minor prophet Habakkuk.

“Selah” is thought to be rendered from two Hebrew words: s_lah, “to praise”; ands_lal, “to lift up.” Another commentator believes it comes from salah, “to pause.” From these words comes the belief that “selah” is a musical direction to the singers and/or instrumentalists who performed the Psalms, which was the hymnbook of the Israelites. If this is true, then each time “selah” appears in a psalm, the musicians paused, either to take a breath, or to sing a cappella or let the instruments play alone. Perhaps they were pausing to praise Him about whom the song was speaking, perhaps even lifting their hands in worship. This would encompass all these meanings—praise, lift up, and pause. When we consider the three verses in Habakkuk, we also see how “selah” could mean “to pause and praise.” Even though Habakkuk was not written to be sung, Habakkuk’s prayer in chapter 3 inspires the reader to pause and praise God for His mercy, power, sustaining grace and sufficiency.

Perhaps the best way to think of “selah” is a combination of all these meanings. The Amplified Bible adds “pause and calmly think about that” to each verse where “selah” appears. When we see the word in a psalm or in Habakkuk 3, we should pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just read or heard, lifting up our hearts in praise to God for His great truths. “All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.” Selah! (Psalm 66:4).

Resource: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions, by Elmer Towns.

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http://www.alabasterbox.org


Happy Birthday to West Virginia!

WV HillsWest Virginia became a state on June 20, 1863. My graduate school transcript from Michigan State University still lists my home state as Virginia. I shake my head in amazement that 150 years later, many people do not know there is a state called WEST Virginia. What a wonderful childhood I had there–in spite of the chemical plants that kept the Kanawha Valley stinky. The Three Crosses that some of you have seen along the highway were first erected in West Virginia. See the story here: http://www.thecross-photo.com/Crosses_Across_America_Inc.htm

On this birthday of my home state, I remember well the words of our state song. They are very meaningful to me even though I’ve lived away from there for more than 50 years.  Check them out:

West Virginia Hills

1. Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand, With their summits bathed in glory, Like our Prince Immanuel’s Land! Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills, As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?

CHORUS:

Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills! If o’er sea o’er land I roam, Still I’ll think of happy home,And my friends among the West Virginia hills.

2. Oh, the West Virginia hills! Where my childhood hours were passed, Where I often wandered lonely, And the future tried to cast; Many are our visions bright, Which the future ne’er fulfills; But how sunny were my daydreams On those West Virginia hills!

3. Oh, the West Virginia hills! How unchang’d they seem to stand, With their summits pointed skyward To the Great Almighty’s Land! Many changes I can see, Which my heart with sadness fills; But no changes can be noticed In those West Virginia hills.

4. Oh, the West Virginia hills! I must bid you now adieu. In my home beyond the mountains I shall ever dream of you; In the evening time of life, If my Father only wills, I shall still behold the vision Of those West Virginia hills.

Words by Mrs. Ellen King; Music by H. E. Engle

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