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Avoiding Tell-Tale Christian Blowouts: You Can Do It!

19 Jul

Just like God says people have built-in recognition that the heavens are God’s handiwork, even unbelievers recognize when Christians aren’t acting like Jesus. One of the most frustrating things that happens in my life is that I have occasional blowouts. Whether it’s flair of temper, a fit of rage, or a hard-hitting emotional upset, it kind of feels like when a tire explodes and causes a car to run off the road or get into a collision. It is certainly no way to represent Jesus on the earth. Because we have the indwelling Holy Spirit, these episodes can be completely avoided. Just the fact that we have these outbursts is evidence that we surely have not recently been with Jesus or we are still growing toward Christian maturity.

When the Storm Hits, Are You Ready?

Staying close to God and remembering that there is no need to freak out about anything must be done daily. We lean on Him instead of falling on our faces—unless we are falling on our faces in prayer. Remembering Romans 8:28 is a great way to start any day, since it’s a reminder that everything is going to be okay.

Romans 8:28New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Even though I start each day with a devotional and Bible reading, upon opening my eyes, this doesn’t always keep the light of Jesus shining brightly in me. Honestly, I need to expand my prayer life. A day when something devastating happens isn’t a sign we’ve blown it. It’s our response to unexpected, unwelcome blows that reveals just how spiritual we are. (Not in judgment of each other but when evaluating our own behaviors.)

pexels-boat in storm

It’s like when Jesus was on the boat with the disciples and the boat was literally about to break apart from the violence of the storm they were in the midst of. Jesus was napping through it all. They finally woke him in a panic. He rebuked them for their lack of faith and then rebuked the waves and all was calm and still. We have been empowered to be like Jesus, standing peacefully in the middle of chaos!

Things go so much more smoothly when are connected with God in prayer all through the day. Just now I stepped away from the computer and couldn’t find a laundry list of different things I was looking for, all of which are usually right here within reach. Judging from my response, it quickly became evident that I have not spent enough time with Jesus! This doesn’t make me a hypocrite, that I don’t act so holy. It makes me a forgiven sinner who had a tough workday and little prayer. However, I am aiming higher and will do a better and better job of reflecting light instead of crashing and burning in a moment of darkness.

Anger Can Really Clean House

12 Mar

As I gave the house a good cleaning today, I got angrier and angrier.  It became more obvious as I went along that no one is helping me keep the house in order.  All of our household rules about picking up after ourselves are routinely ignored, which puts a huge demand on me unnecessarily.

As T. D. Jakes said when we were at church yesterday, anger is a good thing, as long as you let it go before the sun goes down.  And in this case, I believe today was a last straw in a good way.  I refuse to go through this aggravation again.  But I’m the one that will make this happen by enforcing the rules every hour of every day.

“Are you finished with that?  Put it back where it belongs.”  So simple!

When I was feeling sorry for myself in the midst of my anger, I thought about how often I fail to truly appreciate God.  Every day He gives me life, breath, and a heart that’s filled with the joy of loving.  He also meets all of my needs without fail all the time.  How do I thank Him?  One thing for sure, complaining is no way to show gratitude to God.

Did you know that it was complaining that kept God’s original human family from entering into their place of overflowing promise?  All God wanted was for them to remember that He delivered them from bondage and He would meet all of their needs as they followed Him on the path He laid out for them.  The end of the trail was overwhelming success!  So what’s to complain about there?

I’ve repented of my complaining, I’ve apologized for my grouchiness, and I’m excited about this new determination to follow up every day on keeping the house beautiful.  But I’m still angry at myself for taking God for granted.  What else should I do to make sure that I’m not taking advantage of God’s goodness and blessings?

Actually, I think I know how to express my appreciation for God.  Take up my cross daily, forget about looking out for my own interests, and follow Jesus.  Simple!

Luke 9:23

New King James Version (NKJV)

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me.

It Stinks Up in Here

10 Mar

What smell is it that transports you most quickly back to another time and place?  Since I’m determined to be honest on this site, I’ll tell you that a certain men’s cologne brings me right back to the side of my “first love.”  I don’t even know what the cologne is, but I know it when I smell it.  The reason smells are on my mind is that my home, which I’ll move out of in two weeks, has lately smelled kind of unpleasant.  Since there are babies with diapers here 24/7, I’ve been looking for some poopie diaper that didn’t make it to the trash can.  But I haven’t identified the source yet.

This apartment smell isn’t nearly as stinky as the attitude I’ve had off and on lately.  In general, I’m calm, cool, and collected.  But I’m going through something with a certain 8-year-old that I need to get a new attitude about.  I’ve decided that while it’s good to expect a lot out of children, I think I’ve been expecting too much out of Logan.  There, I said it.  I’ve been wrong!

I think my stinky attitude has been tied to that old nemesis of mine:  Expectations.  There are certain expectations that are okay, such as when training up children in the way they should go, such as regarding fulfilling one’s own responsibilities like a mature adult.  But some expectations can lead to no good.

Relationships are frequently destroyed by that multi-syllable word:  expectations.  For instance, when you marry someone with the intention of changing them.  Not good.  When you expect people to read your mind, such as a spouse who doesn’t have a clue what you’re dreaming about as a special surprise for your birthday, even though you hinted several times.  Not good.  Come out and say what you mean.  Guys don’t think the same way as gals.

Have you ever been in relationship with someone and you came to a place where you realized that your life would be much easier if you simply never have any expectations whatsoever of that person?  Since they never do what it certainly seems they should, you just quit expecting anything.  It saves you a lot of frustration but may also be an indication that the person, even if a family member, is creating a mysterious stench in your life and needs to be shown the door.

All this thought about smells and expectations got me to wondering what God expects of me today and how my life can be a sweet fragrance in his nostrils instead of a big stink.  Here’s an answer from the Bible:

“The LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.”  From Micah 6:8

How awesome that God would lead me to the scripture, which convicts me about expecting too much from Logan.  Because if I’m walking humbly before God, I will quit expecting more from others than what I harshly demand of myself.  (I’m not very harsh with myself and my flaws!)

Hey, just realized that repentance produces a sweet smell, no matter what else hangs in the atmosphere.  Nice!