Discontent or Deleriously Joyful?

How many times do we stop ourselves and assess what we are doing? Life is more than work, work, work. Who are we? What are our strengths? What brings us joy?

I am fortunate to run a frame shop in a garage studio right outside my kitchen door. There, I can frame treasures for customers, but I can also create my own designs.

This morning I got a phone call from my daughter who had been up since 6:30, reading, writing and practicing music. She inspired me to get back to the piano as well, and with working right at home, I can definitely make time for that too.  She also shared with me that she had a day off and was taking time to go for coffee with a friend.  She has her priorities straight, straight, straight.

Sometimes we take our eyes off of everything God has blessed us with, our faith, our spouse, our children, our talents and abilities, our health, and our friends. If we are not careful we can become discontent in a matter of moments. Then the “grass is greener on the other side” invades our heart, if gone unchecked, this pathetic motto can become our mindset. Yikes! Don’t let that happen.

Don’t settle for tunnel vision either, and work, work, work. Take some time to discover who you are, what your strength are.   Are you working where those strengths lie? Perhaps you can make time after work, or on the weekends to celebrate who you are and what you like doing. Are you able to make time for family and the simple things, like taking a walk and listening to the geese fly over head?  I love listening to the geese arrive in the spring.  When they leave in the fall, I feel like writing a lament.

Don’t give into the nag of the almighty dollar either. Don’t work harder for more money, for some big fancy title or to build a reputation you think others want you to have.  Make more time to live simply, and if you are faith focused, well – you will know joy!

Here are a few of my latest creations. Some are on sale at my shop “My hometown Framing” and some are on sale downtown at “Ruby Bloom Studios”, in Olds, Alberta – Canada!IMG_2762IMG_2760  You can also visit my website:  http://www.newcindypalin.com to see more and hear more about what brings me joy!  I am hoping you will find that joy too.

New Song, That I Might Know Your Truth

That I Might Know Your Truth
(once published, chords no longer remained above their transition points)
I’ll upload a sound file to help.

G2 Bm7 Em7 Gmaj7 C D G2 D
You have come that I might live, that I might live for you
G2 Bm7 Em7 Gmaj7 C D G2
You have come that I might know, that I might know your truth
Cmaj7 D Em7 Bm7
So I submit to your will, deny myself
Cmaj7 D G2
and share in the sufferings of the cross
Cmaj7 D Em7 Bm7
I commit to your ways, let nothing else
C D G
sway my heart oh God
Em C G D
Deliver me, deliver me from my own wisdom, this sin disease
Em C G D
Deliver me, deliver me from this temptation, and set me free
G2 Bm7 Em7 Gmaj7 Cmaj7 D G2
You have come that I might live, that I might live for you
G2 Bm7 Em7 Gmaj7 Cmaj7 D G2
You have come that I might know, that I might know your truth!

©Cindy Palin September 2013

Our Preference or God’s Wisdom?

Ever since the beginning of time God has given us directions to help us connect the dots, crucial dots to keep us on the journey of faith so that we can finish well.

One of his directives is; “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”      (Hebrews 10:24,25).

It is interesting to note that these verses come under a heading in the chapter entitled; “A Call to Persevere in Faith”.  One of the meanings for the word ‘persevere’ found in http://www.dictionary.com is; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement, continue steadfastly.

We can connect the dot; body of believers, to the next dot; keeping the faith, and believing in His purpose for us, but far too often we allow the discouragement of life to separate us from people.  This is where we can veer off the path and may disconnect.  This is the place where the enemy waits.  Wander off alone, and we are an easy target for false everything!  We cannot persevere alone, “for every goal reached there is a friend in the wings”.

Many may argue that we can declare our faith and remain in obedience to Christ without a church body by practicing church at home, or we can find the Body within the fellowship of a small group Bible Study.  These practices enhance our collective gathering, but should not be relied on alone.  The danger is; our preference as opposed to God’s wisdom.  The very idea of practicing faith without the Body reveals our inability to trust that God knows best.  Our decision to make our own church can come from a place of arrogance, which uncovers an unwillingness to be accountable, first to Christ, secondly – to each other.  Please be very careful and test everything with what the Word of God says (1 Thessalonians 5:14 – 23).

By neglecting to gather together we disobey Christ, announce our distrust, insult the cross.  How do we learn to love one another if we are alone?  Further, defaulting to independent choice, and creating a family we are comfortable with is trusting in our own strength, and the danger of a clique or a prejudicial group may follow.

There have been some very discouraging events in my life lately.  I have found it difficult at times to want to go to church, because it means I may need to engage in conversation.  As I struggle with my own weaknesses I turn to God and ask him to put one foot in front of the other, that I might obey his commands.  I get up and go and join my family in Christ, and look for Christ in the crowd.  I get up and go and join my family in Christ and listen for His voice, and He never disappoints.  The times I have hurt the most and have chosen to participate in worship has revealed the meaning of ‘sacrificial praise’, and the mystery of Christ has become clearer.

The enemy may tell you that you don’t belong, that you’re not quite ready to be part of an elite social club.  This is a lie from Satan.  The body of Christ is not an elite social club, dig into God’s Word and find out what God says about the Body.

And have you ever considered; you might be the face that someone sees Christ in?  Do not stay away any longer.  Let us persevere together.

1 Timothy 4:16
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Do Not Despair – Pray to Know Christ More.

My Grandmother prayed for all us kids.  After she died I wondered “who will fill in the gap, did anyone pick up her prayer list?” What did she pray for each of us?  In Ephesians 1, verses 15 through 23, we have an amazing passage of scripture that gives us insight on how to pray for those who are called in Christ.

We are so engrained in the natural, but we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us, the same power that brought Christ from the tomb.  How do we use that power in prayer and what do we ask for?

First of all Paul remarks that he had heard about a group of people’s faith and their love for the saints.  He then writes that he never stops giving thanks for them, “remembering you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:16)

Let’s pause for a moment and thank the Lord for our family of believers and their love for the saints.  Let us even go a step further and thank the Lord for our loved ones who do not believe.

Paul then asks for them to be given the “Spirit of wisdom and revelation” not to become the next Einstein, to be idolized or famous, not to become distracted with their abilities or anyone else’s – but to know Jesus better!

Let us pray for our focus to be on knowing Christ better, all else is secondary.

Let us pray for those who don’t know him, that they will come to know him.

He goes on to ask that “the eyes of our heart be enlightened”, not for what we might desire in the natural but “in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18,19).

What is our hope?

What are the riches of his glorious inheritance?

What is this power for us who believe?

Let us pray for our eyes to be enlightened to this hope, inheritance and power.

Paul goes on to tell us that this “power” is the same power that raised Christ from the dead, and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms….” (Ephesians 1:20) This same power is ours, and it is a “mighty strength” (Ephesians 1:19).

Let us thank God that His power is within us, that we can draw strength from Him and pray for others – that they will too.

Do not despair, pray.

Have a listen to an old familiar song by Stephen Curtis Chapman “Let us Pray”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You are in Trouble….

If you are in a troubled situation right now, do not go to the door, any door – be still.

…and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”Psalm 50:15

Your mind is full of thoughts – take them captive.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Everything you want to do at this moment – lay it down.

“What greater act of love is there than sacrificing yourself for others? Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice not for one of us, but for everyone who accepts him, because he laid down his life for us we should lay down our lives for others.”  John 15:13

Nothing is more important right now than you bringing your mind and spirit and body into submission to Christ.  You can’t do that without his help.  Ask him for help to submit, and say it out loud.

“…in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”       Proverbs 3:6

Every fiber of your being is crying, what is the core of your heart crying for?                    Are you crying for what you want, for pity, or crying out in repentance?

Read Psalm 51 out loud

 

Do not rely on your own understanding,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

You are in the middle of a spiritual war – you cannot see, you do not have a strategy but Jesus does!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  John 10:10

So “seek first the Kingdom of God” Matthew 6:25:33

Pray for His will to be done Matthew 6:9-13 The Lord’s Prayer

If you cannot pray, if you cannot bring yourself to speak the truth, allow others to surround you and pray for you.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”   James 5:16

 

 

But Most of All, If You Love Jesus….

The words below are for people who believe in Jesus and are struggling with communication problems in their marriage.  One of the biggest warning signs there are, is when you recognize your self as a separate entity within the marriage, maybe it’s separate bank accounts, maybe it’s separate ministries, separate this and that, and pretty soon, everything is separate.

I have a very good friend (a believer), who is struggling within the marriage relationship, and I wrote this for _____.  I realize each marriage is unique and each marital problem is unique.  There may be people who take offense to this.  There may be people who relate.  I know that the Bible is very clear about those of us who know the truth and walk away from it, 2 Peter 2:21.

My dear friend, do you remember when?

When (_______) got married a second time and we felt like we were going to a funeral instead of a wedding?

When we couldn’t take our kids to their grandparent’s house again, because they didn’t live together anymore?  We still took them to visit their grandparents, but it was never the same.

That was just yesterday and we swore that would never happen to us……

We swore we would never put our kids through that, so help us God.

So what happened? 

When did you decide you didn’t need God’s help?

….communication breakdown? 

If the silence goes on for too long, the lies take over. 

You of all people – love being tough, why not fight the lies?

You always thought you were so strong, well guess what?

No one is stronger than the lies.  No one except Him.

So what can we do?  We can’t – but He can.

And He tells us to confess (speak out loud) that we might be healed (helped along by other brothers and sisters in the Lord) James 5:15 – 17.

Jesus saw this (your pain) coming, and let them pin it all on Him and nail Him to a cross.

So the least you can do is pin your pride there too. 

You know how to press in and push through anything – this time DON’T – let Him.

But while you’re letting Jesus help you, don’t decide what He can and cannot do.

Have you forgotten nothing is impossible with Christ? Luke 1:37

You tell me you’re not sure what to do, God does and He’s given us a formula to follow that will bring the most miraculous outcome…..

It’s just that very few choose to trust Him, and very few really want what is on the other side.

Are you really going to settle for the temporary, or do you want the eternal?

The lies like to make the temporal very attractive. 

It is a mystery to me, how so many of us believers at one time or another have trouble communicating with our spouse, so rather than sit up in the middle of night and battle it out until every last issue has been covered,  we look for another someone to communicate with?

What makes us so sure the problem doesn’t lie within our own hearts, and that the same communication issue will follow us where ever we go?   ….. unless we let Jesus deal with it.

Remember the race we’re in, remember there are witnesses watching our faith journey?

Are we going to give into those lies and be a stumbling block for our own children?

If you want the best for your spouse and your family, take a deep breath and put yourself last one more time….and read this message from God’s own mouth.

But most of all, if you love Jesus….

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For who ever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.”

I want you to know that I believe your pain is real, I also want you to know – there is no excuse for what is happening right now, but we humans, we that are “flesh” (Psalm 78:39), can always make something up.  What does the Bible say?  1 Corinthians 10:13

In Love and in Truth,

Cindy