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How Choosing Godly Wisdom Creates Gratitude

Earthly wisdom is doing what comes naturally. Godly wisdom is doing what the Holy Spirit compels us to do. -Charles Stanley

I, like you, have tasted both the natural and the Spirit-led. After having tasted the latter, we can’t help but refuse to settle for anything less.

But sometimes it’s not easy telling them apart at first. This is what happened when, over the summer, I began nurturing grandiose ideas for my blog. Nothing was inherently wrong with them, but as I worked through the ideas, I felt unsettled, never at peace. Nevertheless, I pushed on for weeks, believing it was simply part of the hard work required in making things happen.

A particular writing friend of mine loved me enough to call me to task on my ambitions. Were these my ideas or God’s? As I prayed about it, God revealed in a number of creative ways that the ideas I’d been working so hard on were not part of His plan for our blog right now. When He confirmed this in my spirit, peace settled over my soul like soft snow rests on gnarly branches.

No matter how hard we work if we’re not in step with the Spirit, all is in vain.

I’m grateful that the One who indwells us is not an “It” but a “Him”. The Holy Spirit is personal and active in our lives. When in step with Him, life takes on an abundant edge that it misses otherwise.

How are you grateful for the Spirit’s work in your life today? Please share in the comment section!

 

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
{I decided not to share the specifics of my former grandiose ideas because the Lord is calling others to do exactly those things—PTL—but not me, at least for now, and for this I am thankful.}

Goodbye House, Hello Home

I suppose it’s the cycle of life. 

Three years ago my sweet elderly neighbor left the house she’d lived in for over forty years to move into a local assisted living center. 

Her house, empty and lifeless since. 

Four months ago, her son pulled in the driveway and gently helped his mother out of the car. She slowly made her way in the house she’d not seen for years. They lingered awhile before leaving. I knew what had just happened. 

My neighbor was doing a final walk-through of her house. Saying goodbye to a place that had housed a multitude of memories over the years. As she passed her tiny porch, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was recalling the many visits she’d enjoyed with her church friends. They would rock and chat for hours. (I couldn’t help but wonder how many times their sentences ended with “bless her heart.”)

Her house, empty and lifeless since. 

Recently, an older couple the family had hired pulled in and quickly began unloading card tables for an estate sale. Last Friday, they knocked on my door and invited me over for a walk-through before the big sale on Saturday.

It was a bit strange going over for a sale instead of a visit but the couple kept reminding me that my neighbor was hoping for success as the proceeds would benefit her greatly.

Thankfully for Brian and our house, I’ve become very picky as to what I purchase at estate sales. I walked past a vintage chenille blanket for $15.00 (okay, I glanced over), along with two rooms filled with vintage glassware — but a few things did catch my eye. My favorite find? A Parker fountain pen still in the box for $5.00. Yes! It has a straight nib, Tina Parker. 🙂 

As I walked through the little home crowded with goods I recalled something Charles Stanley said years ago. Basically, if we’re still alive to witness the Rapture, those left behind will be rummaging through believer’s houses since they’ll be vacant. His question: What will they find? 



“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where
thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also. Math. 6: 19, 21

 

Trading Bitterness for Blessings

I’d not passed it in months.
Now I pass it every Sunday morning.
“It” is the church we left under difficult circumstances in 2008.
It was a church we loved.

When we drove away that April morning, our Christ-knit “family” wasn’t the only thing left behind. The dust cloud also included my dream job and creative ministries I loved, so to say the departure was difficult would be a vast understatement.

And yet…I’m reminded every time I pass the church that, although we now differ theologically, there’s no doubt that it’s full of people who know, love, and pursue Christ— and for that, I rejoice. 

I believe it was Charles Stanley who said you know you’ve completely forgiven someone when you can pray God’s blessings for them, and I believe this to be true. Don’t believe me? Try it.
 
Now, when I pass by each Sunday morning, I pray wisdom, discernment, and blessings for their staff and the body. I desire God’s best for them.

Does a twinge of disappointment remain? Absolutely. But I’ll take that twinge over the lasting sting of bitterness any day. 

Am I alone here? Perhaps there’s a family member, friend, co-worker, pastor, or church body that needs you to trade in your bitterness for blessings. You’ll both be blessed and God will be glorified through your obedience. Go for it!

 
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and
anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind
and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in
Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32


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