Tag Archives: character

Joy in the Storm

088

A friend recently asked how I was managing with some challenges and all I could muster was that I was relying on God’s strength.  I said, “All I have is God … and He is more than enough!”  I also said that sometimes you simply keep placing one foot in front of the other.

Of course, my daily devotions spent in the Word of God and prayer are what sustain this weary heart on the difficult days.  Despite the storm clouds that surround, “My anchor holds within the vale.”  I have a deep, wellspring of joy on the inside that is not conditional on my circumstances but is a true gift from God.

It is possible to have peace and joy regardless of the dark clouds that rage.  This world is not our final destination.  During times of struggle, I especially love to listen to some praise and worship music and praise the Lord.  When we worship God, we are inviting His presence into our lives and our situation.  I firmly believe that.  And, how I need Him.

John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

Life continually has its valleys and mountain tops.  We cannot prevent either from happening but we can control our responses to each.  We can determine in our hearts that no matter what happens, we will dig deep in His Word for wisdom, instruction, and comfort.  No matter what, we will pray and praise God for Who He is, not just for what He does for us.

When we focus on our blessings more than our problems, there is a shift in our attitude and perspective.  Whatever we focus on becomes bigger.  What would happen if we focused on God more than our difficulties?

What if we recall the countless times in the past that God has delivered us and answered prayer?  What if we praised Him in advance for all that He has planned for our lives?

What if, even through our storm, others could witness God’s strength and power demonstrated in our lives?

Joy is possible in the darkest of nights.

Peace is available too.

Faith is the seed that makes these a reality in our hearts.

…Instead of searching for the nearest exit during your storm, why not praise God for what He will teach you through the challenging circumstances?  Why not ask Him to shine through your darkness to be a blessing to others around you that they may glorify God?

When we are able to change our perspective, we are able to change our reality.

Trust God.  Pray.  Praise.  Watch Him work in your life as only He can.

Rinse.  Repeat.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Living

The Immutability of God

IMG_1750

 

Now what does that exactly mean?  Immutable means: fixed, set, established, doesn’t change, constant, static, enduring, permanent.  I love this!

God’s unchanging nature has always been one of the most precious qualities to me.  He will not change.  He isn’t loving today and hateful tomorrow.  He doesn’t forgive me today and hold a grudge tomorrow.  He isn’t kind today and evil tomorrow.  He cannot change.  It isn’t in His divine nature, friend.  Isn’t that comforting to know?

The Bible says, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.”  Psalm 103:8

Verse 17 goes on to say, “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting…”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” ~ James 1:17

Psalm 107:1 says, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever.”

Verses 8 and 9 say, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”

That’s the character of the God I serve.  He is good.  He is merciful.  He is just.

 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” ~ I John 4:7-8

He is loving.

These Scriptures demonstrate and reveal to us the unchanging character of God.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and for ever.”  ~ Hebrews 13:8

He will not change.  He cannot change.

He has loved us with an everlasting love.  (Jeremiah 31:3)

When my circumstances change, my God doesn’t.  When my seasons change, God remains constant.  When my bank account changes or my relationships change, God is steadfast.  Unmovable in His love and grace for my life.

“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”  ~ Psalm 18:1-2

I challenge you today, friend, to dig into the Word of God and see for yourself the character of God.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”  (Psalm 34:8)  Do not neglect the Scriptures because the task seems tedious.  Our lives can become so hectic and fast paced that we lose sight of the true source of our strength.  Get into the habit of daily reading the Word of God and not merely checking off a reading list.  God is more interested in your spiritual growth than how many chapters you’re rushing through each day.  Read His love story to us and watch your spirit soar and your walk with Christ grow in ways you never knew were possible!

Blessings, my friend!  May we continually grow in His grace.  And may you be reminded of God’s constant character and steadfast love.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Living

Because Character Really Does Count…

460

As parents, we want to install godly character traits and good morals in our children.  Well, here is a way to be deliberate in our training efforts.  There are 49 character traits listed along with a supporting Scripture on the chart below.  It is never too late to instill these principles in our children and teens.  Traits like: obedience, punctuality, dependability, hospitality, gratefulness, etc.  These are all wonderful qualities we admire in others.  Why not make it a family project to emphasize each quality?  Perhaps one per week?  It could revolutionize your family’s life.

It’s entirely too easy to go through the motions of life and all of its busy-ness and miss the key things.  We must be deliberate about instilling godly characteristics in our children, particularly while they are very young and especially teachable.

Here is the Duggar family chart of character qualities:  (You can print the pdf.)

http://www.duggarfamily.com/data/sites/69/pdfs/characterqualities.pdf

These would also make an excellent teaching tool for any Sunday School class or Bible study.

Have you seen this chart before?  What do you think?

10 Comments

Filed under Parenting

My Kids Met the Duggars

463461460445

My kids have enjoyed watching the TLC show, “19 Kids and Counting” for several years now.  We’ve admired their unabashed witness for the Lord and the love that radiates from their lives.  My 16 year old daughter, in particular, was so excited to attend a recent book signing for Growing Up Duggar at a local Christian bookstore!  My 14 year old son was happy to tag along too.  (Now, if it had been the Robertson clan of “Duck Dynasty”, wild horses couldn’t have kept him away!)  The entire Duggar family was there.

The modesty the Duggar family displays is refreshing and a message that my daughter has wholeheartily embraced.  She only wears skirts as well and I’m most proud of her inward character qualities that are the motivation behind her decision.  She also would like to be a midwife, so she shares that interest with Jill Duggar.

My husband took the kids to the book signing as I was attending a “Mom’s Night Out” with some ladies from our church.  So, last week, apparently the heavens parted (not sure if you experienced that or not)  and my husband and kids shook hands, spoke and took pictures with the Duggar family!  Yes, they got their 30 seconds of fame, folks.  🙂

I am quite confident it was one of the best days of my daughter’s life…And guess what, folks?  My daughter, who can talk the paper off the wall, froze!  … I might have done the same thing.  But, it’s ironic that the child who likely talks in her sleep too, clammed up.  She did say a few words, mostly to Anna, wife of Josh, when she handed her a card and a crocheted necktie she made for baby Marcus.  Anna was very touched by her gesture.  Josh even got my daughter’s Instagram info. to tag her in a post, which I thought was very sweet.

Jessa had on a cute scarf, actually identical to the one that I gave my daughter for her 15th birthday.  So, they discussed that for a minute.  She spoke with Joy Anna, who is her senior by a couple months for a few minutes as well.

My son noted later that evening that his sister looked like a member of the press with her work badge still around her neck on a lanyard and a camera on her shoulder.  She just got a nice camera for Christmas, which was perfect for this big event.  🙂  I thought his observation was pretty funny.  The two of them waited in line for an hour and a half! …together… and were fairly patient about it all!  That might be the greatest miracle of the night! Yes, they’re getting older now and thankfully a little more tolerant of one another.  But, they’re a mere 20 months apart and polar opposites in just about every way.  They love each other deeply underneath it all, though.  🙂

It’s so important for those our children admire to exemplify Christ like character.  And I’m so thankful that the Duggar family is such a great representation of God’s love, especially for children.  Because they’re watching…

~    ~    ~    ~    ~

On the Duggar website, they have a chart of godly character qualities for parents to instruct their children, which is awesome:

http://www.duggarfamily.com/content/character_qualities

You can even print out the pdf, which is handy.  This is an awesome resource for any parent or anyone, really.  A neat idea is to print it on nice paper and give it to a new parent.

I definitely encourage you to take a look at this chart as I think it will be a blessing to you!

6 Comments

Filed under Miscellaneous