Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Happenings

Hi to all of my sisters in Christ! I can hardly believe Christmas is near. My family and I had a very nice Thanksgiving and I hope yours was blessed, too. We have so much to be thankful for! Whether in plenty or in poverty, the Lord provides for his own. I love this wonderful bible verse:
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Psalm 37:25
Since we have no extended family near where we live, some good friends of ours invited us to spend Thanksgiving day with them. They provided a delicious turkey, dressing and potatoes we brought green bean casserole, 3 pies, and some Jalapeño poppers (for later in the day). After our meal, we watched a little football and then played some games until everyone got hungry again and then warmed up some leftovers for a little dinner. We had such a nice day with our friends and thanked the Lord for bringing them into our lives.

We got to see the real Nutcracker Ballet performance for FREE again this year. What a spectacular show it is! Last year was our very first time seeing it and we were so excited when it was offered to our homeschool group again this year. It was a matinee performance. My husband was able to shift his work schedule so he could go with us, but my oldest son was scheduled to work that day and couldn't get the time off. We missed being with him so much but were so proud of the way he handled his responsibility.  He's becoming a man! And a good man at that.

We have a couple of Christmas parties to attend and some more shopping to do. God has been so good to us. Our bills are paid, my husband's been working steadily and no one in our family has had a single cold yet this season! Praising God!!

I hope you're having a blessed Christmas season and finding just the right thing for those on your Christmas list. I'm so thankful for Jesus coming to be born into our world to save us. Thank you, Lord! He is so worthy to be praised.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. — 2 Samuel 22:31

When A Christian Experiences Slander

slander |ˈslandər
noun the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation;a false and malicious spoken statement.verb [ with obj. ] make false and damaging statements about (someone): they were accused of slandering the head of state.
If you've even been slandered, accused falsely and generally been given a bad rap, you're not alone. It's painful. It's sad. But the one thing you must remember is that the person doing the slandering is the one who is really the one to pity. If American court systems take issue with libel and slander, just think of what God thinks of it. 

People who slander others are winking at sin and show clearly that they are not walking with the Lord.  This is an important piece of the puzzle. What does the Bible say about the person who cannot bridle their own tongue? Their religion is vain.  Can you judge a Christian based on their works (speech/slander)?

If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. James 1:25

What you do, what you say and how you live, speaks of whom you obey. The life of a Christian is lived out through the evidence of faith.  Faith is believing that God is to be feared and obeyed above all else and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him. Faith without obedience (good works in Christ) is dead.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
So when a professing Christian's "works" (their words, actions, behaviors) are "worldly" their faith, according to the bible, is phony.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Phillipians 2:12
Salvation is by grace, but it is evidence or "worked out" by walking in holiness and walking obediently to God no matter what others are doing around you. Anyone not walking in obedience to God needs to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

The word too often heard from pulpits is that after you say a little prayer, you're all set.  But the Bible says - in a myriad of ways - that we are to examine our faith to make sure it is true. A little prayer spoken in sincerity of heart can result in salvation. But there are a lot of unsaved Christians walking around cheating on God, walking in the flesh, loving the world all while trusting in their Pastor's assurance that they are saved. That is like building their house on the sand.

One way to inspect your faith is how you deal with hurts and injustices.  What does the Lord Jesus Christ say we are to do when we are falsely accused and someone slanders us?
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matthew 5:44
What ARE you when you're persecuted? 

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

What should you DO? 

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:11

You read that right - rejoice when you're persecuted! It's backwards to our natural way of thinking. When you are able to do this - rejoice when you're persecuted - it's the Lord's strength that is making it possible.

Human instinct is to fight back or get revenge when you're wronged. While speaking the truth is certainly a viable option, there is a time and season for it. If it increases discord or fury, it's wise to back off. Proverbs says "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold." But Ecclesiastes says there is "a time to keep silence, and a time to speak." So when you open your mouth in your own defense, make sure it is God's timing and not your own. In all matters of great consequence, making sure of God's timing is critical.

When you're patient and you wait on God for HIS timing, you grow stronger. I've found this to be true. Waiting on God makes you strong! I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good and the Word of God is true.

So if there is someone in your life that has slandered you even when you are "right", don't act in haste.  Even when they hurt you and say all kinds of wrong things about you! Jesus knows what this feels like, and he says:

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21

When you wait on the Lord to bring you justice, you will rise up on wings as eagles. I rejoice in the Lord. He's my portion. He's my rock. He's my deliverer.