GOD CAN TURN OUR IRRITATIONS INTO DELIGHT

When we do a faux finish to match a live sample, (like making a piece of hardboard look like mahogany), we have to look at our samples in the conference room because it has the same lighting they have at the designers’ office where our samples get approved. Our electricity went haywire and three of the necessary lights in the conference room were off. We were on a strict deadline and were already nervous.

An electrician was called but it was a full day before he showed up. When he did, he was way too casual for our liking. He would work a little, take a smoke break, jabber with the guys awhile, work a little more, take another smoke break, laugh and jabber with the guys some more, work a little and then, yes, another smoke break. At the end of the day, we were told the lights were working. Next morning, lights not working again. This was really frustrating.

My boss said, “I guess we’ll have to go over to the pub to get a good look at our samples.” I thought she was joking so I just laughed and got back to work trying to do the best I could. The electrician showed up again a day later and I was getting more and more disgusted with him and started calling him names behind his back. I knew it was wrong, so the second night I repented and I forgave him and tried to not let my thoughts about him weave more of a bad story.

The next day at work, my boss being equally frustrated with the situation, suggested again taking our samples to the better lighting at the pub. This time I quickly agreed and off we went.

Not only was it super profitable as far as seeing what we needed to do with our samples, but they were serving breakfast at half off, so we decided, “What the heck, we’re going to take a break anyway, so why not here?” We’d never done that before.

We had a really delightful time, laughing and letting all our frustrations disintegrate into thin air.

The electrician irritated us to no end, but since we ended up having such a great time, maybe we should have been thanking him instead? One of my friends is convinced of this philosophy: We should be thanking those people who bother us for stepping into our lives. We may never have had the opportunity to learn what we did without them.

With this situation I was reminded of Genesis 50:20, where Joseph says to his brothers, “You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good.” The electrician didn’t specifically plot against us, but the adversary used his actions to really get to us. But God turned the situation around and used it to catapult us into a really amazing, one of a kind, fun day.

I don’t know about you, but I need to see more of this kind of thing. God will take my negative and turn it around for good and no one can stop Him. That’s a great truth to hold on to.

Love, Carolyn

Check out my book on Amazon. It’s in print form and e-book, or you can get shorter, stand-alone sections with 6 chapters for as low as $.99. WINGS: A Journey in Faith from the Earthly to the Heavenly.

TERRIFYING SUMMER DAY

In the summer the grass on the hillside behind our house was long and dry—perfect for hours and hours of fun for the three of us kids. My sister, brother and I found big cardboard pieces to use for sleds. We crossed the street in back of our house, climbed through an open space in the barbed wire fence, hiked up the hill and got ready to go. Each of us grabbed the front end of our cardboard, pulled it up over our feet and down we’d fly all the way to the… bottom. Then we’d do it again and again all day, until mom called us for dinner. One time I was sledding alone.
 
I got tired early so I folded my cardboard and headed home. I carefully lifted up a section of barbed wire and my foot hit a small log in the path. All of a sudden I was being swarmed and stung by yellow jackets. They were all over me—my face, my arms, my head, even stinging me through my socks—and they just kept attacking. Yellow jackets aren’t like regular bees that die once they sting you. Yellow jackets can just keep on stinging. I must have disturbed their nest and they were mad. I managed to get myself out from under the barbed wire and ran to the middle of the street.
 
They followed me and surrounded me and kept stinging me over and over. I could do nothing to stop them. I panicked and froze there right in the middle of the street and screamed at the top of my lungs.
 
My mom came running out of the house and saw immediately what was going on. She grabbed me and quickly got me off the street and into our driveway. She turned the water on and hosed me down. Then she took me, sopping wet, into the house, where she slathered me from head to toe in calamine lotion, finally easing the pain of over a hundred yellow jacket stings.
 
This memory reminds me of the Bible story about the man from the Gadarenes. He was being attacked by a legion of devil spirits. Most sources say a legion can be as many as 6000 in number. The man was lashing out, tearing at himself and scaring everyone, that is, except Jesus. The man wasn’t in his right mind but Jesus had compassion on him and rescued the man. Jesus set him free from the attacks and the people “found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Luke 8:34).
 
My mom rescued me and calmed the stings. Jesus rescued the man and calmed him. The man regained a sane mind rather than the insane one he got while he was being bombarded. Sometimes we act a little insane too when we get bombarded. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and do like it says in 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).
 
Love, Carolyn
This week I have a free download, WINGS: Sample book C. It is 6 true life stories all on different aspects of FAITH. Find it on Amazon under my name.

NO GLASS CEILINGS

Sometimes I need to re-read a chapter from my own book. I’ve been getting a little irritated with people lately and it’s not good. When I start to judge others it not only puts a stumbling block in their way, but it also puts limits on my own life. So I need to stop. Here’s the chapter I just read to get myself back in line:

NO GLASS CEILINGS

According to wikipedia the term “glass ceiling” refers to the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps people from rising to the top, regardless of their qualifications or achievements. That’s what it’s like when we prejudge and criticize people before maybe getting all the facts straight.

As long as we keep this glass ceiling on others in our own minds, we not only hurt them, but we’re hurting ourselves as well. A good example of this is when Jesus went back to where he grew up. Those people had seen him as a child growing up and they put limitations on him. “They were offended in him. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matt 13:53-58).

I heard a preacher say to the people he pastors that he expects them to get more revelations, more insights, more understanding on the Word of God than he does. That pastor expects and believes for God to work in those people. He doesn’t act like he’s their savior. He’s operating Luke 6:38 that says: “Give, and it shall be given unto you, pressed down shaken together and running over shall men give unto your bosom.

If someone is born again, they are a new spirit person on the inside. They have Holy Spirit and God can and will work in them. Just don’t you be the one to put that glass ceiling on them. Even Jesus himself said to his disciples, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12). Even though these disciples still were unlearned in many areas of their lives, Jesus had full expectation for them to do more than He did. What a great example to us.

Ephesians 4:25 says: “We are members one of another.”  The body of Christ, which we are, is supposed to work together, “the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:16).

If we as leaders in any aspect of life can start to apply this kind of thinking, we not only shatter the glass ceiling we’ve put on others, but we will also open windows that bring back blessings from them to us. The flow or circle of blessings can then go unhindered and how much easier and smoother our lives will be.

Some of the scriptures I pray to break through glass ceilings are as follows:

Ephesians 1:17-19 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”

3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

2 Thessalonians 1:3 “Your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.”

Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers.”

Isaiah 54:13 “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”

I know I’m not unique in that people irritate me at times and I don’t have the most loving thoughts toward them.  But when I read these scriptures, like I just did, I can change my mind and see annoying humans in a new way and act better toward them. After all, it is God’s will and Jesus’ command, “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I already have a better attitude tonight.

(I wrote this last night J)

Love, Carolyn 

Get more helpful life tips in other chapters of my book too. Available from Amazon. Just look under my name.

THE UNKNOWN MYSTERIOUS INTRUDERS

Maybe it’s because they’re mysterious and unpredictable. We don’t understand them. What is it with their being visible only sometimes and invisible the rest of the time? People pray to them, give names to them and think we maybe turn into them when we die, but none of that is in the Bible. The whole subject can be confusing but bear with me as I go to some scriptures and shed some new light.

After Jesus went through the ordeal of being tempted in the wilderness, Matthew 4: 11 says “Behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” Luke 22:43 says, “There appeared an angel, strengthening him.” If Jesus needed the ministering of angels and the strengthening they could give, don’t you think we do? Of course we do. And don’t tell me that Jesus was special, so that’s why He got angels. John 16:27 tells us that God loves us as much as He does Jesus. So what God does for Jesus, He’s willing to do for us too.

Jesus told Peter, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt 26:53). And Colossians 1:27tells us it’s “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Isn’t God willing to do the same for the Christ in us as He did for Christ in the flesh? The answer is yes of course. Jesus said He could pray for angels and so can we.

In fact, He gave this instruction: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” (John 14:12). Praying for angelic help is one of the works. Two verses later He adds, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Asking for angels is an “any thing.”

Jesus reiterates this truth, saying “, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23). Angelic help is a “whatsoever.” Jesus could pray for angels and He expects us to do the same.

Philippians 4:13 tells us we “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us.” It doesn’t say all things except for asking angelic help. It says “all things” and the understanding is they are “all good things” because Phil 2:13 tells us “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

There’s nothing in God’s Word that says we have to get angelic help. But when we got born again, we made Jesus our Lord. Shouldn’t we be willing to follow His example? What’s our excuse? If we say we’re unworthy of angels, Jesus says we are worthy. If we say we don’t need them, Jesus did, so why wouldn’t we? Are we better than Him? Do we think it’s up to God to send them when He wants to? Jesus said all we need to do is ask and whatsoever we ask, we believe and we receive.

Do we refrain from utilizing them because we don’t understand them? God’s Word is for the simplest of men. Sometimes we get too intellectual and think we have to understand everything first, but that’s not God’s way.  Jesus teaches us to believe first, act, and then the understanding comes later.

In this article I am only trying to point out the additional value of angels to a believer. I am not in any way trying to belittle the magnificent power of using the name and the authority behind the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor am I denying the wonderful effectiveness of true prayer, or the supernatural moving of molecules when we quote scripture or apply the blood of Jesus over a person or situation.

I know our God is way more variegated and majestic than we have yet to discover. He has provided us with many tools and weapons for living victoriously. Why not employ more of what the Lord Jesus Christ has explained and opened for us to use?  

Psalm 103:20 tells us these previously unknown intruding angels are strong, and sometimes we just need that. Believe and ask.

Love, Carolyn

My book WINGS: A Journey in Faith is on sale in paperback from Amazon and is available in stand-alone parts, sample sections, and also the entire book of 61 chapters in e-book format.

DIGNITY

Image
When I decided to teach myself to paint, one of my first projects was to cut out photos from newspapers and magazines of pictures I wanted to copy. I chose black and white ones for my first attempt. I learned that raw umber and ultramarine blue made a nice black, so I mixed some up and got started.
 
The first picture that inspired me was the face of a young black girl. She wore a cap over her hair; she was from the Southern States and she was financially poor. But in one way she was very rich and it showed on her face. It captured my attention and my heart.
 
There was dignity in her expression and that’s what I wanted to portray—a deep inner strength from within. She held her head high as her face expressed drive and courage. When I saw the photo I thought to myself no matter what her circumstances are, she believes in her own worth and that’s what I want to paint.
 
It’s definitely not a perfect painting but it is one that I hang in my living room and today it inspired me once again, so I decided to write about it.
 
I think God must see us much like I see the painting of the girl’s face. He’s proud of us. He sees right past any of our outward frailties or inward short comings. He smiles when we believe in ourselves, when we hold our heads high. We are His kids. We have a right to dignity and we have courage to believe and walk out on His Word, step by step into our futures.
 
Zechariah 2:8 tells us we are the apple of God’s eye. God tells us Himself in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Those are some good truths for us to keep in mind.
 
We can be like the girl in the painting and be proud.
 
Love, Carolyn
 
More good truths from God’s Word and how to apply these truths in everyday living—get your copy of WINGS: A Journey in Faith from the Earthly to the Heavenly. Available from Amazon or Barnes and Noble online.

EYE IN THE SKY

Image

EYE IN THE SKY

I woke up about 3 a.m. and went outside to see the stars on this moonless night. It was cloudy all day, but tonight the sky was clear and the stars magnificent. I could see one of the best known constellations—the Big Dipper, in the northern sky. There’s 87 stars named in this constellation and they all have meanings centered on a sheepfold. The star names are translated “lamb,” “flock,” “the assembled,” “the appointed,” “the gathered.” The constellation and stars are mentioned several times in the Bible referring to the flock of God.

If you draw a line connecting the two stars at the farthest end of the dipper, they point straight to the North Star, which is the end star in the handle of the Little Dipper. This North Star is the central point of the heavens and all the other stars move circularly around it. However it is interesting to note that at one time this central star, around which all others concentrate, was in the constellation Draco, the dragon. But it has slowly and steadily moved into the Little Dipper, the small sheepfold of God.

If you follow the curve of the Big Dipper handle, you see two very bright stars. The first is Arcturus in the constellation Bootes. The picture is that of a man walking rapidly with a spear in his right hand and sickle in his left. The name Bootes comes from the Hebrew root word meaning “the coming.” It’s referred to in Psalm 96:13 “For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”

Still following the curve from the handle of the Big Dipper, you come to the bright star, Spica, in Virgo’s left hand. Spica means an ear of corn. It also has the name Al Zimach, which means “branch” and is found in Jeremiah 23:5 “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.”

I love that God put all of this in the arrangement of the stars, so that even in the flurry of technology and the barrage of inconceivable inhumanity, we can still look around us and always see something created from a loving God. We can be assured that if we will only take a look, we can see that a God of love and magnificence is still over it all.

Love, Carolyn

WINGS: A Journey in Faith from the Earthly to the Heavenly is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble online, both as an e-book and in paperback.