12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake.
13 This will be a time for you to bear testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death; 17 you will be hated by all for my name's sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
A song of ascents.
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song will I praise him.
I noticed when my sons got to be in college, the same thing I noticed as a newly-wed, people seem to have another time period of discovery when they have raised their children. When our children are little - if you are like me and had children fairly young - we wonder when our full fledged life begins. Children require a lot of attention - and suddenly - they are fairly self efficient.
If I have one regret for the child years - I'd spend one hour a day being fun with my children. The rest of my parenting, I'm ok with.
Having come through scrapes and turmoil - even currently. I'd have to say - wait for the changes - life is always doing that.
Regardless of the changes, I was told once by an Episcopal Priest - God provides a blessing every day. Even when finances are in crisis and families are far apart. And life started carrying on. With blessings to Praise God for. And still I worried - endlessly. For instance, we needed to pay a bill and a check arrived the same day. And so I worried about next year... go figure.
The nice thing about worrying - even you eventually get bored with worrying. And all that worrying makes you observant and then you get, with prayer, a little wiser.
How? Eventually I remembered that as a child - I did have a grateful heart. And I started remembering what solutions work for me - well. And if I found a book that helped, I would remember the advice. A lot of advice was pure junk. Because - we have to figure out our own path with God's help and prayer.
So I will tell you what I have learned for myself and if that blesses you - I'm pleased.
1! Life is going to give you something new today.
Be prepared to pray. Be a little excited by the day. Expect a rich response of prayer. Sometime. Maybe years down the road. Some optimism - not the fake kind. Be genuine. Your best fake self might overwhelm you. Trust God that He is making you sufficient.
2. Some people you cannot please.
After some time - a lot of time - set up boundaries with Psalm 23. It's an easy boundary.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
If you let the be depressed noises and people - who say you will never win, the ideas that crowd 'you', a Child of God, out. All you will be is overwhelmed. Set boundaries - God says He will be your fortress. And out of the boundaries where you love yourself as much as others - you need this - without this, you will be overwhelmed - be polite and give enough goodness and Trust in God's Mercy - to feel alright about your words.
In imperfect situations, perfect solutions may occur - but doing Your Best as God gives you talent - will give you peace.
3. Find people to admire.
I see a lady at my Church who rarely gets a lot of applause - the things that bring her riches in her eyes and joy to her life - her unrelenting joy in Jesus. Thank you, Cindy.
The lady who goes down to help her mom - who has always gently, gently said improve improve improve - still goes. And helps her siblings. You know who you are!
A lady with a Pastoral husband - finds new projects and says you never confess the sins of someone else - it's a waste of time. She has a huge grateful heart.
A man who takes his vacation to bless his Church. Thank you.
For Judy. Who is so gracious to all she meets. She makes new beginnings from her kindness. I'm so grateful God says families live in Heaven together.
The librarian who loves children and gives the amazing wisdom she finds. She gets to be a blessing.
The ladies who sat to weep and mourn the passing of a lady who was ready to go to Jesus. You Love. And you continue to give.
The lady who seems to be so busy and yet puts a dab hand at bringing people forth. Mary.
The lady who truly cares and gets bound up in other's lives. She should realize that she has so many riches to give in her unrelenting humor. Teri.
My friend who is willing to speak her heart even if she cries. And we mend our fences. To great joy. Dee. A woman blessed going forward.
And Sharon who Loves. And we prayed for her children to live close by - and they are. We pray for even more proximity.
And I remember Randy - who had great physical pain. Greeted people with love and told me doing so caused him to forget his pain. Raised four children from early years. Loved. Gave when that was available for him to do so. Blessed so many people - that he caused people to want to bless him back. And is still missed today. Julie.
For Aunt Clarice. Opinionated and kind. Lover of small children. The dream I had she was Yelling. Heaven is All Real! I'm Standing Before the Gates And You Must Know This. All of This! It's Better Than Any Lottery! And waking to find that she had passed on to her Lord and Savior during the night. Her kitchen table solved a lot of life.
Believing Christians hang in there - and seeing the fruit of love flower and bloom and be tasty again.
4. Trust your intuition.
My new friend gave me good advice - if the horse is going to bolt - don't think you should ride the horse. Stop. Fast.
5. God says that all things work together for Good for Those Who Love the Lord.
I saw that happen recently from something from 1976. Wait for the silver lining. Expect positive things.
6. Be Yourself.
I find that when I need to leave a situation, I'm able to get away. And I might have just recently learned that's smarter than the average bear. Remember when we can appreciate ourselves honestly and know we have limitations - well - that's right. The New Testament says live a quiet life. Because all works of God go way past our own lives.
Be as kind as you can be. Tell the truth. Don't expect every situation to be a winner. When you read biographies - most people have years of their lives with conflict or uncertainty. Life actually exists for us to decide what choices we will make. A lot of our innate personalities arrive at birth and are most evident in late childhood. Our self esteem is going to need to remember our best self there and grow from there. For me when I please God, I love resting in HIM. And when I don't and I tried, I know He is not going to be angry with me.
7. Oh the places you will go - until the sails jam.
We can get in rabbit holes. Sometimes things happen because we need to learn emotional lessons from them. God says shame that is on going - is not from Him. People don't really believe change is possible - God does. When you get in a jam, sometimes we tell ourselves we have become wise to the world. God says a child's belief gets them into Heaven. There is not a lot of jade in His Heaven.
Step back, forgive,
take a deep breathe and renew the sense of wonder in life. Love. Remember again the way God has made you as a Person and find those solutions He gives you to renew your real essence - your soul.
When sorting all this out - pray. Write your thoughts down. Find positive inspiration in people.
8. Our friend Allen said Edward's nickname is River. Edward is good about waiting patiently to see the good in people. There is a lot of wisdom there. And make your own life. He learned that from his dad, Buddy. We are grateful to the extreme for Buddy.
9. Keeping the Score, Discernment, and Judgment
Payback cuts your forgiveness down
Discern that isn't a situation that is going to work and move on with grace and kindness
Judgment is spoken out loud where you share your opinion with someone else. And God says - were you honest, merciful, just and was that needed for safety. Encouragement. Wisdom. Always bare in mind - knowledge is limited.
Pray. Expect God. Be yourself. Be honest. Be kind. Love yourself.
Father God, Give us the day. For time with those we love. Vacation and change of pace.
Thank You for blessings, talents and expectations. When we remember to pray for good things - we will see them in patience. Thank You for a Day to Be Thankful. Thank You for those we Love. Bless all we know with Your Blessings. Bless our Nation, Dear Father God.
All the advice we would ever think upon should say - Trust God. In Jesus. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †