A private investigator found my niece’s daughter, Sidney, and says she is safe. I do not think she is home yet, but should be soon. Thank you all for praying. Now, let us praise the Lord!
This is Sidney Thornburg she is 14 years old and Lalo Vargas who is 18 years old She left home Wednesday in Dumas Tx, and is believed to be in the company of this man if you see him or her please call her Mother Sondra Dunlap 806-930-9809 or the Dumas Police department at 806-935-2151 SHE IS IN DANGER! Please share!
Sydney is my niece’s daughter. Please help with your prayers, watchfulness, and sharing this post.
For several weeks now I have noted a particularly strong struggle with impatience. I chide at rude drivers, calling them stupid, then quickly repent as I realize I have chided them for something I am prone to do myself when in a hurry. I stand in line when I am in a hurry with anxiety of heart and frustration toward those in my path.
Praying for God to instruct my heart in ways to practice His fruit-flavor of patience, even as impatience spoke out from me while dealing with the traffic on the morning drive to church, He mightily responded to my query through our worship service Sunday. The first song we sang that grabbed my attention to instruct my heart in response to prayers prayed was full of insights to help me in times of waiting and dealing with others.
“Standing here in Your Presence,
Thinking of the good things You have done…
Waiting here PATIENTLY
Just to hear Your still small voice again…
I will worship You for Who You are, Jesus.”
What a novel idea! To use the times of waiting in line, the moments of frustration with slow traffic, to stand in His Presence and think of the good things He has done: To wait patiently as with Him, expecting to hear His voice; To stand with rejoicing, worshiping Him in the times that stress my patience. As I go through this month with focus on developing His fruit flavor of patience, I am called of Him to see everything that slows my pace as His call to be alert to Him and as opportunity to worship. That glory was followed by:
All I need to do is say His name out loud.
All I need to do is lift my hands, surrender, and bow down.
ALL I NEED TO DO IS FIND HIM.
All I need to do is let His presence fall.
All I need to do is worship; worship the Lord.”
That is all I need in this life to help me through the times that test my own patience: Worship Him; think on Him; say His name out loud; surrender to Him; bow before Him; and wait for His presence to fall upon me. If I will do that, O Lord, I will stand…
I find rest for my soul
And in the depths of Your love
I find peace, makes me whole.
I love, I love, I love Your Presence”
God Almighty, Prince of Peace
Troubles vanish, hearts are mended
In the Presence of the King.”
God has mightily responded to my heart of prayer for Him to inspire me in ways to surrender to bearing His fruit of patience. I look forward with rejoicing to a month of discovering the greater depths of the flavor of His fruit of patience at work in me as I give focus to deliberate surrender in my Spirit to His work of growth in this area of fruit bearing.
Oh, and by the way, the title of the sermon for Sunday? “The King has personally invited you to Come and Rest” ~ Matthew 11:28-30.
So We Can Be Smarter Than the Dog
Our pastor once correctly reminded us that when we are puzzling a problem or trying to deal with an issue and a sudden jolt of inspiration comes to direct us to success, that is God at work. Don’t fool yourself: every bright idea and every good thing comes from above, from the Father of Light.
Today I had just such a moment. Simple as it sounds, I decided it was time to bathe our house dogs: one, DawgBuddy Jasper, part Jack Russell, Part Chihuahua; The second, the alpha dog, Missy Roo Popcorn, a bright and intelligent Toy Fox Terrier. Buddy being easier to dry, I got everything in order then grabbed him up. Missy, eyeing me intently, I thought proceeded to follow us to the bathroom as her tinkling tags sounded behind me.
Shutting the door, I bathed Buddy, dried him, and turned him out to run. Prepared for Missy next I go to get her. She is nowhere to be found. Looking with hope that she went to her bed to hide with no such luck, I knew she was hiding under a bed somewhere and the battle of wills was on. I dreaded having to lure or drag her out from under some bed, but as I headed that way to start the challenge, inspiration struck, “Aha!”
Going to my favorite chair, I sit down, recline it, get my laptop desk and wait. It was not long until she came trotting in and jumped up beside me, looking guilty and concerned as to whether she escaped the dreaded tub. I got her in my lap, loved on her a bit, and we went to the bath.
James tells us, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting…” (1:5-8).
It is wisdom God gives as inspiration for settling a problem, fixing something, taking care of a need. We awaken in the morning and ask God to give us wisdom for the path, then we go through our day led by Inspiration. We go to sleep at night, musing some difficult situation, praying for insight; waking the next morning with a sudden jolt of creative resolution that solves the problem. God is faithful to bless us with wisdom. May we be found faithful to acknowledge when he does, whether great or small, and give Him glory.
Self-control: The Path to Spiritual Wholeness in all things
“[The] women likewise must be worthy of respect and serious, not gossipers, but temperate and self-controlled, [thoroughly] trustworthy in all things. …” ~ 1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 1:8; 2:4, AMP.
Our ability to live with restraint of passions in the practice of self-control touches every area of life and greatly determines whether we are people of trustworthy character. I have heard it said that if we are out of control in our diet and health practices, it will translate to other areas of life as well. Chaos breeds the chaotic. Thus a focus on self-control will translate to breed peace and victory over chaos.
As I practice self-control in this area of life, I am seeing other areas in which to apply all that I am learning. Life as a whole is improving. And I am praising my God who leads me.
“For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward and appeared to us for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness and worldly-passion and desires, to live discreet, temperate, self-controlled, upright, devout, and spiritually whole lives in this present world, awaiting and looking for the fulfillment, the realization of our blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus” ~ Titus 2:11-13.
Living devout, spiritually whole lives in this life, what an awesome, godly goal to attain to, and as I read this passage, I realize that is the journey “self-control in the power of the Spirit” has me on. A devout, spiritually whole life begins with taking the step to live discreet, temperate, self-controlled lives of uprightness that grows out of the grace of God within, leading to a devout life of spiritual wholeness. As I consider living a life of love coupled with self-control, all powered and equipped by the Spirit of God, I can see how that practice of loving self-control and temperance holds in place joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, to make one whole as a spiritual being in all areas of life.
Joy and peace come to the heart and mind of the person who, out of love for all concerned, is walking in self-control that protects from guilt, condemnation, and struggle. A self-controlled person, surrendered to God and persevering in faith, understands the need to practice patience on the journey; patience with self and patience in all things that would hinder our journey if we did not persevere with patience to overcome the struggle.
Those who are self-controlled by love’s work within are not easily led astray from acts of kindness and goodness. Faithfulness to live lives of self-control that flows out of love produces a gentle soul who also possesses strength of character that is not always understood by those who are not on this journey as well. I realize this truth as I discover that there is not much that is able to shake my resolve as I give full focus to the Spirit-fruit of self-effort (my choosing to take needful action) empowered by the Spirit of God giving control to my fleshly soul that is beyond the natural means of mankind.
I continue to grow strong in maturity as I work toward being self-controlled in all things out of love for God, love for you, and a right love for self that chooses what is best for all I love, faithfully taking action in the power God supplies for doing so as a victor in Christ. And you are in my prayers as you, too, journey this way with me.
Posted in Restrained Passion, Sanctification | Tagged armor, Assurance, battle array, faith, Focus, godly character, hedge of protection, Holiness, love, loving-kindness, Overcomers, Power, Presence, Self-Control, spiritual blessing, Truth, unmerrited favor | Leave a Comment »
Training the Eye
I am rejoicing today as I survey my recent journey and feel the strength flowing into my being. My diet is much improved. As suspected, setting my mind to stop the night time eating has greatly diminished the number of excess, low quality calories. The numbers on the scales drop .2 – .5 lbs. most every day. (Daily weights help me see when I have eaten something that is causing inflammation. The constant drop reveals success.) My heart and my journey are strengthened, and I am encouraged as I continue my current path for the next several weeks.
That is one thing I am learning: stay the course. Don’t add more to my proverbial plate until I am able to live with what it already holds. I could easily say, “Man, I am doing well. So let’s add such and such goal to my journey.” I have done that sooooo many times. But I am finally learning that moving forward to new foci too quickly pushes the old off my plate. By end of April, the habit should be well ingrained. Then I will pick a new focus. If I find myself ill-prepared, I will continue where I am awhile longer.
This is a slow journey for me, and I am learning that success for me is in the changes from bad habits that I make, little by little. Success truly is a journey, not a destination. Victory is in the eye of the beholder and I am training my eye to see the victory I am walking in.
I learned the importance and freedom of training my eye long ago, when I learned how to use the eye to measure my food. There is a trick I learned to use in training the eye with regard to measures. Put the portion on the serving dish to the point I believe to be the correct measure. Then measure my portion to see if I got it correct. If not, add to or take away as needed and place it back on the serving dish, letting the eye learn what that serving looks like. I still check my eye from time to time and retrain where I need; but most often I am right on.
Training our eye is important to our journey. Training to recognize the correct serving size protects from over eating when unable to measure—not to mention, setting one free from measuring cups and scales. Training them to realize success is just as vital. I am walking very successfully on this month’s journey, determined to reach my goal, and it feels good.
Self-control thought for today:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7, AMP.
This one verse pulls everything I have learned thus far about self-control together and adds to it “courage”. Self-control God is teaching me is a work of His Spirit’s power, motivated and flowing out of love that leads me to action, protected and directed by a spiritual calm that does not give way to emotional onslaught. It is well-balanced, temperate, and disciplined by a will surrendered to God. Thus we have self-control, and I am training the eye of my mind, heart and desire to realize it and walk in it.
Now I add to my journey the courage to walk it, not being timid or cowardly, falling to craven, cringing, and fawning fear. You see, I know I can be self-disciplined. I have done it many times, for short periods of time. It is staying the course that scares me. Too often I have begun strong, only to have my perseverance challenged. Falling back, I struggle again to return to self-control. So, realizing the need of courage to help me persevere in my journey to self-control in all things, I continue my journey with you.
Victory and success is in the eye of the beholder. To me, my eye says I am a victorious success on this journey to walking in Spirit-filled, self-control; and I will, by courage and steadfast determination, persevere to the finish, step by step.
Restraint That Sets Free
I am seeing progress in my journey to self-control, as I continue to fill my mind and heart with determined purpose to practice walking out this fruit from within. Though the challenge at times is fierce, God is empowering my concerted effort to practice this part of His nature. Signs of success to date:
- My mind quickly goes to the practice of self-control when challenge comes.
- I am 8 out of 9 days victorious on my journey to stop eating after dinner, and I feel the strength and resolve to end each day strong growing within me.
- I am averaging 6 days per week without having ice cream—as opposed to the 5-6 days per week that I was eating it. Ice cream’s draw on me is waning.
- The sweet or processed foods I do have are greatly diminished and diminishing.
- The scales remain down and continue to drop daily as I weigh to encourage myself and to use the tool of the scale as a measure for when I have eaten or done something to flair inflammation.
- I am feeling better physically with greatly diminished inflammation.
- I am getting in over 3000 low-end, lazy-day steps per day, despite the limitations my foot injury is bringing to the table. I have 2 days over 5000 before I decided the cardio walking was causing harm and hindering healing. So I am getting up several times per day to get 300-500 steps in at a time until goal is met or exceded. By end of day my foot is making it known that enough is enough, but I am being disciplined and deliberate in my resolve while being wise in my limitations.
- My alertness to God’s presence with me on this journey has already doubled.
- Hope for victory is reviving.
As with previous months of focus this year, the challenge now is to persevere and end with the strength I began in. In an effort to do that, I felt led to find scripture that specifically address the issue of self-control and will end each blog with one and what it says to me for my current emphasis.
“But if they have not self-control (restraint of their passions), they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame [with passion and tortured continually with ungratified desire]” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:9, AMP.
Boy, do I see the truth of this in my love affair with sweets. Here is what it looks like in me:
I see or think of or hear about some favored sweet delicacy. My passion for its delectable flavor and texture makes my mouth water. Despite efforts to push it out of mind, ungratified desire burns within me as it batters the door to my mind and appetite. Suddenly, often with unfettered passion, I run into its waiting arms.
One thing I have rediscovered in this week of focus on self-control is the need to take every thought captive, denying my mind the privilege of holding the thought of some sweet passion. Now I am not completely sweets free: but what I have resolved is that any sweet allowed will be home made, eaten with control, and only eaten immediately following a meal. My understanding—and experience is that eating a lower quality carb with protein and a high quality carb will curb the desire, and the body goes for the higher quality first. If passion still flares, I sit on my hands and put my mind on other things. Before I know it, the desire is gone, and I carry on.
Joyce Meyer is correct in her saying that the battlefield is truly in the mind; and I would add, in the passions. Thus, taking every thought captive for any ungodly passion I face, I restrain my passions, so that I may walk free from bondage to them and the things that inflame them. Each step of victory in this challenge increases hope to me that I will one day have more passion for the victory of obedience and the presence and pleasure of God than I have for the taste of the delectable; and that the joyful flavor of the pleasure of God will make the taste of the sweet abhorrent. As I typed that last statement, hope and joy at the thought of such freedom soared within my soul. I know that by God’s grace, I will get there if I faint not in the way of self-control.
Now, for you here, I thought that I was finished with the sharing of my SparkBlogs on this subject of self-contro and the restraining of passions. But it seems that there is at least one more to come. BLESSings to you on your journey. Thanks for reading my blogs and praying for my victory. Back here with you tomorrow.
Posted in Restrained Passion, Sanctification | Tagged Assurance, battle array, Battlefield, Contentment, faith, Focus, God, godly character, grace, hedge of protection, Holiness, Life, Light, love, Overcomers, Power, Presence, Rest, Righteousness, spiritual blessing, Trust, Truth, unmerrited favor | Leave a Comment »