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Friday, 31 July 2015

Proverbs 31:27-31 ♥ A woman to be praised ♥

Hi girls! Well, here we are at the end of the lovely book of Proverbs and at the end of our in-depth study of chapter 31. Have you enjoyed this book? Don't you feel that you're just skimming the surface of it, because there is so much to learn? But that's OK. We may come back to it at another time and then we can look at other verses.

I have to admit, I was never arty at school; I couldn't draw and thought I was useless at art but what I didn't know was that you can learn skills that you can use to create your own style. I've always loved craft but most of my art work comes from Rubber Stamps so when I got interested in Doodle Art, I even surprised myself! I took an online class and learned all this! Here is my Doodle Art that I've done for this chapter. I like to use it to make certain verses stand out.

You can learn these skills HERE.
Here are my few simple thoughts on these verses for today.

Verse 27. The virtuous woman is definitely not a lazy girl. She makes sure her home and family are well taken care of. This means she needs to plan ahead. Organization is the key. I have learned, more recently especially, that if I am to complete everything I need to do, I have to have a plan. I write it all down in my planner and tick it off as I go along. If I don't do this, I end up footering (?) about and wasting precious time. It's amazing how much you can actually accomplish when you write it down and see it visually. It seems to be more of a concrete thing, rather than some idea in your head that you know you need to do but never really get around to. And, ahh, the satisfaction and relief of getting it ticked off when complete! (Maybe I'm just sad, but it works for me!!!).

Verse 30. Question. Are you one of those people who worries about how they look all the time? Of course, there's nothing wrong at all with being presentable and nice but are you overly concerned about your looks? According to these verses, beauty does NOT matter to God. At least, not outward beauty. As far as God is concerned (and it's what pleases Him that we should be concerned with) it is a matter of the HEART. He wants us to cultivate a warm, loving and godly heart, not a fabulous figure dressed in the most glamorous and expensive clothes with a flawless face to match.

Here is what Matthew Henry said on this subject:
"Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any certain indication of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who has made his choice of a wife by it.
(Regarding outward beauty) A fit of sickness will stain and sully it in a little time; a thousand accidents may blast this flower in its prime; old age will certainly wither it and death and the grave consume it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart is the beauty of the soul; it recommends those that have it to the favour of God, and is, in His sight, of great price; it will last for ever, and bid defiance to death itself, which consumes the beauty of the body, but consummates the beauty of the soul."
Isn't this wonderful? So let's not be overwhelmed with trying to look young and beautiful, but instead focus on the details that matter to God in the heart and soul. Of course, when you shine with grace and peace, you will look beautiful anyway!

See you back here on Monday for our new study in the book of the Song of Solomon.

Have a lovely weekend.

Hugs, Karen x

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Proverbs 31:19-22 ♥ Hard working and a giver ♥


Good evening girls! Today, our reading is in Proverbs 31:19-22. I'll get straight into my thoughts, short and sweet as they are tonight! 

This virtuous woman (whose example we should be trying to follow) is a Hard Worker (verse 19). She, as we would say, 'never quits'! She is on the go from very early in the morning (v.15) until late into the night (v.18). I admire her, I think she is wonderful being able to keep going for so many hours, but I'll have to be completely honest with you...getting up very early I can do, but staying up late into the night as well? No, I can't do it. As a baby, my mum tells me that I went to bed at about 6.30 pm in the evening and slept right through till lunchtime the next day! She thought there was something wrong with me and took me to see the doctor who said there was nothing to worry about, babies are thriving when they're sleeping!! I think it's getting harder as I get older! But I'm inclined to think that it is the principle of being a hard worker that God is referring to in this portion of Scripture. Most of the Christian women I know are hard workers; they get up early to prepare lunches for their children/husband, maybe go out to work themselves and then in the evenings have to make dinners, do homeworks with the children, catch up on the ironing and a hundred other jobs!

Verse 20. What I love about this lady also is that she is a giver, not a taker. She makes the effort to help those who are in need. But not only does she help the poor and needy, she goes further and stretches forth her hands to them. The implication here is that she pushes herself to do more than the basics. She does what she can for those who are close by but also makes that extra special effort for others who may be at a distance from her. In our context and culture, this could involve us giving money to missionaries who are on the foreign field so that they can help those in need, when we can't be out there to do it. We are enabling the missionaries to help the poor and needy.


Thanks for visiting!

Hugs, Karen x

Monday, 27 July 2015

Proverbs 31 ♥ Is his heart safe with you? ♥

Good evening, girls! I'm just popping in with a thought or two on these first verses in Proverbs 31. Remember we are doing a more in-depth study in this chapter for the whole of this week. Here is the plan for this week's readings. Hope you can follow along.

Proverbs 31 Bible Reading Plan
Pop over to WomenLivingWell.org to learn more

The verses that challenged me most in these first 14 are verses 11 and 12.
Many commentators say that this king Lemuel is in fact another name for Solomon, which means his mother is Bathsheba, who taught him these things.

The king says in verse 11 that the virtuous, or godly, woman lives in such a way that her husband's heart safely trusts in her. Our husband has enough to worry about in this world without us making things more difficult for him. When your husband goes out to work in the morning, does he go knowing that you love him with all your heart and that you would never intentionally do anything to cause him hurt or pain? His love for you, his emotions and feelings, are all wrapped up in his heart and he leaves it in your care, so "is it safe"? Do you belittle him in front of others or do you try to build him up and speak highly of him? If you go out anytime without your husband, is he sure that you are going where you say you're going and with who you've told him you're going with? Or is your life one which might cause him to have doubts and suspicions? Do you always tell him the truth? Are you open and honest with him about every aspect of your life?
What about your mobile phone? Do you have the numbers of other men on your phone, when it is unnecessary to have them? Would you be happy for your husband to lift your phone at any time and read through your messages?
Can he leave his heart safely in your care?

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Verse 12 goes on to say that the virtuous (not perfect) and Christ-serving woman will do her husband good and not evil all the days of her life. Are you in competition with your husband in any way? Do you always put him first and try to be selfless when it comes to helping him and being there for him? Would you ever try to deceive him? When a man and a woman marry, in God's order of things, they become one flesh which means that if you fight with or hurt your husband, then in the end you are only hurting yourself. You are also bringing shame to the Lord's name.
Could you look for ways each day, even in tiny things, to do good to your husband? Even if it's just making him a cuppa after a long hard day at work. Or giving up something you want to do to do what he wants. Even just telling him how much you love him and how special he is. 

It's so important in this evil world, when so many attacks from the world and the devil can come against your husband, that he knows without a doubt that his one place of safety and surety is with you. As husband and wife, you should be each other's best friend. No one should be closer to you than your husband and vice versa. You should have no secrets (unless, of course, he's organising a surprise for your birthday or anniversary!!). 

Do him good and let him know his heart is safe with you.

Hugs, Karen x 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Proverbs 30 ♥ Have I enough? ♥

Good afternoon girls! Hope you are well. With being off work for the summer, I've lost track of what day it is but for those of you who are still at work, I'm sure you're glad it's Friday again!

There were a lot of verses I could focus on in this chapter but the ones that really jumped out at me were verses 8 and 9. This man Agur (we're not sure who he was but he seems to have been a wise man who taught and instructed others e.g. Ithiel and Ucal) was perhaps near the end of his life and he had two things on his bucket list that he really wanted!

Firstly, he wanted to have nothing to do with VANITY and LIES. He obviously hated them with a passion for he said he wanted them to be removed far from him. Is that how we feel about these particular sins? At times, we can indeed become quite vain and think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. We are no better than anyone else, we're all just sinners, some saved by grace, others not. But we have all been born in sin and therefore we have no reason to think we're something special. And what about lies? Are there times when we tell outright black lies to cover up some fault of ours, instead of owning up to our responsibilities and dealing with them head on? Perhaps you find yourself only telling the part of the story that suits you because you know people will be more sympathetic to you, but if they knew the whole truth they might not be so keen to support you.

Secondly, Agur said he didn't want to be rich neither did he want to be poor. He wisely wanted just enough to do him. There is only so much money a person can spend and any of us who watch the news and see what happens in the lives of the rich and famous, know well that too much money is not healthy. It most certainly doesn't lead to contentment. If it did, why do so many famous people resort to drink, drugs and other addictions to satisfy an empty need inside? Agur says here that he knows that if he was rich, he would pride himself in being self-sufficient and not reliant upon God. He would proudly turn his back on God saying he didn't need Him. However, he also admits that if he didn't have enough money, he could easily be tempted to turn to a life of crime and blasphemy in order to get what he needed (instead of trusting the Lord to supply his need for him).

We should follow Agur's example and try to be satisfied with whatever the Lord has blessed us with. Ask the Lord, if you are struggling financially, to supply your every need which He has promised to do in Phil 4:19. If you feel that you have more than you need, ask the Lord to help you use your money wisely, perhaps by using it more to support the Lord's work. You will never give to the Lord without being blessed in return (maybe not financially, but certainly with a peace the world couldn't give you).


Have a good weekend.
Hugs, Karen x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Proverbs 29 ♥ Bringing up kiddies and keeping in with people ♥

Good afternoon girls! Hope you're well.

Today I'm looking at a few verses that have stood out to me in this chapter, particularly about children and about keeping in with people.

Verses 15 and 17 are specifically about dealing with bad behaviour in children. Since we are born as sinners, our natural inclination is to do wrong and parents are there to guide and direct their children into the right paths according to the Word of God. We all know that if a child is left to his/her own devices they will generally go the way of the heart, which is after sin. Surely our main desire for our children is that they will hear God's Word, trust in Him as their Saviour and live according to His will. So we teach them right and of course they will need to be disciplined on occasion. HERE you will find the legalities about 'smacking'. Of course as Christians we absolutely do not agree with abuse of any person, child or adult, but there must be discipline to teach a child wrong from right, danger from safety. A lot of the 'alternative' punishments created by society are long lasting (eg being grounded) whereas God's way of dealing with it is over and done with quickly, followed by love and praise for doing good. When our children were young we always explained to them why they were being smacked and that it was what they had done that we weren't pleased with, not them the person and we ALWAYS reassured them of our love for them. Remember, God knows best and His ways are best.

Raise your children in the fear and admonision of the Lord there future counts on it :Karen please support the persecuted church www.opendoors.org

Verse 26 is about people who try to keep in with others or 'suck up to them' as we would say here in NI! Why do people try to keep in with others? I think it's because they want to be liked, or to gain favours; they want the person to have a good opinion of them. But, at the end of the day, whose opinion should matter to the Christian? God's or man's? Yes, of course it is nice to be liked but not everyone will like us. It is what God thinks of us that matters more than anything and we should live our lives by trying to please Him. Then of course, there is the verse in Proverbs 16:7,
"When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."
I have learned by experience that this verse doesn't necessarily mean that all people everywhere will love you and think you're great, but it does mean that others will have no legitimate reason to dislike you or to harm you, if you are pleasing the Lord. They may still dislike you, but there is no justification for it and you are still serving the Lord.

Hugs, Karen x

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Proverbs 28 ♥ The walk of the wise ♥

Good evening girls! Here we are, we have reached Proverbs chapter 28! Can you believe it?

Tonight I'd like to think about our daily walk, how we live our life on a daily basis as a Christian woman. There are three mentions in this chapter about a good, wise and upright walk and the blessings that follow such a walk.

Remember as you read that these are God's special words to our heart. Even though they were written down by Solomon and said by Solomon to his own son, they were breathed into him by God the Holy Spirit. Pray over the words. Ask the Lord to open your heart to receive His Word to you tonight, even though it may be a word of challenge or discipline. It could indeed be a word of comfort or encouragement. Whatever God has to say to you, accept it and respond in a way that will glorify His holy Name.

Verse 6 talks about the person who doesn't have much of this world's riches but who lives every day of his or her life trying to serve and please the Lord. Is this you? Maybe you don't have a job outside the home because you are a full-time mum and homemaker, and you struggle financially at times BUT you live for the Lord. You serve Him when you can; you honour His Name. God is more pleased and glorified by you than He is by the person who has loads of money BUT lives for himself or herself. Money and riches is not as important to God as it is to man; grace, love and righteousness are the things that matter to Him. Remember the person who has a lot of wealth doesn't always have any more room in their heart for anything else, including God. But the person who has little in the way of riches needs the Lord's help and they have plenty of room in their heart for a Saviour and Lord to dwell in. Who would you rather be in the eyes of the Lord?

Verse 18 says that the person who walks uprightly shall be saved. This probably refers more to the ongoing work of being redeemed from the clutches of the devil on a daily basis, than to the once only act of salvation. I imagine (check this out for yourself, this is just my humble opinion) that it is a reference to the sanctification that Christians are aiming for every day that they live. Once we are saved by accepting Christ into our heart as the only Saviour from sin, then each day from then on is when we seek to live to glorify God. We want to live in a way that is totally pleasing to Him - in the words we say, the things we do, the places we go, in every way. And so, when we live uprightly, we will be a target for the devil's attacks (hence the need to put on the armour of God); when Satan sets his sights on us, we can call upon the Lord to help us, guard us and save us from these attacks. Aren't you glad that you have someone who loves you who can actually do something to help you in your time of need? Imagine if you tried to get through this difficult life on your own steam. It would be hard, in fact pretty impossible.

Verse 26 gives us more comfort in the fact that when we live and walk wisely (obviously by following God's Word, which is the Christian's rule of faith and practice) God will deliver us. Remember in the Lord's Prayer when Christ prayed "Deliver us from evil"? We need to be delivered from giving in to the temptation of sin on a daily basis, we need to be delivered from our own fleshly lusts and desires, we need to be delivered from the attacks of the devil, of the world and of other people. There is evil all around us, wherever we look, BUT the wonderful promise is that God will deliver us! In church recently, we have been hearing sermons about Saul the first king of Israel and of course, much has been said about his sinful jealousy of the godly young man David. Saul tried to attack and kill David on many occasions, but what did David do in response? 1 Samuel 18:5, David "behaved himself wisely" and was given promotion. 1 Samuel 18:14, again David behaved himself wisely, and he was assured of God's presence. In 1 Samuel 18:15, when Saul, David's self-made enemy, saw that David behaved himself VERY wisely, he was afraid of David. Saul knew that the Lord was with David and that He was protecting him and also that he was so loved by the people, and this caused him to fear David. He knew he was no match for the Lord's protection (even though he still kept trying to destroy David) so please be assured and be confident in knowing that when you live and walk and behave wisely, the Lord will deliver you in the same way that He delivered David, on many, many occasions!

Hope this helps to encourage your heart tonight, whatever your present needs might be.

Hugs, Karen x

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Proverbs 27 ♥ Staying out of trouble ♥

Good evening girls! I hope you are well today and trusting in the Lord for all your needs!

As you can see from the title of this blog post, I'm focusing on verse 12 tonight. It's referring to the wise man (or indeed, woman) who sees when trouble is brewing and how they react. Do you ever, perhaps in work, find yourself in a situation where you can see there is a conflict of personality or people with differing views and you know that, unless handled properly, things won't end well. What is the first thing you do? Do you run over and ask what's going on to get the juicy details? Do you speak to one of the people involved and then another and another, until you've got three versions of the same story, which you then proceed to spread to others or at the least make some sort of judgment based on your knowledge?

Or, on the other hand, perhaps you, like the wise person in verse 12, see this is going to end badly and so you 'hide yourself'. Sometimes this means literally and other times it means symbolically. I have seen myself having to leave the room in work when I can see tempers fraying and undercurrents of feelings - that's hiding yourself. I've also had to put my earphones in to listen to music so as to 'hide myself' from certain conversations; yes, I'm still in the room but I'm distancing myself from what's going on. Sometimes, it can be hard to keep out of things, can't it? We all like to know what's going on and we certainly can get sucked into things that aren't our business, but if we really want to stay out of trouble, we shouldn't run voluntarily headlong into it.

Then of course, there are times when you feel like a 'trouble magnet' when, even though you make sure that you keep out of any conflict that has arisen, you still manage to get dragged into it. You try to live your life quietly and peacefully but still someone will try and draw you into something. It might be as the target of their jealousy (and who can stand in the presence of a jealous person, verse 4?) or it might be when someone tries to use you and get you on their side. I think the key lesson is that as long as you stay well clear of conflict and trouble as far as humanly possible, you are doing the wise thing. Ask the Lord to help you to be wise at all times and to keep you from the snare of the devil as he tries to trap you into something. Keep close to your Saviour and be in constant communion with Him so that He can lead and guide you in the right path. Do all in your power to stay away from trouble and the Lord will help you, no matter what happens.

Keep mouth shut stay out of trouble

Hugs, Karen x

Monday, 20 July 2015

Proverbs 26 ♥ Fools, Lazy people and talebearers ♥

Good evening girls! This week brings us to chapters 26 - 30 of Proverbs and then next week we will be spending five days in Proverbs 31, and then going into the Song of Solomon.

The book of Proverbs has been a lot to handle, don't you think, with so many warnings, instructions and teachings? I think this would be a book where you could just look at one verse per day, but that would take us forever!

Anyway, the main thrust of this chapter has to do with FOOLS, LAZY PEOPLE AND TALEBEARERS! I decided to do a wee search to see how many times what we say comes up in Proverbs and here's what I found -
  • In total in Proverbs alone, there are 153 references to the tongue, words, lips and talebearers (mostly warnings against using them wrongly)
  • 37 mentions of WORDS
  • 50 mentions of MOUTH
  • 42 mentions of LIPS
  • 19 mentions of the TONGUE
  • 5 mentions of a TALEBEARER
Surely this is something that should make us sit up and take notice of. Have you ever (I know I do this regularly) taken some time to just think about your tongue and the words you say? Have you thought about the effect they have on other people? Have you wondered if they are healing words or cutting words? Do you say to yourself, 'Well, that's just the way I am. I can't help it"? If we are saved people, then we need to do something about it - if we can't deal with it ourselves, we need to take it to the Lord and ask Him to help us make the changes. Having a sinful nature that doesn't glorify God is how we were born, all down to Adam and Eve. If we hurt people (and ourselves) by the words we use and how we say them, then THIS IS SIN and it must be dealt with by having it cleansed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Surely God means for us to become aware of our sin, have it dealt with and then we can move onward and forward in our Christian walk. Thankfully we can rest in the sure knowledge that even though we fail the Lord on a daily basis with our words, He loves to forgive us when we come to Him for cleansing. Also, we should think about the fact that His words are pure and it is our duty as Christians to follow in His footsteps. Let's try this week to make a conscious effort to ensure our words are sweet and gentle - be Christlike!

You might like to check this out:

http://www.thebettermom.com/blog/2015/6/3/one-of-the-hardest-places-to-control-your-tongue-is-at-home

Esther was a queen who knew the power of when to speak and when to remain quiet

Hugs, Karen x

Friday, 17 July 2015

Proverbs 25 ♥ Apples of Gold ♥

Good evening girls!

This evening we are looking at chapter 25 and there are a few verses that shine out from this chapter, again relating to our "words". The one I'd like to focus on is verse 11. What a beautiful picture it creates in our mind.

"A word fitly spoken" means something that is said at the right moment and in the right way. You know, it's not just what we say that matters, but HOW we say it. What tone of voice we use, how loud we say it, whether it's a joke with a jag or if it's said with a hint of sarcasm...all these matter. So many times, we feel that we have to be speaking, especially women for some reason! Maybe it's because we feel we have something really important to say, or we're trying to fill up an awkward gap in the conversation, but sometimes it seems as if we are constantly talking. I remember when my father-in-law was alive, one of his favourite films of all time was 'The Quiet Man' starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Well, my father-in-law was indeed a 'quiet man'. He wasn't always talking but I have to say that when he did say something, it was generally a wise word, something worth listening to. Do you ever feel that when people are always talking you switch off and don't always hear everything they say? Whereas, people generally sit up and take notice when a quiet person says something. It's usually because they have thought about it before they speak, they have weighed up all the pros and cons of what they have to say and they feel strongly enough about it to make a comment.

Take care to think about what you say, how you say it and when you say it. Do you want people to sit up and take notice when you say something? Have you weighed up whether or not what you have to say will hurt someone or offend them? Is it really worth saying or could it be left unsaid?

Here are a few quotes to clarify these thoughts:

Encourage one another.

:)


Have a great weekend!
Hugs, Karen x

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Proverbs 24 ♥ REVENGE ♥

Good evening girls! Good to have you here today!

This evening I'd like to share with you what the Lord revealed to my heart through this chapter. You probably got something else out of it...would you like to share with us?

There are two types of people who we can come into contact with in life, apart from friends and family, and they are our enemies and also our acquaintances (people we know, live beside, work with).

It's not nice to think we may have enemies. An enemy is a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something (just like Satan is towards Christians); an enemy is also something that weakens or harms someone or something. Sometimes people turn against us and have no time for us and we don't even know the reason why. We think of all the things we might have said and done to annoy them and generally we can come up with little or nothing. Often it is a personality clash. Sometimes it is because someone has held a grudge for a long time and no matter what we do, things will never be on a friendly level. Also, someone might be your enemy and you aren't even aware of this.

Humanly speaking, there may be times when this 'enemy' has said or done something against you and you rehearse in your mind all the things you'd like to say or do to them. But God says in verses 17 & 18, that we are not to even gloat if something bad happens to them. We are not to quietly smirk to ourselves and say "Serves them right!". We are to take control of our emotions and not even let our heart be happy because they "got what they deserved". God is definitely not happy with this kind of heart attitude so we must do the right thing and steer clear of such thoughts.

And then it isn't always something concerning our enemy; it could be something to do with a person who we know, maybe even quite well. God says in verses 28 & 29 that we are not to tell lies about someone and especially not when they are innocent. We are not to tell lies or even half truths, where we just give the part of the story that suits us and makes us look like the victim. We must not be deceitful.

And we most certainly are not to say to ourselves, "I'll do the exact same thing to him or her because that's what they did to me and we'll see how they like it!". I'm sure there are times when this thought has crossed our minds about certain difficult people. But this is a sin. God is not impressed and it just makes us as bad as the other person. Isn't it just as well that our lovely Saviour wasn't of this mind set when Herod, Pilate, the Scribes, the Pharisees and Judas all did Him harm? Instead of feelings of revenge and harm, Christ looked upon sinners with a love and compassion that we often cannot understand...simply because it is divine and spiritual. This is why it is so important for us to ask the Lord to give us a tender compassion for others; not just for the unsaved, but also for other Christians. We need to be forgiving and merciful towards those who have hurt and wronged us, just as the Lord did for us.

.   

Here’s a prayer you can say when you need to look upon others with mercy. We all need mercy. Resist the temptation to condemn or judge, and see others as Jesus sees you. He is the one that elevates us higher, and we all have an equal right to his forgiveness and love.

Hugs, Karen x

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Proverbs 23: ♥ Dangers of Alcohol ♥


Good evening girls!

Today I would like to focus especially on the verses 29 - 35. I feel that the Lord would have me spotlight these particular verses because of the sad things I saw over the two days of celebration that we have in Northern Ireland. Of course it is well known that these two days (12th and 13th July) have extended to more than just two days, starting with the bonfires on 11th July and sometimes going on for a few days after while people are off work on holidays, with 'celebratory' barbecues and parties.

It was a very sad thing indeed to see so many people, young and much older, consuming huge amounts of alcohol, seemingly without restriction. As we sat at the side of the road watching the bands pass, we could smell the alcohol filtering through the flutes as the men 'tried' to play their music. I say 'tried' because in most cases the tunes were barely recognizable such was the amount of drink taken. The ability of these men to even stand up straight was questionable too. How very, very sad. I'm sure a lot of money was spent on buying this alcohol...and for what, I wonder? The next thing was to see people throwing up at the side of the road, not even knowing where they were at times. Then on the news, there were riots and fights breaking out all over the place. This was among people who are supposed to be each other's friend.

I am very thankful to be able to say that I was brought up in a home where alcohol was never welcome. But I know this is a very rare thing nowadays, and here is where I am especially saddened, because it seems that even some Christians feel that to drink a 'small amount of wine' is alright. How does anyone know when they will cross the line from being a social drinker in control of their alcohol intake to being the person who is consumed by their addiction to drink and whose life is changed for the worse? Is it worth taking the chance of finding out?

Verse 29 especially describes exactly what I saw over the past two days.

"Who hath woe?" - woe is "misery, sorrow, distress, sadness, dejection, depression" and many more other descriptions too. The devil promises people a great time, popularity, escapism, by taking alcohol...but that wasn't what I saw.

"Who hath sorrow?" - relationships are badly affected by the consumption of alcohol; money is wasted and bills can't be paid.

"Who hath contentions?" - fights, arguments, disagreements, unreasonable behaviour

"Who hath babblings?" - have you heard some of the things people say when they're drunk? Have you heard the bad language?

"Who hath wounds without cause?" - as a result of fights or from falling down

"Who hath redness of eyes?" - you can tell by looking at someone because their eyes have a glazed look and they become bloodshot.

God knows all about alcohol and its terrible effects. It has been abused since the beginning of time and nothing has changed, except perhaps its frequency and amount today. Isn't the Bible so up-to-date, even though people would accuse it of being old-fashioned?

In the end, even though the devil has promised wonderful feelings through alcohol, look what God says in verse 32, "At the last, it biteth like a serpent (venomous) and stingeth like an adder (life-threatening)."

And the sad reality is that, as verses 34 and 35 say, Even though drink makes you feel ill and unreal, the person will go back to it again at the very next chance they can get.

We need to pray for our people who are taken in by the devil's lies and especially for Christians that they will avoid drink entirely. Christians should abstain from all appearance of evil and not put a stumbling block in another person's way. Also think about it...if the world loves it and it is a favourite past time, do you think Christians should have any part of it? Is it glorifyng to the Lord?



Hugs, Karen x

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Proverbs 22: ♥ Don't kick people when they're down ♥


Good evening girls!
We are now in chapter 22 and if you've stayed in Proverbs and tried your best to keep up, well done to you! It's not always easy to get the time to be in the Word of God, but I've learned along my Christian journey, that I must make the time. HERE are a few tips you might find helpful if you're struggling to get time on your own with the Lord.

This evening I'm going to look at verses 22 and 23 in this chapter. Basically what we are being taught here is that when someone is already struggling with some difficulty in their life (in this case it is poverty) we must not add to their burden and make things worse for them. As we would say nowadays "Don't kick someone when they're down". I looked up an online dictionary and here's their definition, along with an example of what this saying means -
to do something bad to someone when you know they already have a lot of problems  
His wife left him last month and I don't want to kick a man when he's downbut we simply don't  
have any more work for him.
If someone is having a hard time with something, especially if it is another sister in the Lord, we should try our best to help them and ease their burden in some way. This could mean being a friend for them to talk to or just someone who will listen and give emotional support. In any case, we should never add to their burdens and make things even more difficult for them.

Verse 23 tells us why we shouldn't do this...simply because God will step in and deal with the matter and with those who made things harder for them. The example we are given in verse 22 tells us that there is a poor man who is obviously having to deal with having little or no money. Then along comes another person or group of people who heartlessly takes what little he might have and leave him with absolutely nothing. Instead of showing a little compassion and helping him out, they have made things a lot worse for this man and who knows how he will react to this. Are you in the middle of a difficult situation where you feel that things have become pretty hard for you and then someone comes along and knocks you to the ground, instead of helping you up? Try not to despair, because if you are a Christian and believe the Word of God to be absolute truth, then rest assured that the Lord will stand up for you and will deal with this matter and with the person or people who have harmed you like this. We read that the Lord will "spoil the soul of those that spoiled them". According to Webster's dictionary, this word 'spoil' has to do generally with war, when soldiers came in and forcefully took what they could find in a city that had been defeated in battle. God is saying here that if someone has done you harm and has taken something from you (physically or emotionally), He will take from them what they have taken from you forcefully. GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE and He will "plead your cause". Leave the matter entirely in His hands. He loves you; you are His child. He will always be on your side.

I love this. And need to remember this. <<< looking back on this, it kinda reminds of the story of Jonah.

Hugs, Karen x

Monday, 13 July 2015

Proverbs 21: ♥ Living a peaceful life ♥


Good evening girls! I hope you are well today and have had a relaxing day. I apologize for being quite absent from the blog recently but life has been pretty busy. I have finished a huge task I had to do and now I'm a bit more free to get back to sharing God's Word with you. I have missed 'talking' to you all, so it's good to be back!

Our memory verse for this week is one that I'm sure we all struggle with at one time or another - keeping control of our mouth and tongue (more about the teaching on this further down).

I was talking to some lovely ladies yesterday about our Bible reading and one was saying that she had only had time to read her Bible but not colour/mark it. I told her that reading God's Word is always the most important thing and should come first and she was doing exactly the right thing. Not everybody has time to mark/colour their Bible, some don't want to and others (like me) love to mark it because it helps them to remember it better. Never, ever feel guilty that you are somehow letting the Lord down or not being good enough because you ONLY read your Bible. If only everyone read their Bible, like you, the world would be a better place! Keep up the good work!

I've noticed that on many occasions in the book of Proverbs there are lots of references to:

And now for verse 23! Easier said than done, don't you think? To "keep" our mouth and tongue means to 'keep control' of them, put a guard on them, be aware of the danger they can cause and use them with discretion and wisdom. What would you think of someone who had an angry and vicious dog and who let this dog run about in the park, without a lead or a muzzle? You'd likely be cross or afraid and would keep well away from them and their dog. How would you feel if it came to your attention that people avoided you because they were afraid of the things you say? They knew that they would either hear gossip from you about someone else or even worse that they would be the target of your criticism. We have to be SO VERY CAREFUL about what comes out of our mouth. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK!!! 
  • anger/strife
  • the tongue, mouth, lips
  • the heart
Very often you will see that these three things are interrelated because the anger that develops in a person's heart comes out in the words they say. That is why it is so important to be careful about our heart and our attitude. What is in the heart comes out through the mouth so if our heart is right then our words should be right too. If you struggle with your tongue and your words, instead of asking the Lord to help you deal with what you say, ask Him to deal with the very root of the problem, the heart itself.

I found verse 1 very comforting in the fact that, even though God has given man free will and the ability to make choices, He will step in and take over when He feels that a man has gone too far. This verse also helps encourage us in the place of prayer because, even when someone has plans and thoughts of their own for their life, God can indeed step in and change a man's course or direction in answer to prayer.

Verse 4 reminds us that not only are things like murder, theft, adultery and anger all sin, but so is "a proud heart", something that we can't necessarily see in a person (except by their actions). Pride is a dreadful sin and it leads to all sorts of problems for both the proud person and those around them. Pride makes people think they are more important than they really are and it in turn makes others feel insignificant.

Aren't the words of verse 21 lovely? When we follow after the good things that God wants us to follow we are blessed with even more in the end. Here we read of someone following after "righteousness and mercy" and in the end he finds "life, righteousness and honour". God blesses us so much, with so many good things and undeserved things. He is a great and wonderful God!

Spreek!
Of course, it is very unfortunate but maybe you have been the victim of someone's tongue (and who hasn't?) but at least if you do the right thing and keep control of yours, you will be able to save yourself from a lot of self-inflicted trouble.

REFLECTION:
  • What is important to you and what sorts of things do you seek for in life?
  • Would God be happy with your choices? If not, what changes could you make?
  • Do you struggle with controlling your tongue? If yes, what can you do about it? Do you need to apologize to someone for hurting them with your tongue? Remember, wounds from the tongue can hurt for a long, long time and a simple, but sincere, apology can ease the hurt.
  • Have you been on the wrong end of someone's nasty tongue? Are you finding it hard to forget what they've said and keep going over and over the words in your mind? Ask the Lord to help you forget about what was said because it will eat away at you and rob you of your joy in the Lord. Don't let the devil get the victory over you.
Hugs, Karen x

Monday, 6 July 2015

Proverbs 16 - 20

Good evening girls! I hope you are well. I'm just popping in to remind you that we are into week 4 of our studies in Proverbs. This week's memory verse is one that we should live by each and every day of our lives.

The words that we say can affect us and others. They can cause us to rejoice or they can make us shrivel up and even feel ill. But when we use pleasant, good words, their effects are wholesome and far reaching. At least eight times in this chapter there are references to words and lips. The other lesson I have learned is that it is wise to "Think first, then speak". Sounds simple, but isn't in reality. Let's all be careful this week how we speak to others and what we say to them. Keep your words pleasant, good, loving, kind.

July6


Hugs, Karen x

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Proverbs 14: ♥ A sound heart ♥

Good afternoon girls! I hope you are well and enjoying God's blessing of such good weather at the minute here in NI.

Don't you just love God's wisdom and counsel in the book of Proverbs? Of course we all know that Solomon is the accepted author of the book, but the words he wrote down were breathed into him by the Holy Spirit of God, God's divine wisdom for mankind. If only people tried to live out the Word, this would be a much better world to live in.

In chapter 14 there are a lot of references about the words we say and about the state of our heart. Look at verse 30,
"A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones."
God is talking here about the differences in our physical and spiritual lives. Basically, it all boils down to the fact that, when our heart is right before God, everything else is good. When our heart is sound, meaning when it is in harmony with God's will, when it is living totally for God and not self, when its only desire is to be obedient to the Word of God, then we will feel healthy and happy.

Do you ever feel out of sorts, unhappy and perhaps down in spirit and you're not really sure what the problem is? Then, as you ponder it a bit more, you realize you told a lie to someone or said something mean and hurtful in a moment of anger and frustration. Or perhaps, as this verse says, your heart is full of jealousy towards another person. When we carry around ungodly and unprofitable feelings like these, then it is no wonder we don't feel at our best physically. It's ALWAYS a matter of the heart. Our body and mind reflects the state of our heart. When we are walking close to the Lord, we will feel calm and content, knowing that our life is in His hands. But when we live according to our own choices, we feel distant from Him and that is not how we are meant to be.

Image result for proverbs 14:30If you want to feel well and healthy, in body and mind, make sure your heart is right before God. Even if you're trying to do what is right and you still make mistakes, He knows you're trying. Just immediately repent of your sin and ask Him to help you live according to His will and Word. Only then will you feel the way God meant for you to feel. Content in Him. Give your anger, bitterness, jealousy and frustrations over to the One who died to save you from these sins and don't let them eat away at you and spoil your life and service. Live with the full joy that only a close walk with God can give!

Proverbs 23:7 says "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...".

  • What sorts of thoughts are you having at the minute?
  • Is there someone who you are particularly angry at/bitter towards/jealous of?
  • What could you do to have a sound heart today?
  • Is there anything you want to confess to the Lord, knowing He will forgive all sin that is sincerely repented of?
Here's an article I found earlier and thought you might like to read it. It's quite long, but very interesting and thought-provoking https://bible.org/article/guarding-heart 

Hugs, Karen x