“When to Help and When to Get Out of the Way” March 27

 

When to Help & When to Get Out of the Way - It happens to us all. Maybe he's standing on the street corner with a cardboard sign. Maybe it's a friend or a co-worker. Maybe it's a grown son or daughter. They need a loan. Or another loan. Or just a little help. Maybe it doesn't seem right, but there's the guilt. You wonder ... what is the right thing to do?It happens to us all. Maybe he’s standing on the street corner with a cardboard sign. Maybe it’s a friend or a co-worker. Maybe it’s a grown son or daughter. They need a loan. Or another loan. Or just a little help. Maybe it doesn’t seem right, but there’s the guilt. You wonder … what is the right thing to do?

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 15 & 16
Psalm 37.30-36
Proverbs 12.17-19
Luke 3.1-38

 

When to Help and When to Get Out of the Way

 

& :

Giving, Lending, Welfare & the Church

 

In today’s reading we see a great picture of God’s attitude toward giving and caring for one another. God commanded the nation of Israel “open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need (v. ). Then every seven years there was to be a release of debts and a release of servants from their bondage.

One definition of biblical love is “a sacrificial action for the benefit of another and the glory of God without expecting anything in return.” That’s the kind of love we’re to have for one another—not a love based on feelings, but a love that is active and rooted in our love for God.

 

Does that Mean Believers Should Always Lend or Give to Anyone Who Asks?

 

I believe one of the greatest tragedies of our nation’s system of welfare and all the other programs we offer is that these things are not in the hands of the church. That’s partly because the church has not done what she should have. By the church, I mean us—you and me. Imagine what churches could do if everyone tithed and gave to the work of God! Instead, only a fraction of God’s people give faithfully.

God intended for us to care for one another in the context of the church family. That requires knowing one another, knowing the issues, knowing the struggles, knowing the circumstances, knowing what is really needed, knowing when to help and when NOT to help.

Because programs are not administered by people who know the one seeking help, our system has left room for fraud and abuse and often does more harm than good.

 

When to Help and When to Get Out of the Way

 

There are times when we can get in the way of what God is doing by constantly bailing others out of their difficulties. This is especially true with our own children!  Continue reading

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 11 “RESPECT” + LINKUP

 

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Pa<a class=rt 11 "RESPECT" - RESPECT: It's a word that comes up often in counseling rooms. It's tossed out in the midst of arguments. Some demand it and can make you pay if you don't give it. We all want it, but most of us have trouble giving it." width="420" height="600" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/marriage-11-collage-respect-with-text.jpg?w=420 420w, https://i1.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/marriage-11-collage-respect-with-text.jpg?resize=210%2C300 210w, https://i1.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/marriage-11-collage-respect-with-text.jpg?resize=300%2C429 300w" sizes="(max-width: 420px) 100vw, 420px" data-jpibfi-post-excerpt="" data-jpibfi-post-url="http://donnareidland.com/marriage-made-in-heaven-11-respect-linkup/" data-jpibfi-post-title="Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 11 “RESPECT” + LINKUP" >RESPECT: It’s a word that comes up often in counseling rooms. It’s tossed out in the midst of arguments. Some demand it and can make you pay if you don’t give it. We all want it, but most of us have trouble giving it.

 

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.

 

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 11 “RESPECT”

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: It’s hard to see the word with out thinking about the old Aretha Franklin song (although I may just be showing my age). Aretha sang, “All I’m askin’ is for a little respect … just a little bit.”

I’ve heard that same plea across the counseling desk many times, especially, when husbands don’t keep their eyes where they belong, when they flirt with other women, or when a wife doesn’t feel her husband is showing her the proper honor in some other way.

We all know what it’s like to feel disrespected.

Those are real concerns. A husband should honor his wife in the way he interacts with her and with others.

But, wives are not the only ones who are disrespected. In fact, if we’re honest, there is a lack of disrespect toward husbands and fathers, in general, today. Maybe it started during the women’s movement. You know, “I am woman, hear me roar.” Often, the implication was, I can handle things. Get out of my way. I don’t need a man.

rt 11 “RESPECT” + LINKUP" >Think about the typical family show in the 50s and 60s: Father Knows Best, The Donna Reed Show, Leave It to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show. Fathers held a place of honor. They were wise. Their wives and children showed them respect.

Now think about the typical family sitcom today. Often, the father is the bumbling idiot and the butt of the jokes. Wives are out conquering the world or rolling their eyes over their husbands’ actions. Children are anything but respectful.

While husbands, wives, and children should all show respect for one another, God has specifically commanded wives to respect their husbands and children to honor their fathers and mothers.

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Eph. 5.33).

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Eph. 6.1-3).

I’ve been doing a series on God’s design for marriage. If you haven’t read the previous posts in this series, you can read them here. Today we’re going to focus on the importance of respect in the wife’s attitude toward her husband.

 

I’ll Respect My Husband When He Deserves It!

 

Someone is thinking. You don’t know my husband. He doesn’t deserve my respect. You don’t know what he has done. He’s not a believer. He’s a drunk … a womanizer … lazy … you pick the adjective. He doesn’t care about me. He never shows me respect. I’ll show him respect when he deserves it and he shows me respect. Continue reading

“Fortune Tellers, the Heart & the Wise” March 26

 

Fortune Tellers, the Heart & the Wise -

The future, it’s full of promise, but often mixed with uncertainty. Should I marry this person? Does he or she really love me? Is this the right job? Could my spouse be cheating on me? The temptation to want to know what the future holds can be huge. But what does God say about knowing the future or seeking information about things God has not revealed?

And what about your heart? Do you have a wise heart? Are you teachable? Do you listen to godly counsel? Or do you first make up your own mind and then look for justification to believe and do what you desire? What does it means, “What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies”? See today’s Proverbs reading.

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 13 & 14
Psalm 37.23-29
Proverbs 12.15-16
Luke 2.25-52

 

Fortune Tellers, the Heart & the Wise

 

& :

Fortune Tellers, Palm Readers, and Other False Prophets

 

Chapter 13, verses talk about the false prophets who predict things that come to pass. So many people assume that such a person must be from God, even though he or she says and does things that contradict biblical truth. Verse 3 says:

“… you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

There are still people out there today, claiming they can predict the future or they can tell you if your husband is cheating or give you a message from a deceased family member. They may even claim to believe in God. James 2.19 says, “… Even the demons believe—and tremble!” And in Matthew 8 when Jesus met two demon possessed men, the demons cried out, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

You can believe in God and not be of God. We are told to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5.11).

God is still testing our hearts today.  Continue reading

“Don’t lose heart, cave in or give up!” March 25

 

Don't lose heart, cave in or give up! - Do you feel discouraged in some area? Feel like caving in or giving up? Don't lose heart! God is faithful. Wait on Him.Do you feel discouraged in some area? Feel like caving in or giving up? Don’t lose heart! God is faithful. Wait on Him.

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 11 & 12
Psalm 37.18-22
Proverbs 12.12
Luke 2.1-24

 

Don’t lose heart, cave in or give up!

 

& :

Don’t Lose Heart

 

There is so much worth commenting on in these two chapters but let’s focus on 11.16 which says, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.” Maybe you’re feeling discouraged about something, maybe even thinking about giving up.

Maybe you have been trying to walk with the Lord, trying to read your Bible, trying to grow and be the husband or wife, father or mother God has called you to be. Maybe you have been waiting for your husband, your wife, or someone else to come to know the Lord. Maybe you have been waiting for God to answer some other prayer. Continue reading

“Self-Righteousness, ‘The Shack’ & Cosmic Over-Reactions” March 24

 

Self-Righteousness & "The Shack" & Cosmic Over-Reactions" - Self-Righteousness, 'The Shack' & Cosmic Over-Reactions: What on earth do they have to do with one another? Why should those of us who know Christ be concerned about something that is "just a movie"?Self-Righteousness, ‘The Shack’ & Cosmic Over-Reactions: What on earth do they have to do with one another? Why should those of us who know Christ be concerned about something that is “just a movie”?

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 9 & 10
Psalm 37.12-17
Proverbs 12.11
Luke 1.57-80

 

Self-Righteousness, ‘The Shack’ & Cosmic Over-Reactions

 

& 10:

Righteousness versus Self-Righteousness

 

In today’s reading, God, through Moses, emphasized that He would bless the Israelites, not because of their righteousness, not because they deserved it, but because of His mercy.

C.J. Mahaney says in his book, The Cross Centered Life:

“Everything in the Old Testament points toward Jesus Christ and enriches our understanding of the cross (see Luke 24.27). The drama of redemption begins in the Garden in Genesis 3 and continues to unfold throughout the Old Testament until it reaches its climax at the cross. All along the way the Divine Author prepares us for Calvary. The symbolism of the sacrificial system, the strictness of the law, the repeated failures of man, the steadfast faithfulness of God—all this and more deepens our amazement at the cross.”

 

Thankfully, like the Israelites, our position with God does not depend upon our own righteousness. As Paul Tripp says, in his book Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, we cannot boast in our righteousness because we don’t have any (Phil. 3.9)! We are all sinners saved by grace alone (Eph. 2.8-9) and have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3.21-23). His righteousness was imputed to us on the basis of His sacrificial death on the cross on our behalf.

But like the Israelites we need to remind ourselves of that fact, because in our pride and self-sufficiency, we see ourselves as basically good (Prov. 20.6). If we are basically good, perhaps with some minor character flaws, then, as someone has said, the cross was “a cosmic over-reaction for a people who only had a case of spiritual sniffles.” That kind of thinking is not only wrong, but it keeps many from seeing their need for Christ.

Many people expect to spend eternity in heaven because they don’t believe they’re all that bad. They have some vague idea that God will weigh their misdeeds against all the good things they’ve done and they’ll manage to “get in.”

A friend told me last night about a quote he’d read. The writer said that Adam and Eve’s sin was basically “petty theft.” Of course, we know they weren’t condemned because they stole fruit. They were condemned because of their disobedience. They broke God’s law, His direct command. But the Apostle John said, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness (1 Jn. 3.4).

I grew up believing that pretty much everyone went to heaven. We believed “in” God, but sadly, a god of our own creation, like those in the popular book and movie The Shack, who loves everyone and who wouldn’t let anyone go to hell.

Perhaps you say, come on, Donna, it’s just a movie! That’s true. But how many of us who grew up watching the movie The 10 Commandments would admit that our conception of those events has been colored by images from the movie or that watching The Passion of the Christ impacted our understanding of the events of the crucifixion.  Continue reading

“Cats, Dogs & Animal Rights” March 23

 

Cats, Dogs & Animal Rights - Whether we're dog people or cat people, most of us love our animals. But what does the Bible say about our pets? What about animal rights? And what about humans, are we just higher forms of animals? How should a Christian view his or her animals? See our Proverbs reading.

We hear a lot about “animal rights” these days. It has become a cause for celebrities and others—almost a religion with some. But what does the Bible say about our animals.

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 7 & 8
Psalm 37.5-11
Proverbs 12.9-10
Luke 1.39-56

 

Cats, Dogs & Animal Rights

 

:

Love Your Cats & Dogs, But …

 

We hear a lot about “animal rights” these days. It has become a cause for celebrities and others—almost a religion with some.

Animal rights written on yellow road sign over blue sky.

Animals certainly are a part of God’s creation. And as verse 10 says, “A righteous man regards the life of his animal …” A righteous man will treat his animals well, but animals are not on an equal par with people! We are not just higher forms of animals. We were made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1.26-27) and He breathed His Spirit into us (Gen. 2.7) giving us an eternal soul.

1 Corinthians 15.39 says, “All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.”

So love you cat or dog, your hamster or gerbil and take good care of them as part of God’s creation. Enjoy them, but keep your affection and regard for them in the right place.

 

TODAY’S OTHER READINGS:

 

& :

Remember … Remember … Remember!

 

Remember … remember … remember! This seems to be the theme of much of today’s Old Testament reading.

When you’re afraid of your enemies, remember what I did to Egypt when they tried to keep you in bondage. When you’re afraid the task is too big for you, remember what I did for you in the wilderness. And when you have experienced success, remember Who enabled you to be where you are!

And God reminds us … Continue reading

“10 Steps to Parenting God’s Way” March 22

 

10 Steps to Parenting God's Way - I couldn't decide what to title this post. There were so many things I wanted to highlight. I could have called it "Parenting 101" or "Delighting in the Lord" from <a class=Psalm 37 or "Wisdom, Respect & Stupidity" from our Proverbs reading. Or even, "Mary, Saint or Sinner" because there is so much confusion about the mother of Jesus. Does she intercede for believers? How should a Christian view her? You can read more about this in today's New Testament commentary. But because I like these posts to be practical, something you can put to use in your life today, I decided to focus on the practical ways we can apply God's parenting principles." width="428" height="628" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/father-and-son.jpg?w=428 428w, https://i1.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/father-and-son.jpg?resize=204%2C300 204w, https://i1.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/father-and-son.jpg?resize=300%2C440 300w" sizes="(max-width: 428px) 100vw, 428px" data-jpibfi-post-excerpt="" data-jpibfi-post-url="http://donnareidland.com/mary-a-saint-or-a-sinner-march-22/" data-jpibfi-post-title="“10 Steps to Parenting God’s Way” March 22" >I couldn’t decide what to title this post. There were so many things I wanted to highlight. I could have called it “Parenting 101” or “Delighting in the Lord” from Psalm 37 or “Wisdom, Respect & Stupidity” from our Proverbs reading.

Or even, “Mary, Saint or Sinner” because there is so much confusion about the mother of Jesus. Does she intercede for believers? How should a Christian view her? You can read more about this in today’s New Testament commentary.

But because I like these posts to be practical, something you can put to use in your life today, I decided to focus on the practical ways we can apply God’s parenting principles.

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 5 & 6
Psalm 37.1-4
Proverbs 12.9
Luke 1.21-38

 

10 Steps to Parenting God’s Way

 

& :

Parenting 101

 

Chapter 6.6-9 is one of the clearest passages on parenting. It says:

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

 

First we are to hide God’s Word in our hearts. Then we are to faithfully teach it to our children, not just in formal ways, but as we go about our everyday activities—when we are relaxing at home or having a family dinner, when we are out running errands, when we go to bed at night and the first thing in the morning.

We should constantly look for ways to incorporate spiritual lessons into the events of everyday life. But we can’t do that unless He is an ever present reality in our own lives—unless we’re aware of His involvement all the time, in the daily routine of life.

Do you stop to consider what He says when you feel the pressure to make a sale at work? When you have a fussy child? When the waiter gets your order wrong? When you feel unjustly accused? When someone just zipped into your parking space?

Do you seek His guidance when faced with a decision or a choice to respond to some person or situation? Do you seek His peace when your are anxious or His ability to forgive when angry?

Is Jesus only someone you sing about on Sunday or is your relationship with Him a reality all the time?

Where’s your Bible? Is it where you’ll see it and pick it up first thing in the morning or does it spend the week in the car with empty soda cups and gum wrappers and until you carry it in to church on Sunday?

And the last time you had a personality conflict, Continue reading

“How ‘Blame-Shifting’ Hurts You” March 21

 

Why You Shouldn't Be a Blame-Shifter - Are you a blame shifter? If so, how will it hurt you in the long run?Are you a blame-shifter? If so, how will it hurt you in the long run?

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 3 & 4
Psalm 36.7-12
Proverbs 12.7
Luke 1.1-20

 

How ‘Blame-Shifting’ Hurts You

 

& :

Finger Pointing

 

One thing we talk a lot about in counseling is and how we need to remove the logs from our own eyes before we point the finger at anyone else.

Ezekiel 18.20 says, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”

Yet, none of us is free from the tendency to want to blame someone else for our sins. Look at Moses statement in chapter 4:

“Furthermore the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance” (4.21).

 

Where It Started

 

All this blaming-shifting actually started in the garden. When God asked Adam if he had eaten the forbidden fruit, he said, “The woman you gave me, she made me sin.” In other words, “It’s her fault and Yours, after all, You gave her to me!”

And what did we say, ladies? “It was the devil. He made me do it!” And it’s been going on ever since!

But sadly, we only hurt ourselves when we do.  Continue reading

“Wives, are you rotten?” March 20

 

Wives, are you rotten?

 

Rotten: It means something that is decaying or infected.

Ladies, our Proverbs passage tells us we can be like rotten fruit to our husbands! But we have a choice. We can, also, choose to be like crowns bringing them honor through our lives. Which one are you?

 

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 1 & 2
Psalm 36.1-6
Proverbs 12.4-6
Mark 16.1-20

 

Wives, are you rotten?

 

:

Excellent or Rotten?

 

Verse 4 says, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.”

Wives, do you do things which cause your husband shame? The way you talk? The way you dress? The way you criticize him in front of others? Does he consider you a “crown” to him or more like rotten fruit?

Are you an excellent wife? talks a lot about what it means to be an excellent wife. Among other things, she is trustworthy in all her behavior. She’s industrious, not lazy. She’s generous. She seeks to be organized and prepares for the future. She cares about her appearance, but she understand that inner beauty is the most important part of becoming the woman God wants her to be.

She’s faithful with her responsibilities and that frees her husband to be who God wants him to be. She is faithful to grow in her understanding of God’s Word and it’s reflected in her speech and character. She values her testimony. She wants others to see the light of Christ in her life.

Now a question for you husbands. Do you value what God values in a wife? What are you doing to help her become that “excellent wife”? Continue reading

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 10 “Resolving Conflict” + LINKUP

 

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Pa<a class=rt 10 "Resolving Conflict" - Conflicts and disagreements happen in the best of marriages, but what happens when we aren't resolving conflict biblically?" width="420" height="600" srcset="https://i2.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/marriage-10-resolving-conflict.jpg?w=420 420w, https://i2.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/marriage-10-resolving-conflict.jpg?resize=210%2C300 210w, https://i2.wp.com/donnareidland.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/marriage-10-resolving-conflict.jpg?resize=300%2C429 300w" sizes="(max-width: 420px) 100vw, 420px" data-jpibfi-post-excerpt="" data-jpibfi-post-url="http://donnareidland.com/marriage-made-in-heaven-20/" data-jpibfi-post-title="Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 10 “Resolving Conflict” + LINKUP" >Conflicts and disagreements happen in the best of marriages, but what happens when we aren’t resolving conflict biblically?

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.

 

Marriage: Made in Heaven? Part 10 “Resolving Conflict”

 

In the first few weeks of this study we talked about some of the key components of marriage, then we covered the wife’s role and submission. Last week I shared a video by my husband Mike. His explanation of biblical decision making has helped many couples understand how to honor God in an area that can be difficult.

rt 10 “Resolving Conflict” + LINKUP" >

Mike uses a 4-way stop intersection to explain both the husband’s and wife’s roles and the responsibility each of them have to not allow differences to escalate into conflict.

But what happens when couples don’t seek to resolve problems biblically? And why is it so hard, even when we know what we should do? Look at James 4 for a minute:

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask (Jas. 4.1-2 NASB).

Lust isn’t just about sexual desires. It can be the result of any strongly held desire. When we lust sexually, we’re so controlled by the desire for sexual pleasure that we’re willing to sin by going outside of God’s ordained will to obtain it.

When we lust after other things, we fight and quarrel, rather than resolving problems biblically. The things we want have become controlling desires and we, too, are willing to sin to get them.

Lustful desires might be having the house we want, spending money on a certain purchase, being in control, spending holidays or other times with our biological family, raising our kids a certain way, or a host of other things.

Even good things can become lusts if we’re willing to sin to get them or to hang on to them.

 

Unresolved Conflicts

 

rt 10 “Resolving Conflict” + LINKUP" >

Sometimes, when conflicts arise we go on the attack, verbally or physically.

Sometimes, we put up the “do not enter” sign. Our spouse learns that attempts to discuss the matter lead to anger, withdrawal, tears, or various forms of withdrawal. So conflict goes unresolved.

Sometimes, one spouse or the other is a controller. He or she may control through manipulation (tears, anger, withholding sex or affection) or fear and intimidation. It’s “one way, my way.”  Continue reading