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Monday, January 28, 2013

I Choose Joy and Contentment

Deuteronomy 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
As is often the case when someone I know dies, I have been thinking more than usual about my life, my choices, my time, where I’ve been, where I am, where I’m going and what matters to me most.
Back in the early 1990’s, my family consisted of my husband, our oldest daughter and me.  We had some folks visiting that told me (when my husband & daughter were not present) I was wasting my life and my talents, and how disappointed they were.  I was stunned by our visitors' opinion (and that’s what it was – an opinion), but managed to sputter out that I thought my husband and our daughter and our home were the most important parts of my life and I thought putting all my best energy & efforts towards them was not a waste of time.  I don’t know if they heard me; they kept tsk-tsking and shaking their heads.
This was one of those milestone events that pushed me into taking a very hard look at myself & my life.  Did I mean what I said?  Did I really believe that being a wife, a mom, a neighbor, a friend was what I wanted to spend my life on?  I concluded that yes, I meant what I said.
I still believe this to be the case – many years & two more daughters later.
At this point in my life I am less bothered by the opinions of the nay-sayers in my life.  These nay-sayers are always going to be one of the less pleasant aspects of relationships.  But they are certainly entitled to their opinion; and frankly, I’m thankful they feel comfortable being honest with me about their thoughts.  I am also thankful the Lord has been gracious to gift me with the blessing of rest and sleep, most of time.  I don’t lose sleep worrying over not living up to others’ expectations.  However if I felt I was disappointing the Lord Jesus, I would indeed be too troubled for rest or sleep, as has been the case off & on over the years.  I hope & pray the Lord continues to prompt, prick or poke my conscience when I am in need of correction!!
Life is short.  I don’t want to waste whatever time I have (be it four score more, or just another day) in bitterness over lost opportunities, in sorrow over hurt feelings or a broken heart, in longing over unfulfilled relationship(s), or in a mean-spirited state of unforgiveness.  It is my hope & prayer that God will continue to be gracious towards me, and continue to show me where He would have me to focus my time, to continue to correct me when I go astray (inside & out), and to keep me from wagging my finger or my attitude at others’ faults – and remind me that’s between them & the Lord.
And I pray the Lord grants me His grace and His love, and helps me to pray as I ought to pray for these folks; I ask the Lord to help me to point them to Him, and not be a stumblingblock in their walk. 
Deuteronomy 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
Joshua 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Job 9:14  How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him?
Job 34:4  Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.
Job 34:33  Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest.
Proverbs 1:29  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Proverbs 3:31  Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
Isaiah 7:15  Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
Isaiah 7:16  For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
Philippians 1:22  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
Nahum 1:7  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
Isaiah 58:11  And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Titus 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
James 4:8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Psalms 51:10  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalms 73:1  « A Psalm of Asaph. » Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
Proverbs 27:7  The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.
Jeremiah 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Ephesians 4:31  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Hebrews 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
James 3:11  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
James 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Galatians 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Galatians 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Ecclesiastes 5:12  The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.
Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Ezekiel 18:30  Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
Matthew 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Revelation 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Psalms 51:11  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Isaiah 63:10  But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
Isaiah 63:11  Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?
Luke 11:13  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Ephesians 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
1 Thessalonians 4:8  He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
Matthew 23:23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Luke 11:42  But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
2 Corinthians 2:15  For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

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