Living Life Free of Strife

Sharing Day 165 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Living Life Free of Strife

Strife is one of the main weapons the enemy uses against Christians. I believe there are three things that open us up to a spirit of strife.

1. Our lips: Wrong words spoken at the wrong time can certainly start a firestorm. The more wrong words we pour on the fire, the bigger it gets. One way to stop a fire is to remove the fuel.

2. Our pride: Although wrong words may open us up to strife, it is a proud heart that refuses to be quiet in order to have peace. Pride demands that we have the last word, but the Word says it will lead to destruction (see Proverbs 16:18).

3. Our opinions: We can often get into strife by trying to convince others of our own opinions. When we realize we have much to learn and stop passing out our opinions, we will begin to gain the knowledge we need.

These are the three biggest areas that Satan uses to infiltrate our lives with strife. Make a decision to honor God and others by resisting strife and instead pursuing unity and understanding.

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, help me to stay on guard against strife. I give You my words and my opinions. I desire to walk strife-free in my relationships with others.

Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭17‬:‭14‬ NLT)

xx

DMV

Face the Truth About Yourself

In attaining peace, the first step is acceptance. Human as we are, we find fault in other people, things or situations when something goes wrong. What we fail to see is that we are given the choice to make happen what we want to happen; our misery and our joy depends on the decisions we make. Our tainted past or blurry present all have an impact on how we choose to live out the rest of our lives but it doesn’t define us, it is not reason to stop pursuing dreams or do good, it is not a hindrance but instead an opportunity to discover ourselves, our weaknesses and capabilities and what we can do about it. We have to accept that we are not perfect, the world is not perfect, but there is hope for all of us if we learn, let go and move forward. Things always happen for a reason and if it doesn’t work out like we expected it should, believe that you are called to a better purpose. Choose to accept these obstacles, these challenges, and peace will be in your heart.

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Sharing Day 137 of the reading plan I am currently on from http://www.joycemeyer.org/ Joyce Meyer: Promises for Your Everyday Life – a Daily Devotional

Face the Truth About Yourself

Someone once asked how I live free from my oppressive past. My answer is very simple: God has given me the grace and the willingness to face the truth about myself.

I grew up in a war zone. Because of my quick temper, I was upset most of the time. Because of being upset, I grew up depressed, disappointed and discouraged. I wished I could have a better life, but my wishing didn’t solve anything. It wasted my time as I kept blaming my problems on my bad family background.

Finally, God helped me realize that I had to stop wishing and start taking responsibility, to quit blaming other people and my circumstances, and quit making excuses for myself.

You might be in a similar situation. Facing the truth about yourself is scary, but you don’t have to do it alone. All your flaws are exposed to God, and if you ask Him for His perspective, He will help you pick yourself up, take responsibility, and live a peaceful life. Today, don’t be scared to face the truth about yourself, but let God guide you into a new tomorrow.

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, I need Your help to face the truth about myself. It’s time to stop blaming my problems on my past and on other people, and to meet them head-on with the power of Your Word. Empower me to take responsibility and to change for the better.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭13‬ NLT)

xx

DMV

Photo courtesy: SDL

What are you willing to Give up?

Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.
— Genesis 3:19

For the Catholic Community, today, Ash Wednesday, marks the first day of the Lenten season. The season is for repentance, meditation, and abstinence which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are all flawed and journeying to the grave. All year round, we dodge the reality of mortality. Life is our path, Death is our destiny. As the 14th Century writer Thomas a’Kempis counsels: “Presume not to promise yourself the next morning, and in the morning, consider you may not live till nightfall. Many die when they least think of it. A man is here today, and tomorrow he is gone. And when he is taken out of sight, he is also quickly out of mind.”

Some Facts about Ash Wednesday:

1. Its official name is “Day of Ashes,” so called because of the practice of rubbing ashes on one’s forehead in the sign of a cross.

2. Since it is exactly 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter Sunday, it will always fall on a Wednesday—there cannot be an “Ash Thursday” or “Ash Monday.”

3. The Bible never mentions Ash Wednesday—for that matter, it never mentions Lent.

4. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not observe Ash Wednesday; instead, they start Lent on “Clean Monday.”

5. The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense.

6. In the Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and repentance—a day of contemplating one’s transgressions.

7. In the Republic of Ireland, Ash Wednesday is National No Smoking Day. The date was chosen because quitting smoking ties in with giving up luxury for Lent.

So LENT is about sacrifice, giving up luxury, spiritual discipline, self-denial, abstinence, fasting, repentance, reflection…and this goes for forty days. That’s technically a month and a half(?).

I do remember not eating meat during lent when I was younger. Even the food at the cafeteria at my school was limited to tuna sandwiches and orange juice. But as I grew up, I kind of just stopped practicing “lent“. The last time I remembered fasting was fourteen years ago and the last time I remembered going to confession was ten years ago (before I got married).

I don’t have perfect attendance in Church but I do make it a point to go every Sunday if I can. My faith in God is strong and firm and we often talk.

As I was coming into the office this morning, I noticed a couple of co-employees with ashes on their foreheads and I said to myself maybe I should start practicing Lent. It might be good for me and my spiritual relationship with myself and my God. After all, I’ve been so blessed and the blessings just keep coming.

What am I willing to give up this Lenten season? Okay, I do realize forty days is quite long so I’m gonna list down what is achievable.

1. Online shopping. This will be forty days worth of savings.
2. Alcohol. Forty days of sobriety (FYI: I don’t drink everyday and no, I don’t have a drinking problem).
3. Meat, chicken and rice. Goodbye US Roast Beef Carving on Valentines day. On the brighter side, this will be good for my diet. I’ve been trying to lose weight since forever.
4. Junk food. Will just have to find another way to deal with stress.
5. PROCRASTINATION. I don’t think I need to explain why. I NEED to give this up not only during Lent.

I also think that Lent is not just for sacrifice but also for giving. I’ve given up grudges, animosity and revenge earlier this year so I’ve decided that this Lent would be a good time to start paying it forward, doing even just one good deed or act of kindness everyday.

Ashes are traced in the form of a cross on foreheads today. “What is the meaning of our strange behavior?” asks Anglican archbishop of Canterbur in his 2011 book: Writing in the Dust. “Three things, I believe. With these Lenten ashes, we confess. We promise. We hope — in a journey towards renewal.”

Crossing my fingers…I can do this…I can do this…I CAN DO THIS!

To God be the glory.

xx

DMV

Wow, I actually researched about Lent and Fasting. I will do my penance this Lent. Good luck to me for forty days.

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