I’m experiencing a physical pain in the butt. From sitting and lack of stretching and exercise, my piriformis muscle has become over neglected resulting in pain when standing, walking, sitting and just about everything else. Only when the pain arrives do I realize the neglect and choose to change my habits to incorporate stretching, exercising, and anything else that will heal the muscle. I’m also reminded of the spiritual pain in the butt that occurs when I neglect Bible reading, praying and going to church. Those symptoms are less obvious but there none the less. I experience doubt, depression, guilt; lacking confidence, love and acceptance. Once I realize these symptoms, I change my attitude and make adjustments needed to heal the spirit and avoid the spiritual pain in the butt. Change and movement are a must! We have to continue to grow and do what is necessary to take care of our physical and spiritual well-being.
Many children fall into their parents footsteps whether in career or attitude and beliefs. As parents, our responsibility is to train our children in the way they should go. We all realize that some parents make bad choices and are not going to be helpful in training a child. Maturity does not happen with age! I know a 72 year old fool that continues to make bad choices which results in a sin-dependent, sociopathic, destitute life. When a child becomes of age and is able to realize the truth, they are able to follow a plan set out for them by God. God, our Heavenly Father, tells us to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Wisdom comes from God alone:
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6)
“All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent” (Isaiah 28:29)
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom” (James 3:13)
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3:17)
When children accept the truth of God, they begin the path of wisdom. 1 Timothy 4:11 confirms this when it states, “don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity”. David in the Bible was a young boy when God called him to become the next king. He believed and trusted God with his life. King Solomon, David’s son, was appointed king and had the favor of God on his life. God granted him favor and King Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3:9-12). Of all the things in the world that he could have, he found that wisdom was the greatest gift of all. The “truth” is completely irrational according to the world. We must fight and work to find and obtain the truth; it must be guarded as precious treasure. It isn’t the easy way or the most popular so folks will be questioning and critical. Do you care? Of course it hurts a bit when we are criticized or put down. It hurt Jesus also, yet He endured because He knew the truth and the plan set before Him. Hold fast to the promise and plan God has for you so you will become immune to the put downs of this world. Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”.
Being sick for a week allowed me to sit and watch Hallmark Christmas movies. I love them like most women. After a few days, all the movies are the same. The characters are all looking for something special to happen that will transform their lives for the better. Most of the people are cynical and weary of the one sharing “Christmas Magic”. Events take place where the person has nowhere to look except at the truth. Every character in the movies and every person on earth wants peace and joy. We want to turn crappy lives and feelings into something great. Even adults want to believe that there is some magic that will happen around this very special time of year. We need to understand that this evil world tries to tear us down, tear us apart and destroy our lives. If we are not physically torn apart, we are emotionally, mentally and socially. We are not to blame anyone. We take our circumstances and with a positive attitude and joy of the Lord, we move forward. For example, if we were to ask every person in prison about why they are there, most will name a person whom they hold bitterness and hatred for. That way of thinking will keep them hostage in their miserable lives.
Have peace on earth and peace of mind by realizing your place in the world according to how God sees it. He holds the “magic” of Christmas which is available for everyone who wants to believe. It isn’t the time of year that makes it magical, although I love the lights, decorations, and Holiday Spirit. What everyone wants and needs is the free gift that Jesus gives to everyone. This free gift promises 365 days a year of internal joy. It isn’t a perfect, no-problem life, it is a life where even through things maybe falling apart around us, God has us.
I understand how incredible it sounds that God would speak and things are created. Man has to make sense of the world, our existence, past and future, so theologians create their own versions or opinions. People are able to read all opinions and decide for themselves what to believe. To me it makes more sense that a loving God carefully formed each unique creature and placed them where they would best live: fishes in the sea, elephants in the desert, polar bears in Antarctica, and humans everywhere to take care of them. He even saw that each human needed different skin to tolerate the different living conditions: dark skin in heat, and light skin in cloudy, cold weather. The Creator also saw to it that each animal and human were properly fed while living on earth. He gave us all the original vegetation to sustain living. We are all too unique to have been created by a bang of molecules which produced each type of animal, plants, land and sea.
Because we live in an evil, sinful world, we will experience evil. Bad things happen all the time. The bible is filled with horrible stories of death, torture, pain, anguish, and hatred. We are warned that there will be terrible times and we have to endure, stand strong and rely on God. Acts 20:30 tells us “even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them”. God is still in control even when it doesn’t seem like it. Our world is bent toward evil so we bring news of the evil, we celebrate the evil, watch it on television, listen to it on the radio and participate in it. We don’t see God much because he isn’t where we are – in evil. We have to be diligent to seek God in order to see what He is doing. He is still created, not on the outside, but inside. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Living in France, we would be surrounded by Frenchmen. Same goes with living in Germany. Wherever we live, we are surrounded by the people who also live there. Looking at the big picture, we live in the world surrounded by worldly people who believe worldly things and are greatly influenced by the worldly way of life. It is almost impossible not to be affected by the world since we do live in it. As a Christian, God expects us to live in the world but not be apart of it. Can we live a church? (there are worldly problems there also) Should we live underground and be sheltered from the world? No, God commands us to “do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:19).
We must live among the worldly people yet be an example for Christ. Once you surrender your life to God, He will make you “shine like the stars”. You will be the smiling face in the crowd, you will be the one everyone needs to talk to about problems because somehow you seem to have it all together. It’s a tremendous responsibility and honor to be one of God’s chosen stars. In fact, it will be a bit troubling because as you see worldly things happening to “so-called” Christians, you are responsible to call them on it. God will not be mocked or have the bad reputation because of a worldly decision you make. You will be judged harshly.
Paul spells it out completely in 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 “I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother (Christian) but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you’”.
Doesn’t get much clearer than that!