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Tag: Holy Spirit

Rejoicing Always, Praying Without Ceasing, Being Thankful in Everything

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my office in my home. My children are home from school because we had an ice storm last night and school was closed. It is dry and warm in our house and I have bread rising in the kitchen. My husband has a good job.

It’s easy to read that verse today. Rejoice ALWAYS. Pray WITHOUT CEASING. IN EVERYTHING give thanks.

But the fact is, there are times in life when this verse is impossible to comprehend. Some of you are reading this now thinking, “No way.”

I understand. I’ve been there.

My dear friend’s parents lost their entire town to a terrible fire this week. Flooding has killed dozens and destroyed communities in Italy. School shootings, house of worship shootings, bar shootings are becoming normal words. We’ve been at war for 17 years.

I don’t think this passage is intended to admonish those who don’t always rejoice, who don’t always pray, and who aren’t thankful in everything. In fact, Solomon, the man whom 1 Kings tells us that God gave him “wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore”, who was “wiser than all men”, (1 Kings 4:29-30) tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there’s a time to hate, a time to mourn, a time to weep, a time to break down — that there is a time for everything under the sun (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

I think this passage of verses in the letter to the church in Thessalonica is intended to encourage us, to give us the smallest glimpse into what life will be like in our perfected bodies. It’s something to which we’re to strive to achieve and to know that one day we won’t even have to try.

When things are dim and scary, when life is hard and feels impossible, I say these verses out loud. The Bible tells us that the word of God is our weapon – our sword – to use to battle the enemies of God (Ephesians 6:7). Speaking the words out loud even in the midst of grief, pain, and fear, reminds me of the fruit of the Spirit that dwells inside of me. That no weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:7), and that I am not alone (Deuteronomy 31:6).

It gives my heart and mind peace to know that I have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me to draw upon and then find that I can start rejoicing, despite the circumstances. That I can pray through good times and bad, and keep a constant line of communication open. That I can be thankful in all circumstances because I know the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

Be encouraged during this time of Thanksgiving. As you ponder that which you can easily give thanks, remember that even if your time is to weep, or your time is to mourn, you can draw upon that same power.

halleeLOGOspinefinal

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Words Have Power

I have a junk mail email account. Any shopping organization, blog newsletter signups — anywhere that asks me for my email address, I give them this junk one. I regularly scroll through the senders and subject lines to make sure I don’t miss an important email that might have gotten lost in there.

Today, I saw a subject line from some motivational speaker that read, “How many lives will you change today?”

That gave me pause. How many lives will I change today?

And then I thought further — who am I to think that  I could change a life?

I recently came home from attending the Omega Christian Writers Conference in Sydney, Australia. As I type this, I’m suffering from severe jet lag and am awake at 12:31 in the morning (quite unheard of for me). My alarm will go off in 4.5 hours and I feel tired just thinking about it, but I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.

So, at the end of this conference, during a group session, the leader encouraged the attenders to pray to God to give us each a word that would define our coming year. Through my years in church services and worship gatherings, the idea of praying to God to get an immediate answer to some profound future mission is not unheard of, but I’ve personally rarely received any kind of “word” in that vein. But, I bowed my head and sincerely prayed for God to give me a “word”. Like a voice in my head, I heard the word “POWER”.

power

Power? I’m hardly powerful. There’s nothing about me that’s powerful. I’m certain that often I’m the opposite of powerful.

Thinking I’d made that up in my own mind, I continued praying. “Please God, give me a word for my coming year. If there was one word that could define what my writing can accomplish, please reveal that.”

Again, I heard, in an actual voice as if someone sat right beside me, “POWER.”

Power.

What does that mean? Does that mean my words will give someone POWER? Does that mean that the POWER of God will be revealed through me? Or does that mean that I will have the POWER to overcome obstacles in my life and continue to work toward my mission statement?

Hallee prayerfully crafts stories as modern day parables to uplift fellow believers and minister to seekers in our fallen world.

I don’t know. A single word comes with no elaboration. But, when I read through the subject lines of this junk email account and saw the words, “How many lives will you change today?”, I could do nothing but suddenly remember the word POWER.

words-power

God has given me a the power to craft words that can positively affect lives. My email box is filled with testimonials from readers over the last four years who have come to know Christ, come back to Christ, had a positive change in their relationships with their husbands — on and on the emails go, giving me evidence to the power of the written word. Because I pray before I write, because I allow myself to be open to the Holy Spirit and what he would have me say, I truly believe that through Him, I reveal the power of Christ to change lives.

POWER

What is your word? What will God reveal to you today about your coming year? What about your ministry work? How can God work within you in a way that glorifies Him? What is your word?

I’m excited and apprehensive to see how POWER plays in my year. I’d love to hear about what God reveals to you.

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halleeLOGOspinefinal


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30 Days of Thankfulness Day 8

I often post a list of all the things for which I’m thankful on Thanksgiving. But, in an effort to get back into the habit of daily blogging, I’ve decided to do a post a day for the month of November

8. God’s Word

open bible

As I’ve worked on this list of 30 things for which I’m thankful, I’ve found that I often quote Bible verses to elaborate on the subject. That’s when it occurred to me that I’m extremely grateful for the gift of God’s word.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

I believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, that He used the Holy Spirit to move men to write the Bible, (2 Peter 1:21) and that it is a living, breathing document that is always relevant. I think that with any situation in my entire life, I can find where the Bible will speak to me. I believe that the “Old” Testament is just as important as the “New” Testament. I believe that the Word of God is a weapon against evil (Ephesians 6:17).

I read my Bible daily. During my daily one-hour walk, I listen to an audio version of the Bible. Whenever I’m looking for a reference for anything in my daily life, I turn to the Bible first. I dig in and read it as often as I can. When I’m sitting in waiting rooms or waiting for one of my children somewhere, I read a little purse Bible I carry with me. I constantly think on and meditate on the Word of God.

My dad encouraged me when I was 19 to start reading my Bible. At the time, he was in his mid-forties. He said, “Don’t wait until you’re as old as I am. Don’t put it off. Start studying your Bible now. I realize now that I will never live long enough to learn as much as I want to learn from the Bible.”

I never get bored with it and I never get tired of it. I am so very thankful to God for giving us His word.

 
Hallee Bridgeman Precious Signature


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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