Monday, October 21, 2019

The Bad Temper Club


By Andrea Merrell


The Bad Temper Club. I used to be a member. Actually, for many years I was the president and CEO. I finally cancelled my membership and moved on, but on occasion, I find myself wandering back inside the clubhouse to let my anger fly.

Even though there is a time and place for righteous anger, for the most part this emotion is a destructive force. It can end friendships, tear families apart, wreck our health, and destroy just about everything it touches. The Bible calls it foolish (Proverbs 14:17, 29).

Listen to what others have to say:

  • When your temper gets the best of you, it reveals the worst of you. Instead of solving the problem, anger only makes it worse. ~Bob Gass


  • Take this remark from Richard poor and lame: whate’er’s begun in anger ends in shame. ~Ben Franklin from Poor Richards Almanac


  • People who fly into a rage seldom make a good landing. ~Will Rogers


Most of the time, our bad temper stems from selfishness, impatience, hurt, fatigue, or frustration. But when we give someone the power to make us angry, we are at their mercy.  I’ve learned the hard way that my anger solves nothing. It only serves to make me feel foolish and guilty while I make others uncomfortable or push them away.

Bob Gass says, “Not everything is worth getting angry about. The more calmly you see a situation, the more clearly you see how to handle it. That’s why we have to choose our battles wisely."

If you’re a member of the Bad Temper Club, cancel your membership immediately. Bid it goodbye and get outta town. You’ll be glad you did … and so will everyone else.


(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and saphatthachat.)




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    Monday, October 14, 2019

    Knowing God as Father


    By Andrea Merrell

      The Lord is like a father to His children,

        tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.
    Psalm 103:13 NLT

    “I realized I was serving a King and not being a daughter to a Father.”

    The girl’s testimony rang true. I had been in her shoes, finding my value in what I could do for God—feeling as if I had no value otherwise—instead of accepting and walking in my position as His child … His daughter.

    Religion teaches us to see God as Creator, King, and Judge. Some even see Him as harsh and demanding. Too many times we’re taught to only fear Him instead of coming to Him in simple, childlike faith.

    God’s true nature—especially his fatherhood—can be hard for us to grasp. This is especially true when our earthly father does not exemplify the qualities we expect from a parent. But God offers unconditional love, security, protection, comfort, affection, tenderness, and understanding. In other words, all our heart longs for. He is caring, generous, and dependable. He has promised to never leave us. And we don’t have to prove our worth or earn His love by serving Him. Our value and true identity are found only in our personal relationship with Him.

    Our Father knows us inside and out, even better than we know ourselves. He knows our thoughts, our needs, and our desires. And He delights in giving us everything we need … and then some.

    Don’t just serve a King. Take your rightful position as a son or daughter of a loving, heavenly Father. He is waiting with open arms.


    (Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and TCJ2020.)




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    Monday, October 7, 2019

    Times of Refreshing


    By Andrea Merrell

    Times of refreshing will stream from the Lord’s presence.
    Acts 3:19 TPT

    It was a smoking-hot day at Dollywood, with temps in the mid-nineties. But just when we felt we could go no further, we happened upon one of their “misters,” a shelter with a continuous spray of water for people to rest and cool off. A time of refreshing.

    We could have missed it. We could have walked on by. But we made the choice and took the time to take advantage of such a wonderful blessing.

    In this hectic, fast-paced life, we all need those times of refreshing. God provides His own misters along our path, but we have to make the choice and take the time to enjoy them. The twenty-third Psalm tells us that our Shepherd will lead us beside still waters and cause us to lie down in green pastures in order to restore our soul. The Passion translation puts it this way:

    The Lord is my best friend and my Shepherd.
    I always have more than enough.
    He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love.
    His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
    That’s where He restores and revives my life.

    As we navigated our way through Dollywood, we came upon more of these misters. We stopped to enjoy each one. That’s the way our Shepherd wants us to live each day, taking time from the busyness to enjoy those places where we can rest in His love and peace.

    As they say, stop and smell the roses. Rest. Enjoy the beauty around you. Allow God to restore and revive your soul.

    (Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and kobkik.)




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    Monday, September 30, 2019

    No Longer a Spiritual Orphan


    By Andrea Merrell

     For it was always in his perfect plan to adopt us 
    as his delightful children,
    through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace—for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!
    Ephesians 1:5-6 TPT 

    I’ve loved the Lord as far back as I can remember, but for a large portion of my life I doubted His love for me. In my own mind, I simply wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve the blessings and promises laid out in His Word. Those were for everyone else … not me.

    I was a spiritual orphan. Born again but standing on the outside looking in. Whenever bad things happened, I was sure it was somehow my fault or God was displeased with me. I was the glass-half-empty gal with low expectations.

    As pastor and author Chad Norris says in his book Mama Jane’s Secret, “Spiritual orphans are always dominated by what they can see, taste, touch, feel, and hear.” In other words, we are ruled by our senses and emotions rather than our faith.

    Norris goes on to say, “Those at the King’s table trust His Word no matter what the natural says, because the Word matters more than what we can see, taste, touch, feel, or hear.”

    My transformation came when the revelation of God’s love—for me—literally exploded on the inside. My true identity became a reality. No longer a spiritual orphan, I recognized myself as a loved and cherished child of God. Every blessing and promise in His Book belong to me. All I have to do is believe and receive.

    If you doubt your standing in God’s kingdom and feel you don’t measure up, there’s good news for you. He is standing with arms wide open waiting for you, His child in whom He takes great delight.

    Run into His arms. You are no longer a spiritual orphan.

    (Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and tuelekza.)



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    Monday, September 23, 2019

    The Truth About Grace


    By Andrea Merrell


    God’s grace. We talk about it. We thank Him for it. But do we really understand it?

    We often refer to grace as God’s unmerited (undeserved) favor. Some call it divine assistance. While others deem it as mercy, kindness, or pardon.

    While all these attributes are correct, we tend to leave out an important element—God’s power, or the power of God that works in us. When we receive God’s grace, it’s just the beginning. It opens the door. To what? The transforming power of God that is able to deliver us and change our circumstances.

    Chris Tiegreen puts it like this:
    Many Christians … speak of the grace that covers their brokenness without any expectation of fixing it; of grace that compensates for their wounds without any hope of healing them; of grace that forgives flaws without any sense of recovering from them. In other words, they need grace but deny hope and resist change.
     
    Grace … is not only greater than all your sin; it’s also greater than all your habits and tendencies. It not only covers all your brokenness, wounds, and flaws; it can also heal them. In fact, it insists on healing them, even when you’re afraid of change or reluctant to enter into it. God offers his transforming power to anyone bold enough to accept it. Grace and power flow together. Never seek one without the other.

    God’s grace, as the song says, is truly amazing. And it prepares the way for God to set us free by His power. Grace and power … a matched set that can turn your life around and bless you in ways you can’t imagine. That’s a truth you can bank on.

    (Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and radnatt.)


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