Saturday, January 31, 2009

Philippians 4:5

Hello Everyone!

Our Scripture is on gentleness this week.

I had been doing some research on Psalm 141,

especially verse 5 where it talks about "oil for my head".

This video was one of my choices and I thought that it

so very well spoke of "gentleness" and peace.

Hope you enjoy it.

(Plz turn off my Playlist music to be able to hear this Free Smileys)

Philippians 4:5

"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."
–New International Version

"Let your graciousness be know to everyone. The Lord is near."
–Christian Standard Bible

Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!"
–The Message Bible

One commentary (Parallel Bible Commentary) says for "gentleness"

or "moderation" ...

><>Forbearance (now, that a word you do not hear much of today...)

><>Considerateness (is that a word? Free Smileys)

><> Sweet Reasonableness

Being Satisfied With Less Than Is Due You

Would you please allow me to bring back a picture from my last post

for that last statement?....

Double Ouch....

This is the opposite of stubbornness and thoughtlessness.

The commentary at says:

(Forbearance or gentleness) describes a person who does not always insist on every right of letter of law or custom. It stands for the spirit or attitude that does not seek to retaliate. It denotes one’s willingness to give and take instead of always standing rigidly on one’s rights. This is the person who is yielding his rights and is therefore gentle, kind, courteous, tolerant or as one has described it exhibits a "sweet reasonableness" or an ability to extend to others the kindly consideration one would wish to receive themselves. The forbearing person is not spineless but selfless.

Be known speaks of knowledge that goes beyond the merely factual. Paul is saying that others are to realize our yieldedness (by experience). We are to be sure that they realize by seeing us in action that we are a people who do not...

cling to our rights as do non-Christians."

Now....we could start a whole debate on WHEN and HOW we do stand up for our rights,

that will be a subject for another post.

How was your "spirit" this morning when offended or misunderstood or mistreated?

Did you defend or forbear, even able to give thanks for all (how many?) things?

"The Lord is near."

When I read that phrase,

I was comforted.

To me and my life,

it said that the Lord is here with me.

It reminds me of a mother or father.

When a child is crying and uncontrollably,

a parent will comfort them by saying:

"It's OK..I am here...Mommy is here...

Daddy is here...

The Lord is near.

Psalm 91:1

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High,

shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

King James Version

Under....not in, but under.

That means that Something is over top of us,

shielding us.

This reminds me of my post October 10, 2008

"I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings...

I had another friend tell me this week that

she feels like she is just walking in the dark...

that she doesn't know where her life's purpose

is leading her. The things she thought God was telling

her to do...did not work out at all...closed doors...

She mentioned this to her mentor at church

and this precious lady told her that she may be

walking in the dark, but it is because


Comforting, holding close, protecting, until

the storm passes..."

The other meaning of this verse could be in reference

to the return of Christ.

•Our Homegoing

•The Rapture

•The Second Coming

•Judgment Day

I like to think about...

the Rapture for this one.

WOW ~ what a day!!!

If you have watched any of the Left Behind DVDs

or read the books, you have seen their ideas on how the world will be

left when that Great Day comes.

Until next week, may you and I be encouraged to be gentle and to

KNOW that God is very near to us, AMEN!

Debbie G.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hello Everyone!

Stay tuned for this Friday when we will be discussing Philippians 4:5!

Debbie G.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Philippians 4:4

Hello Everyone!

In respect for the Office of the President

and obeying 1 Timothy 2:1-5 (NIV) which says,

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..."

I wanted to post this article I found online at

Charisma Magazine,

which led me to the below video.

(Plz turn off my Playlist on the right sidebar before playing video.)

Let us join these 3 men in praying for our country!

This week, we are going to focus on one verse:

Philippians 4:4.

This one deals with the theme for Philippians ~ JOY~~!!!

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (NIV)

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice." (KJV)

(No that is not a typo...should be alway)

"Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him!" (Message Bible)

Pretty much, whatever translation you may use...

except for the Message Bible...

they all say about the same thing for Philippians 4:4.

Some verses are more varied in the words when you compare them.

For example, go to

  • Type in Ephesian 4:28 in the search box
  • Click on the "V" button (V for Versions)
  • Waalaa!!
You can see the different words that have been used to mean the same


But...for our verse this week, there is not too many ways to say it...

Don't happy...

From the great "theologian", (just kidding) Bobby McFerrin...

Now, here is how the commentary for this verse at

says it:

"Rejoice (chairo) is present imperative calling for a lifestyle of joy that emanates from an active choice (active voice) of our will regardless of whether confronted with joyful or adverse circumstances and/or people. We are to continually work out this command empowered by God in us Who energizes us to carry it out and Who brings forth the fruit of the Spirit which is joy (see note Galatians 5:22).

It is important to understand that this is not 'joy' as the world defines joy, envisioning it as an emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. This secular definition hardly describes Christian joy which is not a feeling but it is the deep-down confidence that God is in control of everything for the believer’s good and His own glory, and thus all is well no matter the circumstances.

If believers are to represent heaven to earth, then joy should be one of our trademarks, for in Christ's presence is fullness of joy. We obtain (and maintain) this joy by rejoicing in the right object. We rejoice not in our situation but in our Savior, not in circumstances, but in Christ."

We should be worshipers instead of worriers.

I know I am being taught to worship instead of worrying.

I have a friend in Indianapolis who is a precious Hispanic sister-in-the-Lord.

I would go to her house to have Bible Study.

She had a mentor who advised her that when she became

agitated, anxious,

and about to fall apart....

start worshiping...start singing God's praises...

start telling Him of His attributes...start thinking about and thanking Him

for all that He has done for you in the past.


What a difference that makes!!

This commentary goes on to say that...

Knowledge of God is the key to rejoicing. Those who know the great truths about God find it easy to rejoice."

"...'Rejoice in the Lord always'. People who are very happy, especially those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offense or to take offense. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things, that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles which naturally arise among such imperfect creatures as we are."

Ouch!...Double Ouch!!

Or as my grandson, Zane, used to say..."Otch"....

To do this week:

Each time you feel that tornado of worry starting to spin inside

you and it start to spin out of control and cause destruction to anyone

or anything that happens to fall in its pathway....

  • Start worshiping

  • Start praising God

  • Start telling Him how good He is

  • Start thanking Him for what He has already done for you

  • Start counting your blessings

If you cannot instantly come up with anything...

Start by just saying His name....

"Jesus, Jesus"...

add to that, "Jesus, I trust You"

add to that "Jesus, I trust You with my life."

add to that "Jesus I worship You".

Then repeat and repeat over and over.

See what happens....

It Is Amazing!!!

Praise God!!!

Learning to rejoice in the Lord alway(s),

Until next week,

Debbie G.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Philippians 4:1-3

Hello Everyone!

I have been thinking about making this recipe

so when I pulled it out of my recipe book,

I thought I should post it!

It is called Baked Spaghetti.

I believe it was originally taken from a Taste of Home Magazine.

It was given to me from a sister in the Lord who received it

from another sister in the Lord...

You know how that goes...

"Hey, Debbie..."so and so" gave me this great recipe...

you have to try it!!!" ~ .one.of.those.!

Baked Spaghetti

1 Cup chopped onion
1 Cup green pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Can 28 oz. tomatoes, diced (do not drain)
1 Can 4 oz. mushroom pieces (drained)
2 Cans (2 1/2 ozs. each) of ripe olives (drained)
2 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 lb. Ground beef, browned (drain)
12 oz. Spaghetti cooked and drained
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese (divide/ one cup and one cup)
1 Can 10 3/4 oz. condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 Soup can of water (more or less as desired)
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, saute onion and green pepper in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, mushroom, olives and oregano. Add ground beef. Simmer uncovered
for 10 minutes. Place half of the spaghetti in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Top with half of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with one cup of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layer. Mix the soup and water until smooth; pour over the casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered at 350ยบ for 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Yield 6 servings. This casserole freezes well and is a great one to make double of and put it the freezer ~ as do the leftovers, if you have any! Free Smileys

The only deviation I make from the original recipe, is that I use fresh mushrooms, because of personal preference, only ~ oh... and low sodium cream of mushroom soup (I won't go there...), oh...and ground turkey instead of ground beef (same...won't go there...getting older is challenging!!) oh...AND maybe the cheese....low fat.....THAT'S ALL...I PROMISE!!!

It WAS from the Taste of Home magazine and I found it online ~ Whoo Hoo!!

Baked Spaghetti Recipe

One more time....(sniff...sniff...we are almost done with Philippians!!Free Smileys)

let's go over our little outline that we started with on....

JULY 21st!!!! Can you believe it?????? how many months has that been?

July-August ~ 1

August-September ~ 2

September-October ~ 3

October-November ~ 4

November-December ~ 5

December-January 10 ~ 6....ALMOST 6 MONTHS...can you believe it????!!!


Here is our little outline one more time:

I. Rejoicing in Christ as the Principle of Life (Chapter 1:1-11)
II. Rejoicing in Christ as the Pattern of Life (Chapter 2:1-30)
III. Rejoicing in Christ as the Prize of Life (Chapter 3:1-21)
IV. Rejoicing in Christ as the Power of Life (Chapter 4:1-23 )

In this last chapter we will see Christ as the Power of our Life.

The Source of Power = Joy, verses 1-4.

The Secret of Power = Prayer, verses 5-7.

The Sanctuary of Power = Contemplation of Christ, verses 8-14.

The Satisfaction of Power = In Christ, verses 15-23.

Verse 1 ~ "Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

Verse 2 ~ I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.

Verse 3 ~ Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Stand firm...

This phrase in verse one, takes me back to the Spring of 1994.

I was going through the hardest test of my life.

My first husband, Bruce was battling the effects of lung cancer.

He had been a non-smoker, but found himself faced with this disease.

We were living in Indianapolis, IN in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch-style home.

One of the features of this home that I liked was that it had a covered porch

and 2 rocking chairs.

One day, I realized that a storm was coming our way.

I had the privilege, at that moment, to be able to go out on the porch

and sit in a rocking chair and watch, listen and smell the storm as it approached.

All of a sudden, my eyes were focused on an object across the street.

There on a corner of our neighbor's yard, was a rabbit.

Now that may not seem unusual to you,

but this rabbit was sitting smack dab in the middle of this rather large

area of grass.

It was not moving.

It was not running from the storm.

It was not hiding in the bushes.

Suddenly, I sensed in my spirit the words...

"Stand Firm".

"Stand firm, do not run from the storm...

Do not run and hide and bury your head until the storm passes...

Stand firm and see the work of the Lord...

Do not be afraid..."

You can imagine that it was as though the earth had stopped spinning

and it was just me and that rabbit zeroed in and focused on.

What courage it gave me to stand firm in my faith!...

To stand firm that God will see us through this storm...

Even though the wind was blowing and the smell of rain was coming...

Even though the natural thing to do would be to run away...

Take shelter...and hide.

God said to stand firm and show no fear.....

This and other instances like this encouraged me through out the

year and 4 months and 28 days of Bruce's battle,

until God saw it best to give him an ultimate healing in heaven.

OK>>>>>(cough and clearing of the throat...)

Verses 2 and 3 deal with conflict.

Now, you may say, I can see how standing firm in your faith

can give you the source of power = joy...

But how can conflict give

I'll be happy to tell you how.

But first, let's remember what type of "document" that we are reading here.

Paul was in prison. Paul was writing the Philippian church a letter

to send to them via of our friend Epaphroditus.

Apostle Paul in Prison

Philippians 2:26-30 post on November 7, 2008 to read about this wonderful

servant and co-worker in the Lord with Paul.)

So...Ep takes this letter (or what we know as the Book of Philippians)

back to the Philippian church and let's imagine

that it was read to the whole church at one time.

"Imagine sitting in the congregation listening to Paul’s letter being read. There are two women, sitting on opposite sides of the room, listening intently. Each of them is surrounded by their supporters. They both gave a hearty amen when Paul said that he was 'confident that He who began a good work in you would carry it on to completion to the day of Christ Jesus.' (Phil 1:6) Both women dabbed their eyes with tissues when the great Christ-hymn of chapter two was read (Phil 2:5-11) and they both nodded resolutely when Paul told them beware false teachers (see 3:18-21).

But Paul starts Chapter Four by calling each of these women out by name. Paul has left teaching and now he’s gone to meddling! I am sure each of them wanted to crawl under their seat. Paul does not mean to embarrass them, but does not hesitate to deal with this divisiveness head on.

I love the way that Eugene Peterson paraphrases these verses:

'I urge you Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn’t want his children holding grudges.' (Phil. 4:2, The Message Bible)"

–by Jeff Williams, "Getting Along With Others", 06/26/05 at

Mr. Williams goes on to talk about how we as Christians need to be peacemakers.

He gives the acrostic of P.E.A.C.E.

P ~ Pursue peace at all costs. Handle conflict Biblically.

Action step: Are you in a conflict right now? Maybe it is someone in the church

or a family member. It could be with a friend or a coworker. Here is the action

step – deal it with today. Putting off resolving conflict actually leads to sin and

a hard heart.

Do not delay or doubt God’s ability to help you resolve the


E ~ Express yourself Biblically. Avoid accusing comments, sweeping

generalizations, and becoming historical. (not hysterical!)

Use words that “build others up” by being gentle and kind.

Action Step: Do your words wound or bring healing? Is your vocabulary

vicious or do your adjectives affirm? Try this tomorrow. Try to go one entire

day without saying anything negative about anyone. Make a deal with someone

that every time you slip you have to pay them a dollar!,_obverse.jpg/800px-United_States_one_dollar_bill,_obverse.jpg

Ask the Holy Spirit to help
you apply Ephesians 4:29 to your mouth...

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is

helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit

those who listen."

A ~ Ask yourself the question – "Is this worth it?" "Will this matter year from now?

In many situations, the best way to resolve conflict is to simply overlook

an offense.

Action Step: For the most part, people do not get out of bed in the morning

thinking, “I think I’ll go hurt someone’s feelings today.” Let me encourage you

to give a little grace to that person that hurt you by what they said, what they

did, what they didn’t do. In the name and power of Jesus Christ, who has

forgiven you and me of so much, let it go. Forgive, GOI, (Get Over It) and move


C ~ Confess your sins. Jesus calls us to confess our part in the problem before

calling others out for their faults. We have enough holy hypocrites; we are in

desperate need of Christ-following confessors. We don’t like people who sin

differently than we do!

Ken Sande at

and author of the book "The Peacemaker"

says that these are the "Seven A's of Confession":

*Address everyone involved

*Avoid the words "if, but or maybe"

*Admit specifically (both attitudes and actions)

*Acknowledge the hurt

*Accept the consequences

*Alter your behavior

*Ask for forgiveness and allow time

E ~ Engage a mentor. Finally, if none of these steps work, we are to engage a

mediator to help us resolve the issues. That’s what the “loyal yokefellow” was

to do in the church at Philippi and that is what God calls us to when we have

conflict. Listen to some pretty intimidating words from Jesus:

"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the

two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will

not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be

established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'" (Matthew 18:15-17)

Chuck Swindoll writes “if you chose mediation remember,

- the ultimate goal is restoration not discipline

- the right attitude is grace not force

- the common ground is Christ not logic, politics, tradition, or your will.”

Action Step: Identify a Godly leader within this church and asked them to

mediate for you. Stop talking about it to anyone except the individual you have

the conflict with and begin to pray that God would bring peace.

But how can conflict give

The peace and joy that you have when you have solved a conflict is liberating...

The peace and joy that you have when you stand firm for God...

It is as though you have a 100 ton weight lifted off of your shoulder...

That gives you the POWER to walk in the purpose that God has for you!

This Source of Power does = Joy!

Now...that is what I call real J.O.Y.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next week....

Rejoicing in Christ as the Power of Life

Debbie G.

PS ~ I need to add a disclaimer that I have in no way attained these principles of settling conflicts in full by any means. Verses 2 and 3 were another reminder of what I need to do, not do what I do...which is being too passive. Holy Spirit, I ask that you help me to be the peacemaker that is a Biblical peacemaker and know fully the joy You have in store for me. Amen.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Philippians 3:15-21

Hello Everyone!

I don't personally make New Year's Resolutions, per say...

but I thought this video was cute!! (Plz remember to turn off my Playlist)

How has 2009 gone for you so far???

So far...So good??

I will say that I always wonder what the New Year will bring.

Could any of us predicted how 2008 turned out?

Each year when I put my Christmas tree away...

I ask myself the question...

"What will be different the next time I (read: my sweet husband)

take this tree out of the box at the end of this year?"

But as we are going to study in Chapter 4...

we are to LEARN to be content in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in...

Whether it be good times or bad times...

Whether it be for richer or poorer....

Whether it be a life and death matter....

(hmmm...sounds familiar...)

We are to be content and say, "I trust in You, O God, My times are in Your hands."

Psalm 31:14 & 15a, which happens to be my Life Verse(s).

I trust in You...My times are in Your hands....

Do I/we really mean that?

Easy words to say, but do we really MEAN what we say?

The Christian Standard Bible Version (my new Bible) says,

"The course of my life is in Your power."

Think of a mountain stream...

Can you somehow picture one in your mind???

(hehehe, just a little help from me!)

You might think that the flow of the stream (a.k.a your life) should go down

the right hand side of that picture.

But the God of the Universe KNEW that it needed to go on the left hand side

of this picture.

He also added some rocks and a "downside" (waterfall) to your life.

A place where you feel as though you are free falling with no support when

you fall.

Be brave.

Be strong.

Don't give up.

Be content.

Expect God to be with you!!

Amen. onto our Bible study for this week:

Verse 15 ~ "All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.

Verse 16 ~ Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Verse 17 ~ Join others in following my example, brother, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

Verse 18 ~ For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

Verse 19 ~ Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

Verse 20 ~ But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Verse 21 ~ who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

W.O.W. ~ As I typed that....I was challenged, convicted and given courage!!!!

(all in that order)

Let's pick up where we left off last week with...

Discipline: (If you are a little lost, plz go back one post and read

In order to keep moving forward, we must exhibit discipline.

"All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained."

Paul is really telling us to take a “chill pill”

when it comes to trying to control other people.

We must remember that our response is our responsibility.

He challenges us to view our Christian lives the way he has laid them out

(think mountain stream)

but if we think differently, God will make it clear.

Leave it in His hands.

Some of us need to heed these words because we’ve taken on too much

responsibility for the response of others.

We must take the focus off of what others are thinking and doing

and live up to what we have already attained.

This means that we are to keep on living by staying in the race,

running in our lane as we move forward.


In order to stay in the race, we must deepen our discipleship.

We do that in 2 ways:

1.) We are to follow the good examples of others.

2.) We are to reject the bad examples and do not follow them.

Good Examples:

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

That doesn’t mean Paul is perfect but it does mean that he is on the right path.

In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul declares,

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

The word “pattern” is from a mold into which clay or wax was pressed.

It’s healthy for us to have people to look up to,

people who can mentor us as they model Christ.

At our church, CGC, part of our vision is to be a mentoring church.

A church that generations can learn from each other.

A church that has a strong family feel in many ways.

A church that respects and honors all generations.

It is my husband's and my duty before God to help blend

and help to disciple these generations. Amen!

Bad Examples:

For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.

I’m struck by how tender Paul is even towards those he refers to as enemies.

When he considers their destiny which is destruction,

when he states that their appetites control everything they do (ouch!)

and how they take pride in shameful things,

he breaks down and cries.

When’s the last time you cried over the condition of someone? (double ouch)

Because their mind and focus is on worldly things,

It should cause us to cry.

But do we?

I'll be transparent here...I don't...

Word of warning, however ~

We need to have discernment (judgment with a view to obtaining

spiritual direction.)

and this next one is for you, Darlene...

(discernment) in order to grow in our discipleship

because these “enemies of the cross of Christ" may even be in church circles,

writing Christian books,

speaking at Christian conferences,

and sitting next to you on Sunday mornings.

(or afternoons which is our service time)


Paul doesn’t want to end on a bummer,

so he brings it all together by focusing on our delight in
verses 20-21:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."

Our perspective will determine our priorities.

As we live in the future tense,

we will have freedom from the past

and find delight in the present.

These closing verses establish several truths to delight in

that will change our perspective.
  • Our home is in heaven. We are citizens of another place.
  • Jesus is coming again. We need to eagerly wait for Him.
  • Everything will be made right. All things will be brought under His order.
  • We will be transformed. The best is yet to come!

If we want to press on when the pressure’s on,

and get in spiritual shape,

we must implement these essentials:

  1. Dissatisfaction
  2. Devotion
  3. Direction
  4. Determination
  5. Discipline
  6. Discipleship
  7. Delight

What’s dragging you down today?

What is it that you are leashed to?

It’s time to let it go so you can really grow.

It's time to get out of your greenhouse

and plant yourself in the soil of the world

**who needs you to flourish and tell them about Christ

**who need you to be transplanted in their area

**who needs you to show your contentment in trying circumstances

**who needs you to show your discipline, discipleship and delight

Another word for delight is...JOY!!!

(Now where have we heard that word before?)

Until next week,

Debbie G.

>Sermon "Pressing On When The Pressure's On" by Brian Bill