Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Philippians 4:8c ~ Right

Hello Everyone!

I found a great Strawberry Cake recipe last week and I wanted to share it with you.

Mrs. Dodd's Strawberry Cake

1 Box Strawberry Cake mix
1 Quart fresh strawberries
3/4-1 Cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the berries)
1 Tub of cream cheese frosting or 1 Tub of Cool Whip

  • Wash and slice strawberries
  • Pour sugar over the strawberries
  • Bake the cake according to directions in desired size of pan
  • COOL COMPLETELY
  • Poke holes in the top of the COOLED cake
  • Pour strawberries and juice over the cake
  • Heat cream cheese frosting until it slightly boils
  • Drizzle frosting over the cake
  • Optional ~ Spread Cool Whip over the cake

This cake is soooooooooooo moist,

you can almost wring out the liquid!!!!!!!!!

Depending on your sweet tooth,

you would need to decide which topping you would prefer.

The cream cheese frosting is much sweeter, of course,

than the Cool Whip. You have to heat up the frosting

because it is nearly impossible to spread it over the

strawberries. You must drizzle...(hehehehe!!!)


Now, on to our Bible Study this week about "Right"........

We are talking about the battlefield of our minds.

Clearly, the Apostles Paul's thought life

was at the heart of the contentment, peace and joy

that he had learned in every situation.

(Philippians 4:10-12)

At www.preceptaustin.org commentary,

I find wonderful comments on this Scripture.

Here are some things to "think about" for the general theme of

our thought life before we

dive

http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2006/03/23/2203dive_newbery_narrowweb__300x416,0.jpg


into the word ~ "Right".

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV

Dwight Pentecost offers a practical thought regarding this verse noting that...

"The greatest area of sin in the believer’s life is not the area of actions but the area of thought. There is a whole classification of sins that we would have to call sins of the mind. What was the first sin of Lucifer? It was pride. What is that? A sin of the mind. What is lust? A sin of the mind. What is covetousness? A sin of the mind. Greed? A sin of the mind. Suspicion? A sin of the mind. Discouragement? A sin of the mind. We could go on and on. Those sins are more real to the child of God than such sins as adultery and murder and theft. That is a testimony to the fact that there is a warfare going on. Satan is attacking the mind. Therefore this word of the Apostle Paul concerning the use we make of our minds is so relevant to us today: meditate, ruminate, dwell on these things." (Pentecost, J. D. The Joy of Living: A study of Philippians. Kregel Publications)


Pastor Steven Cole introduces Philippians 4:8 with the following comments...

"Mark Twain wrote,

What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those other things, are his history. (Reader’s Digest [1/93], p. 155).

I would modify Twain by saying that our thought life forms the basis for and is largely revealed in our actions and words. But Twain’s comments correctly affirm that our thought life composes a major part of who we really are."

http://images.clipartof.com/small/25036-Clipart-Illustration-Of-An-Orange-Person-Rubbing-His-Chin-While-Thinking-Creative-Thoughts-With-Four-Bubbles.jpg


Right (1342) (dikaios) refers to that which conforms to the perfect standard of God's righteousness. We know from Romans that the "good works" that God requires (they are "right") do not come from our good intentions, but originate out of faith that obeys. Dikaios describes whatever is in perfect harmony with God’s eternal, unchanging standards, as revealed in Scripture.

Zoweee....that last paragraph seems very unattainable for us...

That we should always think on "whatever is in perfect harmony with

God's eternal, unchanging standards".....

I REALLY don't think that that will happen until we reach heaven,

http://are-you-going.com/images/heaven2.jpg

But I liked the phrase that was used...(the) "good works that God requires do not come from our good intentions, but originate out of faith that obeys."

We should, through faith in the strength that God will give us,

try to obey more and more by controlling our thought life

and think on "right" things, positive things

rather than "wrong" things, negative things

that do not line up with the Word of God.

You may say...how do I know if what I am focusing on and

dwelling on in my thought life is "right" or "wrong"

when I do not know much of what the Bible says....

I am here to tell you that if you ask God to show you

in His Word whether what you are doing is "right"

or "wrong"....

He WILL BE faithful to show you.

You just have to be faithful to take time away from your

busy world and read His Word and ask Him!

In his message:

"Taking Control of Our Thinking"

Philippians 4:8,9

SERIES: Blueprint for Joyful Living: Philippians

©April 22, 2001 by Rev. Bruce Goettsche



Rev. Bruce Goettsche says this:
"Have you ever stopped to listen to yourself? How much time do you spend spotlighting the weaknesses of others compared to talking about their strengths? I'd bet you spend more time on the negative than you'd care to admit. Why is that? Why do we feel superior when we are tearing someone else apart? How are we better off for ridiculing the weaknesses or quirks of another?

Paul tells us we should celebrate and spotlight people's progress rather than their weakness. We should try to catch people doing things right rather than harping about the things they do wrong. We all have rough edges, we all let people down, but beating each other up over these things doesn't help anything. When we focus on the negative several things happen,

  • we develop a critical spirit rather than a positive spirit
  • we push people away rather than draw them closer
  • we hinder unity in the body of Christ by forcing people to choose sides rather than work together
  • we are a poor witness for the gospel
  • we reveal that we lack love
  • we make others tentative (timid) rather than willing to risk because they are afraid of failure and the ridicule that will follow
  • and we are inviting others to be critical of us

What is the "up side" to a negative spirit? There is no up-side. But when we are positive toward others,

  • we spur people on we give them courage and strength
  • we build a spirit of appreciation and oneness in the body of Christ
  • we find that people begin to open up to us and we discover some incredible treasure in the people around us
  • we find that people speak well of us
  • people try harder and dream bigger
  • conflict, churning, anxiety gives way to laughter, joy and peace
  • and best of all: God smiles
(Practical Application to Our Daily Lives:)
  • Are you living in God's peace or are you constantly churning?
  • Where do your thoughts go when you have some idle moments? Do you wallow in godlessness or are you feeding on the truth?
  • Are you a negative person or a positive person? Do you build people up or tear them down?
  • Are you evaluating the messages the world is subtly sending your way?
  • Are you intentional about filling your mind with the good, pure, and valuable truth of God?

I can't imagine that there isn't a single one of us who doesn't need a little improvement here. Ask God to help you and to help us. And maybe we can help each other. We'll hate it at first, but what if when we saw the negative and destructive thinking creeping up in our mind we said things like this,

  • Did you make a conscious choice to be grumpy today?
  • Would you call that a positive or a negative comment?
  • How do you think God would view this situation?
  • Do you think you may be jumping to conclusions ahead of the facts?

I hope you get the idea. It would be annoying at first (and maybe a little dangerous) but I know I would appreciate the accountability. I don't want to be a negative thinker, I want to be a Godly thinker. I don't want to suck the life out of a situation, I want to infuse life into the people and circumstances around me. I want to stand for that which is pure and not cave in to that which is not. I want to choose the good, enjoy the beautiful, pursue the noble, and I want to walk in the sweetness of God's peace. So, I hope you will encourage me to think better thoughts. I may grumble at the time . . .but I will be grateful . . . eventually. And I hope the same can be said of you."


Amen, Bro. Bruce...Amen.

Until next week,

Debbie G.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Philippians 4:8b ~ Noble

Hello Everyone!


I have 3, yes 3 videos for you to watch before we start our Bible Study.




Bob and I mailed our Red Envelope this week.

Please ask God if that is something that HE would want you to do.

Please go to www.belonginghouse.org and click on

"FAQ about the Red Envelope Project" ~

for more information on the details of sending the envelope.

Click on "My Bio" to find out how all of this started.

The next video is for a laugh!!

May I present Chonda Pierce, once again!




This lady of many giftings and talents from God can really SING, too! Here are the lyrics to this next video/song. They were written by Geron and Becky Davis:

Verse 1
In and out of situations
That tug-a-war at me
All day long I struggle
For answers that I need
Then I come into His presence
All my questions become clear
And for a sacred moment
No doubt can interfere

Chorus
In the presence of Jehovah
God Almighty Prince of Peace
Troubles vanish hearts are mended
In the presence of the King

Verse 2
Through His love the Lord provided
A place for us to rest
A place to find the answers
In hours of distress
There is never any reason
To give up in despair
Just slip away and breathe His name
He will come and meet you there

1983, 1985 Meadowgreen Music Company

Please enjoy God's Presence as you listen!!




Since we are talking this week about thinking about what is

"Honorable, Honest, Noble or That Which Inspires Reverence or Awe....",

Philippians 4:8b

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

(New International Version)

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is HONORABLE, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable -
if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise - dwell on these things."

(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

I thought what better Subject to talk about in referring to

Honorable, Honest, Noble and Reverence....

than the Presence of God...

You may ask "How to I come into His Presence?"

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_IqyyvgCPfLQ/SayU6f1kIdI/AAAAAAAAC08/y4b9baJ-dl4/s400/woman_praying.jpg

It seems like such a high and mighty thing for me to even think about doing...

That is the beauty of having a personal relationship with God....

It is simple!!

We make it too hard.

All you have to do is to quiet yourself before God...

Plan to meet Him like you would plan a doctor's appointment

or a salon or beauty shop appointment...

Set aside some time....

Erase all distractions...

Turn off all of the electronic devices that come into our home....

into the gate of our homes through the airways...

Say that you need this for YOU, for YOU to be a better person,

husband, wife, mother, daughter, son, etc...

(Disclaimer ~ I am not saying that this is the ONLY way

you can talk to God. I believe that you can breathe the

name of Jesus and feel His strength and guidance.

What I am describing is A way to seek God,

especially if you are burdened down with cares.)

Say to God in that secret place, that You need more of Him,

that you need to be led and guided by Him,

because how you are doing your life is not working....

"God will surely meet you right there"....

Listen....listen....listen....

Don't do all the talking.....

"God Almighty, Prince of Peace"

will fill you with a deep settled peace.

You will find yourself breathing deeper,

letting out a big sigh....

letting out the toxic stress and worry

that have been plaguing your mind.

You will come away, not knowing ~ possibly ~

how your situation will work out

or how it will end,

but you KNOW that you KNOW, that you KNOW

that you are not doing life alone...

that you are being supported by the Creator of this world.

The same One that made the stars,

The same One that made the mountains,

The same One that made YOU and me,

He is there for you and me.

He will never leave you or me alone or forsaken.

He is a friend that sticketh (King James Version) closer than a brother!!!

Praise God!!

"Dwell" ~ to take up residence ~ on these things this week.

Occupy, Remain, Live, Abide there this week.

In His service,

Debbie G.

PS For more information on praying in the Secret Place, read Bob Sorge's book, "Secret of the Secret Place".

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