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My New Favorite Word – Compassionated

14 Mar

Passion Flower Growing in Costa Rica

O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited [expectantly] for You. Be the arm [of Your servants—their strength and defense] every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. Isaiah 33:2 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

One of the meanings of the word gracious, chanan, in this verse is compassionated. Not only is that a great word and a new one to me, but it’s written as a command.  Isaiah is commanding God to be compassionated toward us. We all know the meaning of the word opinionated–full of opinions.  Isaiah is asking, no commanding, God to be full of compassion toward us.

compassion (n.) mid-14c., from Old French compassion “sympathy, pity” (12c.), from Late Latin compassionem (nominative compassio) “sympathy,” noun of state from past participle stem of compati “to feel pity,” from com “with, together” (see com-) + pati “to suffer” (see passion).

passion (n.) late 12c., “sufferings of Christ on the Cross,” from Old French passion “Christ’s passion, physical suffering” (10c.), from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio) “suffering, enduring,” from past participle stem of Latin pati “to suffer, endure,” possibly from PIE root *pe(i) “to hurt” (see fiend).

Sense extended to sufferings of martyrs, and suffering generally, by early 13c.; meaning “strong emotion, desire” is attested from late 14c., from Late Latin use of passio to render Greek pathos. Replaced Old English þolung (used in glosses to render Latin passio), literally “suffering,” from þolian (v.) “to endure.” Sense of “sexual love” first attested 1580s; that of “strong liking, enthusiasm, predilection” is from 1630s. The passion-flower so called from 1630s.

The name passionflower — flos passionis — arose from the supposed resemblance of the corona to the crown of thorns, and of the other parts of the flower to the nails, or wounds, while the five sepals and five petals were taken to symbolize the ten apostles — Peter … and Judas … being left out of the reckoning. [“Encyclopaedia Britannica,” 1885]

Latin compassio is an ecclesiastical loan-translation of Greek sympatheia (see sympathy). An Old English loan-translation of compassion was efenðrowung.

I pray (not command) that the Lord be compassionated with us today. And that we be compassionated with one another due to the price Jesus paid on the cross for us.

 

Praying for More . . . Peace

8 Mar

I spread forth my hands to You!

I spread forth my hands to You; my soul thirsts after You like a thirsty land [for water]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!  Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my inner self to You.  Psalm 143:6,8

The other day I wrote about insomnia being a possible indicator of a lack of faith or of dealing with a problem in my human reasoning rather than giving it to the Lord.  When I looked in my favorite book 🙂 for advice, I saw this wonderful prayer of David’s.  Perhaps the soil of your heart is dry and cracked and thirsting for water as David’s was.

I reach my hands unto Him like a beggar begging for alms–and yet, I know that God is disposed to answer my prayer with living water.  However, I know my sorrow, my fear, can deafen me and so I call upon the Lord to “cause me to hear [His] lovingkindness.”  When I lift my soul to the Lord, He leans down in his multi-faceted grace and lifts my fears and sadnesses from me.

Being Real

13 Nov

Open Your Heart!

I love Psalm 13–it’s just so real.  The Psalmist, David, moves from:

1HOW LONG will You forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?  2How long must I lay up cares within me and have sorrow in my heart day after day? How long shall my enemy exalt himself over me?

to

5But I have trusted, leaned on, and been confident in Your mercy and loving-kindness; my heart shall rejoice and be in high spirits in Your salvation.  6I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.

in the space of a few verses.  David begins his prayer in frustration and ends it in trust.  Do you think that’s what happens when we’re totally honest with God and open our hearts to hear His response?

Peaceful Sleep

5 Nov

Many of us struggle with sleep, for various reasons.  One of those reasons is fear.  Fear of the immediate (What is that noise outside?) or fear that entangles our hearts like barbed wire.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8

The Psalmist says “both”.  I will both 1) lie down in peace, and 2) sleep.

Peace, or shalom, means completeness, soundness, welfare, and peace.  Our peace, completeness, soundness, and welfare are all to be found in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  In that peace lies the gift of sleep.  In His safety is the gift of sleep.  Obviously there are factors that can keep us from sleep–pain, noisy neighbors, but  our safety which is a place where we are carefree is found only in Him.

Just Goin’ With the Flow?

30 Jul

. . .  in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit  now working in the disobedient.  We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also.But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love  that He had for us,  made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved!  Ephesians 2:2-5 HCSB

More on Mike’s recent messages:  As sinners we have a tendency to “go with the flow” whether as unsaved sinners or saved sinners.  (I’m talking about practice and not position here.)  As we talked about a few days ago, we have two sources upon which to draw.  When we draw upon God we are firmly rooted next to the river.  When we draw upon other resources (ourselves, others) we go with the flow.

I read a Young Adult book named Peeled last night by one of my favorite YA authors, Joan Bauer.  It deals with how contagious fear is and can spread like a virus.  I don’t want to spoil the plot line, but I highly recommend it as a read aloud for your intermediate age children.

How’s Your Thesaurus?

4 May

Let's replace this thesaurus. . .

I downloaded Week One, Me, Myself, & Lies, from Self Talk Soul Talk, a Bible Study by  Jennifer Rothschild. I can’t speak for any more than this week, but it was GOOD.

I love words.  Somehow they speak to me in a special way.

Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.  A good man produces good things from his storeroom of good,  and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil.  Matthew 12:34,35  HCSB

“ The Greek word for storeroom is thesauros.  The term thesaurus, used to describe a storeroom (collection) of words, is derived from this word.” — Self Talk Soul Talk

So the question I asked myself is, “What state is my thesaurus in?”  Since words make up thoughts, and thoughts bring about emotions, and all of the about lead to our actions—words are important.  This morning, let’s think about what types of words we think and speak most often.  Let’s check out our thesauri and see if some of the words/thoughts need to be replaced by God’s words/thoughts.

. . . with this!

When Thoughts are Buzzing

30 Apr

Your comforts bring joy to my soul.

When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.  Psalm 94:19 HCSB

A literal translation of this verse might be:  In the multitude of my disquieting thoughts, your consolations and comforts delight my inner (wo)man.  (Sue’s Amplified Version cobbled together from the definitions of the words in the verse.)

I’ve become aware lately of the many thoughts that race through my mind every moment.  The glimpse that God has given me is almost cacophonous.  It’s made me very aware of the need to deal with my thoughts on a moment-by-moment basis.  Many of my thoughts are planning thoughts, others are to-do-list thoughts, and still others are interpersonal –relation thoughts,  and then we have the what-if thoughts.  Many of these thoughts are disquieting and lead me to over-riding thoughts of worry and fear.

I’ve spent this week committing my thoughts to Jesus and relying on Him to help me in this mammoth task.  Have I achieved total success??  FAR FROM IT.  Have I made progress?  Oh, yeah.  Each morning I wrote on my hand the word precious.  When I glanced at it, I was reminded how precious His thoughts are to me and would speak that confession to Him.  Oh, how I desire to take my thoughts captive!  Do you have any thoughts on this subject?

What Can We Learn From the Mayo Clinic?

5 Apr

The Mayo Clinic (photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattwthorn/)

I recently spent four days at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida and am wondering what we, the church, and we, as individuals, can learn from the Mayo Clinic.

1.  Even though it is large, the Mayo Clinic focuses on the individual.  They are people centered.  You feel that your health matters to people from the moment you enter the door.

Love endures long and is patient and kind.  1 Corinthians 13:4a

2.  People at the Clinic overflow with kindness.  (O.K., there was one person in the cafeteria who wasn’t friendly, but she wasn’t unfriendly either!)

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).  Galatians 5:22-23a

3.  Everything about the Mayo Clinic is designed to bring a sense of peace:  from the colors and lighting to the fountains and flowers.

Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous– with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!  Matthew 5:9

4.  The Mayo Clinic is informative.  You receive a packet of papers after your initial intake consultation that tells you where to be, when to be there, and how to prepare.  If you have any questions, there is an army of volunteers ready to help.

His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.  Ephesians 4:12,13

Thinking Eternally, Living Fearlessly Part 8

16 Mar

Praise God for eternal life!

So we do not focus on what is seen,  but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18 HCSB

We’ve been talking about thinking eternally for the last 7 times we’ve met together here in cyberspace.  2 Corinthians 4:6-18 lead us on a journey from being saved and receiving the light of Jesus Christ within us to learning to think eternally–even in the midst of great pressure in our lives.  We learned that the key is dying to ourselves.

Mike often says, “Susie, what does this matter in the scope of eternity.”  Sometimes we need to take a step back from the situations we are facing and ask ourselves the same question.

  • Stop and think about it when you’re stressed.
  • Stop and let the light shine.
  • In your personal life:  Keep your eyes on Jesus.  Receive light and more light.  Receive love and more love.
  • In your marriage and other relationships, ask, “What can I say or do right now that has eternal value?  Can I give grace and thereby create a greater capacity in that person through that eternal act?”

Thinking eternally brings peace.

 

Thinking Eternally, Living Fearlessly Part 7

14 Mar

Be renewed.

Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.  For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], 2 Cor. 4:16,17 Amp.

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Cor. 4:16,17 MSG

What a charge to us!  Don’t give up.  Don’t lose heart.  Don’t grow weary.  Think eternally.

In comparison to eternity our afflictions are momentary and light.  God’s glory is eternal and weighty.

We are renewed when we think eternally.  We need to live one day at a time, not two days.  God provides day by day like He did with the manna in the desert.  Sometimes we try to store up provisions, both physical and spiritual, but we have a daily moment-by-moment walk with Him.  this takes the pressure off and we don’t feel like we’re in that tight place.

Renewed means made new again, especially in freshness.  In Spanish there’s a saying, “Fresco como una lechuga.”  It means fresh as a lettuce.  How we love it when we are fresh!  God freshens us as we gaze at Him.  Freshness flows through us to others when we think eternally.

Thinking eternally brings peace and joy.