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Walk in the Spirit of Gentleness by Rosemary Legrand

The word of God taught us that we are saved by grace and that is a gift. In order for us to affectively embrace all that we are taught, I believe we must also operate in the “fruit of the Spirit.”

Today I chose one of the fruits of the Spirit and that is “gentleness.” But before I begin I would like to lay a foundation with the passage about the fruit of the Spirit found in the Bible. Galatians 5:22–23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Colossians 3:12 provides an addendum: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

First, I must say that many people have branded me as gentle and soft spoken, but as I was preparing this blog to encourage you in the Spirit of Gentleness. I realize there is more to being gentle and soft spoken. So I looked up the meaning of “gentleness’ and found there are a lot of different ways to dissect the word “gentleness.” Gentleness is “the quality of being considerate or kind in disposition, being friendly and tender, mild and soft, refined and polite.” And the opposite of gentleness is “harsh or severe.” As I pondered the definition, I considered Jesus, He is all powerful, but never misuses his power. He is gentle with his unruly children (us) He is the perfect father who never reacts in anger. Someone who is walking by the Spirit is going to be a gentle person.  No matter what the circumstances, they will remain gentle. Not because of weakness but because of the strength that Jesus provides. “We can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” (Philippians 4:13).

Jesus gave us the perfect picture of gentleness in Matthew 21:5: “See, your King comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey.” And now He offers us His gentleness as a gift. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with all of the fruit of the Spirit and will be gentle like Jesus.

When we are filled with the Spirit’s fruit of gentleness, we will correct others with calmness instead of arguing in resentment and anger, we will forgive readily, because any offense toward us is nothing compared to our offenses against God. When we are filled with the spirit of gentleness, competition and hatred will disappear, as the goal becomes less about ourselves and more about people seeing the Christ in us. The word of God says; “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:6). As we walk in the fruit “gentleness,” our behavior must be genuine and consistent because people are constantly watching us.

I told you before, people think I am gentle and soft spoken. Why? That is because they have been watching me. Gentleness also means giving up the right to judge what is best for us and others. You see, God is not as concerned with our comfort as He is concerned with our spiritual growth. That is why he wants our lives to depict the fruit of the Spirit. He knows how to grow us far better than we do, and offers us His gentleness as a gift.

Remember the value that God places on the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Gentleness also means “putting up with stuff.” So, brand the image of Jesus and His suffering onto your mind and your heart. Clothe yourself in the fruit of the Spirit. And as you “put up with stuff” you will cultivate the fruit of God’s gentleness.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

If you are still struggling to implement any aspect of the fruit, take time to read Gal 5: 22-23 and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. He will because He cannot and will not fail you. 

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Don’t miss our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Categories: Blog

What is “Post-COVID-19” Success? By Debra Moore

Our guest blogger today is Debra Moore. Debra is a loving Christian wife and mother of three wonderful adult children and one spoiled grand dog named DJ. She is a 25-year church volunteer in various ministries including the mental health ministry where she’s been an instructor and facilitator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Mental Health training and family education is her passion and because of that, she has been interviewed about the subject on both television and radio.. Debra’s heart for the mentally ill comes from having had a mother with mental health difficulties. She serves her DFW Community in honor of her mother and those who suffer from mental health difficulties.

After praying many years for perissos” blessings which are more than enough or more than anticipated, the Lord has brought us to this new perspective:

“Success is not about personal accomplishments or material possessions.”

We heard George Barna discuss success on the radio during the Covid-19 epidemic. Barna’s definition of success is as follows: 

Working toward spiritual growth

Sacrifice, Servanthood

Being absolutely committed to the Christian faith

Attending worship service

Allowing our faith to help us process international disasters

Being people of faith with the reality of having an intimate, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Surprisingly, there was no mention of intellectual, financial, educational, professional development or physical appearance factors in the article. According to Mr. Barna, my husband and I are successful! However, up until now we have felt like failures. Financial or professional success has often been temporal or elusive. For many years before we met, and after losing both our first spouses, relational failure seemed our norm.

With the destruction of the nation’s economies due to Covid-19, success cannot be defined as being financially wealthy anymore. God was clear when economies around the globe stopped producing instantaneously. Each of the markets that ran our pre-Covid economic successes crashed. The markets were left barely breathing, face down on the floor of global economic failure. Our barest existence as humanity came down to all the toilet paper, sanitizer, Lysol spray, face masks and gloves we could hoard. 

Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay

Which leads us to the next definition of worldly success—our appearance. Did Covid-19 discriminate because of appearance? Both the gorgeous and the glum were affected. If our money and our good looks are not going to make us successfully impervious to disaster and pandemic, maybe it is time to reassess our own definitions of life success. As we peered out over our protective face masks and felt our warm breath fog up our lenses, we reached out our blue-gloved hands for our Bibles.

Let’s say that each morning we read verses or have a prayer time? What would happen if we got time in with God before the electronic hum of negativity took over? What if we asked God to forgive us of our sins and the sins of our nations? We could thank and praise God for who He is and what He has done for us. We could pray prayers of thanks for shelters in place, clothing, food, peace and security which are all promises of God to us. We could pray for our church and pastors, for our nation and national leaders. We could pray for our characters and hearts to be changed. 

We could lean into this new perspective of spiritual accomplishment and share any material possessions we may have with others. All the while openly smiling at ourselves and the sweet spiritual success of Christ living in us. Here’s to having an infectious and true relationship with the living God where there is eternal success. It’s truly more than enough.

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We hope you will join us for our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Have Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Categories: Blog

Love—Not Hate by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

I believe Jesus is crying right now.

He’s crying about the inhumane treatment of George Floyd.

But I think He’s also crying about the violent protests going on around the United States, filled with hate, looting and destruction of property. After all, He represents love—not hate.

I think He could also be in mourning. I imagine Him saying, “This is not what I taught when I walked on this earth. Do you not remember what I told you about those who come against you?” I said, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you’” (Luke 6:27–28).

Jesus was known as the Prince of Peace, “Sar Shalom.” He himself said He came to this world to bring peace, not war or angst. In one of His most famous addresses on the Mount of Beatitudes, he brought up the importance of peace: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). 1 Peter 3:11 calls us to seek and purse peace.

Have we as a nation turned completely away from the Word of God? Isn’t there another way to solve the injustice committed against George Floyd, rather than revenge? Proverbs 20:22 says, “Don’t say, ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.”

After all, God is the one who made it clear in both Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:17–19 that he wants to handle any punishment or discipline that needs to be doled out. It’s not up to us individuals. The Apostle Paul reminded everyone of this in the book of Romans when he said, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.’”

I know God is righteous and just. While He does not want anyone to perish, I have seen his Holy discipline acted out many times, at times defending me. At other times, defending others. We just have to trust that He is in control, and that, more than anyone, He hates brutal mistreatment of His children. After all, He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground.

So today, I’m pleading with those who are carrying out violent acts of protest. Instead of making the scenario worse, let’s lift this situation up in prayer, and ask Almighty God to intervene. Let’s remember a situation from years ago when the Children of Israel were fleeing from slavery in Egypt and the Egyptians decided to chase them down so they could haul them back into captivity. With the oppressors on their heels, there was great fear but Moses comforted the Israelites and said, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:13–14). And that’s when God opened up the Red Sea and the pursuers were swallowed up by the waters behind them.

Evangelist Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, said this about the scenario going on, “Our skin colors are supposed to help us appreciate each other, not oppress each other.”

It’s time to stand still and let God handle this. Let’s put away the bleach, the torches and the spray paint and appreciate each other as equal, created beings of God—formed into God’s image and molded for relationships of love—not hate.

Categories: Blog

S.O.S. by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Do you feel like sending out a distress signal right now? Need a life raft?

The universal distress signal is S.O.S. It is Morse Code and not an acronym, but everyone knows what it means. Over the years, however, some people have turned it into an acronym: “SAVE OUR SHIP,” so if that’s the case, what is on your ship that you feel needs saving right now?

Your finances?

Your family?

Your health?

As we think about what needs saving, I want to offer some other acronyms for S.O.S.

SINK OR SWIM. In light of COVID-19, sometimes we feel like the world is sinking. Over the Memorial Day Weekend, I am here at my usual happy place, South Padre Island, but this time it’s a little unsettling walking around in a “masked” environment. I have to make a choice: Will I allow myself to sink emotionally because it’s different or will I choose to have a good time and swim? Swimming is always the better choice but it takes more effort.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Over the past few months, our ministry, Pearls of Promise, has been forced to cancel a Level-Up Conference, speaking engagements came to a halt, because of the “Shelter-at-Home” order, we could not gather as a team for our new television show, POP Talk. We also couldn’t do in-person radio interviews, and we felt like we were not teaching/encouraging our Pearls of Promise connections anymore. What to do? We had to make a choice. Sink Or Swim?

SEEK OUR STRATEGY. We chose to swim so this led to seeking a strategy and ultimately, the strategy or chess moves for our lives must come from God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

As the leader of this ministry, I overcame the initial shock of the hard stop brought on by COVID-19 by spending extended time in God’s presence. It was like I was a little child again, wearing holy floaties. How and where do you want us to swim, Lord? Do we simply float, or do you want us to keep moving forward in some way? And He was faithful to provide the strategy, just as He will provide a detailed plan for you in your life.

SEASON OF SLEEP. This is an acronym that we might not have thought about. Maybe the Lord is taking some things off your plate so you can relax, recharge and bask in His presence. Even though Pearls of Promise is still busy doing ministry, my days are still less hectic and contain more margin than ever before. The pace feels better and allows for a longer quiet time in the morning.

SEEK OUR SAVIOR. Jesus does not want us to sink. He wants us to work things out with Him at the center, and then desires for us to walk on the water, holding His hand so we don’t go under. He is the foundation in the midst of continued uncertainty.

I will close with one of my favorite passages from Psalm 40:1-2:

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

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SERVING OUR SAVIOR! Here’s the link to sign up for our POP Chat for this Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. We hope you will sign up and join us for a powerful time online.

https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_Fd6oIw25om50GBkR6HgrBG0x2wbHRc-I-hrq_UD9pFk8BXeRStNn8q9sf_egb5difzFL6

Categories: Blog

Life’s Detours—God’s Plan or Not? By Jan Stroman

Our guest blogger today is Janice Stroman, Ed.D. Jan, a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, now lives in Las Colinas, Texas. She is the Founder and Director of “Ladies in Touch,” a ministry group that connects with God and others. She is a Bible Study Leader and Teacher, Writer and Blogger of “Jan’s Jewels for Jesus,” that can be found on the Ladies in Touch website, www.ladiesintouch.com.

Jan is also a private music teacher and an Irving League of Volunteers Member and an Irving Salvation Army Advisory Council Member. She has extensive experience in Educational Leadership and Teacher Training and has taught all ages and grades from Elementary School through Graduate School. Both her Masters and Doctoral degrees are related to research on how to teach the reading-writing process more effectively.

Jan’s Hobbies include decorating, gardening, photography, cooking, and entertaining. Most of all she loves, and is dedicated to helping others discover the reality of a faith-based life. She is married to David, her husband of 55 years. They have one son and two handsome grandsons who are the joy of her life.

Are you currently in a Life Detour that has you worried or scared? Or maybe you’re thinking that you are completely alone and Jesus doesn’t care? Perhaps your situation has depleted you of both emotional and physical strength to the point of feeling numb and depleted of all energy.

Please allow me to share with you, my precious friend, that I have been there. In fact, I am right there with you as I write and share these thoughts. Yes, the detour I’m experiencing seems impossible and without any hope. Ever been there? Are you there now?

Jesus tells us in the Bible that He will never leave us or forsake us. He reminds us of that one lost sheep that He took time to find and rescue. Maybe you are the sheep that needs help or rescuing. Could it be that someone very close to you might need to be rescued? Do you ever literally feel like crying out to God, “HELP! AND MAKE IT QUICK!  

I am once again reminded that Jesus says in His Word, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, except through me.” It is only through Him and by Him that any of us can find our way out of darkness and despair. He longs to be our dearest and closest friend. He says that we are to cast our burden upon Him because He will never give us more than we can endure. “For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”  He asks us to believe in Him with all of our heart, body, mind, and soul, and as we travel though this rough time or detour together, when we do what He asks, we will feel His presence walking along beside us. If we are too weak to walk, He will carry us. Jesus will never leave or forsake us if we keep focused on His everlasting and precious love for us.

So if something or someone has caused you to feel afraid, sad, lonely, rejected, or without hope, think of the words of the familiar chorus entitled “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”

A friend who is currently fighting a fierce battle with cancer often sings this chorus when the battle she faces begins to wear her down. I’ve literally seen fear and distress disappear from her face as she sings this chorus. Peace and joy instantly replace fear and distress.

Image by Ryszard Porzynski from Pixabay

Why? The answer lies in the words of the chorus I shared with you. When you look into the face of the One who is Love personified and trust in Him as a child, then and only then, will you find that everlasting peace that passes all understanding.

Try looking into the glorious face of Jesus. Feel His loving arms surround you and His enduring peace rest within you. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).

Categories: Blog