About kathleenbrdly

When I was 18, God saved me from the depths of a life of melancholic obsessions. He gradually replaced my carnal nature with the nature of Christ and I daily wait on the leading of His Spirit to direct me in the will of God for my day. As a Pastor's wife and blogger I have a multitude of opportunities to disciple and mentor people who care about what God is teaching me. I invite anyone interested to join me in Growing in Christ...kat

The Freedom of Humility

The first key to freedom in Christ is humility. If we keep blaming others for our failings, nothing ever improves and we are never set free from the bondage of the past.

 

Humility is absolutely transforming. The humility to admit that we are powerless leads to surrender. This surrender blazes the trail to serenity. Serenity is peace, which transcends our circumstances.

 

This deep peace paves the way to joy, which does not depend on what is going on around us. Happiness is a fickle human emotion that ebbs and flows with the tides of life.

 

However, the joy of the Lord is our continual strength (Nehemiah 8:10). It gives us the energy to follow the Spirit’s leading as we live in the moment throughout the day.

 

A Christian sister reminded me that she is a teacher; and, therefore, must plan her calendar. She wondered how she could plan and still live in the moment.

 

We can plan our life as the Spirit gives us direction, but living it moment by moment takes away our regret over the past and our worry over the future.

 

People also wonder how to pray without ceasing and yet continue to live up to their daily responsibilities. We certainly cannot stay on our knees in our prayer closet all day long.

 

Some people say this means that we live in an attitude of prayer. I assert that we are actually called to pray about each moment as God gives it to us. We ask Him what He wants us to do, and we follow His Spirit’s leading as we do it.

 

Then, we pray about each new endeavor throughout the day. Life flows much more smoothly with prayer, because we live it in the center of God’s Will.

 

Prayer:

Father God, the easiest was to develop humility is to apologize. This will humble us before You have to bring someone to humiliate us. Please remind us that humility creates inner freedom in our soul. It is such a relief to let go of what we have been trying to hide, deny, or hold on to, and to acknowledge that we are not perfect.

 

Apologies with excuses and justifications are not apologies, although it is helpful to explain to others why we acted or spoke as we did. This explanation is not an excuse, but gives clarity in communication. No matter whom it is, help us to say, “Please forgive me for  … (and to name the issue). Most of all, we humble our self before You and give You all of the praise and glory due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Humility admits that we cannot, and acknowledges that God can; so that we can live each moment in the center of His will.

Complete Unity with Our Father God

 

The Word of God is a two-edged sword, a fire and a hammer (Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12). It breaks up strongholds that Satan erects to hinder our spiritual growth, and it is a lamp to guide our way in life (Psalm 119:105).

 

His Word abides forever (Isaiah 40:8), and strengthens us with hope, peace and joy (Nehemiah 8:10). We owe God an eternal debt for giving us His Word throughout the ages, and for not leaving us clueless and comfortless in this stressful and fearful world.

 

The only way we will experience rejection in our relationships in this world is if any opinion of us other than God’s is too important to us, or if we set our heart to receive some earthly reward, or if we believe Satan’s lies rather than to rely on the truth of God’s Word.

 

Jesus walked in complete unity with Our Father God. He spent hours in solitude and prayer, so that He would have the spiritual unction, power and fortitude to face His days full of ministry.

 

He is the perfect example for us. He submitted to God in body, soul and spirit, controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). His aim in His life centered on living and doing only the will of God – even submitting to Calvary’s cross.

 

Saints throughout the ages teach us that the purpose of trials in our life is to realize that our true joy does not come from worldly pleasures. This causes us to dwell in the shadow of God’s wings and to sit in His lap as His adoring child.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that human acclaim can quickly turn to demeaning, demoralizing and depressing criticism. Placing our trust in this world’s provision will only disappoint us. When we are attacked by this world’s systems, having our self-esteem squarely planted in our salvation in Christ deflects the arrows meant to pierce our heart. Total surrender to You gives us esteem and care by Your Body as well as by Your Spirit that abides within us.

 

We depend more on our affirmation from You than from accolades from the world around us (1 Corinthians 11:1). Any trial this world or the devil throws in our path, and which cripple us to our knees, are met with Your peace and joy to see us through them. Help us to walk in Your ways and to delight in Your will for us moment-by-moment throughout our day.

 

Thought for the Day:

It is not God who withdraws from us, but we who withdraw from Him; yet, as long as we abide in the Vine, as He abides in us, we will overcome our trials victoriously and enjoy the fullness of Christ in us, who is our hope of glory. – John 15:4-5

A Fork in the Road

Many times in life we come across a fork in the road. We have a choice to make – which way to go. We often make a pro and con list that will give us a bird’s eye view of how we feel about the situation.

 

We tend to rely on our human reasoning to make the decision, which is often heavily influenced by our desires, insistence or manipulation from another person, the world’s philosophy or Satan’s manipulative lies (James 1:14)

 

We forget the good advice from God’s Word that exhorts us to do His will each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). We tend to pay more attention to our own desires, much to our detriment, and to go our own way, directed by our self-centered goals and using our God-given talents for our own purposes.

 

Even if we have carnal success in our endeavors, we are never really satisfied. Our victories are hollow and our joy is fleeting. God has a perfect will for us in this decision, and it benefits us to pay attention to His Spirit’s direction (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth. We may falter at first as we are learning to discern His still, small voice within us (1 Kings 19:11-13). If we get discouraged and give up, Satan wins yet another spiritual battle in our life.

 

We may make a few mistakes as we learn the difference between His thoughts and the many other voices in our mind. Yet, once we make a habit of walking in God’s Spirit, we learn to differentiate it from our own thoughts by the peace or unrest in our spirit.

 

Regardless of our faltering attempts, repentance restores our connection to God’s Spirit and God hears our call of dependence on Him and honors our faith.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to pay attention to the direction of Your Spirit every moment of our life. Do not allow us to wander from the straight and narrow road that You designed for our success and protection. Help us to resist the temptation to rebel against or to ignore Your voice, to compromise our spiritual convictions or to disobey Your Word.

 

Keep us from the allurement of our flesh, the devil and the world to do our own thing, to strive to reach our own goals and to seek the glittering rewards offered to us if we will stray from Your will for our life. This broad road always leads to destruction of our body, soul and spirit. We make a commitment to depend only on You, and we give You all of our love and allegiance, as we totally surrender to Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:

Heeding the promptings of God’s Spirit throughout our day will help us to prosper in body, soul and spirit and to find true fulfillment and peace that comes only from living in the center of God’s will.

 

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare is a very real issue and continually goes on all around us. It all started when Satan rebelled against God and tricked Adam and Eve into giving him the dominion of the earth.

 

This warfare is not in the earthly realm, but in that which is not seen, except by the Spirit of God within us. That is why so much of God’s Word warns us to keep watch and to be vigilant about the roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8-9).

 

Satan wages war against the Saints of God. It is personal and it is in our face, even when we do not realize it. Satan loves to whispers lies to our soul – our mind and emotions; and he rejoices when we buy into them, and they affect our choices and relationships. Especially if we sell out on Jesus.

 

Our whole body, soul and spirit are effected by the pollution of the devil’s lies; and we usually do not even know we believe them or that many of his fabrications are buried deep within our subconscious mind.

 

God gives us His Body to rely on, because two are always better than one. If one of us falls, the rest are alert and come by our side to help us up. When we add God’s presence and Spirit into the union, we have a three-fold cord that is not easily broken.

 

God also gives us a supportive mate if we are wise enough to wait on His timing and way, and not to rush into a relationship or rebound from a former one into one that is much worse (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

 

The good news is that Christ in us is stronger than Satan and his dominion in the earth (1 John 4:4). Jesus gives us strength, wisdom and spiritual discernment; and He protects us from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

 

We reign victoriously over Satan influence in our life. Once we recognize his penchant for lies, we can resist them and walk in God’s truth – unaffected by any demonic influence.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are so amazed to realize that Your Body is worldwide. Authentic Believers of every tongue, nation and tribe are our spiritual brethren; and we will spend eternity with You and with one another. How privileged we are to be counted among Your Saints; that You know us and that we know You. Thank You for taking on a human form and dying in our place, so that we can live to serve You.

 

You satisfy us each new morning with your steadfast love, and we sing for joy because You chose us before the foundation of the world to dwell in You and for You to abide in us (Psalm 90:1). Let each of us in Your Body dwell together in unity and fulfill the ministry for which You called us; so that Your Body will not be maimed and halt by spiritual warfare, but whole, vibrant and a force to be reckoned with in the spiritual world (1 Corinthians 12:12-26).

 

Thought for the Day:

The Trinity is our Creator, Savior, King and Guide, and we long for Him as a wanderer who is eagerly seeks out water in an arid, parched land. His love for us is better than life, and Christ is our whole life; therefore, we lift up our hands and sing with our lips in praise for His glory. – Psalm 63:1-5

 

 

Contentment with Godliness

Discontentment is reaching a world-wide plague in today’s society. We are rarely satisfied with our self, each other, our church, our job, etc. We live with extreme stress most days in many areas of our life.

 

Yet, God Word exhorts us that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6-7). Learning to live in contentment is a difficult task for most people.

 

Some carry it too far and end up apathetic with little motivation or passion for life at all (Amos 6:1). However, striving for more possessions, a better job, a new home or car, etc. may cause contention between us and those in life about whom we should care the most.

 

Living at peace with everyone is sometimes hard to do, but it does bring a measure of contentment to our life (Romans 12:18). We cease from our carnal labors and enter into God’s Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9).

 

The only striving the Bible suggests that we partake in is to “strive to enter through the narrow gate” (Luke 13:24), to “always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men” (Acts 24:16), and to “strive together in prayers to God” (Rom 15:30).

 

If we “grab” or strive for more out of life, because of discontentment with what we have, God will withhold them from us. However, when we sit contentedly at His feet, ready to receive whatever He thinks is best for us, He gives us all good things to enjoy (James 1:17).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You promised to give us our daily bread and all that we need to survive in this natural world. You clothed the lilies of the field and the birds of the air (Matthew 6:26-34), and we thank You for providing for us just as richly. We trust in Your goodness and we marvel at Your abundant mercy and grace toward us.

 

We strive for unity with You each moment of the day and then we enter into Your rest and receive Your provision for us of every good thing that we need. We want to be led by Your Holy Spirit and to live in contentment, rather than to strive for more of this world.

 

Thought for the Day:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”.

-1 Corinthians 2:9

 

 

A Good Marriage – A Softened Heart

Over the years of most marriages, the little foxes of neglect, abuse and broken promises mount up in our mind. They cause resentment, anger and bitterness. Then, bitterness defiles the whole relationship (Hebrews 12:15).

 

We harden our heart toward one another to prevent further hurt. We find more and more excuses to work longer hours, join one more club or get involved in one more civic or charitable event in order to avoid each other.

 

We ignore one another; we stop doing the little things that nurture our relationship; we answer each other in crisp, formal tones rather than with cherishing looks and words. We grow impatient with each other’s idiosyncrasies and habits and mumble under our breath or start to disparage and nag each other.

 

The breakdown of our relationship actually started on our wedding day, or possibly during the wedding planning stage. We did not realize how hard marriage is – the blending of two lives, two sets of goals and expectations, and two needs for support and fulfillment.

 

It takes time and effort to open our individual schedules to include each other fulltime. We take each other for granted. We stop dating, we stop focusing our attention on one another, and we stop listening or caring about our spouse’s needs.

 

When children come along, we neglect each other even more; we lose patience when the babies demand more of our spouse’s time and attention than they give to us. We often disagree on disciplining methods and parenting styles.

 

A destination for the family vacation may also cause major disagreements, turmoil and disappointment. We may not enjoy spending time with our mate’s parents, but are forced to spend every vacation with them or have them come visit and stay in our home for prolonged periods of time.

 

We forget that we are both human with limitations and physical and emotional needs. All is not hopeless, however; we can soften our heart toward each other and humbly apologize for our part in the stalemate between us. Then, we continue repairing our relationship by caring about one another again as we stop disdaining and losing patience with one another.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us to prefer one another and to make it our habit and goal to bless each other regardless of our feelings. The heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:-10), and it cannot be trusted. Help us to see love as an action, rather than as a feeling. Seeking You together is the only way to remedy this challenging chasm between us, caused by the wounds of our relationship.

 

Help us to make time in our busy schedules to communicate with each other. Teach us to honestly, but lovingly share our feelings and needs and to really listen to and care about one another. As we forgive and look past our differences, show us how to appreciate each other and to prefer one another. Remind us to connect with the person we fell in love with and to rekindle the spark that drew us together.

 

Thought for the Day:

God gave us to each other, with all of our differences, failings and shortcomings in order to find help for our weaknesses and support from one another’s strengths. Our mate is His gift to us, and He reminds us that we are friends and not enemies; we can change our focus, let go of bitterness and appreciate and cherish each other.

Freedom in Forgiveness

Forgiveness is one of the hardest practices humans employ; yet, it is one of the healthiest and freeing disciplines that we can utilize. If we do not forgive, then God cannot forgive us (Matthew 6:14).

 

We cannot control other people or the circumstances of our life, so unforgiveness simply feeds the negative emotions within us. This affects our body, soul and spirit. It pollutes our soul with resentment, bitterness and anger; dwarfs our spiritual maturity; and makes our body sick.

 

Unfortunately, bitterness will defile our whole life. It destroys marriages, affects our children and causes our body to succumb to every illness drifting through the air. It even influences our other thoughts, our body language and our physical and emotional attractiveness.

 

We feel that if we forgive the perpetrator, we free them from the debt they owe us for our pain; but if we continue to nurse unforgiveness towards the perpetrator, this somehow affects them. They are usually oblivious of their guilt and our feelings have no effect on them, but are detrimental to us.

 

Bible truth advises us that turning our woundedness over to God allows Him to avenge us (Romans 12:19). He is much more skilled at this then we are; so it just makes sense to surrender retribution and our pain to Him.

 

Forgiving our self is undoubtedly even more difficult than forgiving other people. We carry shame around with us and beat our self up with it each time we remember the incident.

 

So, how do we achieve the freedom that forgiveness carries with it? We can takes some time to analyze the situation. Are we blowing it out of proportion in our mind, do we honestly feel that they meant to hurt us with their words or behavior, did they maliciously attack us for no reason?

 

Having a civil and honest conversation with the person may actually resolve the conflict. Even if they do not respond contritely or if they escalate the problem by abusing us further, this will remove the root of bitterness in our soul caused by the former episode and we can more easily turn the matter over to God.

 

Prayer:

Father God, surrendering the incident and the pain to You will diminish the memory of it and give us more clarity of thought concerning the wounds we feel. Teach us that by conversing with our offender, we can make them more aware of how their words and actions make us feel and this may discourage them from repeating the behavior in the future. If they fall back into this wounding behavior, help us to erect boundaries that will help us not to take their behavior personally and will limit the amount of time we spend with them.

 

Jesus suffered similar events in His life and He always chose to forgive. Help us to follow His example of loving our enemies and blessing those who despitefully use us (Luke 6:28). Your opinion of us is far more important in our life than the words and actions of other people. You are our good, good Father, and You love us beyond words.

 

Thought for the Day:

It is easy to collect the negative emotions associated with grievances in our relationships; yet, forgiving frees us from the negative effects they would otherwise have on our relationship as well as on our own body, soul and spirit.