Warning Sounds

Today’s devotional came from Our Daily Bread posted by Tom Felton, November 30, 2022. It is easy to read and very impactful:

Ever had a close encounter with a rattlesnake? If so, you might have noticed that the sound of the rattle seemed to get more intense as you moved nearer to the viper. Research reported in 2021 in Current Biology reveals that the venomous reptiles do increase their rattling rate when they think a threat is approaching. This “high-frequency mode” can cause us to think they’re closer than they are. As one researcher put it, “The misinterpretation of distance by the listener . . . creates a distance safety margin.”

People can sometimes use increasing volume with harsh words that push others away during a conflict—exhibiting anger and resorting to shouting. The writer of Proverbs shares some wise advice for times like these: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). He goes on to say that “soothing” and “wise” words can be “a tree of life” and a source of “knowledge” (vv. 4, 7).

Jesus provided the ultimate reasons for gently appealing to those with whom we enter into conflict: extending love that reveals us to be His children (Matthew 5:43–45) and seeking reconciliation—“[winning] them over” (18:15). Instead of raising our voice or using unkind words during conflicts, may we show civility, wisdom, and love to others as God guides us by His Spirit.

By tom felten|November 30th, 2022

Never Give Up!

In 1917, Frederick Lehman, a California businessman beset by financial setbacks, wrote the lyrics to the hymn, “The Love of God.” His inspiration led him quickly to pen the first two stanzas, but he got stuck on the third. He recalled a poem that had been discovered years earlier, written on the walls of a prison. No one knows the prisoner who scratched it there into the stone, but it expressed a deep awareness of God’s love. The poem happened to be in the same meter as Lehman’s hymn. He made it his third stanza (Our Daily Bread, Kenneth Peterson).  Here is the hymn:

  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain:    
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

  • When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  • Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

Never give up!  Above, a financial failure and a seemingly hopeless prison sentence could not separate these men from the love of God.  This love is expressed “beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell, reconciles the erring child, and pardons the guilty and sinful.”  It “endures, is measureless, strong, and at the very heart of the angels’ song.”  Romans 8 describes it this way, 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Whatever your condition, no matter how bad your predicament seems to be, “Jesus is at the door of your heart, knocking.  He desires to enter into your life as a rescuer and friend” (Revelations 3:20).  Humbly “cast all your cares on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

By the way, the hymn above has been recorded and popularized by Mercy Me.  Listen to and meditate on “the love of God”.

“How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain”

New research is starting to explore how gratitude works to improve our mental health.

BY Dr. JOSHUA BROWN, Dr. JOEL WONG | JUNE 6, 2017

With the rise of managed health care, which emphasizes cost-efficiency and brevity, mental health professionals have had to confront this burning question: How can they help clients derive the greatest possible benefit from treatment in the shortest amount of time?

Recent evidence suggests that a promising approach is to complement psychological counseling with additional activities that are not too taxing for clients but yield high results. In our own research, we have zeroed in on one such activity: the practice of gratitude. Indeed, many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed. 

The problem is that most research studies on gratitude have been conducted with well-functioning people. Is gratitude beneficial for people who struggle with mental health concerns? And, if so, how?

We set out to address these questions in a recent research study involving nearly 300 adults, mostly college students who were seeking mental health counseling at a university. We recruited these participants just before they began their first session of counseling, and, on average, they reported clinically low levels of mental health at the time. The majority of people seeking counseling services at this university in general struggled with issues related to depression and anxiety.

We randomly assigned our study participants into three groups. Although all three groups received counseling services,

  1. The first group was also instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person each week for three months,
  2. Whereas the second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences.
  3. The third group did not do any writing activity.

What did we find? Compared with the participants who wrote about negative experiences or only received counseling, those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health four weeks and 12 weeks after their writing exercise ended. This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief.

And that’s not all. When we dug deeper into our results, we found indications of how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. While not definitive, here are four insights from our research suggesting what might be behind gratitude’s psychological benefits.

1. Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions.

2. Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it. We told participants who were assigned to write gratitude letters that they weren’t required to send their letters to their intended recipient. In fact, only 23 percent of participants who wrote gratitude letters sent them. But those who didn’t send their letters enjoyed the benefits of experiencing gratitude nonetheless.

3. Gratitude’s benefits gradually accrued over time.  

4. Gratitude has lasting, positive effects on the brain.

The Bible is spot-on to the research findings of Dr. Brown and Dr. Wong:

The Apostle Paul challenges us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  Maintain an attitude of gratitude.

Paul instructs to have confidence and gratitude toward God no matter the situation.  Romans 8:28 exclaims, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”…Why do we believe this?  V. 29 explains that in our time of need or hurt, we cry out to God.  The end result is that we look and act more like His compassionate Son.

So, in this day of elections let’s heed the above Words of gratitude and practice the following verses from Ps. 112:6&7, “For the righteous will never be moved. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.”

If you are challenged mentally, I like the idea of writing “gratitude letters” and send them.  Do one per week for 3 months.  Also, place a sticky note on your bathroom mirror reminding you to quote out loud and practice 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 above.  Let’s practice gratitude and get mentally well together.

There Is Such Confidence…

I can remember as a young Christian, Philippians 4:13 was my favorite verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Admittedly, I focused too often on the first half of the verse, “I can do all things” using this as a self-empowerment exercise.  However, I discovered living in my own strength generated inconsistent behavior in my spiritual walk. If you look at Paul’s writings in context, he emphasized the last half of 4:13, “through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Earlier in Philippians 3:4-6, Paul lists some of his many stellar, high profile accolades produced by an “I can do all things” mentality yet ultimately counting them all “loss” and “rubbish”…“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ” (3:4-6)

The emphasis to Christ-Followers must no longer be “I can” for “I” has been crucified with Christ.  Galatians 2:20 states this clearly, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  It is no longer “I” but “Christ living through me.”  So, I can do all things not because of me but because of the power, courage, boldness, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and humility of Christ who lives in and through me. 

In 2 Corinthians 12:9&10, Paul the Apostle puts things in 20/20 perspective, “But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  In the spiritual realm, my own strength has no currency.  My best efforts are considered bankrupt. Power comes from the Holy Spirit.  Abundant living results when I get off and stay off the throne room of my life and become wholeheartedly obedient to God.

Once you get “a Christ living through me by faith” mentality, there is such confidence not because of “me” but because of the all-powerful God living within me. 1 John 5:14&15 explains, “14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.”    

No Need for Waze, He Shows Us the Way

Transportation around the DFW Metroplex is a mess. Pam and I are constantly surprised with new huge highway projects which are hazardous and frustrating.  9 out of 10 cars are in a hurry with many of them already late for their meeting or event.  I wish that I could give testimony that I am Mr. Steady Eddie when I am in the midst of this confusion, but I am a mess.  After a number of my “gut decisions” choosing which route would give us the quickest, simplest and safest directions around the MetroPlex went amiss, I concluded along with Pam (!) that I need help! Our modus operandi has totally changed…

Thank God for Waze, an online tool with traveling instructions of best route presented by a woman’s voice.  We actually talk about “her” as if she is a member of our family!  In fact, we pronounce “her” name as “Wayzee”.  Have we gone crazy?!  If you answer “yes”, you are correct. “She” has saved us valuable time and highly likely the cost of marriage counseling (!😊).  Thank God for Waze!

Our spiritual lives are very similar.  We are all train wrecks if we trust in our own flesh (our own abilities) to make wise decisions.  The Bible is clear about the bankruptcy and pain caused by the flesh:

  • Proverbs14:12 declares, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
  • Romans 3:12&23 state, “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  • Like the candor of the Apostle Paul in the previous verses, Jesus tells us frankly in Luke 13:5 and 24:47, “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish…repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

The Son of God and the Apostle Paul clearly spoke that we are lost and without direction in life if we live it in the flesh.  Each of us are to repent which means to change our mind.  Rely on GOD not yourself!

No need for Waze, He shows us the “Way “‘Jesus says to us, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).  Paul says it this way, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (John 14:6).  There is no other route to heaven or for guidance in life.  “He is the way”.

In the traffic jams of life, Jesus gives us crystal clear direction in His Word.  Proverbs 3:5&6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  And, if you want to know how to recognize that path, Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Wholeheartedly trust in Jesus and His Word.

When You’re Squeezed What Comes Out?

When moments become competitive or emotional or when you engage someone who is different than yourself whether it be their beliefs, their background, their ethnicity or when you feel violated, how do you react?  When you are tempted to involve your mind or body towards fleshly, sinful actions, do you satisfy your desire, or do you choose to act in obedience to Christ?  When you are emotionally or mentally squeezed, what comes out? Is it acidic, bitter, lustful, boisterous, satanic, or is your reaction Godly?  Are your words and/or actions compassionate and merciful or insulting and belittling?  You are constantly being tempted.

Life is a choice, isn’t it?  The Bible in Galatians 5 gives us our choices how we behave.  When squeezed, we can either choose the desires of the flesh or submit our will to God. Let’s take a look at what our choices look like:

Galatians 5,19-21, 19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these…those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

OR…

Galatians 5:22&23 “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

One is selfish and the other is submission to God.

One is flesh and the other Spiritual.

One is the kingdom of self and the other is the Kingdom of God.

One is of the devil and the other is of God.

One is temporal and the other is eternal.

One is impure and the other is pure.

One is based on lies and deception and the other based on Truth.

One leads you to hell and the other guides you to heaven.

One is about darkness and the other is full of light.

With all the above said, never forget. Life is lived inside out. It all begins with the heart. Two quick verses will rock all of us:

Matthew 12:33, How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Proverbs 4:23, Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

When you’re squeezed, what comes out?  Your choice…

Earthly Status Means Little to God, But Humility Gets His Full Attention

There is a powerful story told in 2 Kings 5 about Naaman, who was commander of the Syrian King’s army. The Bible describes him this way:

  • “He was a great man with his master and in high favor.”
  • “By him the Lord had given victory to Syria.”
  • He was a mighty man of valor.”

Because of his military might, he would have most likely been considered the 2nd most powerful man in Syria.  B-U-T, he had a gigantic problem.  Naaman “was a leper” which would kill him.  If some miracle didn’t happen to reverse this slow moving, devastating, disfiguring, ugly disease, he would die a lonely, humiliating disease.  There was no cure.

Isn’t it amazing how often God uses simple details placed in the exact spot and time to produce His will. In this case, it was “a little girl who been carried off from the land of Israel, and now worked in the service of Naaman’s wife.”  She was aware of Elisha, the great Jewish prophet, who had performed numbers of well publicized miracles. “She said to her mistress, ‘Would that my lord was with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’”  Naaman’s wife shared this with him who immediately told the king.  The king of Syria sent a letter to the weak king of Israel that he “may cure him of his leprosy.” This sent the king of Israel in all kinds of panic thinking this was a tactic to instigate a quarrel between the two countries with Israel being decimated.  “Elisha, the man of God” got wind of this and sent a letter to his king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.”

“Naaman came with his horses and chariots (bearing 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold along with 10 changes of clothes fashioned by the highest profile designers) and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.”  Notice how Elisha handles Naaman,And the man of God sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be, and you shall be clean.’” 

  • He didn’t even go out to meet Naaman but “sent a messenger to him.” 
  • Then, he tells the 5 Star General to go out into the Jordan River and wash himself 7 times to be healed.  Naaman thought this was a ridiculous idea.

He ended up furious at the undignified way that he was handled by this po-dunk prophet, “Naaman was angry and went away, saying, ‘Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So, he turned and went away in a rage.”  Then, some gutsy servants “came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So Naaman went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”  He was thrilled!  What a miracle…from leprosy to skin like a new born baby!

God used Elisha to humble this high-profile man. He made him see that proudful, self-centered, earthly profile is bankrupt in context of the Kingdom of God.  Proverbs 16:18 is blunt, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” 

Currency to God begins with humility. 1 Peter 5:6 is candid, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.”

The call of God to each one of us is found in Matthew 11:28-30, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Like a Mike Tyson Punch to My Gut

Recently, I felt insulted by another individual.  I wish that I could tell you that I responded in a humble, meek Christian manner.  Quite the contrary.  I tried to pay the individual back with a smart aleck comment…thought he deserved it!  I felt justified with my response…that is until I read one of my daily devotionals yesterday which highlighted 1 Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”  This verse felt like a Mike Tyson punch to my gut. What a jerk I am!  According to St. Peter, as a Christ-follower, I am commanded to “repay” a sucker punch from another individual with “a blessing.” This expectation knocked the wind out of me.  I regained my spiritual senses and realized that I violated “the fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22&23. More specifically, I was a poor testimony of “self-control.” Believers are challenged to be “self-controlled” not “other controlled.”  If I had allowed the Holy Spirit within me to produce “self-control”, my response to the insult would have become a moment of grace rather than a hateful reaction of self-justification.  The “offending” person did not cause me to sin, I did that on my own. 

James 1:19 declares, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.”  Conversely, I translated this verse in the ways of the flesh and the world, “react immediately with vengeance by verbally lashing out at the assailing person who unfairly invaded my emotional space without any need to listen to his viewpoints. I’m the victim!” 1 Peter 3:9 above made it obvious that I need to align my walk with the “Spirit of God” in humility with Christ continuously on the throne of my life not my small-minded, selfish spirit. The Holy Spirit pricked my memory:

  • James 1:26 states, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
  • 1 Timothy 2:8 declares, “I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”

The verse just prior to my initial text (1 Peter 3:8) explains to us how to live…Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”  If I had heeded this verse in obedience to Jesus, I would not have reacted the other day over such a silly event but would have responded compassionately and humbly.

To live out agape love, you will not be able to walk in the energy of the flesh.  Only Jesus can live a life of agape (unselfish, sacrificial) love.  Each of us need to walk “filled with the Holy Spirit” daily. Then and only then, “If someone slaps you on one cheekturn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them” (Luke 6:29).  “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles” (Mark 5:41).  These verses reveal that this life is not about me, myself, and mine. The Bible gives the Christ-follower the great commandment, “love one another: just as I have loved you.”  Amen…

Don’t Feed the Baby Cubs

Be careful to observe your inner self-talk.  Your mind may repetitively get engaged in feeding an emotional “baby cub,” and before you know it the cub has grown into a “roaring lion”.   Now you have a problem!  Your self-talk becomes lustful, noisy, demanding, hurtful, and/or out of control. Depression, anxiety, addiction, attraction to porn, lusts, hatred, bitterness, etc. are at a point that you are now being overpowered.  Many of us daily live in darkness, emotional pain, guilt, frustration, defeat, and worst of all, hopelessness.  I lived in mental darkness for many, many years. 

Never ever give in or up!

Hope is to be had if you purposefully and intentionally set and keep your will focused on God.  This will not be easy.  The process will most likely be arduous but well worth it:

  • Hebrews 12:1&2 declares, “Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  These verses emphatically challenge us “to lay aside every weighty and clingy” thing that encumbers and binds so tightly that it chokes out life. Then, the author instructs us “with endurance” to live life focused on Jesus “who endured the cross”, a game changing event in the spiritual world that leads to freedom in our mental life. Then, Christ “was seated at the right hand of God”, the most powerful throne in existence.  Nothing compares with His authority…nothing! 
  • Hebrews 4:12 is dynamic, For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit…discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  His word is alive and full of energy “piercing” to the depths enabling you to “evaluate and validate” thoughts as they originate.  If you will allow His Word to penetrate down to the deepest parts of your mind, God will transform your thoughts making them truthful, pure, wise, righteous and healing to your soul.  This should give you H-O-P-E. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
  • Find and involve yourself in a faith-based recovery group.  These folks will become incredibly close friends to you.  Do not try to work thru strongholds alone.  Very few are successful.  My suggestion is to get into ReGen.  I am graduate from this program my and continue to watch the success of this ministry.  James 5:16 is clear about this, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”.

Start the journey towards healing and get to know God intimately in the process.  Stop feeding baby cubs!

A Great Calm

God despises noise. Anxieties are emotional noise.  There is an episode between Jesus and His disciples that reflects this. Mark 4:35-40 narrates, “When evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm40 He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid (emotional noise)? Have you still no faith?’”  When Jesus took control of the bedlam, there was “a great calm”.  The Spirit of Christ yearns for “a great calm” and can enable it within your mind.  Romans 8:6 tells us to “to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart” Colossians 3:15. The peace of Jesus is an indication that God controls your heart, the very core of your being.  Your heart generates self-talk, self-talk produces your emotions, and emotions dictate your behavior.  Psalm 46:10 states “Be still and know that I am God”…a great calm.

Psalm 23:1&2 declares this, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” John 14:27 is clear, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”, no noise (John 14:27). 

Let me give you several suggestions:

  1. Recognize Who God is.  Proverbs 3:5&6 explains this, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him (recognizing Who He is), and he will make straight your paths.” Identify almighty God as we walk with Him daily…. 
  2. Get off and stay off the throne room of your life. Galatians 2:20 instructs us, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 
  3. Start every day in Philippians 4:4&5 “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.”

Begin each day rejoicing in the Lord focused on Him not cares of the world.

Allow God to breathe in all areas of your life developing a gentle spirit.

Know “the Lord is at hand.” Realize He’s near every moment of each day!

4. Memorize and meditate on scripture.  Psalms 119:11,103&105) states, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you…How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

A great calm!

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