Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Key to Living with a Painful Situation

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Although we can be sure that God is always working for our good and the good of others, even through trials and suffering, we will not always know exactly what that good is.

 In many cases his ultimate purposes will not be evident for a long time. And in some situations his ways and objectives are simply too profound for us to comprehend, at least until we see God face to face (see Romans 11:33-36).

This should not diminish our confidence in him or our willingness to obey him, however. As Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

This passage provides the key to dealing faithfully with painful and unjust situations. God may not tell us everything we want to know about the painful events of life, but he has already told us all we need to know. Therefore, instead of wasting time and energy trying to figure out things that are beyond our comprehension, we need to turn our attention to the promises and instructions that God has revealed to us through Scripture.

 The Bible tells us that God is both sovereign and good, so we can be sure that whatever he has brought into our lives can be used to glorify him, to benefit others, and to help us to grow. 

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 64-65.

Food for Thought

Are you living with a painful situation? Is there a situation in your life that you just don’t understand why it has transpired in the way it has?

As you trust God with the “secret things,” first remember all he has already done for you through Christ. Then focus your attention on obeying his revealed will, and you will experience greater peace within yourself (Psalm 131; Isaiah 26:3) and serve him more effectively as a peacemaker (Proverbs 3:5-7).  

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The above statement in bold caught my eye. What happens if you are so into a painful situation that you really don’t care if it glorifies God, or that it benefits others, or we really don’t care to grow that much at all, thank you very much.

Where do you go, what do you do?

Turn our attention to knowing, living and obeying Gods word, instruction and promises.

Easier said than done, eh?

God hasn’t turned his back on you when you are in a painful situation. And soon the clouds will pass to see Him  standing right beside you.

Isn’t that what faith is all about?

Now I must go practice what I preach!

Kristina

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The Power of Words

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“Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him
who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
Ephesians 4:15

Words play a key role in almost every conflict. When used properly, words promote understanding and encourage agreement. When misused, they usually aggravate conflicts and drive people further apart. If your words seem to do more harm than good when you try to resolve a disagreement, don’t give up. With God’s help you can improve your ability to communicate constructively.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 162.

Food for Thought

Have you felt like your words have “aggravated conflict” lately?

Maybe your words were careless–you just didn’t think them through. Or maybe they weren’t loving, true as they might have been. Remember, our words can either be powerful vessels of God’s grace or can be the spark that sets the forest afire (see James 3:2-12). Reflect on your words during your last conflict. How would you characterize them? Pray that when you are “speaking the truth” today, it would be “speaking the truth in love.”

James 3:2-12

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Speaking truth in love is hard my friend. Ask God for courage and the words to speak to someone today. In love. About anything……

Blessings, Kristina

Newt Gingrich: Let’s End Adolescence {from BusinessWeek}

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A friend of mine sent me this Article from BusinessWeek

Newt Gingrich: Let’s End Adolescence
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says young people need to shift more quickly from childhood to adulthood
By Newt Gingrich

 Read it, tell me what you think!

It’s time to declare the end of adolescence. As a social institution, it’s been a failure. The proof is all around us: 19% of eighth graders, 36% of tenth graders, and 47% of twelfth graders say they have used illegal drugs, according to a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan. One of every four girls has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a recent study for the Centers for Disease Control. A methamphetamine epidemic among the young is destroying lives, families, and communities. And American students are learning at a frighteningly slower rate than Chinese and Indian students.

The solution is dramatic and unavoidable: We have to end adolescence as a social experiment. We tried it. It failed. It’s time to move on. Returning to an earlier, more successful model of children rapidly assuming the roles and responsibilities of adults would yield enormous benefit to society.

Prior to the 19th century, it’s fair to say that adolescence did not exist. Instead, there was virtually universal acceptance that puberty marked the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Whether with the Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah ceremony of the Jewish faith or confirmation in the Catholic Church or any hundreds of rites of passage in societies around the planet, it was understood you were either a child or a young adult.

In the U.S., this principle of direct transition from the world of childhood play to the world of adult work was clearly established at the time of the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Franklin was an example of this kind of young adulthood. At age 13, Franklin finished school in Boston, was apprenticed to his brother, a printer and publisher, and moved immediately into adulthood.

John Quincy Adams attended Leiden University in Holland at 13 and at 14 was employed as secretary and interpreter by the American Ambassador to Russia. At 16 he was secretary to the U.S. delegation during the negotiations with Britain that ended the Revolution.

Daniel Boone got his first rifle at 12, was an expert hunter at 13, and at 15 made a yearlong trek through the wilderness to begin his career as America’s most famous explorer. The list goes on and on.

It is true that life expectancy was shorter in those days and the need to get on with being an adult could be argued. Nevertheless, early adulthood, early responsibility, and early achievement were the norm before the institution of adolescence emerged as a system for delaying adulthood and trapping young people into wasting years of their lives. To regain those benefits, we must develop accelerated learning systems that peg the rate of academic progress to the student’s pace and ability to absorb the material, making education more efficient.

Adolescence was invented in the 19th century to enable middle-class families to keep their children out of sweatshops. But it has degenerated into a process of enforced boredom and age segregation that has produced one of the most destructive social arrangements in human history: consigning 13-year-old males to learning from 15-year-old males.

UNDERMINING COMMUNITIES
The costs of this social experiment have been horrendous. For the poor who most need to make money, learn seriously, and accumulate resources, adolescence has helped crush their future. By trapping poor people in bad schools, with no work opportunities and no culture of responsibility, we have left them in poverty, in gangs, in drugs, and in irresponsible sexual activity. As a result, we have ruined several generations of poor people who might have made it if we had provided a different model of being young.

And for too many middle-class and wealthier young Americans, adolescence has been an excuse to delay work, family, and achievement-and thus contribute less to their own well-being and that of their communities.

It’s time to change this-to shift to serious work, learning, and responsibility at age 13 instead of age 30. In other words, replace adolescence with young adulthood. But hastening that transition requires integrating learning into life and work. 

Fortunately, innovations in technology and in financial incentives to learn offer hope.  The Information Age makes it possible for young people to learn much faster than our current failed bureaucracies and obsolete curriculums permit. New systems such as Curriki, founded by Sun Microsystems (JAVA) and now an independent nonprofit, allow a community of teachers and learners to collaborate via the Internet to create quality educational materials for free-giving every American access to learning 24 hours a day.

And experiments such as the one my daughter, Jackie Cushman, is running in Atlanta-where poor children are paid the equivalent of working in a fast-food restaurant to study and do their homework-are examples of a more dynamic future.

In math and science learning, which are among the most important indicators of future prosperity and strength, America lags far behind such emerging powers as China and India. Studying to compete with Asian counterparts in the world market is going to keep U.S. teens busier than anyone ever imagined. This will require year-round learning, with mentors available online, rather than our traditional bureaucratic model of education. But we must go further, toward a dynamic, real-world blueprint for learning.

Indeed, going to school should be a money-making profession if you are good at it and work hard. That would revolutionize our poorest neighborhoods and boost our competitiveness.

The fact is, most young people want to be challenged and given real responsibility. They want to be treated like young men and women, not old children. So consider this simple proposal: High school students who can graduate a year early get the 12th year’s cost of schooling as an automatic scholarship to any college or technical school they want to attend. If they graduate two years early, they get two years of scholarships. At no added cost to taxpayers, we would give students an incentive to study as hard as they can and maximize the speed at which they learn.

Once we decide to engage young people in real life, doing real work, earning real money, and thereby acquiring real responsibility, we can transform being young in America. And our nation will become more competitive in the process.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is founder of the Center for Health Transformation.

OncoVue Breast Cancer Risk Test ~ This Makes Me Very Happy!

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Test results from my breast cancer test…..

My top post that is read here on Musings is This One with 5700 views. Its called Get Your Mammograms, Ladies!

breast test OncoVue

Its too small to see here but click here to see the large picture….

As you can see the black bar is the average  of the estimated risk probability. The white bar  is ME.

The green shading is the standard risk category, the yellow is moderate and orange is high risk probability.

Thanks be to God! I’m low to middle in the standard range, nothing new needs to be done.

Mammograms every year, high does of Vitamin D and self-checks. I also see a cancer doctor once a year for a check-up. Preventative medicine, since my mom and aunt [mom’s sister] both had breast cancer and double mastectomies.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am and how I still want you ladies out there to get a mammogram and do the self exams. It could save a life. Yours.

 Blessings, Kristina

De 7:9 – [In Context|Read Chapter|Original Hebrew]
“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
Ps 31:23 – [In Context|Read Chapter|Original Hebrew]
O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer.
1Co 1:9 – [In Context|Read Chapter|Original Greek]
God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1Th 5:24 – [In Context|Read Chapter|Original Greek]
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

Mutual Acceptance ~ A Prayer from Heartlight.Org

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From: PRAYING WITH PAUL from HEARTLIGHT — http://www.heartlight.org/

MUTUAL ACCEPTANCE

Romans 14:1-16

Dear Father, foundation of all our lives,

 Make me compassionate and generous toward my brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us welcome each other, and not dispute over opinions. May I never pass judgment on a brother or sister, for you have welcomed them. They are your servants. It is before you that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for you are able to make them stand.

Let us be fully convinced in our own minds about honoring certain days, or about eating certain foods. Whether we honor a day or eat a food, or whether we abstain, may we do it (or not do it) in honor of you.

Thank you that none of us lives to self, and none dies to self.
Whether we live or die, we are yours! Thank you that Christ died to this end: that he might be Lord both of those who have died and of us who live. We know from what Jesus said: that all your saints are alive to you.

In the name of Jesus, instill consideration for each other into all of us. Amen.

This just stuck a chord in me when I read it. Enjoy, Kristina

My Refuge and My Fortress ~ Psalm 91

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91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

The Psalmist goes to tell of how God will cover the believer and how he will not fear.

How the angels will guard him and ….

God says….

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Read the rest of the Psalm, it’s a great pick-me-up when life gets you down. With whom do you dwell?

Hold fast in love to the Almighty God. He will be with you.

Blessings, Kristina