Even in the darkest storms of life, we can maneuver through emotional upheaval and make our place at His “throne of Grace.”
Even in the darkest storms of life, we can maneuver through emotional upheaval and make our place at His “throne of Grace.”
I’m fascinated by the way some nations honor those who are worthy of honor. For instance, when my friends ministered in Pakistan, the sponsoring pastors placed several white flowery wreaths around their necks. Then as they entered the sanctuary, the congregation sprinkled rose pedals on the floor before their feet.
And I know of a minister who serves a congregation on the African continent whose wife went out of country for several weeks to receive cancer treatments. Upon her return, a large company of people greeted her at the airport and ushered she and her husband to a party held to praise the Lord for bringing her safely home–that party was a grand celebration of her return with food, music and joyous dancing.
I’m not suggesting that we Americans make a rose pedal walkway for visiting ministers or drape leas around the necks of guest preachers, nor am I intimating that elaborate parties be held for ministers of the Gospel upon their return to us from long absences.
But here’s what i think…
We can learn much from other cultures about honor, respect and appreciation.
Yes, it may seem like the examples I used here are over the top, but can you imagine how my friends and that pastor’s wife felt? The point of honoring is to demonstrate esteem in a way that greatly blesses the recipient. The Pakistani pastors and the African congregation did a great job of doing just that.
Quite some time ago, it came to my attention that in the United States we show honor to certain members of society whom we deem especially worthy, but in many other scenarios we are poorly lacking.
As Gods children, we should be golden in this whole area of esteeming one another. It’s one of the values of God’s Kingdom. But I’m not so sure that we do this very well.
Furthermore, the Bible instructs, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17).
What does “double honor” look like in the American Church culture? And how can we in the Body of Christ improve the way that we esteem one another?
Honoring one another and giving “double honor” to preachers and teachers is important to the Lord. This is a big deal in the Kingdom. Therefore, for several months I’ve sought for greater understanding and an application of these truths.
Last week, an answer to my questions concerning this came through a total contradiction to 1 Timothy 5:17. What happened to me, an experience which was the complete opposite of honor, shocked me clear out of the water. It came from left field and caught me off guard. It rattled my senses and brought me to tears.
But a blessing came from that heartbreak; I gained greater understanding and a stronger determination to honor and esteem those worthy of respect.
Tonight, as I share this with you, I hope that you will glean from my words. The vocabulary I used here isn’t especially creative and this note to you isn’t polished, but it’s from my heart.
Let’s esteem one another and give “double honor” to those who serve among us. Let’s get really good at this and make it something for which we’re known. As we do so, we will impact our culture in a transformative and wonderful way.
Blessings to you,
Every time I’ve set aside early morning time to seek the Lord, I belly flop. My eyes become heavy with sleep, my mind wanders, and my heart feels guilty for not being more holy like the rest of everyone who knows anything about being a Christian.
No fewer than a dozen times over the years, I’ve heard preachers and teachers of the Word say that we prioritize our lives based upon whatever is most important to us. They say that if Jesus is number 1, then this will be evident by how we begin every day. He should be first in the morning before we do anything else, they add, because the Bible tells us so.
Somehow the Priority Principle has never jelled in my mold. I want it to. My morning routine involves prayer, but I wait until later in the day for that deeper experience with Jesus that I’ve grown to cherish.
In my world, most everyday is filled with unending tasks and responsibilities—Believe me! Sometimes the “to do” list is incomprehensible. In addition to work and the ministry, there are always household chores, and friendship and family ties that keep me on my toes.
Such a busy life! I’m chasing after my shadow as I try to catch up with myself.
Think with me for a second; Is Jesus less important to me than He is to you if you begin your morning with your personal devotion time, but I postpone that aspect of my walk with Jesus until after I’ve tackled a project that weighs on my mind?
You see, not only do I become very sleepy while in early morning prayer, but the way I’m wired may be different than the way you’re wired. Until I clear my schedule of urgent matters—a report, for instance, that must be delivered today to my local judge and to all of the legal parties to a particular court case—it’s almost impossible for me to focus my entire heart on the Lord. But once I complete the projects for which others depend upon me, I’m more able to enter into “The Secret Place” of His Presence.
Keeping Jesus a priority takes a little doing in a busy life, but I can’t imagine a day without being with Him. In fact, right now as I share this with you, my heart is stirred with desire for Him. So, I’ll sign off now and hurry to complete that court report responsibility, and then I’ll have an entire afternoon to be with the Lord.
Jesus is without question my priority, and I hope He is number 1 in your life, too.
Keep going after God.
Vern and I speed walked and jogged this evening before sunset. At the end of the pavement, where our road becomes gravel, we turned for the mile walk home and within seconds a strong head wind transformed our activity into something more like total body resistance training. The more I stick to my exercise commitment, the more I admire those of you who’ve been doing this for years. This get your body movin’ movin’ movin’ thing is tough. Especially since it’s not in my DNA to enjoy a consistent routine over a length of time.
“…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”–Romans 5:4
Although the apostle Paul was writing about persecution, the Romans 5:4 principle can apply to lots of things, such as working out several days a week, eating healthy, and other mundane or difficult tasks that we faithfully do in order to be well body, soul, and spirit. For me, staying on an exercise routine takes a great deal of perseverance. Sometimes, I’m an unwilling participate who needs encouragement to get moving. For instance, tonight Vern practically dragged me away from my comfortable seat in front of the warm and cozy fire to join him on a walk. Boy! It’s amazing how fast attitudes can change. As soon as we neared the first mile, I was grateful for his cheerful enthusiasm and that he had prodded me to join him. Why did my silent grumbling change to appreciation at the mile marker? Because I had hope of completing the two-mile walk. Perseverance builds character, and character builds hope. In the original language of the Bible, hope is defined as a confident expectation. Hope is a powerful tool to keep you moving forward in your commitment to complete something that’s worthwhile. Including exercise in your week will require some perseverance. You’ll have days when you’d rather sit on the sofa with a good book than get up and follow along with an aerobics instructor for thirty minutes. Or walking for twenty minutes may seem like a real drag when the weather’s not ideal. But have hope, and stick to your commitment. Just as Vern prodded me to join him for a walk, this article is an encouragement from someone who cares about your health. Have hope. Expect good results. And get up and get going. Just like me, you’ll be glad you did. Wishing you wellness in every way, Pamela
Yikes! My doctor gave me the news I had hoped to never hear. He said I have sticky-icky cholesterol [the LDL kind] in my blood. Lab results indicate that my cholesterol numbers are more like what you’d expect from someone who lives on fried foods and tons of donuts, and other delicious things soaked with unhealthy fats. Fortunately, I’m not a big fan of those kinds of foods.
How did I end up with too much LDL then? Heredity. My mother had high cholesterol, as did her dad. As far as I know, no-one on her side of the family had heart disease. This makes me question the LDL panic that has swept our nation over the last decade, and whether or not it’s the true culprit behind hardening of the arteries and coronary disorders.
Like most every doctor on the planet with a patient who has high LDL, mine recommended that I take a cholesterol lowering medication. I respect his counsel and expertise, but I also know that there are alternatives to many prescription drugs.
In pursuit of answers, I read reports and study results concerning cholesterol’s link to heart disease and strokes. As it turned out, finding the truth was a bit like attending a political party debate where both sides know that they are right, and everyone listening to them wonders who to believe.
To my total chagrin, the heart disease villain hides behind mounds of reports and studies, theories and healthcare philosophies. In comparison, a “natural” treatment was easy to pinpoint. At least, there’s consensus among healthcare practitioners about what works and what doesn’t work.
Not wanting to keep such a good thing to myself, I’m taking the information I gathered from hours of tedious reading and summarizing it into something that I hope you will find helpful and not boring.
Each of the alternatives on here are shown in multiple studies to build heart health and get those cholesterol numbers to a range that keeps doctors smiling. These “natural remedies” may not work for everyone, but they work for a lot of people. This being the case, I’m giving them a try. For some accountability, I’ll write again to let you know how it’s going. And, who knows, maybe this will encourage you in your pursuit of improved health.
There are literally thousands of articles, and dozens of studies that have been conducted on this whole topic of cholesterol management and treatment alternatives. From the pages and pages of material that I read, I’ve narrowed the mountain of information down to five important steps that can significantly contribute to healthy cholesterol, strong hearts and arteries. Here they are: 1. The mineral Magnesium, preferably as Magnesium Taurate. 2. A low sugar and starch free lifestyle. 3. Low amounts of saturated fats. 4. Moderate exercise, thirty-minutes a day, 6x/week. 5. Krill oil supplement
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll begin implementing each of these 5 steps. I think the hardest ones for me will be consistently exercising and keeping sugars to a minimum. Eliminating starches might be a bit tricky, also because my husband likes his potatoes and pasta.
Here’s a little more information from the studies and reports:
Moderate activity, such as fast walking, jogging, dancing or aerobics greatly reduces LDL and improves HDL cholesterol (the good kind).
To sum it up, Magnesium and Krill oil are excellent supplements for coronary and heart health. When combined with exercise and a low sugar, low saturated fat meal plan [notice I didn’t say diet], my LDL cholesterol should drop to healthy levels.
The Nitty Gritty of Statins: they are produced by pharmaceuticals and are cholesterol lowering medications. Something that I found interesting is that Red Yeast Rice is a natural low dose statin and is the base ingredient in two popular statin drugs.
While the good news is that statins work for most everyone; the bad news is that prescription medications containing statins and Red Yeast Rice deplete the body’s natural CoQ10, a vital nutrient for healthy brain and heart health. For this reason, many health professionals recommend that those who take cholesterol lowering medications and those who take Red Yeast Rice also take a CoQ10 supplement.
Where Spirituality Fits in all of This: When I first heard about my lab results, I was discouraged, but later I was encouraged while remembering a miracle that I witnessed a number of years ago. While ministering in Northern California, a gentleman in the congregation came forward to receive prayer for his high cholesterol. In answer to prayer, the Lord did a miracle for him. Days later, his wife told me that he no longer has high cholesterol and he was even able to go off of his medication. For this I’m especially grateful.
Faith and prayer are essential for wholeness. In over 15 years experience as a minister, my team and I have witnessed hundreds of people testify of complete relief from all sorts of symptoms following prayer. Seeing men and women who had suffered with chronic conditions instantly free through God’s power is one of the greatest joys of my life.
It’s so easy to over focus on working hard and doing all the “right” things to be healthy, but forget that our relationship with God has to be a priority if we are going to be whole and happy individuals. So, I’m closing this article with one final word of encouragement.
Pray daily. Prayer is communication with God, the Creator. It won’t do you any good to worry about the big and little things in life; roll them over onto the Lord and leave them there. He loves you with a love that is so huge as to be immeasurable.
And now for that boring disclaimer that is at the end of every health related article. Of course, I’m not a health care professional, and this little bit of writing is not a health claim, a health cure, or a health prescription. If you choose to go off of statins, you might want to see if your doctor will work with you. The only prescription that I will give is one for life—have faith in God and pray for all needs.