Coming soon to a couch near you! We’ve been booking some intimate home shows in the Portland area this summer and are looking for some more homes to invade. So if you would like to host an Acoustic Living Room Concert please let us know!
It’s amazing how siblings and little kids will always compare how much food or toys they receive compared to the child next to them. As adults we understand that life is not fair, and that we should be thankful and grateful for the blessings we do have as there are so many who go without. We often try to reason with such childish selfishness and help teach the child to be thankful, but do we really listen to our own advice? How often do we notice the bigger house across the street or the nicer new car parked in the driveway and covet those things for ourselves?
I saw this quote today posted on a meme and it struck me as such a good truth that I had to share it.
The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.
This lines up so closely with Jesus’ words in Matthew when he said:
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Truly we need to have a focus that is on others more than ourselves. God has promised us that he will provide for our needs:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Instead of dwelling on what we don’t have and coveting our neighbor’s possessions, we should be more worried about our neighbor who is in need and make sure that we are God’s hands and feet to help them when required. We should learn to—like Paul—be content in all things; both in plenty and in want—when we have enough and when we are in need.
This is part of the message in my song “Jehovah Jireh” that speaks to God knowing our needs before we even speak, and being our Provider!
Storms make trees take deeper roots.
We should let the storms in our lives drive our roots deeper into the strength of our Rock—Jesus! Instead of throwing our fist in the air against God we need to rely and lean on his strength when the hurricanes threaten to rip us out of the soil.
Trust in God and flourish as a tree!
Like the famous Nike slogan that tells us to “Just Do It!”, the Word of God points in a different direction. Instead of giving into whatever our lusts and desires want we need to learn self-control and how to “Just Say No!”
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age
For as it says in James those things that tug and pull at us inside, trying to entice and lead us astray will ultimately lead to death.
but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Sin might be pleasant for a season and promise fulfillment and satisfaction, but it is short lived and comes with shame and consequences that lead to emptiness and separation from God. Instead let’s learn to live lives of holiness as we are called to do and “Just Say No!”
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
—2 Peter 3:11-12a, 14
Dealing with anxiety over bills and finances today and this was the verse of the day in my Bible app:
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
And the previous day’s verse goes along with it. We need to rest in his peace that passes all understanding, and allow the peace of Christ to calm any anxiety that threatens to take control in our lives. He is on the throne and in control and we need to trust that he has a plan even if we are going through trials and storms in life.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus recognizes that we are going to have difficulties and troubles in this world, but he gives us hope because he has overcome the world and we can rest in that!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So do not be anxious! Bring your worries and cares to the foot of the throne and leave them there and God’s peace which goes beyond this world’s understanding will rest upon your shoulders!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.
—1 Kings 18:37
Even though the Israelites had strayed and turned from God, when he answered from heaven and showed them his power they turned from their idols and recognized his majesty. When I find that I have become a sheep that has gone astray I pray that God would help bring me back and turn my heart back once again to him.