“The promises of God are anchors in our life. They are things we can hold onto when storms come.” – Promises and Obstacles, Steady in the Storm
This is a quote from my book and a chapter within the book where Rhett and I were dating and I began to question whether or not I could do this. God had spoken to me the prior year, when we were harvesting Christmas trees with friends, that the next year we got Christmas trees, Rhett and I would be dating. Rhett’s and my relationship had taken a small rocky path, and I questioned whether or not I could continue. The sting of it all was our Christmas tree weekend was five days away. I struggled and wrestled with God over why he would put such an obstacle in our relationship, that might potentially end it, in the week before we got Christmas trees. How dare God tell me something, only to not follow through.
Yielding and Might. Just by observing those two words, which would you choose? No one likes to be the loser. We want to be powerful, in control, the mighty one. Romans 12:19, “Avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” The updated, more understandable translation says, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord.“”
I was really relieved the day I figured out it wasn’t my job to judge people or hold them accountable. It was a massive weight off my shoulders to understand that judgement belonged to God. I still fall in this area daily, judging everyone around me by the way they drive, carry themselves and by what they say. Ultimately, the character of people, their actions and their hearts are in the hands of God. it is up to him to judge their motives and actions. I’m off the hook.
Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.” Yes! Finally, a more encouraging verse. The New Living translation puts it this way, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.“
Galations 5:10 “He that troubleth you shall bear God’s judgement.” Before you get too excited about your troublesome neighbour being struck by lightning, let’s look at a newer translation, “I am trusting the Lord to keep you from believing false teachings. God will judge that person, whoever he is, who has been confusing you.” – The New Living Translation.
“He who injures his own life makes his existence the victim of his own reasoning and defiles with unreasonable egotism the order of the universe.” C.S.M. I love this. I’m not sure how it fully relates to the verse quoted, but it definitely relates to the two words, “Want and Attack”. You read those two words together and want to interpret them as, ‘I want, and then I get attacked’, thus blaming someone else for getting in the way of what we want. On the contrary, this is more translated as what you want is attacking you. Your desire is controlling your life, instead of taking control of what is controlling you. The addict who has found sobriety knows this to be true, but shopaholics, sugar cravers, and people who are in a constant search for the next thrill, may think this doesn’t apply to them.
I gotta say, I feel like I picked the worst month out of this whole book to start with. Feels super doom and gloom! Hopefully it get’s better soon. I’ve flipped quite a few pages to check it out, and it does seem to get better as the days go on. For now, the theme for July 6th is “Violence and Disposition”. Perfect. Super comforting.
The quoted verse is Psalms 140:11 “Evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him“. Taking a bigger look at this verse in the New Living Translation, here is a look at Psalms 140:8-12:
8 Lord, do not let evil people have their way. Do not let their evil schemes succeed, or they will become proud. Interlude
9 Let my enemies be destroyed by the very evil they have planned for me. 10 Let burning coals fall down on their heads. Let them be thrown into the fire or into watery pits from which they can’t escape. 11 Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.
“As righteousness tendeth to life, so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death” – Proverbs 11:19. It’s always worth quoting a more recent translation, as it cuts a bit more to the point; however, this verse is almost stark in it’s newer translation. The New Living Translation, Psalms 11:19, “Godly people find life; evil people find death.“
Vice and ruin. I could think of a lot of other, nicer, more encouraging words to set off a sunny, summer July 5th day. It’s difficult for anyone to see their own blindspots, so it is equally difficult for someone to acknowledge they have vices. Further still, our culture has so heavily blurred the line of what is considered a vice, that what was considered a vice 100 years ago is now called Tuesday.
Peace and Order. “I am for peace” – Psalms 120:7. It’s worth quoting verse 6 as well as the whole of verse 7. The New Living Translation, Psalms 120:6-7, “I am tired of living among people who hate peace. I search for peace; but when I speak of peace, they want war!“
Similar to yesterday’s post, it is quoted here that “Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind.” and “Seek peace and pursue it. Peace is the masterpiece of reason.” 104 years ago the world was in the middle of the then known as, “The Great War”, and today known as the I World War, as the II World War broke out just twenty years later. It is interesting to me that war is so heavily spoken about on July 4th, the Independence Day of America. A day to celebrate the end of conflict and the beginning of “All men are created equal.” When we look at the world today, we are salivating for a war over inequality.
Silence and sincerity. I can already feel the backlash on talking about silence. If I could define our current culture by any term it would probably be, “Personal Soapbox”. Social media has given every single person a soapbox to yell their opinions from. If you’re not familiar with where the term soapbox speaker comes from, the term, like this book, is about a 100 years old. Usually done to speak politically, people would elevate themselves above a crowed on a wooden shipping box, usually used for shipping soap, in order to carry their voice above the crowd. This form of speaking was most common to carry a political opinion around the time of important voting dates. It was also known to be used by preachers on Sundays.
Everyone’s social media wall, whatever the media platform, has become their soapbox and we are all yelling as loudly as we can at each other. We are all experts on whatever it is we are saying and we all want our voices to be herd. What if we contemplated silence as the first order of business?
July 2nd, 2020; rather, July 2nd, 1916, which is when this book was published. Not it’s first publication mind you, but this particular book was printed in 1916. It’s strange to think of this book being held by people 100 years ago. What a different society that would be, yet the truths spoken are no less true today. We’ve just forgotten.
The words of reflection are Self-Deception and Self-Control. It seems these days the only words we know to attach to ‘self’ are ‘ish’, ‘riotousness’ and ‘care’. Though I feel the interpretation of self-care these days is grossly misunderstood and I talk about this in my book, Stead in the Storm.
Day one of my 365 days of journeying through Courage and Consolation, a daily reader I recently picked up at Value Village.
Daily readers became a staple for me about two years ago. While in the midst of chaos and stress, they were an anchor I could set my day to. The readers I have been using for the past couple years are based in biblical truths. I have also been reading from daily readers created to support family members and friends of addicts. When I found Courage and Consolation I was immediately captivated by what was viewed as wisdom 100 years ago, and how it still holds relevance today.