READ THIS FIRST

I am told that the truths that I share sometimes come across a bit too curt. Not that the truths shouldn’t be firmly held, but when I share them verbally my tone and expression and responses to the listener allow me to share the truth and the balance of grace at the same time (please listen to some of my audios for examples).

Whatever today’s topic, the full balance always involves the the following sweet coatings on the sometimes distasteful pill of truth of:

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

1. You are not alone, Dr. Verle Bell joins you as the chief of sinners and in no position to judge your worth, dignity, security, future, or God’s ability to help you.

2. There is Hope!

3. If you are a saved child of God, you have worth, strength, and hope just because. You can’t lose it or increase it, you have them just because Jesus died for you and loves you.

4. There are no have to‘s for us but there are a lot of sure-would-be-nice‘s. These blogs are to help you grab ahold of all the sure-would-be-nice’s God has for you in the present.

5. If you never change, grow, fight the good fight, etc, You are still a winner, for we are more than conquerors- we forever remain in his love!

Stop to think, how many people have passed through this world without confessing with God that they are a sinner in need of salvation, asking for that salvation based on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Since we have, as a result we are now immortals. The rest is just icing on the cake.

Now read on to get your share of the icing!

If you ask Him nicely, He might even let you lick out of the icing bowl, just as my Mom did when I helped her in the kitchen as a boy.

DESIGN

Faith is yielding my body members according to a growing picture of God’s principles ,                           when I don’t want to and know I will lose all,                   but I owe Him all,so I yield and leave the results to Him.

PRINCIPLE:

DESIGN= everything that God has made, including you, is designed to be used according to certain principles for His preordained purposes: if I use them in other ways, according to my own PLEASURE I do so at my own PERIL! If I co-operate with his design principles but resent having to do so, I am criticizing the designer. If I am embarrassed by the limits evident in the things about me that I can’t control, this is not being humble, rather I am ungrateful and question His wisdom. If I compare with other’s design and feel inferior, or superior, I question His right to make different pots for different uses.

It is our job to think through and ponder what is the proper use of each created thing.

Take a minute and ponder the proper use and misuse the following: Food, sleep, recreation,friends, housing, cars, jobs, clothing, exercise, learning, health,mind,time,family,money etc.

Ponder your own design: these are the unchangeable things about you and your support systems : your sex, age, family of origin, intellect, voice, height,illnesses,friends, foes, time in history, etc.

Some thoughts to get you started. We are His masterworks created unto tasks that He prepared for us and prepared us for.Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Shall the pot say to the potter “what bad job you did on me?” or shall a man say to his mother,”what kind of junk did you produce?”Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Romans 9:20-22King James Version (KJV)20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

What is food for: for nutrition, fellowship, remembering God’s goodness, ministering to others; not for antidepressant,not an end in itself,not to impress others

What is sleep for: for refreshing for the battle; not for running away from life, not to be neglected in order to do too much.Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Now ponder the DESIGN of the other things in your life.

Thank you Lord for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you that I am the right one for the tasks you call me to. Help me to take my design and develop it by taking care of my body and sharpening my mind by meditating on your word. When I see other parts of your body who have designs that I would prefer, help me to rejoice in their abilities without the foolishness of comparing.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
Ephesians 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?
Is there something about your design that you especially dislike? Even if it is the result of post birth damage, it is now part of your design. In order to rest in the principle of design you will have to worship God by saying, “Lord you are greater than this design difference that I am troubled by, every time I am reminded of it I will say, that reminds me that I am the slave of God and He has the right   with me as He wills, thank you God for your good intentions in allowing this.”

 

GRATITUDE FOR THE PAIN OF AGING?

COMMENTER:I needed to be reminded to be thankful for God’s grace showing me the process of aging. I just wish it didn’t hurt so much! Hallelujah!
VERLE: No! Don’t BE thankful.

Instead,say”Thanks”, it’s different.

An all knowing God would not be irrational and expect you to see what there is to be grateful for, but He can see it. An all powerful God would not expect you to generate the strength to tolerate the pain, but He would be able to handle it. He indwells your obedient worship of saying “Thanks” and pours His peace and gratitude and strength in through the window of our obedience.

When Betsy Tenboom thanked God for the lice without seeing anything to be grateful for-God showed them how the lice protected them from the guards. When Corrie Tenboom extended her arm to the former guard, God’s peace flowed through her.
Watcham Nee said,If the lawgiver sitting on the throne, asked me to keep His commands, that would be unfair. If He asks me to get out of His way and let him indwell me and keep His own commands through my yeilded members. Now that would be fair!

MANNA WON’T LAST

What is manna? What is it. That’s what I asked. Yes, I know, that is what it is. What? Manna, it means “What is it”. The Israelis went out and saw this food all over everything and said, “What is it?” and that became it’s name.

They deserved to be abandoned from the God that they were complaining about and carrying false idols from Egypt with them. Instead He gave them tents that did not rot, shoes that did not wear out, water from the rocks, leaders to guide them, light by night, and a cloud by day to lead them and daily bread. Lord give us today our daily bread. So what was their consequence for refusing to trust Him and go into the promised land? BOREDOM. They would all die bored in the wilderness. They should have spent those 40 years teaching their children to obey God no matter what. Instead they spent them whining about their consequences. They did not like to depend on God, one day at a time, so they gathered up enough manna to last a week only to find it all rotten the next day.

What do you deserve from God? As the chief of sinners, I shudder to look at what I deserve! Instead we receive daily GRACE.  Do not try to gather enough grace for tomorrow by worrying about tomorrow’s food and clothing.  Tomorrow’s grace must be sought tomorrow. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Where todays evil abounds, grace  even more abounds. Do you sometimes fret about getting old, and how will the children or grandchildren face the changing world of tomorrow, will we be able to handle our possible pain and weakness and society’s rejection of truth?

Collect only todays “manna” grabbing ahold of the business at hand and yielding your members instruments for God to use. You will face tomorrow’s worries today at your own peril and in your own strength. No grace for tomorrow today. Remember without Him you can do nothing. So, grab His hand and walk through the now.

Psalms 127( Verle Bell version) If God ain’t in it- why bother it’s a waste of time- to build things or guard what we have built or accumulated-but if He is in it: get up at a reasonable time, whistle while you work, quit at a reasonable time and get a good nights’ sleep. Jesus and His grace will be there in infinite supply tomorrow. CHILL. (Then He will let you raise children, the job that can only be done with copious amounts of resting in daily grace.)

SHARED COMMENTS AND THOUGHTS THEY TRIGGER

Thank you! thank you! thank you! My brain is wired to be triggered by comments and questions and I have been encouraged by recent contributions from friends.

1.COMMENTER:Oh, to have found this blog and you again! I look forward to checking this all out. I want to thank you, so much, for being on my path of growing in JESUS. Our paths crossed in the early 90’s, in Wheaton, IL. I still have the tapes and wish they were CD’s, for I still listen to the tapes periodically and hoping they don’t break. I have your book True Freedom (picked it up at the group reunion, in the UP many years ago) and enjoy reading it from time to time.

VERLE:The tapes and CD’S are all on this blog! Go to the audio selection and start with the first and you will find them. Thanks for the encouragement. God is the general contractor of our growth the author and developer and finisher of our faith. I do like being a subcontractor to do odd jobs with him helping you and others focus on His marvelous truths.

2.COMMENTER:Oh gosh! I was thinking I was doing well just to keep my mouth shut as I snatched something out of someone’s hand so I could do it the “right” way. Ouch!

VERLE:Welcome to the club. Remember that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God to show us truth, all truth will REPROVE, then will correct that which it has reproved and then go on to equip us for any possible situation we might face. If you go to the word and it doesn’t reprove you go back and read it again.

3.COMMENTER:Thank you for the reminder that we are all on equal ground here. I remember you telling me once when I was inpatient, that the doctors and nurses and patients were not on different levels of who is higher or lower, we are all equals and trying to help each other.
As with most anything you say to me when I have to be in the hospital, this hit me well, and meant so much.
PS I even told about you telling me the story of the boy who took the cookie before dinner and guilt on my own blog the other day. It helped people see into my soul a little more since I am so much that boy. And those who already knew me best, knew exactly and immediately it was just like me.

Thank you, always, my equal sinner but equally saved and forgiven by God’s grace.

VERLE: One of our equalities is to ask God to forgive us and then not receive it or rest in it. The story is of a boy who is caught stealing cookies, has discipline administered, asks for and receives forgiveness and goes his way, 15 min later he returns, “please forgive me, I feel so bad about what I did, I’m such a bad little boy ” Mother says, “it’s not how you feel, you sinned against me and I’ve forgiven you so you are forgiven-like it or not” 20 min later he returns ” I still feel bad and have been thinking about all the other bad things I’ve done and I don’t deserve to be forgiven.”  Mother says ” It has nothing to do with deserving it, I gave you forgiveness because that is the kind of mother I am and I love to love even undeserving children who say they are sorry- so chill kid!” 20 min later then boy returns “I’m not sure I can respect a mother who forgives horrible boys like I  am, I am so un fixable and bad I am giving up and will now go live out in the woods, I don’t deserve to be part of this family” About now the mother wants to pick him up and do something to break him out of his insane self contempt. SOUND FAMILIAR?

COMMENTER:Thank you for reminding me to watch my tone and attitude. I am aging, as well as you are, and hope that I am treated with more grace than I give. Hallelujah, God is good!

VERLE: How’s that aging thing going? Have you remembered to thank God for the process of aging? We can see the results of the fall from grace (illness, tiredness, labor,aches and pains, memory problems etc.)as bad things; or we can see them as gifts from the God who learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered); and will help us go through aging with grace and learning and ministering. I knew a lady in my youth who befriended me with odd jobs and taught my sundayschool class and loved the Lord. Yet as a single old lady in a nursing home she decided she was worthless and decided to starve herself to death. A friend of ours came and took her home to be grandmother to his 12 children and she began to write to all the missionaries on the planet and pray all day long for the kingdom, even though she was week and old, she did more for God’s kingdom in the last days of her life, than in the rest of it altogether!

A fellow soldier for Jesus writes “during a recent conversation with my son he made the comment that I get mad at him a lot. I was floored! cause I am very careful not to say the wrong thing as my son has had a very difficult year with illness . he then said it was not anything I said but my tone!”

Thanks for your example. I often add to my poorly controlled tone, rolling my eyes in disgust, jumping in and “fixing” the situation that the other person is responsible for which says ” you are too lazy or incompetent and rebellious to respond to my asking so I have to cover for hopeless you!etc. No wonder no one likes to hang around with me, except my grandchildren, God bless them.
I tell you, it it weren’t for GRACE! Can you imagine watching video tapes that had footnotes on what our heart was saying played before all at the judgment! Good thing God has such a good ability to choose to forget.

Verle, chief of sinners, and I can prove it!

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF?

The truth is that we shouldn’t sweat anything AFTER we have yielded our members servants to God and been responsible in small things or big things. If we limit ourselves to moving our body members (according to a growing picture of God’s principles in action, Please memorize this phrase) ; then logically there should be not difference between tough tasks and easy tasks.

If only we were logical beings. But there is hope, God would not command us to “Let this mind be in you which was in Jesus”, who is named LOGOS  the beginning and end of all reasoning; if He did not stand ready to give us His logic.

Remember, to figure out what a healthy positive godly approach would look like we simply have to look at ” How do I normally relate to this situation?” and then DO THE OPPOSITE!

So, how do we normally SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF and thereby squander the neurotransmitters and energy God has placed in my brain to handle stress?

Ask yourself which of the following two responses would use up more calming serotonin in your brain?

A. Yes Lord I see the trial and you have helped me deal with many similar issues before, thanks for placing ——— in my life so give me grace to ask his help while doing my part, help me remember that my part is always doable and you will never allow me to be tried so severely beyond that of others that I would have now way to avoid sin which is the only outcome I should care about and all other results are Yours, and help me keep in mind all the wonderful things that will still be true no matter how this situation turns out, at the least, (and what a least!) I will live forever with Jesus as his beloved bride whom he has cleansed and presented to Himself as pure undefiled and without blemish.

B. Oh My God! I’m going to screw this up and we are all going to die!

OK you get the point. The four things we do to SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF are

1. fail to carry a grateful memory of all the things God and you have already faced.

2. Fail to ask for help from those God has gifted us with, or ask for help and then beat ourselves up for asking.

3. Focus on more than moving our body members.

4. Forget that the UNLOSABLE good things God has given us.

Now copy down response A and practice it all week and then drop me a line on how it works for you.

 

WATCH YOUR TONE, young man!

JAMES 1:6 If you put on a good show of being religious and do not control your tongue (including it’s tonal content) you fake yourself out and your heart is deceived. He who controls his tongue and uses it to build up the brethren is mightier that he who conquers a city.

This blog is for myself and possibly for you in improving God’s control over our communication. It is not primarily intended to use in judging others except for the need to pray for those who despitefully use us that they may see their problem and be delivered from all the damage sin produces.

We are to avoid the appearance of evil not just the evil itself.  In our depraved state, we love to inflict pain and we assert control over others, while convincing ourselves that we have nothing wrong, “All I said was-blah,blah,blah.” However our tone went far beyond the words to suggest that we considered the other person to be an idiot, ( the Lord considers this murder) or that the other person is being irritating, or that we feel that they are beneath us etc. We can cause hurt and pretend to ourselves and affirm to others that our intentions were pure and neutral.

Most of communications are not in the words but in the facial expression or tone of voice or posture with which they were delivered. However, these can be denied and ignored. Thus we can stab others and come out looking good to ourselves and others, but does God look on the outward appearance or on the thoughts and intents of the heart?

I have come to believe that the primary area for this games playing is in the issue of basic life information. The controlling person wants to know every little detail of the other’s activities to the point that it is irritating and the other feels controlled. “I just want to be part of your life and to be included because I care”. They create a situation where others feel guilty if they don’t share and controlled if they do . When others ask them for any information, they give as little as possible and in an irritated tone “I’m busy and you should already know that don’t you remember I told you blah blah blah .

Practice delivering directions: where things are at, when things will happen, in fact ANY thoughts or facts in a pleasant tone. I’ve noticed that everyone has the ability to control their tone because the whiny put down irritated tone only comes on when they are talking to the ones they want to, any can get away with, affect. Remember that the tone switch is subconscious, although arising from sinful urges, and you will have to listen carefully to spot yourself doing it.

I’ve seen this come out strongly in people dealing with older demented family members who have to ask the same question over and over again or make the samecomment over again. With them and with children we may need to help them do the best they can to think for themselves but still WATCH OUR TONE.

Giving it up will leave a void in which we were trying to make up for God’s slowness, in fixing the people around us, by pressuring them to see themselves our way through tonal communication. So fill the void with thanking God for the irritating people in our lives, asking Him to bless them, finding ways to minister to them, and if guided by God, talking directly and clearly to them about our concerns, apologizing for our past approaches, and being much more open to give out information ourselves. Remember that our heart’s are deceitful above all thing and desperately want to be wicked but now can’t just do deliberate open wicked acts so have sought out wickedness they can pretend just isn’t even there. Our hearts will not give up easily but if we genuinely ask the Holy Spirit to convict, He will convince us that the only way to see others change is by ceding control of their heart to the Holy Spirit and gaining more control of ourselves.

I remember a fellow Christian counselor whom I invited over for a meal and fellowship. He asked an exhaustive list of questions about me, my background, my approach to counseling, and as a brother in Christ seeking to know and be known I answered as best I could. I then ask a superficial starting question in order to return the favor and begin to get to know him more. He jumped up declaring that it was time to go, and was obviously irritated by my wanting a two way relationship!