Push through to the hem of His garment

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You remember the story in the Bible, Luke 8, about the lady with the long term illness? She pushed through the crowd and it says she thought “if I can just touch the hem of his cloak I will be healed”.  I do not have an illness, except for what is called LIFE.  And there are times I think if I can just push through the mess of life, the noise of issues and touch the hem of His garment things will be alright. Do you ever feel that way that you need to push through your mess, your crowds of people and their ideas or opinions, get past the road of confusion and just touch the hem of His garment?  I have to have time to settle my mind down, stop thinking about everything to really get in the presence of God.  For me I need to have a quiet room, which is really hard with 2 elderly parents, a 6 year old, 2 dogs and 3 cats, not even counting the other people in the house or the phone or etc.  So I have to pick times when everyone is calm, tummies full, they are taking naps, reading books or watching TV.  I have to choose my time.   Then I have to turn on calm, worshipful, meditative music like Grace Williams or Jason Upton.  I need to have the light off and the fan on.  I sound picky.  I can spend time with the Lord anywhere and anytime but for me to push past everything I need preparation. And this preparation calms me down and shuts the clutter and clamor of my mind down a little quicker.  Do you prepare for your time in His presence? Have you thought about what helps you to settle into a cup of tea, spend time, shut out distractions type atmosphere with Jesus?

In verse 46 (NLT) Jesus says “someone deliberately touched me”.  Is that what it takes to push through?  Just be deliberate?  Does your heart cry out like mine “I want to know you more”?  Tommy Tenny says “push back the hands of Jesus and look at His face”. Sometimes we want all the benefits but not the labor.  We want the last part of “if you do this, you will get this…”  We forget the first part.   If we love the Lord your God with all you heart, emotions, mind, strength, all of you, then He gives and He gives and He gives.

I heard a term by one of my coaches, “what you carry, you create”.  There are times we have to push through things of our own making.  If we carry around anger then anger will surround us.  And things will seem to be attracted to us that will make us angry.  If we carry around depression & refuse to get help, a counselor, or someone to pray with us then the depression is like a blanket and it surrounds us and makes everything we touch depressing. The more you think things are horrible then like a snowball effect horrible things will come to you like a magnet. But the opposite holds true as well. The more you become grateful then you will walk around with a blanket or a cloak of gratefulness. Even if something is bad, you have clothed yourself with gratefulness and you won’t stumble down the rabbit trail of “whoa is me”.  We won’t begin singing the song from the 70’s show Hee Haw “gloom despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery.  If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.  Gloom, despair and agony on me”.  It’s kind of sad that I know that song.  It really is a catchy tune with rhyme.  I need to find a catchy tune and rhyme full of gratefulness.  There are times that I really have to  work on being grateful.  A lot of times actually.  I am a positive person but sometimes LIFE presses in on me.  And I have to make a choice to be grateful.  What I have found is if I become deliberate, and choose to be grateful then my mood will change.  It is a choice.  Everything is a choice.  I can choose to carry grumpiness or I can choose to carry gratefulness.  I can choose to carry anger or I can choose to be grateful.  The more I make the choice to be grateful then the easier it gets and the quicker I make it.  We must make a choice to be deliberate, we must make the choice to push, we must make the choice to be grateful.  None of it comes easy.  At some point you must make the choice and then it will become more common.  But until the choice is made and you practice daily being deliberately grateful and push yourself to be grateful when you want to act like a spoiled child who doesn’t get their way, then change will never happen.  Let’s make the choice.  Let’s be deliberate.  Let’s push ourselves to be uncomfortable to become better.  The best way to start this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to continue this process is by being deliberate and spending time with Jesus.  The best way to push past everyone and everything and to touch His garment or to spend time with Him is to be deliberate.

 

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Opposite Day

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What do you do when you are so irritated or frustrated that you could “spit nails”? How about when you want to crumble in a heap, weep and not get up for years, or so you feel.  When any emotion or situation comes up that feels like it has taken over you, that it will consume you, what do you do? 

Lately I have been saying “it’s opposite day”. My dad, who has Alzheimer will do things opposite of whatever you ask him to do. Example if you say sit down he will walk away. Or he will pull his clothes on when you are trying to get him to take them off. Now we could talk about the amazing brain and what is happening. Or we could talk about if I should even share about my dad and the disease called alzheimers but the point is, it has caused me to think how we can do opposite of what is wanted.  The Bible says in Philipians 4:8 “whatsoever is good, lovely, pure…think on these things”. If our brains are healthy we have a choice of what to think about. Apparently God wants us to think about good.  And apparently we can make a choice of what we will think about. So I have decided that I am going to choose to have opposite days. So when I want to “spit nails” I must choose to think opposite. Does it sound hard? Of course it does. Anything worth doing takes effort. To choose to think opposite of where the mind is going, takes effort. First you have to acknowledge that where your mind is taking you is not where you want to go. You have to decide I don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole. I don’t want to go where it is leading me.  You have to make the choice to stop that train wreck. You have to stop…take a breathe…change your thoughts…opposite day.  I say stop and take a breath because that helps me. I am sharing this because I am not immune to those rabbit holes. I can jump in them feet first and say I have a right to be mad, sad or whatever emotion is carrying me away at that moment. I have a right! Hmmm really.  Jesus had a right to say No you will not treat me this way, but He didn’t.  I guess it comes down to what do you want for your future. Do you see the bigger picture? You can go down that rabbit hole and become “that” person, an angry, sad, depressed, always complaining person or you can choose opposite day. Take a breath, it recenters your mind. It gives you a chance to actually make the decision if that is where you want to go. It gives you a chance for your right thinking to kick in. Then you make the choice to have an opposite day or go down that hole. How do you have opposite day? I am glad you asked. When you want to tear someone up, choose to be grateful. I don’t care what it is just find something and be grateful, it can be “i am thankful the sky is blue” or “i am thankful I have breath”. Just find something. It puts a break in the thought pattern. It gives you just enough break that you can think of one more thing to be grateful for. I love this shirt I have on I am grateful I have this shirt on, I like the color… Now you have started being grateful, find something else. I am grateful Jesus died for me. Now you’ve done it. It is really starting to get hard to be mad, sad, depressed etc. Keep going and find 5 more things to be thankful for and your mood will change. Now for the big one, choose, because it is opposite day, to find something about that person or that situation and be grateful. I know this is hard….but you can do it. Colossians 3:17 says “whatever you do in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord and give thanks for Him”. God wouldn’t say it if He didn’t think you could do it.  Choose to have an opposite day and then choose again tomorrow and the next day to do the same. A few months from now you will look back and say “why did I let that bother me” but you have to make the choice today.  So today choose to have a great opposite day.