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Learning to forgive

learning-forgiveness

learning-forgiveness

Matthew 6:12-15
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


One thing about forgiveness that took me a long time to figure out is that forgiveness is NOT excusing or justifying the wrongdoing. It is NOT minimizing the hurt feelings that were caused.

Forgiving is simply (or not so simply) choosing to let go of anger, resentment and hatred.

Forgiveness is a choice. It is a decision to no longer hold an act against the other person as a means of punishment. The other person almost always suffers in one way or another, whether it is from guilt or from the consequences of their actions.

But forgiveness is only a little about the other person and a lot about ourselves. Therefore, true forgiveness cannot be conditional. We can’t decide to forgive only if. Only if you apologize. Only if you say you’ll never do it again.

learning-forgiveness

In light of our new beginning, God commands that in return, we forgive others and extend grace as we have been shown grace. It can be one of the hardest things we face in life! The pain and hurt others cause us is real and great. But, the pain of living with bitterness and unforgiveness can poison your soul and destroy you. When we forgive others, we are not saying what they did was OK, but we are releasing them to God and letting go of it’s hold on us.

 

Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. – Luke 6:37

 

But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5

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EXPERIENCING PAIN EMOTIONAL/PHYSICAL

experiencing-pain-emotional-physical

experiencing-pain-emotional-physical

With a physical pain, there is an obvious link between the psychological experience of pain and an awareness of a physical location in the body. So, with this kind of logic, we can come back to the neural similarities between emotional and physical pain. If the similarity is not just in the brain but in the body, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask: Where does an emotional pain hurt?

Romans 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

experiencing-pain-emotional-physicalRevelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Palm 147:3

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

 experiencing-pain-emotional-physical

Where do these amazing things called emotions come from? Feelings are the bane and blessing of our existence: a blessing, for example, as they create a profound joy within us as we look upon our children; or a bane as we experience times of grief and loss. At those various times our emotions match the delights and disasters of life. The source of emotions is a surprising place. This ability to feel comes from our being made in the image of God.

 

1 Chronicles 4:10

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

Jeremiah 4:19

My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

 

 

You don’t have to look very far to see someone who is hurting and in pain. It could be physical or emotional pain, so take the time to share these Bible verses with them so that they might minister to their pain and help them to put their pain into an eternal perspective.

experiencing-pain-emotional-physical

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LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

love-thy-neighbor

love-thy-neighbor

Is our neighbor more than the guy next door? Could he or she be someone in our community or almost anyone we meet? Could our enemies also be our neighbors? Jesus says that it’s so. But how can we love someone who acts hatefully toward us?

In Matthew 22:36-39, a lawyer challenges Jesus asking him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

Jesus answers him saying, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (ESV).

love-thy-neighbor

How to love thy neighbor?

Finding the good, on purpose is how we train ourselves to “love thy neighbor“. When we hate, we fail to laugh, and we may get a bit obsessive. No matter how nebulous the definition of the emotion, humans can say that they hate each other. Make a cognizant decision to turn your mind to liking other people. Knowing what being supported feels like and how to support others close to you can help to make it easier to love and bond with others less close to you. Greet people with an upbeat persona. A strong hello or a smile makes a huge difference in a person’s day. And everyone wants that sense of recognition that comes through in your positive greetings.

Summary:

Notice that loving our neighbor would include sharing with the poor and the alien; compassion and absolute honesty and justice in our relationships with others; impartiality; a refusal to be a party to gossip or slander; an absence of malice toward anyone and a refusal to bear a grudge; taking care never to put another life at risk and never taking private vengeance upon another. It is also interesting to note that when we have an issue with anyone, we should strive to make it right by going to him or her directly. James calls this the “royal law” (James 2:8). Our Lord taught that we should do to others as we would have them do to us (Matthew 7:12).

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Your Vindictive Actions

your-vindictive-actions

your-vindictive-actions

Vindictive:

having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge.

synonyms:

vengeful, revengeful, unforgiving, resentful, acrimonious, bitter; spiteful, mean, rancorous, venomous, malicious, malevolent, nasty, mean-spirited, cruel, unkind

Psalm 1:1-3:8

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; …

What is vindictive actions?

Vindictiveness can be very disguised. Even harsh blame is vindictiveness.

  1. Didn’t I tell you to do this properly?
  2. When will you learn to do better?
  3. Why are you like that all the time?

See? very easy to fall into vindictiveness mode. Sometimes, it is not even words. It is a look that you give a person or a sigh of disapproval, or a smirk on your face. All vindictive.

It’s easy to find things about pretty much everyone that annoy us (just as others can easily find faults in us). But most of us have far more good points than bad, and it’s not difficult to focus on these.

Unless of course you’re a vindictive person. There’s a fine line between harmless gossip and complaining, and a vindictive person is happy to cross it – they rarely have a good word to say about anyone. So if you ever come across someone who is happy, even gleeful, to hurt others, be careful. Don’t allow their language to enlighten your opinion, and watch what you say about others. The chances are that they’re saying just as spiteful things about you when your back is turned!

your-vindictive-actions

Psalm 69:4

More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore?

Most vindictive individuals have four common characteristics:

They know how to detect your weaknesses.

Once found, they use your weaknesses against you.

Through their shrewd plotting, they convince you to give up something of yourself in order to serve their self-centered interests.

In work, social, and family situations, once a vindictive individual succeeds in taking advantage of you, he or she will likely repeat the violation until you put a stop to the exploitation.

How to avoid vindictive behavior?

How to protect yourself against vindictive people:

First, think carefully about your own behavior to see if you may have done or said something to cause the other party’s behavior.

If you can identify something that you did that likely offended the other party, if possible, offer a sincere apology. If he or she accepts your apology, things work out well for both parties. And, If your apology is not accepted, you can at least walk away with some peace of mind, knowing that you owned up to your behavior.

Now, If you cannot think of anything that you did that could have offended the other party, give him or her a silent treatment and walk away. Confronting the other party about unkind behavior is not likely to be fruitful. Remember the saying “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” In other words, the other party’s unkind behavior is on him or her; he or she will reap natural consequences in due time.

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Peaceful Morning

peacefully-morning

peacefully-morning

The morning is the most magical part of the day. The whole world rises, the sun comes up, every flower and tree blossoms, the park is full of people jogging, taking a walk on the beach or walking their dogs. Students go to school, other people go to work or simply start working on their daily tasks. Our first thoughts have a huge impact on our mood and energy for the day. Choose good ones!!!

 

Psalm 143:8

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

 

Imagine enjoying a little early morning me time, writing a few pages, finishing your coffee before it got cold. Rushing to accomplish tasks is bad for the nervous system and the quality of our day. Instead of reaching for your phone, try a slow mindful exercise. We can’t be sure it would work, but we can really want it too. Such as, turn away from the computer/tablet/smart-phone and sit for a moment noticing the sensations in your mind and body. Let’s start the Rise and Shine challenge with a lot of hope.

peacefully-morning

Things we can do to create a relaxing start of a day…

  • Create a morning routine. And make it a relaxing one.
  • Prepare the night before.
  • Start the day with a relaxing shower or bath.
  • Get in some morning exercise.
  • Work when it’s quiet.
  • Create a clutter-free environment.
  • Turn off the distractions.

Psalm 18:32-36

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. He enables me to stand on the heights. Trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. Broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”