Category Archives: Faith Matters

why I believe faith in a personal God matters

Thankfulness–Part of The Good Life

“And be thankful.”

Book of Colossians 3:15b

To be thankful requires humility. Thankfulness and humility go hand-in-hand. You can’t be thankful if you are prideful; pride steps in the way.

Pride, arrogance, and self-righteousness taint everything good about life. Those attitudes lead to cynicism, suspicion of even innocent people’s motives, and lack of joy. A prideful, arrogant person doesn’t find joy in living.

On the other hand, thankfulness automatically brings in joy. It may not be the kind of joy which has a person jumping up and down in celebration, but it will be the kind of joy which gives sparkle and meaning to life. It will be the kind of joy which spills over and affects even the harder parts of life. Being deeply thankful can not only help bring about answers to problems, it can keep you from many problems. If you are thankful, you aren’t going to be envious, jealous, self-righteous, and so many other attitudes that lead to problems with yourself or others.

In many places, the Bible commands us to be thankful to God. When we are thankful to God, we are focused on Him, not on ourselves and our problems. Focusing on God keeps us away from problems, and leads to victories we thought we’d never see.

Thankfulness is part of The Good Life.

P. Booher

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November 24, 2022 · 9:42 pm

Friday “Walks”–Experiencing the Goodness of God in a Different Way

Photo Credit: P. Booher

Recently I realized (again) that I have a problem with–I call it “lust”–the kind where I see a product, I want it, and I want it now, and I buy it now. The impetus for my realization was when I walked into a dollar store and spent almost $20 on facial soap and deodorant, and most of it was for me, me, me. I did want to stock up on certain scents of a certain brand of soap that don’t set my allergies off, but $20 was a bit much–especially when I bought a couple new brands and I don’t know if they will bother me or not! LOL!

Later, I had a conversation with the Lord about it. I asked Him for help with my problem. He said He was pleased I owned up to it, and that I asked Him for help. He said He’d be glad to help me. I know with the Lord helping me, I’ll have victory over the underlying outlook which leads to the problem. It may take awhile, but I’ll have the victory.

For me the goodness of God shows in His attitude: an earthly parent could easily have been angry with my confession, but God, Who has every reason to be angry (given the warnings in the Bible about lust, greed, and covetousness) was not angry. His attitude buoyed me up, and continues to do so.

Some Scriptures: Psalm 130:3, 4; 1 John 1:8, 9

P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Good Things

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1. “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”(Psalm 103:8, NIV)*

2. “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” (Psalm 112:5-7, NIV)

3.”But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17, NIV)

4. “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” (Titus 3:4, 5, NIV)

5.”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8, NIV)

6.”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22, 23, NIV)

*NIV means New International Version of the Bible

P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Communicating on Social Media–Helps from the Bible

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No, I know Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media weren’t around when the Bible was written, but people were communicating then, and Biblical ideas about communication are needed as much now as when they first appeared.

Consider these:

“…everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry” (James 1:19, NIV) *

“…the prudent hold their tongues.”  (Proverbs 10:19b, NIV)

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  (Ephesians 4:29, NIV) 

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1, NIV)

“A man finds joy in giving an apt reply–and how good is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23, NIV)

“Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32, NIV) (In ancient times, a warrior who “took a city” received all kinds of acclaim and rewards, so God is saying here that a person who controls his temper is better than that.)

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24,25, NIV)

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3, NIV)

“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15;4, NIV)

*NIV means New International Version

Note: The Book of Proverbs (Old Testament) and the Book of James (New Testament), of all the books of the Bible, are especially noted for having much to say about our talk.

P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Praising God, Anyway

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The past couple weeks brought unwelcome news into my little world. I took my car into the garage and told the mechanic how it was acting; he checked it out, and told me all indications are the car needs a rebuilt transmission. My heart sank; even though I was thinking the transmission might be the problem, I hoped I was wrong. We do not have public transportation in this area, so having a reliable way to get from Point A to Point B is a definite need. I asked friends and a prayer group to pray for my transportation needs.

Things are rather bleak on the job front, too. Despite sending applications out and going on some interviews, I don’t have a job—yet.

While thinking about all this, I heard the Lord say, “Praise Me in the bitter and the sweet.” 

When I practice this, my circumstances don’t overwhelm my life. They are still there, but praising God means I’m giving attention to Him, lifting Him up and downplaying my circumstances, whether bad or good. I’m not sunk by despair nor puffed up by pride. Praising God—putting my eyes on Him—allows me to live on a more even keel.

“Praise Me in the bitter and the sweet.”

Some Scriptures: Acts 16:22-27; I Thessalonians 5:18

Update: I had the car towed to a transmission shop; it does not need a rebuilt transmission. Instead, diagnostic equipment showed a cylinder misfiring badly. The shop suggested a nearby auto repair service; that place found the car needs the valve cover gasket and spark plugs replaced. What a relief! What could have been a $2,000+repair melted into a $295 repair! Thank God!

Lessons learned:

  1. God can squash mountains into molehills.
  2. Things are not always what they first seem!

Scripture: Ephesians 3:20

©P. Booher

 

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Friday “Walks”–Bringing Order, Part II

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Several years ago I attended a local community college. One of the subjects I took was Accounting I. It was the basic bookkeeping/accounting class, and you learned about debits and credits, the accounting formula, balance sheets, income statements, etc. Because I’d taken bookkeeping in high school, I was somewhat familiar with those items. 

One thing I didn’t know continues to stick out to me today: the history of double-entry bookkeeping. Our professor explained that before double-entry bookkeeping was widely accepted, single-entry was used. It was easy to manipulate, however, and a business had a difficult time of keeping track of whether it was making money, and exactly how its money was spent.

A monk, Fra Luca Pacioli, wrote a book which popularized double-entry bookkeeping. Double-entry bookkeeping means for each accounting transaction, there are two equal and corresponding entries: the debit on one side, the credit on the other. For example, if debits total $50,000, the credits must total $50,000. The accounting entries are then “in balance”. Double-entry bookkeeping is the standard procedure, regardless of whether the bookkeeping is done manually or electronically by computer software.

Our professor said that at the top of each journal page, Fra Pacioli wrote the words, “To the Glory of God”. The monk recognized that God is the God of order, and he brought that into the accounting profession. Besides establishing order, double-entry bookkeeping makes it easier to find errors because of the requirement for balance, and a business can quickly see the details as well as the whole picture of the financial aspect.

Until that class I regarded accounting as a cold profession, untouched by the force of faith. When I saw God’s imprint on it, my opinion changed. God, working through someone by faith, can influence anything!

Some Scriptures: Genesis, chapters 1 and 2; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17; Colossians 2:5; Colossians 3:22,23,24

For further info., check out: trendingaccounting.com/2022/04/history-of-double-entry-accounting-html.

©P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–God’s Gift of Creativity

Photo Credit: P. Booher

This week I found out I didn’t get the job I really wanted. I had the type of experience required, and of all the jobs I applied for recently, that was the best fit for me. But I didn’t get it, for whatever reason. Am I disappointed? Oh, yeah.

Last evening I spent some time on my new hobby—sketching. I took a notebook and a picture of my cat Babe, sat down on the front porch, and drew to my heart’s content. I found with practice I can do a decent cat’s head. (I’m still working on the body). By “decent” I mean someone else could look at it and recognize it as the head of a cat, instead of asking, “What’s that?”

While out on the porch I sketched Babe, a tree, clouds, a rock, and chimney swifts. I discovered with patience and the boldness to shut down my perfectionism, I can produce drawings which actually look like what they’re supposed to look like.

Last evening I realized something else, too: doing creative activity helped blunt my disappointment about the job. Working on creative projects is forward motion, whereas dwelling on an unwanted outcome is at best static; at worst, it’s heading downward fast.

God unleashed His creative energy at the beginning of time. Since we are made in His image, each of us has the gift of creativity inside us. I’m thankful for the way that gift helps me cope with sharp emotions which come with the bumps, bruises, and jolts of life.

If you are dealing with negative emotions, why not give yourself a break and exercise that creative spark God placed within you? Chances are, you’ll feel better for it.

Some Scriptures: Genesis chapters 1 and 2; Exodus 35:25, 26, 32-35; Exodus 36:1, 2; I Kings 7:13, 14; Psalm 104:24; I Corinthians 4:12, Colossians 1:15, 16; Revelation 4:11

©P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Jesus Is Even in the Mundane, Ordinary Work

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One afternoon I was at the laundromat, putting clothes in the washer. It was an ordinary household chore–nothing glamorous–it just needed done.

Suddenly I sensed the Lord’s Presence beside me, and I felt as though I was doing the clothes for Jesus. It seemed odd, because doing the clothes is such a mundane thing, and no one would benefit except my mother and me.

The thought occurred to me that Jesus cares if people have clean clothes. That thought changed my perspective, and doing laundry was lifted from the mundane to an activity I was glad to do because I was doing it to serve Jesus.

As I reflected on this, I remembered Jesus doing a mundane, even dirty chore, normally left to slaves– washing His disciples’ feet. Jesus is no stranger to doing the ordinary things of life that must be done.
Because He knows what it’s like, I can ask Him for help with my attitude. Because of Him, I can find joy in doing the ordinary things.

Some Scriptures: John 13: 1-15, Colossians 3:17, 22, 23

©P. Booher

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Friday “Walks”–Bringing Order

Photo Credit: P. Booher

I had looked at the unkempt grass under the peony bush and around the flower beds long enough, so I grabbed a pair of grass shears, brought the garden cart, rake, and pitchfork out to the yard, and went to work.

As I trimmed the grass and weeds, the thought occurred to me that I was bringing order back to those spaces. On a much, much smaller scale I was reflecting what God did when He created the world and set it in order. 

When I pray for people, organizations, countries, or whatever the situation, in a sense I am asking God to bring order to those situations. His order may involve providing needs, resolving problems, bringing healing to fractured relationships, or peace to upheaval. Jesus brought order as He calmed storms, healed people, and illustrated God’s Kingdom in these and many other ways.

I am thankful God still works today to bring order, and I can participate in His work, albeit in a small way!

Some Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-31, Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew 15:29-31, Matthew 15:32-38, Luke 8:26-39

©P. Booher

 

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Friday “Walks”–Cutting Anxiety–The Power of Praising God

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For awhile now I’ve been experiencing bouts of anxiety. This evening I felt an urge to praise God. As I did so, I could almost feel the anxiety melt away, and peace flow in.

“Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. (Psalm 113:1, NIV)

“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3, NIV)

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.” (Psalm 95:6,7, NIV)

“For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise…” (Psalm 96: 4a, NIV)

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1, NIV)

“Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, NIV)

“O LORD God Almighty, who is like You? You are mighty, O LORD, and Your faithfulness surrounds You.” (Psalm 89:8, NIV)

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” (Psalm 150:6, NIV)

“You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.” (Revelation 4:11, NIV)

Note: This is just a few of the verses in the Bible which praise God. The Book of Psalms, particularly Psalms 107–150, is full of praises to God. For me, praising God breaks through dark moods and anxious moments, and I want to praise Him more often.

P. Booher

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