Tag Archives: self-control

3 Ways to Turn from my Old Ways

Five Minute Friday: Turn

Okay – I think I will continue to do my Five-Minute Fridays on my blog rather than Medium. This week’s prompt is TURN.

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Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

So I have 5 minutes to write on the word “turn”: Set the Timer: Go

I keep hearing the words from the Bible: “Turn from your ways”.

And that’s exactly what God told me when I accepted Jesus as Saviour in 2001.

” ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live’ (Ezekiel 33:11, NIV).”

There were many ways I had to turn from.

Here are 3:

Judgment:

I’m still judgmental. But not as bad as I was. Everything that would happen I would have an opinion and I believed my thoughts and ways were the best.

I am working on turning even further from that.

 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3, NIV).”

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Control:

Oh yes, I think that is how I am wired. I am a task-master, a doer, a person who likes to get things done. I want to fix things and make them right. I’m reminded of Peter – yes, he too wanted to make things right. Remember when he wanted to set up tents for Moses, Elijah and Jesus? He thought that was the right thing to do. It was not.

I have to learn over and over that others have thoughts and ideas too. I am working on that as well. But, as someone told me, “Don’t let go the fire that you have inside you. Just don’t burn anyone.”

Self-control – that’s what I am working on. Keep looking to Jesus.

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Fear:

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I worried constantly. The control part of me helped me do that. I feared climbing ladders, thunderstorms, speaking in front of people, what people would think, how I looked. And it goes on and on.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes (Matthew 6:25, NIV)”.

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Bible Art by Janis Cox

Now I learned to pray and I have heard that the best worriers become the best intercessors.

Jesus let me drop all that when I said to Him, “I’m yours.” Now I will go boldly where Jesus wants me to go. I will tread the waters and not look down.

These are my 3 big turns since deciding to follow Jesus.

Time’s up. Join me at Five-Minute Fridays to speak your mind about a prompt.

Other posts you might enjoy.

Control: Five-Minute Friday

How to Overcome Fear

Call to Action:

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Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?

Sunday Stillness – What is a strong faith-filled leader?

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I am continuing to study Titus using the SIMPLE Method of Bible Study and Ed Hird’s book Restoring Health. Today I am working through Titus 1:8. If you want a PDF of the SIMPLE Bible Study – please click on SIMPLE Bible Study by Janis Cox.

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Of course, I start with a prayer for God to open the Scripture to me.

S – Say the passage aloud.

Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8, NIV).

I – Identify the characters, the setting, and the circumstances surrounding this passage.

It is interesting to note that the King James Version says: a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy and temperate.

a lover of good men? compared to loves what is good. I am still working on figuring this out. Any ideas?

sober: one meaning is being self-controlled

temperate: one meaning is moderate or self-restrained.

Paul continues to talk about elders – those who will lead the new Christians in Crete. He has stated the word “blameless” twice. This time he expands on the qualities of a leader.

M- Make a list of the thoughts, questions and ideas.

The choice of words in the KJV, sober and temperate, seem alluding to alcohol consumption. Knowing the pirates – obviously they did have a problem in drinking to excess.

The point being that a leader of the church should be open to scrutiny.

I think of churches nowadays. I hear of leaders being in disgrace – not following these guidelines. Why does this happen so often? Are they so hard at work that they forget to stay focused on Jesus?

P – Pray again for God’s guidance.

L- Life – How can I apply what I have been studying to my life?

Lots of thoughts and words in this passage.

I hear God saying that strong leadership is important to build the church. As many are coming to Christ in other parts of the world, we have to encourage them to follow Paul’s words to Titus.

Building leadership! A focus that is needed in all our churches. The push in North America is to build big churches – but that’s not giving time, sometimes, to build good leaders. Maybe we need smaller churches but with more faith-filled congregants? Each new member needs a mentor, and needs to build a strong foundation of faith. This takes time. Are we taking the time to do this?

Pastors – Are they feeling isolated and where do they get fed? Who reminds them to stop, drop and pray? Who reminds them that their focus must be on Jesus first?

What about the word hospitable? I think that means to be open to whomever God brings to our door. It means to be charitable when God shows us how.

Goodness? When we seek good people, we build relationships. We share. We care. A community is built. When we do good, it reminds us of Who God is. God is goodness. Can we be like that?

Goodness almost needs a press agent to convince people of its value (Ed Hird, page 43, Restoring Health).

Self-Controlled Not letting circumstances or emotions control us, seeking God instead. That is something I have learned over the past 15 years. To control myself. Not to fly off the handle. To think when I am hurt. To wrestle with God over situations. To take time in prayer.

I love this quote which although attributed to John Wesley seems to have some controversy about that fact. But I still like the quote.

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

E – Exit the passage with a prayer for God to help you.

Lord, it seems once again that focussing on You keeps us healthy. You tell us to look after our bodies, minds and spirits. Help each of us to follow Your direction. Show us how to care best for our bodies – exercise, nutrition; our minds – reading, talking and thinking; our spirits – prayer, fasting, study and focusing on You. Thanks for Your Word that stretches and prepares us for good works in this world. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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Janis Cox

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Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

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You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

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Today is Sunday Stillness.

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