Tag Archives: Bible

a woman holding an open Bible

The surprising blessing of discomfort

Matthew 5:3-10

The Beatitudes make up several verses of the Biblical book of Matthew .

Matthew recorded these lessons that Jesus taught in his “Sermon on the Mount”, some of the most well known and often quoted verses of the Bible.

a ceramic cross with the Beatitudes Matthew 5:3-10

(To support this blog, there are several affiliate links in this post. I hope you find them useful, and if you purchase anything through them, you are supporting this blog’s mission.)

Also well known and often quoted is a daily devotional book, “My Utmost for His Highest”, by Oswald Chambers. Some consider it the most beloved devotional book of all time.

Chambers was a Scottish Bible teacher in the early 1900s who was popular due to his penetrating examination of the Bible. After his death his wife Biddy chose many of his talks and published them as a book of daily devotions.

Now almost 100 years later, Christians still find comfort and challenge from his pointed observations and interpretation of scripture.

 

Here is an excerpt from the devotional for July 25 in which he reflects on Matthew 5:3-10.

“The Beatitudes seem merely mild and beautiful precepts for all unworldly and useless people but of little practical use in the stern world in which we live.

…we have to decide whether we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words.

The teaching of Jesus is out of proportion to our natural way of looking at things and it comes with astonishing discomfort to begin with. “

 

 

 

Oswald Chambers’ book continues to be available in print and now through modern technology another way to access his insights-

the My Utmost for His Highest app for iPhone and iPad

Read daily inspiration from My Utmost For His Highest in the edition of your choice.

  • 365 days of thought-provoking devotions.
  • Automatically opens to the current daily reading.
  • Join the conversation on each day’s reading.
  • Set reading reminders.
  • Download on the App Store

 

Listen to music inspired by the devotionals

 

 

 

 The Beatitudes-The surprising blessing of discomfort-watercresswords.com

Author Kim Phuc Phan Thi also referenced a Beatitude in her memoir Fire Road 

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”  (Matthew 5:6)

“I would run my finger along those phases, wondering if those words could really be true. If I pursue your ways, God, will you really satisfy that which is hungry in me?”                    

excerpt  from FIRE ROAD 

                                Read a review of  FIRE ROAD 

Thank you for considering  the affiliate links  and advertisers that support this blog. You are helping it grow and support those who offer medical care to the sick and needy throughout the world.

 

 

After you read through the Beatitudes, leave a comment- which one makes you the most uncomfortable and why? Is it good to feel uncomfortable sometimes?

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Weekend Words-sharing faith, hope, and love

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha                 

And now these three remain-faith, hop and love, as read from a Bible

1 Corinthians 13:13, photo from the Lightstock.com collection (affiliate link)

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a woman holding an open Bible

How to be blessed, happy, and healthy

Matthew 5:3-10

This section of the Biblical book of Matthew is known as The Beatitudes.

Matthew recorded these lessons that Jesus taught in his “Sermon on the Mount” , some of the most well known and often quoted verses of the Bible.

a ceramic cross with the Beatitudes Matthew 5:3-10

 

The dictionary defines  beatitude as “a state of utmost bliss or supreme blessedness.”

Beatitude inherited its blessedness from the Latin word beatus, meaning both “happy” and “blessed.” In the Bible, the Beatitudes are a series of eight blessings, such as “Blessed are those poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” And in 1958 writer Jack Kerouac coined the term “The Beat Generation” because he felt its members were seeking beatitude. (vocabulary.com)

Most modern English translations of the Bible use the words blessed or happy in these verses. The Easy-to-Read version calls it “great blessings.”

 

 

The Amplified Bible lives up to its name using several different words to express these sentiments. These include

  • spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired
  • forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace
  • inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect
  • joyful, nourished by God’s goodness
  • anticipating God’s presence, spiritually mature
  • spiritually calm with life-joy in God’s favor
  • comforted by inner peace and God’s love
  • morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

 

 

Just as there  may be many ways to define or describe being blessed, there are many ways to define health or describe being healthy. I addressed this in a previous post that I hope you will read.

Improving health with 7 life elements

(Here is a brief excerpt)

Spiritual Wellness – what brings, peace, harmony, and purpose to our lives.

Our sense of ethics, morals, right, and wrong is usually based on what we believe to be true and meaningful,  woman with hands bowed in prayerand likely involves faith and support for an organized belief system or religion. Without belief in something, our lives can drift aimlessly and we can fall into restlessness, doubt our purpose, and lose hope for the future.

 

 

Both states-blessed and healthy– may be determined not so much by

what we have, but by who we are,

Not what we get, but what we give,

Not by chasing them, but by living them.

 

Maybe they are both a journey, not a destination.

The Beatitudes- How to be blessed, happy and healthy- watercresswords.com

 

I’ll write more about the Beatitudes and other lessons from the Sermon on the Mount. Here is one I posted a few weeks ago.

How to satisfy hunger and thirst

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.”  (Matthew 5:6)

“I would run my finger along those phases, wondering if those words could really be true. If I pursue your ways, God, will you really satisfy that which is hungry in me?”                    

excerpt  from FIRE ROAD 

                                Read a review of  FIRE ROAD 

Thank you for considering  the affiliate links  and advertisers that support this blog. You are helping it grow and support those who offer medical care to the sick and needy throughout the world.

Please share this post and follow Watercress Words for more  

Weekend Words-

sharing faith, hope, and love

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha                 

1 Corinthians 13:13, photo from the Lightstock.com collection (affiliate link)

an open Bible

Finding a better way to a healthy heart

 

 

When (King) Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him.

1 Samuel 10:26, NLT

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“The touch of God is awesome not just because it is God who touches, but also because it is a touch. It is a real connection. That it involves the heart is awesome. That it involves God is awesome. And that it involves an actual touch is awesome.”

quote Dr. John Piper, Solid Joys devotional 

 

 

You can listen to this and other devotionals by Dr. John Piper  at

Solid Joys at Apple Podcasts.

Listen now to God, Touch Our Hearts  

(These are affiliate links, purchases made from them pay this blog a commission which funds our mission.)

 

 

 

 

IT IS THE SEEKING HEART THAT DETERMINES OUR ETERNAL DESTINY. quote PETER KREEFT

graphic courtesy of Lightstock.com, affiliate , stock photo site

 

Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at Boston College.  He loves his five grandchildren, four children, one wife, one cat, and one God.  He has written 75 books including (affiliate link) MAKING SENSE OUT OF SUFFERING

and MAKING CHOICES: PRACTICAL WISDOM FOR EVERYDAY MORAL DECISIONS

I’ve written about our physical hearts and how to keep them healthy. You may want to review them or read now if you missed them.

“Our brain controls the actions of the body’s other organs, but the heart supplies the power that keeps everything working smoothly, including the brain. Using the intricate “highway” system of arteries and veins, the heart pumps blood carrying oxygen, water, and nutrients to every cell in the body.”   more at –

Exploring -the HEART

diagram of the human heart

 

 

“Anyone who has ever had a “broken heart” (and who hasn’t?) knows that sadness and grief cause not just emotional pain, but also physical pain. And since that pain is often felt in our chest, it makes sense that we call it “heart break”.” Continue at-

Exploring -when HEARTS break

EKG tracing

In sudden cardiac death, the heart stops beating abruptly

 

 

“Keeping our HEARTS healthy involves doing what we can to change the 7 risk factors what doctors often call the modifiable risk factors.” Find them at –

7 Keys to a Healthy Heart

 

 

Thank you for considering  the affiliate links  and advertisers that support this blog. You are helping it grow and support those who offer medical care to the sick and needy throughout the world.

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Faith, Love, HopeWeekend Words-

sharing faith, hope, and love                                 (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha

 

 

 

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an open Bible next to a world globe

The place where God lives

IMG_2629.jpg

San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas

Ephesians 2: 17-22, NIV 

Jesus  came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 
built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 
In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide
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a large ornate church, San Fernando cathedrala large ornate church, San Fernando cathedralSIGN-RELIC CROSS OF THE APOSTOLATERELIC CROSS OF THE APOSTOLATE

SAN FERNANDO CATHEDRAL -SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

photographed by Dr. Aletha

 “San Fernando Cathedral was founded on March 9, 1731 by a group of 15 families who came from the Canary Islands at the invitation of King Phillip V of Spain and is the oldest, continuously functioning religious community in the State of Texas.
This church was planned to be at the center of the life of this city. The Cathedral building has the added distinction of being the oldest standing church building in Texas, and for all of its more than 281 years, has been serving the people of the Archdiocese and San Antonio.
San Fernando has become more than the geographic center; it has become an ecumenical, cultural, civic, and service center of unity and harmony for all the God-loving people of San Antonio and beyond. San Fernando serves as a refuge for many of the poor in this area who come for help and trust their needs will be met. “

If you have a chance to visit San Antonio, be sure and see this beautiful historic church.

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Weekend Words-              

FAITH LOVE HOPE- words created with letter tiles

These three remain, faith, hope and love, and greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

sharing  faith, hope, and love

(1Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha

 

 

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday- Create With Joy

shared at this link up

man praying on holy bible in the morning

A simple step to become important

Luke 18:9-14, ERV

There were some people who thought they were very good and looked down on everyone else. Jesus used this story to teach them: 
“One time there was a Pharisee and a tax collector. One day they both went to the Temple to pray. 
The Pharisee stood alone, away from the tax collector. He  said,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not as bad as other people. I am not like men who steal, cheat, or commit adultery. I thank you that I am better than this tax collector. 
“The tax collector stood alone too. But when he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. He felt very humble before God. He said,
O God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!’ 
I tell you, when this man finished his prayer and went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee, who felt that he was better than others, was not right with God.
People who make themselves important will be made humble. But those who make themselves humble will be made important.”
Easy-to-Read version© 1978, 1987, 2012 Bible League International
a pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself; but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.

graphic created and offered by Lightstock, stock photo site, an affiliate link

These are affiliate links used to support this blog.

A.W. Tozer 

“Self-taught theologian. Fearless preacher. Gifted writer. Man of the inner life.”

Inspired by Tozer


eBooks.com

Thank you for considering  the affiliate links  and advertisers that support this blog. You are helping it grow and support those who offer medical care to the sick and needy throughout the world.

Please share this post and follow Watercress Words for more words of

FAITH, HOPE, LOVE in wooden block letters

Faith Hope and Love- graphic from Lightstock

Weekend Words-

sharing words of faith, hope, and love

(1Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha 

a man reading a book, holding a mug

COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON- a review

 

COURAGE for the UNKNOWN SEASON

Navigating What’s Next with Confidence and Hope

By Jan Silvious

Even though Jan Silvious titled her book, Courage for the Unknown Season, we know what that season is-the season of aging and its inevitable, relentless progression toward death. We’ve seen it, some of us are already in it, and it can be a scary place, with many unknowns other than the end. Jan refuses to let aging intimidate her, and wrote this book to help others take on our fear of aging, loss, illness, disability, and death with confidence and hope.

She starts the book with a chapter titled “Resilience”, followed soon by “Fight Fear”. She advises us “Don’t Forget to Laugh”, and to “Clean Up after Yourself”- that is, deal with our personal possessions so our family doesn’t have to when we are gone.

 

 

I like that she offers practical tips on staying healthy that she learned from a physician friend. In the chapter “Head Toward Ninety” she lists several steps to maintain wellness-exercise, get adequate sleep, eat health promoting foods ,  and pursue a healthy mind and spirit.  She writes,

“Read, stay curious, forgive, drop the bitterness, and pursue peace.”

 

She points us to Psalm 92 from the Bible, and suggests meditating on it to gain a “wealth of spiritual health.”

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning
And Your faithfulness by night,

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done,
I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.”

Psalm 92: 1-4 (NASB)

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

 

Later, she takes us by the hand, without mincing words about the pain we will experience with loss, and walks us through steps to navigate “Grief and Hope”.

Jan uses examples from her life, her family, friends, and colleagues of using our later years to cherish old memories while continuing to make new ones. She doesn’t try to convince us that aging isn’t painful, but encourages us to find new ways to find joy and fulfillment when the old ways are no longer possible.

Written especially for Baby Boomers-those of us born between 1946 and 1964- Courage for the Unknown Season offers sound advice and encouragement to anyone who wants to be prepared for aging. For those younger, it will help you understand and deal with the challenges your parents and grandparents are encountering now; but stow away a copy for 10, 20, 30 or more years when you will appreciate its wisdom for your own life.

I enjoyed reading it since I have or am experiencing much of what she discusses, and her perspective validates my own. For those things I have yet to encounter, I appreciate her suggestions and warnings.

As Jan wrote,

“No matter what season you are in, there are truths that can help you approach the unknown with confidence and hope. Trust that God is the God of our season, no matter what it looks like, no matter how unknown.”

 

Jan Silvious

Jan Silvious is a long-time speaker, professional life coach, wife, mother, and grandmother. She is author of eleven books, including Big Girls Don’t Whine and Fool-Proofing Your Life. Jan and her husband, Charlie, live in Tennessee, and have three grown sons, two daughters-in-love, five charming grandchildren and a very bright rescued pit-bull, Rocky-Buddy.

Jan Silvious, author

Jan Silvious, author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure: I read an advance review copy of this book which I received complimentary from  Tyndale via NetGalley in return for writing a review.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which if used by readers, pay a small commission to support this blog.

 

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Weekend Words-

sharing words of faith, hope, and love

FAITH HOPE LOVE in block letters

Faith ,Hope ,and Love

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha 

smart phone, Bible and cup of coffee

from words of suffering, to words of hope

 Job chapter 19

“But I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the end he will stand on the dust.

Even after my skin has been destroyed,
yet I will see God in my flesh.

I will see him myself;
my eyes will look at him, and not as a stranger.

My heart longs within me.”

spoken by Job

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

 I’ve been listening to the Daily Audio Bible Chronological versionIMG_2700.png
and this passage of scripture was in one of the daily readings recently.

The book-Job

Job, a book in the Old Testament, ponders the meaning of suffering. It is not a book you would associate with Christmas, yet these words are  sung in Handel’s famous musical, Messiah.
We usually hear  Messiah performed at Christmas, but Handel wrote it  for Easter. He drew the words of the songs from Scripture, choosing passages of comfort, peace, hope, and love,  telling  the story of God sending Jesus to earth to redeem His people.

Handel, the composer

Georg Handel was a barber-surgeon in northern Germany in the 17th century. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe who only performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.

I’m glad his son, George did not follow his father into medicine. Instead George Frideric Handel studied music and eventually composed his masterpiece , Messiah, first performed in 1742, and which  millions of people have listened to or sang since then.

 

Thank you for considering  the affiliate links  and advertisers that support this blog. You are helping it grow and support worthy medical causes throughout the world

 Please share this post and follow Watercress Words for more 

Weekend Words-

sharing words of faith, hope, and love

(1Corinthians 13:13)

Thank you so much.    Dr. Aletha