Being Thankful During Difficult Times

Written By: Robin Reid

One Thursday night while I was at a Bible Study in Indianapolis, we were taking prayer requests beforehand. My friend, Sandy, had just arrived after being at a hospital with her husband, Ron, for most of the week. Ron was a severe diabetic with heart disease and was often hospitalized.

Sandy was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, BUT, despite her trial and tribulations, she would smile and tell us, “I’m praising Him through my circumstances!” Her faith and trust in God helped her remain thankful during difficult times, even when Ron died a year later.

When we’re going through a tough time, it’s very easy and natural for us to dwell on the negative. If we’re honest with ourselves, we often have a pity party for one and tend to make those around us miserable, too. Our lives don’t have to be that way. However, it’s up to us to decide if we’re going to make a change or not.

Regardless if you believe in God or not, there is always something you can be thankful for, even when life throws you a curveball. Having an attitude of gratitude will help you manage and cope with whatever difficulty you’re facing. It’s not a magical formula that makes your problems disappear instantly. Instead, it’s a good habit you develop over time with practice.

Here are three ways to develop an attitude of gratitude:

  1. Find one thing you’re good at and do it. If you enjoy painting, whether it’s a wall or a sunset, get some bright colored paint and brighten up your living space. If your life feels out control and you’re a good organizer, you can either declutter a closet or a garage. Do people rave about your chocolate chip cookies? Well, then get baking and share your treats with a neighbor or friend. These ideas will help you turn your focus away from bad and towards something good.
  2. Start with anything. Whether it’s the fact that you’re alive, have a reliable car, in good health, have food on the table, or have the love of family and friends, these things will give you a reason to be thankful. Your dark day won’t look so gloomy after all.
  3. Help someone else. You’re not alone in the problem department. Everyone is struggling with something, whether you realize it or not. Consider going to the grocery store for a neighbor who can’t walk very far, baking a pie for a friend who was just discharged from the hospital, or volunteering at a local shelter. When we can encourage the people around us, we start to find ourselves feeling encouraged too. It’s a win-win for everybody.

Like I said before, being thankful doesn’t make our problems disappear all at once. There are some storms in our lives that may stay for a while. My friend, Sandy, wasn’t always smiling through her pain, but she had learned to develop that attitude of gratitude to help her cope and get through each day.

If a circumstance in your life, whether it’s past or present, has you feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with it effectively, contact us at Peace Restored. We want to help you get your life back on track and have more reasons to be thankful. Go to www.peacerestored.net to schedule an appointment or call us at (317) 361-5281.

 

Living in Community With Women – Part 3: One Another Principles

Written by: Ruth Meed

Now that we have discussed our foundation of loving one another, and what we should NOT do, how do we truly live in community with other women?

There are twenty ways the New Testament shares that we can work with each other as believers that show us how to support, provide hope, and encourage each other.

 

  1. Comfort one another.

This word means to call near, to come alongside.

This is practical hands-on, reaching out to be there for someone. To give someone words that let them know you are there supporting and encouraging them in their walk in the Lord.

Romans 1:12, That is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Other scriptures for reference; 1 Thessalonians 4:18 and 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

  1. Edify one another

Along with comfort, we are to edify each other. This word has the idea of building up or building into others. This usually happens when we share the Word of God carefully in the hearts of those we want to encourage.  Sometimes a simple verse like, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13),  can help a person gain the strength to take the next step.

1 Thessalonians 5:11, Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Other scripture for reference; Romans 14:19

 

  1. Members of one another

The picture here is that of parts of a physical body.  You would not leave your hand behind when you went somewhere. You would not intentionally cut off your foot. So we need to be mindful of not wounding each other or we cripple part of the body of Christ.

Romans 12:5, So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Other scriptures for reference; Ephesians 4:25

 

  1. Care for one another

The word “care” here means to be intense about another. It’s the idea of being attached emotionally to someone to the point where when they hurt, you hurt. What bothers them bothers you.

1 Corinthians 12:25, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

 

  1. Be Kindly affectioned

This means cherishing, being fond of and friendly like we are family.

Romans 12:10, Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor

 

  1. Same mind

The “same mind” means one opinion or thinking the same things.  This carries the idea that we are not to think we are any better, more educated, more right, about things than others, but to be able to believe or agree on the foundations of our faith.

Romans 15:5, Now may the God who gives perseverance, and encouragement grant you to agree with one another according to Christ Jesus,

Other scripture for reference; Romans 12:16

 

  1. Receive one another

This means to offer a gesture of kindness to allow someone to be your friend.

Romans 15:7,  Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

 

  1. Admonish

Here we are to keep in mind to gently urge or warn another sister in Christ of something we may see in their life as well as accept that from them.

Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Other scripture for reference; Romans 15:14b

 

  1. Salute, Greet, Kiss

The two words “salute and greet” mean the same thing in Greek: “to enfold in the arms.” We use modern terms of embrace or hug. When we think of kiss in this context, consider the middle eastern custom of kissing both cheeks as a demonstration of friendship and affection.

Romans 16:16, Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

Other scriptures for reference; 1 Corinthians 16:20, 2 Corinthians 13:12, and 1 Peter 5:14

 

  1. Tarry for

This means to look out for, to wait expectantly for, to anticipate the needs of someone else.

1 Corinthians 11:33, So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

 

  1. Serve one another

To serve means to be a slave. But we need to pay attention to the context in this case because this is not being a slave of just anyone. This phrase excludes serving people who are mean spirited and troubled, but fellow believers who are sharing and needing help are to be served in this way.

Galatians 5:13, For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

 

  1. Bear burdens

Bearing means to lift, to carry, to take up. We are to take responsibility for the difficulties others are experiencing.

Galatians 6:2, Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

 

  1. Forbear

Forbearing is to endure, to put up with, or suffer from another.

Colossians 3:13, Bear one another burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Other scriptures for reference; Ephesians 4:2

 

  1. Forgive

To forgive is to grant as a favor or pardon. We are giving someone what they don’t deserve when they harm us in some fashion.

Ephesians 4:32, Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Other scriptures for reference; Colossians 3:13

 

  1. Submit

This means to arrange yourself in an orderly way under another for unity. If another woman is leading, let them lead and carry yourself under that leadership.

Ephesians 5:21, and be subject to one another in fear of Christ.

Other scriptures for reference; 1 Peter 5:5

 

  1. Esteem

To esteem is to consider, to count as, and to place in a leadership role in your mind.

Philippians 2:3, Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

 

  1. Consider and provoke

Consider means to observe fully. In other words, to make it a point to get to know other people. Provoke means to incite or encourage.

Hebrews 10:24, and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.

 

  1. Confess faults to and pray for

Confess means to acknowledge by agreeing. To pray means to express our wishes to God- in this case on behalf of another.

James 5:16, Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

 

  1. Hospitable

To be friendly or fond of having guests.

1 Peter 4:9, Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

 

  1. Fellowship

This word means a partnership, beneficial communion. When we are submitting to the Holy Spirits work in our lives which enable us to practice all the preceding “one anothers,” then having a deep, fruitful, intimate relationship with each other becomes a natural part of our lives.

1 John 1:7, but if we walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

In these articles, we have focused on the idea of what it means to be there for “one another” according to what the Bible teaches.  As you read you learned many valuable lessons of things, God’s Word teaches that we should not do, but also things we are told to do to maintain healthy relationships with each other and to grow in knowing who Christ is and how He lived. This naturally creates community as we allow the Bible to teach us how to care for and live unselfishly for the sake of others. We reach out to “one another” in these ways so that we can accomplish the goal of developing a community that will be for our excellence and God’s glory.

Living in Community With Women – Part 2: Do Not

Written by: Ruth Meed

In our previous article, we discussed the foundation for authentic community, loving one another and why we ought to love one another. To apply this practically, we need to understand what we should NOT do to “one another” as well.

  1. Do Not Judge

Romans 14:13, Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

James 4:11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

The word “judge” in these verses means to distinguish as different or condemn. While we must use righteous judgment in our interactions, we are not to be condemning of others. That is God’s job.

  1. Grudge not

James 5:9, Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

This means to stand against or confine. The idea of being held at gunpoint comes to mind here. It is constraining someone in an unfair or unrighteous way.

  1. Lie not

Colossians 3:9, Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices

1 Thessalonians 5:15  See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is suitable for one another and all people.

This is a simple principle: don’t ever tell a lie for any reason to a sister in Christ.

  1. Don’t defraud

1 Thessalonians 4:6, and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Defraud means to be jealous, take advantage of or take something wrongfully.

  1. Don’t bite and devour or consume

Galatians 5:15,  But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

This means, “biting down, using up or destroying.” Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt your soul was eaten away by the nasty things that were said to you or about you? That’s what this verse is referring to. We are not to be the one who does this to someone else.

  1.   Don’t provoke or envy.

Galatians 5:26, Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

When we think about not provoking others, we are thinking about not saying things or doing things that we know will entice them to frustration. The goal is to not intentionally think of ways or say things to make others angry or feel inferior or belittled.

Living in Community With Women – Part 1: Love One Another

Written by: Ruth Meed

A friend of mine inspired me to think about the topic of living in community with other women. What makes community vital? How does your church encourage its members to reach out and fellowship with others outside of their small friend-group? How do we do this effectively so that Gods glory takes precedent, and believers become built up and encouraged?

Before we begin discussing the answers to these questions, we have to make a few keynotes. While this is beneficial for us, living in community with women glorifies God. It glorifies God by reflecting His character, and as we are in community with women, we see characteristics of God. Another note we have to make, we need to develop an understanding that we should love one another as well as the reasons for doing so. In parts two and three of this article, we will discuss how we love one another. For now, let’s look at why we should love one another. 1 Corinthians 13:2, And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

A) It’s a commandment

John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you have a love for one another.

B) It’s something we owe each other

Romans 13:8, Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

C) It’s what we are taught by God to do

1 Thessalonians 4:9, Now as to the love of the brethren, you do not need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another

D) It grows as we nurture it

1 Thessalonians 3:12, and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you

E) It’s developed and purified as we obey God by intentionally, genuinely loving each other.

1 Peter 1:22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

How to Find Peace Every Day

10 Ways to Experience Peace Every Day

Written By: Robin Reid

You may read this headline and say to yourself something like, “My day is full, from sun up to sun down. I don’t have time for peace,” or “I’m managing my stress just fine.”  All of us have busy days and as women especially, we often take better care of others than we do ourselves. Right?

Sooner or later, the stress of daily living catches up with us and impacts our physical, mental and spiritual health. Whether it’s significant fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, depression, irritability, inability to concentrate, or worse, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, we may find ourselves no longer able to help the family and friends we love.

Now is the time to take care of you.

Here are 10 ways you can experience peace every day:

  1. Slow down – We weren’t created to be “Wonder Woman”. It’s okay if you can’t get everything on your “To-Do List” done in one day. Life won’t fall apart. Slowing down decreases stress and you’ll feel less anxious. Be good to your body and your mind.
  2. Unclutter your home/office and your mind – Throw away anything that’s no longer needed, organize your desk or a kitchen cabinet, or clean your closet by donating old clothes to a local charity. When your “space” is organized and simplified, you gain clarity of mind and a sense of order.
  3. Set boundaries – This applies to both people and activities. It’s okay to tell people that you’re available to talk or meet only during a specific period of time. If you’re on social media or binge-watch television, set a limit on your activity. You’ll experience not only peace but also freedom when you set boundaries.
  4. Accept and let go – If there’s something in your past causing stress, don’t be afraid to confront it. Ask for help. Avoiding or suppressing the issue will only make you feel worse. Refuse to let a negative experience control your present and your future.
  5. Communicate – If you’re struggling to find peace in your life, have the courage and talk with someone who will encourage and support you.
  6. Breathe – You can quickly alleviate a stressful situation by concentrating on and slowing down your breathing. Step away for two or three minutes and take deep breaths, slowly inhaling and exhaling.
  7. Pray – God doesn’t want His children to live in a constant state of stress. Instead, He invites you to talk with Him every day about your struggles. He cares about every area of your life, regardless if it’s small or big. The Bible says God is bigger than your troubles. Reach out to Him in prayer and let His peace give you comfort.
  8. Disconnect on Saturdays and Sundays – If at all possible, make your weekend time for enjoying family and friends. Plan fun activities to alleviate your stress and disconnect from television, social media, and your work phone.
  9. Be thankful – The truth is there will always be people whose lives are much harder than yours. When you’re feeling stressed, start thinking about all the good things in your life and be thankful.
  10. Plan some “me” time – Think about your favorite thing to do and make time to do it. Self-care is not being selfish. Whether it’s having a manicure or pedicure, going to your favorite coffee shop, taking a walk in the park, riding your bicycle, or going to the movies, schedule time each week to take care of yourself.

At Peace Restored, we care about you and your overall health. We offer donation-based services, such as counseling, for women who are struggling or have struggled, with issues such as anger, rejection, abuse, divorce, stress, and much more. For more information, go to www.peacerestored.net or call us at (317) 361-5281.

It’s Okay to Ask for Help

Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness

Written by: Robin Reid

It’s ironic that when we were babies, we needed our parents to take care of us by providing for our physical and emotional needs and towards the end of our lives, some of us will find ourselves having our needs met by either our kids or others who are close by.

However, when did we lose our ability to ask for help during those in-between years? It’s a good thing to be independent in the sense that we can cook a meal, pay a bill, drive a car, clean a house, and more, but what happens when a life event, such as the death of a loved one, ‘rocks our world’ and we find ourselves struggling alone?

Regardless of how society or the media glamorizes the notion of always “having it all together” or looks down upon people needing help, it’s detrimental to our entire well being if we don’t reach out to someone for support when it’s necessary.

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

When life has you stressed out, you not only feel it in your mind but also throughout your body. You have a headache that won’t go away, you’re always tired due to lack of sleep, your heart is racing, etc. Does any of this sound familiar?

Think about this, whatever you’re experiencing, whether it’s anxiety, fear, or depression, it’s affecting the people around you. Perhaps someone has said to you, “Are you feeling all right? You’ve been pretty irritable lately. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Whether you believe in God or not, you were created with purpose and to live a meaningful life connected to other people. In your good times and especially the bad, you are not alone. When you don’t ask for help, you are depriving someone the opportunity to bless you and vice versa. Why?

  • It’s human nature for people to want to help each other. Many of us have compassion and empathy in our DNA and look for opportunities to serve someone in need.
  • People are always better and stronger when they do life together. Many problems are better solved in a group than independently.
  • We must remove society’s stigma that asking for help is a weakness. Too often, people who are wounded will turn around and wound others. Regardless if it’s intentional or not, we need to show people that it’s okay to ask for help and that we’re here to support them.

If you find yourself now or later on in a situation where life has become too much of a chore for you to handle, please reach out to us at Peace Restored. We are a Christ-centered organization with a heart for helping hurting women find hope, healing, and restoration. You can go to our website, www.peacerestored.net, for more information or to schedule a FREE, confidential appointment. You can also call us at (317) 361-5281.