Live Free

I think the following words found in Luke 10 are so comforting when the negative swells like a balloon around our necks or in us.

“The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”—Luke 10:41-42 (NRSV)

When I read these words by “The Lord”, I am reminded that faith and deeds are the knots tied together for success not knots of stress in my stomach. I read a day of rest in the midst of deeds preformed by or because of faith is the vitamin in my spiritual regime.

When I think of sisters complaining about one another I get it. I grew up with five (5). I think they all joined the choir of sing song about me.

When I contemplate, “the better part”, I am convinced the better part for God’s children are when each one finds themself in their sweet spot. The place God ordained for them when He planned their earth tour. He also gave instruction while living out our gifting, our sweet spot. The top of instructions do not mummer, complain, gossip, backbite. In other words control the tongue for success. Here are a few instructions out of many others:

1.  Philippians 2:13-15 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

2. 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.

3. 1 Peter 4:8-10 Above all, love each other warmly, because love covers many sins. Welcome each other as guests without complaining. Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others.

I hear the most compassionate tone in the love words spoken to beloved Martha by her Lord. The question is, do I hear the voice of the Lord when He speaks to me? Am I enjoying the ride? Or, use my rest ride day to complain about others?

Photo by JM

29 thoughts on “Live Free

  1. Many things in this blog reminded me of Sara’s book, “The Four Bees, Finding Your Spiritual Gifts”…a retreat workbook all about finding your “sweet spot”.

    I had some thoughts about ‘Martha, Martha’. Seems she was a hard, dedicated ‘worker Bee’ who was probably operating in her gifting from the Lord and doing a good job, but she got distracted. She got her eyes off her work and gift and focused on Mary’s work and gift. Perhaps she became jealous of Mary as she sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His words. Now, no one was paying attention to Martha and her gift of hospitality and service. Suddenly, perhaps, her gift seemed small and insignificant and a heavy load to bear; Martha may have gotten angry and begun to complain to Jesus. Her gifting was now no longer a ‘sweet spot’… her negative mindset was now words that “swells like a balloon”, as Sara wrote, “around her neck”. She had entered her rest of her gifting, but is now no longer enjoying what Sara calls her “rest ride day”. Mary is free. Martha is in bondage.

    Sara wrote in “The Four Bees”: “…now you don’t want to destroy the power of your written words with the possibility of speaking negative words. Those negative words will negate what God has designed for you. Speaking words of gratitude and praise for the uniqueness of the God given gifts that God has given you will bring positive powerful results.”

    Sara goes on to say further in “The Four Bees”: “If you know the truth, John says it will set you free. John 8:32. Study the Word, pray the Word, know the Word, act on it and it will set you free. You’ll not be moved when others come along and criticize you. You’ll not be moved when others’ opinions of you are not the same as yours. You’ll not be disappointed when you have closed doors and you don’t get the way you wanted. When your book is not quite published yet. When no one noticed what you were doing. When you served a cup of coffee and no one noticed. You won’t be moved. You’ll be steadfast. You won’t be fretting over things or over persons. But you’ll be free to stay steady in what you know to be true…”

    1. Debi, thanks for sharing account of Mary and Martha but told in a different setting at a different time and location. Yet, confirms words we so often quote, The Word, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”Hebrews 13:8.

      He still speaks…

  2. In the blog I mentioned my 5 sisters at times acted out “Martha and Mary” around my actions. What I didn’t mention, often I was in the sing song choir with them against another. As we grew up and became adults we realized we had a wisdom voice (Godly Mother) speaking and correcting and directing our often misdirected actions. And, to be fair she most likely had learned a few hard knocks along wisdom way journey from her two hard headed, yet successful, sisters. Maybe she was a little like then at some point as well.

    This on going action in my family seem to have a ‘sin gene’ until the Word that is the same yesterday, today and forever, revealed our hearts and became a sword in heart of action. “The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

    We have had in my area some cold, rainy, icy and snow days recently. I found marinating my whole being in The Word of God has been the warmth so needed.

  3. Read with me some of the footnotes for Philippians 2:13, from the NLT: “ To be like Christ, we must train ourselves to think like Christ. To change our desires to be like Christ’s, we need the power of the indwelling Spirit (1:19), The influence of faithful Christians, obedience to God‘s Word (not just exposure to it), and sacrificial service. Often it is in doing God‘s will that we gain the desire to do it.(see 4:8,9). Do what he wants and trust him to change your desires.”

    1. Tammy’s footnotes once again taps me on the shoulder saying slack in training not an option😮 These footnotes frame the being perfectly in shadowing mind, body and soul in action.

      1. The aforementioned footnotes spring to my remembrance this wisdom So often quoted, Saint Teresa of Ávila said, “Jesus has no hands or feet on earth now but yours.” It is our task to play the role of the servant.

  4. Something that Tammy wrote from her footnotes , “…to change our desires to be like Christ’s, we need… obedience to God‘s Word (not just exposure to it)…” seemed linked to something Sara wrote: “I am reminded that faith and deeds are the knots tied together for success …”

    It seems to me we can have mental ascent to things God says but those things may never make it from the good thoughts to the advice from Sara’s quote by Saint Teresa of Ávila…“Jesus has no hands or feet on earth now but yours.”

    James 2:16, 17 says: “…one of you tells that person, “God be with you! Stay warm, and make sure you eat enough.” If you don’t provide for that person’s physical needs, what good does it do? 17 In the same way, faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things.”

    And James shakes us up some more when he says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22)

  5. This week BSF school age children studied Acts: 18: 23- 21: 15 . We learned of Paul’s last trip to visit the churches he had established..

    Paul became successful at establishing churches by working in his sweet spot given by the Lord. God cleared the way for Paul..

    As seen from Debi’s footnotes He became more and more like Christ. He loved, cared, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever he went.. He encouraged the believers as he went knowing their journey would not be easy. The church members were under persecution And yet stood. He showed true love to each one. He listened to God and followed His instructions to the letter. Being timely was very important so he could visit each.

    In Troas, he spoke late into the night and a young man fell asleep and fell from the third story. Paul immediately stopped and went down and picked the young man up with arms around him and with Christ healing, the young man came back to life. Paul went back and picked up where he left off. He had an important message to deliver..

    Paul was humble and knew what he had been assigned to do. Knowing that he had to be in Jerusalem on Pentecost he pressed on never focusing on self. He had his view on Jesus. In all his trips, he never imposed on anyone and worked along the way to provide what he had need of. (Humble) When he got to Caesarea, he stayed with a man named Philip. A prophet used Paul’s belt to give the Holy Spirit’s message. He tied Paul up and gave the message he’d be turned over to the non- Jewish authorities. The believer’s at Philip’s house begged him not to go, but he had heard from God and went to Jerusalem knowing what would happen. He didn’t run away. He knew he must be timely and where God wanted him to be, he knew he must be.

    God had given Paul a big job to do. He was working in his sweet spot. He was patient with each church he visited,m.

    He told everyone along the way about Jesus and how He forgives our sins when we repent of our sins. He told them as they confessed that Jesus was their Lord and Savior, Jesus would give them the Holy Spirit as a helper in our journey on earth.

    What is true in Paul’s life is also true in our lives.

    As as a picture of patience and waiting for Jesus coming, a little girl of 6 in the BSF class drew a person with dark pencil marks all over his body. She said Ms O do you also see his cheek is hurt. She also drew the person’s hands straight up to heaven. She continued to tell me that the marks were sins and it was difficult here on earth, but the person continued patiently to wait for Jesus to come as he worked. (What a message.)

    1. Rena writes, “Paul was humble and knew what he had been assigned to do.” In my faith journey I have more often than not found many that serve really have not felt sure they knew what they have been assigned to do. Often as with Paul it takes time to develop into knowing and understanding your assignment.

  6. Rena points out to us above that Paul was “working in his sweet spot”. She also told us that he knew he must be “timely”. It sounds like he was very orderly.

    Sara shared this important insight with us, “ Often as with Paul it takes time to develop into knowing and understanding your assignment.”

    I found some truth nuggets from one of Sara’s retreat books, “The Four Bees – Finding Your Spiritual Gifts”, that I thought might help us know and understand our assignments. Most relate to being timely and orderly.

    1. “Through the discipline of ORDER IN OUR BEEHIVE-HONEY-is produced.” That’s interesting…honey sure sounds like finding a sweet spot to me.

    2. According to Sara’s book, ‘meditative writings’ help us find that spot. “You are to arrive timely, Bee decisive in your endeavor and enjoy it. Stay orderly as a Bee. Have your journal and your writing tools ready and find a quiet place where the Holy Spirit has invited you to.”

    3. Studying the Word of God is vital. “Study the Word of God. As you study the Word, you will find the promises that are needed to affirm, confirm and validate your abilities and gift(s).

    4. “Gather together”….”We need to gather together with others who will encourage us and lift our spirits.”

    5. Regarding our gifts: “Our gifts and their gifts are not always in order. This is sad, but true, therefore, check your order.”

    “Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” Pearl Buck (quote from Sara’s “The Four Bees”)

    1. This quote delights me each time I see it. “Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” Pearl Buck (quote from Sara’s “The Four Bees”)

      Pearl Buck is one of my favorite all time writers. Above her awesome writings her life was well lived in her sweet spot. She had order in all she accomplished and her accomplishments have left readers in tears as they connected to her compassion and the forgotten in the order of adoption which she became so famous for after WW11

      I heard her speak of her work one evening years ago and her name was forever engraved upon my heart. Her beauty was truly engraved in order.

      Thanks Debi for reminding me if I desire beauty I must order my every step in the soil of beauty.

      1. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” Psalm 37:23

        The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sings,
        “Order my steps in Your word dear Lord
        Lead me, guide me everyday
        Send Your anointing, Father I pray;
        Order my steps in Your word
        Please, order my steps in your word…

        Humbly, I ask Thee teach me Your will
        While You are working, help me be still
        ‘Cos Satan is busy, God is real;
        Order my steps in Your word
        Please, order my steps in Your word

        Bridle my tongue let my words edify
        Let the words of my mouth be acceptable in Thy sight
        Take charge of my thoughts both day and night;
        Order my steps in Your word
        Please order my steps in Your word

        [Chorus]
        I want to walk worthy
        According to Thy will
        Please order my steps Lord
        And I’ll do Your blessed will
        The world is ever changing
        But You are still the same;
        Please order my steps, Lord I’ll praise Your name”

        Proverbs 5:21 tells us God ponders all our goings and 16:9 tells us God directs our steps. In Psalm 119:133 David prayed, “Order my steps in thy Word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.”.

        This quote delights me each time I see it. “Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” Pearl Buck (quote from Sara’s “The Four Bees”)

        Pearl Buck’s parents, Absalom Andrew Sydenstricker (Chinese: 賽兆祥, 1852–1931) was an American Presbyterian missionary to China from 1880 to 1931. You so often find their family and Ruth Graham’s family both American Presbyterian missionaries in China and their steps were surely ordered by God and oh the beauty of life that are still part of the stairway to heaven’s beauty that awaits others today when God finds one that will lay aside their thoughts for His.

        Debi, do you remember playing your guitar along with MG on piano and singing …God orders our steps alright?….

        I’v been thinking of the struggles these missionaries faced knowing beauty of salvation depended on them. Yet, today the needs of God’s World might even be greater and all to often when our ego wings get clipped a bit for beauty we act as thou someone just snapped our chicken neck for tonight’s dinner.

  7. “The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”—Luke 10:41-42 (NRSV)

    How often do we wear our neck ornament that has a similar look and ring, “
    Matthew 8:22 “But Jesus told him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

    Matthew 19:29 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

    Just a little side note here as I write out these ancient word stories that nicely fit into my IPhone Martha just might have it right keep cooking chick ‘n rice because getting orders like Mary, of who will go might be a bit harsh. Again, who wants their ego wings clipped?

    BTW, Is this really beauty that comes from order? Is this beauty for ashes?

    1. Sara you ask, “Debi, do you remember playing your guitar along with MG on piano and singing …God orders our steps alright?….”

      I remember a couple of choruses sung and played that had to do with order…ordering your steps and ordering your speech. From your stories of Pearl Buck it looks as though she had both in good order.

      “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD
      And He delighteth in his way;
      Though he fall, though he fall, he shall not be cast down
      For the LORD upholdeth him with His hand.”(from Psalm 37:23 that you quoted above)….

      and

      “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.
      Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me.
      And to him who ordereth his conversation aright
      Will I show the salvation of God.”

    2. I read the account above in Luke 10, and the footnotes for verses 38-42. I’m afraid all too often I have been Martha, “worried and distracted by many things”. 😳🥺

      1. I Imagine all if we’re honest would have to admit to, “worried and distracted by many things” . And yet we most likely understand being distracted is a deterrent to praise and worship of the living Holy God. So why are we?

      2. “So why are we?” 🤔 perhaps our focus isn’t where it should be? Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:7 gives us some instructions on where our minds should be, doesn’t it? Mary sure had her focus where it should have been….on Christ. I’m not sure what the answer is to this question…..”so why are we?” Guess Sara may be into something something above that may give a clue? “Keep on cooking….who wants their ego wings clipped?”😳😬

    3. “The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”—Luke 10:41-42 (NRSV)

      “Martha just might have it right keep cooking chick ‘n rice because getting orders like Mary, of who will go might be a bit harsh. Again, who wants their ego wings clipped?
      BTW, Is this really beauty that comes from order? Is this beauty for ashes?”

      As I looked again at the above scripture Sara posted and then read her comment and question later that related to it, I had a couple of thoughts.

      Martha’s “ego wings clipped” may have been the “beauty for ashes”. Her worry and distraction in Luke 10 looks to have given way to faith in Luke 11. Maybe she grew some new wings.

      “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
      “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

      Mary, on the other hand, may have been the “beauty that comes from order”. She probably had to make some unpopular choices to not only sit at Jesus feet, but later wipe them with her hair (“This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair.” John 11:2).
      Her choice to make time and space to do this reminded me of a quote from Sara’s book, “The Dance of Healing”. The quote says: “For it is only framed in space that beauty blooms.” Anne Morrow Lindberg, “Gift from the Sea”

  8. “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

    Tammy, your referral from Isaiah 26 in like a hot bed of coal. Now I give it a spark as we share read from Message:

    “At that time, this song will be sung in the country of Judah: We have a strong city, Salvation City, built and fortified with salvation. Throw wide the gates so good and true people can enter. People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. Depend on GOD and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing. Those who lived high and mighty he knocked off their high horse. He used the city built on the hill as fill for the marshes. All the exploited and outcast peoples build their lives on the reclaimed land.” Isaiah‬ ‭26:1-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

    Tammy, which is worst, “ego wings clipped” or “knocked off high horse?“

    Now enters my devotions for today for the save…

    “TO ACT ON GOD’S WILL, we learn to make sacrifices. We can let go of what we want right now for what we know we want for all eternity. We stop chasing material possessions and comforts when they conflict with God’s will. A constant focus on and submission to God’s will seems daunting because it hinges on self-denial: constantly putting God’s will before our own. That’s what Jesus did. It’s not easy, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do it too.”

    —Christopher Maricle, The Jesus Priorities: 8 Essential Habits (Upper Room Books, 2007)

    1. Been awhile since I read the message Bible! Think I know why now. Pretty telling of the heart. Just a sample of my fighting nature. A neighbor lives across the street and he comes home and parks his work truck in front of my house on my side of street. Now his house street is fully available to him. But, for whatever reason he likes my side. It slightly Irritates me just enough to keep me off task at times. This week I decided to pray for him and he just parked closer to my front door. He dosen’t really speak to hardly anyone that I’v noticed. I wave slightly if I see him drive by. I guess he has legal rights to park on street but not sure since it’s a work vehicle. Looks highly tech related. And, he is seen wearing a gun. Not an officer to my knowledge but IDK. This morn after reading this blog and message Bible I added his name to a prayer list. (I don’t even know his name just neighbor). Both he and his wife we pray for any needs they might have. I finally realized deep down I might just have fear of this strange dude. I hope the best for he and family. I want to beautify front yard with more flowers and find ways to exhibit the gospel like I do at Christmas with nativity. One never knows the needs of another but we do know Jesus knows and the Holy Spirit is our helper.

      “I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.

      But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

      It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

      I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”
      ‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:14-25‬ ‭MSG‬‬

    2. “Tammy, which is worst, “ego wings clipped” or “knocked off high horse?“. Good question Sara. I’m thinking they are about equal on the “ worst scale”? 🤔

  9. I recently received a gift book by Pastor Thomas Patrick, of Creswell NC. The title is a little scary, “When Faith Begins to die.”

    I’m a book scanner rather than a reader at times. I happened immediately upon page 152, 153. It seemed to dovetail this lesson developing in this blog. He was writing on faithfulness, using Proverbs 23:7 among other scriptures, “For as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” He made clear often someone who may not have spoken a vile or hurtful word can have a wicked heart.
    He tells a story about a revival meeting in his area when the preacher walked down the isle and spoke to a lady and said, “you need to quit smoking.” And went on preaching. The congregation knew this saintly sister and knew she didn’t smoke. So they labeled him a false prophet. Months later during a sleepless night a lady in community was awake and noticed out the window the lady at church the preacher advised to quit smoking was walking her dog. And, there she was in the dim of night sucking on a Marlboro.

    Guilty lady not speaking her truth had tarnished another. And, a preacher at that. Whoa? Pastor Patrick continued his book with words of Colossians 3:10 and how he desired a new mind.

    I gathered from this story better to speak your truth than to harm another.

    1. Debi and Tammy, you have covered much territory as we all most likely have seen a storm brewing in the horizon of choices at times.

      In a study I recently read through at least made me pause. “Our Intelligence Centers help us hear and invite us to greater discernment. . . . Discernment is our ability to judge what is good, true, and beautiful. Discernment is also the inner knowledge of how to act on that which we perceive. Our use of discernment relies on the clarity of our centered minds, the objectivity of peace-filled hearts, and the unobstructed impulses or instincts of our bodies. ”

      I think I’m reading it takes our whole being to love, trust and obey God. Do you read it this way?

      I have a question for us? In Patrick’s Book story in post above about ‘the Prophet and Marlboro smoking lady’ that took place around eastern NC, should the lady that got confronted by preacher immediately or later admitted to her smoking? Why would she let the towns’ people label him false prophet over her Marlboro’s?

      Did she need her wings clipped or a bucking horse to throw her before she could tell truth? Was she so deceived that she never told her truth? Was her heart so dark (while dancing to the music of saintly) she didn’t know or care she labeled a man of God false? And, the biggest part of my question because of her behavior living a lie through deception she may have caused many to never know God?

      If we contemplate on Patrick’s modern day parable where are we on Tammy’s grade scale? —-“ ego wings clipped” or “knocked off high horse? I’m thinking they are about equal on the “ worst scale”? 🤔

      1. “Our use of discernment relies on the clarity of our centered minds, the objectivity of peace-filled hearts, and the unobstructed impulses or instincts of our bodies.” I think I’m reading it takes are whole being to love, trust and obey God. Do you read it this way?””

        Yes, I read it that way and think the excerpt above from your study, Sara, encompasses our entire being and helps to explain this command: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matt 22:37

        And I think not only do we need discernment (Hebrews 5:14), but we need others who have the gift of discernment to help us in our walk.

        Sara, you asked, “…should the lady that got confronted by preacher immediately or later admitted to her smoking?” I think you answered that question when you told us above that the preacher was labeled by the congregation as a false prophet because she didn’t admit immediately to what he revealed about her. Doubtful if the harm could have all been undone if she did tell later as we were told this was a “revival meeting in the area” and many could have come from a distance and would never learn the real truth. I guess she did need “her wings clipped or a bucking horse to throw her before she could tell truth?” since we are not told she admitted it. It appears she wanted to keep her addiction and “her behavior living a lie through deception”, which as you asked, “may have caused many to never know God?”

        Tragic, also, that no one in the congregation seemed to have the gift of discernment (“The congregation knew this saintly sister and knew she didn’t smoke”.) Perhaps she could have been confronted and received help if she would have admitted her deception and repented.

        Sara, you ask, “If we contemplate on Patrick’s modern day parable where are we on Tammy’s grade scale? —-“ ego wings clipped” or “knocked off high horse?”
        Reading through just this blog makes me realize God has a high standard in order to really please Him and “walk humbly” with Him. Just using this scale, “Our use of discernment relies on the clarity of our centered minds, the objectivity of peace-filled hearts, and the unobstructed impulses or instincts of our bodies. ”…takes are whole being to love, trust and obey God.” …makes me realize the distance yet to go. But there is plenty in this blog to give encouragement and help…from the songs and stories shared by Sara above to the hope that even if our ego wings are clipped, they “get clipped a bit for beauty”.

      2. ”I think I’m reading it takes are whole being to love, trust and obey God. Do you read it this way?“ Yes, I think you are correct Sara.

  10. Sara, the book excerpt you shared by Pastor Thomas Patrick sure speaks to and confirms what needs to happen in our minds if we are to “Live Free”. You said regarding his book, “He was writing on faithfulness, using Proverbs 23:7 among other scriptures, “For as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” The Good News translation states Psalm 23:7 this way: “What he thinks is what he really is.” Whoa! Not what we say or do but what we are thinking is who we really are. That is seriously something to reflect on.

    Tammy wrote about being “worried and distracted about many things” and said, “perhaps our focus isn’t where it should be? Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:7 gives us some instructions on where our minds should be, doesn’t it?“

    As I thought back on Martha and her distraction problem, I was looking up distraction and its meaning and reason for it and stumbled on an article by two Harvard psychologists on distraction. I thought these two comments related. “We tend to think that we are distracted because of the devices in our pocket, Instagram, Facebook, text messages, phone calls, and the thousands of other notifications beckoning for our attention. But according to the research of two Harvard psychologists, the real problem isn’t our chaotic environment, its our minds.” https://www.inc.com/nate-klemp/harvard-psychologists-reveal-real-reason-were-all-so-distracted.html

    Seems getting our minds and thinking in order is critical to being free of distractions.
    :
    Sara quoted the Message translation that really provides a solution to this mind/thinking issue from Isaiah 26….”People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole,”

    And Sara shared the song sung by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Order My Steps” above. This verse ties into the importance of our thought life:

    “Take charge of my thoughts both day and night;
    Order my steps in Your word
    Please order my steps in Your word”

    And then I picked up another of Sara’s Retreat books, “The Dance of Healing, “The Ultra-Healing Spirit” Comes from Within” because I wanted to review the chapter, “Cultivating the Mind.”
    I thought her ending quote significant (especially since reflection can mean “careful thoughts”.) …Martha was distracted and evidently comparing herself to Mary.

    “Sara’s Note: “Comparison is an enemy of Reflection.”

  11. After reading each ones comments above on subjects of focus, order,, projection of who we are before others, freedom in and sitting before Him in love of Him, only Jesus while operating in our sweet spot, busyness and unexpected events which we add to the mix using Mary and Martha as examples whom are set before us. Who are we? I dare say we are Mary and Martha at their best and worse. We love the Lord. Sometimes the times overwhelm us with the deluge of depressing state of the world and our and others situations. At another time, we are on bent knee at His feet pouring our heart out to Him. Crying out for others, crying and spilling out our guts when will this situation end, when will such and such recognize Lord that you are Savior, when will they see you have all that concerns you in the palm of His hand. Do we stew , huff and puff and try to act as we are sitting at His feet when we are down the road and over the hill, or ten thousand miles away from Him. So stirred up we forget how wonderful it is to sit in His presence and forget the world which grabs us in a tug of war splitting us in all directions. We get the order out of order which is first Jesus, next at His feet, third receive instructions, fourth go serve with a piece of His heart inside leading and guiding . Yes, I am Martha and Mary!

    1. Rena, oooops! You might well be right. This makes me think about fence setters. James 1:8 gives an eye popper, “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

      Guess it’s a growth chart. We all need time to grow and mature.

      1. As I read what Rena wrote above and then Sara below it, I thought of agitation, competing voices, noise static.

        Double-minded also made me think of double-vision which can produce dizziness and unbalance.

        I was thinking of the need for the Lord to quiet our hearts and looking up a scripture for it when I came across this hymn by John Newton. I thought the verses went along with the blog comments.

        Quiet, Lord, My Froward Heart

        Quiet, Lord, my froward heart,
        Make me teachable and mild;
        Upright, simple, free from art,
        Make me as a weaned child;
        From distrust and envy free,
        Pleased with all that pleaseth Thee.

        What Thou shalt to-day provide,
        Let me as a child receive;
        What to-morrow may betide,
        Calmly to thy wisdom leave:
        ‘Tis enough that Thou wilt care;
        Why should I the burden bear?

        As a little child relies
        On a care beyond his own;
        Knows he’s neither strong nor wise;
        Fears to stir a step alone;
        Let me thus with Thee abide,
        As my Father, Guard, and Guide.

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