Think about…

Philippians 4:8
“Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Have you ever posted in your daily view and tried to find “excellence?” Why did the writer make a point in saying, “if there is any?”

Was writer speaking to you or me? Join me in a trial run! Today, will we find “any excellence?” If so, will we post to share? Maybe, we find a whole basket full daily but fail to gather praise in our repertorial speech? And, thoughts? That would call for, “wonder why?”

Frozen thoughts

24 thoughts on “Think about…

  1. “Was writer speaking to you or me?”

    As I read the context of the scripture you shared, Sara, it looks like he was addressing it to us fellow Christians, “And now, dear brothers and sisters” (or brethren depending on the translation), as he started the chapter with that address and repeated it in vs 8.

    “Why did the writer make a point in saying, “if there is any?”

    Maybe he wanted us to take an inventory of our thoughts and actions to see if there is excellence in them. He did say in 4:10 and 4:17 respectively: “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. “ “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. ” Maybe they had slacked in their gift… giving, sharing and doing but had finally defrosted them and got into action again.

    Looking at Sara’s photo “Frozen thoughts” and seeing the snow and freeze at first brought thoughts of concern for the seemingly frozen plants. Is there any excellence here? I’m thinking.. now there may be some benefits to this type of weather: the snow adds moisture to the water table which will help if drought comes in the heat of summer; some seeds that may have fallen to the ground need a period of cold temps to germinate in the spring; cold temps can help reduce a few harmful insects.

    1. “Maybe he wanted us to take an inventory of our thoughts and actions to see if there is excellence in them. “ good point Debi! If I understand the verse provided: “ Philippians 4:8
      “Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” we should think on these things, but 🤔 maybe??? The “if there is any”…. Means there may be some action on our part?? 🤔???? The picture above shows frozen plants in the shade, but look at the beautiful sunshine in the picture!

      1. Tammy, you just made me smile. 😊

        Debi has been trying to help a family member wind through their course with a health issue. She emailed me with various things she thought to do that seemed ground frozen to me. Keep in mind I’m saying “seemed”…because I dare not pretend to know about the medical need.

        But, it’s about our thinking as you write, worthy of praise, think about these things.” we should think on these things, but 🤔 maybe??? The “if there is any”…. Means there may be some action on our part?? 🤔???? The picture above shows frozen plants in the shade, but look at the beautiful sunshine in the picture!“

        You got the point look at the sunshine…just one minute before your post I emailed Debi this…

        “Maybe you better focus on tracking your seeds for your spring garden.. unless or when you are asked to do other.

        Feb going to be here this week and seeds are dreaming of soil so they can thrive! “

        We most likely know and maybe love Eccl 3 giving us a clear picture of frozen and sunlight. It’s good to read the chapter for encouragement but what about these words, “ “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
        ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

        “Even seeds have dreams”, and here’s my understand that Tammy touched on, “ Means there may be some action on our part?? 🤔???? ”

        I’ve used seeds because that is Debi’s area of expertise and where she thrives. Yet, we are able to amply apply to other areas that need action on our part.

        I feel all of us enjoy gardening in Galatians 5 season after season while enjoying the fruit of the Spirit. When are garden shows fruit we walk in humility as I see the beauty. “Thy Kingdom come thy will be done …”

        Debi, here’s a confirmation for you that you are doing well being a seeker! Tammy showed with absolutely no knowledge, at least from me, the affirmation you are looking for.

        Thanks Tammy for seeing the sunlight and taking action to do your part. “Give us just what we need today…”

        Tammy, think about this sometimes our part is so tiny we think…it’s humility to show us it’s worth of praise! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

      2. I am thankful I struggled through, with God’s help, and posted my comments, after reading the above. Often times, it is a struggle for me to post, as that devil wants to cheat us, by lying to us…(like…why are you writing this or that, it doesn’t make any sense, etc.) I know Sara has said many times, “he is the father of lies”, and that is Biblical. We must resist him so he will flee from us. 🙏 For the record, I had no knowledge of what Debi’s circumstances were. We give God praise!

      3. “… love, it is a flower
        And you it’s only seed”

        Just suppose Tammy you listen to the voice that said don’t let your little sunlight shine. Because the Son/sun is not welcome. It’s too scary to mention but mention we must there would be no flower, no beauty.

        You are the “Beauty for Ashes…you are a garment of praise. “

        I am feeling the joy of 2022!

  2. Tammy, “seeds are dreaming of soil so they can thrive! “ I wrote above! I believe seeds dream!

    I have a question for you about a bud, maybe a rose bud! Q if a bud is left in a cold freezer with no light does it ever have a chance to bloom and show its full face beauty?

    1. I am no horticulture person, but I believe all flowers, even a rose bud 🌹 needs sunlight to bloom.?.? Maybe Debi could help with checking whether my answer is correct? ( she’s the horticulture specialist.😉) am I correct Debi?😬🤷‍♀️

      1. Tammy from what I understand about plants you are correct. Some flowers may need less sun than others; and a few bloom at night; but the plant that forms its buds and blooms needs some level of light to help it do this.

    2. I just thought of a song that had some lyrics that I thought interesting here? The song is, “The Rose”, by Bette Midler. Look at some of the lyrics from the song: “ Just remember in the winter
      Far beneath the bitter snows
      Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
      In the spring becomes the rose” ❄️ ☀️ 🌹

      1. Tammy, ❤️ perfect song because the song gives you a mirror of what is worthy of praise and it’s you! Continue to sing
        🎼…”… love, it is a flower
        And you it’s only seed”

  3. Thank you, Tammy, for just what Sara said, “for seeing the sunlight and taking action to do your part”; that you, “showed with absolutely no knowledge, at least from me, the affirmation you are looking for.”

    And thank you, Sara, for your email, “Maybe you better focus on tracking your seeds for your spring garden.. unless or when you are asked to do other. Feb going to be here this week and seeds are dreaming of soil so they can thrive! “; AND for tying all the parts/words together here to make a whole to help us and to help us apply.

    1. Ok what is worthy of praise here? To say we read and we can respond with words saying we know what to do? Hum I’m getting more confused by the min.

      1. Debi, are you asking a specific question? Making a statement? Or, asking reference of this scripture? “ “Lean not on your own understanding” – Proverbs 3:5-6

  4. Sara, you asked, “Debi, are you asking a specific question? Making a statement? Or, asking reference of this scripture? “ “Lean not on your own understanding” – Proverbs 3:5-6”

    I think I was trying to ask a question but was not clear. You asked two questions above, “Ok what is worthy of praise here? To say we read and we can respond with words saying we know what to do? …” I didn’t understand the questions in order to try to respond to them.

      1. As our comments here are not necessarily like we might see @some of out other quick internet stops where we give an opinion or maybe scan and scant and trolly on to our next finger dance we might reevaluate our pause here.

        Reading a devotional this am it occurred to me the writer just might have the answer Debi is looking for since gardening seems to be her guideline for understanding.

        “…when we find ourselves wanting to grow in prayer and live fully in touch with God, that means the divine Gardener is digging, loosening the soil. God is already there doing what needs to be done.

        Instead of seizing the initiative in our life with God (which, remember, is our whole life), the first thing to do is simply realize that Someone is sneaking into the shed and getting the shovel. Someone is loosening the soil so that our roots can breathe. Someone is already applying life-giving nutrients.”

        —L. Roger Owens, Everyday Contemplative

        Referencing back to Tammy’s highlight. Post Note on my desk, “think on these things, but 🤔 maybe??? The “if there is any”…. Means there may be some action on our part?? 🤔???? Yes, ? Do you see an action in Owens’ remarks?

        I would like to make a disclaimer here I’m not thinking answers come easy when it’s about the study of God’s Word which it’s about the whole of everything under the sun. (Did I just say that right?)

        “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”
        ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:11-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
        https://bible.com/bible/111/ecc.3.11-12.NIV

    1. Debi, this might help…“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.”
      ‭‭James‬ ‭3:13-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
      https://bible.com/bible/116/jas.3.13-18.NLT

      Could it be we tell what we did or are doing. Maybe saying we read and repeating back like report doesn’t plant seeds with harvest. Trying to see how to increase the harvest.

  5. Thank you for seeing, sharing and writing about this devotional, Sara. I think it was helpful in understanding since it was plant-based.

    You asked, “Do you see an action in Owens’ remarks?”

    If I am understanding this gardening example, I see two actions.
    One action I see is that God is gardening in our lives (our hearts, our inner being, etc). And the goal of gardening, I think, is to produce something worthwhile and beneficial…harvest for food for others, etc. or something of beauty to behold and enjoy or smell, etc. and/or something to help feed the birds, pollinators, etc.

    The other action I see is by the person who is being “gardened”…whether it is the soil of our hearts; or some needed pruning; or some digging around the roots and fertilizing. The person is to, as Mr. Owen said, “simply realize that Someone is”…doing these things. So, I think that would mean mindful, pay attention, allow, try to learn from.

    And, Sara you said, “Could it be we tell what we did or are doing. Maybe saying we read and repeating back like report doesn’t plant seeds with harvest. “
    Yes, I think I can see your point. Maybe that would be like just reading from a gardening book or seed catalogue to someone on how to plant the seeds, grow them and when to harvest them. But if I don’t help the person (or if I don’t) actually get hands in the soil and plant the seeds and nurture them, then no harvest.

    “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” How to make that hands-on/action application to be a peacemaker seems so critical for a harvest.

    1. Debi, I think your summation is moving in the right direction. Wonder what the Kingdom of God would look like if we spent as much time on people connection growing as we do on a vegetable seed. Peacemaking is not telling squash vine to intertwine with sweet potato vine. Or, do you think it is?

  6. “Wonder what the Kingdom of God would look like if we spent as much time on people connection growing as we do on a vegetable seed.”

    I think it would be fuller, more enlarged.
    “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea and caught all kinds of fish.” Matt 13:47

    “Peacemaking is not telling squash vine to intertwine with sweet potato vine. Or, do you think it is?”
    No, I think it is about people, as you said above, “people connection growing”…a whole connected garden of people.

  7. The picture of the frozen earth of winter and shadows of darkness remind me of my Mom. With the cold in the house and long days of winter she would walk to the car with a hot cup of water in hand and slip in for an hour or two when the sunshine was brilliantly hitting the windshield and warming the interior. This lifted her out of the depressed time of a long winter for her. Is this one of the whatever’s? Do you allow Jesus to warm your heart inside and out with His loving arms around you? The other thing that helped her was gathering with others around a guilting frame at her church and enjoying one another. Each person as different as the different squares before them working together for a common purpose to give someone some warmth in the cold winter. Do you fellowship with others for a common purpose? Did Jesus do that? Yes He did Loving, healing and planting His fathers words in them. My mother also enjoyed using a flannel graph to tell me and my siblings a story or two. She also did that in her Sunday School class. She’s set it up on the back of our sofa at home with the coal stove fired up warming us up with hot coca and we were given a few saltine crackers too.. We loved hearing the stories over and over again. She loved telling them as much as we loved hearing them. My mother was humble wanting ever child that sat before her to know Jesus and having them to know that a little chat with Him would grow their friendship with Him. Also that Jesus would never leave them or forsake them.
    Do you enjoy the word of God and all His storie?. Do you ponder them in your heart?
    The frozen also reminds me of the hardness of the ground and the crunchiness of the grass and if snow the snow. Wonder what the whatever’s are in this case. Have we acquire a hard heart due to the hard situation in our lives or are we trusting in the LORD with all our being and not our understanding. Proverbs 3:5 or is this one of you whatever’s. God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble or are you singing the song, Jesus is the rock of our salvation. With these song you have everything in your “ whatever’s” tool box.)

    Now pull out your wardrobe He has made for you. Clothing of kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and forgiveness. Put on your name tag, “Seevant of the most High God.” You will see A change in your clothing which are now radiant not dull with earthly leanings attracting you. Then put on your coat of love and hold His hand as you walk out into a frozen dark world where the only light is Him and your name tag which is the reflecting image of your heart which is now the light of Him whom you carry as your whatever’s – shine out to others as you walk in this cold dark world. It is up to you to bring others a picture of who Jesus is.

    1. Rena, precious memories your Mom gave you and left you! Her crown of jewels grow as you continue the compassion of giving light for children to find the birthing trouth that guides them to The Cross!

  8. Rena it was nice reading about the ways your mom found to bring some ‘sunshine’ and warmth not only into her life but into the lives of her family and others. Your quilting frame story is a beautiful example of how connecting hearts, hands and resources can really bless someone else in need.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: