A battle rages in the media today over “fake news.” In the news media outlets from television, to the internet and social media. Everyone seems to be talking about fake news from President Trump, the Russians, or the Clinton’s, the world is a buzz with fake news. It is hard to know who to believe anymore and what is true, and the internet has made it easy for false stories to spread like wildfire.
“Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.” – Benjamin Franklin
When I was a child, we often played the telephone game. Do you know what the telephone game is? Or am I dating myself? Perhaps you know it by the name of whispers or Chinese whispers. If you are not familiar, then let me explain. You would sit in a circle or form a line and then tell someone an anecdote, word, or phrase by whispering it in the ear of the person sitting next to you. They would tell the person next to them, and this would continue until you got to the last person who would say aloud to everyone what the word or phrase he heard. As children, we would get the biggest laughs because the thing the last person heard and said aloud was never even close to what was originally said.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”Oq_G8″ via=”yes” ]There is nothing new under the sun.[/ctt]
Things are not always as they seem. Fake news and the telephone game have much in common with the whispery lies of the enemy of our soul. The enemy likes to whisper false news in hopes that we will turn away from what we know to be true, and believe the lies, and often he uses well-intentioned people, even good Christians to twist words, and spread lies.
Have you ever read the fictional work of JRR Tolkien or seen the Lord of the Rings Movies, if so perhaps you remember a creepy character known as Gríma Wormtongue. He was the chief adviser to King Theoden of Rohan, and through his deceitful lies and whispery secrets, he cast a spell over the King, until he no longer resembled himself. The lies of a whispery confidant physically, mentally, and spiritually changed his countenance. This is one of the reasons the Bible warns us about the company we keep.
Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” – Revelation 12:12 ESV
A war rages in this world today for truth, but also for our very souls! The devil knows his time is short and would like nothing more than to divide our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, communities, and nations. He wants to steal our joy, and rob us of our peace to keep us from living the abundant life that Jesus Christ has to offer us.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10 ESV
Where can we find truth today?
How do we know what to believe? Where do we find truth? Not in the sense of philosophical discussion, or lofty debate, but real truth, the kind of truth that changes peoples hearts and lives. The kind of truth that tears down strongholds can only be found in the word of God.
We are all sinners, but as we turn our hearts toward Christ and press into Him and read, study and memorize his word, we can combat the lies of the enemy and replace it with the truth of Jesus Christ. Through the practice of worship and thanksgiving, we keep our hearts focused on Him.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God.All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life, and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-5 ESV
Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and He is the light of the world and through the power of Jesus, darkness in this world is dispelled. Satan is a defeated enemy. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, not only does He overcome the world, but everyone who believes in Him overcomes the world too! Our faith in Jesus Christ overcomes the world. It is not just at the moment that we believe in Jesus, but it is a continuous action of exercising our faith in Jesus that overcomes the world.
[ctt template=”2″ link=”eB7U6″ via=”yes” ]The world and the enemy would like to deceive us with fake news, we must choose to believe the word and the truth of Jesus Christ.[/ctt]
Friend, do you know Jesus Christ as your confidant and personal Lord and Savior? Jesus loves you and wants you to know the voice of truth. If you have not put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today, I would encourage you to pray a simple prayer of faith. Ask Jesus to come into your life and be the Lord of your life today. Simply ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and ask Him to be Lord of your life. Then I would encourage you to pick up a Bible and begin reading the greatest love story ever told.
For my believing friends, what do you do to combat fake news? Do you have a go-to verse to keep your mind steadfast and focused on the truth? If so, I would love for you to share it with me.
Hi friends, I am busy helping my son move out, set up his new home, and with last-minute wedding preparations this week. I have asked my Compel Writing group leader Tondi Wheat to share some encouraging words with you this week. Compel Writer’s training program is a part of Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can find out more about Compel at Compel training. Without further ado, I welcome my friend, Tondi Wheat to By His Grace Blog today.
Three Reactions to Build Relationships
There are times where I would love to omit some scriptures out of my Bible; they’re just difficult to obey. I grew up when kids were to be seen and not heard, and continued that philosophy when I had my first child.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, “ James 1:19 NIV
During church was no exception to that rule. Toys were to be quiet if my daughter sat in the church service with me. She needed to be dressed for church, with her hair brushed well, and never was there any gum to be played. Gum was meant to be in the mouth; no bubbles and no playing with it. I usually would give her a warning, but after that, it was to be thrown away.
One Sunday morning, church was beginning. My daughter had already sat down by my bag, and I soon joined her. I noticed she was sitting very quietly, playing with something in her hand. My eyes became fixated on the item being stuck to her little four-year-old fingers.
I leaned down to her level and quietly said, “You need to put that in your mouth now. You know you are not to play with gum.”
“But mommy,” she begged as her sweet big blue eyes met my eyes gazing at her.
“Put it in your mouth now,” I said a little more sternly.
“But Mommy,” she pleaded as her sweet looking eyes now looked saddened.
“Now” I demanded.
She quickly put the gum in her mouth as I sat beside her; frustrated she didn’t obey the first time. I began to think about the whole situation. She usually was very obedient. “Why had she not listened and obeyed?”
I thought of the color of the gum and what kind it may have been. Then I wondered where she got it and who gave it to her. So, I asked, “Where did you get that gum?”
She replied, “I found it under the water fountain.”
“Get that out of your mouth,” I said as I took a piece of paper to wrap around it.
She was trying to tell me, but I was too quick to assume she was disobeying. I didn’t want to listen; I wanted her just to do as I said.
We can be so quick to react to a situation without knowing the full extent of the circumstances. When a child appears to have not obeyed; your spouse does something they know bothers you, or a colleague blatantly disrespects you, we have a decision as to how to react. How we react to a situation can build a relationship or build a wall in the relationship.
In James, we are told to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
Relationships will be stronger when you follow these steps in any situation.
Quick to Listen:
To be a good listener, give them your full attention. Stop what you are doing, and if possible look them in the eyes to ensure they know you are listening.
If you are on the phone and there’s a problem arising with your spouse or kids, if possible, get off the phone. Show them they are more important that the person on the phone.
Slow to Speak:
Just because you think you know what happened, doesn’t mean you need to share it first. Listen to the other person’s side of the story. Show them their words and feelings are important too.
Slow to Become Angry:
When you hear another perspective, it helps to understand another person. Building relationships are God’s focus. If we are angry, we are building a wall between relationships.
When we follow these steps, we may find: our perspective was incorrect; we have caused some feelings in the other person, and they are reacting, or the person is hurting and will lash out at anyone. We are only responsible for our reactions to their actions.
My daughter survived the germs shared by another, and I became a better parent and listener after that gum incident over 20 years ago. I may not always follow these steps, but when I do, it shows others: their words matter; I don’t know everything; and, they are important.
Listen to their side of the story; then speak, so you don’t become angry.
Tondi Wheat grew up in church, being a Pastor’s kid; although, she never fully grasped the concept of God’s love and grace until later in life. She has learned hard life lessons through a failed marriage, raising a daughter to adulthood, homeschooling, life changes, and remarriage. She loves doing life with her husband of 14 years, adult daughter, and two young sons. They reside in the country, outside a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. You can follow her on her facebook writer’s page: Tondi Wheat, writer.
Things don’t always go as planned. Life comes at you sideways sometimes and knocks the wind right out of your sails. You can go from smooth sailing to rough waters in the blink of an eye.
Have you ever been through a tough time that you are now thankful for?
I know I have had my share of difficult circumstances, but God has been so faithful to see me through! I can look back with a grateful heart on things that I never would have chosen, but God in His infinite wisdom allowed me to endure.
Pain and suffering are not something that we would necessarily want for ourselves but sometimes it is the vehicle that God uses to sanctify us. No one knows this better than Neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Bengtson. As a Doctor and a Christian, she shares her journey through depression from her perspective in her new book, Hope Prevails.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
Michelle writes about what worked for her and what can help you if you are battling depression. Michelle wants you to know that you are not alone. She wrote this book to offer you hope and to dispel some of the myths and lies about this condition. Michelle’s approach treats depression physically, emotionally and most importantly spiritually, treating the whole person. Traditional treatment doesn’t address the spiritual side.
Dr. Bengtson does a great job of addressing the spiritual side of depression throughout Hope Prevails. She addresses what depression is, where it comes from, and ways to treat it, but most importantly she addresses what depression does to a person spiritually and how that perpetuates depression.
Each chapter in Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression is filled with truth and biblical wisdom along with practical steps to take. At the end of each chapter, she gives you a prescription, Your Rx, these thought-provoking questions and action items are steps that you can take to help you find healing. She also includes a recommended playlist of praise and worship music to uplift you and concludes each chapter with a special prayer.
An Excerpt from Hope Prevails:
In the valley of my depression, the enemy tried to convince me that no one cared, not even God. For a while he had me convinced, and I took my pain and anger out on God. Can I share with you a little something I learned, though? God is big enough to handle my anger and yours.
One evening the pain of the darkness dragged me so low that I wondered aloud where God was in my suffering. Did he even care that I felt like a surfer battered against the rocks within a vast, lonely ocean? In my agony and desperation, my wonderings turned to angry venting. I told God of the pain deep within my soul. I held nothing back as I lost control in an angry outburst like a volcanic eruption.
When I had no more words to say and was physically spent from my vulnerable expression of the depths of my pain, I sensed a quiet gentle voice whisper within me, “Well, at least you’re now talking to me.” It wasn’t a condemning correction but more a lighthearted reflection to help me see the truth in my ways.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist with more than 20 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of medical and mental disorders in children, adults, and seniors. She has been in private practice for more than a decade of that time. Speaker, author, and doctor, Michelle is also a woman—a wife, mother, and friend. She has experienced her share of trouble and trials and knows the pain of losing someone she loves as well as the despair that can follow trauma or illness.
Combining her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith, Dr. Bengtson is on a mission to instill hope in the hearts of those who are suffering from or caring for those with ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders, head injuries, dementia, and the neurological side effects of illnesses such as Epilepsy, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Cancer, as well as psychiatric disorders such as Depression, Anxiety, and Bipolar Disorder.
Everyone goes through hard times, but you are not alone. Hope is the key to the survival of your soul. Dr. Michelle Bengtson provides sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. She instills hope to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm.
I highly recommend Hope Prevails for anyone struggling with depression, or if you have a family member or friend who suffers from this condition. Visit Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s blog where she offers a free book on how to help a loved one with depression.
A Special thank you to Dr. Michelle Bengtson, The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency, and Revell for providing me with a signed copy of Hope Prevails for me to review and giveaway along with the goodies above!
Leave a comment about a tough time that you have been through and are now thankful for in the comment section below and share this post on social media with the hashtag #HopePrevails for a chance to win a signed copy of Hope Prevails, along with this beautiful scarf, hope bracelet, and dog tag all reminders that hope prevails!!
Today we continue the summer reading series with Doing Busy Better: Enjoying God’s Gifts of Work and Rest by Glynnis Whitwer.
From the moment I picked up this book, I knew Glynnis was speaking directly to me! For years I have lived my life in a flurry of busyness. As a wife and homeschooling mom of three boys with a hectic schedule, I am constantly in motion cooking, cleaning, guiding, directing, teaching, correcting, living and loving. And I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Along the way, I have learned that I need margin and space, but I have a hard time resting. I have German heritage, and I grew up mid-western. Salt of the earth hard working people is where I come from, but I feel guilty or lazy if I stop to rest. I am always busy caring for the needs of my family and friends and have had to learn the hard way to be still and care for myself.
After a particularly crazy busy season of life, I had a bicycling accident that resulted in me severely breaking my both of my arms! Talk about a life changing situation! Remember, I am a homeschool mom that lives in a house full of boys that do everything for everyone else, and I am a workhorse. Yet for weeks on end, I was unable to care for the most basics needs for myself and couldn’t do anything for anyone else.
God taught me to be still and know that He alone is God.
Spiritual rest doesn’t just happen when we cease working; it happens when we cease striving. – Glynnis Whitwer, Doing Busy Better
What God showed me when I broke my arms is exactly what the chapter on Spiritual Rest is all about. I want to share another quote from this amazing chapter.
Spiritual rest is a deep sense of confidence that no matter what comes our way, God is still on the throne, He has not forgotten us, and He is working on our behalf. – Glynnis Whitwer, Doing Busy Better
In this chapter on Spiritual Rest, Glynnis showed me that when I don’t rest, I am actually disobedient to God because He commands us to rest. Spiritual rest happens when we trust God regardless of the circumstances in our life, and rest is both a promise and a reward.
Doing Busy Better is filled with so much wisdom and I think this book is a must read for every busy woman I know!
If you don’t know who Glynnis Whitwer is, you should! You can begin reading chapter 1 of Doing Busy Better at her website Glynnis Whitwer where you can pre-order a copy and sign up for bonus material.
*As I member of the Doing Busy Better launch team, I was given a pre-release copy to read and review. A special thanks go to Glynnis Whitwer and Revell Publishing.
Doing Busy Better is available on the 4th of July, 2017, and you are going to want to grab a copy!
How do you plan to rest on this upcoming Holiday weekend? Do you struggle with being too busy or do you find it hard to relax? Leave a comment below telling me about how you plan to rest, your struggle to find rest or how I can pray for you.