Category: <span>thoughts by Gail Rodgers</span>

by Gail Rodgers

New kinds of fresh fruit began showing up on the grocery store shelves this week. Fruit that has been out of season for months is back!

The Bible says that “peace” is one of the “fruits of the Spirit.” Sometimes it feels as if that fruit goes out of season too. As the realities of the evening news come into my living room I think of that fruit of the Spirit. As the images and stories parade across the TV screen I sometimes feel my own sense of peace fading.

So I turn my attention to God’s Word to see again what He has to say about this fruit called peace. I discover afresh that His peace is never out of season. His peace is one that is offered to our hearts. But how do we pick this fruit? How do we have this peace in the midst of troubling news? Listen to what Jesus says.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”
(John 14:27).

I am reminded that His peace is a gift. It won’t be found in conventional places or in ways the world offers. It is something directed to the heart and it replaces fear and anxiety.

To pick this fruit, to have this peace, I need to take action. I need to ask God to quiet my heart. I need to pray for those in charge in troubled days. I need to pray for those who suffer and for those who are hurt, confused and angry. I need to ask God to take the unease in my own heart and replace it with His gift of peace. I need to share the peace He gives me as I go through my day. This may mean offering to pray together with another who is worried.

Sometimes when the storm rages and the sea of life is not calm, the mighty hand of God comes in, by our invitation, and simply calms us. The peace of heart that comes from the Holy Spirit is a mystery. In the middle of the storm He brings a calm that can be explained no other way than by His divine care. We receive it in order to share it.

Ask God today for His fruit of peace in your heart and mind. Ask Him for an opportunity to share that fruit with those around you who need His peace in their heart today.

Question: Are you experiencing peace today? If not, how can that peace be restored?

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women

by Gail Rodgers

The heart of God to us, His children, is so caring and loving. He knew there would be times in our lives when our hearts are down and our spirits depleted. I’m convinced that is why He placed many encouragements in the Bible to help us in just those times.

I read one of them today and it occurred to me that if I followed through on the words of this Scripture it would impact my daily outlook in an incredible way.

Listen to these wise words from Psalm 92:1 & 2

It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.Psalm 92:1 & 2

God knew that we would need to be encouraged in very practical ways as we walk out the changes and challenges of our days. He said it’s a good thing to praise Him. He not only said it’s good to praise Him and to use music as part of our praise, but He also gives two very practical ways to do it.

Proclaim His love in the morning. Proclaim His faithfulness at night.

Imagine the impact on your daily outlook if you took a few minutes every morning to declare out loud how much the Lord loves you. To look in the mirror as you prepare for your day and thank the Lord for His loving care as you prepare to head into your day. Ask Him to remind you throughout the day of His love.

At night when you lay your head to rest on your pillow imagine the comfort and peace it would bring to recount 2 or 3 ways the Lord showed His faithfulness to you throughout the day. Think of how it would nurture the relationship with your spouse if you recounted these blessings of God’s faithfulness out loud.

To keep our days sandwiched between the morning proclamation of His love over you and the evening declaration of His faithfulness is a sure way to keep your heart in tune with His and to keep your attitudes adjusted throughout the day.

Prayer & reflection

Father God, You know just what I need. And I need to proclaim your love and faithfulness every day. I can so often fade from the deep realization of how much you do love and care for me every day. Open my mind to remember this simple way of praising You. Thank you for holding me close to Your heart today. In Jesus’ strong name I pray, amen.

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women

by Gail Rodgers

No one understands”, Katie thought as she struggled with feeling so alone in her decision. Everyone had advice about what she should do.

There were so many opinions. But no one understood the depth of the issue. An isolated feeling of loneliness crept into her soul. Did God even understand? Doubts of her belief in God’s love began to crowd her thinking. “God, show me that you are here,” she called out in despair.

That night she picked up her Bible before turning out the light… would she find hope? Her little daily reading book told her to read Psalm 139. Her fingers flipped through the pages and her eyes fell on these verses.

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast… For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb
Psalm 139

Katie felt like fresh water was poured over her parched soul. Yes, God cared. Yes, God understood her in a way no one ever could.

God is familiar with your whole situation and He promised to hold you fast! He knows you!. When you were conceived God’s knitting needles went to work creating you in your inmost being. Yes, you can trust Him to guide you through whatever you face today. He understands.

Prayer & reflection:

Heavenly Father, Thank you for this knowledge that you care so deeply and know me so intimately. I will trust your knowledge of me and your hand to guide me. Give me your wisdom today. Hold on to me in my spinning world. Thank you for understanding me. You know me better than I know myself. Thank you for this comfort. Thank you that you are my trustworthy Father! I choose to trust you in my circumstances today! In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women

by Gail Rodgers

Your feet hit the deck running this morning with lots on your schedule. As you walk out the rhythm of your steps ask yourself this question…

Does this path I am walking today lead me to a place I want to go?” Oh, I don’t mean the steps you take to work or to your next appointment… but this direction you’re on in your life. Will it take you to where you want to be next week and next year?

The choices we make today will determine where we are tomorrow.

The same principle applies to our thoughts and our attitudes. Do a check on the primary thoughts and attitudes parading through your mind these days. If you keep thinking those thoughts or carrying that attitude, will you end up where you want to be in life and in a particular relationship?

Our daily choices of where we walk, what thoughts we entertain, and the attitudes we allow to simmer will affect our lives and relationships in profound ways.

A wise Proverb from God’s holy word says,

A person with good sense gives thought to his ways.” (Proverbs 14:8)

Take a moment to consider… “Will the choices I am making today take me to where I want to be tomorrow?”

Lord God, Please inspire my choices today with the power of the Holy Spirit. Help me to be wise in the direction I am I going. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Inspired by the book “The Rest of God” Chapter 2 by Mark Buchanan.

Question: Where are the choices you have been making leading you? Closer to God and His will, or father away?

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women

by Gail Rodgers

Shelly loved to reach out to others. She had a heart of compassion for those in need. She rarely thought of herself as needy.

No one likes to think of herself as needy. We prefer other adjectives for ourselves, words that reflect strength or wisdom. As mentors we stand ready to help and to share from our strength and wisdom. We often see those who come to us as the needy ones. We don’t care to have “needy” beside our own name, yet we all wear that tag.

Just for a moment think about your own needs. It’s easier to think of someone else and how you can help them. But can you identify where you are needy? We can see the needs of others clearly, but can be blind to our own.

There is a tool we can use to help us see our own need. Once you have the tool in your hand you will actually be surprised that it works so well. The tool is paying attention to any conflict in your life. Conflict often reflects our unmet needs.

Think about it for a moment. Recall the last encounter you had with conflict. Most of us don’t have to dig very far into our memories. Sometimes the unmet need is basic and easy to remedy such as the need for sleep.

But often it is much deeper. The need to feel valued and heard or the need to be accepted or respected can cause conflict from a wounded heart. Control and manipulation can stem from an angry heart, rooted in a need to forgive others or oneself.

We all have ashes in our lives. A wise friend of mine has said, “Listen for the ashes in peoples lives and then pray into them.” Ashes exist where hope has burned up and need remains. Think about where conflict exists in your life and ask God to help you identify any unmet need, whether yours or someone else’s, that may exist at the root of it. Begin to pray into those needs.

The deep needs of our heart can only be adequately met by God. He is the one who promised to bring “beauty out of ashes” (Isaiah 61:3).

When you see potential conflict lurking on your horizon… stop… and use the opportunity as a tool to build into your own life or to pray into another’s. Look honestly at yourself. Grow from it in these four ways:

•    Give God the opportunity to reveal to your heart any unmet need that may be at the root of this conflict. Be open to seeing your own need and be open to praying into the needs of another. It will help dissolve hostility too.

•    Recognize that God is the only One who can meet all of your needs.

•    Open your heart to God’s help, asking Him to be the Source you need for that unmet need in your life. Bring another Christian alongside who can pray for you in this as you move toward God’s healing and finding “beauty from ashes.”

•    Walk beside another in prayer as you pray for their unmet needs. They may not be open to you but you can pray into their life, asking God to be their Source in meeting the needs of their soul.

God invites us to ask for His help in our needs.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

God promises to be the Source for all of our unmet needs.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

As we seek God in our conflicts and allow Him to reveal where we are needy, He will supply what we need and we will be equipped, in greater ways, to extend our hands to the needy in our pathway.

Allow Him to GROW you in and through the deep needs of your heart.

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women