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Everyone has things in their life they would like to change or need help with.  And most of us have had issues that have come and gone.  However, sometimes there are issues that are not so easily resolved.  Sometimes there are situations that, on the surface, seem simple, yet no matter what we do, the answer escapes us for a long time.  But not everyone has experienced this.  As a result, there are those who believe some issues are easy to wipe away.  They are quick to apply advice and Christian platitudes to the troubles of others, as if the person never thought of these things before.  But often times, their faith, and their mettle, has never been tested in that way, so they speak out of ignorance.  If you've never been in a position where the circumstances were overwhelming -- where they touched every part of your life, and there was no escape -- then I suppose you can thank God for that.  But don't let your pride get the better of you; your day may be coming soon.  This is a call for wisdom and kindness.  Sometimes there are issues that can't be brushed away as easily as some imagine.  And when people use a hammer to apply easy answers to unmoving situations, it shows their ignorance.  And for the one they are tying to "help," it deepens the turmoil they are going through, and causes them to withdraw to places where they cannot receive the help they need.  Be careful speaking when it's easy for you to speak, because it isn't necessarily as easy for the person on the other side.  Be wise, and consider what you may not know or understand.  1 John 3:18 (NIV) Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Many have risen to prominence for singing well, for being a good actor, for excelling in sports, and more.  They built platforms based on what they have studied or practiced for many years, and can speak to these things with authority -- and there's nothing wrong with that.  However, some have used their qualified platform to express unqualified opinions or beliefs.  They lead people to believe things that they themselves haven't spent the time or effort to study.  Some even do so as part of an agenda, or for their own benefit.  Not only is this irresponsible, but misleading.  Would you take dire medical advice from your favorite musician?  Would you choose a career path, or divorce your spouse, solely on the advice of an actor?  Would you allow a politician to fix your car, or renovate your house?  No?  Then why would we follow the unqualified advice of anyone who speaks to such issues?  Everyone has opinions, which is fine.  And some have great wisdom, knowledge, or insight that we should consider carefully.  But the real issue is, whose advice are we following, and why?  Whomever you may be listening to, consider the source.  Be wise, and be discerning.  Don't follow someone simply because they appeal to you.  Know what you believe and why you believe it, considering all sides of an issue.  Remember, it's those who follow the advice of others that will bear the consequences of said advice, not the person who gave it.  If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. Matthew 15:14 (NIV)

Has God ever given you a promise and told you that it's going to happen soon?  If so, you may have discovered that God's definition of "soon" doesn't always coincide with ours.  If you've experienced this, allow me to shed some light on why this can happen.  Simply put, when God uses the word "soon," He isn't always referring to a specific measurement of time.  Sometimes He's referring to a measurement of events, or steps.  You see, when God promises us something, He's often giving us a goal to aim for.  And as with any goal there are going to be steps we must take to get there.  In the case of God's promises, sometimes spiritual growth is required.  Sometimes we need our thoughts or our beliefs changed.  Sometimes our heart even needs a bit of a tune-up.  Whatever the case may be, God's promises may only be two or three steps away -- which is pretty soon as far as fulfillment is concerned.  However, the length of time it takes to advance through these steps is often dependent on us.  If we resist, we extend the time it takes to see fulfillment.  If we cooperate, the time is shortened.  This is why it's so critical to know God's personal direction for your life, and focus on what He wants you to do, and to be, at this very moment.  If God has given you a promise, then you have things you need to do in order to get there.  And regardless of what steps may be before you, ultimately they are about coming into alignment with God in spirit, in thought, in heart, and in action.  Jeremiah 18

Have you been waiting on God to answer your prayers, or fulfill His promises to you?  If so, you may want to consider a few things that can cause significant delays.  Things such as...  - Going in the direction of our choosing, or the timing of our choosing, and expecting God to make things materialize.  - Praying for God to do something, or give us something, without regard to what He's asking of us personally.  - And, intervening in situations to try to make something happen.  There are exceptions, of course, but sometimes participating in these things can result in significant delays.  The reason is, sometimes there are specific choices we need to make, or knowledge we must gain, in order to receive what God has for us.  However, these things often aim to bypass God's work in us, even if that isn't our intention.  God longs to give each of us the desires of our heart, but only He knows the route we must take in order to receive them.  Take time to search out that route by seeking God's direction first.  Don't make choices based on what you believe will fulfill your desires the quickest, but rather on what God says to do.  Then the answers you have been waiting for will manifest in the right way, at the right time.  Proverbs 10:22, Galatians 6:9

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)  God Bless You, and Merry Christmas!


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