But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING (patience), GENTLENESS (kindness), GOODNESS, FAITH, MEEKNESS (gentleness), TEMPERANCE (self control); against such there is no law. (Galations 5:22-23)
As creatures of habit, we tend to go through life on autopilot. We often miss clues that indicate that our spirit is not enjoying the good health that the Most High created it for.
In the same way that the doctor puts us through a battery of tests to diagnose potential physical problems, The Most High has given us a process of evaluating spiritual problems in our lives:
Each of these is a characteristic of Rawachs active presence in our daily activities. Let’s look at each one and ask some diagnostic questions to make sure we’re healthy.
1. Love. This word for love doesn’t refer to warm feelings but to a deliberate attitude of good will and devotion to others. Love gives freely without looking at whether the other person deserves it, and it gives without expecting anything back.
Question: Am I motivated to do for others as Ahayah has done for me, or am I giving in order to receive something in return?
2. Joy. Unlike happiness, joy is gladness that is completely independent of the good or bad things that happen in the course of the day. In fact, joy denotes a supernatural gladness given by the Most High that actually seems to show up best during hard times. This is a product of fixing your focus on His purposes for the events in your life rather than on the circumstances.
Question: Am I experiencing a joy of life on a regular basis, or is my happiness dependent on things going smoothly in my day?
3. Peace. It’s not the absence of turmoil, but the presence of tranquility even while in a place of chaos. It is a sense of wholeness and completeness that is content knowing that the Most High controls the events of the day.
Question: Do I find myself frazzled by the crashing waves of turmoil in my life, or am I experiencing “the peace that passes all comprehension” (Philippians 4:6-7)?
4. Patience. Other words that describe this fruit are lenience, long-suffering, forbearance, perseverance, and steadfastness. It is the ability to endure ill treatment from life or at the hands of others without lashing out or paying back.
Question: Am I easily set off when things go wrong or people irritate me, or am I able to keep a godly perspective in the face of life’s irritations?
5. Kindness. When kindness is at work in a person’s life, he or she looks for ways to adapt to meet the needs of others. It is moral goodness that overflows. It’s also the absence of malice.
Question: Is it my goal to serve others with kindness, or am I too focused on my own needs, desires, or problems to let the goodness of the Most High overflow to others?
6. Goodness. While kindness is the soft side of good, goodness reflects the character of the Most High, Goodness in you desires to see goodness in others and is not beyond confronting or even rebuking (as Yashiya did with the money changers in the temple) for that to happen.
Question: Does my life reflect the holiness of the Most High and do I desire to see others experience him at a deep level in their own lives?
7. Faithfulness. A faithful person is one with real integrity. He or she is someone others can look to as an example, and someone who is truly devoted to others and to Christ. Our natural self always wants to be in charge, but Spirit-controlled faithfulness is evident in the life of a person who seeks good for others and glory for the Most High.
Question: Are there areas of hypocrisy and indifference toward others in my life, or is my life characterized by faith in Christ and faithfulness to those around me?
8. Gentleness. Meekness is not weakness. Gentleness is not without power, it just chooses to defer to others. It forgives others, corrects with kindness, and lives in tranquility.
Question: Do I come across to others as brash and headstrong, or am I allowing the grace of the Most High to flow through me to others?
9. Self-control. Our fleshly desires, Scripture tells us, are continually at odds with the Most High and always want to be in charge. Self-control is literally releasing our grip on the fleshly desires, choosing instead to be controlled by the Rawach. It is power focused in the right place.
Question: Are my fleshly desires controlling my life, or am I allowing the Spirit to direct me to the things that please the Most High and serve others?
10. Walk by the Spirit. While not a fruit of the Spirit, the final item on the checkup produces all nine qualities listed above. When we follow the Spirit’s lead instead of being led by our self-focused desires, He produces the fruit.
But even when we don’t walk by the Spirit, Rawach is the very one who convicts us that things are not in proper order in our lives.
The Most High promises that if we are willing to admit that we have been walking our own way and ask for His forgiveness and cleansing, He will empower us through His Spirit to live above ourselves and live the abundant life for which He has created us.
Question: Am I actively depending on Rawach to guide me in the Most High ways so I don’t get wrapped up in myself? If not, am I willing to confess to him that His ways are better than mine, and that I need Rawachs guidance to live above the fray?
some excerpt from http://www.wisconsinumc.org/resources/campaigns/live-the-fruit-of-the-spirit
As summer slowly comes around, so does vacation plans. Here are some tips if traveling overseas. Some apply even going from state to state:
- Place the same color ribbon on all your suitcases, it makes it easier to identify them and the kids become familiar with this and can help you find your luggage.
- Take at least one small empty suitcase with you. Not only will this be helpful for the stuff you and the kids buy, but my kids wanted to keep all sorts of treasures they gathered on the way (straws, stickers, containers etc).
- Check in online as soon as you are able to, so you can obtain the best seating arrangements for your family. We go over two rows, so checking in early is important to make sure we can get two rows together. You can generally check in up to 48 hours before your flight.
- Let the kids have time to watch TV/play games on the plane, but if you travel at night, make sure they are turned off at a reasonable time so they can get some sleep. The lights tend to come back on two hours before landing and can wake them up.
- If you have five kids, one of them is bound to get sick. Make sure if the country you are visiting allows it, you take basic medicines like panadol, Dimetapp etc.
- The advice from my friend Caroline about taking extra food for the plane and when you first arrive in another country was completely spot on. Take low mess, nonperishable snacks to have on hand for the kids.
- Always have at least one spare set of clothes for the toddler.
- Take the time to hunt for kid-friendly hotels but ones that mom and dad will also like.
Swimming in the hotel pool for the kids will be one of their favorite activities – let them have time to do it.
- You will fit much less in a day with kids, than when you traveled on your own. Sightseeing with kids needs to be at a pace they can enjoy. Slim down the attractions you want to visit so they touring is a manageable pace for the kids.
- If you check out of the hotel well before your flight, make sure you have a change of clothes for each child in an easy to access section of one of the suitcases. Also have a supply of baby wipes (even if you don’t have a child in nappies) so you can give everyone a wipe down to freshen up before the plane.
Any other ideas, suggestions, stories, drop a comment below!
No Excuses: How Working Parents Make Homeschooling Work
By: Krystle Crossman
There are many excuses that parents give for not taking the leap into home-schooling. One of them is that they work so they can’t possibly make the time to teach their children as well. Let’s debunk that myth right now shall we?
There are plenty of parents who work full-time while still home-schooling their children. Often times people will think that one of the parents has to quit their job while the other one picks up the slack with income but this is far from true. If you are committed to home-schooling your child there are options for you. Here are some of the ways that both parents are still working full-time and keeping their children home for schooling:
- Second shift – While many people dread working second shift or feel that they will not be able to advance their careers with it there are some parents who commit to working it to stay home during the day. Second shift can start in early afternoon or during the evening. There are many jobs out there that are solely second shift with plenty of room for advancement. This allows you to be home during the day with your children to learn. It also allows your family to sleep in a little later during the morning since no one is rushing off to catch the bus or make lunches.
- Think differently – Home-schooling actually requires less hours during the day than traditional schooling. You do not have to spend an hour or more getting the kids ready, they do not have to sit on a bus for half an hour to get to the school, and you do not have to worry about picking them up or dropping them off if there are no buses in your area. That is a few hours per day that you save right away. Traditional schooling consists of a set number of hours during the day because of school regulations. While you will still have rules that you will have to follow from home they are much more flexible. You can start the learning whenever you want and when you are done with the lessons for the day, you are done!
- Move shifts with your partner – Some parents like to swap shifts with their significant other so that they are able to home-school and still work. You can home-school in the afternoon and evening instead of during the day if that is what works for your family. Swapping shifts with your spouse allows you each to have time with your children. You can even split the home-school lessons so that some are done during the day with one parent and the rest is done at night with the other parent. It is a win-win for everyone!
For more information and a step by step guide on how to transition your children and family to homeschooling, visit: TheBlackHomeSchoolGuide.com.