Prayer of Jabez


He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/1ch.4.10.NLT

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The Beautiful Things We Miss

I don’t wanna miss it
I don’t wanna look back someday and find
Everything that really mattered
Was right in front of me this whole time.”

The Beautiful Things We Miss by Matthew West

This is one of my favorite songs right now. It talks about the importance of living in the moment and cherishing the little things. Playing with our kids, spending time with friends and family, enjoying a good song, the sunshine, even a nice walk or book. Before we know it our kids will be grown and loved will pass away.

We don’t want to miss the times we never bothered to cherish, Instead we should live life to the fullest. The point is to have joy now rather than hoping in a future that may never come.

All we have is this day, therefore we are to live one day at a time, not worrying about our future. God will take care of us if we just have faith. This does not mean He will prevent anything bad from happening to us. Instead, He will give us strength to get through the hard times and even find moments of happiness amiss our struggles or greatest times of sorrow.

https://youtu.be/2in8Pr-K7s0

The inspiration for Matthew West’s new song “The Beautiful Things We Miss” first began surfacing in his mind during a hike he took in Colorado. Matthew, a beginning hiker at the time, paused to catch his breath; looking around he noticed something profound…

“I was just focusing on the ground in front of me and there’s all these roots from trees that had popped up that you kind of used as steps and if you didn’t see them you’d trip over them,” Matthew recalls. “At one point, I was just out of breathe and I stopped and for the first time in the hike I looked around me and it was like the most gorgeous scenery, it was just breathtaking. And, I literally had the idea the beautiful things we miss. Why? Because I was looking down the whole time I was hiking and I was missing what was going on around me.”

In this video about the story behind “The Beautiful Things We Miss” Matthew continues to describe what he discovered that day and how he applies it to his own life, with his family and career.

Lyrics

She puts on her makeup

And the last dress she remembers that turned his head

That time he said, “You look beautiful”

At six, the front door opens

And he doesn’t even notice

Kisses her cheek

“Baby, when do we eat

I’m starving”

Oh, the beautiful things we miss

I don’t wanna miss it

I don’t wanna look back someday and find

Everything that really mattered

Was right in front of me this whole time

Open up my eyes, Lord

Keep me in the moment just like this

Before the beautiful things we love

Become the beautiful things we miss

She hides out in her headphones

Texting on her cell phone

Daddy’s girl built a world behind her bedroom door

While he was working hard and providing

Bigger houses still get divided

Just yesterday she was on his shoulders, but today she’s older

Why do we get older

We don’t get to rewind

There’s no such thing as next time

Help me remember, help me remember, we don’t get this back

They were right when they said don’t blink

It all goes faster than you think

Help me remember, help me remember

The beautiful things we miss

Open up my eyes, Lord

Open up my eyes, Lord

I don’t want to miss it

No, I don’t want to miss it

Open up my eyes, Lord

Open up my eyes, Lord

Before the beautiful things I love

Become the beautiful things I miss

Publishing: © 2017 Highly Combustible Music / Atlas Music Publishing / House Of Story Music / Two Story House Music (ASCAP) (Admin. by Atlas Music Publishing

Writer(s): Matthew West and AJ Pruis

“I don’t wanna miss it
I don’t wanna look back someday and find
Everything that really mattered
Was right in front of me this whole time.”

— Read on www.air1.com/music/artists/matthew-west/songs/the-beautiful-things-we-miss-lyrics.aspx

Guide Others Towards Christ

Just because someone goes to church does not mean they have ever been made new in Jesus Christ and is someone who needs the grace of Jesus. Maybe they are new in faith and haven’t yet been taught how to live by the Spirit rather than of the world. They need instructing in a positive and loving way. Don’t judge, but lift up in the same way Jesus showed his followers. People who have lived in the world all their life need help learning the difference of living in the Spirit.

Mathew 23:28

Maybe they do know better and still do not honor Christ. In this case they are are hypocrites. Lead by example, don’t treat their sinful ways as ok. They may rationalize their sin, but it is still sin in the eyes of the Lord. As Christians we need to represent Jesus and be blessings to one another. They may say other Christians aren’t perfect, but that is not an excuse to do what is wrong. We should not condemn or be overly harsh. At the same time we should not treat their sinful ways as acceptable .

1 Corinthians 3:1

Let me pray with a heart to restore.

If another believer is overcome my sin, you who love by the

You are not the judge, but the guide to gently bring them back to a better way of life.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently if someone is caught ins sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”

Galatians 6:1

Your goal is not to be right, but to help them along their walk with Christ.

God help me to confront carefully.

God help me see when I’m the hypocrite.

James 5:19-20

We should not expect not believers to act like Christian. Instead invite them to church or help them learn about the awesomeness of being saved by Jesus Christ.

Also pray Lord, help me see when Ibam the hypocrite. Think of the story of the woman about to be stoned for prostitution. Jesus began to write in the sand. Maybe he wrote each of their sins because one by one the accusers walked away until no one was left. Then Jesus came and said who are your accusers. He said go and sin no more. He showed grace and gave forgiveness just as does with each of us. Our sinful nature mean we are not perfect. We must acknowledge when we are wrong and ask God for forgiveness and then try to do better and overcome that sin. Have a heart of repentance and rely on the power Christ to help us stop our sinful ways and become more Christ like.

bible.com/111/1jn.2.4.niv

The Lord Lifts Me Up Every Day


He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The Lord frees the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down. The Lord loves the godly.
Psalms 146:6‭-‬8 NLT

https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.146.6-8.NLT

In Jesus’ Name

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)

In the gospel of John there are at least six promises that if we pray in Jesus’ name, God in Christ will answer our prayer. The first is in our text, which promises that God the Father may be glorified in God the Son. Note also the equivalent promises in John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26.

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Such promises seem almost too comprehensive and unconditional to be understood literally. The key, however, is the significance of the phrase “in my name.” This obviously means more than simply beginning or ending our prayer with this or some similar phrase.

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In the first place, we must recognize that it is only through Jesus Christ our mediator that we dare enter the presence of the omnipotent God at all. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), He said. That being true, it also implies that our prayer must be in agreement with what Christ Himself would pray. No Christian should ask for something he knows to be against God’s will. “If we ask any thing according to his will . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

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When we come to the Father in Christ’s name, we are in a very real sense representing Him. Therefore, we must come with clean hands and motives worthy of the One in whose name we profess to come. Unconfessed, unrepented sin would surely misrepresent Him, and we could hardly speak in His name in such a case. Finally, acknowledging His power and promise, we must come believing, not doubting His Word.

Then, not only is the Father glorified, as says our text, but we shall rejoice. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. . . . ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). HMM

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How Should We Respond to Criticism

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I want my words to be life giving, to build up others. Because of our sinful nature, we can often be critical. In our ignorance we can think we are right and doing the right thing to offer our critical opinion. We need to guard our hearts against being opinionated. We can pick apart the way people do things differently than us.

Overcoming a Sensitive Spirit to Criticism

We have to become deeply assured of who we are in Christ. Being confident in our calling will keep us from being derailed by criticism. We should not be driven by praise. Therefore, don’t let compliments go to your head or criticism go to your heart.

One way to respond to critical people is to respond carefully, not rashly or instinctively.

A thoughtful answer can give a critical person a different perspective. If you wait to send that text or throw back a defensive comment, then you can think about your response. This allows you to act out of wisdom.

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Often, the criticism isn’t about you. Most angry people are actually hurting. They have a past hurt or something about themselves they don’t like.

Forgive in real time, don’t wait months or years to forgive. It will steal your joy and make it hard to love others. Resist the urge to defend yourself or explain why it is not fair. If we let the Spirit help us we can get above it.

Constructive Criticism

Accepting constructive criticism can help us be better. If there are not several things you have changed in the last year because of constructive criticism, then you are missing out on the opportunity for growth.

Improving Dopamine Levels

What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine is the brain chemical that allows us to have feelings of bliss, pleasure, euphoria, drive, motivation, focus, and concentration. But let’s start at the beginning: Your brain actually communicates with itself. That is, you have an intricately linked system of nerve cells called neurons that “communicate” with each other via specialized receptor sites.

Dopamine is a chemical (neurotransmitter) that is used by the nerves to send “messages.” When a nerve releases dopamine, it crosses a very small gap called a synapse and then attaches to a dopamine receptor on the next nerve. Therefore, when dopamine levels are depleted in the brain, the nerve impulses, or “messages,” cannot be transmitted properly and can impair brain functions: behavior, mood, cognition, attention, learning, movement, and sleep.

How Do I Know Whether I Have Dopamine Deficiency?

When there is a dopamine deficiency, emotions cannot be correctly regulated. Mental impulses that mitigate intense feelings of sadness are inhibited; therefore, the most common low dopamine symptoms are the same signs associated with clinical depression (and more specifically, major depressive disorder):

14 Dopamine Deficiency Symptoms

1 Lack of interest in life

2 Decreased motivation

3 Procrastination

4 Inability to feel pleasure

5 Altered sleep patterns

6 Restless leg syndrome

7 Fatigue

8 Mood swings

9 Excessive feelings of hopelessness or guilt

10 Poor memory

11 Inability to focus/impaired concentration

12 Impulsive or self-destructive behaviors

13 Addictions to caffeine or other stimulants

14 Weight gain

Extreme dopamine deficiency, as in the case of Parkinson’s disease, causes a permanent and degenerative diminishing of motor skills, including muscle rigidity and tremors.

7 Ways to Treat Dopamine Deficiency

With that background in mind, consider the following dopamine-boosting tactics you can take to increase dopamine.

1. Decrease your sugar intake. Sugar alters brain chemistry by disrupting dopamine levels, which is one reason why people often experience a “sugar high” shortly after eating sweets. Just as alcohol and drugs can deplete dopamine levels, sugar does the same. In fact, sugar stimulates the exact same euphoric pathway targeted by alcohol and drug use–that is, the decreased dopamine levels lead to actual sugar addictions.

Whether initiated by alcohol, cocaine, or sugar, the compulsive behavior addiction is the same—an undeniable desire for dopamine. Limiting sugar intake will help fight this addictive dopamine depletion-sugar craving cycle. If you struggle with a sweet tooth, you can take chromium picolinate supplements to help decrease your sugar cravings.[1,2]

2. Take tyrosine. When your brain cells need to “manufacture” neurotransmitters for proper mood regulation, they use amino acids as the essential raw material. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; there are 20 different amino acids that make up the protein our body needs.

The brain uses the amino acid l-phenylalanine as the source (precursor) for the production of dopamine. Phenylalanine is one of the “essential” amino acids; that is, the body cannot make it on its own so we have to get it from the foods we eat or from supplements. Once the body receives phenylalanine, it can convert it to tyrosine, which in turn is used to synthesize dopamine. So the way to increase central nervous system neurotransmitter levels is to provide proper amounts of the amino acid precursor.

Bananas, especially ripe bananas, are an exceptional food for regulating dopamine because they have a high concentration of tyrosine. Other foods that increase dopamine through the conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine include almonds, apples, watermelons, cherries, yogurt, beans, eggs and meats.

It is important to note that dopamine foods alone generally do not have the therapeutic amino acid levels necessary to boost dopamine levels for someone experiencing major depressive disorder. To boost your levels of dopamine, dopamine rich foods may not be adequate. Tyrosine supplementation may help.

3. Decrease caffeine intake. Even though coffee gives you the energy boost you need, just like sugar, it only offers temporary relief and may actually be doing more harm than good. After experiencing the initial kick caffeine offers, dopamine levels in the body decrease. So, go for a cup of decaf or at least minimize consumption of coffee to counter dopamine deficiency.[5]

4. Set a routine schedule. One easy way to boost dopamine is to get in a healthy routine and stick to it. Your routine should include adequate time for work and rest. Ideally, your 24-hour day should include seven to eight hours of sleep per night in combination with periods of physical activity.

Under-sleeping and/or over-sleeping combined with lack of regular exercise can drain the brain of dopamine. Why? Proper sleep gives the brain time to recuperate from the day and recharge its stores of neurotransmitters.

5. Get consistent exercise. Regular physical activity increases blood circulation to influence the presence of many different hormones within the brain, affecting dopamine levels.

6. Decrease stress levels. High stress levels are also strongly correlated with dopamine deficiency. Stress can be caused by two sources: poor adrenal function and chronic daily life stressors. While we can’t always control our circumstances, there are “stress safeguards” you can utilize to help you deal with the day-in and day-out anxieties.

Remember, if stress is not handled properly, it can be devastating to your health. So, establish an ongoing plan that enables you to deal with stress effectively.

7. Correct a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency can cause decreased levels of dopamine, and natural health experts estimate over half of the US population to be deficient in this relaxation mineral. If you’ve been eating a diet heavy in junk foods or processed foods, you probably have a magnesium deficiency! Common symptoms include food cravings (salt or carbs), constipation, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, muscle pains and spasms, fatigue, headaches, and depression symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety and irritability.

There are blood and urine tests that your doctor can perform to see if you have a magnesium deficiency. However, these tests may not always be accurate since most of the body’s magnesium stays in the cells, rather than in the bloodstream or the urine.

There is one lab test called a sublingual epithelial test that is more effective because it checks for magnesium in the cells, where most of it is present. To perform this test, your doctor will scrape under your tongue with a tongue depressor to obtain epithelial cells, which are then sent to a lab for analysis. Schedule this test with your doctor or start increasing your intake of magnesium.[6]