All posts by Robyn

Fruit of the Spirit – GENTLENESS

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, GENTLENESS and self-control.”  Galatians 5

On a scale of 1-10, how gentle of a person would you say you are?  What would your spouse say?  What about your kids?  Your boss?  Your friends?  What kind of reputation do you have as far as GENTLENESS is concerned?

Where do you think GENTLENESS comes from?  Does it come from your past?  Your spiritual life?  Your personality/temperament or something else?

If GENTLENESS is part of the fruit of the Spirit, then it must be something we are to strive for, right?  My personality is bubbly and energized, however, if I want to be GENTLE-spirited, then I would need to look at how I interact with others on a daily basis.  I would ask if I genuinely care about how people perceive me; if I make them feel safe and valued, if I am willing to listen and empathize with them, and realize that we are all to be the extension of Jesus’ arms.  His arms are always open and inviting; not held up or pushing others away.

A definition of GENTLENESS – “kindly;  amiable; not severe, rough or violent; mild, moderate.”  I also looked up the definition of “amiable” – Having or showing pleasant, good-natured personal qualities; friendly; sociable; agreeable.”  Wow!  Does this describe you?  I ask myself the same question.

These definitions were written by human beings.  Now, let’s look at what God’s Word says about GENTLENESS…

“Let your gentleness be evident to all.”  Phil. 4:5

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy, and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, GENTLENESS and patience.”  Col. 3:12

Beginning today, let’s be aware of our responses to others, balancing criticism and praising our children, spouses, our elderly parents, our bosses and co-workers, clerks, other drivers, etc.  Let this day begin a new practice of GENTLENESS, out of obedience of God and practicing the fruit of the Spirit.

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Fruit of the Spirit – FAITHFULNESS

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, FAITHFULNESS, gentleness and self-control.”  Galatians 5

What do you believe the difference is between doing something out of habit and doing it out of FAITHFULNESS?  Think about that for a bit…

The dictionary describes a HABIT as “an acquired behavior, pattern, regularly followed until it has become “ALMOST INVOLUNTARY.”  On the other hand, FAITHFULNESS is described as “true to one’s word, promises, vows; steady in allegiance or affection, loyal, constant.”  Emotional connection would be included in FAITHFULNESS as we move with purpose.

Do you see the difference between the two?  Let’s look at a few examples and explore how we “roll”.

  • Going to church – Do you go to church out of habit or obligation or do you FAITHFULLY go with expectations of worshipping corporately, learning from the pastor’s understanding of the Word and connecting with your church family?
  • Praying – Do you pray at the dinner table or only when you want something from Him, or do you spend time communing with Him with thankfulness, praise, and confession and then petition Him.  Are you FAITHFUL in your time with Him or only occasionally?
  • Serving – Do you serve because you signed up for something or because you just have “always done it” or do you serve your family, friends, in your church or at your job because you are serving “as unto Him”?
  • Reading the Bible – Do you read the required passages for a Bible study or Sunday School class or  maybe just out of habit, or do you spend rich time digging into His Word as you seek Him?

The difference between habit and FAITHFULNESS is the motive with which we do things.  Now is a good time to explore why we do what we do.  It can be the difference between doing something out of mere habit or out of FAITHFULNESS to the Lord God who is so FAITHFUL to us and receiving rich blessings.

Listen to what David says about this…”The Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.  Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary.  Be strong and do the work.”  I Chron. 28:9,10

“O come, all ye FAITHFUL; joyful and triumphant…”

Fruit of the Spirit – GOODNESS

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, GOODNESS, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Galatians 5

“For GOODNESS sakes!”  “GOODNESS gracious!” “Thank GOODNESS!” I remember my grandmother using these phrases a lot when I was growing up. She usually said them  with her hands on her hips.  She was a petite woman, but she had a big voice and big energy.  I love my grandma so much and take after her in some ways.

Definition of GOODNESS:  moral excellence; virtue; generosity; best part of anything

When you look at that definition, does it describe you?  Do you live in moral excellence, according to the Word of God?  Many time, we live in a way that offends God, but still expect Him to bless us with what we want.  Hmmmmm.  Do we expect Him to make an exception for us, even though we are deliberately sinning day after day?   I have heard many say, “Well, God understands that I am just human and make MISTAKES, but he KNOWS MY HEART.  He will forgive me.”  Is that how we deal with our own children?  Think about it.

Do you live a virtuous life?  Do we live with ethical principles, uprightness and excellence?  I believe we should strive to live in excellence because that is what the Lord requires.  This doesn’t mean perfection, because He is the only Perfect One, but we should strive to be the best we can be for HIS glory.

Do you consider yourself a generous person?  Are you a giver or a taker?  Do you expect everyone else to meet your needs and desires?  On another level, do you expect GOD to meet your desires and wants, but not willing to surrender yourself to serving Him with what He has given you?  Good question.

Today is a great day to ask yourself if you are a person of GOODNESS;  one who is a strong example of the GOODNESS of God.  Look around and see how you can spread His love, for GOODNESS sake!!!

For powerful resources for finding healing from past crisis/trauma, go to or (Chained No More)

Fruit of the Spirit – KINDNESS

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Galatians 5

What happened to the KINDNESS in our world?!  When was the last time you let someone else get in front of you at the grocery store because they had only one or two items and you had a full basket?  When was the last time you just sat and listened to an elderly person for a bit?  When was the last time…..

Our world has become a stop and go, push and pull flurry of activity and has distracted us from being people of KINDNESS. There is an immense amount of anger and hurt in our society today, so KINDNESS isn’t even in the picture.  Families have been shattered along with hopes and dreams.

It becomes very evident during the holiday season as I see many people who are single and will spend the holidays alone, but longing to be surrounded by people of good cheer and KINDNESS. Single parents, widows and widowers, divorced singles, people who don’t have extended family members around, college students, etc.  Are we so busy with holiday errands that we forget to show KINDNESS around town?  We only have to walk into an assisted living facility to see the sad faces of lonely grandpas and grandmas who long for a friendly face and a touch.

“He/she who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is KIND to the needy honors God.”  Proverbs 14:31

“Be KIND and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Eph, 4:32

“I will tell of the KINDNESSES of the Lord, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us.”  Isa. 63:7a

The best way to receive KINDNESS is to give it first.  What are some ways you can be used of God to touch the lives of others and show KINDNESS?  When you do, you are extending the arms of Jesus to them and only good can come from that.  Parents, teach your children how to show KINDNESS by giving this holiday season and beyond.

Look around for ways that you can show the love and KINDNESS of Christ to those around you, whether it is driving, working, shopping or at the movies.  Take the time to notice how you can be a blessing.  How about “random acts of KINDNESS”, in the name of Jesus? Try it.

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Fruit of the Spirit – PATIENCE

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,”  Galatians 5

“Come on!  Hurry up!  How long do I have to wait for you?!  What are you; a turtle?!  You have got to be the slowest person I know!”

Do you hate to wait…on people, at a traffic light, in a line at the store, to see a doctor, etc.?  Do you grit your teeth, seethe, complain or gripe, stare disgustedly, or roll your eyes?  Wait a minute!  What do you do when people have to wait on YOU?  Is that okay?  Does that affect you as much?  Are you often late and usually the last one to arrive?  Hmmmm.  What are you saying? That your time is more valuable than anyone else’s?  Hmmmm again.

“A man’s wisdom give him PATIENCE; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” Prov. 19:11

“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and PATIENCE is better than pride.”     Prov. 7:9

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and PATIENCE.”  Col. 3:12

Our world keeps us running hard and fast and we try to fit everything in 24 hours.  We cram appointments, our children’s activities, church events and family obligations into every minute of the day and then wonder why we are always feeling like we can never catch up.

All of this activity can cause us to be IMPATIENT with our loved ones and others we come in contact with, can’t it?  What can we do about that?  Could we look at our involvement and schedule and simplify and reorganize our life?  Have we made our schedule more important than our relationships?  Let’s look back on the first verse above…”A man’s (or woman’s) wisdom give him/her PATIENCE…” Prov. 7:9a

Where do we find wisdom?  “For the Lord gives wisdom , and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  Prov. 2:9

Now you know.  Relax.

Fruit Salad – PEACE

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Galatians 5

What are the sounds that help you relax?  The swishing waves of an ocean?  The crackling of a fire?  Calming music?  The sound of someone sleeping beside you?  Drops of rain on the roof?  When was the last time you felt deep PEACE all the way to your soul?  Now, within that PEACE, did you feel contentment at the same time?

I know that when I feel at peace, my walk with Jesus Christ is full, my relationships are strong, I am in balance in my everyday activities and I can take full breaths without trying.  My shoulders are down, my neck and shoulders are relaxed and I smile more readily.

Your life may be very chaotic right now or maybe you are in a crisis.  Maybe you don’t see a way out and feel like there is no hope. You may be afraid of your future and what it holds.   PEACE?  What PEACE?!

“The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with PEACE.”  Ps. 29

“A heart at PEACE gives life to the body…”  Prov. 14

“I have told you these things, so that in Me, you may  have PEACE.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  John 16

THAT is how we can have true PEACE and contentment! He has overcome the world.  He knows your world and what you are living right this moment.  He cares about you and He loves you in a big way!  Rest in that fact, let your shoulders relax, let your breathing slow down and deepen and allow yourself to experience His PEACE.

Fruit Salad – JOY

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  Galatians 5

What is the one thing that brings you the greatest JOY?  Deep  JOY.  The type of JOY that fills your heart, makes you smile from the inside out and you can’t get enough of.

Now, what makes you happy?  A new pair of cute shoes?  A win for your football team? A yummy dessert?

Do you see the difference between JOY vs. happiness?

Definition of JOY – The emotion of great delight, caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.  Elation.

Definition of happiness – Pleasure, contentment

One is rich and full and the other is very nice.

Here is what the Bible says about JOY.  Talk about rich and full!

  • “Come, let us sing for JOY to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”  Psalm 95:1
  • “Light is shed upon the righteous and JOY on the upright in heart.  Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise His holy name.”  Psalm 97:11,12
  • “…the JOY of the Lord is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10
  • “Be JOYful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  Romans 12:12 

So, how can we have JOY in the midst of financial troubles, marriage issues, divorce, the death of a loved one or any other crisis?

Glad you asked!  Because when we are walking close to Jesus, filling our minds with Him and His Truth, we can have HIS JOY from the inside out.  We understand who He says we are, we can trust in Him and let Him soothe our soul.

Like the old saying goes, “Garbage in; garbage out”.

Try this!  God’s Truth in; God’s Truth out.  God’s JOY in; God’s JOY out.  God’s love in; God’s love out.  Got it?

“Weeping may remain through the night, but JOY comes in the morning.”  Psalm 30:5


“The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5

This is the beginning of blogs concerning the fruit of the Spirit. The first of this “fruit salad” is LOVE. What does the word “LOVE” mean to you? Think about it. When you were growing up, was your household a LOVING environment? Did you feel LOVED and valued or did you feel you were never good enough to be LOVED? Read the verse below and think about your home as a kid and your home today.

“LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres. REPEAT…ALWAYS PERSEVERES. REPEAT…ALWAYS PERSEVERES! LOVE NEVER FAILS, NEVER FAILS, NEVER FAILS!!” I Cor. 13:4-8

We can’t do anything about our past and the hurts from it, but we sure can make our home today a place with this kind of LOVE. Look at the list of God’s ideal of LOVE and think about how you can make your home better for your sake and those in your family.

You may need to ask for forgiveness, change the way your family talks to each other, cut the chaos out, take parenting or marriage skills classes, go to a counselor or pastor. Make sure you talk with the Lord about it first though, and listen to what He puts in your mind, because He is the One who LOVES you most of all.

“LOVE the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

Ripples and Splashes

Would you consider yourself someone who causes ripples or splashes in the life of others?  Consider a beautiful pond, surrounded by the beautiful colors of fall foliage.  The water is like glass except for a couple of ducks gliding over the water.  You can hear crows above you and the sun streams down on your face between the billowy white clouds.  Now, this is a peaceful word picture, isn’t it?

The ducks cause small ripples that surround them wherever they go on this glistening pond. As they move to another part of the pond, the ripples disappear.  All of a sudden, someone from the other side of the water, begins to skim rocks over the surface and small trails of splashes begin to disturb the glasslike water.

Now, that same person finds a large rock and lugs it into the pond and the splash makes a huge sound. The entire pond will soon be affected and it will be quite some time before the pond will become  like glass again.

This picture makes me ask the question about the influence for Christ I have in this world.  Am I one who just leaves a small little ripple, so hardly anyone notices?  Do I even make a ripple at all and just not get involved?  Or do I, along with others, make efforts occasionally to spread His love around me like those ducks did together in the pond? We may make stronger ripples, but they don’t last very long as we move from activity to activity.

What I really want to do is make a big splash and bring many to Jesus Christ.  It takes effort and commitment to “lug” the message to them, but I want the whole world to know that He is the answer to any problem they have or have had.  I want to stir up the water with long lasting effects for the Kingdom and His Truth.

How about you?  Are you a “ripple” or a “splash” for Christ?

Hurry Up and…….Wait

  • Are you good at waiting for something?
  • Are you a patient person?
  • How long will you wait for your order to come at a restaurant before saying something?
  • How long will you wait behind someone to move at a green light before honking your horn?
  • How long will you wait on the phone while elevator music plays before hanging up with frustration?

Our world is full of these scenarios every day.  We want what we want when we want it and how we want it.  We will settle for nothing less.  We don’t have time to wait around for other people.  We are busy.  Even if we are not in a big hurry, we get very impatient is someone isn’t moving as fast as we want them to.  Sometimes this can ruin the atmosphere at home or work and cause relationship tension, right?

Is this you?

  • Would you rather have people waiting for you than you waiting for them?
  • Do you expect others to understand and be patient when YOU are the one who is sitting momentarily too long at a light?
  • Do you expect others to understand when you keep looking at the phone while you are having lunch with someone?
  • Do you realize that you are not the only patron at that restaurant who “wants what they want when they want it and how they want it”?

Proverbs 14:29…”A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.”  Webster:  “Folly is a foolish action, practice, idea, etc.”

Let’s all take a deep breath or two and determine to allow space in our lives so we don’t keep running from one expectation to another.  Evaluate how your impatience may be affecting your relationship with your kids, your spouse or others. Do you bark out orders?  Do your family member think that they can never meet your expectations, so why try? Think about it.  Be patient with yourself as you make the adjustments and ask the Lord for His wisdom.  You KNOW He is more than patient with you, right?