Try Something New Tuesday – Stretch Yourself

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Happy Tuesday!  Let’s try something new.

Yesterday was my second day at the gym.  I was excited to see a few friendly faces.  It helped to distract me.  The first time I tried the gym last week, I went on my lunch break and walked one mile.  I decided that I was too sweaty when I arrived back at work after lunch. There are showers at the gym, but I just didn’t have enough time to take advantage of this option.  So, yesterday I went after work.  The gym was packed and hot, but I was able to go directly home afterwards.  The first mile wasn’t too tough, but when I started the second mile my knees, hips and ankles began to hurt.  At one point I thought I was going to collapse.  Where I had been walking at three miles an hour, I slowed to two and a half, and was painfully able to finish my second mile.  I really want to lose weight and build my speed and endurance before I take a trip to New York City in May.  So, today I’m going to try stretching first and walking at the slower pace.  On a funny note, upon walking out of the gym last night, the air was heavy with the smell of Zaxbys fries.

It has occurred to me that stretching myself might be needed in other areas of my life. Some things God calls us to do require a simple change in attitude, but others require us to do something a little uncomfortable.  For me, I do not like being the center of attention or public speaking. Often, I’m quiet in social settings.  So, I’m going to work on stretching myself in these areas.

Join me in a little physical and spiritual stretching this week.  I can’t wait to hear your ideas.  God bless you!

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Tell Me Something Good Monday – Prayers Answered

“May I never forget the great things he has done for me” (Psalm 103:2).

Happy Monday!  What a great time to think of all the good things in your life.  For me this week the best thing is my father-in-law under went bypass surgery Tuesday and came home from the hospital yesterday.  There are so many things I’m thankful for from the doctors and nurses, to the hospital, to my family and friends.  Of course, his recovery is not over, but he seems to be doing well for it to be less than a week after the surgery.

Join me today in praising God for all the good things in your life!  God bless you!

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Praise the Lord Sunday -Celebrate His Work

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

In the midst of all that is wrong in this world . . . God is always good.  So take time today to giveback and celebrate all that Lord has fulfilled in your life. You might ask how do you praise God?  Some think of praise as how you brag on a child for a job well done.  Others choose to thank God for his graciousness.  Still others celebrate God’s work with singing and dancing.  There are also some who give back to others in adoration of God’s work. Whether you choose one of these ideas, a combination, or have another way of praising God, it does not matter because he always knows your heart.

Join me today insinging his praises!  I look forward to hearing how you praise God.  God bless you.

On Family & Friends

 

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul”(Proverbs 27:9).

Weekends are the perfect time to spend time with family and friends, but if you are like me, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the difference because of emotional ties. On one hand, I have the family that I was born into.  This includes my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings.  Then, there is the family that I married into, whom I love as much as my birth family.  This family includes my husband, his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings.  Together, my husband I have combined these two families into one and added our children, while our siblings and cousins have married and added children.  This even bigger family includes our children, children’s spouses, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and more cousins.  Unfortunately, as the family grows larger, it becomes harder to gather everyone together and some family members grow apart.  Also, over time family members, regretfully pass away and sometimes leave because of divorce and misunderstandings.  They are always missed.  Family members grow closer as they encounter hard times and work together to resolve problems. Difficulties and memories create strong bonds between members.  Oh, I must not forget pets!

 

Another type of family is my church family.  Much like the families I already discussed, there are some I enjoy spending time with more than others.  There are some with difficult personalities with whom I might not get along well. There are some with whom I enjoy working.  Others I have watched grow up and start their own families.  I love all of them and strong bonds are created through trials endured, memories and religious beliefs.

 

Another type of family for me are my coworkers, fellow civic club members and friends.  The people in these groups often spend more time with me than any other family.  For that reason no matter how much I choose to separate myself, I feel like these folks are my family too.  With each of these groups, there are some I’ve known all my life that I may go many years without seeing, but when I do see them, it instantly feels like we were never separated.  Some I get aggravated with from time to time, but know that if I needed anything, they would be there for me instantly.  Some I love dearly, but suddenly they died or moved away and out of my life, never to be seen again.  These family members create strong bonds through working and playing together.

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To me, all of these people are family, most of my husbands and my birth families are also friends, but some family roles might not lend themselves to friendship, particularly those between parents and children.  These people are friendly with one another, just have roles that might conflict with friendship.  The same might hold true between supervisors and their employees. Finally, I have acquaintances that I also love like family.

Wow! My family is very large and I am so blessed! Luke 12:34 says “for where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.”  What a treasure the people are in my life too!  Each relationship is unique and special.  When we have so many personalities interacting we need to be quick to forgive and understanding of differences.  First Corinthians 3:15 says “love keeps no record of wrongs.”  Finally, always remember Matthew 19:26, which says “with God all things are possible.”

How do you feel about your friends and family?  Do you have additional categories?  I can’t wait to learn more about your thoughts on friends and family. Remember to spend time with these people.  God bless you.

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Share the Love Friday – Always Do Your Best

“Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah).”                                   Colossians 3:23,24

It’s Friday and time to share the love!  Whether at home, church, or civic organization, doing our best is important.  Our commitment tells others that they can count on us and reflects Christ’s work in our life.   The flip side is we need to be dedicated to completing the task, never giving up.  This holds true regardless to how menial the job may be.  All tasks are equally important when it comes to doing our best work. Doing our best also means going beyond the obvious, never stopping short of the goal until the task is completed on time.  We should look for ways to add value to the job and at the same time help with someone else’s task.  It can be easy to take on too much.  Doing our best sometimes means saying no to additional jobs until we have completed the work we are already committed to, or saying no to jobs that are beyond our physical or financial ability.  Finally,  doing our best work means having a good attitude.  We should keep a smile on our face, a song in our heart and speak only kindness to others, even when working with difficult people.  The best part is when the job is done, we are left with a good feeling.  What a great opportunity it is to spread the love today and every day!  Join me in doing your best work all the time.  God bless you.

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Forgiveness Thursday – Get Back on Track

“Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

After two days at the hospital, I have to admit that I have not been true to Weight Watchers.  I tried to make good choices, but some of my choices were pure emotions.  Yikes!  So, today I’m back on my routine and I will forgive myself and move forward.  I’m also going to start visiting the gym.  I need to walk more.  Finally, I will forgive the media, on my friend’s advice, for making unrealistic images for us to live up to.  Join me on forgiving yourself for not closely following your diet.  God bless you.

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Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Be Your Minister’s Armor Bearer

“Humble yourself before God and he will exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6)

Yesterday, as my husband and I sat with my sweet mother-in-law for what seemed like endless hours, waiting for my father-in-law to come out of open heart surgery, a friendly face arrived.  He stayed with us for over four hours and listened endlessly to whatever we said with a pleasant smile.  There was a tireless caring and concern in his demeanor. He refused to leave until the surgery was over, and then escorted family members into the critical care unit to see my father-in-law.  Before he left, he held our hands and led us in prayer. After hugging each of us, he was on his way.

Although comforting sick members and their family is one of a minister’s duties, it occurred to me that he probably had other duties that he fell behind on while he was sitting with us and offering a caring ear. Often, we are quick to criticize our ministers when everything is not just perfect in the church.  I think we should instead choose to be their armor bearers.

According to Terry Nance in his book God’s Armor Bearer, Volume 1 & 2, being an armor bearer is not a stepping stone position, but one of devotion and heartfelt loyalty.  The duty is about defending your minister, helping him in his endless duties with whatever he needs no matter how menial, expecting no reward and remaining humble in his service.  Sometimes ministers have needs away from the church, an armor bearer helps with these needs as well.  It may also mean letting your minister get the glory for what you did, and that is okay.  It’s not about being out front.

Being a minister can be a difficult position.  Instead of waiting for your minister to solve all the church’s problems, join me in my decision to be an armor bearer.  God bless you!

 

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Try Something New Tuesday -Have a Servant’s Attitude

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13

Happy Tuesday.  There are many examples throughout the Bible of people displaying a servant’s attitude, and Jesus provides the greatest by always serving others.  The way of the world is to serve yourself.  Most of us look for a job and means to move up the career ladder.  We seek out recognition because that is necessary to be upwardly mobile.  The Bible teaches a different way.  Having a servant’s attitude means being loyal to your boss and staff, and all times seeking ways to serve them.  It is about helping your boss and staff receive credit, even if it is your work.  Taking a back seat and making others feel good is the primary goal of the servant’s attitude.  While this is difficult when people are job scared, we know it is God’s will.  Taking this even further, we should display a servant’s attitude with our friends, family and at church.  This week I will adjust my attitude and begin serving others as I serve the Lord.

On the weight loss front, I’ve lost 12 pounds.  I had a bad day yesterday.  I think I was tempted on all food fronts mostly due to emotional stress, but today I’m beginning anew by starting Weight Watchers. So next week, I should have more to tell you about how Weight Watchers works.

Today, I ask my readers to please pray for my father-in-law who is having open heart surgery. Thank you for remembering my family with this gesture.

Join me this week on my journey to display a servant’s attitude and continue to lose weight!  God bless you.

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Tell Me Something Good Monday – New Opportunities for You

Happy Monday!  Have you ever considered the opportunities that are available for you when you trust God?  There are opportunities everywhere you go and look. Opportunities to help others.  Opportunities to be involved in your church.  Opportunities to make a difference for the future.  This is good news for Monday morning.  So join me in discovering the opportunities God has for us.  God bless you.

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Great is Thy Faithfulness

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It’s Praise God Sunday and what better way to start the week.  This morning my mind is drifting between friends and family who have have recently experienced loss, who have health concerns and/or who have financial needs.  Well, I guess everyone probably falls within one or more of these categories at all times, but today I am speaking of extreme cases.

Whenever it seems like our world is spinning out of control, it is easy to fall into the worry trap.  Once worry enters your thoughts, it is hard to break the cycle.  I know because until recent months I was eat up with “worryitis”.  I worried about what people thought, what I was going to do, what I had already done, and the list goes on and on.  Every other thought was worry.  I came from along line of worriers, and sad to say, but I did not realize this was an issue for me.  I could not enjoy anything in life. I have always tried to be a good person and do the right things to the best of my ability.  Worry was my way of trying to control my environment. Guess what?  It did not work.  Worrying made me and everyone around me miserable.

First Peter 5:7 says we can cast all our anxiety on Christ, because he loves and cares about us.  As Christians the whole foundation of our beliefs is faith – “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrew 11:1).  Since I have turned all my cares over to God, my life has been so much happier.

The process is simple, but it does take time and practice.  I simply pray once about the concern.  Thank God for hearing my prayer and helping me.  Then, whenever I think of the problem, I tell Satan to get out of my head.  This is a technique I learned at a Joyce Meyer conference and it works.  After several months, I began to notice the last step was not needed as much.

So today, join me in praying for those with needs, and casting all worries and anxiety on God.  God bless you.

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