Forgiveness Thursday – Miracles Happen Everywhere

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Hebrew 10:22

It’s Forgiveness Thursday!  Those of us who work a traditional work week are looking forward to a long three-day weekend.  In some cases this means the winding down of the work week.  In others it means push as hard as you can to meet deadlines.  The latter case is the one with which I’m most familiar.  For those of you who are working harder because a long weekend means the same amount of work in less time, take planned breaks throughout the day, take a deep breath, say a prayer and put your worries in God’s hands.

Speaking of worries, has money ever been a concern for you?  Have you ever robbed Peter to pay Paul?  A few months ago I scanned a check into my bank account via my smart phone.  For some reason the check didn’t go through and I didn’t learn until months later.  Well, the check isn’t that much, roughly $60.  It was brought to my attention that the check didn’t clear and that another check would be issued.  That was around the middle of July.  I thought this was wonderful, because after being in the hospital for three days our money has been tight.  I can’t believe I have so many bills when I didn’t even have any medical tests, other than blood work.  We are by no means living in poverty, but we are a little behind on our bills.  Also, we don’t always make the wisest financial decisions, but we are trying to improve.

Well, it’s September and I still don’t have the check. We’ve still been tithing, but our money is super tight.  So tight, that I didn’t know if I’d have enough to buy my medicine until next Friday (9/8), and I haven’t been feeling well.  So, I checked by bank account yesterday morning.  I moved some money out of our savings account and planned to go pick up my medicine.  God must have known that I was concerned because right before I headed to the pharmacy, I tried to check my account on my smart phone and I couldn’t sign in.  Well, that’s never happened before.  So, I took a chance.  What happened next blew my mind!  I had four prescriptions and the insurance co-pay cost was $0.00.  I can only remember one time in my adult life that has happened.  Usually my co-pay is anywhere from $20 – $200.  Now, for those of you who can find a reason out of believing God helped me, I tell you that whatever your reason is, the timing was perfect.  No one will ever convince me that God wasn’t there and he wanted me to trust him.

I didn’t share this story because I want anyone to feel sorry for me or to hurt anyone’s feelings, because I’d really rather not share my financial situation.  I share it simply because I think God wants me to let you all know that he is still in the miracle business.  He is here everyday and he listens to you when you pray.  He knows your heart and all that you do to help others.  So, no matter how hard things are, keep a cheerful attitude, and a forgiving heart.

Put God first in your life and watch the miracles happen everywhere!  God bless you!

 

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Be Different

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.     Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1‬

Happy Wednesday!  Please excuse my oops from yesterday.  I’m embarrassed to say that I mixed up my days.

Have you ever felt torn between being a good Christian and being who the world wants you to be?  Have you been guilty of trying to justify today’s watered down standards with the Bible?  Do you have a battle in your mind between what is right (what the news media says is right or what the Church says is right)?  If you said yes to any one of these questions, it is totally understandable.  In today’s society it seems like anything goes.  On top of that television news seems to say whatever you want to do is okay.  We all know deep down that isn’t the case, but how can you truly know what is acceptable behavior?  It’s simple.  Study God’s word, pray and follow his teachings.  No one is going to be perfect, but I do not know of one thing that can go wrong if you are following the teachings of the Bible and praying. I’m not going to lie to you.  Sometimes it is harder to do what is right, but the rewards are much greater.

I hope you have a blessed day!  God bless you!

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – the Son’s Light Shines Everywhere

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.  Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬ ‭

Wednesday is here!  Do you feel alive or do you feel like you are stuck in a depression or darkness from which you cannot return?  Do you feel like life is weighing you down?  Do you have trouble believing in God?

I’ve shared before that I am a morning person.  I love mornings and it drives most people insane. To me it is a quiet time to pull myself together before I start my day.  I get more done before 10:30 a.m. than I do the rest of the day.  I also like the morning because the world is so beautiful.  Have you ever watched the sunrise in the morning?  It’s amazing.  Where we live you can see the dew on the ground and on spider webs that have formed in the night.  On top of all that, the wildlife is out.  We’ve been watching a wild bunny in our yard, and nearly every morning we are serenaded by birds of one variety or another.  Squirrels are chasing each other and teasing our dog.  It’s just beautiful and very peaceful.  The air feels full of hope and new.  It’s an opportunity for a new beginning.

This morning when I was asking God to guide me through today’s post, Matt Maher’s song “Alive Again” came on the radio.  Have you ever noticed how the last song you hear on the radio just kinda sticks with you all day?  Well, that happened to me.  So, I watched his video that tells the story behind the song.  All I can say is Thank You God for leading me in this direction.  I could totally relate to how Matt explains faith, and maybe that is another reason I like mornings.  He explains how even when it is dark and the moon is still out, in the morning you can see light on the horizon.  You can’t see the sun, but you can see it’s light.  That’s what Jesus is to me.  You can’t see the Son, but his light shines through everywhere.

Today, I encourage you to step out of the darkness, embrace the light of Christ and share is love with everyone you see.  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Cling to the Good

Cling to what is  good.  Romans 12:9

Happy Monday!  Sometimes the busiest times hold the most rewards.  This morning I’m watching Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse with my grandson reflecting on the weekend before I take him to school.  We celebrated Landon’s birthday Saturday afternoon.  I think everyone had a wonderful time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also, I thought I’d give you an update on Dominic.  We adopted Dominic about six weeks ago.  He’s five months old now.  He’s at least as large as a grown cat, but wild as a kitten.  This morning it was nice to be awakened by him nudging my leg with his head, rather than attacking me.  We love him.  He’s a good fit with our dogs, too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sometimes when we are starting what we know will be a busy week, we can combat our anxiety by clinging to what is good.  This week for me it is time with my family and my pets.  I’m also very reflective today about a textbook I’ve been reading for school about God calling us into certain ministries.  In less than two weeks I will begin teaching adult Sunday School and I’m very excited about this opportunity. So, these make me smile today.  What makes you smile?

Sounds simple, but as stress comes your way today and throughout the week, think of things that bring a smile to your face, and don’t forget you are never alone.  Have a wonderful Monday!  God bless you.

Praise God It’s Sunday – Peaceful Outcomes

My little children,  let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and truth.  1 John 3:18

It’s Praise the Lord Sunday, and God was truly working through our minister this morning.  His sermon started with a true story about a church buying a piece of land and placing the deed in God’s name.  Years later when the church decided to sell the property in order to build a larger church in a different location, the legal system had to get involved because the church did not own the property.  Therefore, the church had to prove that God was dead or was nowhere to be found to sell their property. What a predicament!  The sermon was about us being the tools for God’s church.  The entire sermon was awesome, but the story led to me thinking about how we sometimes say and do things with a good heart, but back ourselves into a corner.

Have you ever been painting or tiling a floor, when you suddenly notice that you have tiled yourself into a corner?  It has happened to us.  How aggravating!  Sometimes the same things happen to Christians making faith-based statements. Have you ever drawn a blank when challenged?   What happens is the person who makes the statement typically has the burden of proof if the statement is challenged.  Well, of course you know what you are saying is true, but if you draw a blank in a situation like this, don’t panic.  One thing people do is fall back on the fact that the assertion hasn’t been proven false.  The idea is true things can never be disproved. Of course, there are many ways to prove faith-based statements, because they are true.  Start by simply looking around you and studying your Bible.  In the end, remember Our God is the author of Peace (1 Corinthians 14:13). Christians can actually choose to opt out of an argument.

Enjoy your Sunday.  God bless you.

 

Your Disrupted Plans Might Make a Huge Difference for Others

When you go through deep waters I will be with you.  Isaiah 43:2

This morning I’m drinking my coffee watching the television coverage of Hurricane Harvey.  My prayers are extended to families affected by the storm and for the safety of those in the storm’s path. Living in Florida I understand how destructive and frightening hurricanes can be.  I urge anyone in danger to take the precautions local officials are issuing.

Have you ever been on such a tight schedule that you have every minute  planned?  Do you feel like unexpected events throw you off course?  Well, say hello to my life! Yesterday, I had rescheduled my hair appointment and had plans to get my shopping done, get home early and start cleaning house for a birthday party.  Instead, in the middle of washing out my hair color, I received an emergency call to pick up my nephew from school.  My poor friend and hairdresser had to rush.  Before it was over I picked up another nephew and a niece.  My time was gone.  Add to that, that the past just keeps swiping me in the face.  Sometimes it’s more than I can tolerate alone.  I’m so glad I’m never alone.  God has me.  Perhaps this is what I was born for – to help and provide comfort to those around me, even though, I’m probably more broken than the others.  So, this morning I’m looking at my dirty house thinking “does it really matter how clean the house is?”  I’m reminded of the story of Martha and Mary.  Martha wanted everything to be perfect for Jesus, but Mary soaked up his attention, not wasting a moment.  Yes, some cleaning and preparations need to be done, but at the end of the day, people matter most!

Today, I encourage you to take a step back and put your priorities into perspective.  God bless you.

 

Spread the Love Friday – Build Them Up

Encourage each other and build each other up.  1 Thessalonians 5:11

Good Morning!  Have you ever been so excited that you just can’t wait for something to happen?  Tomorrow we are giving my grandson a birthday party.  He turned three on the 18th,  but I’m still excited.  Funny, when I was a child it seem to take so long for birthdays to come around.  Now, birthdays come around way too fast.  We are so blessed to be able to see the world through his eyes.

I’m beyond happy this morning, but everyone does not feel the same.        If you know someone with struggles this morning, build them up.  If you are struggling, know that everything is temporary.  I love you and God loves you.  Never give up.

Have a blessed day!  God bless you.

Forgiveness Thursday – Be the Miracle

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

It seems like we were just talking about Thursday and here we are again.  Recently I have discovered that the less judgemental I am about others, the more time I spend asking for forgiveness and the less time I spend forgiving others.  That just proves that forgiveness is really for us, not the person we are forgiving.

Last week I was listening to a group of people in our community talk about “how this person should do this, and this person should do that” to make the community better.  Have you ever participated in a similar discussion? Of course, the answer is if everyone did their part, there probably wouldn’t be an issue.  These poor people being discussed were most likely stretched too thin. Later, when I reflected on the conversation, I began to think about how this is a problem in many churches (in general terms).  I must admit I have been guilty of this.  Sometimes it seems like “everyone” has the answers, but “no one” really wants to be burdened with the work. It could be that only certain tasks are wanted, leaving many others undone.  This must make life very difficult for the pastor, who truly cares for the sheep.  Then, there are others who constantly call with prayer requests, always looking for a miracle, but never showing up.

I like Natalie Grant’s answer to this problem “it’s time to get our hands dirty . . . why sit around waiting for a miracle to come, when you could be one.”  On the way to work this morning I heard this song.  It is so true. If there are hungry people in your church or community, help feed them.  If your neighbor is sick, ask if it’s okay to help with yard work.  Visit friends, church members and family who are sick or in the hospital.  Offer to help people who have lost a family member.  If you have a neighbor who has financial problems, bring them dinner or pay a bill for them without telling them.  Does anyone really need to know?  God knows.  Isn’t that REALLY enough?   If you don’t work outside the home and notice children wandering around the neighborhood being a target for trouble, reach out to them.  Don’t wait for your pastor or your government to take care of everything.  There are so many little things everyone can do that will make a huge difference for someone else.   Sometimes we all just need to know someone cares.  You will find that you will feel more blessed than the person you are helping.

Today, I challenge you to make a difference in the world by getting your hands a little dirty being someone’s miracle.  God bless you.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Ask and You Will Receive

Seek God’s will in all you do and he will direct your path.  Proverbs 3:6

Happy Wednesday!  Today was my grandson’s first day of preschool. Leaving him at the school so scared really brought back the memories from when my children were young.

Sometimes as adults we are scared too.  Have you ever felt like you were searching for something and just couldn’t decide which way to go?  Do you ever feel like you are running around in circles never making any progress?  Proverbs 3:6 says that when we seek God’s will in all life’s matters, he will direct our path.  I never really understood that verse until recently.  I kept wondering around in the dark looking for direction, always unhappy.  Whenever I started studying the Bible more, I knew what I was supposed to do.  The more I did what I was supposed to do, the more he sent me to do.  The more I did, the happier I became.  It’s one of those cases when you know, that you know, that you know. No matter how tough the road might look, you know that you need to take it.  On top of all that happiness, all my relationships are better.  Did I change along the way, or did God change things for me as I followed his directions?  I would say it was probably a little bit of both.  That’s good too!

Today, I encourage you to seek out God in everything you do, and follow his directions.  You won’t be sorry!  God bless you!

Try Something New Tuesday – Fix Your Eyes on Him

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary.  But what is unseen is eternal.                              2 Corinthians 4:18

Happy Tuesday!  It’s a great day to try something new!

Have you ever felt like everyone is against you?  Do you feel hopeless and afraid?  Does it seem like things couldn’t possibly be worse?  We have all felt this way from time to time.  However, there are some challenges that are so big that we just can’t face them alone.  Hebrews 12:2 says that we should fix our eyes on Jesus.  As I have said many times before, we are never alone and he is always with us.  Yet, there is more.  When we are focused on Jesus, we are focused on good, rather than our troubles.  We are focused on love, rather than the weight of the world.  We are focused on faith, rather than being afraid that everything falls on our shoulders to handle.  We are focused on what his pain and suffering means for us today.  He can and will change the outcome of your situation, if you will give him a chance.

Today, fix your eyes on Jesus, instead of the problems of the world.  God bless you.