“What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?”
Deuteronomy 4:7 NIV
Good morning from the City of Southern Charm! One thing I have noticed since Hurricane Michael hit has been the beauty of our City lies not only in what is visible in the surroundings, but also in the hearts of the people who live here. It’s amazing how grateful people are despite their extraordinary losses. In a world that seems to promote the wrong values, the attitudes of the people who live here are refreshing! I’ve heard very few people complaining. Usually when I ask someone how they are doing since the storm, they reply “I’m thankful and blessed to be alive”. That’s how I feel too. There have also been many people from all over the country here trying to help with restoring power, maintaining order, responding to emergencies and providing food, supplies and shelter. All these people are doing business here in the businesses that are able to open. Good can come out of bad.
Today’s Try Something New Tuesday. Every Tuesday I ask my staff “what will you try?”. I’ve heard some serious and some silly responses over the years. It can be difficult to think of something new, because it requires us to extend ourselves beyond our normal routine and to think outside of the box. I have to admit, sometimes I find it hard to think of something new. While I was at the conference, I bought a book, which I already had a digital copy. The book is small enough to fit into my bag and I can carry it wherever I go. It’s called “The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word” and it’s written by Joyce Meyers. What makes the book special is the contents have a list of emotions, issues and blessings that you can look up by topic. For example, you might look up civic duty with the election at hand. When you turn to the pages on the subject you will find scripture based on the topic. I gave it a try yesterday. Amazing! Yesterday, I looked up contentment. I prayed using the scriptures from this little book. What will you try?
I would like to encourage Americans to exercise their right to vote. Often people take this opportunity for granted. Pray about your decision and vote. Christian values have been lost in recent years and your vote really does make a difference.
Have a wonderful day and try something new! God Bless You.
“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”
Psalms 3:3 KJV
Happy Monday! The conference was amazing! I felt like everyone there was the “real deal”. I’m referring to all 10,000 attendees, the crew working the conference and the people on stage. Everyone was approachable and friendly, but on a different journey in their Christian walk. All good conferences must come to an end, and that includes the excitement. When we return home it is important to be committed in our walk with Christ.
I don’t have a problem with commitment, so I was ready to get back to work. All the way home I praised God. Then, I came home and reality set in. Before I left for Tampa, our daughter, son-in-law and grandson were staying with us. I was also very busy at work dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. I think I was so busy that I was in denial. So, after I returned home I realized we needed something from the store. As tired as I was I told my husband that I was making a run to the store. He warned me, but I didn’t pay attention. I’m a little stubborn. I drove into town at about 8 pm. Nothing was open but one convenience store surrounded by police cars. I had forgotten about the curfew, which I was violating. It felt like a police state. Sunday I couldn’t make or receive calls, or use the Internet. In fact, we are not supposed to have service until November 29th. I also cannot receive my medication that is delivered by FedEx. In my frustration I went to town hoping for a signal. Then, it hit me. The town I have spent more than 20 years trying to improve is devastated. Someone told me of a neighbor who was trying clean up his yard and perished because a tree fell on him. I also was informed that a young woman whom I knew died from suicide last week. My heart was heavy. All I could do was cry.
Reality sets in eventually for everyone. It’s not the end of the world. It just took me a little while to deal with my situation. God is good all the time though. I remembered the dancing and fun we had at the conference. I turned on my radio and began dancing. If you are ever feeling sad, turn on some good praise music and dance. My mood was quickly lifted. I have to add that it is good exercise too! The words reminded of what is really important, and the movement felt good.
We all have a ministry. How can we accomplish anything with a “gloom and doom” attitude? So today and all this week, I’m going to take a break a couple of times during the day, and dance for a few minutes. As a matter of fact, I might just do this indefinitely. Let me know if this works for you. God bless you!
“And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.”
1 Kings 13:7 KJV
Good morning from beautiful Tampa, Florida! Today is the second day of the Joyce Meyer Love Life Women’s Conference and I’m so excited! This is the get away that was much needed. If you have never been to hear the teachings of Joyce, her conferences are wonderful. However, I have to say that this conference has been kicked up more than a few notches. Wow! Elevation Worship and Natalie Grant were amazing last night. Thousands of women were praising God together.
Joyce announced last night that always before the Love Life Women’s Conference was held in St. Louis. I knew. I wanted to go for many years. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to buy tickets. The conference is sold out, but it is being aired live through the Internet. I encourage you to join in the fun.
So, it’s okay to have fun and refresh your body and soul sometimes. Then, when you are refreshed, refresh the souls others. Have a wonderful day. God bless you.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
James 1:19 KJV
Good morning! It’s day 15 and still no electricity. I’m excited to say that I’ve been able to find peace in the routine I have developed within the chaos. For years I’ve heard people refer to their favorite vacation spot as “God’s Country”. My mother is among those. She loves visiting Tennessee and North Caroline. I can’t count the times she has said “that’s God’s country”. I few years ago, I started thinking that our home town is “God’s Country”. Lately, those thoughts have been reinforced for me. Our town has been devastated by disaster. Yet, everywhere you go, people are thankful. Maybe sometimes disasters bring communities closer together, or maybe they bring out the best in people. Maybe opportunities abound among the rubble.
This morning in the quietness of my home, I listened. For many years I known about contemplative prayer. Essentially, you quiet your thoughts and listen. Does this take practice? Yes, but man is it ever worth it! Just trying to listen to God without making petitions is so rewarding.
It’s equally rewarding to listen to others. I mean really listen, and watch their body language while trying to understand what they are saying. I’m referring to the part of what they are saying that isn’t so obvious. I don’t know how Jesus made time for every person during his three-year ministry, but it was definitely a priority for Him. I usually have to cut off the chit-chat at some point in order to get my work done. I often think of how Jesus valued each person and accomplished so much in so little time.
So, today use your gift of listening and make the world a better place. God bless you.
“Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
Proverbs 10:6 KJV
Happy Tuesday! It’s a great time to try something new. It’s day fourteen of being without electricity, phone and Internet at home. At work Internet and phone service comes and goes. It requires clever tactics to ge the job done and it takes a little extra time. Everyone is stressed, but we all put a song in our heart and a smile on our face. Forgiveness is especially important right now. I’m very thankful for our generator. It’s not very big, so we have to rotate use of water and power of different types of devices. That’s still an improvement over what people many have. I’m also very thankful for our grill. My husband is a master chef and makes us feel like kings and queens. Plus we have entertainment provided by Landon and Dominic.
My daughter brought it to my attention that she was seeing social media posts about some people being more blessed than others. She read an article on how sometimes bad occurrences are blessings. This morning as I was drying my hair in the dark, my hands were hurting so badly that I could hardly turn the round brush. My Rheumatoid Arthritis has led to more painful and swollen joints lately. Could this be a blessing? I think it could. Sometimes we are better able to help people when they know that we have challenges and are human too. Isn’t that great!
So, today if you are experiencing problems, consider it blessings. God bless you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 NIV
Good Morning and happy Saturday! I apologize for being behind on my postings. I haven’t forgotten about my viewers. Natural disasters are something people are probably never 100 percent prepared to handle. This post is a running diary of events that have taken place in my life over the last week and a half. The lesson follows.
Tell Me Something Good Monday (10/08/18)
Happy Monday! It’s a great time to share something good. This morning I’m thankful for messages from God. While in church yesterday morning, I received a reminder to listen to a worship service on the Rhema app. This was the second time this happened and I wasn’t signed into the app. Well, it was a busy day and I forgot about the message. Later in the afternoon I received another reminder for the evening service. So, my husband and I decided to listen. What a blessing from God. The sermon was about trusting in God and not in things.
Try Something New Tuesday (10/09/18)
Hurricane Michael is on its way. While we are working today, everyone is boarding up and preparing for the storm. Our town is about 60 – 70 miles inland and we have seen many category 2 hurricanes. The biggest threat our area has is flooding and tornadoes from the feeder bands. This may sound mild, but tornadoes have caused severe damage in the past. Often Floridians become complacent because hurricanes are unpredictable and common. Over the years I’ve seen hurricanes change directions many times. Even with today’s technology, it’s easy to fail to prepare.
Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday (10/10/2018)
Good Morning. Last night we stood in line waiting for hours to purchase last-minute items. I’m thankful that I was able to fuel up my car Monday night. Our daughter, Anna, and grandson, Landon spent the night, and we are glued to the television waiting for the upcoming storm. Our son-in-law is in the National Guard but was called to work in a local prison. This morning my supervisor, the City Manager of our town, asked me to notify my staff that they should stay home on Thursday. This action caught my attention because he is very mindful of good management. The radar images are a little frightening, but also fascinating. It’s amazing to watch science advancements. We even had a discussion about how it must have been for people years ago when hurricanes couldn’t be predicted. One way we can use our gifts to change the world today is to be strong and trust God.
Forgiveness Thursday (10/11/2018)
The eye wall of Hurricane Michael passed over our home at about 2 pm yesterday. I’ve never seen anything like this storm. The view from our windows was solid white. Visibility was less than two feet. Repeatedly we heard and felt objects pivoting out of control into our home. There was a loud roar like a jet flying over as the eye-wall passed. The windows and doors shook. We closed all doors internal to our home and sheltered inside, first an internal hall and later a closet, all the while trying to keep Landon feeling safe and not afraid. During the eye of the storm, we ventured out to see what seemed like horrible destruction. Then, we hurried in to safety and rode out the back eye-wall. The second two hours was just as bad as the first. Our next trip outside seemed like total devastation.
Mornings are always better. I don’t know if it was the fresh light or God’s presence, but as we walked through our yard I became aware of how blessed we truly are. Five huge oak trees, a pine tree, and many other trees were down in our yard. One oak tree in particular that was once majestic is now a twig. Our fence was destroyed. The really cool thing was my husband’s grill didn’t budge, there was only one limb on our roof and trees down were as close as 6 inches to our home, but we were safe. God is so good.
Despite the good blessings, all we can see is destruction around us. There is no electricity, phone service, cellular reception, water, Internet, etc. My We are isolated. We were able to see the weather channel for a short period of time when we had fuel in the generator, and while Britt repaired the well and water pump. However, there is no news of our community. We don’t know what to do about jobs. We can’t contact anyone. Occasionally, we receive a text that we can’t respond to from frantic family members. We have heard rumors of natural gas fuel leaks, sewer plant leaks and other issues, but we just can’t assess the situation. It’s hot and tempers are short.
By afternoon the generator was out of fuel. My first thought was to siphon some fuel from one of the vehicles. It sounded like a good idea, but modern vehicles are made to prevent such things, probably due to theft. We finally decided to try to find fuel for the generator despite apparent dangers. That’s when we discovered we were totally blocked in. We were able to maneuver around all trees on our road. Then we carefully traveled around downed trees, spaghetti power lines and downed poles on the highways to drive about an hour north. There we found long lines for fuel, when it was available. In a society where cash was rarely needed, now credit cards were no good. No cash means no gas. We thankfully live next door to my husband’s parents who gave us cash to purchase fuel. This small task took more than four hours and placed us in position of maneuvering the same obstacles at night and after curfew. If we were not allowed to return home, where would we go? What would happen to our pets? At times like these patience is important and that’s when it’s the toughest.
We did make it through. While we were out of the house, we saw devastation beyond our imagination. We were able to see photos of some of the damage in our area. We made contact with some of our loved ones and were able to understand a little more about the extent of damage in the area. We were also able to make contact with our son. He lives in Tallahassee and we are so thankful that he is okay. Isolation is difficult to handle. We also learned the company my husband works for is critically damaged. I recalled the many people who didn’t want to build to State and Federal standards, and often took out their frustrations on my staff and me.
Today was definitely a day to ask for forgiveness and forgive others.
Spread the Love Friday (10/12/018)
It’s Spread the Love Friday! What now? My husband and I started the day with morning Bible Study. Coffee is a luxury item. By the way, it’s hard to keep track of days. This morning I had one bar on my cell phone and was able to speak to my boss.
Today, there is a new level of desperation. People are looting houses, businesses and offices. Business owners I spent so much time assisting are now facing devastation. One contacted me begging me not to condemn the building housing her business. My heart melts. I learned that the home of a sweet friend from church, whose husband died only a couple of months ago, was looted. People have been waiting for many hours in line at gas stations that don’t have fuel. Some need medication. It’s a little cooler, but still very warm. My heart goes to my coworkers who are working hours on end, and my friend, who is interim County Administrator and still on maternity leave who has been on call.
The best way to spread God’s love seems to be a comfort to others.
Last night we learned my brother and sister-in-Law are alive. They finally cut their way out of their home yesterday. My aunt was able to leave town too, which made me especially grateful since she has medical needs and lives alone. On the home front, my wonderful husband cooked us a hot meal on the grill. Britt is definitely gifted in his cooking skills. He made shepherds pie in a cast iron skillet. Haha. It’s amazing what can be done with a few supplies, but we are aware our supplies will dwindle with time. After dinner Anna heard someone in the house. As it turned out, it was Dominic playing in Landon’s toddler tent. What a relief!
This morning we were greeted by our son-in-Law. What a great sight! They took a drive into town and reported back no damage to their home. We still do not have much contact with the outside world. However, I did hear from my friend and her daughter who are blocked in and low on water. It’s hard to find help for people. Help is stretched thin.
This afternoon we took another road trip for supplies. Some areas look better. While I was away, I was able to make contact with family and friends. I was also happy to receive a phone call from my boss, who was checking on me. I was so excited to hear that he needed me and my staff on Monday at work to help rebuild the city. In some ways this is a bit too soon, but after investing twenty years in this community I can hardly wait. On the way home we heard a Laura Story song on the radio and we had a discussion about the future of our town.
Tomorrow was supposed to be a special celebration at our church. Our church is among the damaged structures.
Praise the Lord it’s Sunday! The last few days are a blur and I feel exhausted with the situation. This morning we chose to stay home and study our Bibles. As I was reading I realized the importance of helping others. So Britt and I reached out. It’s so easy to hoard supplies when they are running low, but God provides when we have faith. Of course, I already knew this, but trials don’t always bring out the best in us.
This afternoon we surveyed the damage. The City is destroyed. We also checked on a couple of friends along the way. Tomorrow we both return to work.
Tell me Something Good Monday (10/15/2018)
It’s Monday and tough to go to work with messy wet hair and a sweaty body. I did manage to wash my clothes and get a cold shower. This is one of those days I wish I could wake up beautiful. I soon discovered that many had worse damage than we had experienced. Emotions were high and I watched my coworkers as they broke down in tears. I cried too. I tried to reach out to those in need.
My department’s assignment was to walk the streets and pick up trash. That was very tough. Within an hour the heat had gotten the best of me. I poured water over my head and down my back. Another department head had left his utility vehicle and trailer for our use, which worked out well. We delivered food to shut-ins in the community. What a great feeling to help others.
City workers have been blessed beyond belief with free food and fire, police, and linemen workers from around the country helping us. Everyone is positive and doing all that they can to help.
Try Something New Tuesday (10/16/18)
It’s Try Something New Tuesday and I was glad to get a different assignment. While that seemed to work out, tempers seem to flare with anxiety. I started the day with tears and felt pressure all day. Most of the day we worked inside. Later in the day I learned of an income based apartment complex requiring residences to move out within 72 hours. So far, there is no resolution. So sad.
Last year after Christmas I purchased a ticket with a friend for the Joyce Meyer’s Love Life Women’s Conference. In July I learned my friend would not be attending with me. I was thankful she gave me her ticket hoping to invite another friend to join me, and share hotel and travel expenses. I had not been able to find anyone, because as the year progressed my friends had made other plans. I had been waiting for the conference to be in Florida for years, and with tears in my eyes I tried to cancel my hotel room. I was unable to accomplish what seemed like a simple task. However, I was able to reduce my stay by one night and my sweet administrative assistant agreed to go. What a blessing! So, next week we will be gone a couple of days. It’s not the ideal time, but it will probably renew our spirits.
Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday (10/17/18)
It’s Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday and I feel worn out from stress and work. Last night I went to bed about six pm, because I couldn’t seem to hold my eyes open. The day started with me preparing some maps for an early meeting without the Internet, but I was happy because I had figured out a way to use my blow dryer before leaving home. I was also glad to be working on a project with another department. It gave me a chance to do something positive.
I was grateful to receive a special gift from my staff for boss’s day. What an honor! I also had an opportunity to deliver 250 meals to shut-ins. I hope to be able to do this tomorrow. The saga of the people being forced to leave their apartment complex continues. I hope this can be stopped.
Forgiveness Thursday 10/18/2018
It’s Forgiveness Thursday. I need to ask for forgiveness for my tongue. It’s easy to get short-tempered and you never know who’s listening. As someone representing city government, it’s important to be positive and smile. Yet, I find myself crying sometimes.
We are having daily Department Head Meetings where State, electric company, solid waste and other professionals are giving reports. Most rumors are untrue. I also noticed water levels are rising, but flooding is minimal at this point. All week there have been people giving out food and helping the community, despite their own situations.
Spread the Love Friday (10/19/2018)
It’s Spread the Love Friday. Between having staff at the Emergency Operations Center and one person out taking care of personal business, I’m left with my code enforcement officer and myself. We started the morning comforting each other. One thing that I can’t stress enough is how even when we trust God, we can still feel stress and emotions.
I looked around this morning in our meeting and realized that it’s easy to get caught up in our circumstances and forget what is going on behind the scenes. I saw sleeping eyes and exhausted workers. These folks have been working non-stop for days to ensure we have the things we take for granted, like rivers free from human wastes; hospitals and nursing homes where people are comfortable; trash removal; streets where people can drive safely, electricity and other utilities; and so much more. Often behind the scenes workers go unnoticed, but they contribute greatly to our quality of life.
During the course of the day, I contacted other cities to find out what they had done for emergency relief after storms. Everyone I called was beyond helpful. What a blessing! I worked late trying to take care of business, which helped me to feel a little relief.
Time for Yourself and Family Saturday (10/20/2018)
Good morning. It’s Time for Yourself and Family Saturday, and I’m at work. We have a City Commission Meeting today, where one of things I’m going to be addressing is how to temporarily change development and permitting requirements to make things easier for our citizens. After I catch up on work, if I have time, I will try to catch up on some school work. With no Internet, cell phone or electricity at home, it’s hard to study and I’ve fallen behind. We are hoping to have electricity by Halloween.
I did have a nice morning chatting with Anna over iced coffee. I’m so blessed to have a wonderful family. My husband and I talked this morning about how blessed we are. So many people had much worse. Anna also mentioned she saw where bodies were washing on shore and families were being found dead in their homes. I have lived here 52 years and we have never seen anything like this.
No one could have known and therefore, very few were prepared.
This morning I’m reminded of the sermon I heard on the Rhema app. The minister said we need to trust in God, not in things. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to “lean not on your own understanding”. It’s true. No one could possibly understand the whys of the past couple of weeks. In Philippians 4:6 Paul instructed the people to not be anxious about anything, but to always turn to God with prayer, petition and thanksgiving. You may wonder what there is to be thankful for in this type of situation. I can tell you everyone I have spoken to is thankful to be alive. In fact, every person I have asked how they were, despite how much damage they have had, they all say I’m blessed. Guess what? It is difficult to unplug from technology and take cold showers, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, I’m beginning to get accustomed to my new routine. There are some inconveniences at work that require extra steps that take more time, but we are working through it. Sometimes loss of things and trust in God brings us closer together as a community. After all, it’s not things that bring happiness. We are taught in Matthew 22 that what’s most important is to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Natural disasters remind us of the importance of these simple teachings. Maybe Laura Story is right. Maybe our blessing come in raindrops and the trials of our lives are our mercies in disguise.
“I am in the midst of you as he that serveth.” Luke 22: 27
Happy Friday! One way we can all spread the love every Friday, and be humble is to serve others! So ask yourself what can I do to serve others. Often it is the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Take a look around. Provide a kind word to someone who is going through a difficult time. Maybe call a friend you haven’t spoken to lately. Help someone who is overloaded at work. Help a sick neighbor with their lawn work. There is always something we can do.
This Friday humble yourself before God by serving others. God bless you.
“You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.”
2 Samuel 22:28 NIV
Happy Thursday! It’s a great day to forgive others and yourself. It is easy to hold a grudge when we have been hurt or have experienced difficulties due to another person’s actions. In Colossians 3:13 we are reminded that we need to be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Unforgiveness can weigh us and others down. I heard a story of a supervisor who wouldn’t hire a past employee based on the woman previously taking a leave of absence. In this case, the woman had a dying parent, but was otherwise a good employee. Taking a leave of absence during a busy season can be hard to deal with, especially when the staff is small. However, if you put yourself in this employee’s situation, you might find she had no other choices. Remember your staff and coworkers are people too. They have families and sometimes illnesses. Let go of past situations and give people a chance.
Today, our previous discussion on being humble continues. It’s a little difficult to wrap our minds around at times. The verse above talks about “haughty eyes”. The Hebrew word for “eye” is ‘ayin (pronounced ah’-yin) which can be used literally as eye or figuratively as conceit or resemble. The Hebrew word for “haughty” is ruwm (pronounced room) which means exalt or magnify. It appears in this context to mean one who is conceited and exalts or magnifies himself above others. This definition seems to meet at least some of the definitions of proud.
A humble person never exalts himself above others, but builds other up. For example, If you were responsible for a project at work that had a good outcome. The world teaches to toot your horn and let everyone know how wonderful a job you have done. However, God has a different lesson. Make sure those above and below you are magnified for their responsibility in the process. This can be difficult if you feel like your efforts are often overlooked. Never outshine your supervisor. Make him or her shine better than ever. While you are at it lift up your employees. It gives them confidence in themselves and buy-in into the project. People with haughty eyes see themselves as smarter than everyone else. This pitfall is one you never want to fall into. You might ask how will anyone know what you have done? God knows and so do others. If you follow God’s teachings on being humble, you will find your whole life falls into place. The rewards are beyond measure.
I urge you to try magnifying others today. God bless you.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV
It’s Tuesday and a great day to try something new. Last week I visited the doctor with a throat infection. During that visit, we had a discussion about my balance and falling. She suggested a stationary bicycle. Well, in my family room I have an elliptical machine that can be used sitting down, like a bicycle. It’s been sitting there literally for years. I look at it every day. We hang things on it. So, over the weekend I decided to try something new, use the elliptical as a bicycle. The first time I used it I last less than five minutes before my knees began hurting. Yesterday, I used for ten minutes in the morning and ten more minutes in the evening. This morning I lasted twenty minutes and at 20 miles per hour. Of course, I didn’t have the tension turned on, but you have to start somewhere. So this morning I have a smile in my heart from the accomplishment, and from the feeling of fall in the air. What will you try?
Have you ever noticed that world systems are often in opposition to what God teaches? For example, I noticed a few years back that the world teaches us to depend on ourselves and work hard to excel in different areas to move up the career ladder. Many times this means doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal, including stepping on whoever is in your way. While everyone has their moral limits, many fall into this trap. I did. I don’t think I stepped on others, but I was focused on my goals above all else.
Today’s scripture tells us to trust and praise God, be humble and help others before we think of ourselves. In fact, if you study the Bible, you will find that the pride promoted by the world is at the heart of all evil. It is the reason Satan and a third of the angels fell. So, what does God want? He wants a humble, faithful, ever praising, giving and forgiving heart.
When I figured this out, I have to be honest, I thought “that’s simple”. It is a simple concept, but it takes a great deal of effort and practice. If you don’t know what I mean, try it for one day. All types of scenarios will arise and you will ask “what now God?” That’s why I have decided to take a few days to explain this subject. What I have discovered along my journey is: I’m happier; I have more real friends; I am more self-disciplined; and I’m more successful. However, the success is not from my efforts. It’s from God working in my life. As it turns out, the old way is the hard way. God’s way brings much more happiness and satisfaction.
Today, try Something New. Say goodbye to pride and hello to a humble heart. May God bless and keep you always.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV
Happy Monday! I’m glad to be at work this morning. It’s good to see everyone and to get busy. We have quite a bit going on and it feels good to make a difference. This morning Chapter 4 in the Book of Ecclesiastes stood out for me, especially verses 9-12.
It feels good to have someone by my side working at home. When one of us is down, the other pulls the load. Over time that load bearing partner has changed many times in our marriage between my husband and me, but we always work together. We share the joys of our efforts, and the pain of each other’s sufferings. We are empowered by God and our binds are strong.
Likewise, at work the efforts of two are more than double the efforts of one. Although our department is small, the efforts of four is more than the efforts of eight. When one person is sick or down, others pick up the slack. We check on one another and look for ways to ease the burden of the one who is struggling. We celebrate each other’s victories. While we don’t lie together, we warm each other’s hearts with hope and joy. We also share in pain and sorrow. The work of this team of four is much like a team of twenty. It’s wonderful.
In my experience, it’s not good to be alone. It’s not good to be one of those people who shows up on Sunday morning for Church and leaves immediately afterwards. I’ve been that person in the past. Not participating does not prevent pain and suffering. Plus, we unable to grow. A big part of being a Christian is helping others. It’s putting others above yourself and loving others. If you are not convinced, study the work of Christ. He was always taking care of the needs of sick, lonely and poor. Loneliness and isolation lead to self-pity and depression. I don’t know if you have ever considered this before, but self-pity is a form of idolatry. It’s thinking more about your own problems, miseries, and self in general than God. When we are serving others, our hearts and minds are renewed. Don’t misunderstand me. Everyone needs to refresh and take time for themselves, but isolation is not good. We need each other and we need to love one another.
If you feel isolated, visit a local church and get involved. God bless you and have a wonderful Monday!