“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms 37:4 KJV
It’s Use Your Gifts to Change Your World Wednesday! What will you do? Making a difference doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. It can be something as simple as a hug.
Today, a lady I worked with shared how she took her mother to the hospital late last night, because her mom was very ill. On the way home after her mother was discharged, she met up with her niece and the niece’s friend. They asked for a ride home. After my colleague agreed, she wound up driving to another town to take the niece’s friend home. Rather than becoming angry, she made conversation with the young man, who was 17 and supporting his entire family. The young man was working and attending high school. He was excited to share that he will be the first person in his family to graduate from high school. While my colleague was tired, she made a difference in this young man’s life, as well as, providing help to her mother and an example for her children.
“As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
2 Corinthians 6:10 KJV
Good Morning and Happy Monday! Recently, our family received some bad news. Actually, it was more along the lines of devastating. Despite this news, we put on faces of happiness to hide the sorrow. Even when you pretend to laugh, it can be uplifting and before we knew it everyone one was full of joy, despite the sorrow. This reminded me of when my cousin died unexpectedly. We were all extremely sorrowful. My mother was unable to attend the funeral, because it was across the country. When she saw the photographs, she thought we were being disrespectful and having too much fun. The truth is we were comforting one another with stories from the past.
Can you be joyful during times of sorrow? As Christians joy is not determined by our circumstances, but in our faith in our destiny. While joy is mentioned throughout the Bible, at Christmas we are reminded that when Jesus was born there was great joy. While Paul was in prison, he expressed sorrow regarding his situation, but still rejoiced in Christ. Jesus said “[r]ejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”
(Matthew 5:12 KJV). So, even if you are being mistreated and are saddened by the situation, you can rejoice in knowing the future is bright.
During the holiday season many people are sad, because of family situations or loved ones who have passed. That’s okay, but find your joy in Jesus! God bless you.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
Colossians 3:13 NIV
Happy Thursday! It’s a rainy day, but the sun is shining within me.
Have you ever felt like your heart was hard from bad circumstances and rumors? In my line of work I have to take an unpopular position more often than not. After 20 years of hearing people say that I wanted to destroy the City that I love very much, I felt very bitter toward many people. I had seen their ugly side. I would hear others speak wonderfully about different people I had seen behave with disrespect and insolence. I couldn’t understand. I wanted to warn my friends, but you and I both know that never works. Plus, my friends didn’t have the same experiences for obvious reasons. So, guess who looked even worse. One night I hit the bottom and went to our church after a late City Commission public meeting where someone I called a friend spoke horribly about me. I cried and prayed for understanding.
God works in mysterious ways. As I grew closer to God, studying His word and taking theology classes, he opened opportunities for me. It’s funny how we think it’s our idea, but it is Him working in our lives. While many adventures were and still are awaiting, one of the opportunities was to write articles for a local newspaper about businesses in our city. I would be interviewing some of the same people who had spoken to me with strong language, contempt and anger. These were the same people who had spread untrue rumors in the community.
When God opens a door, we need to take advantage of the opportunity. Not long after I began writing weekly articles about local businesses, another newspaper requested my articles. I even had an opportunity to submit an article to two larger city newspapers. With my position of not working for the newspaper as a paid writer, I was able to take a different perspective. My articles are about the people owning and managing the businesses.
As each person shared their story, my hardened heart understood and felt what they were sharing. Be careful what you pray for, because some of the stories you simply can’t forget. I sometimes want to share the stories that are not confidential, but I realize that it might drag down someone else’s heart. This was my request and I am so thankful. However, there is another side to understanding and it can be painful. I also realized I’m really not that much different. I sin too.
The good news is Paul explains to the people in Phillipi in Phillipians 4:7 that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” How did Paul know this? Paul knew from personal experience of persecuting Christians and having an encounter with Christ.
The same holds true today. We need to forgive ourselves and others. Ask God to forgive you. His peace is amazing!
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
James 4:4 NIV
Happy Wednesday! It seems a little more like hectic Wednesday here. We have the hustle and bustle of Christmas combined with people frantic to build roofs on their homes with more rain in the forecast. Nearly every building still standing in our town is without a roof or has a huge blue tarp.
Last week a friend and I went to see Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey in concert. We had VIP tickets, which made the event even more special. In the Q&A session, the two told of how they hadn’t realized how severe the destruction and damage associated with Hurricane Michael had been. It’s almost like we’ve been swept under the rug due to all the political events taking place. The concert was absolutely amazing! The singers collected gifts for children and visited an elementary school while in the area. I was surprised to learn yesterday that a friend of mine, who is from Milwaukee, went to school with Danny Gokey. It really is a small world if you think about it.
Have you ever felt like your life was spinning out-of-control? I felt that way recently. Sin is a slippery slope. Satan takes advantage of our weaknesses, which are always changing. Once we allow him to influence us, we grow further and further away from God. One of the most painful things a married couple can experience is an affair outside the marriage relationship. When we grow away from God, it’s like an affair with Satan. It’s amazing how quickly he can slip into our lives and turn us upside down. I couldn’t see it in my own life at first. Then, I heard the song below by Natalie Grant. “It’s hard to stand on shifting sand. It’s hard to shine in the shadows of the night.” For me the night was darkness. Darkness can be so overwhelming. Yet, before I allowed Satan to influence me, I was so happy. Now, once again I feel “like my soul is flying when my feet are on the ground.”
Have you ever felt this way? David struggled with darkness. Yet, he always sought to make God happy in everything he did. This is opposite of what the world teaches. We are taught to fight for positions, titles, awards and jobs, when the most important thing for us to strive for is God’s love and making God happy. You never have to be in the darkness. The battle has already been won. Just ask Christ to forgive you. If you haven’t accepted him as your Lord and Savior, it’s never too late.
When we are in the light with God, we can help more people. We can share the light, instead of the shadows of darkness. When you use your gifts to change the world today, share them in the light. God bless you.
“Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”
John 5:8 KJV
Good Morning and Happy Monday! Today, it has been two months since Hurricane Michael came through our town. My good news is we are slowly recovering. It’s going to take a long time for life to get back to normal, but officials are meeting day after day, and constantly looking for ways to help businesses and people with housing issues.
Have you ever felt so depressed that you didn’t care if Christmas just passed you by? I have felt that way at times. Our minister shared a story that warmed my heart yesterday. His wife wanted a live Christmas tree, which is their tradition. The box stores in our town did not have any because their corporate offices decided we didn’t need them here after the hurricane. He went on to explain how he traveled to find a live Christmas tree. The best part of his story was how we are strong despite the setbacks we may face in life. God made us that way. We shouldn’t let the corporate offices of box stores determine how we are going to celebrate the birth of our savior.
It’s normal to feel sorry for ourselves now and again, but we need to pick up our beds and walk. We need to take the initiative to make things better. Speak positive words. Sing Christmas songs. Get out of the house. Give to others. Do something fun and enjoy Christmas! When we do our part, we’ll notice God stepping in to handle the rest. Plus we will feel better.
In past years I have gone to see the Nutcracker and many other different things. This year I plan to go with a friend to see Natalie Grant and Danny Gokey’s Christmas concert. What better way to enjoy the holidays!
I hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy the holiday season. God bless you.
“And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.”
Joshua 7:24-25 KJV
It’s Forgiveness Thursday and a great time to forgive yourself and others.
Have you ever known something was wrong and did it anyway? Was the temptation just too much at the moment, even though you knew what the right thing to do was? It could be something as simple as not taking care of your body by overeating or choosing not to exercise. After all your body is the temple of God. Maybe it’s a temptation to have an affair or take something illegally? We all have temptations and if you haven’t ever made the wrong decision on purpose at some point in your life, you are definitely in the minority. Does that mean that it it’s okay? No.
My husband and I were talking this morning about the story in Joshua, where Achan did not follow the instructions given to him and hid the silver. His entire family was killed. How much worse it would be to watch your family be killed, than to die? This is the kind of crime we see in movies and real life.
I’m so thankful that Jesus paid the price for us. It is simple to ask for forgiveness. Yet, how many times do we make the same mistake repeatedly? Is that okay? No. We need to make a conscious effort to live a life that is pleasing to God.
I hope you have a wonderful Thursday. God bless you.
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.”
Psalms 57:7 KJV
It’s Wednesday and camels around the world are happy! What will you do today to make the world a better place?
One thing I have found that always works is to listen to praise music as much as possible. You would be surprised how many of the lyrics come directly from the Bible. The sounds will put your heart, soul and attitude in a better place. You might ask how could that make a difference in the world. When you are in a better place, others will notice. Plus you will respond differently to stressful situations. No one is perfect, but praise music helps.
So treat yourself to beautiful praise music and share your happiness all around! God bless you!
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 KJV
It’s Tuesday and a great day to try something new! What will you try?
In the midst of every trial and storm God is with us. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians that God’s peace passes all understanding. Have you ever really considered what that means? It doesn’t matter whether we or anyone else understands or not, God’s peace is there for us to embrace.
Everyday I hear people talking about how they believe in all kinds of silly things such as, celebrity endorsed products for weight loss or healing, and following links for free money on the Internet. Yet, so many can’t believe in God, whose miracles are seen daily. God’s love is so great that his understanding surpasses our imaginations. It’s right there ready for us to take hold of at any moment. Don’t wait!
So today, I encourage you to embrace the peace! God bless you.
“‘There will be signs (attesting miracles) in the sun and moon and stars; and on the earth [there will be] distress and anguish among nations, in perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea and the waves, people fainting from fear and expectation of the [dreadful] things coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see THE S ON OF M AN COMING IN A CLOUD with [transcendent, overwhelming] power [subduing the nations] and with great glory. Now when these things begin to occur, stand tall and lift up your heads [in joy], because [suffering ends as] your redemption is drawing near.” Then He told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put out leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is near. So you too, when you see these things happening, know [without any doubt] that the kingdom of God is near. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this generation [those living at that definite period of time preceding the second coming] will not pass away until everything takes place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. “But be on guard, so that your hearts are not weighed down and depressed with the giddiness of debauchery and the nausea of self-indulgence and the worldly worries of life, and then that day [when the Messiah returns] will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who live on the face of all the earth. But keep alert at all times [be attentive and ready], praying that you may have the strength and ability [to be found worthy and] to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [at His coming].’”
LUKE 21:25-36 AMP
Happy Monday! New beginnings fill us with joy of opportunities for second chances. We have now entered a new liturgical year beginning with Advent. Advent is a season of waiting and being penitent. We wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and we wait for his rebirth and second coming.
Advent is not a season of sitting around in fear of what’s to come. It’s a time to stand up and believe that our world is so safe that God allowed us to live here. It’s a time to rediscover our relationship with God. It’s a time of giving and loving others. No one knows when Jesus will return, so we should always be ready. However, that readiness should be with gladness, not fear.
We often get so caught up in the secular Christmas celebrations that we forget to stop and remember the one who was born of a virgin and sacrificed everything for us.
Where I live the devastation is present every day. Over the weekend we had flooding, and there are many living with tarps for roofs. There are many living in tents. It’s hard for me to feel the joy of the Christmas season. Others I know had Christmas trees set up before Thanksgiving. Everyone deals with stress differently. However, I do feel the presence of God all around and anticipate with great joy the celebration of Jesus’s birthday and the second coming of Christ.
Today, welcome the season of advent into your hearts. God bless you.