Category Archives: Challenge

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!

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Spread the Love Friday – Be Full of God!

Always put your hope in God.  Hosea 12:8

Happy Friday!  It’s a beautiful day to spread God’s love.  We all go through trials and tribulations in our life, but we know that we can turn to God at any time for strength.  It’s so comforting to know that we can always count on him.

Have you ever thought of what it means to be “full of God”?  It means that his glory just radiates through us all the time.  We just glow when we are full of God, because his love is bubbling out of us.  Sometimes I think that is all we need to do, and our life is a witness to others.  It doesn’t mean that we never make mistakes.  It just means that we have God beside us, and we will always overcome whatever trials we face with his help.

Today, be full of God!  God bless you.

Forgiveness Thursday – Come to God’s Table

If you forgive the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in Heaven will also forgive you.  Matthew 6:14

Happy Thursday!  It’s a great time to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others.

Do you ever have a difficult time forgiving?  Do you forgive someone only to find the same thing happens repeatedly?  Imagine how frustrated God must be with us.  I know I make the same mistakes over and over.  The truth is we don’t need to wait until Forgiveness Thursday to forgive.  We should stop what we are doing immediately and forgive someone when they have wronged us.  I have a professor who says he pulls off the side of the road when he begins to experience road rage, so he can get his heart in the right place.  It makes me laugh.  You must admit, if you are running late for work, and you have to pull off the road, you’ll get straight with God quickly.  It’s tough, but it keeps your heart pure and prevents bitterness.  We are so fortunate that God forgives us, no matter how many times we make a mistake or how bad it is.  All we have to do is ask for forgiveness.  It’s so simple that some refuse to believe.

Today, I encourage you to release your soul from guilt and anger.  Ask for forgiveness, while forgiving others.  God bless you.

Forgiveness Thursday – For Those Suffering

This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me and given me life.  Psalm 119:50

It’s Forgiveness Thursday, and some of my friends are hurting today. I have some friends who have had a recent relationship break up.  I also have some friends who have recently had to say farewell to a family member who has passed.  It doesn’t get much tougher than saying goodbye when you don’t want to, or feeling rejection.  It’s a time when people build up walls around them and hurt the people who love them the most.  Of course, their intention is not to hurt, they are just trying to get through the tough times that they are experiencing.  We all know it too.  Have you ever tried to say the right thing, and struck out in a huge way?  I certainly have.

These are also times when people who are hurting turn to substances like alcohol, tobacco and drugs for comfort.  There is only one who can help in times like these, and that’s our Heavenly Father.    First Corinthians 10:13 tells us that “there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  Isn’t that awesome!  He understands and is always there.  You are his child.  He wants your happiness.  Your life is not over.  A new chapter is just beginning.

So, if you are sad or suffering today, put your trust in the one who knows the most about healing hearts!  God bless you.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Keep a Thankful Heart

I love you Lord, my strength.  Psalm 18:1

Happy Wednesday!

Is your praise and thanksgiving to God truly heartfelt, or are you just going through the motions of prayer?  Do you have a routine and a rote prayer you say at certain hours to do your duty, so to speak?  It’s easy to get into a routine when we are attempting to keep from forgetting that there is something we need to do.  However, it’s sad that we need a reminder in our busy world to be thankful when we see food on our table.  It should be enough to know that people are starving every day, but it isn’t because we are removed from the hunger.  We all know what it is like to be hungry for a few minutes or a couple of hours, but occasionally at meal time we should multiply that feeling by days in our minds to understand how blessed we are.  Having the opportunity to get up and go to work is such a blessing, too.  How many times do we grumble and groan about going to work?  What if we had no work or way to take care of our families?  I’m not saying that we should make ourselves miserable every day thinking about people who have less, but sometimes we should stop and think about how truly  blessed we are.  Even when we think things are at the very worst, we are still so much more blessed than many throughout the world.  Then, we should pray with sincere thanksgiving and praise to God.  God knows your heart.  Show him the adoration that he deserves.

Today, I encourage you to be truly thankful and praise God throughout your day.  Then, do one thing to make one person’s life a little better.  God bless you.

 

Forgiveness Thursday – Don’t Be Led Astray

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.  Colossians 3:15

Happy Thursday!  In my town today, children of all ages return to school after what seemed like a quick summer break.  I know it was always short when I was young.  So, be careful this time of year, if you are driving.

Is there anything you cannot be forgiven for? Have you ever asked yourself this question?  The answer is YES!  We must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  Any variation is unacceptable.  I have found that many of my more educated friends tend to try to reason their own answers instead of trusting in what the Bible says.  These folks read different books and listen to ideas, and come up with their own combination of ideas.  This is what we learn to do in college.  However, sometimes we need to step outside of our minds and our own reality, and trust what we don’t understand.  Have faith!  Look at what God has done in your life!  Then, study the Bible and historical context that it was written in.  Have you ever considered how many people have died to keep God’s Word protected or what extreme measures have been taken over time to preserve the Bible?  Be careful about believing every book you read.  Somethings can be explained with science, and somethings our minds are not ready to accept.  Sometimes we see or feel something that we can’t explain.  That is when we need to have faith!

Have a blessed day.

 

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Faith It Till You Make It!

He who started a good work in you will carry it to completion.    Phil. 1:6

Guess what day it is?  It’s a good day to use your gifts to change the world.

Have you ever wanted to do something, but felt held back by your current circumstances?  Do you ever get frustrated because you are not physically able to do all that you want to do?  Are your finances keeping you from making a difference in the world?  Are relationship problems bogging you down and keeping you from doing what God has called you to do? Is your job too demanding to allow you to use your gifts to change the world?   Psalm 46:10 reminds us to slow down, be still and know God is with us.  When our faith is strong, it can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).  If our faith can move mountains, surely it can help with our finances, relationships, jobs and health.  But, what can we do if we are still struggling?  If you feel like God is calling you to do his work but you are encountering roadblocks along the way, pray and faith it until you make it!  When we let the presence of Christ rule in our hearts and fill our insides with beauty, we will not feel fear and anxiety, and his glory will shine through us.  You will also find that “God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”  (Phil 4:19).

Join me today in using our gifts to make the world a better place!  God bless you.

Try Something New Tuesday – Just Say Jesus

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.  Colossians 3:15

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

Over the last couple of weeks, I have seen so much despair around me.  I have heard stories about divorce, custody battles, breakups, sickness, suicide threats, financial stress, sick children, abused children, sick family members, job stress, mental illness and so much more.  Have you ever fallen into one of these categories or do you know someone who has?  Most of us have at one time or another had to deal with these types of stress.  The good news is, you do the best you can and then you turn it over to Jesus.  It’s that easy.  You don’t have to spend more money or take a class.  Sometimes the simplest answers are the most difficult to grasp.  So today, turn everything over to our Lord and trust in his peace.  If you know someone going through a tough time, please pray for them.

God Bless you.

Liebster Award – 2nd Nomination

I am truly honored to have been nominated a second time for the Liebster Award.  This time I was nominated by When I’m with You . . . Whitney Ibe Blog.  The author (Whitney) of the Whitney Ibe Blog is upbeat and full of sunshine.  Whitney’s positive outlook is inspiring and I love to read her posts.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, I encourage you to do so soon, because her inward and outward beauty sparkles through in her writing.  Thank you for thinking of me Whitney.

The Liebster Award is an Internet Award given to bloggers by other bloggers.  The German word “liebster” means: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, welcome, and sweetheart.  The Award is a nice way to recognize and welcome new bloggers, while allowing others to discover them, as well.

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

1) Acknowledge the blog who nominated you for this award.
2) Answer 11 questions the blogger gave you.
3) Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4) Nominate 11 blogs.
5) Notify them.
6) Give them 11 questions to answer

My Answers

What made you start blogging?  I love to read and write.  I’ve always wanted to write books.  I love the Lord above all.   When I was growing up I was taught to share God’s love with others.  The church I attended called the sharing I’m referring to “witnessing”.  I was taught that witnessing was wonderful and that we should share the gospel through our lives and words everywhere we go.  The Bible talks about spreading the gospel.  That is what I did.

Over time witnessing has become politically incorrect.  As a supervisor at work I was told that I had to be careful about what I said because my workplace and I could be sued.  I could lose my home if I mentioned God at work.  I heard others say it wasn’t appropriate to say “Merry Christmas”.  “Happy Holidays” was the correct holiday greeting.  Well, if you have ever had God’s love inside you like I do, you will understand when I say I was about to explode.  The funny thing is, I didn’t have to say anything because God’s love just radiates out of me.  Over time I just became miserable.  So, I sought out another way to spread God’s love, blogging.  It helped me to feel more fulfilled.  I felt a little like Jesus must have felt when he traveled home and his hometown rejected him, because most of my friends and family refused to look at my blog.  I have been told “that was a coincidence, not a miracle,” “you are to legalistic,” and last week “you’re a fanatic”.  This doesn’t bother me too much.  I feel like it’s their loss.  I pray that I will have the opportunity to write and publish books in the future?

If you could visit any country in the world, which would you visit? I love to travel.  If I could go anywhere, I’d visit the Holy Lands first.  Books, Maps, Photography and Internet information is wonderful and I’m thankful, but nothing is quite like seeing and experiencing places first hand.  I want to go to the places we read about in our Bibles.  

What is your favorite food?  Anything my husband cooks is my favorite food!  He’s an amazing chef!  I am especially fond of fish.

What is your favorite sport?  I’m not a big sports fan.  I enjoying watching my college alma mater football team play (Florida State).  I also enjoy watching figure skating, and swimming and diving teams.  During warmer months I swim and I walk year round.

Do you prefer digital or physical books?  Both.  It’s a wonderful convenience to be able to bring hundreds of books on a phone or tablet with you everywhere you go.  It’s awesome.  However, I still like to hold a book in my hands.  I make notes in my Bible, so that I can pass them down.  Likewise, I have a digital and physical planner.  To me it sometimes seems like the digital world is fragile.  I often think of the loss of information in the library of Alexandria.

What is the biggest problem you encounter while writing?  I want my writing to be perfect grammatically, and inspirationally.  The days I feel my writing falls short, seem to be the days I have the most positive comments.

What color are your eyes?  Green.  Most of the time the whites of my eyes are red from Sjogren’s Syndrome, which makes them look even greener.  I’ve had people tell me that my eyes look like they are bleeding sometimes.

Recount a brief childhood story. What happened?  When I was a teenager I worked for the County School Board one summer giving swimming lessons.  Five days a week my parents would drop me off at 6:30 in the morning to catch a bus that would take me and a few other brave teens to Blue Springs.  Blue Springs has ice-cold water in the middle of the day.  When we arrived the sun wasn’t high in the sky yet, and the trees shaded the edges of the swimming area.  So, most days we spent half of the time trying to get wet above the knees.  

The children we were teaching varied in size from kindergarten to I haven’t been able to graduate yet.  So, some of my students were larger in stature than I was.  In the middle of the swimming area was a floating dock about fifty to seventy-five feet from the surrounding three shorelines.  All the experienced swimmers would hang out in the middle.  So, it was my goal to have my students swimming to the dock and back by the end of the summer.  The problem was most of the students couldn’t put their face in the crystal clear water when they started lessons, and the shorelines dropped to about twenty-five feet deep about ten feet away from the shore.

All summer I worked with the students until the last week of lessons had arrived.  I was determined that I would have at least one student swimming to the dock successfully.  However, I only had one who could dog paddle a few feet.  On the last day of lessons I looked up into the eyes of my six-foot tall most successful student and proudly proclaimed  “today you will graduate because you are going to swim to the dock!  Isn’t that great!”  He shook and looked worried.  So I reassured him by saying “don’t worry, I’ll be right beside you and I can save you if you can’t make it.”  I was about five foot three and weighed a little less than a hundred pounds.  My student looked to be about three hundred pounds.  I wasn’t worried at all though.  He could dog paddle now.

We made our way side by side toward the floating dock.  I was glowing with pride.  After all, I had taught this football player to swim.  As soon as we were about waist deep, he began to panic.  So, I told him to just stand up.  That should have been my sign to turn back, but I was convinced he could do it, and I was a “good” swimmer who had mastered life saving techniques.  We continued across.  It wasn’t long before the water was deep and my student knew it.  He was on top of me like I was a floating log.  It’s times like these that you realize the lifeguard’s are also students, who in this case were obviously not paying attention because they would have seen me bobbing up and down with a football player on my back.  I’m guessing he wasn’t as popular as he thought either, because no one was trying to save him.  Finally, I slapped him as hard as I could and said, “get a hold of yourself, the water is only a foot deeper than your height.  If you go down, you can jump up off the bottom.”  I don’t really know why he believed this, because if you looked down, the water was clear enough to see that it was easily twenty feet deep where we were swimming.

So, we kept inching towards the dock, with my student trying to drown me.  I was thinking that I probably needed to ask for assistance to get him back to the shore, if we survived the trip over.  Suddenly, he began to swim with great vigor.  I looked at him and realized he was looking at a beautiful face on the dock.  The girl waved and smiled.  I guess you could say he didn’t want to seem embarrassed, because he pointed at me and said, “hey, I’m teaching this girl how to swim.  I’ll be there in a minute.  She’s having trouble.”  I couldn’t believe my ears.  I started to speak and he said “shut up.  Just get me there and I will find my own way back.”  That day I learned that love will find a way.  He made it to the dock and spent the remainder of the time with this young lady.  Then, he swam back to the shore.  The best part of this story is the two later married and are still married today.

What type of music do you like to listen to?  This is a tough question for me.  I love praise, gospel, hymns, pop, 70’s and 80’s tunes, and classical music.  I like some country music.

Do you collect anything? If so, what is it?  Yes.  I love books.

Where do you see yourself in five years?  I see myself writing books, teaching and comforting others.  In my free time, I will spend time with my family.

My nominees are:

M.K. Aneal

Kristi Anne’s Haven

Charles Earl Harrel

The Beauty of Words

The Godly Chic Diaries

Anna Waldherr

Camie’s Cozy Corner

Brandon J. Adams

Plucking Of My Heartstrings

Wizzymedpower

Inside Cup

Questions For My Nominees:

  1.  What inspired you start blogging?
  2. If you could visit any country in the world, which would you visit
  3. What is your favorite hobby?
  4. What is your favorite holiday?
  5. Do you prefer digital or physical books?
  6. What is the biggest problem you encounter while writing?
  7. What color are your eyes?
  8. Recount a brief childhood story. What happened?
  9. What type of music do you like to listen to?
  10. Do you collect anything? If so, what is it?
  11. Where do you see yourself in five years?
    Congratulations everyone. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Ask the Lord to Stand with You

But the LORD  stood with me and gave me strength.                                  2 Timothy 4:17

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Saturday.  My sweet grandson has spent the day with me while his mom sleeps. She’s a working nurse on midnight shift.  I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with him all day, but the LORD gave me strength.

A few days ago I was provided an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do and prayed about for many years, teach Sunday School.  Isn’t that great?  I feel like this opportunity is something God is providing me, and conversely I think I might be an answer to someone else’s prayer.  So, what’s holding me back?  Only one thing, am I able to make the commitment physically?  I know it sounds like virtually no exertion is involved, but for me just getting there takes a great deal of effort, and I want to honor my commitments.  I know the answer, but hesitate because I know I have limitations. I also know that God will let me run around in circles like the Israelites in the desert as long as I can, but avoiding the opportunity only hurts me.   So, I will ask God to stand with me and give me strength.   Have you ever been in a similar situation?  Please share.

God bless you.