Category Archives: Christian

Forgiveness Thursday – Where to Go for Answers

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
‭‭John‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭

Good Morning.  We live in a beautiful small town in Northwest Florida.  In the early mornings before it gets so busy, I notice the beauty of this quiet little town.  This morning I’m enjoying the stillness.  It’s so quiet I can hear God talking to me.

Now, there are good and bad things to all cities, small and large.  One of the bad things in our small town is everyone knows everyone.  The people are closely connected.  Everyone knows your business.  There are no secrets.  Whereas, if you live in a big city, you can go unnoticed.  The bad is also a good thing.  Since everyone knows everyone, where ever you go you will see someone you know.  We look out for each other, and are quick to notice strangers.  We are kind to strangers, but not so quick to include them into our small town family.  It takes a little while for them to assimilate.    You see, the good and bad in our town are like a double-edged sword.  Looking out for everyone is great, but when you want to run to the store unnoticed, it’s not going to happen.

I was thinking this morning that this double-edged sword thinking is common in many things.  I’m the Municipal Development Director for our City.  People come to me and complain about the laws.  They get really worked up and upset.  They think the laws are too strict for a small town.  The same people come and complain when their neighbor is doing something and the law allows it.  Hmmm.  There is no easy answer, because you can’t make everyone happy.

Often these same situations happen in families.  My friend is a new mother.  At first her family was upset because she wasn’t working.  Now, they are upset because she’s a working mother.  Imagine her frustration.   She can’t make her family happy, and she wants her children to enjoy close family bonds.   I remember similar dilemmas when my children were little.  I was asked, will you let your baby cry and learn to calm himself, or are you going to be one who quickly picks your baby up when he cries?  I remember thinking, this is a trick question, because the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Have you ever felt like you just don’t fit it, or maybe like you are being smothered?  Do you feel like there are no right answers and you can’t find real happiness?  The best thing to do is study the Bible and talk to God.  It’s amazing how similar the issues were in Bible times.  No matter how many times I read the Bible, I learn something new.  God doesn’t want you to be unhappy no matter where you are. For example, Jesus instructs in Matthew 22:38 -39, that we are to love God with all our hearts, and love our neighbors like we love ourselves.  We are taught about acceptance of others in Romans 15:7 “[w]herefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” The stories in the Bible are relevant as well.  Read the story of Ruth and how she took care of her mother-in-law.  She was rewarded by God.

Today, I encourage you to first, forgive yourself and others.  Then, read God’s word and ask him to guide you through life’s problems.  God bless.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Embrace the Adventure

The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭22:3‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Happy Wednesday!  It’s a great time to use your gifts to change the world!

Have you ever had a challenging day?  I mean one of those days when people search you out to pick a fight.  I have enjoyed a string of those days lately.  It’s quite frustrating to know that you are minding your own business and folks are letting loose on you.  Wow!  I know God must be teaching us lessons or using us to teach others lessons during these trying moments, but I sometimes lose my temper.  Growing emotionally and spiritually is tough sometimes!  As I study my Bible, I realize that I’m not alone.  The people in the Bible were constantly having trouble with others.  So, I have concluded that life is an adventure.  Everyone goes through trying times.  It’s the attitude you take with you that makes the difference.  You can wake up and say “I’m going to climb this mountain and enjoy the scenery”, or you can say “oh no, I’ ve got another mountain to climb.”  You have to climb it anyway. Why not enjoy the trip!  With the right attitude you can enjoy the trip and influence those around you in a positive way.  That’s what changing the world is all about.

I challenge you to change the world by facing mountains with a positive outlook and a smile.  God bless you.

 

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Lift Others Up

WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves.    Romans 15:1

Happy Tuesday!  It’s a glorious day in  northwest Florida.  There is crisp fall chill in the air, but the sun is shining bright.  Every Tuesday we try something new.  Today, I encourage you to help someone.  There are people around us all day long who need help.  The smallest gestures can make the biggest difference.  So throughout the day, look for someone you can help and follow through.

Are you a gossip?  Do you find it hard to keep your mouth shut?  Have you ever felt the effects of gossip?  Did you know that gossip is a sin?  Yes,  gossip is a sin.  How could we believe otherwise, when we know Jesus taught that the second most important commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 19:19).  That means love others as much as you love yourself.  Treat others how you would like to be treated, and zip your lip.  Leviticus 19:16 tells us that we “shall not go up and down as a dispenser of gossip and scandal among” . . . [our] “people, nor shall” . . . [we secure ourself by false testimony or by silence and] “endanger the life” of our neighbors.  The phrase “dispenser of gossip” makes me laugh a little, but it’s true.  We have all done it, at least once, and we have all experienced it.  Gossiping is very hurtful.  I don’t know why it’s so hard to tame the tongue.  Often, I think no harm is intended.  We are just talking to each other and trying to sort things out.  Yesterday, I heard a story about someone at work that made me want to warn and protect the others around me.  Fortunately, before I said anything, I stopped.  The ones I wanted to protect heard the same information.  There was no need for me to say more.

Gossip occurs in families too.  It is much easier to promote yourself in the eyes of a loved one, if you are making someone else look bad.  Don’t stoop to these levels out of jealousy or any other motive.  You are a child of God who is loved.  The smallest talk can cause the most pain and disfunction in families.  When you stand before God, do you want to see how you hurt people or how you lifted them up with your words?

Join me in lifting others up with words of love and helping the needy.  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Peace of the Lord

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.  Philippians 4:7

Happy Monday!  The weather is changing here.  The last couple of days have been cooler and damper than usual.  Like TobyMac’s song, I feel it!  However, what I feel is in my bones.  The good news for me is I made it to work today!  Some people dread Monday, but every Monday I work is check on my list.

I’m in the final days before receiving my B.A. in Theology. One of my last classes is on the Blood Covenant.  Funny, on the way to work this morning I listened to Billy Graham preaching on the Blood of Christ.  He told a story about a young college girl who had received a Guinness World Record for taking the longest shower.  I don’t remember what the exact amount of the time was, but it was more than 100 hours, and that was many years ago.  He went on to explain that you don’t have to shower for hours for Jesus.  His blood washes all the dirt, we see and don’t see, away.  That is so true.

Philippians 4:7 is one of my favorite Bible verses.  Our church had a supply priest a few years ago who would finish his service with this verse.  I could just feel the peace when he said it.  It almost felt like my heart melted a little.  When you think about a peace that goes beyond anything anyone can understand . . . Well, that’s something good!  A couple of weeks ago there was some talk that the end of the world would be that week.  Someone asked me about it.  I really don’t worry about the end of days as we know it.  First, I believe what the Bible says in Matthew 25:13.  We won’t know the day or hour when Christ returns.  Second,  why should I worry.  I have a pardon for all my sins through Jesus, and I have peace in knowing he’s with me.

As you go through your day, enjoy the Peace of the Lord.  God bless you.

Love One Another

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.  Numbers 6:24-26

Happy Saturday!  I woke up to this video and it spoke to me. You never know what someone else is going through.  So, if someone lashes out at you, remember they might be tired from fighting a battle you know nothing about.   I hope you enjoy your Saturday!  God bless you.

Spread the Love Friday- On Fitting In

He makes all things beautiful in His time.    Ecclesiastes 3:11

Happy Friday!  This morning I’m enjoying spending time with my grandson. He’s growing up so fast.

Speaking of growing, our kitten continues to grow.  Last night my husband and I were reading, when Dominic decided he wanted to sit in a box that was too tiny for him.  It reminded me of the many times I’ve tried to fit in, when I really didn’t.  I remember a time when I was about 12 years old, when I wanted to be part of a group of girls.  I had to do what they said to belong.  One day I got my hair cut differently.  They didn’t want to be my friends anymore.  When there was a new kid at school, who they didn’t like, they wanted me to be mean to the girl.  They wanted to choose my boyfriends.  Well, as you can imagine, after a while I grew tired of their shenanigans.  When I married my first husband, I didn’t fit in with his family.  They loved to party.  The booze drinking began early in the morning and lasted throughout the day.  Marital infidelities were common.  I just couldn’t fit it in.

You’ve probably never had problems with fitting in, but you may have noticed others who didn’t fit.  Have you ever wondered why?  Have you ever left someone out because they were different?  Have you ever gone along with the group when they weren’t so nice to someone?  Have you ever seen this group situation happening and didn’t know what to do?  What usually happens is people go along with the group, even when they know the group is wrong.  However, the same group will leave them out when they don’t do what the group likes.  Over time my ex-husband’s drug and alcohol abuse, along with numerous infidelities tore us apart.  The tighter I held on, the more he pulled away.  After two years, we were divorced.  While God wants us to love one another, He doesn’t want us to sacrifice our beliefs and behaviors. Fortunately, His love is strong, even when we make mistakes.

Psalm 93:4 says “mightier than the waves in the sea is his love for you.”  Have you ever thought about the power of the waves in the ocean.  The waves are so strong that they can overturn ships.  They can erode rocks.  The power of waves is used to generate electricity.  Gazing at the ocean is hypnotic.  We even have apps and devices that simulate the sound of waves, because of the relaxation benefits.  So, in terms of might, God’s love for you is enduring and everlasting.

If you don’t feel like you fit in, maybe it’s because you don’t.  Maybe the problem isn’t you at all.  Have you ever considered that maybe you don’t fit in because you don’t want to be controlled?  Maybe you don’t fit it, because you aren’t willing to lower your standards. Maybe the small thinking of the group puts you in a box that’s too tiny.  While we can all be kind and love others, God doesn’t want you to lower your standards or treat others badly.  If you feel like you don’t fit in as a Christian, maybe it’s because you are a leader for God.  Rest securely in God’s love when you don’t fit with what society say says is right.  Next time you don’t fit in, ask yourself two questions.   Why do I feel this way and what can I do to show God’s love to others?

So, what can we do to resolve this issue?  There will always be people who want to control us and make us feel bad, but the good news is they can’t make us do or feel anything.  We are in charge of our actions and emotions.  God is careful to protect our free will.  Not only can we make good decisions about our behaviors and attitudes, but we can be Christian leaders.  Our combined actions will help others to learn how to treat other people.  Imagine what would happen if every time we felt left out, we used the opportunity to spread God’s love.  Wouldn’t that be awesome!

When you go out today, start a new movement.   Be a Christian leader spreading God’s love.  God bless you.

Forgiveness Thursday – Feels Like Friday!

Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Oh the joys of those who take refuge in him.  Psalm 34:8

It’s Forgiveness Thursday and a wonderful day to serve the Lord.  We celebrate Veterans’ Day in the working world tomorrow.  You know that feeling you get at the end of your work week,  that Friday feeling?  I have it.  Today, take time to tell a Veteran thank you.

I have so many people come to me hurting.  Are you hurting?  Do you have an emptiness or despair?  There is only one thing that will fill that emptiness.  You can eat, drink, take drugs, isolate yourself, go to parties, but none of these things are long-term fixes.  Don’t waste any more time on these fillers.

Today, put your trust in our sweet Lord.  God bless you.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – What’s Your Price?

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.   Acts 13:38-39

It’s Wednesday and a great time to make a difference in the world.  When you go out today, look for opportunities to make someone else’s life a little brighter.

What is your price?  The price you are willing to pay says a great deal about you.  My aunt told me a story about my great-grandmother a while back.  My great-grandmother loved me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know her very long.  My mother was named after her, and I later named my daughter after her.  My great grandparents lived in Mississippi when they were younger.  As the story goes, my great-grandmother had the first Cadillac in the state of Mississippi.  However, they didn’t have money to buy gas for the car.  So, on Sunday morning they would push the car to church before everyone arrived, and after church they would wait for everyone to leave, and then push the car home.  I tell you this seemingly silly story, not to make fun of my great grandparents, but to tell you that everyone has a price that they are willing to pay.  What is your price?  When I became a Christian, my friends made fun of me.  They teased and tried to make me feel bad about my decision.  They would say “we’re going here, but you can’t go because you’re a  ‘Christian’”.  That’s probably never happened to you, but it happened to me.  That was the price I had to pay.

Have you ever wanted something really bad?  Maybe it’s a special dinner, a date, or a new outfit.  Have you ever wanted to get an education so badly that you could just taste the difference it would make in your life?  How much would you pay?  I have a friend who wanted a baby.  She tried and tried to get pregnant for years.  She would have done almost anything if she could just have a baby.  Have you ever had a sick family member or child that you would do almost anything to help?  I have some friends who want to help their adult children who have made bad decisions.  They trade their own happiness to make a difference for their children.  What is your price? How much are you willing to pay.  The price you are willing to pay says a great deal about you.

The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians  6:20 that we were bought with a high price.  God loved us so much that he gave his son who died so that if we were willing to pay the price of believing in him, we  could live forever (John 3:16).  The price was high for God and Jesus, so that our price would be low.  Yet, I look around me and many people aren’t willing to pay the small price of believing.  What are you willing to pay?

Are you willing to give up an hour or two a week to worship God at church, or is sleeping in worth much more to you? Do you make excuses about church?  One I often hear is “I don’t go to church because the church is full of hypocrites.”  This one makes me laugh, because churches are made up all kinds people.  None are perfect.  If perfection were required, no one would be there.  We all have issues that we need to work on.  What price are you willing to pay?  The price you are willing to pay says a great deal about you.

Some of the easiest decisions seem the hardest.  A few years ago my family watched Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.  We wouldn’t watch it at first because it seemed much like being a spectator at the crucifixion.  Then, there was also that whole issue of someone portraying Christ.  As we watched it, the agony of His death became more real.  How many times have we tried to avoid a small punishment?  He endured unimaginable physical pain, and the pain of people not believing.  Are we going to add to that pain?  The price we are willing to pay says a great deal about us.  Are we willing to spread God’s love today?

Today, take time to spread God’s love everywhere you go.  God bless you.

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Rise Up with Courage!

Arise, raise up the youth and support him with your hand, for I intend to make him a great nation.  Genesis 21:18

Happy Tuesday!  It’s a glorious day.  When I was getting dressed this morning, I started thinking and wondering “why isn’t everyone a Christian?”.  I mean, if I were on the fence, I would reason that it wouldn’t hurt anything to try.  Then it occurred to me that repenting is a commitment everyone is not willing to make.

Have you ever thought about what it means to repent?  Have you used the word, but never really thought about it?  Well, you’re not alone.  I have used “repent” and many other words freely without much thought.  Repenting is first telling God you’re sorry.  That’s obvious to most, but there’s more.  It’s commitment to change.  It doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes, but it a commitment to live a different life.  I have a Christian friend who has had many extramarital affairs.  I asked her one day “have you ever thought about what it’s going to be like to stand before God and look at your life?”  She said “well, I made mistakes when I was growing up and my mom forgave me . . . God will forgive me in much the same way.”  I know men who have molested young girls all their life, and keep going back to God, asking for forgiveness.  Their behavior never changes.  Can you intentionally keep making the same mistakes and ask for forgiveness?  Yes, but that is not repenting.  When we repent, we ask for forgiveness and make a commitment to turn our life around.  We stand up with courage and ask God to help us to live a different kind of life.  We walk in the love of Jesus.

Are you going through life making the same mistakes over and over, while turning to God with pleas of forgiveness?  Stand up with courage today, and make a commitment to live a Christian life.  Leave the mistakes of the past behind you, and break through the cycle of sin!  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Optimism and Truth

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically as something done for the Lord.  Colossians 3:2

It’s tell me something good Monday, and the church shooting in Texas is heavy on my mind.  I ask you to remember these families and the entire church congregation in your prayers, as I will.

So, how do we maintain optimism in a world where there are terrorist attacks every day?  I heard Billy Graham preaching on Serius XM this morning (Ch 145).  The time of his sermon seemed to be in the late 1970s or early 1980s, but the message was similar.  He referred to a failing economy, terrorist attacks, and a search for truth.  He even said he’d heard some say it might be the end of days.  Does any of this sound familiar?  Jesus said in John 8:32 “you will know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.”  Jesus also said “I am the way, and the Truth and the light.  No man comes unto the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  Jesus is the Truth.  We can be optimistic in a world full of evil when we know Jesus is with us.  We don’t have to be fearful.  That’s today’s Good News.

As you go through the day, have no fear.  Jesus is with you.  God bless you.