“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”
James 1:19 NIV
Happy Wednesday! What a blessing it is to praise God after the storm!
We are five weeks after Hurricane Michael, and tempers are flaring. People are tired of the circumstances in which they are living. They are tired of fighting with insurance appraisers and FEMA representatives trying to obtain assistance. They are angry about the excessive traffic and undesirable visitors taking advantage of the situation. They are tired of the extra work and the way the town looks. Everyone longs for what used to be, and they are angry that the recovery has taken so long. The sad part is the recovery will take many more years. Our town has stopped in time, while the world has moved on. Halloween was cancelled and Thanksgiving doesn’t even seem important. Day-to-day is the reality.
It’s hard to be understanding when the attitude of pitching in and working together is gone. I was standing in line in the grocery store and a man came up to me and shouted something. I shook it off, because I understood. Another man walked up and shrugged his shoulders. This attitude has become common place at work.
What has happened is the community is going through a grieving process. The honeymoon stage of shock and feeling blessed has faded. Now the citizens of our town are oscillating between anger, bargaining and depression. When I say bargaining, I mean feelings and statements like “if only I had . . .”. There hasn’t been much acceptance that I’ve seen. This is very common from what I’ve been told. One or all of these feelings can be apparent separately or together in any order.
Have you ever known someone going through the grieving process? Have you been through the grieving process? Have you been through the grieving process with others, and had to try to keep your cool? Most of us can answer yes to one or all of these questions. It’s important to try to keep things in perspective as much as possible and remember what’s most important. Yet, when you break down, it’s okay. There is also nothing wrong with seeking assistance. It also helps to remember what James the Just said to be quick to listen, and slow to speak and anger.
If you are experiencing grief or helping someone who is, my heart goes out to you. I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday. God bless you.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 KJV
Good Morning and Happy Friday!
What seems like is a great day for those of us who are anticipating the weekend, might be more challenging for others. There are people all around you suffering from emotional and physical pain. Often diseases are invisible to human eyes. You look at the person and don’t know the pain they are experiencing. They struggle to hide their suffering for many reasons. Emotional pain is even more invisible than physical, and can cause just as much suffering.
You don’t have to look hard to find people who need you to brighten their day. There was an elderly lady in front of me in the checkout line a couple of days ago. Her husband was in a wheel chair and she was having trouble working the credit card machine to pay. All she needed was someone to care enough to help her without compromising any security issues. I turned around and there was another lady who just wanted someone to listen to her. She was lonely. When we stop rushing from place-to-place, we can see pain all around us.
So, today when you see someone who is short-tempered, rude, or struggling, pause and pray for them silently. Ask God to work through you in their life. Maybe you can do something to ease their stress and pain. If you are in pain today, I will keep you in my prayers. Turn to God. He eases the suffering of the worn. God bless you.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14 NIV
Happy Tuesday! It’s raining here and we are so excited! Isn’t it great God knows what we need and when we need it.
Have you ever had one of those days where you felt invisible to someone? I’m sure you have had at least one person in your life that has treated you like no matter what you have done, it’s never enough or good enough. It’s tough not to take this to heart, especially when you feel singled out. What’s worse is sometimes this type of behavior seems to almost grow contagiously, and before you know it multiple people have joined. So, what do you do?
One thing I know you don’t want to do is let them control your emotions and actions. Sometimes it is just enough to take a deep breath, smile and keep going. Other times you might feel a little more beaten down. You can still take a deep breath, smile and keep going, but when the person is talking, listen to what they are saying and watch their body language. Then, when they leave, pray for them and turn the situation over to God.
In Exodus 14:14 Moses told the Israelites that if they would stand firm against the Egyptians, the LORD would fight for them. God is still fighting for us today. We only need to be still. While you are waiting, put on some praise music and to uplift your soul. Whatever you do, try to avoid mimicking the actions of people who mistreat you, when you deal with others. If the situation continues, pray about it. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes pain to get our attention and push us to make changes in our lives. If that is your situation, don’t fret. Just let God help you.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
Good afternoon. I pray that you are enjoying your weekend. My week was super busy. This morning I have become aware of some friends who are very sick. Sometimes our world seems bleak and hopeless. We find ourselves searching for answers with our minds that we couldn’t possibly understand. That is when we need to trust the Lord instead of trying to make sense with our brains (Proverbs 3:5).
Always remember to count your blessings. There are so many things we take for granted every day. Look around you and make mental notes. There is always someone worse off than you. Just by being able to read this post, you doing better than a large portion of the world’s population who are unable to read and do not have access to electricity, computers, WiFi, Internet, and other technology that we take for granted.
If you are feeling hopeless, ask God to heal you. Then, thank him. He is such an amazing God. If you have any prayer requests, respond to this post. God bless you.
For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:7 AMP
Good morning. I’m celebrating the completion of a class today. Woohoo! We are all on different journeys, but we can’t forget to celebrate the milestones along the way.
At times it can be difficult to see the end of a struggle. I have a friend who is going through a divorce. Every day she calls me crying. It’s so sad to hear the struggle. I can’t count the number of times or length of times she has told me she has prayed. Her heart has been hardened and she has not forgiven her husband. While it might be difficult and take time, forgiveness is important to receiving answered prayers. It is also important to have faith. That’s why I chose 2 Corinthians 5:7 for our verse to learn. We have all experienced hopelessness and despair. After making a petition to God, thank Him for the outcome and have faith. You don’t need to beg God for endless hours. He hears you. Just praise him and believe. It’s easy to have faith after you see the results. Christian faith is believing before you see.
Today, start practicing your faith and take a few moments to learn this easy verse. God bless you.
All of the memory verses can be found in the ScriptureTyper app under the group Hisperfecttiming.
I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. Psalm 120:1
Good morning! Thank you for all the new year wishes! My body is cold this morning, but my heart is warm.
The verse I selected today for memorization is Psalm 120:1. Why? Well, because we need to remember it for ourselves and others. Sometimes those around us need to be reminded, or maybe learn, that it is okay to call on the Lord in times of distress. He is there for all of us. He is our comforter. One of my professor’s shared in a prayer class I was taking that if you, or someone you know, is going through depression, he had the answer. Take your Bible into a quiet room and start reading the Book of Psalms loudly. He claims it is a cure for depression. I’ve never tried this, but I believe he’s probably right. There is so much praise in the book of Psalm. So, when you go to the Lord in distress, remember to praise Him! I try to praise him throughout the day in songs and prayers. If someone catches you, that’s okay too. Use your praise to change the world!
Have a wonderful day. If you would like to review the Bible verses from previous weeks and have some help practicing, all the verses are listed in the group Hisperfecttiming on the app ScriptureTyper. God bless you.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-32
Have you ever lost a pet, or worse, a child? Years ago, I had the cutest black Shih Tzu. I loved him. We opened the door on the Fourth of July to let him relieve himself, when suddenly the local fireworks show started. In seconds he was gone and we never saw him again. Whenever my youngest child was in Middle School, she decided to go home with a friend without telling me. I was so relieved and angry when I found her.
Something similar happened last night. I’ve had quite a few long days lately, and yesterday was no different. I left for work before 7 am. At lunch I went to Bible Study. I worked late and at 6 pm went to handbell practice for our Christmas Eve midnight service. It was when I was driving home that I received a call from my husband. He’d forgotten that I had practice after work, but wait there was more. He said our 8 1/2 month old kitten, Dominic was missing. I prayed with a friend on the way home. I wasn’t shaken yet, because I know cats can hide sometimes.
When I arrived home, I began calling him shaking his cat treats. He always comes running when I do that, but this time no Dominic. I looked in all his inside hiding places. My husband had been putting up Christmas decorations, and he’d been in the attic. So, we searched the attic. Then, I walked around the yard looking up in the trees and calling him. At this point I noticed my husband’s parents were also searching. He’s never been outside, so I left my husband and my two dogs and set off walking the neighborhood with a flashlight calling him. At this point I was cold and felt helpless. I prayed for his safety with tears flowing. I returned home and looked some more. It was after 9 pm. I was tired, hadn’t started studying yet, and our kitten was gone. My friend and her children joined the search. My husband felt terrible at this point, because Dominic went missing while I was away and he was home. We both sat down in dispair. Then, my husband saw his fluffy tail around the corner. As it turns out, Dominic was under the recliner. He always runs with his tail up. When we found him, he was slinking through the house. We don’t know what happened, but he seems good this morning. Thanks be to God!
This morning I am reminded of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. I left everyone in search of my kitten. When I found Dominic, I notified everyone, rejoicing. Can you imagine how happy our Heavenly Father is when someone who has lost their way finally decides to turn their life around? If you are lost this morning, turn to God. He’s waiting.
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.
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
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.
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.