Category Archives: Family

Forgiveness Thursday – Parables and Dominic

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

Good Morning.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

God bless you.

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Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Invite Others

I sought the Lord, and he delivered me from all my fears.            Psalm 34:4

Good Morning.  It is a cold Wednesday in northwest Florida this morning.  I am so blessed to have a warm coat, gloves, and heated seats in my car.  As you go out today, remember there are others who are not as fortunate.  Maybe they have lost sight of where they need to be, or maybe they have given up all hope.  Do what you can to help them.

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This morning while I was getting ready for work, I was planning our Sunday School Christmas Party!  I’m so excited. I have prayed that God will send me more people, and I am optimistic that maybe I will see some of them on Sunday.  As I was praying, I felt like God was telling me to invite people I wouldn’t normally invite.  You don’t have to be homeless to need help.  There are people who have money, but are misguided.  Then, it occurred to me that you could do the same at your church.

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So, if you are in my area, join us for Sunday School. If not, be sure to go this week and invite some folks to join you.  This time of year is a wonderful time to worship God and fellowship with others.  Trust me when I say, it will enrich your life beyond measure. I plan to invite everyone I see.  If you take on the challenge, let me know what happens.   God bless you!

Try Something New Tuesday – When Is It Important To Be Right?

We must keep our eyes on Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2

Happy Tuesday! I don’t know about your life, but mine has been busy during the holidays this year.  I was thinking this morning about all the Christmas seasons I’ve seen come and go.  Some years I was meeting myself coming and going, and others were too quiet.  Neither is good. When our lives are too slow during the holidays, we tend to become depressed.  When we are too busy, we become overwhelmed.  It’s really difficult to enjoy this time of year in either state.  An alternative choice is to be moderately busy with life’s tasks, but take time to enjoy Christmas.

Have you ever been in a meeting and been engaged in an argument?  You probably haven’t, but I certainly have.  As a matter of fact, it happened to me last night.  This morning I find myself pondering the question, when it is important to be right.  What do you think?

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I was reading an article from Psychology Today  where Schwartz, the author, explained that from an early age we are rewarded for being right (Schwartz, March 7, 2011).  I found this to certainly be true in my life.  When I was in grade school, I was rewarded for good grades and punished for bad.  The competitiveness of our society encourages people to continue in this pattern.  Schwartz asked couples in counseling if they would rather be right or happy. He goes on to say that while everyone says happiness, the couples continue to fight.  So, when is it important to be right?

I have found while teaching Sunday School that there are many ideas thrown on the table.  Each person thinks his or her idea is right.  I want to encourage discussion, and gently guide members to what the Bible says.  Often to avoid conflict, I say “there’s no right or wrong answer.”  But, wait a minute, there clearly is a right answer.  When is it important to be right?  In this case, proving a point could steer others away from Christ.  So, what I try to do is ask questions that lead the class to seeking the information where they can find the right answer.

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So, is being right even important?  Being right in the right manner earns respect.  Being right aggressively is sometimes seen as bullying. Conversely, being wrong is just embarrassing, and we all want to save face.  In my situation, I’m not sure who was right, but I just let it go.  I laughed it off.  However, it is still in the back of my mind and I know sometime today, that I will find out who was right.  Will I bring it up again?  No. There’s no point.  If I was wrong, I don’t want it to happen again.  Oops.  What did I just say?  The only answer I have is to pray about the question and trust God. However, when you know the answer ask yourself, is it important to tell anyone.  If you were right, let the other person save face.  If you were wrong, be kind to yourself.

So, today I encourage you to let go of arguments.  No one really wins.  I look forward to reading your comments.  God Bless you.

 

 

Schwartz, Mel LCSW.  Why Is It Important To Be Right, March 7, 2011, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shift-mind/201103/why-is-it-so-important-be-right.

 

Follow up:  I was the one wrong.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Bible Study

Your mistakes do not define you.  Psalm 37:24

Good morning!  It’s a good day for all camels.

This morning I’ve been thinking about Bible journaling.  For a long time I kept my Bible in a box in pristine condition, except for when I was using it of course.  It was beautiful and I was taking care of it.  I know that sounds a little crazy.  One day I saw someone making notes in their Bible.  I thought, wow, that’s a way I can leave notes for my family when I’m gone.  So, I started highlighting and making notes throughout my Bible.  This turned out to be a great idea, because sometimes I’d forget what I’d learned before.  So, it served two functions for me.

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Last year I noticed people creating Bible journals.  These are so cool.  They drew pictures and made notes in a notebook around the scriptures that they had studied.  I liked it so much that I bought a journal and some colored pencils and began to make my own.  I love this idea, but I have to tell the truth.  After two days, I put it down.  I just couldn’t find enough time to keep up the beautiful art.  My art wasn’t so beautiful either.  I even received two journal books last year for Christmas, where you can color the artwork that is provided.  It is so relaxing to color the photos, but I didn’t keep it up.  I do like to make notes as I study, but I have now started using several online apps, where I can make notes on my tablet.  Last year I also noticed people drawing beautiful pictures in their Bibles.  There are even journaling Bibles – So beautiful!  I bought one for a friend .  I would love to have one.

There are also many different ways you can read and study the Bible.  Some people like to meditate on a verse, memorize it and make notes.  Some people will read the Bible from front to back, which I find a little challenging.  Some people study a chapter at a time.  Others study topics or characters in the Bible.  There are devotional books and Bible study guides.  I have about 20 apps, each of which does something different.  Most apps allow highlighting and provide notes.  Many also provide study plans.  Some even provide video guides.

 

Some people study an hour a day.  Some study a few minutes throughout the day.  Some people don’t set a time limit.

I tell you all this, because I want you to understand that there are many fun and relaxing ways to study and enjoy the Bible.  It matters less about how you are doing it, as  it does that you are just studying your Bible regularly.  As my blogging sister told me yesterday, the more she reads and studies, the more God’s word flows from her mouth.  Isn’t that wonderful!

As you use your gifts to make a difference today, begin or continue studying God’s word.  God bless you.

 

Give Back

I will walk by faith even when I cannot see.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Good morning.  Are you surviving the beginning of the holiday season?  Here I see shopping, traffic, and decorating.  It’s a busy time for parties, gift giving and joy, but also stress.  Be sure to take time to rest and read your Bible.  It’s quite comforting all year.  However, I feel like I take a journey away from all that is taking place in the world around me this time of year.

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The Christmas season is also a time to give back to others.  Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough money or time to give back?  Do you feel like you are one of the needy? Do you disagree with the causes asking for money?

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Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:4 that we are comforted so that we can comfort others.  Don’t get caught up in where the money is going.  Just give back.  Every year I’m amazed at how I can stretch my money and time  to give to needy causes.  Your life will be blessed beyond your imagination!

Enjoy your Saturday.  God bless you.

 

Be Thankful in Everything!

Happy Thanksgiving!  F4FA94D0-F726-4063-BCFB-BB5645025F78Every year I am reminded of how someone we love will not be around the next time we gather.  It’s usually someone we least expect.

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So today, count your blessings and enjoy your family and friends.  Tell everyone you love them.  Let the little things go, especially grudges.  Give back to others if you can.  God bless you.

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Make It Fun

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭144:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Happy Tuesday!  It’s hard to believe that it’s two days before Thanksgiving.

Since the beginning of the school year, two or three days a week I take my grandson to preschool. He’s three and it’s a good time to get him acquainted with going to school, playing, learning and making friends. Of course, he doesn’t want to go.  At first, I thought he was afraid.  I stayed with him an hour, before I left him.  Big mistake!  Then, I realized he didn’t want to go, because he’d rather stay with me or his parents.  That’s sweet and I can understand.  Wouldn’t we all like to stay home with our loved ones rather than go to school or work.  Unfortunately, that’s not reality for most of us.  A very nice friend suggested I try something that was working with her great-granddaughter.  On the way to the classroom, they picked up rocks to give to the teacher.  So, I made a slight variation, we picked flowers in the yard to give to the teacher.  That worked a little, I guess.  After a while it became a game of how to delay the dreaded trip to school.  Last week, I decided to try something a little different, which I knew was a big mistake when I started it.  It’s funny what you will resort to when you are desperate.  I bribed Landon with a toy.  The promise was if he was good at school, he would receive a surprise. He didn’t quite understand the delayed gratification, but he was a little better.  He still pouted as he walked in slowly.  This morning I did the same thing.  As you can imagine, it didn’t work as well.  So, I started playing games and singing songs with him while driving to school.  Then, when we arrived, we raced to the door.  He looked a little disappointed when he realized he was at the door to his school.  He went in a little sad, but a little better than last week.    I’ve been through all of this with my own children, but it seems a little worse with my grandson.  Maybe because I want him to love me and not think of me as the one who drops him off every day.

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As I sit here I realize that whenever we don’t want to go to school or work, we can also play games and do something fun.  In fact, many of us already do this regularly.  There’s nothing wrong with turning dreaded tasks into fun games and rewarding ourselves from time-to-time.  Most things I dread, I really like after I get started.

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One thing many people dread is reading and studying their Bible. I have heard people say that they don’t understand it, and it puts them to sleep.  Once you develop a habit of reading, you will be amazed at the stories in the Bible!  So, why not make a game out of reading the Bible.  There are trivia apps on the Internet that you play to test your knowledge.  You can memorize a Bible verse a week or a day.  You can challenge others to participate in games.  Before you know it, reading the Bible will be fun for you too.

God bless you.