“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG
Happy Thursday! It’s been a very busy week, but I am so pleased with all the good I see in the world.
Have you ever been placed in an uncomfortable position or put “on the spot” about an issue at work or even outside of work? This is a great time for you to say “thank you” and shine. Yesterday, I was involved in two such meetings: one was scheduled in advance; and one was at a moment’s notice. Guess what? Both meetings went well. When we allow Christ to work through us, we don’t have to be concerned or stressed out.
So, what do you do? First, don’t stress out! Much of what we get stressed over never even happens. Relax and say a quick prayer. Second, really listen. Don’t let your mind wander. Empathize with those who are speaking with you and try to identify the issues. Third, avoid interrupting. Just listen. Fourth, start out soft. If you start out upset, you have nowhere to go. Fifth, think creatively. Sometimes we might not have an answer, and it’s okay to ask for additional time. Sixth, when everyone has gone their separate ways, follow-up in a timely manner. Finally, don’t hold any grudges. Forgive anyone who has offended you and let it go. It may take a little practices, but with time, this process will leave you feeling pleased.
I hope you will embrace opportunities like these. God bless you.
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!
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.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers, In Speech, In Conduct, In Love, In Faith and In Purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I enjoyed a busy Saturday with family and a restful Sunday. I had a little time to enjoy Dominic, who is four months old and growing rapidly. He is also calming down a bit. He follows me around and watches me quietly. When I’m posting blogs, he sits near me and watches. Last night, he discovered his cat tree. It’s like an amusement park to him. The pets are becoming more comfortable with one another, although there is still a little friction. Isn’t it great watching the young make their way in the world!
Do you feel like it is tough to find your way in the world? Do you feel like others in your life never listen to you or give you a chance? Do you feel like others just don’t understand your world? Do you remember feeling this way when you were younger? It’s tough making your way in the world. You have to figure out what you believe, and deal with endless people telling you how to believe. Decisions are critical and can be life changing, and just when you think you have it all figured out, you realize your in a huge mess. If all that wasn’t enough, you don’t want to disappoint the ones who believe in you the most. It’s tough!
If you want to make good decisions, read and follow the Bible. It has withstood time and never leads people astray. There are young people throughout the Bible, who accomplished great feats. In 1 Samuel 17 a young David (about age 17) took on Goliath, and later became king. In Genesis 37 Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery. Then, the Potiphar’s wife flirted with him, which resulted in him being thrown into jail unjustly. In the end, God honored Joseph for being just and right despite these bad events. In 2 Kings 5 a little girl feared for the people around her not knowing God, and actually played an important role in Naaman being taken to Elisha the prophet for the healing of his leprosy. In Daniel 1-3 King Nebuchadnezzar casted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into a fiery furnace after the three young men (probably between 10 and 30 years old) refused to bow down and worship idols. The soldier that pushed the three into the furnace burned up because the fire was so hot. However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walked out without any pain or suffering. Don’t forget the little boy in John 6 who gave up his lunch of bread and fish to feed 5000 men (not counting women and children). For the young of heart, Daniel was about 80 years old when he took on the lion. The good news is whether you are 6 or 96, you are great too! Trust God and follow the lessons in His word. You, too, will make great decisions. Oh, and one more thing, be gentle with your parents. They love 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.
He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107.9
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to practice forgiveness.
Have you ever felt empty? Have you felt like no matter what you do, you can’t find happiness? Is being content something you can’t seem to wrap your mind around? Are you an overachiever, a workaholic, a perfectionist or something similar? Do you feel you have to fill every moment of the day with an activity? Do you dread quietness? I know how you feel. There is only one thing that can fill that hole, God. You can try everything you can think of, but I promise nothing will fill that hole but God. Start your day with God and put God first all day long, and he will fill the emptiness in your soul.
We can’t always see where the road leads, but God promises there is something better up ahead we just have to trust him. Psalm 56:3
Happy Wednesday! It’s a great day to Use Your Gifts to Change the World! So, what will you do?
Do you ever feel like you are unable to make positive change? Do you feel like the world is too big? Then, I have good news. The smallest of changes are viral in the scheme of changing the world. Whenever you do something as simple as smiling at someone having a bad day, the results are beneficial, and that’s not all. Positive changes grow exponentially. Yesterday, I actually heard a very nice lady, who collects items for children in need, say that she had so many people donate that she had to create a new list of items to prevent sending volunteer donors away. She was also taking overflow donations to other agencies. Isn’t that great! That’s how it should be. When we work together to help society, government doesn’t have to. As I’ve said so many times before, changing the world doesn’t have to involve donations or money. You can smile, give a friend a hug, tell the manager of a restaurant or store about an employee who is doing a good job, leave a note, and the list goes on and on. There is no limit to what YOU can do.
As you go out into the world today, start at home and radiate. Make a difference everywhere you go. God bless you.
It’s Try Something New Tuesday! A few weeks ago I began a new health journey through Noom Coach. This seems to be working for me. I just started week three and I’ve lost about 15 pounds. I’ve also been making healthier food choices and exercising more. Every day I try something new, which keeps the program fresh. I don’t just mean that I try new recipes or exercises, but I try new ways to conquer cravings and other temptations.
Life is similar. Sometimes we get in a rut of going through a day-to-day routine, which can wreak havoc on our relationships and our self-esteem. We can get so caught up in what we are focused on that we lose who we are and what we believe in. At the end of the day we don’t feel like we have enough time to enjoy life. We may not even think we are worthy of God’s love. Always remember that God thinks you are beautiful. You are his child and he loves you.
One way to prevent burnout and getting caught up in every day life routines is to look at your tasks differently. Noom Coach teaches to make a list of the “have to’s” and the “want to’s” in your life. Then mix match combinations on the list. I know this was intended for food and exercise, but why couldn’t you use it in general life. For example, if taking the kids to ball practice is on your “have to” list, and paying it forward is on your “want to” list, why not pick up other kids going to practice on the way and relieve another parent. If you have been wanting to read your Bible, but you can’t find time before or after work, take your lunch to work with you and find somewhere quiet to read. There are endless possibilities for work and home.
Remember, variety is the spice of life. I can’t wait to read what you plan to try. God bless you.
The Spirit that is within you is greater than the Spirit that is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Happy Monday! I have some good news to share today. We had a few trials and tribulations yesterday. My husband had to go to the emergency room at the hospital. That is always a little scary, but God was with us, the doctor and hospital staff. He’s much better today. Also we had some issues with our well. That is all resolved. One of the things I thank God for every morning is a hot shower in my climate controlled house. So, that’s my good news. Please share yours.
Do you ever feel like your life is spinning out of control? Like you need to frantically run around and ask everyone to pray for you? Do you feel like you just don’t know the answers? Almost every day since I started this blog, I have told you that God is with you. Did you know that God is for you, with you, AND in you?
Romans 8:31 says “If God be for us, who can be against us?” You are also God’s temple and “the Spirit of God” dwells in you ( 1 Corinthians 3:16). Jesus says in John 14:16-17 “and I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
The Holy Spirit lives within us. He is our guide. Have you thought of what it would be like to wander through a cave with no light or guide? The guide makes the experience so much less frightening and more exciting. That’s what the Holy Spirit is like. When you are running around in this frightening world, listen to your heart. You know, that gut feeling you get – that is the Holy Spirit guiding you. The more you make him your friend, counselor, comforter and guide, the happier you will be.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday. God bless you.