“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” Colossians 1:10-11 KJV
Isn’t it great to wake up and realize it’s Friday! I woke up today dancing a jig right out the door. Yes, I have a lot of work to do at home and the office. Yet, there is a little bit of happiness knowing a break is ahead for some fun and relaxation. This weekend I have my list of things to do, but plan to go outside a bit and breathe in the air, while I admire my surroundings. If you haven’t tried it before, even five minutes outside can improve your mood and outlook. Bring a friend and spread the love.
This morning as I was thinking about how wonderful Fridays are, I realized that I was letting events decide my perspective. How many times have I started the day happy, and something kind of spoiled the rest of the day? Of course, I know the old saying that “it’s not what happens but how you react” that’s important. However, today I was reminded of Colossians 1:10-11.
Colossae was a City located about 100 miles from Ephesus and near Laodicea. In Paul’s letter to the early Christians in the church of Colossae, they instructed them to be strengthened in God’s word. We can look to scripture for every occasion, but today I would like to encourage you to instead of letting what happens around you affect your attitude, pause and think of what God’s word says. Find your strength there. Joy is an action and choice we all have regardless of what’s happening around us. When we express joy we are also able to be more patient, kind and loving.
Have a wonderful Friday! May God continue to bless you!
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms 37:4 KJV
It’s Use Your Gifts to Change Your World Wednesday! What will you do? Making a difference doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. It can be something as simple as a hug.
Today, a lady I worked with shared how she took her mother to the hospital late last night, because her mom was very ill. On the way home after her mother was discharged, she met up with her niece and the niece’s friend. They asked for a ride home. After my colleague agreed, she wound up driving to another town to take the niece’s friend home. Rather than becoming angry, she made conversation with the young man, who was 17 and supporting his entire family. The young man was working and attending high school. He was excited to share that he will be the first person in his family to graduate from high school. While my colleague was tired, she made a difference in this young man’s life, as well as, providing help to her mother and an example for her children.
“He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” Psalms 107:29 KJV
Happy Tuesday! I woke up this morning to stormy weather and tornadoes in the area. It’s only been a little over a year since Hurricane Michael devastated our community, and I’m noticing the people in my life are a little rattled by the weather. Many people in our community are still not in their homes. Some live in tents. Others have tarps on their roofs. Still others have been taken advantage of by people claiming to be contractors and now don’t have a home or money to take care of their problems. How can you trust God under these circumstances?
Before Hurricane Michael my husband prayed the blood of Christ around our property and family. Today, I did the same. Then, I turned it over to God.
After Hurricane Michael a friend of our family lost his house to a fire. While he was probably upset on the inside, he never showed it. He just told everyone how blessed he was and bought dinner for the firefighters. That is total trust in God. Today, he is not where he was before the fire and there are some things that he will never be able to replace, but he is recovering and building a new home. Trusting God doesn’t mean you won’t lose all possessions during a storm. However, it may mean that God will help you recover, while you are able to witness through your life.
We all have storms frequently in our lives, and it is how we choose to react that is really important for ourselves and others. Being upset is understandable, but it will not change anything. A friend of mine is aware that a family member is dying. She cries and struggles daily. However, that is not changing the situation. Why not choose to make every day count? Wouldn’t it be better to enjoy every moment while this person is alive? Crying won’t change anything. I know that we all need to grieve, but when we can trust God during the storms of our lives, we will find peace and be a blessing to others.
This morning please keep all the people going through storms in your prayers. May God bless you!
“And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.”
Joshua 7:24-25 KJV
It’s Forgiveness Thursday and a great time to forgive yourself and others.
Have you ever known something was wrong and did it anyway? Was the temptation just too much at the moment, even though you knew what the right thing to do was? It could be something as simple as not taking care of your body by overeating or choosing not to exercise. After all your body is the temple of God. Maybe it’s a temptation to have an affair or take something illegally? We all have temptations and if you haven’t ever made the wrong decision on purpose at some point in your life, you are definitely in the minority. Does that mean that it it’s okay? No.
My husband and I were talking this morning about the story in Joshua, where Achan did not follow the instructions given to him and hid the silver. His entire family was killed. How much worse it would be to watch your family be killed, than to die? This is the kind of crime we see in movies and real life.
I’m so thankful that Jesus paid the price for us. It is simple to ask for forgiveness. Yet, how many times do we make the same mistake repeatedly? Is that okay? No. We need to make a conscious effort to live a life that is pleasing to God.
I hope you have a wonderful Thursday. God bless you.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 KJV
It’s Tuesday and a great day to try something new! What will you try?
In the midst of every trial and storm God is with us. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians that God’s peace passes all understanding. Have you ever really considered what that means? It doesn’t matter whether we or anyone else understands or not, God’s peace is there for us to embrace.
Everyday I hear people talking about how they believe in all kinds of silly things such as, celebrity endorsed products for weight loss or healing, and following links for free money on the Internet. Yet, so many can’t believe in God, whose miracles are seen daily. God’s love is so great that his understanding surpasses our imaginations. It’s right there ready for us to take hold of at any moment. Don’t wait!
So today, I encourage you to embrace the peace! God bless you.
“Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as Christ’s sufferings are ours in abundance [as they overflow to His followers], so also our comfort [our reassurance, our encouragement, our consolation] is abundant through Christ [it is truly more than enough to endure what we must]. But if we are troubled and distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted and encouraged, it is for your comfort, which works [in you] when you patiently endure the same sufferings which we experience. And our hope for you [our confident expectation of good for you] is firmly grounded [assured and unshaken], since we know that just as you share as partners in our sufferings, so also you share as partners in our comfort.”
2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-7 AMP
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to seek forgiveness and to forgive others.
The older I grow, the more funerals I attend. This week two funerals are on my agenda. The hardest funerals for me are the ones where a child has died, and ones where intense grief is expressed. I also, out of selfishness, sometimes have trouble getting through funerals where I think the person was not a Christian, or that remind me of a something similar. Finally, I have a difficult time with funerals where sad music is played.
In Genesis 5:22-24 we learn that Enoch was taken to heaven without dying. Second Kings 2:11 tells us that Elijah was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. There maybe others, but the majority of us are not getting out of this life without dying. It’s something we all have to do. That doesn’t really take away fear related to death.
As Christians we know that when our earthly life is over, we will continue on a spiritual journey. This brings me great comfort, because I’m looking forward to serving God in a new capacity. That provides personal comfort, but what about when someone we know passes? The emotional pain can be more than any physical pain we have ever known. I’ve heard people say that they lost a piece of their heart. It’s a pain that doesn’t go away quickly. In my own life, I’ve found myself looking for the one who passed, knowing good and well they aren’t here anymore. I miss them so much. That’s when we have to be comforted by knowing that through Christ’s sufferings we will see our loved ones again. It’s like, as Billy Graham said, “changing addresses”. So, if our loved ones are Christians, we will see them and rejoice in heaven. That’s nice to know. We still have to go through the grieving process, which can be very difficult. We still miss our loved ones. Yet, there is hope around the corner that we will be reunited.
Over time I have found myself struggling with loss of adult family and friends who I feel certain were not Christians. As much as we may sometimes want to force people to make the right choice, we can’t. Everyone has a choice. Yet, sometimes people accept Christ as their personal savior in their last moments. There are other people who might not want you to be aware of their decisions. At the end of the day, it is their choice. Always remember that none of us are promised tomorrow. Make the most of your time in the best ways possible. Be the best Christian you can be. Then, when a family member passes, celebrate their life. Don’t mourn their death. Remember the good times and their contributions.
If you have lost a loved one, give yourself time to grieve. It’s normal. Let people help you. Read the scriptures and celebrate the passing of your loved one. Praise God with your every breath and know that your spiritual life will be unbelievable! God bless you!
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4 NIV
Happy Monday! It’s a great time to celebrate all the good in our lives! The highlight of my weekend was my sweet grandson. Unfortunately for me, I don’t know all the super heroes. Landon came running up to me saying “I’m Cat Boy and you’re the Flash”. I was excited to know which ones he was talking about. Then, he announced “change, you’re Blue Beetle”. Hmm Blue Beetle? I didn’t know that one. So, I started pretending to be a beetle in what was pretty strange, I must admit. That’s when Anna announced, “silly Bebaws, Blue Beetle has swords”. Okay, I thought. I can do this. So, I began using my arms as swords, when I was told I still didn’t have it quite right. I opted for my superhero name they have given me at work, “the Shadow”. I still haven’t figured that one out.
Isn’t it amazing how God is always understanding when we are struggling and trying to figure out what to do. Psalms 37:4 tells us that when we take delight in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart. Have you ever wondered what the desires of your heart truly are? We all have seasons in our life, where we are haunted by our mistakes. Sometimes we may want forgiveness, but are not ready to change. Despite all of our short comings, God is still here with all the answers. Even when the answers aren’t what we want to hear. That’s when we need to rely most on His strength and comfort.
I hope you have a wonderful Monday. Trust in God. God bless you.
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” Philemon 1:7 NIV
Happy Friday! It’s a great time to spread God’s love everywhere you go. In a town that has been destroyed by a hurricane, faces dripping with despair are commonplace. What can we do to ease pain in a situation like this? Of course, we can offer our services to help with cleanup. We can feed people who are hungry. We can assist with finding places for homeless. We can invite people to church and share God’s love. Is there anything more?
Encouragement is one of the best gifts we can give one another that doesn’t cost a dime. TobyMac once said that “with every person you meet you can either bring life or bring them down”. People can detect your kindness and attitude by looking at your face and body movements. They can even detect it in your voice over the telephone.
So, take time to smile and give someone an encouraging word. God bless you.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”
James 1:19 KJV
Good morning! It’s day 15 and still no electricity. I’m excited to say that I’ve been able to find peace in the routine I have developed within the chaos. For years I’ve heard people refer to their favorite vacation spot as “God’s Country”. My mother is among those. She loves visiting Tennessee and North Caroline. I can’t count the times she has said “that’s God’s country”. I few years ago, I started thinking that our home town is “God’s Country”. Lately, those thoughts have been reinforced for me. Our town has been devastated by disaster. Yet, everywhere you go, people are thankful. Maybe sometimes disasters bring communities closer together, or maybe they bring out the best in people. Maybe opportunities abound among the rubble.
This morning in the quietness of my home, I listened. For many years I known about contemplative prayer. Essentially, you quiet your thoughts and listen. Does this take practice? Yes, but man is it ever worth it! Just trying to listen to God without making petitions is so rewarding.
It’s equally rewarding to listen to others. I mean really listen, and watch their body language while trying to understand what they are saying. I’m referring to the part of what they are saying that isn’t so obvious. I don’t know how Jesus made time for every person during his three-year ministry, but it was definitely a priority for Him. I usually have to cut off the chit-chat at some point in order to get my work done. I often think of how Jesus valued each person and accomplished so much in so little time.
So, today use your gift of listening and make the world a better place. God bless you.