Category Archives: Journey

Two for Tuesday – Adversity and Truthful Witness

“The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭32:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s Try Something New Tuesday. Yesterday, my saved post disappeared. So, today, I’m trying a two-for-one special.

Have you ever thought “can things get any worse?” If you have, you are not alone. Unfortunately, the answer is YES! Take a look around. The more I listen to others, the more I realize things can be much worse. Yet, you may wonder why God’s people go through adversity. Jesus, himself, lived through horrible circumstances, including torture, before dying and being resurrected. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from adversity. However, adversity can further us in our spiritual journeys. We could never really understand the darkness others go through, if everything was always wonderful. Once we have lived through what we think is bad, we need to remember how it felt. Why? So we can be a blessing to others while they are going through the same.

Have you ever wanted someone to notice or recognize an accomplishment? Well, if your answer is yes, you are not alone. This is something I work on daily. When I have worked hard on a project, sometimes, I wish just one person would notice. The truth is they do. It is not necessary for them to validate my need for praise. Last week a coworker compared me to another person. She said we both needed attention, but I do good things to get attention. The other person, in contrast, does bad things to get attention. YIKES! I never thought of it that way. Although I said I was doing things to glorify God, I wasn’t bearing truthful witness.

What does it mean to be a truthful witness? It means you are someone who glows in the glory of doing God’s work. There is no need for praise or blame. Pure satisfaction is found solely in doing God’s work, whatever we are called to do. To bear truthful witness is to live in the peace of the LORD. Doesn’t that sound awesome! Although I’m not sure if anyone, other than Jesus, has been a perfect truthful witness, my husband is very good at this. Even if we are not always perfect, we can work to improve ourselves. This is one of the best ways to witness God’s love to others.

Today, imagine the Glory of God shining down upon you as you do his work. May God bless you.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Have Faith

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy Wednesday! It’s a wonderful week!

Have you ever had to wait for something for more than a couple of days?  It can be unnerving!  Two weeks ago an associate and I took an exam without taking the related classes to go with the test.  Why?  Well, the exam is usually unavailable in the area, and if we passed the exam we could help the citizens of our city with insurance rates. So, I was already waiting for the results of that exam, when I had a chest x-ray that caused some concern.  I had a couple of spots on my right lung, and I’ve had an ongoing cough for months.  My doctor took me off some of my RA medication until we could figure out what was going on.  So, last Friday I had a chest CT Scan with contrast, another test with results I’d be waiting to hear.  On top of all that, I put my hat in the race for chair of a national city planning division a few months ago.  Those results will be in Friday.  Lots of waiting and anxiety.

Well, usually it would be that way for me, but this time I had a different attitude.  I decided to do the best I could and leave it in God’s hands.  Yesterday, my colleague and I received our scores.,  We didn’t pass.  You might think I was upset, but not really.  I felt like I had learned quite a bit during the process and was thankful for the opportunity to learn.  I may or may not try again.  Today my CT scan results came in.  Nothing bad at all.  Yay!  I am truly thankful!  I just need to do some follow-up testing to adjust my medication.  So, now I am waiting for the results of an election that took place a month ago.  I will be glad to put that one behind me, but I’m not at all worried.  I know God is in control.  If the other lady would be better in the position, I will not be unhappy.  I’m glad I tried.  Another opportunity.

I share these stories because in the past I would have been paralyzed with fear and worry.  Have you ever been worried?  It’s hard to do anything when you are worried.  All you can think of is the problem that is causing the stress.  You are in control of your body and mind.  Don’t let worry control you.  You might say that the things I’ve been waiting for are not that serious.  I mean what if someone is dying?  I certainly am not making light of these types of situations. Death is difficult to handle. It’s not as sad if we know the person is going to heaven.  We will miss them, but it is more like they are going on a trip and we will be joining them soon. In cases like this, you may need to seek out spiritual guidance.

When we have faith we trust God and turn what bothers us over to him.  The assurance that He knows what’s best is all we need.  He knows what we need and when we need it.  Turn your problems over to the Lord today.  It’s freeing!

God bless you.

Forgiveness Thursday – Stability

Lord, You have been our dwelling place [our refuge, our sanctuary, our stability] in all generations.
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭90:1‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Happy Thursday!  It’s a great day to forgive others and yourself.

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Have you ever been blown away be an event or unexpected occurrence that you felt was unfair?  If so, how long did you dwell on it – minutes?  Hours? Days? Weeks? Years?  Did you rant, fuss and complain?  Did you get mad at others who didn’t understand your emotions?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t feel alone.  I recently read that it is important for leaders to be emotionally stable.  At first, I was thinking “this isn’t a problem for me”.  Then, God reminded of the many times I have been upset about events or happenings that I thought were unfair.  Each time I approached those around me for comfort and understanding.  I just wanted someone to say they saw things my way.  I never realized that my roller coaster of emotional instability was driving everyone crazy.

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The good news is Colossians 2:5 tells us that even though we may feel alone, we can find emotional stability and “unwavering confidence in His power wisdom and goodness” (Amp).  The bad news is we have to work at this.  It’s not enough to just know that God provides our emotional stability.  We have to practice being emotionally stable.  You may not believe it, but I know people including myself who have stayed upset about something for years.  I have more good news though.  Over time I have improved.    Most things only upset me for a few hours or a couple of days, instead of months of years.  However, if it was something really painful, I rarely forget.  I’m striving for letting go of bad events in five minutes or less without anyone ever knowing.  It’s a good goal to have.

If you have struggled with emotional stability, find your strength in God.  God bless you.

 

 

Forgiveness Thursday – 490 Times? Really?

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:21-22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Good morning and happy Thursday.  It’s a great time to forgive others and yourself.

F168A70A-19F2-4DAE-8BE7-6AA84DF7079DAre you having trouble forgiving someone?  Do you find yourself facing the same old aggravating stuff with that person all the times?  Have you thought to yourself, how many times do I have to put up with this mess?  When Peter asked Jesus how many times, I feel pretty certain he wasn’t expected to be told 490 times.  It makes me chuckle to think of this conversation taking place,  because I know I’d being saying “What?”.  Yet, how many BD18DBDA-E5BC-4570-908F-55091F2272CCtimes has God forgiven us?  For me it has been more than 490 times.   In fact, it’s been more that 4,900,000 times.  It’s so nice to be loved and forgiven.  It is important to treat others well, even when there is something that really aggravates you.  It is equally important to forgive yourself.

Have a wonderful day.  God bless you.

Spread the Love Friday – Be a Revolutionary for Christ

The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures.
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy Friday!  Spread God’s love everywhere you go.

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Have you ever been teased for being a Christian?  Have you ever felt that you had to stifle your beliefs or that you were be considered a “goody two shoes”? Have you ever been left out or ostracized for your beliefs?  Well, you are not alone.  Christians are revolutionaries for Christ.  As such, we are called names, teased and ostracized.  It’s not easy and it sometimes hurts.  We need to rely on Christ to work through us, especially in our weakest moments.  Do we have to give up things or avoid going certain places?  Yes, but what we gain is much greater.  I have found so much happiness in being a Christian and doing God’s work.

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If you are discouraged because you aren’t accepted.  Think of all the good you are doing when you let Christ work through you. God bless you.

 

Forgiveness Thursday -Hang In There

Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God–it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
‭‭JAMES‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Hello from beautiful sunny Florida!  It’s good to be back home and return to my routine.  Traveling is fun, but I love my life in Florida.  Today, remember to forgive others as we have been forgiven.

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Do you ever feel like no one understands what you are going through?  Do you feel alone and boxed in?  Well, I have good news.  God is always there.  You are never alone.  Just as you are going through trials, so are others.  The best thing to do is just hang in there and trust God.  If you have faith in God, you will see mountains moved and your life transformed.  You won’t even know what happened, but your life will be better.

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You are probably not like me, but if you are you should know what happens.  Sometimes I just can’t seem to learn the lessons and have to keep going through the same struggles repeatedly.  I’m not the easiest to teach, but even I see the light eventually, and so will you.  Something that helps me is to remember to focus my efforts on helping others and not on myself.  It is amazing how well this helps.  Try it and while you’re at it, put a song in your heart!

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday.  God bless you.

Forgiveness Thursday – Enjoy a Slice of Humble Pie

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:21‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Happy Thursday!  I pray your day is going well.  Lately, Humble pie has been the main course for me.  Forget the slices, I ate the pies in their entirety.

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Today, has been one of those days. Last night I was talking about having some blood work drawn at the clinic.  My husband was telling me about his experience, when I boldly informed him that I was a pro at the procedures.  In fact, I had an appointment.  He reminded me that I needed a confirmation number.  I gave a quick “I’ve got this” reply and changed the subject.  This morning I began looking for my confirmation number in case I needed it. Well, guess what . . . I didn’t have one.  In fact, my appointment didn’t go through for some reason.  I did not have a long wait, but it was long enough to think about my actions.  Have you ever been there?  If you have, ask for forgiveness and try to learn from your mistakes.  Some lessons are harder for me to learn than others, and I repeat them over and over.  Isn’t it great that God still loves us in spite of our flaws?

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Today, forgive yourself and forgive others.  God bless you.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Conforming and Modeling

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.    Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭MSG

Happy Wednesday!  I hope your Wednesday is wonderful.  It is simply beautiful here and the weather is great.  I’m utilizing a late lunch to post.  I am so blessed to have three windows in my office.  I hope you will take advantage of your opportunities to make the world a better place today.

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Have you ever looked around and thought “I don’t know what this world is coming to?”  I heard my grandmother use that phrase many times.  Have you wondered why so many people, especially young people, seem to lose their way?  I was in a meeting on Monday where a case worker shared a new program for helping young families with trauma.  I listened carefully at the statistics with a heavy heart.  There was an example provided of a young woman, who was abused and possibly on drugs.  She had lost her two young children, who were under the age of four, and she couldn’t have any more children.  The father of the children was in prison.  The case worker couldn’t figure out why the mother was not attending the counseling and classes, so the children could return home.  Finally, someone called the mother.  Her response was “I don’t have transportation.”  A person in the community purchased a bicycle for the mother and she never missed another class. It’s so easy think that the parents are evil, but that is not necessarily the case.  We are all products of our environment, and we continue the lessons we have learned.  Some of us break the mold in some ways, but still carry on what our parents have taught us in many ways.

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On the way to work this morning I heard a sermon by the late Reverend Billy Graham.  He used an example of a little boy walking strangely through the snow.  The father asked the little boy “what are you doing son?”  The little boy said “walking in your steps Daddy”.  It is easy to forget that children learn from watching their parents and other adults in their lives.  Someone shared a story with me recently about a young boy.  He was supposed to sleepover at a friend’s house, but changed his mind and stayed home.  His parents did not know he was there.  That night he watched as his parents and other adults drank excessively and participated in unrestrained sexual activiy with other adult couples in the house.

If you don’t think this affects you and your family, you are wrong.  These same children and adults will interact with you, your children and grand children.  This is a world-wide problem.  Romans 12:2 tells us to be transformed by God, not conformed by the world. Just because the Internet or television shows indicate that certain behaviors are acceptable, doesn’t mean that they are.  You may think no one knows, but someone is always watching. The Bible tells us that if you are watching or thinking about things that are wrong and enjoying it, that’s just as bad. It’s up to Christians to share God’s love and walk the walk that they are talking.

So as you go through your life, think of the people who are modeling your behavior.  Think of the impacts you have on other people.  Are you making the world a better place or adding to it’s corruption?  Go to God for help.  He’s always there and He will bring out the best in you.

God bless you.

Spread the Love Friday – Give a Little Love

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.    ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:7-10‬ ‭MSG‬‬

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Happy Friday! I can hardly believe how fast this week has gone by. It’s a glorious day here.  The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and spring has sprung.  Next week is Spring Break for the local schools and the children are all excited to have a break.  Some are going somewhere fun.  Some are hanging out at home.  Remember to be mindful this year of children being out of school.  College students are out too.  Don’t forget that we were all young at one time.  Be patient and forgiving.  Also remember to leave earlier than normal to allow time for heavier traffic.  It’s a good practice to develop daily for ourselves and others.

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This is a great time to spread God’s love.  Take a deep breath and think of ways you can give back when you are aggravated because of longer lines or heavy traffic.  There is always something we can do and it doesn’t have to be costly.  It can just be a kind gesture.  When you arrive home from work, do something nice for your spouse.  There is just no end to the number of things you can do with little effort.

Have a great weekend.  God bless you.

Forgiveness Thursday – New Beginnings

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1

Good morning.  It is hard to wake up on cold mornings, but there are many opportunities for us today.  So, join me in embracing the present.

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Do you have something in your past that makes you feel bad about yourself?  Do you feel like you are unworthy of God’s love?  Everyone one has something they feel ashamed about, but the good news is God loves you.  Jesus provided the redemption you need.  All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself.  While you are forgiving yourself, forgive others.  You will feel better when you release your guilt and grudges.

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Have a great day.  God bless you.