Category Archives: Kindness

Spread the Love Friday – Be Humble, Part 3

“I am in the midst of you as he that serveth.”  Luke 22: 27

Happy Friday!  One way we can all spread the love every Friday, and be humble is to serve others!  So ask yourself what can I do to serve others.  Often it is the little things in life that make the biggest difference.  Take a look around.  Provide a kind word to someone who is going through a difficult time.  Maybe call a friend you haven’t spoken to lately.  Help someone who is overloaded at work.  Help a sick neighbor with their lawn work.  There is always something we can do.

This Friday humble yourself before God by serving others.  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.

 

Finding the Balance: Listening and Speaking

Listen and hear my voice; Listen carefully and hear my words.
‭‭ISAIAH‬ ‭28:23‬

Someone once told me that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.  Yet, listening is something that is difficult to do.  Is it because we are so selfishly caught up in ourselves or maybe it’s because we want someone’s attention?  Could it be because we want someone to care or understand our perspective?  Is it possible that we are lonely and need human connections, or could it be that we have only been speaking Mickey Mouse and Big Bird to children and we are just excited to converse with another adult?  Is it possible that there is no one at home to listen or could it be that we have short-term memory problems and we are afraid we will forget what we need to say until a time when it’s too late?  Maybe we just need to be heard and feel valued.

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True listening requires taking control over our thoughts and quieting our minds.  This is very difficult for most of us in a world where we are constantly flooded with input and information.  That is one reason scientists tells us that meditation is good for our health. Over the years I have learned that it is when I’m the most quiet and I’m able to control my thoughts, I hear God.  I don’t sit around with my legs crossed mumbling mantras, but I do sit quietly and contemplate scripture.  More often than that I sit quietly and tell God how much I love Him.  It’s not an exercise for me, because I mean it.  However, it is very therapeutic.  I also try to take a short inventory of my blessings each morning.  When things seem the worst, it helps to realize how many blessings we have.

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Yet, listening goes beyond listening to God to the world around us.  This morning I noticed my grandson stuttering trying to get my attention.  He needed me to repeat what he was saying, so he would know I was listening.  He needed me to hear him.  This past week someone wrote an email about me not performing a task well.  At first I was a little irritated because there had been no conversations concerning the request, and I didn’t realize it was a task expected of me.  Then, I took time to listen.  I watched and listened for an hour, calming my thoughts so that I could understand.  I heard the need for validation.  I heard loneliness and the plea for recognition.  I heard knowledge and the request for respect.  I heard wonderful ideas, and inability to physically put dreams into action.  Then, I asked myself “am I all that different?”

We need to find a balance between speaking and listening.  No one should feel the stress that causes stuttering or frustration that results in inappropriate correspondence.  We all need to listen and we all need to be heard.  If you are having difficulties with a relationship, quiet your mind and listen.  Listen to God and listen to those around you.  I assure you your mind will better understand.  Some of the best listeners I know are also gossipers, or people who gather information to manipulate.  Take the high road and don’t fall into these traps.

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You need to be heard too. Find someone with whom you can share stories and confide. You can always talk to God, but we all need people who understand.  If you don’t have anyone, I’m here.

Have a glorious Saturday!  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.

Forgiveness Thursday – Emulate Jesus

For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
‭‭MATTHEW‬ ‭6:14‬ 

Good morning!  I hope you have a wonderful Thursday.  This morning I have a little helper.

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Is there someone in your life that just drives you crazy?  Does someone’s habits get on your nerves?  Does someone speak down to you like you’re stupid?  I’d be surprised if no one in your life falls into one of these categories.  Is it their problem or yours?  It might be a little of both, but definitely yours, if you don’t forgive them and show them love.  One thing that drives me crazy is uncleanliness. I have met people who have hang-ups about food.  There are all kinds of little oddities that get under our skin.  However, it is not our place to judge others.  Jesus showed love to everyone, even those who were unclean.  Why should we let our hang-ups get in the way of God’s love.

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Also remember that everyone has bad things in their lives.  No one is exempt.  If you feel inundated with bad things that are making you sad, remember that it is how we choose to respond that makes the difference in our own happiness.

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Today, if someone is driving you crazy, take a deep breath and reflect on what Jesus would do.  Don’t forget to forgive yourself and others.  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.

Try Something New Tuesday – Visit Other Groups

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Good Morning.  It’s Try Something New Tuesday!  What will you try?  Sometimes I feel like things try me, instead of the other way around.  A few weeks ago I visited another church to watch a sermon review.  Then, about a week later My husband and I visited our sister church.  For the last 3-4 weeks a friend of mine who lives about 30 miles away invited me to visit her women’s bible study class.  She’s invited me to other things, but it has never worked out.  Last night I made a commitment and went.  What fun!  The leader is the minister’s wife.  She cooked a country meal that was delicious. I met 10-15 nice ladies.  Then, we enjoyed Bible Study.  I loved it.  What a great way to start the week!  I’ve also been invited to visit yet another church for lunch on Tuesdays during lent.  Does this mean that I’m leaving my church?  No.  I’m just enjoying meeting other people and listening to their discussions.  It’s a great way to obtain a new perspective and hear about how God is working in the lives of others.

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The verse for the week is Proverbs 16:9.  No matter how much we plan our course, God is with us to help along the way.  Whenever we worship God with prayer and ask for Him to show us the way, He will direct our paths.  All of the verses from this blog are posted in the Scripture Typer app under the group Hisperfecttiming.

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Have a wonderful Tuesday!  God bless you.

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Dealing with Loss

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  John 20:29

Good Morning!  Over the last couple of years I seen people say goodbye to their loved ones too many times.  Sometimes the goodbyes have been before and other times it has been after their passing.  I try to provide comfort without so many words, because sometimes my words are far from comforting.  Have you ever been there?

I have a subscription to Faithbox.  Every month a new box comes in and a portion of my money goes to help feed hungry children.  The other items in the box are sometimes used by me, and sometimes I pass them along to my Sunday School Class. Last week my Faithbox shipment arrived.  Imagine my surprise when everything in the package was about grief.  My original intent was to pass it along to a couple of retired people who have recently experienced the loss of a spouse.  There seemed to be a nice book in the package, but when I looked at the book’s cover I questioned whether it was a good fit.  At first glance the book looks like one that is better suited for a younger family.  Well, you can’t always judge a book by it’s cover.  So, I moved on.

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Yesterday, I learned that a young man had died.  Although 29, he is still a boy in my mind, because he grew up with my children and is the same age as my son.  His sister is the same as my daughter.  They went to church and were acolytes together.  I remember looking at him and his sister growing up thinking, they looked like angels holding candles for the Gospel readings.  His mother and I are on the vestry and altar guild together.  This was a little too close to home for me.  I think I might have even experienced a little bit of shock when I first heard the news.

So, this morning I know where the book belongs. You never know what someone else is going through whether it is a person or a family.  Take time to tell others how much you love them, because no one is promised tomorrow.  Also remember that we are all sinners, but God loves you.  God bless you.

Spread the Love Friday – Blown Away by Faith

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.  Isaiah 58:11

Happy Friday!  It feels good to be back.  I apologize for my brief time away.  I will spend the day trying to catch up with everyone.

Over the last five to six weeks I’ve been working very long days at work, usually going in at 7 in the morning and rarely leaving before 9:30 in the evening. Plus, I’m a student, I’m active in my community and church, and I’m a grandmother who loves being involved.  So, I’ve been busy.  If you don’t know, I’m a City Planning Director of a small town in north Florida.  A little over a year ago we submitted an application to the American Planning Association (APA) for a Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT) to visit our city and provide a plan to improve economic development.  Our city has been plagued by negative publicity related to abuses which may have taken place years ago in a reform school that has now closed.  Unfortunately, our city has felt the pain of job losses, and citizens moving away.  Now, it seems we have a bad reputation, which makes it hard to attract new businesses and visitors.

 

I felt God’s blessings when our application was selected. I remember dancing around the City Manager’s office with excitement when I learned the news.  To me this has been a big deal, so I began immediately planning to take advantage of this opportunity.  After entering into a contract, the team leader and program director visited our city last April.  The visit went well and my excitement escalated.

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At the end of January, I was notified that the team would be arriving February 25th, and would stay through March 2nd.  With not much time to plan, a staff of four (one employee on vacation and another at training for over a week), along with working with another agency, we had to move quickly.

I don’t know if you have ever experienced this type of event, but it hinges on public participation.  One of the suggestions the team leader made early on was to host a community-wide, public function that would bring people out to participate in feedback.  I met with my colleague and we decided to use a model similar to one used in Durham, North Caroline.  Our city, county and community would get married.  After the name  “Marry Marianna” was approved by both agencies, the real work began.

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I want you to know that things like this don’t fall into place.  I can honestly say that my colleague and I are very strong in our faith, and we both tried to select others who felt the same.  The funny thing is, we didn’t have to try hard because all along God brought the right people into our lives.  A close family friend joined efforts with a very sweet lady, who I now call my friend, to manage the entertainment.  They took care of everything free of charge and were a joy with which to work.  I never gave much thought to what they were doing, because I completely trusted them.  All the entertainment was provided free of charge and was inclusive.  I had a surprise at the event, when I saw my father was part of the crew!

 

Along our journey to complete this nuptial, we worked hard, but I found many people stepped up to help without much effort on our part.  Wedding cake, drinks, money and many more items along with time were donated.

During the planning of Marry Marianna, I was also very busy setting up and confirming meetings with what would be more than 150 stakeholders, and writing three newspaper articles a week.  That was time-consuming, so I relied heavily on my assistant to take care of details such as ordering supplies for the team and organizing what would become a week-long community event.  My colleague and I were also very busy with public speaking engagements, which placed a heavier load on my other Continue reading Spread the Love Friday – Blown Away by Faith

Tell Me Something Good Monday -Eagles and Sparrows

who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy Monday!  Tell me something good.  I had a wonderful weekend, but it spun by like a whirlwind.  Over the weekend, I encountered several people with heavy hearts.  In some of the cases, I knew what the problem was and in others I am still wondering.

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Sometimes Mondays brings added stress to our weekend troubles.  After all, we come back after a weekend off with a long todo list.   Isaiah 40:31 tells us that when we wait upon the Lord our strength will be renewed.  God will never let you down (Deuteronomy 32:11).  So renew your hope this Monday morning in the Lord and watch as he renews your strength (Isaiah 40:28-31).

I pray your day will be full of wonderful moments.  God bless you.