“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 1:10 KJV
Good Morning and Happy Monday! What good news do you have to share today? I had a productive and restful weekend. I was able to spend time with my friends at the gym, and catch up on a little work at home. I can’t wait to hear about your “something good!”
Do you ever find yourself doing God’s work because you “have to?” You know, when you are so busy or there’s something else you want to do, but you feel obligated to help at church or something else that you may have made a commitment to do, or even worse, something God has called you to do. I once felt called to speak to a homeless man at church. Every week he showed up, and it never seemed to be the right time. I found out a couple of weeks ago that he was in jail for failure to register as a child sexual predator. Interestingly, I never had that gut feeling when I was around him. Now, it is probably too late, and I may never have another opportunity with this individual. Would I have made a difference? Who knows.
This morning I’m reminded of the parable of the prodigal son. The older son stayed home and worked with his father, while the younger son sewed his wild oats. However, the older son had a bitter and jealous heart. He failed to realize that he had his father every day. People are always more important and special than things. When the younger son came home and the father celebrated, the older son was bitter.
Colossians 1:10 reminds us how important our attitude is to God. When we are going through our routines to check actions off our todo list, but don’t have the right attitude in our hearts, God knows. The same thing happens when we are taking action to get attention and be in the spotlight. However, it is deeply satisfying to us and God when our actions emanate from our soul. Serving God is pleasing unto Him, when we have the right attitude.
Have a wonderful Monday and keep a positive attitude in everything you do. May God bless you.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
Happy Monday! It’s a great time to share something good to brighten the day of those around you. My good news is I’ve almost completed another class. I should have it submitted by the end of the week. My other good news is my husband and I bought tickets to see the Newsboys and Mandisa at a nearby concert at the end of February. We are usually too busy to go out much. So, I’m excited. I look forward to hearing your good stories.
Have you ever felt you were facing too many obstacles, opponents or suffering in your life? Have you been entrusted with secrets that weigh you down? Well, you are not alone. Some secrets are not too big a deal and are short lived. Others are burdensome.
A few years ago a family member shared a secret with me that was very dramatic. I told my husband, but no one else for about three years. I needed someone to talk to, as did my husband. While it was a secret, it was also something obvious that we were being questioned about frequently. We were afraid to speak with anyone, even a counselor or minister, because if the news was leaked, suicide was a possibility. Another time I was entrusted with a family secret that put great stress and demands on me. While it is good to know what’s going on, secrets can destroy people. Ultimately, my heart was weighted down with the secret to the point that I unloaded without realizing what I was doing. I felt so guilty. It is for these reasons that I have decided to walk away from secrets. I also have decided to never burden others with secrets.
The good news, if you are experiencing this type of situation, is Jesus has already conquered all your opponents and worry. While He never said you wouldn’t have to suffer, He is bigger and more powerful than your suffering.
Trust in Him today and have a great Monday. May God bless you!
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.
Are 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 times 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.
So Jesus, seeing His mother, and the disciple whom He loved (esteemed) standing near, said to His mother, “[Dear] woman, look, [here is] your son!” JOHN 19:26 AMP
Happy Mother’s Day! This day has been special for me. I remember a time when I prayed to be a mother every day. Now, I have two strong, beautiful and extremely intelligent children, a wonderful son-in-law that I call my own, a very precious grandson, and many other children that call me “Mom” and/or Memaw”. Wow! I feel that I should honor them. I am also fortunate enough to have a wonderful mother, mother-in-law and several wonderful aunts in my life. Each is unique and special. Finally, my sister, sister-in-laws and friends are also mothers and grandmothers.
This morning couldn’t have been more perfect. My husband gave me a beautiful card and gift and we took Landon with us to church. Of course, he was very well-behaved. After church the men of the church served a delicious breakfast. During Church and Sunday School, I listened to stories about how important different members’ wives, mothers and grandmothers were in their lives and the role these women played. Some had recently passed away. While driving home after church, Landon sang to the radio. I could hear his sweet voice singing “Jesus”. He told us that he loved the song, so I will include it today. It was then and in similar moments that I have seen the influence that we have as grandparents. Mothers have an even stronger role. When we arrived home, our daughter came over. I am blessed.
Being a mother is not always easy, but the good moments are priceless! Mothers have an important role. We care for our children before they are even born, forming very special bonds. We go through the pain of childbirth. We protect and nurture our children, teaching, believing, guiding, loving and cheering them along the way, even when we are heartbroken.Then, we take a step back and allow them to go out on their own, because we realize the children we called our own, were only loaned to us temporarily by God for us to prepare them for the world. Mothers aren’t perfect, but they have an important role. As he hung on the cross, Jesus remembered His mother.
Take time to tell those in your life how precious they are to you, because none of us are promised tomorrow. God bless you.
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.
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?
Today, forgive yourself and forgive others. God bless you.
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 1 Thessalonians 3:5
Good Morning. It’s Try Something New Tuesday. What will you try today?
I have found that when we try new things, our perspective changes. It can be something as small as sitting somewhere new in church. Many of us are accustomed to sitting in the same place every week. Try a different location. Things will appear different. With my job, I have a different perspective depending on whether I am walking or driving the area. I notice different things.
In this time where everyone wants gender integrated civic clubs and meetings, I’m going to suggest something bold. It’s okay to have meetings where there are only women or only men. I don’t say this because of fear of affairs or rumors of affairs when the two mix, but because sometimes women learn from and enjoy the company of other women. The same holds true for men. Sometimes men learn from other men and enjoy the company of other men.
I’ve been attending a Monday night Women’s Bible Study class for a little over a month. The class is held by a different denomination in a nearby town. When first invited, I must admit I was hesitant. I only knew one lady, and the meeting was twenty miles away after a long day at work. I’m so glad I took her up on the offer. I have gained new perspective on Scriptures and I have made about 20 new friends. We call each other sisters. It’s definitely girl fun time, but not the kind of fun time you see in movies. It’s a time of caring for one another and studying God’s word. I realize to some of you this might sound boring, but I assure you it isn’t boring and at the end of the day, my conscience doesn’t bother me. I didn’t realize I was missing this in my life. Sometimes God answers prayers when we aren’t paying attention. This has been an answered prayer for me.
I encourage you to seek out a Bible Study group in your area. God bless you.
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jeremiah 31:25
Good morning and Happy Wednesday! For some of us this means we are half way through our work week. It’s a beautiful, but cold spring morning in Florida. The Dogwoods, Bradford Pears and Azaleas are in full bloom. It’s beautiful here.
Today is a good day to remember to give back to others. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It might be a hug or helping someone with a daily task. Maybe you could help a sick neighbor with their yard work, or help a new mom so that she can get some rest. If that is too much for you, pay the bill for the person behind you in the fast food line. Take a friend a cup a coffee. One of the best ways to give is to give your time. It means so much more than money. Go see a shut-in. Have lunch with a distant relative. Take time out of your day to help someone else.
All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?
Ecclesiastes 3:20-22 NIV
Good Morning and Happy Friday. I haven’t posted as much lately, but I did attempt to post yesterday. Unfortunately, my post was not published and appears to be lost. So, today I will enjoy the opportunity to reshare yesterday’s post with the inclusion of some additional blessings. Maybe, it was a sign from God that I needed to wait.
We have been very busy this week with work and family. I once heard Joel Osteen say that we are the most productive when we have balance in our lives. I can honestly say that I need to make balance a priority today.
Tuesday our church celebrated Shrove Tuesday, or as many people call it, Fat Tuesday. Our tradition is for the children to sell tickets for a pancake supper, which the youth are involved in preparing and serving. All the money raised goes to the youth program. Our guest was my daddy. We also met my husband’s parents at church. Church fellowship is good for the soul. If you are feeling down and out, make yourself go, and enjoy the opportunity to spend time with others, who also love the Lord. I have come to think of the church congregation as my family.
Ash Wednesday follows Shrove Tuesday. It is the first day of Lent and is a time for prayer, penitence, time with God, fasting, and thoughtful preparation for Easter. Many people give up something they enjoy during Lent. I often hear chocolate or meat. I’m laughing at the thought of giving up chocolate this year with Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s Day. I like to give up something (i.e. clutter, gossip, or possibly a food) and add something (i.e. a special prayer book, extra time with God, etc.). It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being mindful.
On Ash Wednesday our church has a special service that includes “the imposition of the ashes.” It is one of my favorite services. The ashes are the burned down palm branches from Palm Sunday of the previous year. The minister makes the mark of the cross on each participant’s forehead and reminds us that we have come from ashes and to ashes we will return. Before we leave the building, we wipe the ashes off because it is not for public display. It’s a wonderful service, but this year the service was held at noon and I was unable to attend because of a work obligation. I did notice that there were many cars at the church. This is one of my favorite services because it make me mindful that none of us are promised tomorrow.
God didn’t forget me. I received a call about 3:00 from my husband on Wednesday afternoon. My sweet little dog Freckles died. I have had many pets over the years, and all of them were special. I am especially thankful to have had Freckles in my life. Before Freckles I had a black Shih Tzu, Long Hei who had gone missing within seconds. When my husband opened the door to let him out, my daughter showed him a bracelet she had made. It couldn’t have taken more than 60 seconds. Then, Long Hei was gone. That was close to 20 years ago, and I still look for him today. I often think of how hard it must be for parents whose children go missing.
So, we purchased Freckles, this cute little Shih Tzu puppy, a short time later. I sometimes talk in my sleep. Whenever my grandmother died, my husband relayed a funny story. He said I asked him where “Freckle Man” was. He questioned me again and I said “you know that cute little black and white boy.” From that day on Freckles was called “”Freckle man”, “Freckman”, “Freckle boy” and Freckles. Freckles was the cutest puppy. He played and jumped through the yard like a cartoon character. He was easy to train and the best snuggler I’ve ever known. He even got mad with me when I didn’t snuggle with him. He loved to go bye-bye and never ran away.
When he was about four years old, my daughter called me at work and said something was wrong with Freckles. I have to admit that I was aggravated and didn’t believe anything was wrong with him. I was wrong. I took Freckles to our local vet, Dr. Kelly, who I am so thankful to have in my life. After Freckles had gone through 8-9 surgeries for what Dr. Kelly diagnosed as Portal Shunt Disorder, Dr. Kelly was able to obtain an appointment at Auburn University for Freckles.
We knew in advance that the surgery would cost us several thousand dollars and a large portion had to be paid upfront. Dr. Kelly had told me he understood if I wanted to put Freckles down. I had people coming up to me saying, “just put him down and buy another puppy.” I remember talking to my husband and him suggesting that the decision might be a test of my character. Even though I knew there was a possibility that I might pay the money and Freckles might not make it, it wasn’t a difficult test for me. I borrowed from my retirement to take care of Freckles.
So, I set out alone with my puppy to Auburn, which was several hours away. Freckles had never traveled a long distance before, but he was a great traveler. He had never been taken out on a leash, but he was great at that too. God was with me on this journey. I got lost and one of the students at Auburn called me and talked me through the directions on how to get to the University Veterinarian Hospital. As if that wasn’t enough, a student met me at the door and helped me and my puppy into the hospital. Freckles underwent several tests and we made a couple of visits before the specialist found the problem. Dr. Kelly was right. Before it was over, I left my puppy for a surgery that could cause the end of his life. Freckles would have to stay for two weeks of observation after the surgery, should everything go well. He had never been left for two weeks anywhere. I tearfully said goodbye to Freckles and paid the very large bill before heading home.
On the day of the surgery, I sat by the phone at work waiting eagerly for good news. I prayed that God would take care of my puppy. By the middle of the afternoon I received a call from one of the students. The surgery was successful. Every day a student would call me and give me an update on Freckles. I never attended Auburn University, but I highly recommend them for pets. One day a student called with the funniest statement. He said “you didn’t tell me Freckles was a cage jumper.” Of course, we didn’t know because he had never been in a cage. So, now Freckles was also known as the “cage jumper.”
I was so glad to bring my little cage jumper home and life was mostly normal after that. Freckles did have to stay on a low protein diet, which is hard to manage with a dog. For a while we had our own dog treat business, where we sold healthy dog treats. Freckles was at the center of this activity. I’m very thankful for Dr. Kelly and the students and doctors at Auburn University. They were able to extend Freckles life by about 12 years.
Over time Freckles slowed down. He became the drill sergeant of the house, keeping all of us in order. Last year Freckles began having seizures that increased over time. Most of his teeth fell out and his cataracts preventing him from seeing well. He was still the best cuddler right until the end. During the last couple of weeks Freckles health declined even more. He seemed to be in a great deal of pain. About a week ago, I tearfully asked God to not let my Freckle Boy suffer. Ash Wednesday he died peacefully in his sleep. My heart is a little bigger because of a little dog. Today, my house is empty and my heart also has an empty spot. No one is promised tomorrow. Be sure to tell everyone you love them and make every moment count.
Life goes on and as I pause to think of that little cage jumper throughout the day. God knows our hearts and the weight that is on our shoulders. I have been overwhelmed at work. Long stressful hours fill my days. This morning I came to work to find some of God’s blessings waiting to help. A local church had sent me some helpers to “pay it backwards.” Wow! How blessed could I be! Life is like that. Just at what seems like the lowest moment, something amazing happens. God knows what I need before I even ask.
Take time to spread the love to everyone you see today. God bless you.
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
Good morning. It’s Try Something New Tuesday! What will you try today? I’ve been under the weather the last few days, but the blessings continue to flow.
My first adventure involved visiting a church. Every six months our church and our sister church, an AME church in our town, combine services. Sunday we did that in the middle of what seemed to be a deluge. Not many from either church showed up, probably due to the weather, but boy did they miss out. It’s such a joy to worship the Lord, and you never know when God needs you to be there for other people. The worship service was amazing. Afterwards we enjoyed Christian fellowship, while eating some of the most delicious food I’ve ever enjoyed.
My next adventure involved finances. Last weekend my husband conveyed a story about buying a powerball ticket. He prayed about it, and then looked up to see a cross in the sky above the powerball sign. He didn’t win powerball, but the good news is three times in the last couple of days I received money I wasn’t expecting. First, I received a reimbursement check from the Minute Clinic I went to in October. Then, when I was paying a different doctor yesterday, the receptionist told me that I had a credit I needed to use. It was half of my bill. Finally, I went to a meeting and paid for my guest’s meal. This is a practice I’ve always observed. The president approached me and said that I didn’t have to pay, because the club paid for guests. They issued me a refund. Altogether I received $50 unexpectedly. I share this experience because I often hear people say that when they tithe and help others, their money works out the same and they can’t figure out how. Our Lord is wonderful.
My final adventure to share involves taking my grandson to preschool. Today, Landon and I tried something new. We put out fires on the way to preschool. Then, we flew like “big jets” into the daycare. Whew! All unhappiness averted!
Over the past few months I have learned that we don’t have to petition God constantly, and I rarely do anymore, unless someone asks for as special prayer request. All we have to do is love God with all our hearts, and be thankful every day. He will take care of the rest. God bless you.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
Psalms 51:11 KJV
Good afternoon. I’m resting at home today with a cold. I’ve been pushing hard the last few weeks. Many mornings I’ve been getting up at 3ish am, and working from 7 am to 9pm. Well, sometimes life requires us to step it up, but after a while, this type of schedule will wear us down. The good news is I have had some wonderful experiences and heard some awesome stories that I am pleased to share with you. The bad news is I will be continuing with this schedule until the beginning of March. Please forgive me if I miss posting and I’m not able to keep up with your posts as much.
Over the past few weeks, I have spoken before countless groups. All have been wonderful experiences. One person told me a story that really touched me. I don’t want to reveal his identity, so I’m going to refer to him as Richard. Richard works as a professional first responder. He has also taught classes at a local college. Richard was driving from out-of-town one day when he saw a little old lady on the side of the road with her broken down car. Seconds after he passed the car, he heard a voice that said “you wouldn’t have kept driving if that had been your grandmother.” Richard looked around and of course, no one was there. So he traveled back to help the lady. She hugged him tightly and cried, “I had just asked God to send someone who could help me.” Richard looked down and his shirt was covered with makeup. He feared his wife wouldn’t understand. Then, someone else stopped with tools to help. It was one of Richard’s former students. What were the chances of this happening with Richard being out-of-town? Even with a helping hand, the group needed water for car. They had a bottle, but no water nearby. That’s when they noticed an old dilapidated house that was falling down a few hundred feet away. Richard walked over and was able to get water from an old well. The lady, Richard and his student were soon on their way. Yes, if you wish, you can explain this away. Folks, it’s the fact that God in his perfect timing worked out the details. I was touched by this story and I hope you will find it comforting.
Yesterday, I was afforded an unique opportunity. One of the people I was recently able to get to know, allowed me to sit in on a sermon review. I had never heard of this, so I was intrigued. This particular minister has multiple churches spread over many miles. What he does is rehearse and film his sermons at the same time. So, if there is a problem with streaming on Sunday morning, he has a backup plan. Also, he has a group of people in the audience who work in his churches critiquing his sermons to ensure he reaches and communicates effectively with everyone – teens, families, older adults, etc. He invites others to sit in, as well. That’s what I did. The minister and his staff were very welcoming. The sermon was wonderful. I loved it! He had great ideas. Afterwards, he came over and spoke with me. He even invited my critique. I backed out of that part, but I may make this my late lunch time on Thursdays because it was refreshing. You see, even when we are in our busiest seasons, God continues to open doors.
I pray your Friday will be amazing! God bless you.