“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!
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.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good work.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 KJV
It’s Friday and cold, but the sun is out. Yesterday, Landon stayed and played all day. He loves his new car so much, that he had a picnic in it.
Last night we enjoyed an evening out to watch different local musical artists perform in the park. Man, oh man! We have some unbelievably talented folks here. It was cold and rainy, but it was fun to bundle up and enjoy a night out. This morning I’m fighting with a playful kitten. I have toddler proofed my home. He’s into everything. This morning nine month old Dominic pulled the table runner off the table and my crystal candle holders were caught in flight. I removed the table runner, then he was playing with the battery operated candles inside the crystal. Now, he’s popping my fingers as I type. Let’s just say that life is exciting with Dominic these days.
Have you ever suffered from anxiety? I hear many people say that they suffer from social anxiety. I would dare to guess that most, if not all, of us have experienced some anxiety from time to time. Has anxiety ever stopped you in your tracks? What I’m talking about is a physiological reaction. The type of reaction where maybe you feel like you’re having a heart attack? Another type of reaction might be to sweat profusely? Sometimes my eyes water, my body shakes and I can’t speak for choking on my saliva. Has this ever happened to you? What about in public? I’ve been told that the more you do whatever it is that’s causing the reaction, the less the reaction will occur. I don’t think so. I think one of the tricks is to have a good reaction and remember it. Years ago, I read one of Tony Robbins books and learned this. Actually, I’ve read nearly all, if not all, of his books. He teaches and is the co-founder of Neurolinguistic Programming. I’m not going to try to explain it, because the best thing for you to do is read his books. After studying his books, I tried to find successful moments, no matter how small, and remember them. Believe me, when I say they were very small at first.
One thing that brought on severe anxiety for me was public speaking. I had done it for years, and it didn’t get better. Just speaking to one person sometimes brought on an attack. Embarrassing public situations just made it worse. All I could do, was think “what if this happens” and “what if that happens”. My mind raced through scenarios. So, what I did was catch myself in a public situation that I was not too anxious in, and I pinched my hand hard. Then, whenever I had to speak again, instead of thinking of failure, I pinched my hand and tried to remember each little success. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t let my mind think about any of the “what if’s”. I just tried to focus on each little success. This did work, but it took years and I never felt completely comfortable in social situations. Of course, I didn’t have personal training with Tony Robbins. That would have been awesome. I was able to be president of a local civic club without too much trouble.
Then, I took piano. Part of playing piano is making mistakes in front someone who is watching you play. Yikes! All I had to do was think about someone listening to me, and the whole song was a flop! I could know every note and not get one right. Fortunately, I had a very understanding teacher. I took lessons for four years. I never mastered piano, but I became a little less anxious about public performance.
Whenever I was called into the ministry, I thought well, surely God just wants me to write or work behind the scenes, because I have this anxiety problem. Then, when I was asked to teach Sunday School, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. Yet, how could I tell God no? So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a chance. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t have some anxiety from time-to-time, but when I’m doing God’s work, I’m 99% better. Some people have told me that they can’t believe I was ever timid at all. Isn’t that great!
I guess you are wondering why I’m telling you this. I know people who have let anxiety rule them. It’s really sad. The more you give anxiety control over your life, the more it will take control. Please don’t do that. Second Thessalonians 2:16-17 tells us to “[c]omfort your hearts, and establish you in every good work”. God wants us to step out of our comfort zones and do his work. He wants us to be happy and enjoy life. Some people need to seek professional help. However, if you will listen and do God’s work, I think you’ll find a great deal of the anxiety will disappear.
Today, I ask you to step outside your comfort zone and take a chance on spreading God’s love to others. God bless you.
The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
After posting yesterday, I quickly set about cleaning up our thermos. At that moment it occurred to me that we didn’t have any milk. I had spoken to my husband the evening before about needing to pick up milk for Our grandson. How would I make hot cocoa without milk? I searched the pantry for dry hot cocoa packets. Having found none, I paused for a moment to make a cup of coffee. That’s when I saw some k-cups of hot cocoa pushed to the back of the shelf. So, I began filling the thermos. Then, I packed up my car and headed out.
In my type of work it’s easy to know where to find those in need of assistance. I’ve seen people living in deplorable conditions, and every year at Christmas I’m reminded of how blessed I truly am. I’ve done the best I could to eliminate the worst dilapidated buildings in town and provide opportunities for affordable housing, but realize at the same time some of the worst buildings provide shelter from the elements for people who are down and out. So, I figure it won’t be so difficult to help someone. I found the opposite to be true.
There was little traffic. I drove from one place to another, and didn’t see as much as a construction worker or police officer to warm up. I drove by the churches and other locations where the down-trodden go for assistance. I drove behind shopping centers and grocery stores, but I couldn’t find anyone to help. Then, I drove up on an area of town where a group of men hang out. There were two or three out there smoking, huddled by a fire. I stopped, rolled down my window and reached for the thermos, which had rolled under the passenger seat in my car. One of the men came over to me. He called me by name. I didn’t know him personally, but had driven by many times. I handed him thermos and simply said, “I see ya’ll out here when I drive by, and thought you might enjoy some hot cocoa this morning.” He replied, “yes we could” as he leaned in the window and checked out my car. With those words I was stunned by the stench of alcohol from his breath at 7:30 in the morning. I wished him a good day and drove away. Then, when I turned the corner, I saw a homeless person walking on the sidewalk.
So, what can be learned from my experience? Trust God, but use common sense and don’t put your life in unnecessary danger. Was I in danger? I don’t think so, but I feel like I need to remind you to be cautious. As I reached down to pickup the thermos in the car, I realized that one action could have been confused with reaching for a weapon, which wasn’t very smart. Second, trust God. When I saw the homeless person, I questioned whether I helped the right one. Remember, I said I couldn’t find anyone to help. God clearly led me there. I think the homeless person was just a reminder that there are many who need different types of assistance. Which brings me to number three. Helping others isn’t for just one day in your life. Finally, be careful not to complain or brag about your actions. Jesus taught in Matthew 6:3, to keep the amount of your giving between you and God.
I hope you have a wonderful Saturday. Please share your experiences and keep blessing those around you. God bless you.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Good morning! It’s still cold and raining in Florida.
I woke up early today to take my grandson, Landon to school only to learn I had mixed up the days. Add to that, my cold now includes a sore throat. So, as I was sitting here aggravated with myself, I received a clear message from God. “Take them warm hot chocolate. They are working in the cold and rain.” At first I thought . . . What? I’m sick. I told myself that I would work on my blog post since I had extra time. Then I heard it again. “Take them something warm. They are cold.” Okay, this time I hear and understand clearly, but who? Who is cold? So, I said “no problem God, but show me who.” I began pulling up my blog and I heard it again. I know this sounds a little nuts to some of you, but I feel like I’m supposed to share this. If it is cold this morning where you are, join me in taking a thermos of hot chocolate or coffee with you when you go out. Someone will need it today, and we will know who it is when we see them. Hmmm. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake that I woke up early. As I have been typing this post, my sore throat has eased up.
Today, I challenge you to take something to warm to at least one person who is out in the cold. I can’t wait to hear what you have to share about this experience. I will share as well. Stay blessed.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
It seems like we were just talking about Thursday and here we are again. Recently I have discovered that the less judgemental I am about others, the more time I spend asking for forgiveness and the less time I spend forgiving others. That just proves that forgiveness is really for us, not the person we are forgiving.
Last week I was listening to a group of people in our community talk about “how this person should do this, and this person should do that” to make the community better. Have you ever participated in a similar discussion? Of course, the answer is if everyone did their part, there probably wouldn’t be an issue. These poor people being discussed were most likely stretched too thin. Later, when I reflected on the conversation, I began to think about how this is a problem in many churches (in general terms). I must admit I have been guilty of this. Sometimes it seems like “everyone” has the answers, but “no one” really wants to be burdened with the work. It could be that only certain tasks are wanted, leaving many others undone. This must make life very difficult for the pastor, who truly cares for the sheep. Then, there are others who constantly call with prayer requests, always looking for a miracle, but never showing up.
I like Natalie Grant’s answer to this problem “it’s time to get our hands dirty . . . why sit around waiting for a miracle to come, when you could be one.” On the way to work this morning I heard this song. It is so true. If there are hungry people in your church or community, help feed them. If your neighbor is sick, ask if it’s okay to help with yard work. Visit friends, church members and family who are sick or in the hospital. Offer to help people who have lost a family member. If you have a neighbor who has financial problems, bring them dinner or pay a bill for them without telling them. Does anyone really need to know? God knows. Isn’t that REALLY enough? If you don’t work outside the home and notice children wandering around the neighborhood being a target for trouble, reach out to them. Don’t wait for your pastor or your government to take care of everything. There are so many little things everyone can do that will make a huge difference for someone else. Sometimes we all just need to know someone cares. You will find that you will feel more blessed than the person you are helping.
Today, I challenge you to make a difference in the world by getting your hands a little dirty being someone’s miracle. God bless you.
Is your praise and thanksgiving to God truly heartfelt, or are you just going through the motions of prayer? Do you have a routine and a rote prayer you say at certain hours to do your duty, so to speak? It’s easy to get into a routine when we are attempting to keep from forgetting that there is something we need to do. However, it’s sad that we need a reminder in our busy world to be thankful when we see food on our table. It should be enough to know that people are starving every day, but it isn’t because we are removed from the hunger. We all know what it is like to be hungry for a few minutes or a couple of hours, but occasionally at meal time we should multiply that feeling by days in our minds to understand how blessed we are. Having the opportunity to get up and go to work is such a blessing, too. How many times do we grumble and groan about going to work? What if we had no work or way to take care of our families? I’m not saying that we should make ourselves miserable every day thinking about people who have less, but sometimes we should stop and think about how truly blessed we are. Even when we think things are at the very worst, we are still so much more blessed than many throughout the world. Then, we should pray with sincere thanksgiving and praise to God. God knows your heart. Show him the adoration that he deserves.
Today, I encourage you to be truly thankful and praise God throughout your day. Then, do one thing to make one person’s life a little better. God bless you.
Her mouth speaks from which fills her heart. Luke 6:45
Happy Monday! It’s a great to share something good! I worked really hard finishing three classes over the weekend. Have you ever felt like something was hanging over your head? That’s how I felt, and every day something happened. I was able to spend time with my children, grandson and husband over the weekend, which is always great. Last night I even found time to read a magazine. I sometimes feel like I should work 24/7, but rest is important, because it restores us.
Have you ever felt like someone was just driving you crazy? Does the way your neighbors behave get under your skin? Do you sometimes think you are going to lose your mind if you are around a coworker for one more minute? Has someone ever betrayed your trust and hurt you deeply? A good percentage of our aggravation every day comes from people not being what we want them to be or behaving how we would like for them to behave. God created all of us differently and each person has value in the world. Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all alike? Proverbs 11:27 says “he that diligently seeks good, seeks favor and grace.” In today’s terms this means, find something good in every person you meet. You don’t have to forget the bad, just don’t focus on it. Don’t let the world corrupt you with gossip and unnecessary talk. Accept everyone for who they are and enjoy them for the good they bring into the world.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Colossians 3:15
Happy Tuesday. It’s a great day to try something new.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have seen so much despair around me. I have heard stories about divorce, custody battles, breakups, sickness, suicide threats, financial stress, sick children, abused children, sick family members, job stress, mental illness and so much more. Have you ever fallen into one of these categories or do you know someone who has? Most of us have at one time or another had to deal with these types of stress. The good news is, you do the best you can and then you turn it over to Jesus. It’s that easy. You don’t have to spend more money or take a class. Sometimes the simplest answers are the most difficult to grasp. So today, turn everything over to our Lord and trust in his peace. If you know someone going through a tough time, please pray for them.
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.