Category Archives: Refresh

Try Something New Tuesday – Pray and Vote

“What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Good morning from the City of Southern Charm!  One thing I have noticed since Hurricane Michael hit has been the beauty of our City lies not only in what is visible in the surroundings, but also in the hearts of the people who live here.  It’s amazing how grateful people are despite their extraordinary losses.  In a world that seems to promote the wrong values, the attitudes of the people who live here are refreshing!  I’ve heard very few people complaining.  Usually when I ask someone how they are doing since the storm, they reply “I’m thankful and blessed to be alive”.  That’s how I feel too.  There have also been many people from all over the country here trying to help with restoring power, maintaining order, responding to emergencies and providing food, supplies and shelter.  All these people are doing business here in the businesses that are able to open.  Good can come out of bad.

Today’s Try Something New Tuesday.  Every Tuesday I ask my staff “what will you try?”.  I’ve heard some serious and some silly responses over the years.  It can be difficult to think of something new, because it requires us to extend ourselves beyond our normal routine and to think outside of the box.  I have to admit, sometimes I find it hard to think of something new.  While I was at the conference, I bought a book, which I already had a digital copy.  The book is small enough to fit into my bag and I can carry it wherever I go.  It’s called “The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word” and it’s written by Joyce Meyers.  What makes the book special is the contents have a list of emotions, issues and blessings that you can look up by topic.  For example,  you might look up civic duty with the election at hand.  When you turn to the pages on the subject you will find scripture based on the topic.  I gave it a try yesterday.  Amazing!  Yesterday, I looked up contentment.  I prayed using the scriptures from this little book.  What will you try?

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I would like to encourage Americans to exercise their right to vote.  Often people take this opportunity for granted.  Pray about your decision and vote.  Christian values have been lost in recent years and your vote really does make a difference.

Have a wonderful day and try something new!  God Bless You.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Our Need for Others

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:9-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy Monday!  I’m glad to be at work this morning.  It’s good to see everyone and to get busy.  We have quite a bit going on and it feels good to make a difference.  This morning Chapter 4 in the Book of Ecclesiastes stood out for me, especially verses 9-12.

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It feels good to have someone by my side working at home.  When one of us is down, the other pulls the load.  Over time that load bearing partner has changed many times in our marriage between my husband and me, but we always work together.  We share the joys of our efforts, and the pain of each other’s sufferings.  We are empowered by God and our binds are strong.

Likewise, at work the efforts of two are more than double the efforts of one.  Although our department is small, the efforts of four is more than the efforts of eight.  When one person is sick or down, others pick up the slack.  We check on one another and look for ways to ease the burden of the one who is struggling.  We celebrate each other’s victories.  While we don’t lie together, we warm each other’s hearts with hope and joy.  We also share in pain and sorrow.  The work of this team of four is much like a team of twenty.  It’s wonderful.

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In my experience, it’s not good to be alone.  It’s not good to be one of those people who shows up on Sunday morning for Church and leaves immediately afterwards.  I’ve been that person in the past. Not participating does not prevent pain and suffering.  Plus, we unable to grow.  A big part of being a Christian is helping others.  It’s putting others above yourself and loving others.  If you are not convinced, study the work of Christ.  He was always taking care of the needs of sick, lonely and poor.  Loneliness and isolation lead to self-pity and depression.  I don’t know if you have ever considered this before, but self-pity is a form of idolatry.  It’s thinking more about your own problems, miseries, and self in general than God.  When we are serving others, our hearts and minds are renewed.  Don’t misunderstand me.  Everyone needs to refresh and take time for themselves, but isolation is not good.  We need each other and we need to love one another.

If you feel isolated, visit a local church and get involved.  God bless you and have a wonderful Monday!

Try Something New Tuesday – Importance of Listening

Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders.
‭‭Job‬ ‭37:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Good Morning!  It’s a great day to try something new.  9E292536-9D7B-46F9-B6CD-2DFE66C4BED6

Have you ever been listening to someone and couldn’t wait to speak?  Are you quick to argue when you feel attacked?  Do you find yourself very busy with little time to deal with the every day problems of people?  Well, you are not alone.  I sometimes 2D0C348B-7A6D-4DD5-98E3-B70069F14303interrupt because I think of something and I’m afraid I will forget.  God has been dealing with me on this.  I’ve heard two different sources  explain how we should place our hands palms up in our laps because it is difficult to be argumentative in this stance.  We all know that the Bible tells us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19).  However, while reading I realized there is more.  Have you ever noticed how no matter what Jesus was doing, he always had time for people?  I believe it is because He knew that the only truly important things in life are God and people.  That really puts quite a few things into perspective.

Today, take time for people.  Listen, ask questions and  leave your worries to God.  God bless you.

 

Spread the Love Friday – Laughter is Good Medicine

Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.”
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭126:2‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Happy Friday!  One way we can spread God’s love is through laughter.  A friend shared her morning devotion which said surround yourself with laughter.  What a great idea!  When you are happy and filled with God’s love, others will be attracted to your happiness.

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Have a great day and make difference everywhere you go!  God bless you.

Try Something New Tuesday – Weekend and Early Week Adventures

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

 

 

Spread the Love Friday – More Experiences, More Great Stories

 

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.

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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.

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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.

I hope you enjoy these cute videos I found.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Miscellaneous Thoughts

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.   Isaiah 12:2

It’s Tell Me Something Good Monday!  This morning I’ve been reflecting on some recent and not so recent events.  Last week was tough.  However, I was able to rest on Saturday and put my thoughts into perspective.

First, a few years ago a friend that I had reached out to in a time of tragedy, stood up in a public meeting and announced that I was racist.  Am I?  I would like to think not.  I grew up in the midst of racism, so I have made a concerted effort to break this pattern.  Then again, maybe we all are racist or prejudice in one way or another to a degree.  Was I racist toward this friend?  Without a doubt, I tell you no.  That night I left in tears, went to church and prayed for a long time.  I remember thinking of the lyrics in the song “Be Held” by  Casting Crowns.  Last week the person making the accusations came to me in friendship.  I didn’t ask for anything, just took the friendship request as a blessing.

Second, about a year to two years ago, I told my husband, “God wants me to take on the role of Crucifer/Lay Reader”.  For those of you who don’t know, it is a role during the church service where you lead the church in readings and prayers, and help the minister with the Eucharist (communion).  I could have taken on this role at anytime.  All I had to do was ask to be placed on the rotating list of volunteers.  As a matter of fact, I knew the church was in need of more volunteers.  Yet, I didn’t do it.  Why?  I had fear in my heart.  So, I kept on trying to improve my skills thinking that one day I would surprise everyone and volunteer.

CFF23564-AF92-4475-920C-2BAE7A57BFE5Yesterday morning I woke up hardly able to move.  The weather has been rainy and it takes a toll on my joints.  I was so tempted to go back to bed, but I knew that I had a commitment to teach Sunday School.  So, I got ready and left early for church with my husband.  In retrospect, after I started getting ready, I felt better.  So, I sat down in the pew, said a prayer and pulled out my sermon journal.  I’ve been keeping notes the last few weeks just to reflect on.  That’s when I looked up to see our minister.  He said “I need help” looking into my eyes.  I responded “with what?”  His mother has been unwell and I had told him that I was willing to help him anytime.  He said “with everything”.  Wow!  You know what that means.  I said “I’ve never done that.”  That wasn’t a problem, he was willing to walk me through it.

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So, I very nervously followed his instructions.  I sat down on the pew at the front of the church and almost slid onto the floor.  I couldn’t remember what to say before the readings, so I just did the best I could.  After the first reading instead of saying “the Word of the Lord”, I said “the Lord of the Word.”  Then, I carried the Gospel down the aisle for the minister to read.  As he was reading, I was holding up what seemed like a huge book.  At one point, my world starting growing black around the corners and I thought I was going down, but I made it through that too.  Then, I started trying to memorize the one line that I needed to say as I took the wine around.  As I helped the minister prepare the gifts of God, I was thinking to myself “the Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation” over and over.  I made it through that too.  I was so worried about all what I was supposed to do, that I missed the sermon.  I guess Satan was working on me.  Now, I know that I can handle that role.  When I think about it, I have more people in Sunday School than we had in church yesterday.  It was the mere idea of the new role.

Finally, the last two days I have woke up with  a song on my mind.  Funny, I haven’t heard this song in many years.  So, I’m sharing it with you today, just in case someone needs to hear it.

I hope you guys have a few stories to share with me.  Don’t let fear stop you in your tracks.  God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Restore Yourself

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Happy Tuesday!  It’s a great time to try something new!

This morning my husband awoke me with a funny question.  “Did the Pope like his sandwiches?”  I started laughing because I knew what he was talking about.  I often walk, talk and laugh in my sleep.  It’s a good thing I don’t have any secrets!  I’m not catholic, but last night I dreamed that the church didn’t have enough wafers for everyone taking communion, so I made the Pope jelly sandwiches.  Turns out, in my dream at least, the Pope can not eat jelly.  It’s too sweet.  So, I then set about making peanut butter sandwiches for him.  He kindly refused all my sandwiches.  My husband said that I wasn’t upset about the refusal, because I was laughing.  It’s so funny where our mind goes when we are asleep.  I don’t think I’ve even thought about the Pope.  Funny!

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So, for today’s memory verse I chose Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.  Yes, we are supposed to help our neighbors as much as possible and we chat about this regularly, but don’t forget about yourself.  When you are tired and weary, take care of yourself. We can help more people when we take care of ourselves, than when we are tired and run down.  Joel 2:25 says that if you have faith, God can restore you.  So, while you are meditating on these verses, take a few moment and schedule in a little time every day for you.  Restore yourself.  Don’t reject this gift like the Pope did my sandwiches in my dream.

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The verses today are posted with all the memory verses discussed in this blog in the ScriptureTyper app under the group Hisperfecttiming.

Take care and God bless you!

Forgiveness Thursday – Serve and Forgive

For we know Him who said, “V ENGEANCE IS MINE [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I WILL REPAY [the wrongdoer].” And again, “T HE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”
‭‭HEBREWS‬ ‭10:30‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Happy Thursday! How did we get to Thursday so quickly?  This week seems to be flying by.  I’m on the altar guild at church and January is one of the months in 2018 where our team is called into service.  If you aren’t familiar with the functions of an altar guild, at our church we have several teams of people who clean the church, clean the church linens, and set up the church for services.  How the church and altar are set is dependent upon the liturgical calendar and occasion (e.g. wedding, funeral, etc.)..  Last night we cleaned the church after work.  As I polished all the pews and other woodwork, I thought of how it is great privilege to serve God by cleaning the place where his people worship.  If you don’t serve at church, find a ministry where you can help.  There are many ministries at every church, and trust me when I say your church needs your help.  You will be blessed beyond belief.

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Have you ever wanted to make someone pay for what they’ve done to you?  I have known people who have lost children and other family members due to untimely deaths related to drunk drivers and murders.  I know people who have been raped or assaulted.  Would you want the perpetrators to pay?  Would you want to be the one to enforce a punishment?  Have you ever felt a person did not receive an appropriate judgement at work or by the judicial system?  Well, what I want you to know is you don’t have have to worry about judgement.  God will take care of the judgement.  All you need to do is maintain a forgiving heart.  I realize that sometimes it takes years to forgive.  I know because I’ve been there, but it can be done.  Once you free yourself from the burden of bitterness, you will feel better.  If you let him, God will create for you a clean heart and a right spirit within you.

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Today, forgive yourself and others, and find out how you can serve at Church.  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Happy 2018!

Indeed, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.
‭‭ISAIAH‬ ‭42:9‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Happy 2018!  Most of the years of my life, I have stayed up to see the new year come in.  Last night, I went to bed.  You know what?  I don’t feel like I missed anything.  Most of the early morning news programs provided a recap of the celebrations.  Plus, if there were anything special I wanted to see, I could record it.  This year I was happy to cuddle with my husband in our warm bed.

I did say cuddle, because it is cold here.  The last few days have been rainy, and this week the temperatures are below freezing.  The windchill was 21 degrees Fahrenheit at my home this morning, and those temperatures are supposed to be lower tomorrow.  I think it’s time to unpack my winter clothes.  I can’t imagine living in an area where the weather is colder.

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It is our tradition to eat black-eyed peas, collard greens, and corn bread.  We save and freeze the ham bones from our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to put in the peas and greens.  As the tradition goes, the peas bring coin money and the greens bring dollar money in the new year. My father taught me to eat black-eyed peas with ketchup. If you haven’t tried it, . . . well, try it!  Of course, we know we don’t get rich from what we eat today, but it’s nice sometimes to keep traditions.  This particular tradition reminds me of my paternal grandmother.  She told me when I was a child that whatever you did on New Year’s Day, you would do all year.  Every year we would do as many household chores as possible before the first day of January, so we wouldn’t be doing housework all year.  It’s a little funny when I think of her sayings.  She also swept out the old year.  These traditions are kept by my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  When I went to the grocery store last week, I noticed a big supply of dried black-eyed peas, cornmeal, greens, and hot sauce.  So, we must not be alone in our area.

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While it’s important to keep and pass on some traditions, we shouldn’t get stuck in the past.  It’s just a place to visit from time-to-time.  C. S. Lewis once said “[t]here are far better things ahead than any we leave behind”.  God will make all things new, but His words will still be here (Matthew 24:35).  So, if anytime in the new year you feel like the world is spinning out of control, turn to God’s word.

9CCA98F8-6ABC-4D19-A691-440435A834A8However you chose to bring in 2018, just know that this year will be unbelievably fantastic!  God bless you!