“But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:12-14 NIV
It’s Forgiveness Thursday and a great time to forgive yourself and others.
This week has been truly hectic. I worked the weekend and the holiday, and still couldn’t catch up. However, I felt a little relief on Tuesday morning, knowing I had delegated out a large portion of the assignments in my office. That didn’t last long though. Every day, more and more assignments piled up. Yesterday, I locked myself in my office trying to meet deadlines only to find out that I had even more to do at the end of the day. I worked until the very last minute before I sped to Church to teach the youth. Last night I was thinking, “I don’t want to work this weekend, plus I have school work.” I felt like I needed a break, so I could live outside my job, enjoy my family, clean my house and complete my school assignments.
This morning I came to work early, but it wasn’t long before my heart was racing. I suddenly remembered that I had not made time for my devotional. I stopped for a moment, to read my Bible. The priest in Hebrews 10 trusted God rather than relying solely on himself and others. That’s when I realized what was happening. The only one who will never let us down is God. I was putting the burden on myself. While it is good to do the very best you can at everything, stress is not healthy. God doesn’t want us to feel like we are alone and everything depends on us. He wants us to do the best we can and depend on Him.
Put your trust in God every day. I hope you have a wonderful day. May God bless you.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV
Good Morning and Merry Christmas Eve! It’s Try Something New Tuesday! We are always looking for something new to try, especially in terms of relieving our stress. We want a little “peace” and quiet, a “peaceful” evening, and “peace” in the office and at church.
I’ve been conducting a little research on peace for a book that I’m working on. I have a BA in Political Science and International Affairs with a minor in history and economics. So, I have spent many hours studying peace in the classroom. One thing I know for certain is we do not live in a peaceful world. All you need to do is turn on the television at night. You will see politicians arguing, shootings and other disturbing images. While this seems to be a new phenomenon, it’s not. History shows that only a little more than 10 percent of the time humans have inhabited the earth there has been peace. There have been 286 wars within the last 300 years in Europe alone. What have we or our representatives done? Entered into countless peace treaties meant to last forever. The sad truth is most lasted no more than two years.
Everyone want to eliminate stress and find some peace. Stress is not what you see on television, or at work. Stress is how we react to what is taking place. It’s internal to us. Stress is the internal tension, which can be both emotional and physical, we feel when we can’t control our environment.
I would like to suggest that real peace is not derived from what is going on around us. A warm bath does not give us peace. Walking in the woods may feel peaceful, but it doesn’t give us peace. Shootings and fights do not give us peace. Peace is something that happens within us.
God sent a personal representative to be our “Prince of Peace.” In John 14:24, Jesus explained to the disciples that although the world was certainly not peaceful, He would provide the peace we need that is unlike what we see and expect in the world. In fact, it is beyond our understanding. This is something to remember and to celebrate during Christmas and every day.
Today, turn inward to find the peace you are missing. May God bless you!
If you see your enemy hungry, go buy him lunch; if he’s thirsty, bring him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness, and God will look after you. Proverbs 25:12
Happy Tuesday! This morning Landon had a little accident that resulted in a boo boo. So, this is a photo of what happens when your grandmother feels sorry for you and doesn’t make you go to preschool.
I know you guys don’t have any enemies, but if you know someone who does, tell them to pray for their enemies. I have done that many times, and the results are remarkable. Proverbs 25:12 reminds us to feed them and give them water when they are hungry or thirsty. Your generosity will be remembered by God, who will look after you.
Proverbs 25:12 is our verse for the week. By now, if you are keeping up with learning the weekly verses, you should have eleven under your belt. This week makes twelve. While this doesn’t sound like that many, it’s a start. It’s always great to know what you are talking about or remember where information comes from.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV
Good Morning! It’s the Friday before Christmas and life is so busy! Even in our small town, the stores are packed and people are inundated with last-minute shopping. Tensions are high this time of year. My own anxiety got the best of me yesterday. I told our minister at a party last night that I thought I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, because the whole day had been a little sour. I was surprised to hear him say that it was understandable with work to finish up, shopping to do, decorating, preparing for gatherings and similar things taking place.
This time of year we have so much more to do than usual. That alone brings stress. Then, we spend more money, which leads to more stress. We are often confused about what to purchase for gifts. Of course, we want our gifts to be perfect, which is even more stress. For me food is also an issue. I had a session with my weight watchers coach this morning. I used all my points for yesterday, plus 11 more points than was available for the week. Did I eat a lot? Not really. I just had two parties with rich food in one day. Also, there was less time to exercise. Hmmm, that’s more stress. However, she was very kind and understanding, too. Finally, we all know that Christmas isn’t about commercialism, so I don’t know about you, but I’m more involved in church and giving to the needy. All of these things bring joy and stress.
So, today I’m spreading the love and understanding that I received to you. If you feel a little, or even a lot stressed, it’s okay. There is still hope for tomorrow. God bless you
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
Good Morning! We have made it half way into the week on the week before Christmas!
This morning I’m reminded of the need to learn more Bible verses. Why? Often, we know the verses, but don’t know where they came from. In these cases we can’t specifically direct others on where to find the promises of God. Saying “read this” while handing someone the Bible can be a little overwhelming. Sometimes we become unsure if the verse is in the Bible because it is so familiar. It is also helpful to know the context of the verse. Then you can explain the setting. Another reason is it’s good to use God’s word when praying. Jesus is the best example of this. When he was tempted by Satan, he used God’s word. Why wouldn’t we follow his example? Finally, quoting scripture can be comforting to ourselves and others in times of trouble.
Today’s verse is found in Matthew 6:33. It is one of the teachings of Christ. What does it mean? Above all else strive after God’s kingdom and his way of doing right. When you do this, all things will be given to you. Broken down even further, I believe God doesn’t want us to be distracted by worldly things. Worldly things trap us financially and sometimes morally only for temporary happiness. I have learned that the unhappiness associated with too much debt is far greater than the temporary happiness of whatever I thought I had to have at a particular moment. I have also known people who sought after high wages, only to be trapped ethically, and forced to do things they didn’t believe in.
So, you might be thinking if you don’t think about a new car all the time, then God will provide it. The verse says “all things shall be added unto you”. I would say “yes” and “no”. Let’s start with the “no”. The things that will be added unto you are for basic needs, like food, clothing and shelter, and spiritual gifts, like wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (wonder and awe). While this isn’t a new car, having these gifts may provide opportunities that lead to a new car. Then again, if you are striving for Godly things, a new car is probably not on your radar. You might say “but my car is in the shop and I don’t know how I’m going to get to work tomorrow.” God doesn’t want us to worry about tomorrow. In fact, Philippians 4:19 tells us that God will supply your needs. So, plan and work for tomorrow, but live in today. Focus on spiritual growth and being like God. This type of growth will prepare you for all your tomorrows.
All the Bible verses that we are learning can be found in the Scripture Typer App under the group Hisperfecttiming. Join me in learning scriptures and striving for spiritual gifts in our daily lives. God bless you.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary. But what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Happy Tuesday! It’s a great day to try something new!
Have you ever felt like everyone is against you? Do you feel hopeless and afraid? Does it seem like things couldn’t possibly be worse? We have all felt this way from time to time. However, there are some challenges that are so big that we just can’t face them alone. Hebrews 12:2 says that we should fix our eyes on Jesus. As I have said many times before, we are never alone and he is always with us. Yet, there is more. When we are focused on Jesus, we are focused on good, rather than our troubles. We are focused on love, rather than the weight of the world. We are focused on faith, rather than being afraid that everything falls on our shoulders to handle. We are focused on what his pain and suffering means for us today. He can and will change the outcome of your situation, if you will give him a chance.
Today, fix your eyes on Jesus, instead of the problems of the world. God bless you.
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.
But the LORD stood with me and gave me strength. 2 Timothy 4:17
I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Saturday. My sweet grandson has spent the day with me while his mom sleeps. She’s a working nurse on midnight shift. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with him all day, but the LORD gave me strength.
A few days ago I was provided an opportunity to do something I have wanted to do and prayed about for many years, teach Sunday School. Isn’t that great? I feel like this opportunity is something God is providing me, and conversely I think I might be an answer to someone else’s prayer. So, what’s holding me back? Only one thing, am I able to make the commitment physically? I know it sounds like virtually no exertion is involved, but for me just getting there takes a great deal of effort, and I want to honor my commitments. I know the answer, but hesitate because I know I have limitations. I also know that God will let me run around in circles like the Israelites in the desert as long as I can, but avoiding the opportunity only hurts me. So, I will ask God to stand with me and give me strength. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Please share.
He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107.9
Happy Thursday! It’s a great time to practice forgiveness.
Have you ever felt empty? Have you felt like no matter what you do, you can’t find happiness? Is being content something you can’t seem to wrap your mind around? Are you an overachiever, a workaholic, a perfectionist or something similar? Do you feel you have to fill every moment of the day with an activity? Do you dread quietness? I know how you feel. There is only one thing that can fill that hole, God. You can try everything you can think of, but I promise nothing will fill that hole but God. Start your day with God and put God first all day long, and he will fill the emptiness in your soul.
We can’t always see where the road leads, but God promises there is something better up ahead we just have to trust him. Psalm 56:3
Happy Wednesday! It’s a great day to Use Your Gifts to Change the World! So, what will you do?
Do you ever feel like you are unable to make positive change? Do you feel like the world is too big? Then, I have good news. The smallest of changes are viral in the scheme of changing the world. Whenever you do something as simple as smiling at someone having a bad day, the results are beneficial, and that’s not all. Positive changes grow exponentially. Yesterday, I actually heard a very nice lady, who collects items for children in need, say that she had so many people donate that she had to create a new list of items to prevent sending volunteer donors away. She was also taking overflow donations to other agencies. Isn’t that great! That’s how it should be. When we work together to help society, government doesn’t have to. As I’ve said so many times before, changing the world doesn’t have to involve donations or money. You can smile, give a friend a hug, tell the manager of a restaurant or store about an employee who is doing a good job, leave a note, and the list goes on and on. There is no limit to what YOU can do.
As you go out into the world today, start at home and radiate. Make a difference everywhere you go. God bless you.