Category Archives: Thankful

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Learning the Word


Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭28:9-10‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Happy Rainy Wednesday!  Rain seems gloomy this time of year, but our area is blessed to see the rain.  Thanks be to God!

Last week, I started adding memorizing a verse a week.  You can find all the verses on the Scripture Typer App under the group Hisperfecttiming.  The first verse we tackled was Matthew 4:4.  Did you learn it?  I’m about 75% on that one.  This week it’s a verse combo, Isaiah 28:9-10.  In this case, the verses go together.  So keep on moving forward with learning a verse a week.  I can’t wait to hear how you’re doing.

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Have you ever read the Bible and just couldn’t figure out what the meaning was?  Have you ever learned something new from Bible study and thought it was the best thing ever, until you learned something else new?  Me too!  The more I study the Bible the more I understand it.  So, don’t give up.  Keep plowing through and building knowledge.  It’s slow at first.  Get involved in a Sunday School Class or Bible Study group.  If you are in my area, come join mine!  As I have been studying and going to school over the past year, every new thing I have learned, and every class I have taken, has been my favorite.  That’s why I chose today’s verses for memorization.  It’s to remind us that we are babies spiritually at first.  Our knowledge is built like building blocks, “precept upon precept; line upon line, and line upon line; here a little, there a little.”  It’s amazing how fast it builds and how wonderful it feels to grow in the Lord.

So, today continue learning verses.  God bless you.

 

 

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Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Bible Study

Your mistakes do not define you.  Psalm 37:24

Good morning!  It’s a good day for all camels.

This morning I’ve been thinking about Bible journaling.  For a long time I kept my Bible in a box in pristine condition, except for when I was using it of course.  It was beautiful and I was taking care of it.  I know that sounds a little crazy.  One day I saw someone making notes in their Bible.  I thought, wow, that’s a way I can leave notes for my family when I’m gone.  So, I started highlighting and making notes throughout my Bible.  This turned out to be a great idea, because sometimes I’d forget what I’d learned before.  So, it served two functions for me.

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Last year I noticed people creating Bible journals.  These are so cool.  They drew pictures and made notes in a notebook around the scriptures that they had studied.  I liked it so much that I bought a journal and some colored pencils and began to make my own.  I love this idea, but I have to tell the truth.  After two days, I put it down.  I just couldn’t find enough time to keep up the beautiful art.  My art wasn’t so beautiful either.  I even received two journal books last year for Christmas, where you can color the artwork that is provided.  It is so relaxing to color the photos, but I didn’t keep it up.  I do like to make notes as I study, but I have now started using several online apps, where I can make notes on my tablet.  Last year I also noticed people drawing beautiful pictures in their Bibles.  There are even journaling Bibles – So beautiful!  I bought one for a friend .  I would love to have one.

There are also many different ways you can read and study the Bible.  Some people like to meditate on a verse, memorize it and make notes.  Some people will read the Bible from front to back, which I find a little challenging.  Some people study a chapter at a time.  Others study topics or characters in the Bible.  There are devotional books and Bible study guides.  I have about 20 apps, each of which does something different.  Most apps allow highlighting and provide notes.  Many also provide study plans.  Some even provide video guides.

 

Some people study an hour a day.  Some study a few minutes throughout the day.  Some people don’t set a time limit.

I tell you all this, because I want you to understand that there are many fun and relaxing ways to study and enjoy the Bible.  It matters less about how you are doing it, as  it does that you are just studying your Bible regularly.  As my blogging sister told me yesterday, the more she reads and studies, the more God’s word flows from her mouth.  Isn’t that wonderful!

As you use your gifts to make a difference today, begin or continue studying God’s word.  God bless you.

 

Tell Me Something Good Monday – What Do You Believe?

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.   Psalms‬ ‭3‬:‭3‬ KJV

Good morning from chilly Florida.  It’s tell me something good Monday, and I have some good news to share.  I love teaching Sunday School.  Thanks be to God, our group is growing and the discussions are . . . Well, wonderful, of course!  I’m so thankful for this opportunity to serve God and my church. I look for more good things to follow.

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Have you ever been conflicted about what to believe in?  Have you noticed that some celebrities claim to believe in a higher power and equate all religions as the same?  Do you sometimes wonder if the one creator is worshipped by people all over the world under different religions such as Christianity, Islamic, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, etc.?  Do you question what is true and what is fantasy in the Bible? Let me set this straight for you.  These religions are not the same and are not worshipping the same way.  Some worship animals.  Some worship famous people.  Some worship God, but don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah.

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Part of what sets Christianity apart from other religions is Christ’s grace and promises for eternal life.  Christ taught love and forgiveness.  Christians do not have to go out and kill nonbelievers.  We forgive others because we are forgiven.  Imperfect, sinful nature and unwavering faith, combined with good works is what Christians have in common.  When we follow the Bible, we are also following the laws of man. I have often wondered if I lived during the time of Christ, would I believe he was the promised Messiah.  I know I would, not just because of the miracles, but because of the sinless love he spread.  The Bible isn’t just a history book and it’s definitely not science fiction or fairy tales.  Proverbs 3:5 tells us to “[t]rust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”  Don’t try to put too much reason into something you can’t possibly understand.  Trust me when I say that all Christians will know one day.  You must have faith and love the Lord.

Today, I encourage you to not over think Christianity.  Just love the Lord.  God bless you.

 

Forgiveness Thursday – Where to Go for Answers

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
‭‭John‬ ‭1:1‬ ‭

Good Morning.  We live in a beautiful small town in Northwest Florida.  In the early mornings before it gets so busy, I notice the beauty of this quiet little town.  This morning I’m enjoying the stillness.  It’s so quiet I can hear God talking to me.

Now, there are good and bad things to all cities, small and large.  One of the bad things in our small town is everyone knows everyone.  The people are closely connected.  Everyone knows your business.  There are no secrets.  Whereas, if you live in a big city, you can go unnoticed.  The bad is also a good thing.  Since everyone knows everyone, where ever you go you will see someone you know.  We look out for each other, and are quick to notice strangers.  We are kind to strangers, but not so quick to include them into our small town family.  It takes a little while for them to assimilate.    You see, the good and bad in our town are like a double-edged sword.  Looking out for everyone is great, but when you want to run to the store unnoticed, it’s not going to happen.

I was thinking this morning that this double-edged sword thinking is common in many things.  I’m the Municipal Development Director for our City.  People come to me and complain about the laws.  They get really worked up and upset.  They think the laws are too strict for a small town.  The same people come and complain when their neighbor is doing something and the law allows it.  Hmmm.  There is no easy answer, because you can’t make everyone happy.

Often these same situations happen in families.  My friend is a new mother.  At first her family was upset because she wasn’t working.  Now, they are upset because she’s a working mother.  Imagine her frustration.   She can’t make her family happy, and she wants her children to enjoy close family bonds.   I remember similar dilemmas when my children were little.  I was asked, will you let your baby cry and learn to calm himself, or are you going to be one who quickly picks your baby up when he cries?  I remember thinking, this is a trick question, because the answer is somewhere in the middle.

Have you ever felt like you just don’t fit it, or maybe like you are being smothered?  Do you feel like there are no right answers and you can’t find real happiness?  The best thing to do is study the Bible and talk to God.  It’s amazing how similar the issues were in Bible times.  No matter how many times I read the Bible, I learn something new.  God doesn’t want you to be unhappy no matter where you are. For example, Jesus instructs in Matthew 22:38 -39, that we are to love God with all our hearts, and love our neighbors like we love ourselves.  We are taught about acceptance of others in Romans 15:7 “[w]herefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” The stories in the Bible are relevant as well.  Read the story of Ruth and how she took care of her mother-in-law.  She was rewarded by God.

Today, I encourage you to first, forgive yourself and others.  Then, read God’s word and ask him to guide you through life’s problems.  God bless.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Embrace the Adventure

The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭22:3‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Happy Wednesday!  It’s a great time to use your gifts to change the world!

Have you ever had a challenging day?  I mean one of those days when people search you out to pick a fight.  I have enjoyed a string of those days lately.  It’s quite frustrating to know that you are minding your own business and folks are letting loose on you.  Wow!  I know God must be teaching us lessons or using us to teach others lessons during these trying moments, but I sometimes lose my temper.  Growing emotionally and spiritually is tough sometimes!  As I study my Bible, I realize that I’m not alone.  The people in the Bible were constantly having trouble with others.  So, I have concluded that life is an adventure.  Everyone goes through trying times.  It’s the attitude you take with you that makes the difference.  You can wake up and say “I’m going to climb this mountain and enjoy the scenery”, or you can say “oh no, I’ ve got another mountain to climb.”  You have to climb it anyway. Why not enjoy the trip!  With the right attitude you can enjoy the trip and influence those around you in a positive way.  That’s what changing the world is all about.

I challenge you to change the world by facing mountains with a positive outlook and a smile.  God bless you.

 

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Lift Others Up

WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves.    Romans 15:1

Happy Tuesday!  It’s a glorious day in  northwest Florida.  There is crisp fall chill in the air, but the sun is shining bright.  Every Tuesday we try something new.  Today, I encourage you to help someone.  There are people around us all day long who need help.  The smallest gestures can make the biggest difference.  So throughout the day, look for someone you can help and follow through.

Are you a gossip?  Do you find it hard to keep your mouth shut?  Have you ever felt the effects of gossip?  Did you know that gossip is a sin?  Yes,  gossip is a sin.  How could we believe otherwise, when we know Jesus taught that the second most important commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 19:19).  That means love others as much as you love yourself.  Treat others how you would like to be treated, and zip your lip.  Leviticus 19:16 tells us that we “shall not go up and down as a dispenser of gossip and scandal among” . . . [our] “people, nor shall” . . . [we secure ourself by false testimony or by silence and] “endanger the life” of our neighbors.  The phrase “dispenser of gossip” makes me laugh a little, but it’s true.  We have all done it, at least once, and we have all experienced it.  Gossiping is very hurtful.  I don’t know why it’s so hard to tame the tongue.  Often, I think no harm is intended.  We are just talking to each other and trying to sort things out.  Yesterday, I heard a story about someone at work that made me want to warn and protect the others around me.  Fortunately, before I said anything, I stopped.  The ones I wanted to protect heard the same information.  There was no need for me to say more.

Gossip occurs in families too.  It is much easier to promote yourself in the eyes of a loved one, if you are making someone else look bad.  Don’t stoop to these levels out of jealousy or any other motive.  You are a child of God who is loved.  The smallest talk can cause the most pain and disfunction in families.  When you stand before God, do you want to see how you hurt people or how you lifted them up with your words?

Join me in lifting others up with words of love and helping the needy.  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Peace of the Lord

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.  Philippians 4:7

Happy Monday!  The weather is changing here.  The last couple of days have been cooler and damper than usual.  Like TobyMac’s song, I feel it!  However, what I feel is in my bones.  The good news for me is I made it to work today!  Some people dread Monday, but every Monday I work is check on my list.

I’m in the final days before receiving my B.A. in Theology. One of my last classes is on the Blood Covenant.  Funny, on the way to work this morning I listened to Billy Graham preaching on the Blood of Christ.  He told a story about a young college girl who had received a Guinness World Record for taking the longest shower.  I don’t remember what the exact amount of the time was, but it was more than 100 hours, and that was many years ago.  He went on to explain that you don’t have to shower for hours for Jesus.  His blood washes all the dirt, we see and don’t see, away.  That is so true.

Philippians 4:7 is one of my favorite Bible verses.  Our church had a supply priest a few years ago who would finish his service with this verse.  I could just feel the peace when he said it.  It almost felt like my heart melted a little.  When you think about a peace that goes beyond anything anyone can understand . . . Well, that’s something good!  A couple of weeks ago there was some talk that the end of the world would be that week.  Someone asked me about it.  I really don’t worry about the end of days as we know it.  First, I believe what the Bible says in Matthew 25:13.  We won’t know the day or hour when Christ returns.  Second,  why should I worry.  I have a pardon for all my sins through Jesus, and I have peace in knowing he’s with me.

As you go through your day, enjoy the Peace of the Lord.  God bless you.