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Love, Gifts, Joy and Growth

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
‭‭James‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Happy Saturday!  I’m a little late posting today,  because I’ve been enjoying resting.  This afternoon I plan to take a walk outside and just rest and refresh my soul.  If you have had a tough week, take a few moments, hours, or maybe a day to refresh.  When we take care of ourselves, we are able to help others more.

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Have you ever been tempted to do or say something that you knew was wrong?  On more than one occasion, I have quickly responded before thinking.  Later I wondered, why did I say that!  I have looked to food for comfort, knowing that our comfort is always in our sweet Lord.  I have been tempted to sleep in on Sundays, and have actually followed through too many times to count.  I have become angry, held my tongue, and in the presence of a few friends or family spewed angry words.

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In the Message Bible, James 1:2 says “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”  It’s difficult to think of trials and temptations as a joy or gift.  Yet, when we are tested,  we grow spiritually, emotionally and physically.  It may be difficult to understand at the moment, but opportunities for growth are a blessing.  Have you ever prayed for patience and found yourself needing more?  That’s an example of being forced to mature as a Christian.‭‭  Every day is new, and there is always something to be thankful for, especially when it’s spiritual growth.

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Today, walk in the love of Christ, and smile inside and out when you experience these moments of growth.  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday -Eagles and Sparrows

who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭103:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Happy Monday!  Tell me something good.  I had a wonderful weekend, but it spun by like a whirlwind.  Over the weekend, I encountered several people with heavy hearts.  In some of the cases, I knew what the problem was and in others I am still wondering.

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Sometimes Mondays brings added stress to our weekend troubles.  After all, we come back after a weekend off with a long todo list.   Isaiah 40:31 tells us that when we wait upon the Lord our strength will be renewed.  God will never let you down (Deuteronomy 32:11).  So renew your hope this Monday morning in the Lord and watch as he renews your strength (Isaiah 40:28-31).

I pray your day will be full of wonderful moments.  God bless you.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – Strive Spiritual Gifts

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!

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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.

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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.

 

Try Something New Tuesday – Let God Sustain You

He will sustain you.  Isaiah 46:4

It’s already Tuesday and time to try something new.  Last week I started a new weight loss program, Noom Coach.  I love it!  So, now I have been on the plan a week and a half.  I have lost 10 pounds.  Woohoo! I’m eating healthier and smaller meals.  I’m not hungry and I’m walking more.  All these things together slowly add up to success.  You may be asking yourself, what’s the problem then?  There isn’t a problem yet, but what will sustain me when I get stressed, bored, don’t want to exercise or ready to eat everything that I see?  Noom Coach has some helpful hints that I’m taking advantage of, but when all else fails, God will be there.  I need to train myself to go to him when I face weight loss temptations along the way, just as I do with temptations in life in general.

In many ways Christian life is like a diet.  We learn how to behave and what to do from reading God’s word.  If we follow Biblical teachings, slowly we will grow and see the benefits. What happens when we want to do something that we know we shouldn’t do (i.e. lie, cheat, steal, have affairs, gossip, hurt others, etc.)?  What happens when we are tempted?   Everyone is tempted. Everyone!  Well, we simply ask for forgiveness, ask God to sustain us, and strive to do better.  When we rely on God to sustain us, and we try to avoid temptations, we grow as Christians.

Today, try something new.  Ask God to sustain you.  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Make It Wonderful!

But let every man prove his own work, and then he shall be rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  Galatians 6:4

It’s Monday and time to share something good.  I was a little down over the weekend, but I was still able to play with my grandson, spend time with my husband, clean my house, get to know my kitten a little better and write half a word study paper on judging.  I will share more on the paper later.  On top of all of that, I made two new friends.  One is from Holland and the other from Georgia.  Meeting these two ladies reminded me that when we think we have it bad, there is always someone who has it worse.  I’m glad God brought these ladies into my life and I hope that I can be a comfort to them.

For many people Monday’s mean we “have to” go to work and do what we don’t want to do for a long week. This type of thinking leads to a bad attitude.  Have you ever considered what a privilege it is to work?  There are many people who are not able to work.  Have you ever considered that when we work we are pleasing God?  Work is mentioned many times in the Bible, and Galatians 6:4 states that when we prove our own work, we can rejoice in what we have done.  Have you ever thought maybe this is the week you can help your boss in a new way that will make his/her work be easier, better and less time consuming?  If you want blessings from God, you must submit to authority.  That means doing your job the best you can when you are at work and trying to help your supervisor.  The attitude you adopt when you approach Monday or the first day of your business week can make a huge difference.  Yes, there will be those who are gloom and doom and who will try to bring you down today, but you can choose a different attitude.  Try it.  You will be so much happier.

Enjoy new opportunities today!  God bless you.

Praise the Lord Sunday – Have Faith

God’s Name Is a Place of Protection.  Proverbs 18:10

Praise be the name of the Lord!  I’m moving slowly at home this morning, but I’m still moving.  Praise God!

One week go today we picked up our little bundle of joy, Baron Dominic.  Dominic has been quite a handful.  We love him.  I can’t believe how much the little guy eats and how quickly he gets into trouble.


The only one I know who can get into trouble as quickly as Dominic is me.  Yet, no matter what I’ve done or how hopeless life seemed at the time, God still had me.  Joel 2:25 says when we have faith “God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing.”  I have found this to be true countless times in my life.

Continue reading Praise the Lord Sunday – Have Faith

Forgiveness Thursday – Our Words

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you.  

Psalm 63:3

Once again its Forgiveness Thursday.  Isn’t it great to know we can always turn to God and he will forgive us!

Yesterday morning I had a talk with myself about only letting what I did or said reflect God. I intended to keep this promise.  I worked on it all day long, but at the end of the day, I fell short. So, today’s a new day.  I will ask for forgiveness and try again.

So, what about people who ask for forgiveness repeatedly and do not try to improve?  By the way, isn’t that what I’m doing with my diet?  I know what it means to eat healthy.  I ask for help, yet I repeatedly fail and ask for forgiveness for overindulgence.  Yet, even still, I’m only hurting me, or am I?  If my health is bad because of my weight, others are affected, like my family, other tax payers and people with the same insurance.  How does that compare to a serial killer, who repeatedly kills other people?  I don’t know. I’ve thought about this many times.  We may have a role in prosecution to prevent the criminal from hurting more people, but beyond that I think the answer is we are not supposed to judge others.  That’s God’s job. We should be thankful that God has taken care of us and focus on our own shortcomings.  This is something I struggle with, but I’m always trying to improve.  I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Today, forgive yourself and others as Christ has forgiven us all.  God bless you.

Use Your Gifts to Change the World Wednesday – A New Baby in the House

Above all love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.          

1 Peter 4:8

Happy Wednesday!  How are you using your gifts to change the world?

Today is day four with a new baby in the house. Yes, as silly as it sounds, at our house bringing a kitten home is like having a new baby.  I have the jealous sibling, my Great Dane, Singer, and the baby who is adjusting, Dominic.  When there is too much stimuli, like when visitors stop by to meet him, he gets overwhelmed.  He never sleeps.  In fact, he stalks and tries to kill us in our bedroom, his jungle, all night.  I have the battle wounds to prove it.  He needs me to stay with him while he eats.  Yet, I have to be careful because Singer gets jealous and cries.  When Dominic can’t find me, he cries.  Then, there is the third pet in the equation, my aging Shih Tzu, Freckles, who wanders around trying not to be attacked.  Last night it took me about two and half hours to get everyone settled down.

Reading this you are probably wondering why I would want such chaos.  Well, like with any new addition in your family, there is great joy.  Dominic makes us laugh and feel younger. The joy overrides the aggravation.  We love him.   Also like other babies, Dominic will one day grow up.  With my children it was too soon.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t slow time down.  Also like with people, pets will age and die.  I suspect my beloved Freckles will be next and probably not too far in the future.

Family is like that.  We never know how long our loved ones will be around.  So, today I challenge you to use your gifts to Change the World at home.  Remember to spend time with and love your family.  Have a great day.  God bless you.

Try Something New Tuesday -Liebster Award

Thank you Grace Over Pain for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  I’m honored to be considered.  Efua created her site to provide a platform for Christian girls.  If you haven’t visited her blog, I encourage you to go to Grace Over Pain today.  It will change your life and how you see the world.

I would like to nominate the following bloggers for this award.

11 blogs that I nominate are:

Knitting with Heart

Mimi On Life

Carol A. hand

The Singing Soul

The Linda Life

Revelations

The Sky’s the Limit

Naturechirp

Stitch and Shizzle

Flying to Adventure — with Detours

The Thankful Heart

The Rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

  1.  Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs
  5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

My 11 Questions to Answer:
1.  What is your favorite worship song?  This is hard for me because there aren’t that many worship songs that I don’t like.  My favorite song to hear at church is Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing. I’m always changing favorite worship songs on the radio.  I love 10,000 Reasons, but one of my new favorites is Even If (Mercy Me).  Others I love include:  Feel it (Tobymac), Oh My Soul (Casting Crowns), and Thy Will (Hillary Scott).  Oh my, I better leave this question because I keep thinking of more.

2.  What is that thing you cannot do without and why?  My Sweet Lord.  I can’t imagine enduring one day without him.  He is my friend, my Heavenly Father, the one who I can turn to who always knows and understands, and he makes life worth living.  I’m so blessed.

3.  If you were to eat one food for the rest of your life, what will that food be?  Yikes. I like variety.  I guess if there was one food that I could eat the rest of my life with other foods, it would be bread.  If I could only eat one food and nothing else for the rest of my life, I would eat fish.

4.  Outdoorsy or  Indoorsy?  I like to spend more time indoors.  I’m not a fan of bugs, snakes and heat.  I do spend some time outside because it is healthy and God’s world is beautiful.

5.  What made you give your life to God?  I gave my life to God when I was eight years old.  It’s hard for me to remember the exact reason, but I do remember feeling something inside that I’d never felt before.  I knew it was the right thing.  To me the more important question might be why did I remain a Christian throughout my life, even though I could have easily said I was too young to understand at eight years old.  The reason is not one day have I been alone.  He’s been with me helping me through every day of my life.  When I was abused as a child, he helped me endure the suffering until I could do better.  When my first husband did everything in his power to kill me and later left me for another woman without a dime to my name, I cried to God to take me.  Instead he gave me a cat (Buttermilk) to take care of and even later he brought a good man into my life, who changed the way my life was spiraling.  When my family disowned me for telling the truth and protecting a child, God was there to hold me up and he brought a Christian counselor into my life.  When my daughter was a baby and we didn’t know if she would live, God healed her.  When our children were teenagers, he brought them home safely every night. I could keep going for hours.  The bottom line is, no matter what was happening God was always there by my side, and I will never forsake him.  If you haven’t needed him yet, the day will come when you humble yourself, fall on your knees and pray for help.  He will be there.

6.  Are you a morning person or evening person?  When I was younger, I was more of an evening person.  However, for the past 20 years, I have been more of a morning person.  I usually get up about 3:45 am.  Mornings are quiet and I tend to get more accomplished early in the day.

7.  Who is your favorite bible character and why?  Besides God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I like John, Paul and Peter.  I think John is a funny character.  He claimed to be Jesus’s favorite.  I also remember reading John’s account of Peter and him running to where Jesus’s body was, but John pointing out that he arrived first.  I like Peter because he said he would never deny Christ, yet he did three times.  I sometimes wonder the circumstances.  For example, did he deny Christ in an effort to ultimately help him.  No one knows, but later after the famous “feed my sheep” dialogue, Jesus tells Peter it will be okay because one day he will die by crucifixion for teaching Christianity.  I like Paul because he totally did an about-face.  As Saul he was against Christ, but later became a Christian named Paul who spread the Gospel through many nations despite shipwrecks and being in prison.

8.  Which country would you love to visit next and why?  I would love to visit the Holy Lands next.  I’ve always wanted to go there, but I know there will be a great deal of walking involved. I want to go before I’m unable to keep up.

9.  Would you prefer extremely cold weather or extremely hot weather?  Neither, I don’t think I would physically be able to survive either.

10.  If you were to pick one of these which one do you think you are mentally. Old school or new school?  Old School

11.  Favorite book apart from the bible.  This question is like the music question.  I read all the time and I love books.  I’m not Jewish, but when I was studying International Affairs in college, I took a Jewish Religion class.  As a part of the class I read As a Driven Leaf.  I have thought of it many times over the years.  When I was about 12, my Sunday School Teacher gave me a copy of The Hiding place by Corrie Ten Boon.  If you haven’t read it, do.  These two books touched me.

11 Random Facts about Me:

  1.  I love animals and they love me.
  2.  I grow orchids.  At one time I had over 50.  We actually enclosed our porch with glass for the orchids.
  3.  I started a grass-roots ministry at church over four years ago and we still meet regularly – Crafty Ladies at Work (CLAW).  It provides ladies an opportunity to socialize, learn and teach a yarn craft, and provide a prayer shawl for people who are unwell.  Sometimes we make tatas for women who have had a mastectomy.
  4.  I was once a music major.  I play saxophone, guitar, bass guitar, and some piano.
  5. In high school I had my own pop music band.
  6. In high school I was student conductor of our band of 250 students.  I once directed the band in front of Stone Mountain.
  7. In high school I arranged music for the marching band.  My music was played at the Blue and Grey game which was televised on Christmas Day in 1983.
  8. My favorite Disney character is Donald Duck.  When I was five I met him for the first time and he danced with me.
  9. My favorite movie is A Walk in the Clouds.
  10. I wrecked a car as a toddler.  I was left alone in a car that was running, and I knocked it into gear while playing.  I hit a tree.
  11. I have a weak stomach.  Don’t get sick near me or I’ll be joining you.

11 Questions for Nominated Bloggers to Answer:

  1.  What is your favorite book in the Bible and why?
  2.   What is your favorite movie?
  3.   What is your favorite worship song?
  4.   What do you do to relax?
  5.   What is your favorite memory?
  6.   Who in your life do you admire the most and why?
  7.   What is your life goal and why?
  8.   Who is your hero and why?
  9.   What is your favorite sport?
  10.   How do you like to spend your free time?
  11.   What is your favorite version of the Bible?

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Bringing Home Baby Dominic

God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing.  All you need is faith.  Joel 2:25

Happy Monday!  It’s time to share something good. The last few weeks were more than trying for me, but last week ended with a new member in our family, which is something good.  I must admit, Baby Dominic gives me some new blogging challenges.  As I’m typing this post, I’m being stalked and attacked by a 4 pound kitten.  It’s amazing how a baby brings new life into the house.

We were protected on our long trip to Tampa, and greeted by our new friends, Michele and John.  It’s wonderful how God sends the right people into our lives at the right time.  His plans are always best.  Then, our long trip home with a kitten in the car was uneventful.  I must admit I was surprised.  I’ve never seen a cat ride so well.  Once home we were both exhausted.  However, Dominic had rested for five hours of travel.  About the time we went to sleep, he was just waking up.  I think Dominic stalked, killed and conquered our home during the night.

Sometimes it seems like everything that could go wrong has already happened.  Then, something else sends us spinning.  Even then, we are loved.  Isn’t it great to be loved and accepted all the time!  I’m never alone and my relationships are so much better.  My husband and I are closer.  Life is just wonderful in every possible way.  I no longer have to worry.  I just trust our sweet Lord.

He is there for you too.  He’s ready to watch you, child of God, enjoy life and share his love with others.  Trust him and enjoy your day.  Don’t forget to share something good in your life, so others can witness his love.  God bless you.