“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
Happy Monday! It’s a great time to share something good to brighten the day of those around you. My good news is I’ve almost completed another class. I should have it submitted by the end of the week. My other good news is my husband and I bought tickets to see the Newsboys and Mandisa at a nearby concert at the end of February. We are usually too busy to go out much. So, I’m excited. I look forward to hearing your good stories.
Have you ever felt you were facing too many obstacles, opponents or suffering in your life? Have you been entrusted with secrets that weigh you down? Well, you are not alone. Some secrets are not too big a deal and are short lived. Others are burdensome.
A few years ago a family member shared a secret with me that was very dramatic. I told my husband, but no one else for about three years. I needed someone to talk to, as did my husband. While it was a secret, it was also something obvious that we were being questioned about frequently. We were afraid to speak with anyone, even a counselor or minister, because if the news was leaked, suicide was a possibility. Another time I was entrusted with a family secret that put great stress and demands on me. While it is good to know what’s going on, secrets can destroy people. Ultimately, my heart was weighted down with the secret to the point that I unloaded without realizing what I was doing. I felt so guilty. It is for these reasons that I have decided to walk away from secrets. I also have decided to never burden others with secrets.
The good news, if you are experiencing this type of situation, is Jesus has already conquered all your opponents and worry. While He never said you wouldn’t have to suffer, He is bigger and more powerful than your suffering.
Trust in Him today and have a great Monday. May God bless you!
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:” Matthew 6:14 KJV
Happy Thursday. The week is flying by and Christmas is almost here.
Starting early this morning, I have seen one upset person after another. It sometimes seems that no one is happy. Like you, I listened and empathized and made my way through the endless line of individuals. Then, the day was over. You might think this is good, but my work was not completed and my mood suffered slightly.
It is a burden when others are constantly complaining. However, providing a good ear for listening and understanding goes a long way towards relationship building and anger calming. It often saves time down the road too. Jesus taught to forgive others as God has forgiven us. When we are able to follow this simple guideline, we reap benefits beyond measure.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,”
James 1:2 NIV
Happy Tuesday! Since Hurricane Michael came through the Florida Panhandle, I talk to depressed people every day. Honestly, the feelings have washed over me from time to time. It’s difficult to find joy in your world when it has been devastated. Every time we walk out the door we are faced with it again. So, we face daily trials, which will last for many years. Of course, we all have many things to be thankful for, and we are all thankful. Yet that is not enough.
Many people face depression and trials that still their joy. It doesn’t have to be a hurricane. It could be a situation at work, or with family. It could be a problem with finances, especially with the government shut down. Many people worry so much about their children that they lose their joy. It’s a common problem. We look to the past have regret. We look too far into the future and have fear.
I was listening to a minister this morning who said “if you are not joyful, then there is a problem with your priorities”. This statement is powerful. Where do you find your joy. How many times have you posted photos on Facebook or Instagram to get likes. Do you think likes determine friendship? I use Facebook, but we can’t let it rule our life. Most of us have a few friends we can call on in emergency, and they aren’t the many who like our photos and memes.
True joy comes from a heart with God as the top priority. If you are finding your joy is gone and you are in despair. Check your heart and priorities. Don’t look to what’s around you. Don’t look to the past or too far into the future. Look to God and place him first. Realize that whatever trial your facing is temporary and is being used to shape you.
“You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.”
2 Samuel 22:28 NIV
Happy Thursday! It’s a great day to forgive others and yourself. It is easy to hold a grudge when we have been hurt or have experienced difficulties due to another person’s actions. In Colossians 3:13 we are reminded that we need to be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Unforgiveness can weigh us and others down. I heard a story of a supervisor who wouldn’t hire a past employee based on the woman previously taking a leave of absence. In this case, the woman had a dying parent, but was otherwise a good employee. Taking a leave of absence during a busy season can be hard to deal with, especially when the staff is small. However, if you put yourself in this employee’s situation, you might find she had no other choices. Remember your staff and coworkers are people too. They have families and sometimes illnesses. Let go of past situations and give people a chance.
Today, our previous discussion on being humble continues. It’s a little difficult to wrap our minds around at times. The verse above talks about “haughty eyes”. The Hebrew word for “eye” is ‘ayin (pronounced ah’-yin) which can be used literally as eye or figuratively as conceit or resemble. The Hebrew word for “haughty” is ruwm (pronounced room) which means exalt or magnify. It appears in this context to mean one who is conceited and exalts or magnifies himself above others. This definition seems to meet at least some of the definitions of proud.
A humble person never exalts himself above others, but builds other up. For example, If you were responsible for a project at work that had a good outcome. The world teaches to toot your horn and let everyone know how wonderful a job you have done. However, God has a different lesson. Make sure those above and below you are magnified for their responsibility in the process. This can be difficult if you feel like your efforts are often overlooked. Never outshine your supervisor. Make him or her shine better than ever. While you are at it lift up your employees. It gives them confidence in themselves and buy-in into the project. People with haughty eyes see themselves as smarter than everyone else. This pitfall is one you never want to fall into. You might ask how will anyone know what you have done? God knows and so do others. If you follow God’s teachings on being humble, you will find your whole life falls into place. The rewards are beyond measure.
I urge you to try magnifying others today. God bless you.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Matthew 18:21-22 NIV
Good morning and happy Thursday. It’s a great time to forgive others and yourself.
Are you having trouble forgiving someone? Do you find yourself facing the same old aggravating stuff with that person all the times? Have you thought to yourself, how many times do I have to put up with this mess? When Peter asked Jesus how many times, I feel pretty certain he wasn’t expected to be told 490 times. It makes me chuckle to think of this conversation taking place, because I know I’d being saying “What?”. Yet, how many times has God forgiven us? For me it has been more than 490 times. In fact, it’s been more that 4,900,000 times. It’s so nice to be loved and forgiven. It is important to treat others well, even when there is something that really aggravates you. It is equally important to forgive yourself.
The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures.
Proverbs 12:12 NIV
Happy Friday! Spread God’s love everywhere you go.
Have you ever been teased for being a Christian? Have you ever felt that you had to stifle your beliefs or that you were be considered a “goody two shoes”? Have you ever been left out or ostracized for your beliefs? Well, you are not alone. Christians are revolutionaries for Christ. As such, we are called names, teased and ostracized. It’s not easy and it sometimes hurts. We need to rely on Christ to work through us, especially in our weakest moments. Do we have to give up things or avoid going certain places? Yes, but what we gain is much greater. I have found so much happiness in being a Christian and doing God’s work.
If you are discouraged because you aren’t accepted. Think of all the good you are doing when you let Christ work through you. God bless you.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psalms 1:2 KJV
Happy Monday! Tell me something good! I have several stories to share. First, I saw a lightning bolt come down and hit the transformer in front of the house next to ours Saturday. It was amazing. The good news is that we had little damage during the storms over the weekend. The one on Saturday was during the time my husband usually drives home for lunch. I found out my prayers were answered when I learned he decided to eat at work that day. Another blessing was I taught Sunday School to a multigenerational class yesterday. What fun! We only had a few hiccups that will be ironed out before next week. Finally, Landon came over yesterday while his parents went on a date. We all enjoyed the afternoon. I hope you had a good weekend and will share your stories.
Today, I’m mindful of how we learn to be the people we become. I heard Andy Stanley tell the cutest story on television yesterday about his niece. The story has just stuck with me. He said his young niece (probably elementary school age) had been on the swim team for several years and loved it. However, she always finished last. So, as she was preparing for her first swim meet of the season, her mother told her to try really hard to win. The young child said “is that what this is about? I thought we were going to meet people.” I may not have retold the story exactly as he did, but as I chuckle I am thinking about how we learn as children. Our families and caregivers have a large hand in our growth. Did your parents teach you to think or work? Mine taught me to work hard and be self-sufficient. I am very thankful for all they did for me. My grandparents had a large role in my spiritual growth.
Have you ever wondered why you do something silly or maybe not so healthy? Well, your parents can’t take all the credit. As we grow older we are exposed to many forces that shape our physical, mental and emotional growth. The good news is, if you have an undesirable habit, regardless of where it originated, you can work on it now. Start today by counting your blessings. Focus your energy on helping others. Spend time every day studying and speaking God’s word. It’s never too late to get started.
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.
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.
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.