What causes irritation in your life? If you are anything like me, at times, it can be the slightest thing that irritates me. In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "When do you find yourself to be most irritable?" The top 3 answers were:
1. 37% of those voting said that they are most irritated when someone breaks a promise to them.
2. 33% of those polled said that they are most irritated when they are at Wal-Mart!
3. 29% voted and said that they become irritated first thing in the morning, before they even have a cup of coffee!
To be irritable basically means that you are "near the point of a knife". In other words, you are not far from from the edge of the sword. You are locked, loaded and ready to aim or overreact. There are many reasons we arrive at this point, most likely it is not because of the cashier at Wal-Mart. Most likely, something has occurred to stress you out prior to arriving at Wal-Mart but your irritation just boils up and over when the cashier does not greet you politely! Stress can weigh us down, it drains our energy and gives us an open invitation to be down right cranky!
We all have a "bad" day here and there, but if you are irritable by nature, then possibly there is a problem. When under pressure, does love escape from your lips? When we walk in love, we will strive to be a joy and not a jerk.
Next time you feel irritable, ask yourself this: "Am I a calming breeze or am I just a storm waiting to happen?"
PROVERBS 16:32 " He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city."
Releasing love instead of irritation will channel patience and encouragement instead of anger and exasperation towards those around you. Choose today to react to those tough situations with love instead of irritation. It will make this world a happier place!
I have often wondered if my house was on fire, what would be the one or two things that I would quickly try to grab before making my exit. Of course, number one I would make sure all of my family got out safely. Everything else inside the house probably could be replaced but my kids and my husband ... that's a different story!
But if I had a chance to grab a thing or two besides them, I would most definetly want to grab some photo's. Such memories as graduations and weddings and birthdays cannot ever be recaptured. The other memory keeper I would want to grab is my Bible. My Bible is chocked full of memories. Verses highlighted that God has spoken loud and clear to me with and pages that are worn ever so lightly from hours of study.
My Bible is like oxygen to me. There is no other book like it. A.W. Tozer wrote this:
"The purpose of the Bible is to bring men to Christ, to make them holy and prepare them for heaven. In this it is unique among books, and it fulfills its purpose."
As Christians, we are called to share God's Holy Word with a world that is desperate to hear the Truth. The Bible is a priceless gift, a tool for Christians to use as they share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Unfortunetly, too many Christians keep their spiritual tool tighlty closed and out of sight. Too many times, the only time the Good Book is picked up is on the way out the door on Sunday morning.
I know that if a fire consumed my house, and I was unable to grab my Bible in time - I could always go down to the local Christian bookstore and buy another. But when a Bible is read and used, it doesn't take long before it fits like a glove. Using someone else's Bible always seems weird to me, it feels strange because MY Bible fits perfectly with me, because it is the tool that God has used to speak directly to me. Losing my Bible would be like air being sucked out of my lungs.
God's Holy Word is indeed, a priceless, one of a kind treasure. We need to handle it with care, but more importantly, we need to handle it everyday!
MATTHEW 4:4 "He answered, It is written: Man must not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
One of my favorite things to do in the spring and fall is to build a big bonfire. Sitting around the campfire while camping is the greatest way to relax in my opinion. I love it so much that a couple years ago we bought a firepit for our backyard so we can sit around a fire for hours. Listening to the crackling wood, feeling the heat of the fire on my cheeks and roasting marshmellows ... it just doesn't get any better than this.
Stoking the fire takes a good pile of wood and some perseverance! The more wood and stoking, the bigger the fire. John Wesley said this:
"Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn."
His words still ring true. When we fan the flames of enthusiasm for Christ, our faith serves as a beacon to others. Just as others can see our bonfire burning in our backyard ... we have people all around us who recognize the flames of enthusiasm for christianity. We either keep our spiritual fire stoked by the fruits being alive in our spirit or the flames have dwindled down to a slight ember from the lack of Spiritual growth.
Our world desperately needs faithful believers who share the Good News of Jesus with joyful exuberance. Be such a believer!Stoke your spiritual fire so others can watch it burn with passion!
JOHN 14:12 "I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the same things that I do. Those who believe will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."
Have you ever wanted something so badly but you couldn't have it?Maybe a new car? or a different job? Some of us not only dream of bigger/newer things but often times we dream about things that almost seem impossible to have.
Some of our dreams are shattered when we lose people that we love. This happens for different reasons, death, divorce, indifference, etc. The reason may differ but the feeling is the same ...we want badly what we used to have.
Too many times, I have seen people measure their success in life based on how many trophies they have. They base their fullfillment on whether or not all of their dreams have come true. People place their faith in things and people instead of placing their faith in God.
If we place our lives in God's hands, our faith is rewarded in ways that we as humans cannot fathom.
HEBREWS 11:6 "Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to HIm, must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him."
Trust God with every aspect of your life. When we draw near to Him, those things that seem unreachable will not seem so far away after all.
I've been thinking about getting more in shape. Physically that is. I need to exercise more and eat better. My body (physically) needs alittle bit of toning, re-shaping and rebuilding. I need to find some more strength. Where do you go to find strength?
The gym? The health food store? The espresso bar?
Not only is my physical body in need of some strength but my spirit man is also in need! God is a never-ending source of strength and courage whenever I call upon Him. I love the scripture in Exodus that says "The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my victory. He is my God and I will praise Him." (Exodus 15:2)
Now THAT is the kind of strength I need...the kind that leads to victory! Have you tapped into the power of God? or are you muddling along under your own power? I am so thankful that God is my source for the strength needed for day to day!
I am blessed to be able to host THANKFUL THURSDAY this month, next month you will find us over at Lynn's Place. Please join your grateful heart with ours. HAPPY TT!
Nothing irritates others as quickly as being rude. Rudeness is simply saying or doing things that are unpleasant for another person to be around. To be rude is to act unbecoming, embarrassing or irritating.
I bet that just described a person or two in your life...I know it did in mine!
I don't care what anyone says, being around a rude person is something that none of us enjoy. Rude behavior may seem insignificant to the one being rude, but how unpleasant is it to those on the receiving end?
a foul mouth
poor table manners
sarcastic remarks cutting someone off in traffic
So...what does love have to do with any of this? ALOT! When someone is driven by love, they intentionally behave in a manner that is pleasant to be around. In other words, if you love someone, you will purposefully avoid saying or doing things that frustrate them.
Unfortunetly, old habits are hard to break. Some of us are still saying and doing things that we as Christians need to put away. Being rude may just be one of those old habits that needs to get buried. Rudeness is not gender related. Both men and women struggle with barking at strangers or pouting around the house. Rude behavior can also come in forms of talking on your cell phone during a lunch date, burping out loud at the table, snapping at the local store cashier or hanging up on a sales call.
Recently, I took a poll on the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL and asked the following question, "Has anybody been rude to you this week?" The top 3 answers were:
1. 66% of those responding said that THEY themselves were the ones who had been rude.
2. 44% voted and said that their spouse had been rude to them.
3. Another 11% said that someone else had been rude to them.
This poll reveals to me that we all deal with this issue of rudeness. How interesting that the majority of us said that it was our own selves that were being rude. We recognize such behavior as soon as it comes out of our mouth ...don't we? It is my prayer that the things that come out of my mouth will be edifying and gracious to those who hear it.
ECC. 10:12 "The words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious."
Have you ever wished that those you love would quit doing the things that bother you? Maybe it is time to stop doing the things that bother them ~ for love is not being rude!
Choosing the correct color of shoes to go with your outfit is one of the most important decisions you can make before walking out of the door. It is apparent to me that some people either do not have their own stylist or they are just plain color blind ... that is the only explanation I can think of as to why they would leave the house in THOSE shoes!!
Accessories can be just as important as the outfit! Have you ever considered what color shoes goes with camel? This is probably not a decision any of us have ever had to agonize over, but John the Baptist was known for his dress attire of camel.
MARK 1:6 "Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey."
It appears that John probably did not have his own stylist, but he would definetly get a thumbs up for being clothed in compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. He had cornered the market on his presentation of his garment of praise.
How would you look dressed in camel? Remember that your accessories are just as important as the outfit. Don't leave the house without your garment of praise (compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience).
Before you think your shoes won't match your camel outfit... just remember that the devil wears Prada!!
By now I am sure you have heard that phase one of the new HealthCare plan was passed last night. It doesn't really matter if you are for it or against it. It doesn't even matter if you are for our President and our Congress or against their decisions. What really matters is that it appears our Country is moving to an area that we have not ever been before ... and it is S C A R Y!!
It appears that the future of our Country is abit fuzzy right now. None of us are sure of what this Healthcare plan is going to do, how is going to affect us, are we even going to be able to get medical treatment? and once this is passed ...what's next?
All very good questions and concerns, but can I tell you as a Christian ... our hope is not in Congress or the President of the United States! Our hope is in Jesus Christ (and Christ alone)!
God is our strength! He is bigger than Obama! He is bigger than Congress! He is bigger than a new HealthCare plan! I know this because I read the final chapter in the good book (The B I B L E!) and the only thing to fear is the wrath of God!
So don't worry about all of this ... He's got this one!!
Today you can find me over at LACED WITH GRACE! I have shared the following devo over there entitled "Stressed to the Max!" I hope you will be encouraged to know that God is in control ... even when you feel stressed out!
When I saw my friend today, I could tell immediately that she was stressed to the max! The stress could be seen in her face and when she opened her mouth, it could be heard in her voice. In the last 48 hours, one thing after another seemed to fall apart. The refrigerator broke, the cat tore up the screen for the screened in porch, outside window sills were rotten and under inspection – they crumbled and when the new washer and dryer were delivered, they were too big to fit in the counter space.
She was frazzled.
She was exhausted.
She had seen her limit.
She was stressed!
Stressful days like the one my friend had today, are an inevitable fact of modern life! We each have a choice to make when these stressful times come …how are we going to cope with these high demands?
“If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in a peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!” – ELISABETH ELLIOT
The best way to cope with stress in our life is by turning our days and even our moments over to God. Trying to grab the reins of our lives and proclaim that we are in charge is not only foolish but it is stressful. Whenever we impose our own wills upon our world – we invite stress into our lives … needlessly. But when we accept His will instead of our own, we will discover inner peace.
COLOSSIANS 3:15 ” And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Do you feel overwhelmed like my friend? Satan does some of his worst work on exhausted Christians when nerves are frayed and the mind is faint. Turn your concerns and your prayers over to God. Trust Him. Trust Him completely. Trust Him today. Trust Him always.
Like my friend, you will still have appliances break down and your house will still be in need of repairs … but the peace of God will allow you to rest easier. So rest easy.
Yesterday, all over America, people wore the color green. Most likely, if you are Irish, you wore something green and even if you are not Irish, you probably still wore something green so you would not get pinched. There was no doubt in my mind, as I traveled around town, what some people were based on what they wore.
St. Patricks Day is one of those days of the year that people pursposefully choose their outerwear to express who they are. They are proud to be called Irish!
Each day when we go to our closet to pick out our clothes to wear for the day, most of us choose very carefully and we want to look our best. I would even say that what we wear expresses who we are. For those of us that are sporty natured, you probably pull on a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt. While others of us, may have a trendy side and we go for the dress slacks and sleek sweater. Whether we realize it or not, to some degree, we all focus on the clothes that we wear. Hoping that our "style" will express exactly who we are.
If we want to express to others that we are followers of Christ, there is a style of clothing for us to wear. But it is not a pair of jeans, a t-shirt or a cardigan sweater. The scripture tells us to focus on the internal clothing for this is what determines how we live, act and treat others.
COLOSSIANS 3:12 " Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
If you wore something green yesterday, someone probably recognized that you are Irish ... but what are you wearing that others would recognize you as a follower of Christ? May we all live our lives clothed with the label of Christ!
Aren't you thankful that the clothing of Christ never goes out of style! What are you thankful for today? Please share your grateful heart with us by linking up your TT post below. HAPPY TT!
Today I am over at the AT THE WELL site. I have shared a devo over there today entitled "Raising Champions." You can find great devo's over there daily. I have shared my thoughts on raisng champions here as well...
What do you think of when you hear the word CHAMPION?
The first image that comes to my mind is a box of Wheaties. I remember as a child, only the best of the best, the champions of champions would get their face on a box of Wheaties.
We can all come up with some great champions, those that persevered and became great…Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, and Muhammad Ali – just to name a few. Such great heroes all had one thing in common - they were disciplined, driven, and focused.
Our kids look up to some of these great athletes, but they miss out on how we can become like them. When my kids were younger and enjoyed playing sports, each one of them came to a point where they wanted to give it up. Things got difficult. Their team was losing. Their coach was unfair. They got tired of practicing. (whine whine whine) Their stamina was not as great as it once was. But our answer was always the same when they would come to us and say, “I’m quitting!” and that was “No you are not!” “You will finish the season and be committed to your team!”
No great athlete ever became a champion by quitting or giving up. The Psalmist considered knowing and following God’s decrees as being of great importance. He wanted to be known as a man who lived by the things God valued in His Word.
Raising our kids to be true champions is teaching them to honor Gods Word and live a life that is pleasing to Him.
PSALM 119:33 “Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statues, and I shall keep it to the end.”
Being a champion is not just something that happens overnight. It takes diligence, commitment, and devotion. To be a champion – one who fought the good fight, ran the good race – we must begin the training now.
If God had a box of Wheaties … would your picture be on the box?
Would you be considered to be a Champion for the Lord?
Are you on a quest to find the truth? I don't know about you, but I am tired of being lied to by politicians, by the media, and other high profile figures. Seems like everywhere you look, everything you read and everything you watch ... someone is trying to trick us and have lies disguised as the truth. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to believe and what not to believe.
Satan is the king of liars. He has many schemes and plots to confuse us, to persuade us and to lie to us. He packages his lies well and time after time, we fall for his deception. I am tired of people not knowing the truth! I am tired of seeing people settle for less than what God has planned for them. I am tired of the eyes of my loved ones being shut.
It is time we know the truth! Its time we share the truth!
In the movie, "A few good men", Tom Cruise (aka Lt. Daniel Kaffee) says in court "I WANT the truth!". Jack Nicholson (aka Col. Nathan R. Jessep) quickly replies from the stand ..."You WANT the truth? You CAN'T handle the truth!"
Most of us would resound the words of Tom Cruise in this movie ~ "I WANT the truth!" God is very concerned with truth. His Word teaches the truth, His Spirit reveals the truth and His Son leads us to the truth!
JOHN 16:13 "But when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will lead you into all truth."
If you want the truth, you must seek it, you must pursue it and you must claim it! John 8:32 says that "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free."Are you free today?
"Those who walk in truth walk in liberty." - BETH MOORE
One of the greatest questions of all times has yet to be answered!
"How many licks does it take to get to the middle of a tootsie pop?"
I can't tell you how many times I have tried and tried to lick my way to the middle. But every time, I finally give up on lickng and just bite down to get to the tootsie in the middle. After all it is not really about the licks as it is about getting to the good stuff in the middle!
I think how I exercise my faith is alot like licking a tootsie pop! I start out strong and determined to get to the "good stuff", but somewhere along the way I just give up and try to get right to the good stuff. Forgetting that along the journey of waiting upon the Lord, there are lessons to learn, strength to obtain and tests to endure.
So often though, I just want to have "tootsie pop" faith and that is skip the trials, the tests and the lessons and go straight for the good stuff! Waiting almost seems impossible, but I love what it says in Matthew:
MATTHEW 19:26 "with men things are impossible but with God all things are possible."
No matter how many licks ( or testings) it takes ...I know that my faith in God will lead me to the good stuff! Do you have a "tootsie pop" faith?
If you had a treasure box, what do you think you would put in it? Your jewelry? Your Grandmother's Bible? Your favorite family photographs? I would guess that you would not only put those things that are valuable to you in it, but also those things that are irreplaceable.
I wonder what would happen if we had a treasure box that could hold our eyes and our mind? Many of us do not realize that the things that we think on, the things that we gaze upon and the things that we act upon can actually rob us of a great treasure!
LUKE 12:34 "Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be."
Taking care of our heart, our eyes and what we meditate upon should be like guarding our priceless, irreplacable treasure chest. These things should be the most valuable thing we possess.
Recently, I read a story about a water tank that depicted the importance of faithfulness. The story was told of a village that was in a part of the world that was rainy for part of the year and dry throughout the rest of the year.
One year, the elders of the village came up with a plan and announced to the villagers that everyone was to bring one single cup of water to a large tank that was in the center of town during the rainy season. This way, when the dry season came and water was scarce, they would have a ample supply of water for the villagers and it could be shared.
The villagers all applauded such a plan. The rainy season came and went, the ground began to become dry and cracked during the dry season and water was becoming quite scarce. The elders agreed that it was time to open up the tank where the villagers had been pouring their cups of water, so all the villagers could have a supply of water that they badly needed. In great anticipation, all of the villagers gathered around the tank with cups and bowls to recieve their portion of the water gathered. But with great alarm, when the elders opened up the tank, no water was found inside!
It turned out that not one villager had given a single cup of water as they had agreed. Each thinking that their single cup of water would surely not be missed. So the tank was empty, the village had no water during their dry season.
Wow. What a story of faithfulness ... or should I say unfaithfulness! It is so easy to think that nobody will notice our unfaithfulness. Skipping church or not fulfilling a promise we have made seems like no big deal or that no one will notice. Unfaithfulness not only hurts those who are dependent upon us (like the village in the story), but it also hurts us.
PROVERBS 3:3 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you."
This week I am thankful that we have a faithful God, who loves us and cares for us. He has a tank of water that never dries up, it is always available to us - it is an everlasting water that will cause us to thirst no more. Have you come to His tank today to get refreshed?
Thank you for stopping by THANKFUL THURSDAY today, please share your grateful heart with us by linking up your TT post below in Mr. Linky! May your heart be overflowing with His Love and Grace today!
When a young couple first falls in love, being thoughtful was something that just came naturally. Do you remember your first love? You spent hours dreaming of what your loved one looked like, you wondered what they were doing and you dreamed of all the right things to say next time you saw them. No matter what you found yourself doing, you could not stop thinking about your true love!
I was thinking about this whole courtship stage that many couples go thru. At some point in marriage does this "thoughtfulness" leave the relationship? Is it just shortly after they are married or is it a slow process? In some marriages, the sparks of romance slowly burn into grey embers as couples get busy with careers, friends, stress and personal desires. It doesn't take too long for the constant thinking of the other to become a mere inconvenience.
This process does not just happen in marriage...but in all of our relationships. When we take the focus off of others and place our attention on ourselves and our needs, it is easy to avoid being thoughtful to others. Its not an intentional thing that happens...just something that does happen.
Loving someone is going to require many things, but one thing that is neccesary is thoughtfulness. When is the last time someone was thoughtful to you? Gave you a compliment, or bought you lunch, or sent you flowers just because, or wrote you an encouraging note. In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS, I polled the readers the following, "Who has been the most thoughtful to you this week?" The top 3 answers were:
1. 55% of those voting said that their spouse has been the most thoughtful.
2. 20% voted and said that a friend has been thoughtful.
3. And 12% responded and said that their children have been the most thoughtful.
In this weeks poll, there were also 4% that responded that nobody had been thoughtful to them. I wonder how many people we have come in contact with this week could say that about us?
PSALM 139:17-18 "How precious also are Your thoughts to me...How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand."
It might blow your mind, even in the midst of feeling like nobody thinks about you in a day, that God is always thinking of you. This passage in Psalms reminds me that He thinks about me more often than the amount of grains of sand. That is incredible!
When was the last time you thought of someone that many times, if ever? How many times have you thought of God that many times? It is my prayer that I will get back to the "courting stage" in my relationships and show my love to others by expressing how much I am thinking of them!
One of the things that you have to get use to if you live around here is traffic jams. I live off of the most traveled interstate, the trucker capital of the world ... 40/55 Memphis. There are only two ways to get from where I live over to Memphis, TN and that is by crossing the Mississippi River by way of 1 or 2 bridges. In the 17 years that I have lived here, both of these bridges seem to always be under construction.
And if the road construction doesn't delay you, most likely there will be a semi truck jackknifed or a accident that will put all traffic to a complete stop. This past weekend was no different than most weekends traveling over to Memphis. Traffic was stopped due to construction AND an accident in the construction zone ... I found myself at a complete standstill on the bridge. The problem with getting stopped on the bridge is that you cannot go forward or backwards ... you are at a complete standstill, going nowhere!
Some of us are like this in our walk with the Lord...we are not going forward or backwards ~ we are at a complete standstill. Gods Word says that if we are lukewarm (or at a standstill), not hot nor cold ...He will spew us out of His mouth! (Revelation 3:16)
Being a standstill Christian is not a good place to be, just like how I was going nowhere on the highway to Memphis, a standstill Christian is also going nowhere! Are you moving along steadily in your walk with the Lord or have you come upon a delay in your journey? God has a clear direction for your life and He is urging you to stay on the path and avoid the delays along the way!
Today I have shared the following devo over at LACED WITH GRACE. You should check out the great devo's over there Monday thru Friday! CLICK HERE
I don’t know about you, but my tomorrow is looking pretty full. The things that I should have accomplished today just got moved to tomorrow. There are lots of reasons why we don’t accomplish everything we should in a day … change of plans, unexpected crisis, lack of time, lack of energy or just a simple thing called PROCRASTINATION.
Procrastination is one of those things that is easily justified. We’ll get to it later. We’ll do it tomorrow. But unfortunately, some of the things that we put off to tomorrow – God intended for us to accomplish today!
The habit of procrastination takes a two-fold toll on its victims…first of all, important work goes unfinished and secondly, valuable energy is wasted when we have to work twice as hard to do what should already of been done.
Do you know what happens to me when I put things off ? I am thrown into a senseless cycle…1. delay(followed by)2. worry (followed by)3. a panicked state of mind to “catch up.”! Putting things off until tomorrow is not only a vicious cycle of trouble, worry and stress but many times I think we miss out on a blessing from God.
He has given us each the same amount of time in a day. Tomorrow, He may have a plan for me to go visit someone who is sick, or stop at the store to engage in conversation with a salesclerk that will bring encouragement to them ….however …. in order to accomplish what He has in store me, I have to be obedient. And many times I do not recognize the signs, or the quest for obedience because I am so busy trying to catch up doing things today that I should have accomplished yesterday.
ECCLESIASTES 5:4 “If you make a promise to God, don’t be slow to keep it. God is not happy with fools, so give God what you promised.”
E. Stanley Jones summed up procrastination pretty well ~ “Every time you refuse to face up to life and its problems, you weaken your character.”
A christian who possesses procrastinating habits in the small things may just be passing up a blessing in the big things. Don’t let your tomorrows be so full that you miss out on what God has for you. Today is the day that the Lord has made!
Internet Cafe Devotions have just released their top 100 blog winners. And I am honored and mostly surprised that WOMEN TAKING A STAND was one of those 100! (yoo-hoo)
Some of you may not be familiar with this award, but once a year Internet Cafe Devotions take nominations from their readers. There are ten different categories and the top 10 blogs nominated in each category is graced with the BLESSED AROMA AWARD.
WOMEN TAKING A STAND was blessed with the award of CUP OF THE DAY BLOG. Internet Cafe Devotions describes this award as the “cup” you couldn’t do without. You find yourself daily drawn in to sit a spell. You leave inspired and encouraged.
I am so awed and blessed that each of you take the time daily to stop by and visit me. It is always my passion and desire that what I pen here will always be God-driven. So many friends have crossed by this way that have encouraged me with their comments and I am truly blessed by each of you!
If this is your first time visiting me, pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee and scroll down thru some past posts. May you find encouragement and inspiration before you leave here.
There is a house in my neighborhood that has been neglected. The grass is cluttered with trash, and the yard is full of weeds. Driving by, I often wonder why they don't take better care of their yard?
Truth is, at times we neglect our own yard. The grass gets taller than we would like, or the grass goes from green to a slight brown from lack of watering. We get tired of watering our yard, in fact I have thought what a great investment it would be to get one of those automatic sprinkler systems installed. That way the water could be turned on automatically without any labor on my part.
To have a green, healthy looking lawn we must consistently water and tend to it. Each of us is much like our neglected yards, we need regular and consistent watering by God's Word in order for our spirits to be lush and green. If we only open our Bible every once in awhile, then we will remain patchy and weak but reading and meditating upon Gods Word daily, we will be thriving and vibrant Christians.
PSALM 1:3 "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither. Whatever he does prospers."
Today, I am thankful for the sprinkler system that we have when Gods Spirit rains upon us! What are you thankful for today? Please join your grateful heart with ours, and link up below. HAPPY THANKFUL THURSDAY.
We live in a world that is simply enamored with "self". Our culture teaches us to focus on our appearance, on our feelings and to make our personal desires as top priority over anything else. Seems like the goal many make in their life is to chase after the highest level of happiness possible, no matter what it takes. We put "self" first, and others second.
Selfishness is not a good thing to have in a relationship, especially in a marriage. Unfortunetly, the act of selfishness is ingrained in us from as early as birth. The habit of not wanting to share or mistreating others is a habit that can carry into adulthood. Almost every sinful act can be traced back to a selfish motive.
We easily recognize selfishness in other people, but when it comes to ourselves, we justify our actions and selfish motives. In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "What area do you tend to be selfish?" The top 3 answers were:
1. 53% of those voting said that they tend to be selfish with their time.
2. 15% voted and said that they are selfish in their friendships.
3. Another 15% said that they are not selfish.
Loving someone completely is putting that person and their needs above yours. The two words "Love" and "Selfish" really cannot go together. Loving someone, such as a spouse or a dear friend means putting their needs and their happiness above yours. At all times.
We are called to be Christ-like and to be like Christ, we must put others first. Instead of having the "self service" mentality, I wonder what impact we could have on others if we lived in the "full service" mode...full of the Spirit and full of His love!
PHILIPPIANS 2:3 "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves."
Who doesn't love a good old re-run of the Gilligans Island show?
Gilligan: Skipper, are you asleep? Skipper: [sarcastically] Yes.
Gilligan: Oh, well when you wake up will you tell me if you've seen my rabbit's foot?
Reminds me of the times when my kids would tip toe in my bedroom in the middle of the night and tap me ever so gently and whisper ... "Mommy ... are you asleep?" Thinking something was wrong, I quickly opened my eyes and asked what was wrong. They always would say ... "I have to go to the bathroom!"
I never understood why they had to come wake me up, to tell me something that clearly they could do while I was asleep. Much like Gilligan .... we have important tasks at hand, but there are so many people still asleep. Asleep like I was in the middle of the night, wishing that nobody would arouse me out of my deep sleep. Such a state of slumber is a comfortable place to be.
But when we are asleep spiritually, there is a great risk that we are taking...
1 CORINTHIANS 15:18"Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished."
It is time for us to wake up, be alert and not remain in our comfort zone ... it is not a good place to be if found asleep in the midnight hour. So in the words of good ole Gilligan ... I must ask, "are you asleep my mates?"
Growing up, I can remember all of those jokes about when God was passing out brains .... "When God was passing out brains, you thought he said TRAINS, so you asked for a slow one."
It is funny when we hear those jokes and most of us laugh at it. But in reality what happens year after year when a person hears a joke like this, it belittles their intelligence. What is meant to be funny now becomes real to them. They begin to believe that the only gift that God gave them was a slow brain.
The truth is that God has given each of us gifts. No matter how unattractive or untalented we feel at times, each of us have been given something good by God and it is our responsibility to use that gift for His glory!
MATTHEW 25:23 "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities."
When you look at your life, do you see the good things that God has given you? Do you see talents and giftings that can be used to glorify Him? Sometimes, we have gifts that have not even surfaced yet. But they are there! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I had a gift to share His Word thru writing. But God saw something different, and He put in me a passion and love to share with others thru the gift that He blessed me with.
The gift and talent that God has given each of us is so much more than just brains and trains! Ask God to reveal to you today how you can flourish in the talent that He has blessed you with!
Sharing God's love and truth thru devotional writing here and across the web. My heart is to bring hope,love and forgiveness to those that feel broken and lost. I was once broken and lost but I am so glad that God didn't let me stay that way. Come along with me on this adventure of faith and may you also find the hope and love that you are longing for! :)