Make a Difference

Did you ever think you couldn’t make a difference in people’s lives because you didn’t think you could make a big difference? Making a big difference begins with making a lot of what seem to be little differences. The little differences add up to be big differences and sometimes they lead to a discovery thatmakes a big difference in and of itself.

MAKE JESUS LORD AND GROW IN GOD

We begin with making positive differences in our own life. We can’t make a difference in others when we don’t make any difference in ourselves. The biggest difference we can make is by making Jesus the Lord of our lives and then move on to living for him. Each day, as we walk with God, change takes place in our lives that produces positive differences we pass on to others.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE EMOTIONALLY

As a believer in Jesus find your peace in him. Others will see it. They’ll want you around because you have peace and then they’ll want what you have. You’ll be making a huge difference in their lives because of the peace you’ve found in him.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE BY BEING AN EXAMPLE

Our lives are the truest book anyone can read. What do people see when they read you. Do you stand out because your life lines up with God’s word to the best of your ability? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us to honor God with our body. There are many scriptures that encourage us to follow other people’s faith & to follow them as they follow Christ. Hebrews 10:24-25 says as we trust in God’s word people see it and it prompts them to act the same way.

HERE ARE SOME PRACTICAL WAYS YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES

Really love people and stand on the side of good.

Respect people because they are made in the image and likeness of God.

Be the best on your job, no matter what your job is.

Serve the Lord enthusiastically.

Be happy.

Be patient.

Be prayerful.

Be generous.

Be hospitable.

If people persecute you, pray for them.

Don’t try to act important, enjoy the company of ordinary people.

Be teachable. Don’t think you know it all.

Be kind to your enemies and those who have been unkind to you.

Serve people.

 

Of course, there are many things we can do to make a difference in this world. It begins with small acts that add up to be big ones.

 

What A Man Wants...

Since June is International Men’s Month, I thought it would be good to talk about “What A Man Wants”, besides sex. We all know they like that. Men can buy that, but they can’t buy a woman who consistently, sincerely, displays these character qualities to him...

From my conversations with many men, the number one thing they desire is respect. Actually, it is a biblical thing for them to desire that.

Ephesians 5:33 tells us to respect our husbands. The Amplified Bible says.

“Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and  that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].”

That is a mouthful and is a huge teaching in itself. In this article I’m giving you a few things to think about. Take time to expand it on your own.

Men desire women with strength of character.

This means she has integrity, honor, moral strength and backbone. Proverbs 31:10 asks the question: “Who can find a virtuous woman?” Virtuous means righteous, pure, moral, & ethical. Ladies, he may go out with a “Bad girl” at some point, but he’ll marry one with strength of character. He knows she can be counted on to do what is right.

Kindhearted is another attribute men are looking for in women. He’s not looking for a male companion.

Here are two scriptures that exhort us in the direction of being kind:

1Pet. 3:4 but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. (Message)

Prov. 31:26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions.  (NLT)

Most men do not want a woman who sits around and does nothing all day. They want someone with some ambition.

The ambition she has enhances him, their family and their home. It isn’t something that throws out the baby with the bath water. Ambition has to do with - hard work; drive, determination, initiative, motivation, enthusiasm, resolve, commitment, sense of purpose, zeal.

I hope you can see that this can happen inside the home, as well as outside. First, we should show ambition in our home by getting things done there. Then we can go accomplish things outside of our home.

These are just a few qualities men are looking for in a woman.

Go to Bella Undaunted’s Instagram and Facebook accounts this month to learn more.

VICTORY!!

VICTORY.png

 

Attitude isn’t everything, but it will definitely make a difference in our outlook on life and it affects every area of our lives.

In a poll done by http://www.1000advices.com/polls/polls.html, people were asked what the key to happiness was. Here were the findings….

WHAT IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS?

MENTAL ATTITUDE – 59%

LOVE – 23%

ACHIEVEMENTS – 8%

CREATIVE ACTIVITY – 5%

MONEY – 5%

 

Mental attitude, not things or people, was the key to happiness. It’s all about a state of mind.

 

Brian Tracy, a personal and business success author, shares this concerning attitude:

  • FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
  • FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION
  • LOOK FOR THE GOOD
  • LOOK FOR THE VALUABLE LESSON

IT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU THAT COUNTS. IT IS HOW YOU REACT TO WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS OF ANY KIND.

DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE HELPS YOU LIVE LONGER. YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO SHOW SIGNS OF AGING, ARE LESS LIKELY TO BECOME FRAIL, AND ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE STRONGER AND HEALTHIER. NEGATIVE ATTITUDES MAKE YOU WEAKER.

 

The dictionary defines attitude: a settled way of thinking about someone or something. Synonyms are: mental state, mindset, disposition, perspective, point of view, opinion, way of thinking, thoughts, feelings, outlook, approach

Much can be found on the subject of attitude, but the foundation of it can be discovered in the bible.

WHEN WE THINK OF ATTITUDE MOST OF US THINK OF EITHER POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE AND THAT IS TRUE. EVERY ATTITUDE CAN BE PUT INTO EITHER OF THOSE two CATEGORIES. I WENT THROUGH THE BIBLE TO FIND WHAT SOME OF THOSE POSITIVE ATTITUDES WERE. 

THANKFUL, COMPLIMENTARY, SERVANT, RESPECTFUL, TEACHABLE, KIND, OBEDIENT, PEACEFUL, WILLING, RIGHTEOUS, FLEXIBLE, GENTLE, CONSIDERATE, FRIENDLY, FORGIVING, HUMBLE, SUBMISSIVE, WISE, GRACIOUS, PATIENT….

 

Since attitude concerns a state of mind, Philippians 4:8 tells us what to think about:

Phil. 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. NLT

In verse 6 Paul tells us not to worry, be anxious or fretful. Instead we should pray and give thanks. Thankful people have good attitudes. Worry, anxiety and fear create negative outlooks. Thankfulness causes us to think on what is good, true, honorable, just, right, excellent and praiseworthy. Thankfulness is a key to a good attitude.

Philippians 2:1-11 tells us to have the attitude of Christ which was that of a servant.

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Jesus completed his mission because he had the right attitude. He humbled himself and had the attitude of a servant. He gave himself for others. When we give ourselves for people our focus gets off us and onto others. He positively went out to do his Father’s business. He was able to do this because he knew who he was. He was the son of God. In spite of how it looked, he never lost sight of it and it propelled him into having the attitude of a servant.

As we focus on being a child of God, it’s easy to have the attitude of a servant because we want to please our heavenly Father. Giving is part of God’s character and a part of ours since we are his children. Living a life to serve others fosters a positive attitude.

Joseph’s life found in the book of Genesis, exhibits taking on the attitude of a servant. Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery. He could have had a bad attitude and not performed well on his job. He could have had a victim mentality. Instead he chose to have the attitude of a servant. He became the best in Potiphar’s house. Then when he was thrown in jail unjustly, he make the right hand man of the jailkeeper. He could have been bitter, but he chose to be better. Let’s allow his attitude to be an example to us.

 

In 1 Peter 3:1-6 Peter tells wives that their husbands can be won over by their godly behavior. He discourages focusing on outward beauty and encourages cultivating inner beauty. Let’s look at it God’s Word translation.

1Pet. 3:3  Wives must not let their beauty be something external. Beauty doesn’t come from hairstyles, gold jewelry, or clothes.

Peter tells us that beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude. He isn’t telling us not to talk. He’s making a statement about attitude. Ladies, let’s face it, we create the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter where. It could be at the office, at home, school, out with others, wherever….If we have a bad attitude, everyone knows it. They can feel it and it screams when we walk into a room. When we have a gentle, quiet attitude, we bring peace and happiness to others.

Let’s look at the definitions and synonyms for these two words...

Gentle – having a mild and kind nature or manner; having a gracious and honorable manner

            – to cause somebody to become less agitated by means of          words or actions

KIND, TENDER, SYMPATHETIC, CONSIDERATE, UNDERSTANDING, COMPASSIONATE, GOOD-NATURED, MERCIFUL, SWEET-TEMPERED

 

Kind – having a generous, warm, compassionate nature; showing generosity or compassion; not harsh, unpleasant, or likely to have destructive effects; showing courtesy or caring about somebody; full of love

 

GOOD-NATURED, WARM-HEARTED, CARING, AFFECTIONATE, LOVING, WARM, CONSIDERATE, HELPFUL, THOUGHTFUL, UNSELFISH, COMPASSIONATE, ATTENTIVE, UNDERSTANDING, BIG-HEARTED, BENEVOLENT, FRIENDLY, HOSPITABLE.

 

A kind and gentle attitude brings exhibits tenderness, understanding, thoughtfulness, benevolence and warmth. One of the qualities that is displayed with a bad attitude is coldness. Everyone can feel it when we walk into a room.

 

This is only the tip of the iceberg concerning attitude. There are thousands of books written on the subject. I encourage you to study it for yourself from the bible and other resources. Be the one to make a positive difference in people’s lives everywhere you go. Be thankful and have the attitude of Christ.

Love,

Linda

 

 

Women Making History

March is Women’s History Month. As I thought about it, I realized we are all making history each and every day. We determine much of the history that will be written and told about ourselves. We don’t know the impact we will have on history. The people whose stories are written about in the bible had no idea the impact they would have on history.

There are five women of destiny mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. They are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. I’m sure none of them understood the impact they would have on our lives today. Let’s take a look at their history.

Tamar’s story can be found in Genesis 38:1-26. I won’t get into all the details. You can read the account for yourself. Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah; was barren; was widowed twice; posed as a prostitute; was deceitful; had sex with her father-in-law; conceived a child; his name was Perez; She is mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.

Oftentimes, women feel like they aren’t worth anything if they don’t have children. Tamar didn’t have any children after two husbands. Tamar was deceitful, though she was trying to do something right by getting an heir for her husband. In spite of the sin, she made an impact on history because the child was in the lineage of Jesus. We never know where our actions will take us or who they will impact positively or negatively.

Rahab is the next woman mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy. Her story can be found in Joshua 6:17,22-23, Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:24-26. Rahab was a harlot. She put her faith in God when she heard about the God of the Israelites and what he did for them. She helped the Israelite spies. She was very courageous by doing this and put her life and her family’s life in great danger. Hebrews 11 and James 2 talk about her great faith.

Who would have ever thought that God would have a harlot be in the lineage of Jesus? Rahab never realized the impact her decision would have on us today.

Ruth’s story can be found in the book of Ruth. She was a Moabite. The Moabites were descendants of the incestual relationship Lot had with his daughter. They were a very hedonistic society who worshipped Chemosh. Their worship included sacrificing children, adultery, incest, sorcery and prostitution. She married an Israelite; became a believer; became a widow; took care of her mother-in-law, Naomi; walked in integrity; married Naomi’s relative; bore a child who is in the lineage of Jesus.

Ruth could have been ashamed of her where she came from. She moved forward and embraced the God of Israel. She served faithfully and became a part of our history.

The wife of Uriah is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. Her name is Bathsheba. Her story can be found in 2 Samuel 11 and 1 Kings 1. We don’t know if David forced himself on Bathsheba or if it was mutual consent. I tend to believe it was forced because Bathsheba respected her husband, Uriah. She went through the mourning process before becoming David’s wife. Bathsheba got pregnant from their encounter. David had Uriah killed in battle. The baby died. David and Bathsheba conceived again and had a son named Solomon. Solomon is in the lineage of Jesus

The scriptures indicate that Bathsheba had a good attitude toward David and respected him in spite of the sexual sin and death of their child. Many believe Solomon wrote Proverbs 31 and it is about her.

Can you imagine being a teenager, having an angel appear to you and say you were going to be pregnant with the son of God?  That’s what happened to Mary. She received what the angel said. Obviously, she was a godly girl who knew the Torah. She was waiting for the Messiah to come. I’m sure she never dreamed he would come through her. As Jesus grew she didn’t announce to the world who he was, she pondered it in her heart.

I hope you can see by these lives that God uses people who have a past, are victims, barren, widowed and works through those who are godly. He is no respecter of people. Also, we never know the impact we have on people. Our history is being written now. Ask yourself what kind of history do you want to leave. The decisions you make today will be your history tomorrow. God can and will work with you wherever you are at. Decide to make positive decisions based on God’s word so you can leave a positive history when you leave this planet.

Love Is...

When the Apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, the majority of the description of love tells us what love is not.

I began to think about it. When we think about something in the negative, we tend to get a picture of the negative rather than the positive. For example, if someone told you not to look back while you were walking, what would the temptation be to do? It would take a lot for you not to look back. On the other hand, if someone told you to keep looking forward, then looking forward would be what you would do. The reason you would look forward is because when the person spoke, that’s what you got a picture of in your mind. When they told you not to look back, the picture you got was looking back.

 

As I thought about these two verses, I wanted to get a positive picture of what love is, instead of what it is not. I looked up the words and then found the antonym for the word, so I could have a more positive picture of who I am in Christ based on God is love and he lives in me.

 

When it says “Love is never envious, nor does it boil over with jealousy”, what does that mean? We all deal with envy and jealousy from time to time. How do we get out of it?

 

Content, pleased and admire are antonyms for envious and jealous. In order not to be jealous or envious, we have to be content and pleased with who we are and where we are. (This does not mean we stay there. We must always grow and move forward, not competitively, but because we want to do better.) It also means we admire the person and are pleased for them. Romans 12:15 tells us to

“Rejoice with those who rejoice”.

The next sentence tells us not to be boastful, vainglorious or haughty. If we aren’t those things, we are modest, humble, meek, considerate, courteous, respectful. When you are boastful, vainglorious or haughty, you do not display any of these positive character qualities.

Here is a list of some of the words you could use that would show the positive side.

  • Happy
  • Carefree
  • Considerate
  • Kind
  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Cheerful
  • Pleasant
  • Calm
  • Serene
  • Tranquil
  • Relaxed
  • Self-controlled
  • Peaceful
  • Balanced
  • Stable
  • Satisfied
  • Delightful
  • Content
  • Good
  • Warm
  • Friendly
  • Jolly
  • Helpful
  • Personable
  • Sweet
  • Fun
  • Sympathetic
  • Courteous
  • Gracious
  • Polite
  • Modest
  • Humble
  • Meek
  • Good
  • Faithful
  • Trustworthy
  • Dependable
  • Forgiving
  • Generous
  • Devoted
  • Loving
  • Nice

The list goes on, but I hope you get the picture. It’s who God is and it’s who he made you to be in Christ. Love lives in you and grows as you meditate on him.

You are a lover, You live in God’s word and you don’t get offended (You are pleased, satisfied & honoring.)

 

A lifestyle of Giving

Happy New Year! 2017 will be a great year!  The number 17 in the bible symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory”. I believe this will happen through the power of God and as we can work with him living a life of giving.

What are the two things that many people focus on in January? One is goals. The other is Christmas bills.  At first setting goals can be very motivating. They can be scary too because you don’t want to write anything down that you won’t accomplish or make you feel like more of a failure. It can be discouraging and cause you to pull back from giving. Now is the season to be a real giver and it’s not about only giving money and things. Let it be about giving as a lifestyle. Make a goal to be more of a giver in every area of your life.

Quite often people focus on the benefits of giving and there are many, but they really miss out if that is their focus.

The focus of giving is to be a blessing to others.

What can be more rewarding than bringing other people joy, putting a smile on their face, meeting a need, etc…

While the bills may be rolling in because of the giving you did for Christmas, don’t pull back. When the desire is greatest to pull back from giving is the time we need to give.

Make a decision to have giving be a lifestyle.

Ask the Lord to show you how you can be more of a giver like him. That’s what Christmas is all about. God loved so he gave. Let’s love God so much that we want to be more like him. He is the greatest giver of all time. We have his genes in us if we’ve made Jesus our Lord. As we read the bible we see what a giver he has always been.

2 Corinthians 9 says that God loves, prizes above all things, a prompt-to-do-it giver whose heart is in their giving. I want to be that person. My goal is to become this type of person more and more everyday. My prayer is that you do too.

So while you’re thinking about goals and your bills, join them together to make a goal of being more of a giver. Choose giving as a lifestyle. Ask the Lord to help you be more sensitive to giving of yourself to others spirit, soul, body, financially and socially. Don’t limit your giving to finances or things. Giving as a lifestyle comes in many forms. It’s fun! It’ll bring you joy and bring joy to those you give to.

During the month we will be posting scriptures that I hope will encourage you to move forward in giving as a lifestyle.

God bless you. I pray 2017 is an exceeding abundantly blessed year for you.

He Directs My Goals

he new year is quickly coming upon us. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s important for us to think about our goals for 2017. Don’t wait to throw some things together January 1 and hope they come to pass. Spend time this month praying and seeking God about what he wants to see accomplished in your life.

Ask God for a picture of what he would like you to do. Don’t just come up with something and expect him to bless it. He will show you.

Prov. 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart,  And lean not on your own understanding;

Prov. 3:6  In all your ways acknowledge Him,  And He shall direct your paths.

Prov. 3:7  Do not be wise in your own eyes;  Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

Prov. 3:8  It will be health to your flesh,  And strength to your bones. NKJV

 

It’s about going to God, acknowledging him and him directing our steps.

 

Psa. 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good;  Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Psa. 37:4  Delight yourself also in the LORD,  And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psa. 37:5  Commit your way to the LORD,  Trust also in Him,  And He shall bring it to pass.

As we trust in the Lord, we will feed on his faithfulness. Feeding on his faithfulness, fuels delighting ourselves in him. Then he puts desires in our heart. As he gives us desires, we trust him and he brings it to pass. It’s not about coming up with a desire. It’s about spending time with God and he gives us desires that he brings to pass as we commit our way to him.

John 16:13 tells us that the Holy Spirit leads and guides us into all truth and shows us things to come. He lives in us. He shows us what God wants and he leads us in the way we should go to accomplish it.

 

No matter our age we should have things we want to accomplish and have desires, in spite of what it may be. Problem is over the years, oftentimes, we stop believing and we stop dreaming, we stop having goals. God is eternal. We will always be dicovering new things in him and we will throughout eternity. This means we will always dream, have visions and goals. There will always be new territory for us to discover and to move toward

First we go to the Lord. The next step is writing it down. Habukkak 2:2 tells us to write the vision and make it plain so we can run with it. Writing it down, creates some accountability, especially when we keep it in front of us. When we don’t look at it, it still nags us because we know we have it written somewhere and don’t want to look at it because we don’t want to be accountable to it.

When we don’t write it down, it’s not plain.

Map out the steps the Lord shows you to get to the goal or desire. All the steps may not be revealed all at once, but some of them will be. As you spend time with God and in his word, the Holy Spirit will lead you and God’s word will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Ps.119:105).

If you had a light on your feet it wouldn’t brighten the whole path. It would only lighten the next step. Isaiah 28:10 says that it is a process that happens “line upon line…precept upon precept…here a little, there a little.” Be purposeful about what you do and continually move forward.

Don’t be hasty. Isaiah 28:16 says, “he that believes does not make haste.” In today’s society people want everything right away without effort or taking time. Let it be the like the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare should have won, but he was overconfident and definitely not consistent. The tortoise was consistent. He kept moving forward. He didn’t allow distractions and his flesh to stop him. He stayed in the race, finished the course and won.

1 Corinthians 9 tells us to be like an athlete in training.

1Cor. 9:24  Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win.

1Cor. 9:25 All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.

1Cor. 9:26 So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches.

1Cor. 9:27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. NLT

Head toward the goal with purpose in your steps. Move forward like you are going to win. Have self-control. Keeping your eyes on Jesus the entire time. He is the author and finisher of your faith.

Trust in the Lord. Commit your way to him. He has great plans for your life. He’ll show you the way to bring it to pass.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Weeds

In my last article I talked about not getting entangled in the affairs of this life and how getting offended & sowing strife do just that. They weave a web that is difficult to get out of and choke the life out of us. I would like to continue along the same vein….

2Tim. 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2Tim. 2:2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

2Tim. 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2Tim. 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

2Tim. 2:5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. NKJV

2Tim. 2:14  Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

2Tim. 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2Tim. 2:16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

2Tim. 2:17 And their message will spread like cancer.

2Tim. 2:20  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

2Tim. 2:21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

2Tim. 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

2Tim. 2:23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

2Tim. 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,

2Tim. 2:25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

2Tim. 2:26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. NKJV

Note in verse 24 that Paul refers to “The Servant Of The Lord”

In order to stay free from entanglement, we must see ourselves as servants of Almighty God. God’s servants don’t get involved in arguments or vain babblings, etc. God’s servant is kind, gentle and patient. When we get involved in the wrong kind of talk, we certainly do not exhibit these attributes.

Servants do the bidding of their masters. The word of God shows us the picture of how his servants act. Kindness is the rule when we speak. When we talk our words are pleasant. God’s servants don’t get into strife and do not allow offense in. They do not take up an offense for someone else. Offense is like a cancer that spreads rapidly. It’s like a highly contagious disease that kills the person who has it and everyone they come in contact with. Offense steals the word from our lives.

Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. KJV

It’s The Little Foxes That Spoil The Vine.

Offense doesn’t come in a brightly decorated package with it’s name on it. It’s a little act that bothers you or a small twist in a conversation “that wasn’t so bad”. The problem is if these “little things” remain they are allowed to grow and they become big things. They become something that is difficult to contain or control. Sometimes they become bigger than life.

“Little things” we let go unchecked are like weeds in the garden. Weeds are airborne. They are spores. They go through the air and then land. No one notices at first. When the weed starts peeking out of the ground, most of us are unsure whether it’s a weed or a plant, so we don’t pluck it out. The problem with weeds is that the longer they are in the ground, the stronger their roots get. They are difficult to pull out.

Another interesting fact about weeds is that they are a counterfeit to a plant. They look very much like a plant that may be nearby. You can’t always tell the difference until they are bigger, but then it’s hard to pluck it up by the roots. If you chop it off at the top so it looks like it’s not there, it grows back stronger. Weeds need to be taken out by the root.

Offense Should Be Dealt With At The Root.

What was the real reason you took up an offense? How did you get yourself in a position to be offended? Take God’s word and deal with it until it’s dead. Allow God’s love to control you and to control your thoughts concerning the situation or people involved. Remember, when we get offended it steals the word and steals our faith. As Christians we can’t afford to lose either.

I encourage you to boldly stand on God’s word. Guard your heart with all diligence. Don’t listen to things you shouldn’t. Don’t allow people and situations to get you upset and offended. Let God’s love control you as you hearken diligently to the voice of his word.


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Entangled

Have you ever tried to untangle something?

You did not know how whatever it was got tangled, but untangling it was really difficult. That is what happens when we get involved in strife & offense. It entangles us in situations and things we have a difficult time getting free from. Because we are entangled we are not free to do what God wants us to do.

2 Tim. 2:1 You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Tim. 2:2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

2 Tim. 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2 Tim. 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

2 Tim. 2:5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. NKJV

When soldiers entangle themselves in the affairs of this life, they are unable to perform their duties to the best of their ability because they have lost focus. We have been watching the Olympics. The caliber of the athletes is phenomenal! The effort and sacrifice they endure to go after the prize is incredible, but it is the reason they are able to compete. Simone Biles, of the American gymnastic team, shared how she does not go to proms, dances, other events and parties because she is training. She does not entangle herself with the normal affairs of life because of the goal set before her.

As believers our goal is to please the Father. 2 Timothy 2 goes on to share how this is accomplished.

2 Tim. 2:14  Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

2 Tim. 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Tim. 2:16  But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

2 Tim. 2:17  And their message will spread like cancer. NKJV

2 Tim. 2:14  Remind believers about these things, and warn them in the sight of God not to quarrel over words. Quarreling doesn’t do any good but only destroys those who are listening.

2 Tim. 2:15  Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly.

2 Tim. 2:16  Avoid pointless discussions. People who ∆pay attention to these pointless discussionsπ will become more ungodly,

2 Tim. 2:17  And what they say will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are like that. God’s Word

Striving and quarreling with one another destroys those who are listening.

Getting involved in ungodly conversations spreads like a cancer. It will kill the person talking, the person listening. & it will spread to others. 2 Timothy 2 tells us more.

2 Tim. 2:16 Avoid godless, foolish discussions that lead to more and more ungodliness.

2 Tim. 2:17 This kind of talk spreads like cancer.

2 Tim. 2:20 In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use.

2 Tim. 2:21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.

2 Tim. 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue faith and love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

2 Tim. 2:23  Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.

2 Tim. 2:24 The Lord’s servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people.

2 Tim. 2:25 They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will believe the truth.

2 Tim. 2:26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants. NLT

We keep ourselves pure by pursuing faith, love and peace and having fellowship with people who have pure hearts.

When we strive with others we get entangled in offense which leads to our destruction. We are not to quarrel or strive with others, we are to be kind.

I love Proverbs 31:26 in the New Living Translation, it tells us: “When she speaks her words are wise and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions”. Kindness is the rule when she speaks. When we get offended with people our words are not kind. Oftentimes, we say things we may later regret. The apostle Paul exhorts us to be kind, not to quarrel or strive, but in meekness instruct others.

We are not to talk about others in a negative way.

We should not get into strife with people. Strife steals the word of God from our heart because strife comes as a result of getting offended. When we do not get offended, we do not get in strife or quarrel with people. We find a peaceful way to resolve our differences and we certainly do not talk negatively to others about one another.

Our job, as believers, is to love one another.

Jesus prayed that the world would see our love for each other and then the world would come to know him. Let kindness be the rule when you speak and allow the love of God to control you so others will come into a relationship with the Lord. Do not be entangled with the affairs of this life by talking negatively and saying things you should not say. Be heavenly minded, endure hardship as a good soldier & train like an Olympic athlete. The prize you will receive is much greater than the price.


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What Are You Saying?

Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,  And those who love it will eat its fruit. 

How powerful are our words! What we say can make or break our lives, as well as others. Words come out of our mouth based on what we think about. So speaking and thinking are inseparable. In Matthew 12 Jesus shares this fact with his disciples.

Matt. 12:33  A tree is identified by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad.

Matt. 12:34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

Matt. 12:35 A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart.

Matt. 12:36 And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak.

Matt. 12:37 The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.

Most of us do not consider ourselves to be evil or that our words are evil..

But evil here is referring to anything contrary to God’s word. When we do or say things that don’t correspond with God’s word, He considers it to be evil. In verse 34 we see that our heart determines what we say. The King James version says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

When we think on wrong things, eventually they come out of our mouth. Disciplining the mouth comes through disciplining the mind. What we think about over and over will make all the difference in what we say and do.

Matt. 15:11 You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do.”

Matt. 15:17 Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes out of the body.

Matt. 15:18 But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them. 

Saying words that are contrary to the word of God spoil, tarnish, poison & destroy us.

That’s what defile means! There are simple phrases we can take out of our vocabulary that can start the ball rolling in the right direction… “That’s killing me” “Take care” I’m just dying to go”… Eventually, these words will make a huge difference and if we say them enough, we get programmed to believe them subconsciously. Of course, saying “I’m stupid”, “I’m no good” “I can’t do anything right” destroys any forward motion in our own lives. Those words began with thoughts that we continued to think about.

 


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I have a kind and gentle ATTITUDE

Attitude isn’t everything, but it will definitely make a difference in our outlook on life and it affects every area of our lives.

In a poll done by http://www.1000advices.com/polls/polls.html

People were asked what the key to happiness was. Here were the findings….

WHAT IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS?

  • MENTAL ATTITUDE – 59%
  • LOVE – 23%
  • ACHIEVEMENTS – 8%
  • CREATIVE ACTIVITY – 5%
  • MONEY – 5%

Mental attitude, not things or people, was the key to happiness. It’s all about a state of mind.

Brian Tracy, a personal and business success author, shares this concerning attitude:

  • FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
  • FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION
  • LOOK FOR THE GOOD
  • LOOK FOR THE VALUABLE LESSON

IT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU THAT COUNTS. IT IS HOW YOU REACT TO WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE UNEXPECTED PROBLEMS OF ANY KIND.

DEVELOPING AND MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE HELPS YOU LIVE LONGER. YOU ARE LESS LIKELY TO SHOW SIGNS OF AGING, ARE LESS LIKELY TO BECOME FRAIL, AND ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE STRONGER AND HEALTHIER. NEGATIVE ATTITUDES MAKE YOU WEAKER.

http://www.briantracy.com/blog/personal-success/four-steps-to-a-super-attitude/

The dictionary defines attitude: a settled way of thinking about someone or something. Synonyms are: mental state, mindset, disposition, perspective, point of view, opinion, way of thinking, thoughts, feelings, outlook, approach

Much can be found on the subject of attitude, but the foundation of it can be discovered in the bible.

WHEN WE THINK OF ATTITUDE MOST OF US THINK OF EITHER POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE AND THAT IS TRUE. EVERY ATTITUDE CAN BE PUT INTO EITHER OF THOSE TWO CATEGORIES. I WENT THROUGH THE BIBLE TO FIND WHAT SOME OF THOSE POSITIVE ATTITUDES WERE.

THANKFUL, COMPLIMENTARY, SERVANT, RESPECTFUL, TEACHABLE, KIND, OBEDIENT, PEACEFUL, WILLING, RIGHTEOUS, FLEXIBLE, GENTLE, CONSIDERATE, FRIENDLY, FORGIVING, HUMBLE, SUBMISSIVE, WISE, GRACIOUS, PATIENT….

Since attitude concerns a state of mind, Philippians 4:8 tells us what to think about.

Phil. 4:8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. NLT

In verse 6 Paul tells us not to worry, be anxious or fretful. Instead we should pray and give thanks. Thankful people have good attitudes. Worry, anxiety and fear create negative outlooks. Thankfulness causes us to think on what is good, true, honorable, just, right, excellent and praiseworthy. Thankfulness is a key to a good attitude.

Philippians 2 tells us to have the attitude of Christ which was that of a servant.

Phil. 2:1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic?

Phil. 2:2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose.

Phil. 2:3  Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.

Phil. 2:4 Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.

Phil. 2:5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.

Phil. 2:6 Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.

Phil. 2:7 He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.

Phil. 2:8 And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.

Phil. 2:9 Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name,

Phil. 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Phil. 2:11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus completed his mission because he had the right attitude.

He humbled himself and had the attitude of a servant. He gave himself for others. When we give ourselves for people our focus gets off us and onto others. He positively went out to do his Father’s business. He was able to do this because he knew who he was. He was the son of God. In spite of how it looked, he never lost sight of it and it propelled him into having the attitude of a servant.

As we focus on being a child of God, it’s easy to have the attitude of a servant because we want to please our heavenly Father. Giving is part of God’s character and a part of ours since we are his children. Living a life to serve others fosters a positive attitude.

Joseph’s life found in the book of Genesis, exhibits taking on the attitude of a servant.

Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery. He could have had a bad attitude and not performed well on his job. He could have had a victim mentality. Instead he chose to have the attitude of a servant. He became the best in Potiphar’s house. Then when he was thrown in jail unjustly, he make the right hand man of the jail-keeper. He could have been bitter, but he chose to be better. Let’s allow his attitude to be an example to us.

1 Peter 3:1-6 Peter tells wives that their husbands can be won over by their godly behavior. He discourages focusing on outward beauty and encourages cultivating inner beauty. Let’s look at it God’s Word translation.

1Pet. 3:3   Wives must not let their beauty be something external. Beauty doesn’t come from hairstyles, gold jewelry, or clothes.

Peter tells us that beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude.

He isn’t telling us not to talk. He’s making a statement about attitude. Ladies, let’s face it, we create the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter where. It could be at the office, at home, school, out with others, wherever….If we have a bad attitude, everyone knows it. They can feel it and it screams when we walk into a room. When we have a gentle, quiet attitude, we bring peace and happiness to others.

Let’s look at the definitions and synonyms for these two words.

Gentle – having a mild and kind nature or manner; having a gracious and honorable manner

Vt – to cause somebody to become less agitated by means of words or actions

KIND, TENDER, SYMPATHETIC, CONSIDERATE, UNDERSTANDING, COMPASSIONATE, GOOD-NATURED, MERCIFUL, SWEET-TEMPERED

Kind – having a generous, warm, compassionate nature; showing generosity or compassion; not harsh, unpleasant, or likely to have destructive effects; showing courtesy or caring about somebody; full of love 

GOOD-NATURED, WARM-HEARTED, CARING, AFFECTIONATE, LOVING, WARM, CONSIDERATE, HELPFUL, THOUGHTFUL, UNSELFISH, COMPASSIONATE, ATTENTIVE, UNDERSTANDING, BIG-HEARTED, BENEVOLENT, FRIENDLY, HOSPITABLE

A kind and gentle attitude brings exhibits tenderness, understanding, thoughtfulness, benevolence and warmth.

One of the qualities that is displayed with a bad attitude is coldness. Everyone can feel it when we walk into a room.

This is only the tip of the iceberg concerning attitude. There are thousands of books written on the subject. I encourage you to study it for yourself from the bible and other resources. Be the one to make a positive difference in people’s lives everywhere you go. Be thankful and have the attitude of Christ.

 
 

CONFESSION

My beauty comes from within and expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which is precious to God.

1Pet. 3:4 Rather, beauty is something internal that can’t be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious.


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God Loves Me

 
 

February, the month of LOVE!!!! Of course, we focus on our love for our loved ones,  but in order to really love them it takes meditation on God’s love to do it best. Recently, while meditating on God’s love, I realized I do not believe what I say I do. I am growing in the knowledge of God’s love for me and know I will throughout eternity because God is love and He is eternal. I’ve come to a new place of revelation that was eye-opening for me. We sing songs from the bible that say, “God’s love is better than life” or “A day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else.” If I truly believed this, then I wouldn’t get so upset when things don’t go my way in a relationship because my relationship with God would mean more to me than anything. 

Over the years I have allowed the rejections I have experienced to get to me.

There were times I felt paralyzed. I would fight with myself about reaching out to others because I did not want to experience another rejection. I knew the right things to tell myself, but wasn’t believing them in my heart. This was causing a downward spiral that was getting the best of me. I knew the right things to do, but wasn’t acting on them the way I should. It takes a lot of diligence to move upstream, but the river is taking you downstream. I allowed the negative thoughts to be in the forefront of my mind.

I did Dr. Caroline Leaf’s Brain Detox Program.

It gave me the practical tools to do what I needed. Each day as I did the program, the Holy Spirit would minister different scriptures to help bring healing. Scriptures concerning God’s love for me flooded my mind. I began to meditate on them. Some of them were scriptures I meditated on years ago, but wasn’t using them the way I did in the past. The truth of God’s word really does set us free.

Knowing God’s love for me in a deeper way has helped me tremendously.

I’m reaching out to people even when the temptation is there not to. I feel like I have new life and I do because he gives us life abundantly!!! God’s mercies are new every morning! Great is his faithfulness!

I hope as you read this you are encouraged. As you meditate on the weekly scriptures, they will give you greater revelation of God’s love for you. Always keep in mind that “the Father himself tenderly loves and cares for you.” John 16:27

 
 

CONFESSION 

GOD’S LOVE IS BETTER TO ME THAN LIFE!

Psa. 63:3 Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! 


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God First

 
 

ANY OF US AT A GIVEN MOMENT CAN FEEL GUILTY & CONDEMNED WHEN SOMEONE SHARES GOD’S WORD. ALWAYS LISTEN & THINK...

WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE?

WHAT CAN I TAKE AWAY FROM THIS MESSAGE?

DON’T THINK…I’LL NEVER MEASURE UP.

DON’T THINK….I CAN’T DO IT.

DON’T THINK…I’LL NEVER MAKE IT.

DON’T THINK WHOEVER IS SPEAKING HAS IT ALL TOGETHER. MOST OF THE TIME THEY ARE SPEAKING TO THEMSELVES.

THOSE KINDS OF THOUGHTS WON’T GET US ANYWHERE. 

SOMETIMES PEOPLE TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME OR HOW I MISSED IT. SOMETIMES THEY ARE RIGHT & OTHER TIMES THEY ARE MOSTLY WRONG. INSTEAD OF DEFENDING MYSELF, I WOULD THANK THEM FOR TELLING ME AND ASK THE LORD TO SHOW ME WHAT I NEEDED TO CHANGE OR IMPROVE ON CONCERNING THESE THINGS, INSTEAD OF BEING CONDEMNED.

WE ARE ALL AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF LIFE AND SHOULD LOOK TO OTHERS THAT ARE BETTER THAN US AT SOMETHING TO SEE HOW WE CAN IMPROVE & HELP THOSE WHO WANT IT TO GET BETTER, BUT NEVER TO CONDEMN OURSELVES OR OTHERS FOR WHERE WE ARE NOT.

WITH ALL THAT BEING SAID, WE CAN TALK ABOUT PUTTING GOD FIRST.

SOME OF US THINK GOD IS FIRST IN OUR LIVES AND SOME REALIZE HE IS NOT. MY OPINION IS THAT IT’S A LIFELONG QUEST. EVERYDAY OF OUR LIVES AS WE PUT MORE AND MORE TRUST IN HIM WE MAKE GOD FIRST PLACE IN OUR LIVES.

PUTTING GOD FIRST ISN’T ABOUT GETTING UP AND PRAYING, ALTHOUGH IT HELPS.

PUTTING GOD FIRST, ISN’T ABOUT GOING TO CHURCH, ALTHOUGH IT HELPS.

PUTTING GOD FIRST, ISN’T ABOUT DOING GOOD THINGS FOR OTHERS, ALTHOUGH IT HELPS.

IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING BAPTIZED, OR PRAYING IN TONGUES, OR SEEING MIRACLES HAPPEN WHEN WE PRAY FOR PEOPLE, OR GETTING PRAYERS ANSWERED.

IT’S ALL ABOUT HEART. HEART ISN’T SOMETHING THAT CAN BE TAUGHT, BUT IT CAN BE CAUGHT. IT’S HAVING AN INCREASING APPETITE FOR GOD AND EVERYTHING ASSOCIATED WITH HIM.

WE DEVELOP A HUNGER & THIRST FOR GOD.

Matt. 5:6 - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,   For they shall be filled.
Psa. 42:1 - As the deer pants for streams of water,   so my soul pants for you, O God. 

HOW DO WE DEVELOP THIS HUNGER AND THIRST FOR GOD?

WE DO IT JUST LIKE WE DEVELOP A TASTE FOR SOMETHING TO EAT. WHEN ROBB & I GOT MARRIED. I DID NOT LIKE CHOCOLATE AND HE WAS A CHOCOHOLIC. I MADE CHOCOLATE DESSERTS FOR HIM AND KEPT CHOCOLATE AROUND THE HOUSE FOR HIM. EVENTUALLY, I BEGAN TO TASTE IT. I DEVELOPED A TASTE FOR CHOCOLATE. I DON’T EAT IT VERY OFTEN, BUT I DON’T DISLIKE IT THE WAY I USED TO. 

OVER THE HOLIDAYS BUTTER COOKIES ARE EVERYWHERE AND I REALLY LIKE THEM. MOST OF THE TIME, I HARDLY EAT ANY SUGAR, BUT COME DECEMBER I EAT MORE THAN USUAL BECAUSE I LIKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES. I DEVELOP A TASTE FOR SUGAR. WHEN CHRISTMAS IS OVER, I HAVE TO FIGHT MY FLESH TO NOT EAT SOMETHING WITH SUGAR IN IT, IF I’VE BEEN EATING A LOT OF GOODIES. IT’S ALL BECAUSE I DEVELOPED MORE OF A TASTE FOR IT.

CONCERNING OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE, IT’S SIMILAR. THE MORE WE GET TO KNOW SOMEONE BY SPENDING TIME WITH THEM, THE MORE WE LIKE THEM AND THE MORE WE WANT TO BE WITH THEM. WE MISS THEM WHEN WE CAN’T BE WITH THEM.

IT’S THE SAME IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD. THE MORE TIME WE PUT IN TALKING TO HIM AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT HIM AND DOING WHAT HE WANTS, THE MORE WE WANT OF HIM. WE BEGIN TO “HUNGER AND THIRST FOR HIM”. WE DESIRE TO BE WITH HIM. WE LOOK FORWARD TO ANY TIME WE HAVE TOGETHER.

PUTTING GOD FIRST BEGINS WITH GIVING MORE TIME AND THOUGHT TO WHO GOD IS.

IT’S ABOUT GETTING TO KNOW HIM BETTER. IT’S ABOUT BEING TRANSPARENT WITH HIM AND HIM WITH US. IT’S ALLOWING HIM TO CUT AWAY THINGS THAT HINDER OUR RELATIONSHIP. ALWAYS KEEPING IN MIND THAT PUTTING GOD FIRST IS A LIFELONG QUEST. WE GROW IN IT STEP BY STEP.

MY PRAYER IS THAT EACH ONE OF US WOULD TAKE STEPS THAT DRAW US CLOSER TO GOD EACH AND EVERYDAY. I KNOW THAT’S WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE IN MY LIFE…

 
 

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To Goal Or Not To Goal...

 
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With the onset of a new year, goals are something that are on everyone’s mind.

A sad fact is that only 3% of Americans have written goals. Less than 1% review & rewrite their goals on a daily basis. Every article I have read concerning goal setting states that the power of goal setting is in writing them down and reviewing them regularly. This is a scriptural principle.

Habakkuk 2:2 tells us to write the vision and make it plain so we can run with it.

97% of you reading this do not have written goals. Over the years, sad to say, I have been in the 97%. There have been times when I wrote down goals, but I never reviewed them and pushed them aside for different reasons. I am sorry that it’s been that way for me. I know it would have helped me be more focused and I would have accomplished more.

This year is going to be different. I’m writing my goals and am putting reminders on my phone so that I look at them. I know this is not going to be easy since it never has been my habit. I am excited to see what God is going to do as I get up the nerve to write them down and share them with my husband and others. Telling others helps us to be accountable to someone for what we want to accomplish. We become vulnerable.

There are a number of reasons I haven’t written goals in the past. Fear is the biggest factor for me. Fear of failure. This is a silly reason. Isn’t better to have written them and tried to accomplish something, than to not have tried at all? At least writing goals down points me in a direction.

You might be thinking you don’t have to write them down because they are in your head.

WRONG! There are so many thoughts going through our mind, our goals get lost in the shuffle. Staying focused on the goal doesn’t usually happen when they are not written down. I can certainly attest to that.

Another reason I didn’t write down goals was that I didn’t understand how to or why I should. Of course, I never tried to learn how to or why I should. I even thought I was different. I didn’t have to. I wasn’t one of those people who fit in the non-accomplishment category. It was a foolish thought. I could never look back and see what I had written down and say, “I did it.” It’s a great sense of accomplishment to see a finished project that was planned. Most of the time I would look back at my year and see things I did that were good, but it didn’t give me the enjoyment of finishing what I set out to do.

There are many more reasons I could site for why I didn’t write down my goals. I will share one last thought about why…. I felt like the “Goal Thing”, as I called it was, being abused. I saw people talk about goals that I judged thinking they hadn’t gotten their plan from the Lord. I was under the pressure of trying to perform or outperform someone else. Rather than writing down and pursuing what I thought God wanted from me, I didn’t focus on anything. Sometimes we throw out the baby with the bath water.

I hope my transparency has been helpful to you. I want to encourage you to write some goals. Don’t make so may that you won’t accomplish anything. You might want to try starting with a couple and adding more on as the year progresses. The new goals would have different timelines for finishing. Do something that is manageable so you can have a sense of accomplishment. Once you do, I’m sure you’ll wonder, like me, why it took so long for you to start.

HAPPY GOAL-SETTING!

 
 

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Listening to the Holy Spirit

Did you ever think you were supposed to do something & you didn’t?

Has the Lord ever spoken to you about something minor and you dismissed it?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. There have been a number of times when a thought came to me to go in a particular direction, call someone, do something now, etc. and I didn’t do it.

For example, one day I was driving home from downtown and the thought came into my head to take the Dan Ryan Expressway vs. Interstate 55. I took I-55 because it was the way I usually take. There was a lot of traffic. What should have taken me 35-40 minutes took me an hour and a half!!!! I never checked to see what traffic was like on the Dan Ryan, but I’m sure Holy Spirit was trying to show me a better way. Obviously, this wasn’t a life threatening decision, but it could’ve been. Sometimes the Lord reroutes us in order for us to avoid an accident. We never know what could have happened had we gone another way, but God does. We only need to listen and obey.

When I go shopping for people, I always pray and ask the Lord to lead me to the right item for the person and for a good price. He always comes through for me. Before I started praying, I did not enjoy shopping. I would go from store to store thinking I would discover something better at the next store and leave the mall empty-handed.

God cares about everything in our lives.

He cares about the little things. As we listen when He tells us something minor, it is training to hear and obey concerning the big decisions in life. Each step in life leads to another. Oftentimes, we do not understand how little steps prepare us for big ones.

Think about a baby. When a baby begins to walk, they take small steps, are not stable and kind of waddle from side to side. The more they walk the more proficient they get at it, until the time comes when they are balanced and fast. It takes practice. The muscles have to be used. When they are used it becomes natural for the muscles. It is no longer a consciously learned response.

It is the same concerning listening to the Lord.

He is always talking to us. He doesn’t speak loud. He is a gentleman. His voice is soft and clear. The other voices in our head are usually loud. God doesn’t get down on us when we don’t listen. He encourages us to listen next time.

Hebrews 5:12-14 tells us that as we use God’s word our senses get exercised to discern good from evil. Following the Lord takes practice. As we follow we get better at listening and then our actions follow.

-- Linda Thompson


CONFESSION 

The Holy Spirit leads and guides me into all the truth and shows me things to come.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. - John 16:13


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Love Of The Father

Love Of The Father

In the USA we celebrate Father’s Day the third Sunday of the month. As with Mother’s Day, it can have good and bad connotations. The picture we have of our earthly father normally gives us the picture we have of our heavenly Father. It is important for us to observe what God our Father looks like through the eyes of his word. He is loving, kind and only wants the best for us.

Knowing God's Love

Knowing God's Love

At the beginning of the year, I began meditating on God’s love. I realized I do not believe what I say I do. We sing songs from the bible that say, “God’s love is better than life” or “A day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else.” If I truly believed this, then I wouldn’t get so upset when things don’t go my way in a relationship, because my relationship with God would mean more to me than anything.

Making New Goals

Making New Goals

A new year marks a time for making new goals. We see it everywhere. Did you know that the Bible encourages us to have goals? The Bible is filled with God’s goals, plans, & purposes for us and for our future with him. It’s important to keep his goals in front of us so we can accomplish his will for our lives and his will in the earth. As we reach our goals, it inspires others to reach theirs.