Monday, April 30, 2012

you shouldn't say that...

"Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment." Proverbs 10:13

Recently my child and i had an embarrassing conversation.  It went like this...
"I saw Terrie today; didn't you say she ignores you now?"
"Yes, but I hope you didn't say that to her."
"Well, not directly, but i made the comment to the person with her, how a true friend is a friend at all times."
"That was not a very Christian thing to do."

OUCH! How that rod hurts!

And right she was... it was an unchristian thing to say.  Although my words were true, they were blurted with unkind intentions.  A truth i know for sure, God is constantly teaching me lessons through others.  Many days I  come up short, stumbling and choking on sand trying to follow Him.  Frustrating and embarrassing for me -- but of little surprise to our Father.  He knows e-v-e-r-y thought and motive. Thanks be to God, He faithfully continues to pick me up. 

 Lord, i pray You do whatever You must to keep my focus on You and Your Will, and not my personal petty picks.  Thank You for loving me enough to pop me on the back or to step on my mouth and foot when necessary.

have a kind-filled day!


Friday, April 27, 2012

can you guess the word?

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”  Ephesians 2:8

Propped on my keyboard was an index card with the following information:  adj. – protected from diseased naturally or by vaccination – producing immunity, protected, guarded, safe – free; exempt.  What kind of message was this?  Was I suppose to guess the word?  I know it, do you?

As a Christian, we can claim all the benefits above in the name of Jesus Christ.  We are protected from death by being vaccinated from sin in the love, grace and mercy provided us by God. By belonging to Him, He protects, guards and keeps us safe from others and ourselves… we are free and exempt from sin thanks to Jesus.

The back of the card identified the word as “immune”, my heart identified it as  “Christ”.  What do you think?

…you have been set FREE from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 6:22-23 Thank you, God!!

Have a thank-filled day!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

a Mighty Word

"Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Lord, How easy it is to be distressed, shaken, downcast or depressed with all that is surrounding me.  But because of You, and You alone, i KNOW joy and peace.  You are far greater and stronger than any obstacle i will ever face.

Whatever, whenever, wherever... we can give thanks and be joyful in our Father.  He will and can sustain us through anything.

have a peace-filled day!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the smell will tell

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Smelling like a pickle factory, i questioned if i’d made the correct choice. I read recently it was possible to improve hair issues by using a homemade vinegar rinse after shampooing.  But the tip didn’t specify if a clear rinse was necessary after the vinegar rinse.  Thanks to my decision, i am sporting a new fragrance… Eau De vinegarite.  It’s an aroma i do not recommend.

Getting many things done correctly, requires reading, understanding and following directions.  Sometimes we are given wonderful directions and sometimes not.  Same is true for believers desiring to reflect Christ-like behavior…  we need thorough directions.  Thanks be to God, His Word provides clear and concise guidelines on how to live for Him.  Reading His Word and acting accordingly, prevents us from stinking up the place around us.  Lord, I want to exude an aroma that attracts others to You and not repel.   Help me pass on Your sweet fragrance with my words and actions.

Have a sweet-filled day!


Monday, April 23, 2012

what a mistake!

And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

The note was short -- “can you use other side? made a mistake.” What amounted to a big mistake for her was a gold nugget for the Media Center.   We loved getting the several hundred typo sheets since we thrive on recycled paper for our printers… and our stack was nil. Her mistake equaled perfect timing for us.

God, sometimes i feel like a mistake… making bad decisions, acting selfishly, speaking angrily.  Oh, how i wonder how You put up with me!  What good am i riddled with such sin? Don't You just want to toss me out? Yet, i do believe Your Holy Word and trust i am still a work in progress.  I rest in the fact You will never leave me nor quit working in me.  Thank You for not letting anything go to waste, even mistakes.  Thank you for helping me share what we go through together to give strength, wisdom and hope to others.  You truly use everything for the good and for Your glory.

Have a forgiven-filled day!


Friday, April 20, 2012

i don't just need a rock, but The Rock

Everyone should be quick to listen, s-l-o-w to speak and s-l-o-w to become angry.”  James 1:19

If a rock had been in the room, i would have slithered underneath it like a bug.  Papers flying out of the printer yelled out “unauthorized” user.  Looking up there was one student at the computers.  I scolded her for the heap of wasted sheets, but she denied it being hers.  My insistence grew as her denial did.  Finally, my co-worker provided a different, rational reason for the illegitimate copies.  Slowly and surely, i realized i was wrong.  I had flapped my accusing tongue in front of the innocent student and others … including God.

Lord, help me to slow down and not jump to conclusions.  Oh, how I desire for You to be the only Rock i need in my life... and one to cling to and not hide under.  An apology to her was a start in erasing my embarrassment, but the foolishness of it lingers like smelly humble pie.  Thank you, Father, for your loving and stern reminder to speak s-l-o-w-l-y and to listen to others better.

have a care-filled day!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

a Mighty Word

“They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.  Immediately He spoke to them and said,Take courage!  Don’t be afraid.’ Then He climbed in the boat with them…”  Mark 6:49-51

Are you in the middle of a storm? Be not afraid, trust He is in the boat with you too.

have a thank-filled day!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

do you use a cover sheet?

"Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity..." Ephesians 5:15

Temptation to cheat is no greater than in the classroom during testing.  To discourage cheating, cover sheets are a common school tool.  Recently i laminated some for a class.  While all the students had individualized their cover sheet with beautiful,colorful drawings, one caused my jaw to drop.  The picture was marked vividly with tears, pain and blood.  The cover sheet appeared to be covering up much more than test material.

Lord, we can't always prevent others from cheating, but we can be attentive to the needs and pain in their life.  Give us the strength, wisdom and gentleness to uncover the truth of ones in our care and minister to them.  Through the laughter and smiles, help us to LISTEN FOR THE CRIES.  May we be ready to respond in honesty, love and action.

have a watch-filled day!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

a Mighty Word

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-23

Know this:  Old habits restore the old you, keep the new you alive and active by keeping your thoughts and eyes on Him.

have a refreshing-filled day!

Monday, April 16, 2012

beware... there is an expiration date

"All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be... Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:16,23-24

Those who know me best, probably had a big laugh reading today's title, since expiration dates don't faze me much.  I've been known to keep items in the refrigerator until they turn into hairy green monsters.  The question most asked in my kitchen is "how old is this?"  I've tried to explain penicillin comes from mold, so just cut off the green and it's fine; now they remind me i've had a brain tumor and it's probably due to expired food.  I believe we are both a little right, and a little wrong.

What impact do expiration dates have on you?  Likely in regards to food, a significant amount.  How about your personal expiration?  Our days too are numbered, but only God knows the exact count.  All we know for sure is we each have an expiration date.   

Lord,  I don't want to end up a hairy, green monster at the end of my life.  Help me to live each day as if it were my last... full of thanksgiving for You and grace and goodness for all in my path.  When i expire, i desire to be found in Your Presence with singing and joy.

have a living-filled day!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

are you still in the boat?

"Come," He said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"   Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?"  Matthew 14:29‑31

We are all called to step out of the boat ‑ out in our faith.  The stark realization is faith is not a one‑time process.  You don’t simply "get it" and check it off your list... it is a continuous life process.  The initial step is simple stepping out of the comfort of our boat... of what we know and trust.  Next, is putting our eyes on Him so we can walk on the waters of life, which can be dark, murky, rough and deep.  Third, is maintaining our focus on Him as the unexpected winds/temptations/trials in life come our way, as they inevitably will.  Even a sheer glance away from our Lord and Master is long enough for the waves of life to engulf us in fear, doubt or unbelief.

Where are you?  Don’t get stuck in the boat or have a "sinking" spell.  Take a walk out in faith.  It’s a matter of keeping our focus on Him.  Go on, do it.  He’s out there waiting to show you something incredible.

Have a faith‑filled day!

Friday, April 13, 2012

we've got a new brother!

"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings..." Isaiah 52:7

With quick, determined steps, Ms. Kindly walked straight to me with her student tucked closely by her side.  Reaching me, she turned to him and said, “Now tell her what you did.”  My heart froze.  Had he dropped a book in the tub, had his dog chewed it or his younger brother marked in it?   With smiling, sky blue saucer-eyes, Sammy announced, “I asked Jesus into my heart last night.”  For a brief instant, i was distress my initial thoughts were unpleasant incidents, when what he had to share was the greatest news of all!

Thank you, Jesus, for the sweet surprises of hope and encouragement You sprinkle in my life.  Thank you for the beauty of the feet of those who boldly go forth to share the good news of the gospel and the good news of Your mighty works.  Please do not let me be tainted by this world in expecting bad news, when the GOOD NEWS of Your love and grace FAR exceeds any news this world can dish out.

Have an AMEN-filled day!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

a Mighty Word

He determine the number of the stars and call them each by name.”  Psalm 147:4

If He knows the names of each star, He surely knows your name too.
Thank You, Father, for Your undeniable love and grace.

have a rejoice-filled day!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

why are you crying?

"...she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that is was Jesus.  'Woman, He said, 'why are you crying?'...Thinking He was the gardener, she said, 'Sir tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him.'  Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned toward Him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!'" John 20:14-16

When the pain is too deep...
When the hurt is unending...
When the doubt escalates to alienation...
When the fear eats you alive from the inside out...
When the hatred paralyzes love...
When the loneliness echoes, "nothing more"...
When the hopelessness sucks the life out of you...
When the threat turns into reality...
When the anger rules your heart...
When the whys return silent answers...
When the tears know no end...

Stop and listen.
He is calling your name. Turn to Him, and be filled with His Peace.  You will be okay.

have a calm-filled day!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a Mighty Word

Jesus said…
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”  Matthew 28:18-19

What “nation” you are serving?
School, home, the office, committee group, church, your neighborhood, your community, etc. 
We have an opportunity to serve many nations for Him right where we are.

Have a telling-filled day!


Monday, April 9, 2012

the morning after...

“HE HAS RISEN!”  Mark 16:6

“But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three – sin, guilt, death – are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!” 1 Corinthians 15:17

It’s the morning after Easter, and for me, it’s the greatest day of absolute peace due to the vivid reminder of God’s love and gift for us.   For the sins that constantly splatter up in my life, for the guilt of a wrongful attitude, for the loss of my Mother and other loved ones, Easter provides a sense of peace that only He can instill.

How do you feel this morning after Easter about His gift?  Some refuse to believe it or accept it.  Some question it or accept it reluctantly, hiding it from others.  Others believe it and openly accept it joyously.

Consider the Giver, His motives are pure, sincere and strictly love-driven.  If you aren’t accepting your salvation with 100% joy, then maybe you need to ask yourself the following the question.  Where do you get your worth from… the world or from our Father?  Your answer will determine if and how well you accept His free gift of salvation.  Yes, it cost Jesus His life, but to Him you are so worth it!

Have a glory-filled day!


Friday, April 6, 2012

a Mighty forgiveness

"When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified Him, along withe criminals... Jesus said, 'Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'" Luke 23:34

That beating Jesus took, He took it for you and for me.  And then, He forgave His accusers.

Forgiveness... what God gives to all of us with grace and unconditional love.  
How much more should we be able to extend forgiveness to others in our life?  Father, help me to have a heart more like Yours.

have a thank-filled day!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

the deadline is near

Jesus said - "... Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." Matthew 25:34

I shuttered, in 3 days my proposal was due.  Do you know that sense of panic? Deadlines, we all face them. No matter how much time we prepare, during those final days and hours, we can still find ourselves with much to do as the seconds tick by. At that point a sense of urgency kicks in and propels us into warp speed to finish the job.

Jesus found Himself with such a deadline... the one concerning His time on earth. Knowing His last few days were at hand, He unleashed many lessons to those around Him. To His followers, He encouraged them to choose rightly and righteously. To His critics, the religious leaders, He scolded them for misguiding His sheep. To the unbelievers, He gave warnings. He talked about being ready and watchful. And He instilled in them the hope of things to come. To Jesus losing His life was to gain... to gain and bear all our sins so we, as believers, may be with Him for eternity in paradise.  Thank you, Jesus!

have a thank-filled day!