Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thought for Dec. 7th

"So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows."~~Matthew 10:31

If the Lord cares for the birds and even knows the number of hairs on our heads, we never have any reason to question our value to Him.  Yet, we do.  We allow our circumstances to determine the way we think the Lord feels about us.  We believe the lie that since life is difficult, He must not care about us.  The enemy of our soul revels when we fall into this trap.

We continue in the enemies deception when we say, "I can't help the way we feel."  The truth is, we can.  Our feelings are determined by our thought patterns and what we choose to dwell on there.  It's the reason we're told to capture all our thoughts and bring them into obedience to the Lord.

When we line our thoughts up to God's truth, then we actually change the way we feel.  We gain His view on what is happening in our lives.  The truth is:  the Lord values us and proved it.  Of all His creation, we're the only one He created in His image and sent His one and only Son to die for our salvation.  We have no reason to fear, so may we live in this truth!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thought for Dec. 6th

"You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever."~~Psalm 16:11

In this short verse three promises have been bestowed to us.  It's the Lord's desire for us to see them, to want them, and to seek after them.

1)  The path of Life
2)  Fullness of Joy
3)  Pleasures Forever

Here they are made known to us, but they become our reality when we seek to be in the presence of the Lord.  He wants us to pursue Him.  He yearns for a relationship with us but will not force us to want one with Him.

The truth is, whatever depth we seek to have with Him, He freely gives it to us.  If we seek a shallow relationship with Him, we will get it.  However, if we desire one that is filled with knowing and being known, we will get it too.  The deepness and richness of our relationship with the Lord is entirely up to us.

He promises so much when we seek Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, but we only receive that which we seek after.

What are you seeking with Him today?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jesus, may I?

Ever play the game, "Mother, May I?"  It's usually played during recess and when I was little tended to be the favorite game for the girls.  One girl stood a distance away being "mother" and gave the instructions to the others. You responded by asking, "Mother, may I?" The object of the game was to be the first one to reach "mother".

It never occurred to me at that time in my life that "mother" actually controlled who reached her first and won the game.  I just remember the sense of pain and disappointment stirring within me every time I lost.

I see now that it was another situation in my life when I anticipated the possibility of a happy ending that only turned out to be just another time of being kept at arms length from others.  I had no clue that each time I lost it reenforced a deep root of rejection within my soul.

Oftentimes we buy into lies that we believe apply to the Lord's view of us, too.  However, Scriptures make it abundantly clear that His ultimate goal is to bring us into a close and intimate relationship with Himself.  Lies block us from seeing the truth about how the Lord really feels about us.  

Jesus invites us to come to Him, so that He can provide us with the rest we need (Matthew 11:28). When we draw near to Him, He instantly draws near to us (James 4:8). If we seek the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, we will find Him (Matthew 22:37). A confession of our sins guarantees His faithful forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  We receive peace when we sleep in the safety of His protection (Psalm 4:8).  

Jesus' instructions always bring us toward Him. Will we respond with, "Jesus, may I?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Get What's Planted

We bought a farm.  An acre of land surrounded by fields.  Last year the other farmers around us planted soybean, and this year it's corn.  When it's time for them to harvest this year, they will reap corn.

The other day, we went out to our garden to pull what we planted.  We have produced an abundance of zucchini, squash, and tomatoes.  Though a smaller crop, we also have watermelons and pumpkins, too.

The fact that we reaped the fruits and vegetables we planted months ago reminded me of Paul's encouraging words in Galatians 6:9 when he said, "Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

Seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control harvest these characteristics in our life and heart.  They come because of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.  When we extend grace, mercy, and forgiveness toward others, our returns will be the same.  

Maybe not always from the same people, but good seeds produces healthy fruit. So as we plant these seeds into the lives of others, we can definitely expect this kind of harvest when the timing is just right.  We do reap what we sow, because God promises that He is not mocked.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Want to Love Others?

Love flows from a heart that has first learned to receive the love of God and give it back to Him.  Loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind is key to loving others.  If it wasn't, then why did Jesus, the Son of God, instruct us in this way?

You see, when asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus responded by telling us to love the Lord with everything we've got. (Matthew 22:37) We can't do that if we are unwillingly to receive His love for us first.

The Lord loves us.  These may be words we say, but do we believe it?  Do we truly comprehend His love for us?  Do we realize that we manifest the Lord when we love like Him, and we can't do that if we've withheld ourselves from first receiving His love.  We love like Him when we believe Him about His love for us.

We can truly love others when the love of Jesus has been born within us.  His love is patient, kind, not rude, not arrogant, or not self-seeking.  His love believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. His love never fails.

We can love like this when we learn to truly abide in His love for us.  His love can then flow from us to others.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How Do You Spell RELIEF?

When I read this on Facebook recently, it took me back to a time in my life not too long ago when I use to seek comfort from others by pouring out my woes over and over again to them.  I didn't seem to understand that no matter how willing they listened, the pain remained when my sharing finished.

I realize now that the person listening at the time did care about me, but they couldn't erase my pain.  My talking only provided temporary relief for that moment, but when alone again, the problem still loomed heavily over me.

However, several years ago, it finally dawned on me that I needed to break this unhealthy pattern in my life.  The Lord revealed to me that the reason my talking brought no healing was because I expected other humans to solve my hurt.  One can barely handle their own emotional wounds let alone someone else's.

When I understood this, a veil came off of my heart.  I saw Jesus inviting me into His open arms and lap. He assured me that He wanted to be near me even when I didn't react properly to a situation.  He didn't require me to get my act together first.  Instead He reminded me to bring all my fears, anger, hurts, and disappointments to Him.  Not only could He handle my problems, but He could bring about a solution too.

I love and appreciate all my friends.  They are beautiful sisters who have extend the same grace and mercy they have received back to me.  Many of them are still willing to journey with me through the ups and downs of life.

What I realize though is that it's important for every answer to point us back to Jesus.  He is in the business of making something beautiful from our ashes. Temporary relief from someone's listening ear is a nice gift, but praise the Lord for the One who satisfies entirely!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Words of Healing

It's been several years ago, but the impact of that moment remains with me forever.  I sat in Starbucks with a dear friend, pouring out the deep hurts oozing from my heart.  The loss of a friendship that came with painful words and unkind actions left me reeling.  When I shared my struggle about wondering whether I had much to offer, she grabbed a 3 x 5 index card from my Bible and wrote the following message:
The spelling error adds the uniqueness of this card!
It took some time for me to grasp the full truth of these words.  As I read it over and over, I began to think of all the people that messed us in the Scriptures.  David called a man after God's own heart.  Abraham referred to as God's  friend.  Paul once a murderer of Christians becoming a great evangelist of his day.  Peter the one who denied Jesus and later dies for Him.

I began to realize that if God could transform their willing hearts, He could do it for me too.

In time, I came to appreciate the friends that loved me over the years with all my quirks.  They have strived with me to reach toward my full potential.  They helped me along the way and were instrumental in pointing me toward the truth.  It was through their commitment to me that I finally believed God and begin to appreciate the person He made me to be.

Yes, we can look to the Lord for our acknowledgment and restoration.  He is pleased to do it!  

Thankfully, it also please Him to send Himself in the package of His children who willing extend the grace and mercy they received toward others.

Pleasing Him needs to be our goal, and when it is, there IS freedom!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not My Shoes

We think we know.  Maybe we actually want to know.  Reality is, we can't even begin to understand what it means to walk or live in the shoes of others. They will never quite fit. Frankly, they aren't meant to fit.  They aren't our shoes.

So much damage is done by our words and actions when we make judgments about others.  I can't even count on two hands the times I ended up finding out I placed my foot in my mouth because of my wrong conclusions.  Many relationships have been destroyed due to an unwillingness to give another person the benefit of the doubt.

What would life be like if we actually learned to keep our shoes on and walk beside others while they walk in theirs instead of trying to put theirs on?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

We Are the Church

      Finishing up Beth Moore's study, "Believing God" proved to be a great decision.  After teaching what we needed to believe about the Lord and ourselves, she took us on a journey down memory lane in a way I never traveled before.  She had us take our age and divide it by five.  My age meant looking at it in ten year spans, adding a couple more to the last fifth age period.  The common question in each age category she asked us to examine:  "Who spiritually influenced your life during this time?"

     The first ten years of my life, my father faithfully brought me to church.  It was a beautiful building, but I remember always feeling empty and yearning for answers never given through the sermons.  Something was missing, but I had no idea what.  I don't wish to make mention of the denomination, because I know that my experience happens in every denomination.  However, for the first tens years, I believe I walked into a building called "church", but don't believe it was the church Jesus commissioned His disciples to form when He said, "Go into the all world and make disciples".  Nevertheless, those first ten years provided a foundation for me to be open to the gospel when it finally came into my life at fifteen.
(Photo just for blog.  Know nothing about this quaint place.)
     In second decade of my life, the Lord brought ALL those significant people that had the greatest impact on my spiritual journey.  It is because of their influences that today I believe God is who He says He is, God can do what He says He can do, I am who God says I am, I can do all things through Christ, and God's Word is alive and active in me.

     The first person came into my life my freshman year of high school.  She invited me to a retreat with her youth group and because of that invitation, I met Jesus as my Savior five months later at the local evangelistic meetings held in our area.  My sophomore year of high school, the Lord brought another friend who became my best friend throughout high school.  She invested a lot of time teaching me how to dig into God's Word and finding His gems of truth.  

     With my father's blessing, I left my quaint "church building" and started attending youth group with my friend. I attended another retreat, and this time one of the leaders took an interest in me and became my spiritual mentor.  She invested a lot of time and energy into this messed up teen, who actually gave her more challenge than her own children ever did at that age.

     My college years brought two more lifetime sisters-in-the-Lord, and my husband into my life.  We dated for only a short time, parted ways, and reunited and married five years later.  All three of these special people are still be in my life, except one, who met our Savior several years ago after her two year battle of cancer.

     All of these people that entered my life during this decade saw beyond this messed up person to someone they believed God could transform for His service.  All of them displayed God's grace, mercy, and unconditional love to me.  They showed me what it meant to be a child of God and how it looked in every day living.  They showed me the reality of this song that sadly I never saw lived out in that first "building"I attended for ten years:

I am the church.
You are the church.
We are the church together.
All who follow Jesus.
All around the world.
We are the church together.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Choosing Health

What the Lord desired had been clearly defined.  Cain knew it but refused to do it. He became angry when the Lord turned down his grain offering.  The Lord warned Cain about the danger with his wrong attitude and actions.  He offered him another chance to make it right.  Cain refused to heed the Lord's warning, and this resulted in him murdering his brother.

Cain didn't want boundaries.  He demanded his offering be accepted his way. He didn't want the Lord telling him what to do and how to do it.  Scriptures don't give us the answer to the reason Cain had developed such a self-centered attitude except for the reality of sin's existence.  We do know that he rebelled, and the end result was death.

Sin crouches at our hearts.  We cry, "Unfair," when we don't get our own way.  We say we want to follow the Lord, but often times go along with His boundaries when they conveniently go along with our plans.  More often then not, we insist on our way.  We dislike boundaries, because we don't understand the safety they provide.

Many times this happens to those who grow up in homes where the adults crossed boundaries that violated innocence.  When those that are to protect a person, don't, then the child seeks ways to survive.  As a result, unhealthy patterns develop that may take decades for someone to recognize.

Learning to set healthy boundaries in our lives when we've never done it before is difficult. It's especially hard to face our own unhealthiness when in means walking away from a person we love and care about but are not good for us.  This becomes especially hard when it's family members such as parents and siblings.

When it's a spouse, ideally, the Lord desires both partners to do what is necessary for reconciliation and restoration.  He ultimately wants this for all relationships, because He is a God of reconciliation, but we can only do our part in choosing healthy ways of living and making it right with others.

As we recognize our unhealthiness and begin to pull away to seek health, we may find the other person respond with more hatefulness, criticism, and condemnation. Suddenly, the relationship becomes severed by painful words and actions.  It doesn't necessarily have to take place, but we can't stop someone else from making this choice.

Our responsibility is to guard against responding in retaliation toward others for their unhealthy choices and hurtful words or actions toward us.  We must continue on the path toward our own health, because no one else can give it to us.  We also need to remember that just as it took time for our blinders to fall off so we could see our unhealthiness, it's a process for others too.

Sometimes the healthiest things we can do is to walk away from unhealthy relationships in our lives and pray for their healing as we journey toward our own.  It actually takes a lot of courage to recognize when we're unhealthy and to seek the freedom that comes with this truth when it means parting ways with those we love who may hinder our growth.

This path can be hard, lonely, and difficult.  However, when it's all said and done, it's worth it.  Jesus walks with us toward this transformation, and He always completes the work He started.  Grab His hand and walk with Him.  You won't regret it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Get in His Box

When we put Jesus in a box, we've limited Him.  He is only as big as we can imagine.  He can only do what we believe He can do.  He wants to do more for us, but unbelief keeps Him at bay.

However, when we jump into His box, we've now given Him the freedom in our lives to do exceedingly beyond whatever we could ever think or imagine.  We serve a mighty God that goes beyond our beyond.

Our enemy wants us to box God in, because he knows when we are in God's box we become dangerous to his deceptive plans and schemes against us.  Jesus calls us beyond the comfortable to step into the water believing He will part them.  He wants us to know that any plot against us will result in the enemy being fed to the lions instead.

Let God out of your box and jump into His today and then stand back and watch Him move!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Transforms the Heart

Thankfulness makes a difference.  It helps you find the good despite your circumstances.  It changes the attitude. It is indeed, life changing.

When I first read Ann Voskamp's book, "One Thousand Gifts" in the summer of 2011, I wasn't so sure.  I decided to take the challenge though and begin my own 1000 list.

It was slow happening.  I didn't see the transformation happening, but it did!

My life still has waves swirling on the side of me, but I don't focus on them.  Instead, I'm riding on a surfboard with Jesus over those waves.  I wobble at times, but praise Jesus, I've not fallen off into the pits of depression and despair again.

In the summer of 2012, I stopped taking all of my anti-depressant and anxiety medications.  I no longer need them, even when the waves threaten to topple me over.

I believe what Jesus says about me, and that is because I believe Jesus is Who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do.  With those truths in place, I KNOW I can do all things through Christ and the transformation in my heart and life is proof that His Word is alive and active in me.

Struggling?  My suggestion would be to begin your  own 1,000 thanksgiving list.  As you look for His goodness in your daily life, you will be amazed at the transformation that will take place in your heart and life.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Damage of Carelessness

It's been a rough beginning to my spring/summer mowing season, but it comes with an important lesson.

Let me start by saying:  I love getting on my riding mower after being inside at work all day.  It means I get to partake in the beautifying of my acreage of land.  The problem that has occurred this spring is because of the trees my husband has planted around the outskirts of our land in order to eventually have a wind block around our home.

The first mow of the season, unknown to me, I took down two baby pines that had been planted in the fall. We discovered their demise after my second mow when I mowed down fifteen newly planted trees that looked like sticks in the ground.  In my defense, miscommunication about their whereabouts led to their destruction.

So, in order to prevent any more mishaps, my dear husband mowed around each tree leaving only small tuffs of grass around them.  Certainly I could get it right now.

Nope.  I carelessly took out four more on my next mow session.  After finishing a section, I looked back over my work and thought I missed a section of grass and without realizing it, took them out.  I was crushed at my ignorance and carelessness.

So, our next prevention plan included stakes in the ground painted neon yellow at the top.  There is no way I could take out any more trees now, right?  Wrong.  We ran out of stakes, leaving nine trees with out a stake.  Yes, you guessed right.  I mowed all of them down, except one.

In my search for each tree, with hopes that somehow I might be able to salvage the damage I had done, it struck me.  We may not set out to cause deep wounds toward others, but it only takes seconds to speak a word that causes severe damage to the receiver.  It takes a sincere apology and a willingness to forgive for the Lord to heal what our careless words can do to others.

May we put a guard around our mouths and seek to “Let our speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that we will know how we should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:6)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Seven Blessings

Received a special blessing of kindness today.

The day drew near the end and a customer informed us that one of the cars in the employee parking lot had a flat tire.  Yes, it was mine.  

I was a little downtrodden about this news as I just got two new front tires 24 days ago.  These three young customers came out with me to inspect my tire. Blessing number one, it was not one of my new ones!

These three young men volunteered to remove my tire and take it to the only place in this small town who might repair it if they could.  The auto shop removed the metal lodged in it and repaired it for $20. Blessing number two, three, and four.

These gracious men came for my check to pay the establishment, and then returned to put my repaired tire back on my car.  Blessing number five and six.

They refused to take any money for helping me.  They all said, "it's okay.  We got paid already today."  Blessing number seven.

I work in a small town with a lot of mean-spirited people, so my heart was touched by what these three did for me.

Thank you Jesus, and may we all seek to show kindness toward those around us.  It may seem small to us, but huge to them.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pray For the Little Things

Wanted to share some encouraging words for those out there that might wonder how much the Lord cares about those things in our lives that others may think foolish. Sometimes we don't bring certain things to the Lord in prayer, because frankly, we doubt whether He really cares about it like we do.  

Recently my 8 year old daughter's Christmas kitten disappeared.  Living on a busy farm road, I was sure that either the coyotes or a car got her.  My little one sobbed and asked everyone to pray for Gracie's return. A sweet saint asked our church Body during prayer request time to pray for her return. My mommy heart warmed all over by this gesture.

Before putting my daughter to bed that night, she once again asked the Lord to bring Gracie home. I appreciated her taking this desire to the Lord, but doubted He was going to answer her the way that would make her happy.  I had experienced the loss of quite a few kittens and cats in my lifetime, and rarely saw them disappear and ever come home again.  

The next morning as I pondered the cry of my daughter's heart, I talked to my Heavenly Father about it. I expressed my complete belief that He could bring Gracie home but wondered if He wanted to answer this particular prayer.  I told Him that I was concerned about how a "no" to this prayer would affect my little one's tender faith but that I trusted Him no matter how it turned out.

As I ventured out the door that morning to head to work, much to my surprise Gracie was home safe and sound. I grabbed that sweet kitten, ran to my daughter's room, to wake her up to her answered prayer.  When I got home from work that day, despite the cold winter temperatures, I found my daughter cuddling both cats on the porch and beaming from ear to ear!

My daughter's faith reminded me that I needed to seek my Heavenly Father over what seems minute to others but matters to me.  I suddenly realized this whole event not only taught my daughter she could take her hurts to the Lord, but it reminded me to do the same.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Inside of a Barn

My husband is a fan of touches of make-up.  He says, "There is nothing wrong with putting a little paint on the barn."

I've never been one of those kind of girls with the make-up.  I really don't know the reason either.  Just didn't spend that much time fussing with my face when it took forever for me to get my thick curly hair to do what I wanted it to do.

I've recently started putting the time into putting on make-up.  A friend helped me find some products that make application quite simple.  So, out of love for my sweet hubby, I paint my barn each day.

It got me thinking though about how I see so many women coming and going in my line of work, and how many of them paint the barn quite lovely.  However, the way they treat people stinks to high heaven. It then dawned on me.  You know it doesn't actually matter what the barn looks like if its only storing manure.

I will continue to put on the make-up, but I want to always concentrate on what I store inside.  When pushed hard, I want love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control to pour our out my thoughts, words, and actions.

How about you?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Beyond the Beyond

There is a moment in time when our lives take a turn, and they are changed forever.  We don't plan that moment, it just comes.  Mordecai said to Queen Esher that she had no idea whether she had been born for just this moment.  She indeed had been placed in that time and place because of the impact she would have on the lives on God's people at that time.

In the early part of the Fall of 2013, not even one short year ago, that moment came for me.  I held a hummingbird, and in those moments the Lord began teaching me what it meant to Trust, Rest, and Fly Free with Him.  Two days later, my youngest son almost successfully took his life, and as I drove to see him at the hospital, the Lord gave me this life changing phrase.

A dream has been sparked in my heart from this moment, and the Lord is about to do something new and beyond whatever I could ever ask or think possible.  I can dream pretty big, but indeed this is beyond me and to Him be the glory!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Beyond Ourselves

When left on our own, our flesh naturally takes to unhealthy and destructive paths.  This particular journey normally includes looking to other humans for our worth and value. We might even be people who vomit all over others and rely on them to clean up our messes.  If they don't, we may choose to lash out at them and buy into the lie that we must remain the way we are in those horrible moments.

On the other hand, we can decide to take a step back and take a good honest look at ourselves. Despite all our wrong choices and decisions, Jesus sees the truth about us.  He wants us to see and know Him.  When we do, we can grasp the reality that He is the One who empowers us to go beyond our flesh and become much more than we can ever believe possible.

The only one we want to ever determine our value and worth is the One who created us.  We don't ever have to prove our worth to Him.  The Lord said He valued us so much and proved it when He willingly stretched His arms out and was crucified for our sins. When we look to Him only for our worth, we truly see our value.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A New Crown

I hung up my crown several years ago.  It took quite a long time for me to recognize it on my head.  Once I did, it weighed me down, and I knew it had to go.  I actively pursued not only its removal, but the assurance that I would never wear that particular crown again.

I took off the crown that all drama queens wear and picked up a different crown.  This one came decorated with grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness.  This crown never leaves me with feelings of shame but with the truth of being valued by the King of Kings.

Now I'm seeking my King's grace and mercy, but especially His patience and kindness in dealing with the drama queens I work with all week long.  It's clear to me now on the way I must have driven those around me crazy when I got into "my mood".  My insecurity certainly blared loud and clear during these episodes.

I don't miss the first crown I wore, but love my new one.  Thankful for the reminder today of God's emotional healing in my life in this area!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Real Living

I grew up in the church, but I never saw Jesus.  I attended Sunday School ever since I could remember, but I didn't see the reality of the lessons lived out in those who taught me.  I listened to multiple sermons, but never once heard the gospel of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. I often times hungered to know what the verse meant, but felt empty when I left church each week.

One day, in the fall of my sophomore year of high school, a crusade came to our town.  The nights I attended, I heard that Jesus died on the cross for my sins.  The last night of the crusade, something new rang in my heart and I understood for the first time that the offer to receive the free gift of salvation and a hope beyond what this life had to offer was for me.  A little apprehensively, I approached the altar and asked the Lord to forgive my sins and give me a reason to live. He did.

I instantly found myself surrounded by all these people who actually took living for Jesus seriously.  They had committed their entire lives to living for Him.  I feasted on what they taught me, because for the first time in my life I witnessed Jesus in skin in the new church I began to attend. These wonderful folks nurtured me in my new faith.

I needed that early upbringing in my faith to endure the difficult challenges the Lord would bring into my life when my husband entered full-time ministry.  My life is blessed with those who continue to faithfully show me Jesus in skin in the good, bad, and ugly of life.

This picture I found on the internet says it all!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Projected Thoughts and Feelings

I made a comment in passing.  There were no deep thoughts or accusations in my mind regarding the character of the person when I said it.  I meant no harm in what I said.  I certainly had not intended to hurt the receiver or to even say anything mean about them.  Yet, it did hurt them.  My comment instantly said more to them than what originally was intended by my words.

The interesting thing about this incident is that the recipient of my comment actually projected into my words all kinds of feelings and meanings that the words never meant to me.  The person took my words and accused me of not thinking the best of them.  They placed on me the very judgment they believed I placed on them.

Suddenly, what they thought I said in my comment now began to fill my mind.  My mind now raced with all kinds of thoughts about them.  Suddenly what they believed I meant by my comment took on a life of its own within my thoughts.

This suddenly got me thinking.  How often do we project our own feelings into something said to us? Sure, there are indeed times when people deliberately set out to say things to hurt us.  However, don't we often jump to wrong conclusions based on our interpretations of the words said to us? How often do we actually hear what might never have been said or intended to be heard?  I believe more often than we care to admit.

I've now lived long enough to say, that this is precisely why many relationships have been fractured and many times destroyed.  We hear something and instantly project our feelings into what we believed they meant by what they said to us.

Now, of course, if we feel good about what was said, all is well.  However, if what we believe we heard causes us to question ourselves, then we instantly believe the person intended on hurting us. I put out the challenge that maybe it isn't what they intended at all.

We need to seek the Lord to do a work in us.  We can avoid a lot of self-induced pain if we just stop jumping to conclusions and letting our imaginations runaway.  We want others to believe the best about us, so let's begin by thinking the best about them.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Artist of the Sky

I'm sure a talented artist could paint this sunrise on a canvas, catching the colors and puffs of the clouds in their drawing.  I'm sure it might even look as good as this did in real life.  However, no one but our Heavenly Father can actually paint the depth and richness of these colors into our sky, but the Creator of it.

This sunrise lasted all of about 10 minutes this morning, and then it disappeared forever.  Capturing even a portion in this picture of its beauty, got me thinking about how awesome of an Artist we love and serve.  

I'm not sure the reason He painted this scene in the sky this morning, but for me personally it reminded me of how He can do great and powerful things way beyond what we can ever imagine.  I drank in the beauty of this sky and instantly thought of His omnipotence of all creation.

What do you think about when you catch a glimpse of something breathtaking?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Enjoy or Move on

Word to the wise~~When misunderstanding happens, and inevitably they do come, the survival of the relationship will depend on how well each person willingly gives the benefit of the doubt to the other person. We can choose to believe the best instead of the worst about one another.

Rest assured that if a minor misunderstanding ends the relationship, it was on its way out way before the misunderstanding.  It just means one or both parties were just waiting for the right opportunity to walk away to present itself.

Accept the fact that when someone is unwilling to work out their differences and come to a true place of understanding, it's time to let them go and move on.  Life is too short to spend with people who don't want to be with us.  We need to embrace every moment we have with those who want to journey through life with us.~~C.H.A.R.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Extinguish the Fire

The words hurt deeply, but at some point in time, we decided to not allow it to show.  We spatted off the childhood saying we learned to cover our pain, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me."  Yet, we all know it did.  

James 3 talks about the iniquity of the tongue.  With it we praise and curse others.  It only takes a spark to cause an enormous fire to burn down buildings and forests.  Once the fire gets out of control, there is no care to what it destroys in its path.

May we ponder this....if some words can injure a person, then some words can heal a person too.  May we not only strive not to harm with our words, but also to use our words as a balm over the words spoken to harm others.