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  • October 2017
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We Just Need To Practice

Hey there everyone,

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.  I most certainly did.  My oldest came home from college for Christmas, my daughter turned 17 (She is making me and the hubby old very fast.)  She also got a job right before her birthday (Which is one week before Christmas).  We all celebrated my three holidays together at home with no big hoop la.  Which was just fine with all of us.

At the beginning of each year you might be finding yourself looking back.  People like to see what if anything they got accomplished and what they didn’t.  They make new goals for the upcoming months.  They try to adopt new, better habits.  One thing I have found is that they don’t set these out on a day-to-day basis.  No they spread them out over an entire year.  Yes, I realize that there are some that may take that long.  But ask yourself when you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the tasks that need to be done? Or perhaps a soreness/pain you may have for sleeping different then you needed.  I could list a whole number of things that ; not only have I said to myself, but have heard others as well.  We are to begin each day a new. With the joy of the Lord.   Not with bitterness or need.  In order to do this all it takes is …… practice.  Practice means that you are trying each and every day with all you mind, body, and soul.  Practice means you won’t get it perfected or even do it some days.  It means you are trying.  That you are actually doing it with a good heart.  Practice mean you have taken you out of it and are doing it for the Lord.

I don’t understand why people are putting so much disgust on themselves at the beginning of each year.  They haven’t lost enough weight, gotten any healthier, saved enough money, given enough money and so on. So what?!? Do the best you can with what you have daily and let God handle the rest.  Before you know it; it will be a new healthier, happier, habit and a wonderful start to your day.  Now for those who might be keeping score, I know that I didn’t write a whole lot last year, but within that time that I did these are the words I used most.

 

Angels, Bible, Child, Children, Christ, Christian, Church, Churches, Control, Faith, Family, Glory, God, Good, Gospel, Grace, Hear, Hearts, Jesus, Kids, Learn, Lessons, Life, Listen, Lord, Love, Luke, Man, Marriage, Matthew, Mercy, Mistakes, MS, Music, ORU, Parents, Pastor, People, Religion, Speak, Spirit, Trouble, Women, Word, Work.

 

I like to leave you with a song that I heard on a CD that my sister had a long time ago.  The song might be an old one but it still holds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wslEJVlnjRI

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Turning Your Frown Upside Down

I went shopping last week with my daughter at the grocery store.  As we got to the end of an aisle, a man with his own shopping cart was turning into the aisle and headed toward my cart.  When he realized what he was about to do, he quickly turned and said, “Sorry”.  Happy that here was no crash, I smiled back and said,” You’re good”.  He then frowned and went his unhappy way.  I was in total shock.  Nothing bad happened.  No bad words were inserted.  No scene had occurred.  So why was he unhappy?  I started looking around to see if maybe I had missed something.  Then I noticed that there was no one smiling.  Or  even had a pleasant expression for that matter.   I asked my daughter as we were walking to the van if she could see anyone around the parking lot smiling. She looked around and replied,”No, no one.”When we got home and after we had put the groceries away, I went to my news links to see if  something had happened that I was aware of that may be affected everyone.  There was nothing out of the ordinary this and that. As I was wondering as to why this was happening, I heard with an extreme measure of sound, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14 

These people, like so many in the world were not living in the joy and love of God.  Because, if you were, you could not help yourself in smiling to everyone.  And I do mean everyone.  Because His love and joy surpasses everything you or I could ever imagine.  Now, I grant you, I was not overjoyed when I was shopping for groceries.  Had it been clothes, or shoes, then the smiles would have been seen across the entire store.  However, I go with the intent of knowing that whatever I get will nourish my family in the manner that they need.  And that is a very happy thought within itself.

Matthew 16:15 And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  Most people, when hearing that scripture think about missionaries traveling to remote places across this vast planet, spreading the “good news” to people while also teaching them how to read and write.  Getting clean water for them to drink and medicine for the ill.  Churches are always collecting money to send so that these good things can be accomplished.  And they are good things to get done.  But those same churches then turn around and tell their congregation to bring people in the church.  Churches look at numbers.  The number of people filling the chairs. The number of children attending an event.  The number at the end of the total of tithe.  All the while thinking that they have done their part in  Matthew 16:15.  Because after all they have missionaries that they send money to every month. And they allow those missionaries to come and talk to the congregations when they come back to the states.  I have even heard a church bribe the visiting children with gifts if they attend for a certain amount of time.

Instead of doing what Jesus said to do.  Go out.  They want the people to come in.  People don’t like to get uncomfortable with all the walking and talking that would have to come with it.  Even though it is a command from God.  I now don’t think that the man that I had encountered at the grocery store, gets too many smiles and didn’t know how to nicely respond back.  However, if he were to get more smiles throughout the days, weeks, months, years ahead, who knows?

I mean really, don’t you physically and emotionally feel better when someone smiles at you?  When I see someone smile, it causes me to smile.  I don’t even have to know what they are smiling about.  It just makes me happy to see others happy.  So tell me, how many smiles have you given out today?  Are you going out into your community and spreading the gospel?  Small steps, like smiles can be a good stepping stone to reach the real good news.  Reaching out to others can at times be hard.  But it doesn’t always have to be.  When we remember that God is with us always.  Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Wow, with that knowledge in your back pocket, just think of the strength and faith you can be showing to all!  And all for doing what you were told to do.  Shining God’s glory to everyone you meet can begin with something as simple as the smile God gave you.  So I am taking on a mission for myself.  I am pledging to smile at every single person I meet no matter what may be going on or who it is for an entire month.  Because I know that God will work through that on someone who is less likely to expect it.  Will you join me and smile your way through a month?  Yes, I know it might be hard sometimes when you see someone that you don’t necessarily like.  I’m not asking you or me to like them.  Just smile.  But this kind of challenge will truly show the stuff your made of.  

Are You An Excuse Maker

In my last post, I had spoken about not letting my own prejudice stop me in attending church.  And I have found that there are a lot of people who do just that.  You can take this however you would like:  Go To Church!!!  I am not talking about just going because it’s a holiday or because there is some event going on at a church.  I mean you should jump at the chance to be able to attend each and every service they have.  I am a believer in church.  No matter if you attend a mega church or a local.  Just Go!  Studies have found that people who attend church not only have the opportunity to get closer to God they also tend to raise their children with high values, it keeps them grounded, it keeps them connected to the community, they tend to live longer, they are happier in their lives, grow into an extended family.  People (Yes, I am also guilty) can make up any excuse they would like to not attend.  But what you are really saying is that you don’t care enough about your relationship with God to go.  You are placing those excuses in a higher priority than God.  Church is not about what they can do for you but what you can do to show off His glory and to bring others to Him.  Your feelings and your preferences should never be placed in front of Him.  This life is not about you.  This life is about The Lord Almighty and what He has done for you.

What Do You Live For?

Confession:  It wasn’t until later in my life that I realized just who I was supposed to be living for.

I have been watching the youth of America for some time.  For the most part I’m not all that impressed.  The focus that they seem to have is “Me-ism“.  I have been smacked in the face of it so many times that I physically and emotionally hurt for them.  If I look back throughout history, I’m sure I could find just when and where it started.  Do you know where?  The Garden.  That’s right.  When sin came into this world the “me-ism” started.  People looking out for themselves only.  Looking at to how they can get ahead of everyone else.  To feel as thought they are the big man/woman.  Those that are unwilling to help others no matter how small of a sacrifice it might be.  To leave their own trash around expecting others to clean up after them.  Trash in the form of bad decisions, not following through on things, not committing to something, etc…  What is even sadder is that their parents are the ones who allow this kind of behavior.  Yes I said allow.  They feel bad for their child and clean things up because they feel like their child shouldn’t have to suffer.  In the long run, the child does the same things over and over again.  Because, instead of having to learn from mistakes that they have made and figuring out how to fix them, their parents baby them.  But then wonder why they don’t respect them. One might think that parents had never heard of Tough Love.  There are those that consider tough love as no love at all.  Which couldn’t be further from the truth. Is it hard?  Well yes it’s hard, that why it’s called tough. It’s not only tough on them, but you as well. When we as parents, don’t allow our children to make mistakes and guide them through how to fix it, then as they grow and move out of the house (although I know of some who never have.  But that’s another story) then they will never be able to become a person who doesn’t live for themselves.

But there are times, when I see a youth of sorts, doing something that just melts my heart. Like holding the door open for complete strangers, helping someone who has dropped something, volunteering for a clean up crew, wanting to go visit an elderly person.  When you see them doing something for someone else and not care if they receive anything in return.  The only do it because it is the right thing to do.  They show a small spark of God’s glory. Oh how I wish we could gather the sparks together and have a blazing fire. That would be so worth writing about. There are great churches and organizations that promote how and why we should do for others, and while you do these things you slowly, but surly, start to not only do the right things in life, but you lose the me-ism.   When we start to realize that we are to live our lives for God and God alone.  That is when we truly start to live!

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