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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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Words And Charity Part 2

Let us all give.  We all want that wonderful feeling that comes over us when we give a gift to someone and you can see that it is just what he or she needed/wanted.  Most of us, who give, don’t always get that vision to get us to give again or give more.  We hear about all that the “country” gives to other countries and then (at least I) hear about how upsetting it is when there are so many problems right here in the United States.  We do have problems.  These problems are not going to go away all on their own.  Not until we give.  Most people feel as if they already give enough because of all the taxes that are taken out of every ones checks before they even get to see how much they have made.  Then of course, we have our own monthly bills that have to get paid.  So the end of the paycheck is just that, the end.  For a lot of people there is no money “left over” after all of that.  But of course, Christians know that we are to first give our tenth to God.  Then the bills come last.  We want to “charity” the home first.  We look on money as if it is ours.  “We worked for it, of course it’s mine,……right?”  WRONG.  The money is God’s.  However, when we give to the church, what are you really looking at?  Are you looking at an extra pair of jeans for the kids, or are you seeing people being fed.  Are you keeping everyone in a cellphone or are you covering a young child with a blanket.  Are you feeling entitled to get a new pair of shoes or are you feeling entitled to medicate those who are without?  Charity begins at home, and we have to ask ourselves if our homes give to charity.  Not the other way around.

Now I am not saying that you can’t get the jeans, cellphones, or shoes. But what I am saying is, are you or I, giving charity first before the so called needs of our own?  I know that my kids can go for a long time before we have to get all the extras.  Having three boys, the younger two have had a lot of hand-me-downs.  My daughter and I love to go shopping.  We always have a good time.  But when we go, we go to the shops that aren’t on the norm.  You know, like the second hand stores or in the clearance section.  Then when we are home, we get to see just how much we saved on buying them there compared to the department stores.  We are never out of style.  At least, not unless we are in the mood to be.  The boys however get to (at least in their eyes) get new clothes every fall and spring.  We put all of the clothes that the older one has outgrown into a tote.  Then when the season has changed, so does their wardrobes.  They think it is great to be able to wear something that their “big” brother has worn.  Then with the clothes that no one can wear we donate.  Depending on how little or great the growth spurts have been dictates on how much we donate.  And the kids are excited about it all.  Because they have enjoyed their clothes so much and the thought of someone else wearing them is “cool” to them.

We try to get to know our neighbors, and if we hear that someone is in need of something we have, we give it freely.  Believe me, we have gotten some strange looks when we tell people to keep it (whatever it was).  We have taken the giving to others out of our church and put it into the hands of the government.  This should stop.  So now, if people want to give, they have to jump thru hoops to get it done.  People, I have found, distrust churches.  For reasons of their own, they think that the churches keep every single cent that comes to them.  Yes, churches do need money.  They have bills of their own to pay just as we do.  But we tend to turn our ears off when they talk about all the missionary work that they are pledging to.  Or the family whose house caught fire and now have nothing.  The beginning of charity should (I believe) begin in the home.  The home is where it is taught when and how to do it.  But that isn’t the only place of need.  Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Is It Your Best or Your Second Best?

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.  Luke 6:38

I happen to love the ability to use coupons.  Although, I do tend to forget to bring them from time to time.  (Uuuugh!)  Anything that I can do, (within reason) in  order to save some money I try to do.  I also give in to getting as many of the “free samples” or “give a ways” that I find on the internet.  With six of us in the family and four of us “boys” that eat a lot, I need to.  Leftovers are eaten a lot over here. I’m sure that some of you can understand.  My brother-in-law has a binder for all of their coupons.  He does all the shopping.  And let me tell you, he saves a lot more than I ever could.  They have nine to feed.  Plus with her running a daycare the food goes very fast.

Everyone who has attended church knows that they are supposed to tithe a tenth of their salaries.  Leviticus 27:30  And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.  If you read Genesis you can see what happened to Cain and Abel.  The result where not good.  One gave the finest he had while the other gave his scraps or left overs.  God does not eat left overs.  Only the finest, the best of the best will do.  In all of the offerings given to God, the lamb had to be without blemish.  Jesus was and is the finest offering.  He is the best of the best.  And yet when we give to either the church, or school, or some fundraiser we look into what we have leftover at the end of the week.  And if we have two pennies to rub together we think long and hard before deciding as to whether or not to give.  We can come up with a thousand reasons as to why we might need the leftovers.  

We clean out our closets, garages, and attics only to give what we don’t “want” anymore.  We pack it all up and drop it off; feeling so good about ourselves.  As if we had just saved the life of  a thousand people.  “Good Deed Done”  Really?  How much better would it be to purchase those goods and then give them to those in need.  “Remember we are to do better for others than they do to us.”  Rubbing pennies together can make a nice sound, but rubbing the arms of someone who is down on their luck, while giving them brand new items, truly sounds heavenly.  Reread the verse at the top.  Give and it will be given back to you.  Maybe not exactly the way you gave it out.  But you will reap!  So the next time you get to bless someone, do it with not only a happy heart, but give the best that you have.

Are You One?

Discipleship:  1. One of the 12 personal followers of Christ.  2. One of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ.  3. Any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.  4. Any follower of Christ.

Are you missing things in your life that you wish (because that is the only thing you can think of doing) were there?  In order to get the missing things in your life is easy to answer.  Become a disciple.  Now the course of that discipleship might sound difficult.  But as you follow, you learn to take Jesus’s burden.  Which we all know is easy.  Matthew 11:28-30  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.   When we use our will to follow Christ, that is when we make a conscious decision to follow Christ, we will see that we must be willing to give up everything that comes in between you and Christ.  So that your walk with him will be without the heaviness of life.  The heaviness might be worry, confusion, guilt, to name a few.  We will have to learn to live out of His strength through Jesus that we by ourselves can not accomplish.  At times it may seem like it takes until a person is going to the bottom of the barrel before they start to see the light.  Remember, that it is all done at His will and on His terms.  Not ours.  We can see this again in Luke 14:26-27   If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannnot be my disciple.  

Did you see that he said that you have to take your cross, not His? You must crucify everything that gets in the way of you becoming a disciple of Christ.   There is a huge difference between desire and love.  Love does good for others.  Where as desire is doing(what we think of as good, whether is actually is or not) for yourself.  Which way do you will your life?  Are you looking into the kind of person you are wanting to be when you are in His kingdom?  You can read more about that in one of the more famous Psalms, 23.  Who ever you want to be then, is who you should be working on now.  Matthew 6:19-21  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  So ask yourselves, are you a disciple of Christ?  Are you following Him?  Where is your heart laying?  Is it with desire or love? What are you willing to give up in order to follow Christ?

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