Wednesday, November 30, 2016
“When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.”
Back in the day your word meant everything. A handshake was all that was required; but, in today’s world, a handshake doesn’t go nearly as far as that credit card does. It used to be if you went to the grocery store and forgot your wallet, they’d let you take the groceries and come back later to pay them or they you could ‘put on my tab’. Don’t try that today; they will look at you like you are crazy.
It’s sad that even religion has taken that same mentality. Family used to always go to Church on Sunday, get dressed up in their Sunday best and make a day out of it. They all spoke of the gospel, they all helped and supported each other when they were in need, and their word was actually worth something. Today, so many young children don’t have the experience of Sunday Bible School and growing up with the word of God and the belief of Jesus. I know that is one thing I regretting with my own children, and if I could change that I certainly would. When you go to Church today, everyone is dressed in their jeans and football jersey’s. You don’t even have to go to Church to watch the sermons; you can catch them on live webinars, facebook video’s, or podcasts. So things are definitely changing in today’s society when it comes to Church.
One thing though that should never change is your promise to God. If you are going through a tough situation and you then pray to God, “Get me through this, and then I will start going to Church Lord.” You need to keep your word. Don’t put it off, do as you say. When you act on His Will and prove that your word means something, you will be rewarded. The more you give, the more you will receive! Your word stands for you, your beliefs, and your trustworthiness. Be the person God created you to be! Keep your word, not only to God, but to everyone!
“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God...” (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
Words can hurt or heal; discourage or encourage; deter or motivate; or they can be irritating or soothing to a person’s very soul. Words can cut so deep that they may impact someone for the rest of their life without us even realizing it. Perhaps they were said in jest; or perhaps in a heating moment and you really didn’t mean to say what you did, but it just came out before you could even think. How many times has someone been sarcastic towards you, and then follow it up with, “I’m just kidding!” Those words still hurt. After all the person was thinking that thought, whether they were kidding or not.
I remember an incident in my young childhood where my grandfather, who typically never got mad about anything, literally stopped dead in his tracks as we were walking downstairs together and turned around and yelled at me, “Think before you speak!” I was totally clueless as to why and could only guess that I must have said something wrong to my grandmother, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember and he never did explain. For all I know, he could have been made at her and just took it out on me. I held that memory for a very long time, so much so that I still remember the details of that scene and can play it back like it happened yesterday.
Recently, going through some leadership training at work it dawned on me how that quick conversation all those years ago, played such a large role in my life and development. I never used to be the first person to speak up, and my family members always told me I was so quiet. While I am not so quiet any longer and have learned to speak up, I wonder how things could have been different had my grandfather thought before he spoke! Before you cut someone down to the quick, we should always take a second to think about how our words will impact the person receiving our feedback. Put this into practice in all areas of your life, spouse, family, children, co-workers, friends, and even strangers. When we ‘do all things with Love’, like it says in the bible, we can’t go wrong!
Monday, November 28, 2016
“God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” (Hebrews 2:4)
I’m going to try and explain for those who feel they have never received signs from God before, what those signs might look or feel like. My husband and I were talking a few weeks ago and he made a comment that God never talks to him or gives him signs. I couldn’t believe that he said that, because God clearly gave him a sign. I was there and had to remind him about the day he was so distraught when he was laid off and had been desperately looking for a job for almost a year. He was in the kitchen leaning his head in his hands and said, “God, just give me a sign.” I swear to you, it was not two minutes later when he walked out on the deck to smoke a cigarette when he leaned over the railing and looked down to the ground. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, so he called me and pointed it out to me. I couldn’t believe it, but there lying on the ground was a gold cross that apparently had fallen off of someone’s necklace over a year ago during a cookout party. It was as if my heart stopped beating for a minute, as I took a deep gasp of air. All I could say was, “There’s your Sign!” The fact that I even had to remind him about it, was mind blowing to me because that sign wasn’t even meant for me, well maybe it was meant for both of us, because it sure made a lasting impression on me. Two weeks later, He received a job offer and is still with that company today!
Signs come in many forms, sometimes they are small voices you hear in your head and you think they are your own thoughts, well usually they are the thoughts given to you by the Holy Spirit when you are a believer! Other times, God is leading us in a different direction and we don’t even realize it, sometimes he brings people into our lives for a reason or a season to teach us something we need in order for us to grow, or we need to teach them something for them to grow. We may even receive signs from our loved ones through feathers, pennies, rainbows, flowers, scents, and we don’t even realize it.
I’m a believer who has become so in touch with God lately that I am able to recognize everything as a sign from Him or that I am being led through the Holy Spirit in order to do God’s Will. Don’t take this as I am bragging, because that is farthest from the truth. I am a very humble person; it’s is my dream, and God’s will for me, to share my experiences and help to inspire others to become more God-like in their everyday actions so that they too can receive His abundance of favors. Talk to God and thank him for everything He has brought into your life and be grateful for what you do have. The more you do this, the more favor you will receive back, and then the more you will want to do for God, and watch as the cycle continues. Learn to recognize those signs and act on His Will and you will accomplish your wildest dreams! Pray Big, and expect Big in return! God wants an abundance for each of us, so be sure to claim what is yours!
Sunday, November 27, 2016
“Then He brought me to the entrance of the court.
I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall.” (Ezekiel 8:7)
What walls do you have built up around you? Are you harboring a wall of guilt, a wall of dislike for someone, a wall of fear for losing a loved one, a wall of getting too close to someone? I imagine that everyone during the course of their life has built one or more of these walls, maybe even several at a time. What you probably don’t realize though is that these walls are buriers that each of us build to protect ourselves from pain and disappointment. That sounds like a good thing, right; because, pain and disappointment is not a good feeling. The thing to realize though is that these walls only hold us back from true inner peace, contentment, unconditional love, and the ability to receive god-like dreams. Yes, ultimately it holds us back from seeing our dreams come to pass.
Knock those walls down! Give your burdens to God. Learn to forgive one another. Do not fear death, for God will be with you always. He will get you through every trial and tribulation sent your way. If you have a problem with a loved one, confront the situation head on in a loving manner. Don’t make them feel defensive. Talk to them as if you are their friend. I’m sure they don’t want you to feel the way you do, or to harbor any unresolved issues. Choose to live in peace. Talk to God; ask for his guidance to lead you to do the right thing; listen to what God has to say in that quiet voice you’ll hear in your head; and then, follow his lead. Knock one wall down at a time if you have to, but knock it down! You will begin to feel so light on your feet and your spirits so high you could fly simply by giving your burdens to God and trusting He will help you make things right!
Saturday, November 26, 2016
“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
Can you remember a time when you were feeling so overwhelmed about circumstances in your life and what you were dealing with at the time that you couldn’t think straight? You probably were walking around in a daze; shutting people out of your life; you probably weren’t even listening when they were talking directly to you. It was a terrible time, wasn’t it? More than likely you felt alone, depressed, not sure how you were going to survive, and no one was giving you the advice you wanted to hear. It’s times like this when we get so caught up in our lives in trying to figure things out for ourselves that we actually forget to ask God for his direction and guidance. When all we really need to do, is give our burdens to Him. Listen to what He has to say and then move forward putting the worry behind you. Worrying about things is not going to change anything except your mood and stress levels. Lean on God and He will carry our burdens and the dust will settle where it was meant to.
When you know that someone else is feeling that same way, remind them of this too. Be a person who encourages; help them lighten their burdens. Listen to their story, be a sounding board, but be honest, don’t say what you think they want to hear; say what they need to hear, and say it with love and compassion as a friend. God will give you the words they need to hear if you pray about it first. Remember, every one of us has a story to tell and we have no idea unless they tell us they are struggling or what they are struggling about.
The next time you run into someone in the store that seems to be so out of it, give them a smile or a compliment; that small gesture could pull them right out of what they were dealing with, even for just a moment, but that moment could impact the rest of their day. The next time someone flies by you on the road doing 90mph, take a moment to pray for them. Pray for their safety and that God can lighten their burdens. We don’t know what they might be dealing with that caused them to drive so erratic; maybe they are on their way to the hospital or a family emergency, etc. We can be so quick to make a judgement when we have no idea what their story is. Assume the best in everyone and trust that it will all work out as it was meant to.
It is so much less stressful when you can see the positive in every situation and can encourage a person instead of knocking them down. Encouraging does not mean you have to agree with those that are being negative just because that’s what they want to hear. Though, it is ok to be supportive and agree with them that what they are going through is terrible or wrong, or whatever the case may be. What is even better is to return their focus to the positive aspects and to God so that He can lighten their load and they can have peace in His presence knowing that His light will guide them to where they need to be!
Friday, November 25, 2016
“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
While Thanksgiving Day is a day to give Thanks, let’s not stop at this one day. Continue to give God and your loved ones your time, your love, your thanks, and your respect for what each of them have done for you!
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desire of the sinful nature.”
Living through times of hardship, rough waters, and all the trials that life throws our way, can make it very hard at times to trust in God. We wonder, ‘How could this possibly happen to such a nice person?’ We think, ‘Why me?’ We may even lose our faith for a time, a season, or maybe just give up on it all together. Even if that happens, it is so important to realize that God hasn’t given up on you! God is unconditional love. You just need to find your way back to Him. He will continue to guide you back to Him in many different ways. He will send you signs. He will bring people into your life that will spark an interest once again. You might hear a song or read a message that may resonate with you that makes you think of Him or a loved one.