Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Keep It Simple

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 1 Corinthians 1:12

Keep it simple.That sounds real easy doesn’t it? It has been the hardest thing for me to do, but through God’s grace and mercy, I am sure to get there. I am a very sensitive person and I get my feelings hurt…a lot…by a lot of people (family members, my kid’s principal, the garbage man, the checkout clerk in Kroger). One thing that I am learning is that I am the common denominator. Not them. I have the ability to change getting my feelings hurt by taking on a different approach.

I cannot stand to feel like I have wronged someone. Instead of letting it go and giving it to God, I harp on it and I allow it to worry the snot (yes I said snot) out of me. I will dream about it and I will call everyone that I can think of to talk about it. I realize that people are going to do whatever they want no matter who you are or what you feel.  I must govern myself accordingly.

Keeping it simple is quite simple. LET IT GO. I am learning that I have to let go of the things that I have no control over (sometimes I have a problem discerning what those things are). I bring a lot more on myself that isn’t even necessary or turns out to be nothing the next day. After I have worried myself in a conundrum about nothing, I then start to worry about the stress that I put on myself and what effects will result from that! UGH!

Monica, one of my dear friends, told me when I first started teaching to read the Serenity Prayer every morning. It hangs on my classroom wall and has become a part of my morning routine. Reinhold Niebuhr crafted a beautiful poem that all of us could benefit from….moment by moment, and it is actually a good tool to use in not getting your feelings hurt!

Keep it Simple.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge him,and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Growing Pains

It is very difficult to watch your babies grow up into toddlers. It’s hard to watch your toddlers transform into the adolescent stage. My eleven year old is at that point where she is in that tween stage and I am desperately trying to help her find a balance. Between the mood swings, the insecurities, and the awkwardness of it all, we are perservering. She has recently been experiencing “growing pains”. It is difficult to see her in pain as with any of my children, but as her mother and a fellow woman, it is my goal for her to understand what it is that is going on with her body, accept it , and to control what she has the power to control and give the rest to GOD.

Strangely enough, I am having to learn these same life lessons that I am trying to instill in her. Life happens. For whatever reasons, life happens. It is up to us to accept life and control what we have the power to control and give the rest to GOD. The struggle that I have is that I realize life happens, I kick and scream not to accept it, but once I do I tend not to do anything about it. That in turn leads to worry and fear which are so not characteristics of God.

I read a quote the other day and it said, “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” We can’t live in today because we are so worried about tomorrow. I am so desperately seeking to just live in peace and bask in the mercies and glory of God CONSTANTLY. As I fight through my own growing pains, I realize that the devil wants for me to worry. He wants for me to fear. The reason being is he does not want me to go where he came from (Thanks for this inspiration Ms. L). He knows how wonderful God is. He knows how wonderful the eternal is. I am more determined now than ever. The devil WILL NOT still my joy. My growing pains will continue to produce a beautiful life representative of GOD.

Peace and Love.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Causes of Failure by TGIF

Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman Monday, August 08 2011

"You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it." Joshua 7:13b The first battle for the people of Israel traveling from Egypt was at Jericho, once they crossed the Jordan River. God had given them a great victory at Jericho, and Joshua was now ready to move to their next battle at Ai. After they spied out the enemy camp, they determined they needed only a few thousand men to gain victory.

They went up against Ai only to fail miserably. They lost 32 men in a battle that should have been an easy victory, but instead they were forced to retreat. Joshua was devastated. "Ah, Sovereign Lord, why did You ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?" (Josh. 7:7a) In this case, the people fell short because they failed to uphold the standard God had set for them. God had told them not to take any plunder from their first battle. However, Achan hid some forbidden treasures, and God was now judging the entire nation for one man's sin.

Whenever we act without God's complete blessing on our activity, we can expect God to thwart our plans. God's word to Joshua was that he could not stand against his enemies as long as there was disobedience among his troops.

Whenever we launch a business endeavor, we should make sure there are no unclean things in our dealings that would allow us to be vulnerable to a failed effort: unpaid vendors, disgruntled employees who were not treated fairly, lawsuits, dishonesty. Many of these things can hinder God from blessing our enterprises. These things can remove the shield of protection from our workplace, which God wants to bless, but cannot because He is committed to upholding righteousness. His name is blemished when unrighteousness is allowed to permeate our lives.

Is the Lord able to bless your enterprises today? If not, you may need to go back and clean up a few things before He can do so. Take whatever steps are needed to ensure the blessing of God today.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sanctify Your Day

"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee." Mark 1:35-37

I have a ritual every morning. It entails thanking God for allowing me to see another day prayer, scripture reading, gospel music, and devotional. I have learned that if I start out with God, my day is so much more pleasant. When we give God the first of our day, it says to him, "I acknowledge you as being father over all things. You are in control. I seek you for direction." Prayer and devotion at any time are good, but we don't want to wait to seek God in the middle or the end of the day. That's when things are most hectic and troubles have already begun to happen. We can avoid a lot of pains if we seek him first. Matthew 6:33 tells us, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." That did not say last or in the middle. It said FIRST. Although Jesus was a busy man he always found time to have his devotions with the God.

Peace and Love.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Coming Out of the Wilderness

We often hear the story of the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness for forty years. Although it is a lot to that story, curses and all, we can learn a lot from this story of the bible. In Deuteronomy 8:2 it says, "And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no."

My question to you is, How long will you stay in the wilderness? Most, if not all of us, have visited the wilderness at some point in our lives. Some of us never find our way out, some of us stay for years, for some of us it's like a revolving door. Whatever the case may be, when we are there we must learn from it so that we won't go back. It's hard being in the wilderness. Some times I think life itself is the wilderness! One thing we have to be mindful of is that while we are in the wilderness we can learn about who we are, those around us, and most importantly who God truly is and what his will for our lives is. The wilderness is no fun, but once we are out it makes us stronger, wiser, and closer to God. If we humble ourselves before God and cleanse our hearts while in the wilderness, then God will be pleased.

How long?

Peace and Love.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


"Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices." Paul Tournier

As God continues to bless me to live this life, I have discovered that one of the most important lessons that I will ever learn is that of acceptance. Acceptance of the world around me, acceptance of others, acceptance of my decisions. I think once we accept things and people...life for what it truly is... then we can begin to really live. We can really embrace peace and joy.

I don't understand why things happen a lot of the time, but I would be the first to have an opinion and throw my little two cents around. What I have learned about life is, it's going to happen regardless. It all goes back to that God is in control thing. What I have learned about people is that they are going to do exactly what it is that they want to do. As I stated yesterday in my blog, the only thing that we can control is our own choices and that's it. We just have to accept others for who they are and if there are qualities that they possess that are not in line with God, then we can pray and offer words if need be.

One of the biggest mistakes that we can make is being judgemental. We take this approach much more often than that of acceptance. We want to bash people for decisions that they make and look down on them without even trying to understand where they are coming from. We want to send everybody to hell, but ourselves. Matthew 7:4 says, "Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?" We must be careful about judging those around us and we are just as guilty as the next person. My stupid may not be your stupid, but we all, at one point or another, have our own stupid.

God accepts us for who we are. In our broke down, sinful state, he accepts us. No questions asked. As we begin to accept others, it shows them that Hey! I respect you. Acceptance means that you are free to be who you are. Acceptance means that though there may be a need to grow, you are not forced. Acceptance means I welcome you. Jesus welcomes all of us. Who are we to act greater than the son of man?

Peace and Love.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Relinquishing Control

“O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

One of the most consistent problems that I see within myself and within those around me is the control factor. We all want it. We don't want to give it up. We want to control our relationships, our future, and pretty much the outcome of anything that we are remotely close to being involved in. It is not our responsibility to control the things in our life. That is God and God alone. Webster's defines control as: to exercise restraining or directing influence over. We want to regulate everything.

All we have and should want control over is our choices. God can and will ultimately handle the rest. We want to control for various reasons. 1. That's our "personality." 2. We are afraid of the unknown. 3. We don't trust God. You have to be a very powerful person to control...maybe...I look at our government. They are suppose to be the power house. The one's who are in control of it all and they obviously don't have any control.

God is the master controller. He knows all and sees all. He can make the impossible possible. He doesn't want to bombard us with the troubles of the world. He wants us to relinquish the control that we think that we have and give it to him. All that trying to control will do to us is destroy us. We are not capable of controlling. As I stated before, all we have control over is our choices and God gives us all those. Whether they be good, bad, or indifferent, we have control over the choices we make. We just have to ensure that those choices are the right ones. Choices can bless you or haunt you for the rest of your life. Choices can make lasting friendships or ruin them. Choices can bring life or death.

Making good choices means relinquishing control of that which is not ours and focusing on the task that God gives us to do. To relinquish control we must operate in the spirit. The flesh can't give it up, but the spirit gives it all away.

Peace and Love.

Monday, August 1, 2011

He Wants It All

As I rode in the car listening to "He Wants It All" by Forever Jones, I became overwhelmed with emotions! I haven't quite figured out how to upload the you tube videos to my blog page to share the video, so for now you will have to settle for a portion of the lyrics. I hope you are as blessed by them as I am.

There's a voice that cries out in the silence, searching for a heart that will love him, longing for a child that will give him their all, give it all, he wants it all.

And there's a God that walks over the earth, he's searching for a heart that is desperate, and longing for a child that will give him their all, give it all, he wants it all.

And he says, love me, love me with your whole heart. He wants it all today. Serve me, serve me with your life now. He wants it all today. Bow down, let go of your idols. He wants it all today. He wants it all.

God wants it ALL from each and every one of us. Let's now waste anymore time. Give him what he desires and you will reap the benefits. Stop holding on to what you think and feel. Stop worrying about what others will think. Give it ALL not just what you want to.

Peace and Love.