With our economy tanking more people are looking at ways to cut costs. Here is a great article on how some people were able to just that!
It’s time to go to retreat. It sounds funny that we drive off to go to a retreat that we hope will advance our relationship with Christ, but I’m praying for a few days of some serious revelation and relaxation! See you in a few days. I have no idea whether I’ll have Internet or not, and it doesn’t even matter!
I came home from the weekly TLC meeting and jumped on the treadmill to expend some energy and unwind. Listening to this song that defined who I was so desperate to become in my 20’s. I wonder how many other women feel this way?
This is why I’ve loved my spiritual journey. I no longer worry so much about being good. I now just work at what has been given to me, all the while, I try each day to find some peace, some love, some meaning, some contentment and above all abundant life. The rest seems to take care of itself.
That I Would Be Good
By Alanis Morissette
that I would be good even if I did nothing
that I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
that I would be good if I got and stayed sick
that I would be good even if I gained ten pounds
that I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
that I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
that I would be great if I was no longer queen
that I would be grand if I was not all knowing
that I would be loved even when I numb myself
that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
that I would be loved even when I was fuming
that I would be good even if I was clingy
that I would be good even if I lost sanity
that I would be good
whether with or without you
I received this email from my mom… So true…..
Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television?
I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gas up and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain’ And my personal favorite: ‘It’s Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!
We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I plan on,’ and ‘Someday, when things are settled down a bit.’
When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now…go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to…not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? When you ask ‘How are you?’ Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’ And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say ‘Hi’?
When you worry and hurry through your day, it’s like an unopened gift…. Thrown away…. Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.
‘Life may not be the party we hoped for… but while we are here we might as well dance
…or said another way …
“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…. it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
2 Corinthians 3:1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.
So what do the people around you say about your spiritual resumé? Paul said, you yourselves are our letter, written on our hears, known and read by everybody. In other words, you are your mentor’s letter. It’s why it is important that you understand that you represent not only yourself but you represent your lineage, your Christ, your church and your church family.
Paul continues saying: You show that you are a letter from Christ. I don’t know about you but when I read that, I think, I am walking around daily being a letter from Christ, it makes me assess the things I do in a new way.
In my career I had to hire new employees. I read tons of resumés. Some were well written and showed the work ethic of a person by the length of time they’d been at a job, the positions they’d held and so on. Others showed me that they wouldn’t be with us long if we hired them. Still others showed me a lack of care and attention when the words were clearly misspelled. Some brought references without being asked while others acted like I was asking for their first born child.
So today, a brief and concise post. What does the resumé you have produced, say about Christ? Is it one of hypocrisy or of love? Is it one of patience and kindness or of anger and bitterness? Is it one of judgement and condemnation or one of hope? Is it one of a strong character and a person who keeps their word, or is it one of a flake? If someone were to look at your life and assess what Christ is like from your life, what do they think it says about Him?
So you all think President Obama was the one that came up with the bailout plan? Not so! Parents are teaching their kids to overspend and then bailing them out.
This was an interesting and quick video on how we teach our children about money based on how we treat it. Click here to watch!
Hebrews 13:20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Living as a believer means taking up your cross. Your cross is the burden of living your life in such a way as to bring glory to the Father. It means forsaking the ways of the world and that can be sometimes frightening and exhilarating all at the same time. There will be days when there is a longing in your spirit to get more of the Holy Spirit and there will be days when it’s more than you can bear. It’s a complexity that is hard to describe and this is why, for the most part, religion sells you on the peace and the joy and forgets to mention the suffering. Let me tell you there will be suffering. But living your life in Christ is worth it.
When I started this series of blogs my point was to show that we were all cracked when left to our own devices. We had areas of our lives that needed to be fixed and patched up. That fix can only come from allowing ourselves to be broken by God Himself. You see, to live a kingdom life, a life set apart, you must be crucified for there to be a resurrection. Oh! How I wish I could tell you that it’s easy but I can’t. How I wish I could tell you that it won’t hurt but it does. It will never be as bad as what Christ went through, but I’m telling you that it will be as bad as Christ went through to our hearts and minds. For to live this kingdom life means we have to let go of everything we’ve been taught and learn a new way. A love way and exposing ourselves to love means great gain and great pain. I wish it weren’t so but anyone whose been hurt in love catches a small glimpse into what I am talking about.
A cracked vessel can hold no water. In the bible water represents the Holy Spirit and Jesus was clear that if we believed in him that out of our hearts would flow rivers of living water.
John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
What a blessing we have to live in these days beyond the cross to have a far greater reward of the Holy Spirit indwelling daily. Yet, we get to the end of this series and we see that although our teachers had tried, Jesus had tried, our cracked vessels could not contain the Holy Spirit for any length of time to be effective on the earth. So the abundant life that has been promised hasn’t yet manifested because we could not contain it in our current condition. YET being the key word to hang onto.
Choose life today and choose to allow the breaking of your thought process to bring you to a higher level of consciousness than you could have ever thought possible. It will be in that process that you will find abundant life. Did you know that the mind is at least as powerful as medicine? Yes, if you can change your mind to speak health, you will see it manifest itself in your life. As a man thinks in heart so is he. Proverbs 23:7. If you can get with like-minded thinkers/believers you can be even more powerful. It’s called the power of agreement and it works both for good and for evil so watch your associations.
Abundant life means life the way God would have you live it. It may mean that you trade in that corner office and the BMW for a missionary post in a third world country but I promise you that if that was your original purpose you will be beyond happy.
Choose life today. Allow the potter to remake the vessel so that it can contain so much of the Holy Spirit that it changes every single thing in your life and the lives of those you come in contact with.
I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed; I am thanking you right now.
I received this in an email, thanks Cynthia, and thought it was worth repeating:
I want to thank You for what you have already done.
I am not going to wait until I see results or receive rewards; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves; I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet; I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job; I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed; I am thanking you right now.
I am thanking you because I am alive. I am thanking you because I made it through the day’s difficulties. I am thanking you because I have walked around the obstacles.I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better. I’m thanking you because FATHER, YOU haven’t given up on me.
God is just so good, and he’s good all the time.
Ecclesiastes2:3I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives
What is good for the sons of man to do under heaven? What are we supposed to be doing that we haven’t been doing? Jesus taught us to pray continually, making a way in our lives for a deep rich relationship with the Father. Yet, even the disciples couldn’t completely grasp the concept of this as we see in the garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” 40 Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless F146 I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
So what is good for the sons of man to do with their time? We are to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation. Why does this seem so hard? In the midst of the hardest night of the life of Jesus he is asking us, his disciples
“Can’t you stay awake in the hour of my agony?” What is he truly asking us to do? Does it mean physically staying up? Sometimes it does. Sometimes in the middle of the night the Lord will awaken you to pray. He will bring you revelation in the midst of your times of exhaustion. Most of the time it speaks to being spiritually awake and being aware of those things around you. The Lord will then show you the goodness of a life lived in peace and rest.
Psalm 4:6 There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. 7 You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased. 8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
So then, what does it mean to take up your cross? It actually is an act of faith. It begs the question whether we have the ability to leave the comforts that the world temporarily offers and walk a different path with Christ? This path will be costly both in material things and emotional things. Regarding taking up our cross in the material realm Matthew Henry says:
Every man, according to his ability, must relieve the poor, and be content, when there is occasion, to straiten himself to do it. Worldly wealth is given us, not only as maintenance to bear our charges through this world, according to our place in it, but as talent, to be used and employed for the glory of our great Master in the world, who hath so ordered it, that the poor we should have always with us as his receivers.
To take up our cross is costly. It means that we give up the things of the world in order to obtain the heavenly things that await us. It’s a big price to pay. Are you ready to really do it? Begin by watching and praying.