Friday, February 12, 2016

Be Content and Give Thanks

When I hear people complain about America, I want to ship them to a third world country where they can see real poverty, serious starvation, disease ravaged bodies, begging lepers with fingers gone, malnourished children with spindly legs, distended bellies, and orange hair, open sewers leading into the ocean, a few blocks further ladies washing their few pieces of clothing in that same water, the twisted, crippled bodies dragging themselves down the road begging for a few bites to eat, and naked children who have never had clothes or shoes. Oh, but take note that those poor people are happy. They dance, sing, and children play with rocks and rubbish. 

 Before returning the whining American home, he or she would be served fly covered rice out of a dirty bowl on the ground. He or she could squat with others and use their right hand only to reach into the bowl to eat because the left hand is dirty. After returning to America, I doubt they would find our country to be so bad after all. 

 You think things are bad? It could be so much worse. I've been there, seen that, lived there, and was ready to kiss the ground when I came back to the USA. Yeah, this is part of the reason I struggle to tolerate whiners. It's time to be content and give thanks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." - Psalms 23:1
"It is more blessed to give than to receive." - Acts 20:25

Straight talk: The "give me, give me, give me" mentality has permeated our culture to a point people stampede others while rushing into a store for something they want but don't truly need. Yet, scripture tells us it is better to give than to get. What does that mean? Here's the deal - happiness derived from getting is short lived but, the happiness that comes from giving lasts forever.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Love Is the Greatest of All

"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." - I Corinthians 13:1, 13  (The Message)

“On the other hand, if you give one of these simple, childlike believers a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck." - Mark 9:42, also found in Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2 (The Message)

Straight Talk:  Don't even think about hurting a little one, someone new in Christ, someone just beginning their walk with the Lord, one of God's children.  In other words, love them no matter what.  Love them whether you like them or not.  Love them whether you think they are right or not.  Let God and their pastor work with them.  The best thing you can do is pray and love.  Love!  Love!  Love!  It is the greatest of all.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Strength In Unity

A good word from my son:

"Where there's drama, there's division.
Where there's division, there is no unity.
Where there is no unity, there is failure.
There is not strength in numbers but strength in unity."
- Blake Allard speaking at AGC's Monday Night Prayer

Friday, February 5, 2016

Overcome Haters

Haters – a word that was foreign when I was child but has become quite common in our self-centered world.  As much as I dislike the word and the character it portrays, haters are here.  Haters in our world, haters on our jobs, haters in our schools, haters in our churches, and even haters in our families.  So, the question is what to do?  Quit our jobs?  Drop out of school? Leave our churches?  Forsake family?  The answer is “NO!”  It isn’t the job hating, it isn’t the school hating, it isn’t the church or the whole family hating rather it is a minority; a thorn in the flesh.  So, don’t walk away from all that is good to you because of a hater but take the four step biblical approach.

     1. “Be Gentle” - A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

     2. “Pray” - Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

     3. “Forgive” - But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.  (Mark 11:26)

     4. “Love” - This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  (John 15:12)

I admit these four steps are not always easy but they are always best.  Choose to do what God would do.

For those who believe my life is a bed of roses, let me give you some understanding - roses have many thorns but I choose to display the blooms and not the stinging daggers.  Yes, I have had haters; worked with some, attended church with some and more but I refuse to allow a hater to control me.  I take charge of me, control me, and do my best to follow God’s instructions albeit sometimes tough.  Overcome the haters and become a conqueror.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Live Life Happily

Frustration happens, disappointments come, wounded hearts and sick bodies are inevitable - it is just life. Yet, even though you cannot stop all of these things from happening, there is something you can control. You, and only you, can control your attitude and your responses. Choose happiness and choose peace. Some people have lost "years" of what could have been great days because they responded unwisely and caused their day and everyone else's day to be ruined. Life is too short to let every little thing ruin your day. Live life to the fullest and live it happily.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Avoid Anger

The Bible is much more than a guide to salvation but also an instruction manual for everyday life.  Below is a collection of scriptures that addresses anger.  I found it interesting that Colossians lumps anger with slander and filthy language.  So, if you have anger issues, rather than pay for anger management classes, learn from the Word and conquer anger.  If you don't know what to do with an angry person, there is instruction for that, too. 

Proverbs 15:18 - A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

James 1:20 - for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 22:24 - Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go. (KJV)
Don’t hang out with angry people; don’t keep company with hotheads. Bad temper is contagious—don’t get infected. (The Message)

Proverbs 29:11 - A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.

Ecclesiastes 7:9  - Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:32 - Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

Colossians 3:8 - But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Proverbs 14:29 - He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. (KJV)

Slowness to anger makes for deep understanding;  a quick-tempered person stockpiles stupid. (The Message)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Change and Conquer

Characteristics, mannerisms, attitudes, temperaments, and perspectives are usually developed early in life through the influence of parents, teachers, and siblings. Sometimes a person develops character flaws but they don’t realize there is anything wrong because they have never known or learned otherwise. To make a change, one must be objective enough to honestly search, find, and then admit there is a need to change. 

Some common problems to search for and that can be conquered are fear, worry, negativity, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, lack of self-control, anger, and there are more. Life gets so much better with each overcoming step.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Feel the Real

A little thought on real versus fake.  In my earlier years, I worked in banking and daily handled large sums of money.  There was a time I could count money so fast, the bills seemed a blur as I flipped them through my fingers.  It was an interesting job – meeting people, giving good customer service, learning how to recognize crooks, and I even survived a couple of robberies.  Prior to the bank opening in the mornings, a few of us would count deposits from the night drop vault.  We would gather around a long, table and chat as we hurriedly counted bundles of bills.  One morning, I was talking with the other girls, not really looking closely at the money, yet I suddenly stopped counting.  I flipped the bills the opposite direction, stopped again, and pulled a bill out of the strap.  It didn’t “feel” right.  Upon closer inspection, I recognized it was a counterfeit. 

Here’s the thought I want to share with you:  when you are daily around the real, you learn exactly what real feels like.  I don’t need to be around fake to recognize fake.  Knowing the real has taught me. Beyond currency, I can feel the difference between leather and pleather/vinyl or the difference between cotton and poly.  From a distance they may look the same but up close, the difference is obvious.  In addition, counterfeit doesn’t last.  You may ask why are there so many fakes?  That answer is simple.  It is people who want the real, like the real but, don’t want to pay the price for the real.  There are markets that are full of copycat items but the quality is not there.  Girls, the handles on that fake Louis Vuitton purse from the market will soon expose the truth but, the real leather Louis Vuitton purse handles seem to form to your hand better with each time you carry it.  The leather softens to fit your touch. 

Quality costs but quality lasts.  You want the best for your spirit?  Get the real; you can feel it.  Not some cheap, imitation but, feel the real deal.  It only takes one touch of the Master's hand.