Tag: #makeadifferenceeveryday

How Do I Get Out Of Here?

We went to the local pumpkin patch yesterday and meandered through the corn maze.  Now I am claustrophobic and sometimes these corn mazes make me very anxious.  My daughters and I let my 12-year-old nephew lead the way.  Of course he thought he knew where he was going.  We played along going down one dead-end path after another.  We marched with 2-year-old Karter and sang songs never letting on we had no idea when and where we would be exiting this maze.

We reached the point where it became very clear we were lost and not able to find the exit.  My daughter even gave it a try and after about 40 minutes of what started out as fun, I started to become a little panicky.  Realizing I was ready to get out but trying to stay calm for the boys, my daughter said, “let’s just go back out the way we came in” as we walked past the entrance path.  It wasn’t the success Kaleb had hoped for but with the heat pounding down and Aunt Deanna getting a little anxious, the girls talked him into claiming a “back-handed” victory!

As we were walking through the corn maze, following our 6th grade group leader, and trying all these different paths that didn’t lead to anywhere, it made me think of life.  Sometimes we get caught up in following the crowd and going into this maze of life thinking we can do it on our own.  We start out with Jesus and then we get caught up in the ways of the world.

We are seeking for truth and a way out.  We go down every dead-end path on our own.  We may try paths of things that make us feel better or paths that other people think are the answers out.  We try every way out of the chaos except the way that we started.  The way we know is right.

Jesus is the Way!  He is the Way.  He is the Truth.  And He is the Life.  (John 14:6).

Whatever maze you are going through today, go back to Jesus and let Him show you the right way.   He wants to lead you down paths that lead you right to His plan for your life.  Let Him be your leader.  I promise you, it’s quicker, easier and less claustrophobic!

He Is The Real King of the World.

My favorite all-time Christian singer, Natalie Grant, posted a video yesterday letting us know that she is battling a benign thyroid tumor.  They are very hopeful that after surgery tests will show that there is still no cancer!   She is scared of course, as we all would be, but is very optimistic that she will be singing on stage again before year end.

My heart broke for her.  I was reminded of her visit to our little town of Greensburg, Indiana and the amazing concerts she performed while here.  But I was also again reminded of how that journey of faith to bring her here changed my life.  It was a huge leap of faith but one I knew God was calling me to start and even though it was tough, He never failed me.  He grew me in my Christian faith more than I can ever explain.  That journey, and Natalie Grant, truly changed my life.

I guess that’s why I get so sad and teary as I think about her going through this.  She is human even though we sometimes put humans on a pedestal and believe they are “super human”.  Nope.  She’s a wife, a mommy of 3 beautiful girls, a Christian, a career woman and a friend to many who just also happens to be well-known around the world.

In her video last night she talked about her song, King of the World.  She said something like, “I can’t just sing about the King of the World.  I have to believe that He is and trust Him through this journey.  And I do.”  [paraphrased]

Whatever journey you are on; whatever is testing your faith and pulling you down; whatever is causing you worry and pain today – know that God is the REAL King of the World and we have to trust Him to carry us through!

Join me as I commit to pray for Natalie each day that God will heal her completely so that she can continue to bring honor and glory to Him through her story and her beautiful voice.

The Story of Multi-Tasking Chaos To Peace.

How many of you love to multi-task?  I love it!  It just seems like I am an octopus with 8 arms when I am able to have the washer, dryer, dishwasher and self-cleaning oven going all at the same time while I run the sweeper.

But when the washer dings, the dryer buzzes and the hum of the dishwasher stops at the same time the timer goes off informing me the oven needs to quickly be wiped out from its “self-cleaning”, chaos sets in.  I now need to hang the laundry in the washer, fold the laundry in the dryer before it wrinkles, unload the dishwasher to be prepared for meal #2 and get the crud off of the oven before it hardens again.  What was I thinking?

Now multi–tasking with 8 arms that sounded like such a good idea has now set into reality that I only have 2 hands and my peace is no longer calming!!

The devil loves to create this in our lives.  He loves to remind us about multi-tasking, especially when we are doing things for the Lord.  For example, you sit down to have your morning devotions.  Then in the quiet, you start worrying about something with your child.  Then that drums up bitter feelings of what someone did to you 15 years ago at the church.  Now your anger boils over to why that person who hurt you is successful and living the perfect life.  And why don’t you get any breaks?  Why is everything always happening to you?  Now you’re mad; you’re worrying; you’re bitter and jealous!

BAM – the devil has just rung his bell of multi-tasking chaos in your life and he is happy!!  What did you sit down to do in the first place?  Have a quiet time with the Lord.  If we can stay focused on the Lord and give Him first place in our lives, He will take care of all of the multi-tasking that needs to be done.  He is omnipotent and omnipresent.  He knows it all and is everywhere. Talk about being able to multi-task in the right way!

Exodus 14:14 says “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.”  Let Him.  Let Him fight for you.  Let Him multi-task and take care of everything you think you need to worry about and control.  You just focus on Him and do that one thing well and He will take care of the rest – including the nasty multi-tasking scum that lurks around from the darkness.

Get out of my way devil.  I’ve got to spent time with my God who will multi-task circles around you!  Have a great day of focus and let God multi-task all the chaos into peace.

 

 

Remember, a backdrop of commotion is the best place for the peace of God to be put on display.  So if the enemy has been wreaking havoc all around you, and the chaos he’s instigated has seemed to swallow you whole, don’t be discouraged.  Our God can and will anchor your soul, tethering it to the security found in His gospel, the good news of His beloved Son.  Hang on.  Peace is on the way!             – from Armor of God Study by Priscilla Shirer

What Should I Wear Today?

I have this plaque in my closet.

What this means to me is that if you don’t know what kind of attire is appropriate for the day or an event you are attending, it’s always better to overdress.

Some people may not feel the same way as I do and that’s okay.  I love fashion and putting outfits together based on things I see in magazines and on the Pinterest® app.  I base my outfits on the weather, what meetings I have or what events are going on that day.  I try to always be prepared with my outfit.

We should all be so prepared for our day from the spiritual sense as well.  In Ephesians 6, Paul gives us the wardrobe for the day that we need to wear to be ready for the devil’s schemes.

It’s the whole outfit – the full ensemble from head to toe.  The helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of the gospel, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, and prayer to top it off.

As prepared as I love to be for the day with my physical outfit, it’s more important to be sure that I am prepared for the unscheduled meetings that the devil holds, the events that he creates that are not on my calendar and the cloudy weather that the stupid evil one loves to throw into my day.

I can be dressed to the nines when I am ready with the armor of God and covered in prayer.  The devil may decide to leave me alone today but I’d rather be overdressed and prepared than to be caught without my armor on.  Because as soon as I don’t have my rain jacket, he will bring on the storm.

Actually, now that I think about it, the outfit on Paul’s “Pinterest” account is way better than the leopard print top and hot pink shoes that I had planned for today anyway!  Have a great one!

If You Could Live Anywhere In The World….

The question of the day:  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Some people may choose a beautiful place they have visited such as Ireland or Australia.
Other people may choose some place that they have always dreamed of visiting.  Maybe a setting in a book they read or a place they saw on television.
Some people may be very happy and content right where they are and would choose their current location.

Me?  I would choose Chick-Fil-A.

Yes, you heard me right.  Chick-Fil-A.  I love so many things about that place.  Just pulling in the parking lot makes me smile.

They value their employees by being closed on Sundays and holidays to give people time to be with their families and worship if they choose.  They stand up for Christian values.  And they are still the 8th most successful fast food restaurant in America according to QSR Magazine.

Why would I like to live at Chick-Fil-A you may ask?

*They have awesome food and many healthy choices. Not to mention those awesome waffle fries!
*I can get all the Sprite I want.
*People are sooooo nice to me.
*It is so clean and I wouldn’t have to run the sweeper myself.
*I love the way they have decorated the place.
*I get my own personal server who continues to tell me how much of a “pleasure” it is for him to serve me.
*I love their taste in music.
*I get my ketchup in those cute little containers that are shaped like a mini bottle of ketchup!
*I get all of the extras in a cute little popcorn-box-shaped container to take to my table that has a number where they can find me instead of yelling out my name across the masses.
*It’s very peaceful and I can hear myself talk but yet I never feel lonely because there are always people around.
*They have the best indoor playground ever.
*And they rest on Sundays.

Yes, today if I could live anywhere in the world, I  would choose Chick-Fil-A.

Work or Watch?

Have you ever walked or driven by a group of workers and it appeared like only one of them was working while the others were just standing around talking, laughing, hands in their pockets?

We may become aggravated and have thoughts cross through our minds like:  “are they getting paid to just stand there?” Or we may have thoughts of them being lazy or not doing what they are hired to do.  We may think they are goofing off and taking advantage of something or someone.

Well what about you?  What about me?  Has God ever called us to do something and we just stand around and ignore Him?  Do you feel God calling you right now to do something and you’re like one of the workers just standing around with your hands in your pockets watching someone else do His work?

If you feel called to do something for the Lord, get on it!  As Christians we are commanded to teach and preach God’s word to others.  When we ignore our duties or our calling, we are just like one of those workers we get aggravated at who is standing around watching.

Matthew 28:19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Are we one of those workers?  Are we just standing around looking, hands in our pockets, talking and laughing?  Or are we the one doing the work?  Would God be aggravated at us if He drove by and saw us looking at all the work that needed to be done instead of getting our hands dirty and doing the work He called us to do?

Work or Watch?  What will you be doing today?

Shipwrecked But Still Sailing.

Example #1:  Vehicle “limping” down the road to the nearest gas station with a tiny spare tire.

Example #2:  Sweeper bound together with binder twine hoping to make it through one more trip around the house.

Example #3:  Umbrella held together with duct tape as prongs poke out of all sides providing just enough protection from the rain for today.

What do these three things have in common?  They are all busted but being held together by a “thread” to just get through until a “fix” comes along.

Casting Crowns has a song called “Oh my Soul” and one line of the lyrics is “and my shipwrecked faith will never get to me to shore.”

Is your faith shipwrecked today?  Do you feel like you are being held together by duct tape and binder twine; on your last spare tire being beaten down by the pouring rain?

Well there is hope!  The next line in the song says, “Can He find me here?  Can He keep me from going under?”  And the answer is yes!

Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is being sure of we hoped for and certain of what we do not see.”

Even shipwrecked faith will get us to shore.  And if we think we can’t make it but we know someone can help us, that’s when God shows up in the boat, life jacket in hand and pulls you in to Him.  You’re safe now because you’ve given Him control to get you to shore.

If your faith is shipwrecked today, don’t give up because there’s faith in a spare tire, binder twine and some duct tape to hold it together until you can get help.  Jesus is the help you need and He’s not “on the way”.  He’s already here.

I hope you can SAIL through your day with great hope, a little more faith and a big ole roll of duct tape!

Four Months Til Christmas!

Yes it is only four months, from today, until Christmas!  I love Christmas and, in my secret way, I celebrate it all year long.  I know some of you are reading this right now and rolling your eyes and telling me to zip my mouth!

Some people think of Christmas as busy, not enough hours in the day, HAVING to shop for gifts, spending way too much money and having to “perform” or keep up with the expectations of others.

Well what if this year we started now?  WHAT!!!  No seriously.  What if we started now thinking of things we can do this far in advance to help minimize the stress?  Here are a few suggestions:

  1.  Start making a list of people you want to send Christmas cards to.  Minimize it.  Maybe you send electronic Christmas wishes to those you see frequently and cards to those you don’t.  Or don’t send cards at all.  Say What????!!!   Yes, hours saved and I bet you might just take some pressure off of others who wish they could do the same thing.
  2. Start putting money back now for Christmas shopping.  You can start a savings account at your local bank or find a safe place to keep $20 a week.  It adds up and by the first of December you will have saved a couple hundred extra dollars.
  3. Start your list for those you wish to buy for and start looking for gifts now.  Then take a box and place it in the corner of your closet or basement and keep your gifts there.  Look for sales and be sure to keep your list with you at all times so you don’t “double purchase” when your normal Christmas shopping time comes around.
  4. Start showing acts of kindness NOW.  It seems like around Christmas time is when everyone gets the kindness gene in full gear.  We can do that all year long.  Kindness matters and you can give your donations and random acts of kindness right now!
  5. Consider minimizing your decorating to be just what you and your family want and not try to meet the large expectations that you THINK others want.  And if you have an Elf visit your Shelf…….start pinning some Pinterest ideas now! haha

But with all this being said, we really need to remember that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus.  We get so caught up in all of the fun things of the season that sometimes we forget the real meaning.  I love all the decorations, baking, lights, gift giving and gatherings, too.  But since we are still four months out from the big day of celebration, maybe we start now to create the perfect Christmas.  The one fit for our King!

Merry Christmas in August!  🙂

What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander.

Most of us want to be there for people when they are hurting.  One of the first things we say is “I will pray for you” or “Hang in there.  It’s going to all work out.”  Sometimes we quote comforting scriptures (that we can remember) and put our arm around them and give them a hug.  But do we believe it?  Do we mean it deep down?

We mean that we will pray for them and we believe that God will take care of their situation.

We may quote Romans 8;28a:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”

We use James 4:7 a lot when praying for addictions or temptations:  “Submit yourselves then to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

When comforting someone who is struggling with something they have done, a popular scripture we may quote is Psalm 103:12:  “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us.”

If someone is worrying about a child, a parent, a work situation, we use scriptures that encourage them to turn it all over to the Lord.  Matthew 6:34:  “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  Or Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who can be against us.”  Or Matthew 19:26 – “Jesus looked at them said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””

We encourage people to put on the full armor of God and fight the wicked devil with everything in them – scripture, prayer, voice, Holy Spirit.

But let’s not forget that it’s not just for others; it’s for us, too.  It’s easy for us to dish out this advice and encourage others and quote scriptures to let them know God’s got this.  It’s the same for us.  We have to believe it when we are going through these difficult and trying times, too.

Remember to use all this encouragement, prayer, scripture and belief on YOURSELF, too.  Because God loves us ALL just as we are but He loves us too much to allow us to stay that way.  He’s got this.  Because what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.