Tag: #makeadifferenceeveryday

Reflection On Gratitude.

As we focus on our blessings over the next couple days, I encourage you to think about starting a Gratitude Journal.  I talked to a friend who has been writing down each down something she is thankful for.  She told me that the longer she does it, the more she starts seeing God in the little things.  I loved it!

Maybe if we all start seeing God more in the little things, we can truly make a difference to this world and this “gratitude thing” will be contagious!  Give thanks.  Be grateful.  Praise the Lord for it all!

Where’d It Go?

On my way to work the other day, I saw a wild turkey running as fast as his little legs would take him.  His head was bobbing uncontrollably as he waddled across the road and through the open field.  I had to laugh to myself as I thought two things:

*He’s running away from Thanksgiving and hoping no one notices.
*And…….why did the turkey cross the road?  (Bad joke!)

But it did remind me of how our society pretty much skips right over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Oh, we still gather as friends and family and eat too much and watch football.  But we don’t seem to celebrate the holiday any more.

Stores don’t even recognize Thanksgiving but go straight from Halloween to Christmas because there’s no revenue associated with decorating for Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong – I love, love, love, Christmas.  I have a lot of my shopping done and have my outside lights ready to flip on after the Thanksgiving dishes are done.  But I don’t want to skip an important day that is set aside to celebrate all of my many blessings.

Let’s not let Thanksgiving run away from us or get lost in the black Friday sales fliers as we ask ourselves “where’d the day go.”  Instead let’s challenge ourselves to be in the moment of the day.  Stop. Be thankful. And praise God for blessings.  Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Today is National Philanthropy Day.  If you are looking for a great way to make a difference during the holiday season, I would invite you to consider donating to Bucket Buddies Mission.

We are currently in the middle of a nation-wide bucket fill event and by the first of December, we should be close to having delivered 7,000 buckets in 25 states and Canada since we began this journey in July, 2014 of making a difference to children with life-threatening illnesses.

We could not have done this without the help of donors and volunteers.  We are so thankful for every penny and every item that has been donated to our mission.

No matter what philanthropy you choose, just the pure act of giving from the heart brings about a sense of overwhelming gratitude for the blessings in our lives.  Have a great day as you give from the heart on National Philanthropy Day!

 

See more pix here.

 

A Wagon Full of Kindness!

Have you seen the commercial where the little boy has a wagon full of ice and Coca Cola® soft drinks and secretly leaves them for people to find?  When the recipient finds it, they take a sip and smile.  In the end, the boy shares one with Santa Claus.

Every time I see that commercial, I smile.  I know what’s going to happen and still can’t help but smile.  There is just something about seeing someone show kindness that just warms our hearts.

Today is World Kindness Day.  I challenge each one of us to do one intentional act of kindness and then watch the other person smile.  Some people may not know what to do because you may be the first person to ever show this much  kindness to them.  How cool is that!

Some examples of things you can do:
Hold open a door for someone.
Ask about someone’s weekend …….and then listen to their answer.
Buy a bouquet of flowers to share with the receptionist.
Buy coffee for the person behind you at Starbucks.
Go to lunch with a friend.
Leave an extra tip for the waitress.
Make your spouse their favorite cookie.
Read a book to your child.
Call a long-lost friend.
Visit your neighbor.
Leave candy for the mail carrier.
Donate to your favorite charity.

There’s just something magical about showing kindness and not expecting anything in return.  I would love for you to share your story of kindness – whether you were the giver of the kind act or the receiver.  One act of kindness by each person today could literally change our world.

Jump in the Kindness Wagon and let’s get started.  Happy World Kindness Day!

 

That Hat Looks Good On You!

Beanie. Fedora. Beret. Baseball. Hard. Pillbox. Sailor. Cowboy. Top.

Kinds of hats.

Hats are a big business in this country.  We even have stores that sell ONLY hats!  Most hats serve a purpose – to keep us warm, to advertise our favorite team, to cover up our messy hair, to identify our career, to bring a little fun into our day or to make a fashion statement.

Construction workers wear hard hats to keep their heads safe from falling debris.  Football players wear helmets to keep their heads safe from impact on the field.  We should be as prepared when we head out for our heavy job today.

The most important hat for each of us to wear each day is the helmet of salvation that Paul talks about in Ephesians 6.  It’s our hard hat against the devil.

The devil is going to be throwing bricks at us and hitting us hard from every direction.  Without the proper hat he may knock us down.  But with the helmet of salvation, the simple truth of trusting God and believing in Jesus, we have the protection to withstand whatever is thrown our way.

As you head into your day, remember what your mom used to say:  “Don’t forget your hat”  because trust me, that helmet of salvation sure looks good on you!

 

Rules vs. Relationship Theory

A foreign exchange student was on the basketball team of a local high school and doing quite well.  She played on the junior varsity team most of the time but on senior night, her host family asked the coach if it would be possible to allow the exchange student to be in the starting lineup so that she could hear her name on the loud speakers and experience the tip of the ball to begin the game as a starter. The host family even told the coach that she didn’t have to keep her in for very long but just allow her that one-time experience. The coach said she would consider it.

The night of the game, the exchange student was emotional and excited to get one opportunity to be in the starting lineup if only for the first play of the game. But the coach crushed that dream. She decided not to start her.

Her reasoning: she really wanted to win the game. Wow! That coach decided that a one-minute, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of excitement for the exchange student wasn’t as important as a win of a 32-minute basketball game.

I use the phrase, “Rules versus Relationships” all the time. In my little world, 90% of the time relationship wins. I firmly believe this.  If people would quit being so rigid about rules and look rather at the relationship and how they can use every opportunity to show the love of Christ to lead others to Him, then maybe we could infiltrate some of the love and compassion this world was created around.

I’m so sick of hearing about how “this is the rule” rather than caring about other people.  I know that rules are important and some are created obviously for our safety.   I work in a world of rules as a paralegal.  I get it!

But I am talking about people using rules for selfish reasons; using rules to look out for “number one!”.  We’ve become a world of me, me, me. How are we ever going to lead someone to Christ when we can’t show compassion ourselves?

Think about what others are going through.  The exchange student will never get another opportunity to be a starter on the team. One minute could have changed her world and I seriously doubt would have changed the outcome of the game.

What do you do when the checkout person at Wal-Mart isn’t friendly?  Do you go to the manager and complain?  Or does the “relationship versus rule” theory set in and showing kindness become more important than complaining?

Maybe she is a single mom and she just received a notice that her electric will be turned off.  Maybe she just found out she has a serious health issue.  Everyone we meet is going through something and we need to try to show the love of Christ even when someone hasn’t followed the “rule”.

John tells a story of Jesus showing the “relationship over rule” attitude when the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery.  They said, “In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  Now what do you say?” (John 8:5).  The Pharisees were trying to use this situation as a trap for Jesus so that they had something to accuse Him of breaking the law.

But Jesus kept writing something on the ground and when the Pharisees continued to question him about the “rule”, Jesus chose relationship and turned the “rule” back on the Pharisees.

He said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  (John 8:7). The rest of the chapter tells us that one by one her accusers walked away and Jesus said to her “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more”.  He gave her a second chance.  He chose to show the love of Christ and use this situation to build a relationship.

Not everything is this simple I understand.  Rules are rules and are made to protect people and need to be followed.   I’m just saying the next time you want to use a rule for “rules sake”, think about the person and the relationship.  Should you use the “rules versus relationship” theory and allow relationship to come out on top or is it truly a “rules win” situation?  Only YOU know the deep-down feeling to answer that question.

I hope we choose relationships when possible and maybe little by little we will begin to see the love of Christ permeate this selfish world!

Awww………Rest.

I came home from work to sit down to a wonderful dinner prepared by my sweet husband.  We ate and then went to the living room to watch some baseball.

But instead I felt myself drifting off to sleep and before I knew it, an hour and a half had passed.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love taking naps but probably not at 8 o’clock at night!

I started my routine of preparing for the next day’s work day and got myself ready for bed.  As my head hit the pillow, I wondered how long I would lay there before falling asleep. ” It would be a good time to get all my prayers in”, I thought, “as I lay here eyes wide open.”  As in many nights before, I started praying and fell asleep.  But the difference this time was that I don’t remember anything else until I woke up around 5 a.m.!!  A whole night’s rest!!

I think my body had been telling me for a few days that I needed to rest.  And when I took time to focus on rest and prayer, I woke to a new attitude and a renewed sense of energy.

I guess Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said, “come to me all you who are tired.”  I hope you, too,  will put the worries of the world on hold today and take time to rest, if only for a bit.  Renewed spirit and energy are waiting!

Driving Conditions Bad!

How does a car know to send you a dashboard warning that driving conditions could be hazardous?

Technology just amazes me.  The sensors on my car knew that it was drizzling rain and that the temperature was close to 32 degrees.  It knew that those two factors together should produce a warning message to let me know to be careful while driving because ice could be possible.  Although I didn’t see any signs of ice, I was thankful for the warning to be cautious.

I was thinking how awesome it would be if every time we started to make wrong choices, a little neon light would flash before us warning us of the dangers ahead.  Then I remembered a conversation I had recently where the person said, “deep inside my gut, I know it just isn’t right.”

There it is!  Our conscience.  The Holy Spirit.  God’s leading.  We do have it.  I believe that deep down inside, our human technology processes when the environment, the conditions, the choices we have to make are hard and together with our right-versus-wrong temperature, our inner conscience gives us the warning.

Keep your eyes wide open today, your heart on guard and don’t let the devil’s dangerous conditions steer you off course.  Drive with caution through your day and let God lead you safely through the icy patches.

Heart Health

When she said “da da” for the first time, his melted.

When he got on the kindergarten bus, hers skipped a beat.

When she said yes to the prom, she stole his.

When he said, “you may kiss your bride”, his skipped a beat.

When he hit the winning shot, hers swelled with pride.

When he buried his momma from cancer, his broke.

When His stopped beating while hanging on the cross, it became ours to receive.

When we give ours to Him, He holds it in the palm of His nail-scarred hand with tender love and care.

Let’s give ours to Jesus today.  The One after my very own.  The One who sees it on the inside.  The only One that can heal it and make it whole again.  The One who knows the true definition of Heart Health.

Deuteronomy 6:5(a) – Love the Lord your God with all your heart.

 

The Power of Your Brand.

Broken toddler language of a 2 1/2-year-old can sometimes be challenging.  After a couple of minutes of trying to understand why “cars” didn’t satisfy this “I want cars” conversation, I realized what he really wanted from his Aunt Deanna.

He wanted “cards”.  At my house, I have a drawer of playing cards and his cards are in a plastic bag.  As I opened the drawer to hand them to him, he said “no” and pointed to my cards that had the Indianapolis Colts logo on them.

With the season going the way it has been, what difference does it make if grimy little hands bend and rip them now! haha  So after confirming it was those particular cards he wanted, he jumped up and down and said “football”.

I was amazed that his little brain knew that the horseshoe logo meant football. When people look at us and our lives, what does our life look like to them?  Does our brand as a person bring as much joy to others as that little horseshoe brought to Karter?

Do people look at us and see Christ and a genuine loving, caring and kind person?  Or is our brand looked upon as a grouchy, never-happy, selfish person?

It’s up to us today.  It’s time to show our Christian brand for what it’s worth.  It cost a man His life but it’s worth an eternity in heaven.  Will you wear the brand proudly today so that others will want to have it, too?

Ephesians 5:1-2 – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God.