Whatever the treat, spread kindness to your co-workers as you celebrate Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday!
Whatever the treat, spread kindness to your co-workers as you celebrate Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday!
Left? Right? Highway? County roads? Faster route? Scenic route?
I have several ways that I can go to work and because I don’t like doing everything the same way each day, a lot of times I mix it up. A few days, I made the wrong decision and couldn’t wait to get to safer ground.
It had rained a little bit through the night and with highway department trucks placing salt on the highway in front of my house, the roads looked fine. Left I decided. I pulled out of my driveway and turned left. But my car kept going left and the backend went right. Then I turned the steering wheel right and could gradually feel there was very little traction. I drove about 300 feet, turned around in the neighboring driveway and headed right back home to safety.
Yesterday it seemed there was just a little snow on the roads so I decided to turn right. Then right again onto the county road. It seemed fine until I got to the point of not being able to turn around and it was a solid sheet of ice. All I wanted was to get to the point of safety and some traction. I finally reached the highway up ahead and made it safely to my destination.
Throughout each day we have a lot of decisions to make. The devil draws us to ones that seem easy and the fastest way to what get what we want. We seem pulled in both directions. We may know the right route to take but the shortest path seems easier. We’re all about what’s easier or faster right?
But sometimes God wants us to wait and take the longer route or the route that makes us depend fully on Him but we don’t like to wait or not exercise our independence. I know. I’ve been there. I am there. I’m tired of waiting on God to open doors. I’m anxious. He keeps telling me to hang on. Be patient. Enjoy the ride.
But I am so tempted to do things my way and find ways that I think will open the door. It’s like driving on the icy, snow-covered roads. Which way do I go? The short cut or the longer way?
Sometimes I take the icy route and can’t wait to turn around and head back to Jesus. It may take me longer to get there. But it will be the right way.
I’m not sure what you’re going through today but I urge you to not be tempted by the devil’s schemes of the easy, faster way but rather to seek God for the perfect way. Because if we seek Him and follow His direction, we maintain traction and don’t get stuck on the devil’s slippery slope.
Left? Right? Straight ahead? Nope. Look up. He’ll take you there. And if you choose the wrong route, don’t be afraid to stop and turn around and go back to Him. He’s wants to put you on the path with traction. Which way will you choose?
February Make A Difference Month Challenge ideas:
Day 6 – Give a special treat to your mail carrier. Sunday was National Mail Carrier Day.
Day 7 – Feb 7th is national send a card to a friend day. Choose a special card and a special friend.
Day 8 – Buy a dozen donuts and drop off to your favorite business.
Day 9 – Take some homemade muffins to your neighbor.
Day 10 – Put $1.07 in a baggie with a note that says “buy yourself something on me today” and leave it in the toy section at the Dollar Tree.
Day 11 – Give a hug to someone who looks like they need it!
If you are just joining us – see February Make a Difference Challenge post on February 2.
Here’s a recap of suggestions for make a difference kindness acts:
*Day 1 – send a hand-written card
*Day 2 – positive message sticky notes left in public places
*Day 3- buy something extra and give away, i.e. like popcorn at a ballgame
*Day 4 – donate to your favorite charity
*Day 5 – Buy a gift card for someone and give it away.
*Let’s go make a difference to change the world one act of kindness at a time. 🙂
January. I seem to always feel a little down and somewhat depressed this time of year. It’s cold in Indiana and although I love the snow, once it melts away, the land just looks dirty.
Christmas is my favorite time of year and I look forward to the holiday season starting in September celebrating fall and Thanksgiving and then, for me, the best time of the year. Then I prepare my goals for the new year and am excited to start fresh.
But I have such a hard time getting back into the swing of things. I procrastinate. I seem to start worrying more. I don’t know…maybe it’s because my mind isn’t as filled with busyness as it is during the holidays. But all I know is that I HAVE to get out of this low, lazy lull that I am in.
What seems to help me is to remember it’s not about me. Life. It’s not about me. It’s not about what others can do FOR me but rather what I can do for others. About what I can do for God. How can I make my little corner of the world a little brighter for others? And then it will start looking brighter for me.
Life throws us curve balls. Work isn’t always fun. People are not always kind. My ideas aren’t always others’ ideas. God didn’t call me to do what others are called to do and vice versa.
So today, I’m going to get back up. Kick myself in the bottom and get busy painting some sunshine in my corner of the world.
It’s up to us to show God’s love to others. We are in charge of our joy. It’s not about what HAPPENS to us. We all have bad days. But rather it’s about how we HANDLE what happens to us.
David cried out to God in Psalm 94:19 – [God,] when anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
I’m going to work real hard to find joy in my day, sunshine in my path and spread that joy everywhere I go to overcome the anxiety within me and let Christ bring joy to my soul. Who wants to paint some joy with me today?
For Make A Difference Monday, I am challenging you (and me) to send a card to someone every day this week. “No one has a birthday” you may say. “Who could I send a card to?” Dr. Seuss says “Oh the places we could go.” Dr. Deanna says, “Oh the places we could send.” 🙂
Here are some ideas:
*the working mom who needs a little encouragement that she is doing great.
*the single dad who plays the role of both parents with grace.
*the worship leader at church who put together a great service on Sunday.
*the pastor who works tirelessly to serve the congregation.
*the coworker who put forth extra effort to make the project complete on time.
*the friend you haven’t seen for a while.
*the cousin you used to play with every Sunday at grandma’s house.
*the author of a good book you just read.
*the newspaper columnist who wrote a great article you enjoyed.
*the neighbor who needs to know you care.
*the student who received a special award.
*the nurse who gave special care to your mom.
*the doctor who calmed your child during stitches.
*the teacher who took extra time with your son.
*the coach who knew it was more than about the win.
There are many opportunities to send cards to people who sometimes we don’t remember could use some encouragement. Take time this week to think about some of those people and then go make a difference to someone by encouraging them with a card. Let’s go change the world, one act of kindness at a time!
BELIEVE. RELAX. JOY. SIMPLIFY.
Each year for the last several years I have chosen a word to be my “theme” for the year. This year I chose SIMPLIFY. On January 1 I woke up feeling a little unsettled. And I kept singing that song, “I surrender all” over and over. I don’t even really like that song. Why am I singing it?
Did I have a dream? Why is that song and that word so heavy on my mind? As the morning went on that word SURRENDER would not go away. So I stopped my morning routine of “work as fast as you can to be productive” and just sat….quietly…and prayed.
I asked God why I had that word on my mind. And I believe He revealed to me that SIMPLIFY is my word for the year but I needed a second “S” word and that was SURRENDER. I felt Him telling me that I have made my life so complicated by trying to control so many things that the word SIMPLIFY was a natural choice for a word to help me improve. But the natural choice word needed a spiritual choice word – SURRENDER.
I need to surrender my worries, my control, my manipulation of trying to make things turn out how I think is best for everyone; my obsession with trying to protect everyone from harm. God told me to SURRENDER in order to SIMPLIFY.
So this year my word for 2018 is actually an equation. SIMPLIFY+SURRENDER=PEACE.
Yes, Lord, I’m going to try really hard to SURRENDER ALL so that I may have a more simplified life in order to feel Your peace every day.
New Year’s Resolutions. Phoooweeeee!
We start with not planning to eat sugar and planning to exercise 6 days a week. We plan to be a better spouse, parent and co-worker. We are going to declutter the house by spending 15 minutes each day getting rid of the unwanted and then being so organized we will always be able to find our latest tax return and the receipt for the sweater we bought our friend for Christmas.
Then January 15th rolls around and we realize we had cookies this week, yelled at the kids, and snapped at a co-worker. The house is worse than it was before we made the resolution and the exercise equipment is still in the box.
So we give up. Heck with it. Resolutions failed. Give up. Right? Wrong!
What if we had a different plan?
What if we set “goals” instead of “resolutions”? Goals we have all year to accomplish. Resolutions can make us feel like a failure if broken. But goals give us the opportunity to start over multiple times without feeling like we have failed or giving us an option to quit.
This year I want to pray more, write more, speak to groups more about making a difference to someone every day.
I want to read more books and read more of my Bible. I want to increase my exercise and keep going with my weight loss plan. I want to encourage people more and do more intentional acts of kindness.
All of these things are great to put on paper but without a plan nothing will be accomplished. Take a few minutes today and write down what you hope to accomplish in 2018. Then think about how you want to accomplish those goals and make a plan.
What is your biggest goal for 2018? I would love to hear about your goals so we can work together to make 2018 the best year yet!
I walked in the door to an invitation to come straight to the kitchen to sit down. Morgan and Roger had prepared dinner for me. The table was set; the water glasses were full; ranch chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls were waiting for me. What a wonderful welcome!
It was like heaven on earth. I didn’t have to do anything except sit down and enjoy what those two had prepared for me. What a gift it was!
Jesus gives us the same invitation only instead of food, it is eternity in the real heaven. We come just as we are. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, where we’ve been or who we were with. He just wants us to come to His table and dine with Him. He’s done all the work for us. It truly is a gift. Accept the invitation and you can dine with Christ in heaven for eternity. You can talk to Him day and night and He will be with you every moment from right now and forever in eternity helping you through each day.
Dinner’s ready. Will you join us?
An elderly friend was not doing so well after emergency surgery to alleviate pressure from a blood clot that was slowly cutting off her airway. One of our pastors prayed over her that God would perform a miracle and heal her so that God could be glorified. God answered that prayer and within hours she was taken off all the machines and was smiling and breathing without the trachea. WOW, God is so awesome.
Within a couple of hours of hearing this wonderful news, I received a text that another lady (my dear friend’s sister) that we had been praying for since December 6th went home to be with the Lord. She had been dealing with complications from not being treated properly for pneumonia by the first hospital she visited and complications set in causing a domino affect of additional health issues.
I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why God answers some prayers and doesn’t answer others. I don’t know how to explain it when people ask that question and I don’t know how to comfort when they don’t understand.
What I do know is that Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heaven including a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
I also know that Paul tells us in Romans 8:28 that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.
I don’t understand and I can’t explain it to someone to help them understand. The only thing I know is that God is faithful, true and loving and hates to see us hurt. But when we do, He is there to comfort and use every single thing to bring good to us through Him. Trust in Him through all seasons.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
‘Twas the night before the first Christmas and all through the town
Folks were sleeping in hotel beds while Mary and Joseph walked around.
The people were ready for the census to be done
In hopes to return soon to their precious homes.
The animals were nestled all snug in the hay
Just minding their own business on this particular day.
And Mary in her nightgown and Joseph with his staff
Were settling in for a long night with no naps.
When out in the field there arose such a clatter.
The shepherds fell to their knees for a message that would matter.
The angel told them to be calm for he had an announcement to make.
And the shepherds bowed down as their bodies began to shake.
“You should go to Bethlehem even though it may be far.
A king has been born. You must follow the star.”
The shepherds arose, to their sheep gave a whistle;
And away they all went, walking fast as a missile.
They followed the star to Bethlehem town
Where animals were feeding and all lying down.
When what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a baby wrapped in rags with straw up to his ears.
With mom and dad and a baby with no bling
They knew in a moment it was the prophesied King.
Mary invited them in to hold his sweet little hand.
“His name is Jesus,” she said. “He’s a special little man.”
The shepherds wanted to shout and tell all the nations.
So they left with their hearts filled and lots of inspiration.
This same little baby is today’s reason for Christmas cheer.
Invite Him into your heart and you, too, can celebrate Christmas all year.