Category Archives: encouragment
I am neither a self-professed early riser or a night owl. I enjoy the peacefulness that either time of the day offers. How can I choose between the beauty of a golden sunrise or a majestic purple sunset? One offers me an opportunity to rejoice with the coming of the new day. While the other gives me time to reflect and be thankful for all that the day was.
There is something to be said about starting the day off in the presence of the Lord…Jesus started his day off by meeting with the Lord and therefore set an example for how our day should begin.
I am embarking on a journey this summer. A journey that will begin at dawn each day. Each morning will begin with prayer, include a devotional reading and finish up with a time of quiet and stillness.
I am feeling most challenged by the commitment to the time of quiet and stillness…typically when my feet hit the floor my mind is racing…making my own plan for the day, week, month…rarely checking in with the Lord to see what His plan is for my day.
I have found that it’s easier for me to stay focused when I have a plan in place. Otherwise, I find myself distracted and rambling. I have been known to chase a squirrel or two… I have found the simple ACTS prayer model works for me…This also follows the pattern of the Lords prayer…
- Adoration: proclaiming who God is and the attributes of HIS character
- Confession: personal cleansing, repentance, putting on Christs nature
- Thanksgiving: praise offering, meditation
- Supplication: asking, intercession and petitioning according to God’s will
I have created a place that I hope will become my thin place, where heaven meets earth (check out the explanation at 6:00 minutes) …my meeting place with the Lord…If you would like to join the summer session of Hello Mornings click here to find a group.
I am looking forward to developing a great new habit of rising early and meeting with the Lord. This could be the best summer of my life! Let the journey begin…
When is the last time you stopped to consider the words you speak? I think about it quite often. I have witnessed the power of the spoken word and how it can lift someones spirit or tear them down. I have seen the crushing blow of a parents angry words to a child over a missed pitch in a baseball game. I have seen a beautiful vibrant woman turned into a sad shell of herself due to the constant insults leveled at her by her husband. I have also witnessed a husband lose his sense of self-worth because his hard work goes unnoticed by his family. Then on the other hand, I have seen tears replaced with laughter, desperation replaced with hope. I have seen anger replaced with peace, rejection replaced with acceptance. I have seen a lost soul find their purpose. All because of the spoken word.
This week one of my young volunteers lost his life in a horrific accident. As you can imagine the family and everyone who knew him are devastated. When the Pastor met with the family the grandmother recounted a story of how one particular person had spoken words of encouragement to this young man while he was volunteering and the incredibly positive affect it had on him. “Her words lifted his spirit!”
Every conversation and interaction we have is an opportunity to speak hope into someone’s life. Recently, Toby Mac released a new CD, Eye On It. There is one particular song that I listen to almost everyday on my to work…Speak Life. The lyrics remind me that I have the power to speak hope, love and life into someone’s world…
“It’s Crazy to imaging that the words from our lips as the arms of compassion. Mountains crumble with every syllable. Hope can live or die. So speak life. Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted. watch them come alive as soon as you speak love, speak hope, speak life.”
What will you do with your words today…tear someone down or Speak Life?
How many people in this world ever accomplish all they set out to do at the beginning of the year? Well, I for one am not one of those “accomplished” types…I start the year off thinking and planning, plotting and scheduling and making all sorts of plans. Then reality presents itself and life takes a new course.
I started 2012 off much the same… a year of grand plans. As I read a few of my posts from January I had to shake my head and laugh to myself…”Oh you silly girl, what were you thinking?”. Life is a journey with unexpected twists and turns, ups and downs, good days and not so good days. There were projects and trips planned that fell by the wayside…but when looking back at 2012 I remembered all the things that were accomplished, trips taken and memories made. So instead of dwelling on the undone…I will rejoice in all that was done…2012 was a year without regrets!
I will look forward to the new year with great anticipation. I will be thankful for everyday. I will look for that one thing that made the day worth getting out of bed for…I will laugh at myself, I will love with all my heart, I will live this year one day at a time…I will be present in the moment…I will hold my loved ones tighter, call them more often, tell them I love them without hesitation. I will invest time and energy into the people who come into my life and pray that through it all I will become a better person, that my faith will grow and that 2013 will be a year without regrets!
Have you ever watched a silent movie? I recently “watched” a movie on a plane flight. I really did watch it…I chose not to pay for the movie so I was unable to hear the sound. The movie was 1,000 Words starring Eddie Murphy. In the movie Eddie’s character discovers he only has 1,000 words left to say before he dies. So this got my wheels turning and I have been thinking about it for weeks.
Have you given much thought to how many words you speak in one day?
One clinical study has concluded that women speak an average of 20,000 words per day and men speak an average of 7,000 words per day. Now before I head off on a rabbit trail let me just say that there are plenty of opinions about these findings. But let’s just go with it for the sake of this post.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of talking…This has me wondering… Are all of my conversations necessary or are they idle chatter? Are my words cruel and demeaning? Or are my words sweet and life affirming?
What if my words were limited? Not just my spoken words but my written words as well. Would I be so quick to speak? Would I waste my precious words on cursing or gossip? Would I choose my words more carefully? Speak more sweetly? Make the most of every syllable I utter.
How creative would I become in order to conserve my precious allotment. How many non verbal ways are there to communicate with people in my life.? A smile or laughter is universal and conveys joy and happiness. A hug can express more sympathy or empathy than any number of words and I have found on many occasions it’s all that’s necessary. A thumbs up will let someone know that they are doing a good job. A wave says hello or goodbye.
I know my words carry a lot of weight…My words can build up a life or tear it down! I have a choice before I ever open my mouth…I can choose tasteless bitter words that cause hurt that cuts to the bone… or I can choose words that are tasteful, full of sweetness, wholesome and kind. Words that will enrich the life of the person on the receiving end. My words should breathe life and offer hope. The words I speak should drip of honey and bless the ears that hear them.
Now with all that said, I don’t always think the most positive things but I do try to check what comes out of my mouth before its too late. Words are one thing you can never take back no matter how hard you try…apologize you may but the words will always be there lurking in the memory of the person who was on the recieiving end. Every time I get behind the wheel of my car I encounter someone who challenges my positive thought process. When I have to wait on hold for an unmerciful amount of time only to be transferred multiple times or have my call disconnected leaves me fuming and mumbling under my breath. When my favorite sports team systematically implodes I find myself screaming at the television giving the coach a much-needed talking to. And more times than not I find myself speaking negative, less than re-affirming thoughts into my own life when I am tired and frustrated or feeling a little bit sorry for myself.
Back to the “silent movie”…Eddie’s character became very creative with non-verbal communication…especially as he came closer and closer to the end of his life. Not one of us knows the day or time that we will breathe our last breath…isn’t that reason enough to be more cognizant of the words we speak. What kind of legacy will your words say about you? With that in mind, I am much more thoughtful about all the yada yada yada in my life…how about you?
I have been searching for balance in my life…without giving up the things I enjoy doing. I do not think I am alone…
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
The more I search for balance the more it seems my calendar is filling up with record speed…learning to say no to the good things so I can say yes to the better things is something I have not been able to grasp. I just want to do it all…
Balance – to arrange or adjust to have equal distribution…
A balanced life must include the proper amount of rest… Without proper rest your body begins to rebel…the lack of rest causes undo stress and the natural reaction is to retreat.
The human foot and ankle is a strong and complex mechanical structure containing more than 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
These feet bear my weight and allow me movement. These feet served God by uniting with others so we could make a difference in one persons life. These feet allowed me to serve and that’s all that matters!
Thought for the Day: Be the hands and feet of Christ. Serve!
Scripture Verse: 1Peter 4:10 “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
Quote of the Day: “The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.” ~Leo Rosten
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
Friendship…is a two-way street! It takes two people to form a friendship. There are a handful of things that transform a mere acquaintance into a friend…there are a few more things that elevate a friend to a best friend.
An acquaintance is someone who you have some knowledge of and they of you…this relationship is less intimate than friendship…Typically a relationship with an acquaintance is based on business relationships, social commitments, mutual friends or family members. The relationship with an acquaintance can grow into friendship if there is mutual effort expended by both parties.
Friendship is the next level in a relationship…Friends desire what is best for one another. They have sympathy and empathy for one another. Friends are honest in situations where it would be difficult for others to speak the truth. There is mutual understanding and compassion which allows friends to go to each other for emotional support. Friends enjoy each others company no matter the circumstances.
Best Friends are a whole different level… best friends trust one another with the junk going on in their lives. A best friend is someone who reciprocates…there is equal give and take…a best friend relationship isn’t made up of one taker and one giver…although at times one may take more than they give they will in time give more than they take. A best friend allows you to be yourself, express your feelings and make mistakes without fear of judgement.
“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”
When you pour yourself into developing friendships your life is infused with the experiences of the other person…maybe they have traveled to places you have only dreamed of and enjoyed culinary delights from the far corners of the earth. Maybe they are wild and care free or deep thoughtful thinkers. Maybe there is a characteristic you see in them that you desire for yourself…maybe just maybe they are a looking-glass that shows you what life looks like without actually having to cross the fence to what appears to be greener pastures. Friendships offer you the opportunity to live life vicariously.
Even after pouring yourself into growing a friendship there is no guarantee that the friendship will last…It is best to remember that God has planned for lots of people to be in your life for a moment, fewer people to be in your life for a season and even fewer will bless you for a lifetime, theirs or yours. No matter how long a friendship lasts it is worth the effort. Every friend adds depth, color, texture and flavor to your life.
Life is meant to be experienced one friendship at a time!
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
From time to time I worry…mostly I worry about my son when he is out and about. I sometimes worry about the outcome of a doctor’s appointment especially when I have to wait to hear test results. I also worry about getting a speeding ticket when I whiz past a police officer…I worry about my husband’s health…because of the level of stress that is involved in his job. I worry about disappointing my employer…I worry about dropping the ball on big projects or making the wrong decision.
The One thing all of my worries have in common is I have little if any control over them…Worrying does not make my son come home earlier or the test results come back quicker. Worrying does not keep me from getting a speeding ticket and it does not lessen the stress in my husbands day. Worry doesn’t keep my from dropping the ball or making the wrong decisions.
Then Why Worry? If I can change something i am worried about i should change it…If I am worrying about something I can’t change it is a waste of time and energy…
I should Let worry be a warning light that I need to pray…I should replace my worries with prayers..lift up my worries to God. Lay my worry at the feet of Jesus. Redirect my energy from time wasted worrying to trusting that God has a better plan.
Saying I am going to replace my worry with prayer is easier said than done. Worry is like a bad penny it seems to turn up at the most inopportune time…or is it the most opportune time. I guess that would depend on your point of view.
Remember worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. I’m just sayin’…Why Worry?
Matthew 6:25″ Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”