“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, an evil man brings evil out of the evil things stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Ephesians 3:20 NIV
When I was young my mother told me if I didn’t have anything good to say I shouldn’t say anything at all. This was very wise. In the Bible it says that the fool loves to talk, but the wise has few words. I know that as I began a relationship in earnest with my God I desired to do what he wanted all the time. I always wanted to help and at times I spoke without thinking. Was it really any of my business? I felt the spirit in side prompting me to hold my words. I liked stating my opinions and what I thought should be done. I didn’t really seek out the Lords opinions and ways though. I may have wanted things more my way. Or done the way I would do it. I felt myself quieted quite often. At the same time I was seeking to know the Lord more. Reading the Bible and different studies of others on the Bible . I read Christian books, devotionals, watched on-line sermons, Christian movies and documentaries. The more time I spent with the Lord throughout the day, the more confident I felt. I believe what goes in comes out. If I spent all day playing games and watching tv, or spent time hanging around angry, complaining, selfish and self-serving people , then that’s how I would become. That is not how I wanted to be. I spent time evaluating each thing I spent time doing. The first thing I did is give away my TV. Too much value-less time spent there. I have PureFlix now so I can spend time watching television and movies. Everything I have ever watched on it I enjoy. It’s kind of like eating. Just because it tastes good does not mean it’s good for you. I’ve found that eating less sugars and starches helps me feel better and less bloated. Watching too much tv just makes me anxious and nervous. Depending on what I watch. I prefer things that bring peace and inspiration. I like feeling positive. Music can really change the way you feel. I know that listening to others talking around me can make me anxious and frustrated, but by turning on praise music or instrumentals I can relax. If my heart is anxious and frustrated I will not be at my best. So as I choose to do things to occupy my time, I choose things that edify me and others. Then I am certain to respond positively towards others.
What are you spending time putting into your heart?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV
Every day we are bombarded with decisions to make. But the first one we need to make is to have a good day. It is a choice we make every day. Whether we make it or let circumstances make it for us. You do have a choice to rejoice or not. If you decide that ahead of time it will be easier to keep. Let’s say you have to wait for breakfast or it’s cold. Or the weather is lousy and your hair won’t behave. Hey at least God woke me up and I have food to eat. All things I can thank God for. And should thank him for. Like that great cup of coffee. We can dwell on negative things, but they can harm us and others so think positive always. There are things all day long that God has done for you and given you. Do we thank him for them? There are people throughout the day that do things for us. Do we show them our appreciation? Every person we meet is someone God loves. Whom he has died for. They need to be treated with love and respect. Do special things for everyone you meet. Give compliments, and show you care. Set out every day to do positive things. We can always try to show love and help just like Jesus did. We need to get momentum going in our lives by being consistent in the ideals God is giving us. His wisdom can get us going. Start by saying positive words over your life and the lives of others around you. Lifting others up with our words. Avoiding useless words that don’t edify. Negative or destructive words should have no place in our vocabulary. If you need to say something harsh start with, “With all due respect,”. This gives you time to choose the best words you can. Encourage positive actions, positive change. Eat healthier, exercise more, and read your Bible and pray. Encourage others to join in your endeavors. Make this new year about being the best you can be. Don’t be tempted to quit. With God’s help you can do all things. Every day try new things to make your life better. New good habits started. Keep on keeping on. You can do it. Your life is what you make of it. Go for it and make positive changes. Be sure to run to God for wisdom and he will guide you.
Do you let God help you make wise decisions?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 NIV
These passages speak of the love God has for everyone. Not just when we are good or do what he wants. But everyone and all the time. He does not want anyone ever to perish. He gave his one and only son to be born so that he could die a humiliating, horrible death so that nobody would have to die. We all deserve death because we’ve all sinned. But he died for us. That is real love. He is a perfect and holy God who cannot dwell among sin. They made a way for us to be together with them for eternity in heaven. But they also gave us free will, to be able to choose just what we want. They have made it very clear what they want. They have given us their own words written just for us to help us know them. They have given us a gift. Just like every gift you have ever been given, it is free. You have to do nothing but accept it. It takes faith to accept it because it is not something you can see or feel. We have to believe we have it. With that gift comes the promises that they will help us. Once we believe, we need to practice what we believe. We will turn away from sin. We are no longer a slave to sin but are made new. Many people choose to believe the parts of the Bible they like. It is historically accurate and has been proven to be true. If it is true, it is to be believed. All of it. If we believe all the good things like how much God knows us and loves us, knowing our every thought and always wanting what is best for us. Then we ought to believe when he tells us not to do something. Sin is not just wrong, it is not good for us if it brings eternal death. He has warned us time and time again. But this is one thing he doesn’t have control over. We do though. So nobody can say that a righteous God would not send someone to hell. He doesn’t. But we do by not believing and obeying. We have the final say over our actions. We can use any excuse we want, but not doing his will puts it on us. He is a very loving and just God. He tells us in his word how to be blessed. He tells us he to have a full and abundant life. How to have fullness of joy bubbling over in our lives. He wants what every good father wants for his children. The best. Every parent will do everything they can to see their children happy, healthy, and safe and sometimes say ‘no’. If what they want is not best for them. Shouldn’t we be glad to do things that will bring joy, happiness, and blessings.
What can we do to have a good and abundant life?
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1John 7-8 NIV
It is very important to have fellowship with others. Some of the best relationships I have are with other Christians. I believe we can be real with each other and gain so much from each other. But the best thing we can do for any relationship is spend time with our Heavenly Father. I know that my relationship with God has grown so much in the last six years. I love to spend time with him. I can spend time lounging in bed in the mornings and just talking about everyone and everything that is important to me. I know I can spend over an hour because my mind wanders. That isn’t always bad. Sometimes I will think of things I need to do that particular morning, but sometimes God will give me something to write about or something I need to do. (A divine assignment ) I can have a physical problem that I’m worrying about and he will give me a great idea of something to try. Or something I can do for someone. I love these times. Everyone must think I’m lazy but curled up in bed with my best friend is the best part of my day. Then when I do get up I’m sharp and ready to go. I can hit the floor running, or rolling for me. Like this morning I saw several things I needed to do right off. Spending that quality time with God makes me a better person. The love God has for me is bubbling up inside of me and I know he has that same love for everyone else. That makes me want to have that same kind of love. Just because I read my Bible and the knowledge of Gods love is inside me, I didn’t really know it until my relationship grew. Now I see and feel his love because we are so close. Just like any relationship it takes time of talking about important issues. It is so easy to do the polite chit chat and not really know someone. But to me, everyone has the potential to be a new great friend. Even though I know I may never see them again I want them to know I care about them and wish them well. Even a couple well chosen words can say so much. It is hard for me to talk to some people because I don’t speak very loud or distinctly. But I try real hard to use gestures and emotions to help my words. My smile is a big thing I always want to give away. The more time I spend with God, the more I will be like him. I know myself, I still make judgments of others. Someone can do or say something and I assume. That is sin and I confess that one a lot. I do not know the shoes they’ve walked in and I want to be understanding but I need God’s help. We all do.
What can you do or who can you talk to today?
“I have told you this so my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 NIV
There is a misunderstanding among most people and it keeps them from God. God just doesn’t want you to have a joyful life. It is his job to keep you in line and fill you with many good deeds to do that will keep you oppressed. The minute you become a Christian you must give up so much. Most people know they just can’t give up so much, too much to have a good life. This is not correct and not how it is. God has come to give you life, a full and rewarding life. In the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy. You can never find real joy without God. Inside everyone is a hunger that is just dying to be filled. People spend their entire lives trying to fill this need. They try love relationships, drugs, alcohol, money, fame, knowledge and so many things that can’t do it. They want love and acceptance, something only God can give. God loves everyone perfectly because he made them. He designed them just how they are and only God knows why they are who they are because he sees everything. He wants to help them. He has told us to cast our cares on him and he meant it. It is easy to give things to him and to ask forgiveness but we don’t always let him keep it. We continue to assume that we must help. It is up to us to prove we deserve forgiveness . No one deserves forgiveness. He does it only because he loves us. We are hopeless on our own and unable to do anything good. We can not do it without him. The joy of the Lord is our strength. He makes us strong. The more we know him, the more we understand. We need to know who he is and all that he has promised us. As we see that he does do what he says we are encouraged. I began the big search when I had my stroke. I had tried most things to make you happy but I wanted a full life. I had been raised in church so I started with what I knew. I also met a woman that talked about Jesus like he was a very close friend. I read everything i could get my hands on. I spent a lot of money at second hand stores buying books about God. I also joined a great church and got to know so many great people. As I began to read my Bible and spend time in prayer I began to feel that love and acceptance. The more time I spent with God and Christian friends the better I felt. I would sit outside and listen to praise music. One day I really listened to the words that meant so much. I learned so much about God through these songs. There is so much power in worship. I started living a life full of gratitude. God has done so much over my 60 years. I decided I am where I’m supposed to be and I was going to be joyful. I do everything with joy and enjoy being joyful. It is a choice you can make. You can choose to be grumpy too. I continually smile at others. I couldn’t do it on my own but he is always with me.
Do you want pure and perfect joy?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
Jesus wanted us to be ready. He does care about us every minute. Life can be hard at times. I have been dealing with others struggles lately. Please God help them. Why? Struggles come in so many different ways. Our lives can’t and won’t be perfect. But we can have peace always, but this is up to you. Our attitude is very important. What do you do when troubles comes? First you need to believe that God really does love you and he does have a plan. Everything will be used for your good. That may sound so impossible, right? I know myself that some of my greatest fears, struggles, and pains have turned me into a better, stronger person. My stroke tops the list of tough times and it is also what caused some of the greatest growth in my life. I am so very happy with where I am now in my relationship with God. No way I would be there but through my stroke. I used to have severe leg cramps. For over four years I suffered in pain and cried a lot. Number one truth – God gave me the strength to endure. Number two truth – he held my hand all through it. Number three truth – i am so much stronger. I don’t even notice little cramps any more. Cramps that hurt before I can almost ignore. Number four truth – I’ve learned to focus only on the good things and there are so many. I see that he is always blessing me and am always thanking him. I know my God better and I trust him always. Some things we can do when troubled be trials. Pray, read about God, listen to praise music, and do something for someone else. The biggest problem solver I have found is gratitude. I can spend just five minutes of my time thanking God and I feel great. I don’t care what I am going through it helps. Another help is something I learned this week. Look at a beautiful rose. Long stems come with many sharp thorns but out of them grows a beautiful bud. Slowly opening so majestically. Do you know something else? Jesus wore a crown of thorns for each of us as he hung on that cross one Friday. He did it for us, so we could have eternal life with him and never be apart. If he did that willingly for me I can handle so much more. He would do it all over again if he had to. But God said it is finished. That simple sacrifice has done so much. So never grow tired of all life throws at you, because in the end there is an eternal reward that is so worth it.
Are you feeling trials or pain?
“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Corinthians 29:11 NIV
Lord you are so wonderful. Your ways are so good. I am just so grateful you have blessed me so for all of my 60 years. I look at the world around me and it does shout of your glory. You made a masterpiece for us to enjoy each day and I will never take that for granted. I love that you plopped me down in beautiful Arizona. From the beautiful sunsets to the cool tall pines. I could never see it all. Yesterday I got to enjoy our botanical gardens and it was a perfect, sunny, 72 degree day. I saw so many cacti so different and unique. Small to large and some really weird and prehistoric looking plants. Nothing average or boring. You are creative. They had a wonderful butterfly exhibit. I really enjoyed going through this enclosure. I saw thousands of butterflies everywhere. Up close they are so delicate and lovely. They were flying all around me and landing on me. From a huge monarch to tiny little ones. So much to enjoy in this world. The people you have sent into my life, I choose to enjoy each and every one. Friends, family, and those I don’t know yet but long to know better. You have helped me learn the importance of being grateful. Every morning even before I open my eyes, I can come to you and say thank you. A bright new day, maybe cool, or warm, rainy, windy, or snowy(which I sure miss). So much goes into the upkeep of this great planet but you do it effortlessly, because, you designed it so well. You thought of absolutely everything. Scientists try to know things, and they have come quite a long way thanks to you. They will never begin to discover all that you know. Your plans for us are so good. I really enjoy that you sent me to a church that I just love. It is beautiful and it is so good at finding needs and filling them. I am right in the center of what you are doing. You use me even though I am nothing special, just your daughter, and that’s more than enough. I have seen so many answered prayers and you work in some awesome ways. Everyone I meet is made in your own image and I know that you love them, and that you died for them. Help me to see them with your eyes. Thank you so very much.
Do you take the time to be grateful?