Deal or No Deal

Am I the only person who goes into the supermarket or drugstore and reach for the second item on the shelf – the one that’s behind the first one? I’ve repeatedly done this … and the whys still have me laughing….because I’ve never seriously thought about it.

What’s wrong with the first box or tin on the shelf? Nothing. Absolutely nothing of course.

Hmm….

Do we have a hard time loving ourselves but with ease we compliment the person behind us?

Are we more forgiving to folks outside of our immediate family than we are to our next of kin?

Is it easier to show respect to your boss’s family than it is to respect your own family?

Is it cooler to love someone with physical or mental limitations outside of the family than it is to be proud of the ones within the family?

I can be wrong but let me share my thoughts:

If we are not on very good terms with ourselves, then chances are we will not be happy with life.

And if we are not happy with our life…then no one close to us will be easy to love.

Our happiness depends on being happy with ourselves. And if we are happy … then love will automatically flow over to everyone without any hesitation.

Our own insecurities and personal experiences make us second guess ourselves and those within our immediate family circle.

I’ve seen folks who care deeply for others, yet they struggle to care for their next of kin withholding nothing.

When we learn to love and accept ourselves…loving those in our families will be easy.

1 John 4:20-21 says, if anyone goes on hating his next of kin and thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If you can’t love the person you can see, how can you love God who you can’t see? The command is blunt: Loving God includes loving your next of kin. You’ve got to love both.

Is it time to stop reaching for the second item and take the first item?

Reminder: Absolutely nothing is wrong with the first item.

On The Inside: Squirrel In Traffic

In the blink of an eye everything in your life can change. Change is unavoidable. No matter what you do to get around it, it’s going to happen sooner or later.

Some folks handle change like a professional footballer …while others like myself handle change like a 100 ft drop of a rollercoaster ride.

Did I tell you that I hate rollercoasters? I am not a daring person by nature…I have more of a lazy river personality where guests gently float down a river on individual tubes.

So… I’m not one of those fun loving people who wait in long lines for hours for the thrill of screaming while going over the gigantic drop of 100 ft (ask anyone who has venture out to Canada Wonderland)…

It’s reassuring to me that I am the proud recipient of unforgettable memories of surviving millions of both pleasant and unpleasant changes in my life.

The older I get is the more I want things to remain the same. Change brings about a certain measure of great discomfort to me.

I can cry much easier than I can change….and that’s the awful effect that change has on me.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s important for me to change my attitude towards change. (Wink eye. It’s okay, it’s not that bad).

So how do I cope with change? I think of it as a kidney stone….painful…but it will pass.

Here’s my strategy – I must change my thoughts and my world will change.

I make all my wishes and wants known to God. In seasons of distress and grief I find comfort, support and relief in my Heavenly Father.

He engages me with thoughts of hope and faith …. from the smallest to the largest of details in my life I am guaranteed that even if I resist change, everything will be alright.

When Decisions Goes Wrong

As parents we owe it to our children to make good choices. The choices we make always affect our children, and the quality of our children’s lives fall directly into the lap of the parents.

Sometimes our decisions can make a lot of sense to us, but we need to be reminded that it can have a devastating impact on our children.

When we make decisions as adults, we must always ask ourselves, ‘Will my choice harm or hurt my children?’ Many times selfishness blocks a honest response.

Our world teaches us to think only of ourselves because those little ones will one day grow up and forget about us. Well, that’s definitely fake news. The Bible says that one day we will be judged by God.

You know that phrase that says, ‘Only God can judge me’ …well surely one day He will judge us all by the decisions we made and how it affected our little ones.

As parents, little eyes are always watching us. We’ve got to be careful what we say and do… because we are influencing the next generation.

Rick Warren once said,

‘Mature people limit their freedom for the benefit of others’.

I like this quote very much. It’s deep. You will always know the difference between mature parents and self-centered parents.

Limiting your freedom for the benefit of your little ones is maturity at the best.

Jumping into relationships is easy, anyone can do it….but it’s the fallout that affects our little ones.

We are a product of our decisions…our children are the products of our choices.

By wisdom a house is built. Everyone comes to a place in life where we need to make decisions. Life is full of decisions. Whether it is buying a car, starting a family, deciding what to cook or wear ….we all have to make decisions.

We all need a little help from those who are ahead of us, a little guidance and a whole lot of grace. Be wise with your decisions and actions, so you will never have to be responsible for the pain of your children.

When Your Boat Capsizes

Regardless of how safe and beautiful your boat (life) may be…there are some untimely high tidial waves that abruptly interrupts your sweet sailings from one season to another. Life happens to everyone.

No one enjoys stormy weather…. but with life comes a lot of unexpected twist and turns. Therefore, life jackets must be worn at all times when sailing through life.

The life jackets used must be sturdy enough to weather all storms. I cannot imagine how some folks make it through life without Jesus Christ.

I love knowing that I can call on Jesus at anytime, and He will answer me with a positive thought or a word of encouragement that I am on the right pathway following Him.

Jesus tells us that we will have rough sailings, it’s a guarantee…so don’t be alarmed with the screeching sounds of trouble.

The best thing about sailing in rough weather is, the LORD Himself sails through life with us. He doesn’t jump ship when pandemonium starts.

He is the eye of the storm. We don’t need to be afraid of the outcome of anything we may be facing today, tomorrow or the next month.

Many times we get lost at sea (chapters) …but in those very scary moments when it appears that the tidal wave (unforeseen event) was wrecking our stability and trust in Jesus ….somehow miraculously He strengthens our confidence in Him and steers us emotionally back on course.

What about those ruthless pirates that jump into our boat and steal our merchandise (happiness and peace) after hitting an iceberg (all shapes and sizes of doubt and fear) …

It is written in Proverbs 3:4-5 “Trust in the LORD with all our heart; and lean not unto our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge God, and He shall direct our path.”

“It Is Written.” Where is it written? In the Word of God…the BIBLE.

Paddling to safety is hard work. It calls for courage and no giving up to survive your boat (life) capsizing. It’s scary to be lost at sea… no one enjoys being abandoned in the ocean of life.

But, if we will only believe that Jesus Christ is LORD over the wind and waves, we are guaranteed that we will one day write home to tell them all about our shipwreck experiences.

Jesus promises to keep each and every one of us in perfect peace when we take our eyes away from the wreckage and keep our faith rooted and grounded in Him.

Jesus did it many times before and most certainly He remains consistently loyal to do it everytime we hit an iceberg (challenge).

There’s no untimely death when your faith is in the Alpha and Omega…the One who’s the Beginning and the End…the First and the Last…the only true and living God. He hears the faintest cry of whoever calls on Him in difficult times…and He delivers everyone who’s in trouble.

A relationship with Jesus doesn’t complicate things…but it enhances our lives while riding the rough waters …and long after we leave the wreckage.

Thank GOD It’s FRIDAY!

There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little bit better.

Thank you to all who have made me smile a little bigger by following and reading my blogs. You have made my dream a reality. Thank you! I’m better because of you.

Here’s to my funny Friday quotes. Relax and enjoy the weekend with your family and friends. Share a funny quote with someone you love.

Looking forward to seeing you once again on Monday. Remember….there is always something to be thankful for.

Welcome the Test by Bob and Debby Gass

‘He bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar.’ Genesis 22:9 NKJV

Abraham considered Isaac to be a special gift from God. But God-given gifts are wonderful things – and dangerous things.

Why do we say that? Because as you cultivate the gifts God has given you, you can begin to rely on them more than you rely on God.

And at that point your greatest strength becomes your greatest weakness.

It was God who gave Lucifer a beautiful form and a beautiful voice. Those gifts were originally used to glorify God. Then Lucifer started looking in the mirror, started reflecting on his own beauty. He glorified the gift he had been given instead of glorifying God.

The lesson in Lucifer’s fall is this:

Whatever you don’t turn into praise turns into pride.

And that’s a problem, because ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6 NKJV).

Instead of deflecting praise to God, Lucifer let it feed his ego. It was his sinful desire to be lifted up that led to Lucifer’s downfall.

What are your greatest God-given gifts? What are your most significant God-ordained opportunities? What God-sized dreams has the Holy Spirit conceived in your spirit?

That’s your ‘Isaac’. And you should love your Isaac and celebrate him, but he must never be permitted to take the place of God in your life.

Sometimes God-ordained dreams aren’t just born, they have to be reborn.

If they become more important to you than God, you have to sacrifice them for the sake of your soul.

You have to put them on the altar and raise the knife. Sometimes your dream must die before it can be resurrected for God’s glory.

The UCB Word For Today is written by Bob and Debby Gass.

Problems Force Us To Depend On God by Rick Warren

“Don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you”

(1 Peter 4:12 TLB).

Jesus warned us that we’d have problems in life. No one is immune from pain or insulated from suffering, and no one gets to skate through
life problem-free.

But the apostle Peter assures us that problems are normal, saying, “Don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery
trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you” (1 Peter 4:12 TLB).

God uses these problems to draw you closer to himself.

The Bible says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in
spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NLT).

Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship likely will be in your darkest days: when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned,
when you’re out of options, when the pain is great — and when you turn to God alone.

It is during suffering that we learn to pray our most
authentic, heart-felt, honest-to-God prayers.

When in pain, we don’t have the energy for superficial prayers.
Joni Eareckson Tada notes, “When life is rosy, we may slide by with knowing about Jesus, with imitating him and quoting him and speaking of
him. But only in suffering will we know Jesus.”

We learn things about God in suffering that we can’t learn any other way.

God could have kept Joseph out of jail, kept Daniel out of the lion’s den, kept Jeremiah from being tossed into a slimy pit, kept Paul from
being shipwrecked three times, and kept the three Hebrew young men from being thrown into the blazing furnace, but he didn’t.

He let those
problems happen, and each of those people was drawn closer to God as a result.

Problems force us to look to God and depend on him instead of ourselves.

Paul testified to this benefit: “We felt we were doomed to die
and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save
us” (2 Corinthians 1:9 TLB).

You’ll never know that God is all you need until God is all you’ve got.